Suite of Unreason
Suite Of Unreason for Piano, Clarinet, Cello and Percussion. World Premiere performance, Santa Barbara, CA, June 19, 2017.
Poems by Jim Harrison
Azure. All told a year of water. Some places with no bottom. I had hoped to understand it but it wasn’t possible. Fish.
Recently ghosts are more solid than we are,they have color and meat on their bones,
even odor and voices. You can only tell them by what’s missing. A nose, ear, feet on backward, their hair that floats though the air is still.
The violent wind. The violent wind. The violent wind.
The brush I scrub my soul with each morning
is made of the ear-hairs of a number of animals: dogs, pigs, deer, goat, raccoon, a wolverine,
and pinfeathers of particular birds, a secret. Brush too hard, your ambitions will be punished.
In Africa back in 1972 one day I studied
a female lion with blood on her fluttering whiskers, traces of dark blood on her muzzle. A creature died as we all must. In my seventies I see the invisible lion not stalking but simply waiting, the solution
of the mystery I don’t want to solve. She’s waiting.
Let’s not get romantic or dismal about death. Indeed it’s our most unique act along with birth. We must think of it as cooking breakfast,
it’s that ordinary. Break two eggs into a bowl
or break a bowl into two eggs. Slip into a coffin after the fluids have been drained, or better yet, slide into the fire. Of course it’s a little hard
to accept your last kiss, your last drink,
your last meal about which the condemned can be quite particular as if there could be
a cheeseburger sent by God. A few lovers sweep by the inner eye, but it’s mostly a placid lake at dawn, mist rising, a solitary loon
call, and staring into the still, opaque water. We’ll know as children again all that we are destined to know, that the water is cold
and deep, and the sun penetrates only so far.