Steve Dalachinsky

(Anthony Braxton/Walter Thompson Orchestra @ the Irondale Center 4/16/09)

it’s impossible for the hourglass to run out in less than an hour
              unless its neck is stretched or choked
                    or it shatters
                       turning over

                     before the sand
                or by turning it on its side

for it
             to run out of time unless it   s
                                                                                 t          e          r       ssssss

          impossible for it to run out
                                                    unless you stop it or             drop it

there is no time like the present
& it presents itself like always like a dancer
               & its shadow / her shadow
                           with little time left echoed by sapranino
                                          & a chorus of faux angels
                                                          & an agitated mob

    (or we stop before the hourglass does)

& another thing        if Jessie opens his mouth again
                                       & teaches us anything beyond the fact
                                            that the poor in spirit are to be blessed
                                                 & that the mourners shall all be comforted
                                                       i just might smash the hourglass meself
                                                               & watch its stained fragments
                                                                      mingle with the blood o’ lambs

              gnarly hands held
                   some unknown figment
                      @ the pulpit
                        pointing her finger
                          @ an open book
& what’s ta be read’s as confining as any open book can get
                                          not like notions & circleths
                                                     & mono-polymyths
                                                          & ’56 plymouths
                                  or staying ahead of the movement
                                                          just for the sound of it
                          & cross/conducting in a semi-hexagonal room
                                          of wood plaster & nice acoustics

                          it is always something to marvel @ - TIME -
& the hourglass if left to its own devices
                                          sits dormant until reversed
                                                          if left to its own devices
                                                                    remains constant no matter what
time or day it is
or where
no matter what shape room it’s in
no matter what city or town
or country across the sea
or across the street
no matter how often one finds oneself
within the same situation
or how many times
or in how many languages
one describes the same
situation (mybody)
it is always a different experience
a different hour
no matter what the hourglass
may show us
just look at
your gnarly hands
my face

…or we stop before the circle closes


Steve Dalachinsky
Steve Dalachinsky was born after the last Big War & has managed to survive lots of little wars. His poems have appeared extensively in journals on & off line including Big Bridge, Milk, Unlikely Stories, Xpressed, Evergreen Review, Long Shot, Alpha Beat Soup, Xtant, Blue Beat, Jacket, Unbearable Assemblage Magazines, NY Arts Magazine, 88, Lost and Found Times, plus such anthologies as Beat Indeed, The Haiku Moment and the esteemed Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. He has written liner notes for the CDs of many artists including Anthony Braxton, James "Blood" Ulmer, Rashied Ali, Roy Campbell, Matthew Shipp, Roscoe Mitchell & many others. His 1999 CD, Incomplete Direction (Knitting Factory Records), a collection of his poetry read in collaboration with various musicians, such as William Parker, Matthew Shipp, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen, Susie Ibarra, Thurston Moore (SonicYouth), Vernon Reid (Living Colour) has garnered much praise.