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Chris Smith: Words & Music

Poem: Rilke's Bouzouki

(Chris Smith)
Dedicated to my brother in music Stanley Greenthal. Commemorates an actual event at ZF 2002 closing concert, when Stanley managed to entangle himself so badly in his mic stands and cables that we all held our breath, wondering if the whole thing was a shtick.

Published in the Art of Music annual, 2003.
If Rilke had played the bouzouki,

If Emerson had written songs,

If Thoreau in his solitude had learned to love collaboration,

He, or they, might have sounded like this.

And Buster Keaton with a bad back might have danced a comic ballet
with his microphones,
Chaplin channeled a gypsy jazz guitarist,
Robert Frost played a few friendly fiddle tunes,
Jelaluddin Rumi sung songs alone under dripping Northwest
deciduous leaves.

But since they didn’t,

Since they didn't,

You did.

CJS, 8/21/01