Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cocktail Music

In the evenings I'm currently slowly reading my way through an anthology of the poetry of Chase Twichell - I've quoted her before here - I found a large anthology of her poetry at the Oxfam in Alderley Edge a few months ago. This poem seemed especially appropriate as, the evening I read it, we'd just returned from an evening which started with contemplative prayer and ended with a cocktail party (at the same place!) - note the initials of both events! Twichell has made a close study of Zen Buddhism and her poems reflect that.
         Cocktail Music

All my life a brook of voices
has run in my ears,
many separate instruments
tuning and playing, tuning.
It's cocktail music,
the sound of my parents
in their thirties,
glass-lined ice bucket loaded
and reloaded but no one tending bar,
little paper napkins, cigarettes,
kids passing hors d'oeuvres.
It's drinking music,
riffle of water over stones,
ice in glasses, rise and fall
of many voices touching-
that music. Husbands grilling meat,
squirting the fire to keep it down,
a joke erupting, bird voices snipping
at something secret by the bar.
It's all the voices collapsed
into one voice,
urgent and muscled like a river
then lowered as in a drought,
but never gone. It's the background.
When I lift the shell to my ear
it's in there.
(from Dog Language)
And here she is reading Negligent Worldicide (from Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been)

1 comment:

Suem said...

Life is a cocktail party- or is it a contemplative prayer meeting?:) Thanks for this poem.
(I now have to prove I am not a robot, an increasingly tall order it seems.)