Friday, July 16, 2010

molar living on the cusp

all of my teeth are 64 years old
but tooth #19, a lowly molar,
acting up... on account of there's

a dark hole beneath one of its roots 
big enough for even a musician to make out 
on a smoky xray that never fails to animate a dental type. 
and this one--an endodontist-- is lively about something 
where nerves and bone and tissue carry out their tiny lives in #19. 
i give in. just do it. and then everything fades to buzzy. 
i don't remember. it was the extra gas. i guess. 
he keeps talking through the haze, explaining 
what each new sound is about, as if it will reduce the anxiety? 
enhance the experience? 

there's a jaw expander holding my mouth open, 
and a sexy little blue spandex skirt stretched around #19. 
dental theater. 

later, in the afterglow, a new picture pops up on the screen. 
so many little white lines where the sleek hair-thin canal tool 
snaked in. 

the modern millie in me appreciates the irony:  
lighter by $740 and yet in more pain.

the pioneer woman in me, with 
native intelligence still intact, 
thinks snake bite and oblivion
could have been a reasonable alternative.

the notes fly past the pillow
and hurtle down stairs
where the sodding proper manuscript waits
buried mid-mulch on the music shelves
by the bench.
i can make it that far with slits for eyes
enough to jot down the code
dit dit dash every good boy does fine
some wavy chordish looking blots for bass. 
harmonic hints. not much to go on.
but enough for trying it out. 
like riding a new trike.
you know how it's going to go but
there's no substitute for taking a spin.

and that's why the piano plays 
at dark forty around here.
it's not exactly because we can't sleep.
but the effect is the same.
i'd like to think there's genius 
in hearing notes and writing them down
but it doesn't take enough agony.
and no one will hear it, except the ones 
with pillows over their heads.
but when it all comes right--
when what is in play 
is what came to mind--
then what else is there?

other than other dreams,  of course,
and others' dreams...
and the rest of life, 
out there.
which is, still,  all of it, music.