• Tone Poem

    For Cecil Taylor (March 25, 1929-April, 2018)


    A new poetics of sound

    A raw, invented syntax from

    the realm of chance melodics

    No two stars alike

    No two notes alike

    No two moments alike

    For those who want to go back

    to the beginning, back to the ark

    of all things, there is no return

    No time to cover sleeping ears

    No time to resume games of

    true or false, good or bad in

    white, garroted innocence

    The anti-mnemonics of Cecil’s

    dystopian angst cause many an

    aficionado discomfort over

    riddles and sphinxes

    Beginning with the apocryphal

    explosion of chords blasted out

    of a Steinway like cluster bombs

    Everything’s a puzzle not to be

    solved but absorbed in the

    improvised anarchy that will

    detonate Death in the

    face of fixed order

    Cecil’s hands leap across the

    rippling sea of black and white

    keys stretched before him like

    myriad worlds

    It’s as if he’s alone on the far side

    of the moon tasked with the

    urgent mission to resurrect

    zombies in limbo with the

    sorcery of his touch

    Copyright@ 2019 by Genny Lim