Poetry Corner: July/August 2017
The Quartet Crowd
Scarce-breathing sphinxes, row on stonefaced row
Glued to the plush as if some mesmerist
Had stunned them, while onstage the four with fiddles
Bob like weeds in the wind—how can they claim
To love the sounds their bodies so resist?
Fierce listeners are one of music's riddles.
The casual, there for spouses or self-show,
Uncrinkling candies, fingering the program,
Tapping the pulse, collect their killing stare.
Their mask of elevation is a sham
To shield a wobbly edifice whose walls
Are time refashioned into space, a dream
Of motive, motion, theme and countertheme,
A form so fragile and interior
The least snapped handbag or insistent whisper
Snuffs out a stanchion and the vision falls.
They come as masons to a shrine of air.
"The Quartet Crowd" from Facing the Music by Bruce Berger, © 2014 by Bruce Berger. Used by permission of Conundrum Press, a division of Samizdat Publishing Group, LLC (conundrum-press.com). Any third party use of this material, outside of this publication, is prohibited.