Cecil Taylor

Cecil Taylor’s fingers are genius crazed mice, appearing and disappearing, light speed flashes of moments. Cecil himself, his shirted back, trickling sweat, then soaked wet, is a giant uncaged animal, arching, crouching, sometimes lovingly, but most of the time viciously, from the right side of the grand piano, where crystal clear sparkles of notes are triangularly cornered stars falling upon keyboards, all the way to the left hand side, groaning heavily with the growls emanating from the dark piano, now breathing so deeply with life. His unpredictable colors unbelievable originate from a hidden almost perverse yet ultimate, space of soul, outside any
reality. That penetrate, fill your wholeness, that has already forgotten to resist. Concentrated muscle tense that is relaxing, freeing in the numbed hypnosis of his drugging power. Drinks lie untouched on the night club tables. Ears become one. And all other music, all other sound, all other thought can suicidally stop in shame before Cecil. When he rests, and he doesn’t rest, he releases you to sigh in lyrics of relief, the beauty of jazz rhythms, only to thrust you back into the irregularly regulated chords he hears. Till you hear his hands, parting seas, red and black, back and forth. The mad jerkings of perpetual tears choked confusion in your chest are muted in an overwhelmed one-ness of peace. You are tiny, fantasy-filled, merely deformity caught in the immatured evolutionnary stages, but you are ecstatic to have stayed alive long enough to experience what you just experienced. So that the world is no longer a void. But an eternal feeling blanketing cities, skies, machines and
men.

From Yuri Kageyama, “Peeling,” Berkeley, Calif: I. Reed Press, 1988.
First published in Oro Madre.

People Who Know Pain

The World is divided bet-
Ween two kinds of People
The Winners and the Losers
The Takers and the Givers
The Famous and the Forgotten
The Loved and the Unloved _
Those who don’t care and

People who know Pain
People who know Pain

when your tongue rolls, the
tips of my nipples, piercing
knife of betrayal

Vincent Van Gogh
John Coltrane
Garcia Marquez
Toulouse Lautrec
Billie Holliday
Richard Wright
Kenji Miyazawa

People who know Pain
People who know Pain

baby foxes dance,
leaving paw marks in the snow,
fairy tale of joy

Hermit, victim,
Outcast, untouched,
Untouchable
They travel faceless
Shadows on the subway
Mute, unconnected,
Unknowing of their own Pain

People who know Pain
People who know Pain

bitter memories grow
a cancer pomegranate
bleeding and rotting

I’d rather shelter that Pain alone
A powerless nobody,
Ashamed, shunned,
Stench of insignificance,
Laughing the idiot’s laugh,
Running forgotten errands,
Dying before living like other

People who know Pain
People who know Pain

a zillion light years
the planet pulsates timeless
soundless universe

I’d never be that superior someone who
Conquers, fornicates, lynches,
Deposits paychecks, plans careers, gives advice,
Forms opinions, writes reviews,
Weighs pros and cons, wins awards,
Attends receptions, discriminates,
Never knowing, shrugging off, how painful

People’s Pain can be
People’s Pain can be