Naming of Hops
(July 30, 2009)
Today there will be naming of hops.
Today they’ll have a beer outside
the oval office of the White House.
Likewise our planet rotates with an oval orbit
around the sun of no determinate God,
whose purity and innocence informs
the white bars on the American flag.
Today President Obama, Professor Gates
and Officer Crowley will have a beer
without discriminatory roots.
Vice-President Biden will grab a Buckler
and ward off journalistic gibes.
The President will have a Bud Lite.
Just so, cherry blossoms bud lightly near
the President’s office, and all around
the grounds of the White House.
And today there will be naming of hops.
The professor wanted a Red Stripe.
Indeed red stripes emblazon the American flag
with the hardiness and valor of patriots
who fought to make this country free,
with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.
But, fermenting, with true revolutionary fervor,
he settled on a Boston-based Samuel Adams.
So today there will be naming of hops.
And four men will bond with beer outside the oval office.
The officer in blue will have a Blue Moon.
Indeed blue is the color of justice, perseverance
and vigilance; and upon this cerulean hue,
the stars representing our states are fixed,
as in the celestial spheres. It’s the color
of sad, chromatic notes, flat as the moon
rising over the jazzy circuits that light
the music scenes of America like dancing stars.
For today there will be naming of hops,
fermented in a brew of friendship and hope.
Previously published online in Eye on Poetry 2010
Schopenhauer in Love
(addressing his beloved)
Although I found the woman of my dreams,
who’s to my Romeo a Juliet,
I know that true love isn’t what it seems.
For those romantic trappings just abet
the species at the cost of me and you.
And just before our true love ardor fades,
we’ll find we should have heeded Montague
who gave short shrift to Cupid’s masquerades.
For they concealed a treacherous intent
that contravened the interest of the self.
As such, my cynic’s bent must circumvent
this marriage for the books that line my shelf.
And lest we die in marital duress,
we’ll live apart in single happiness.
And why should we become the species’ dupes,
promoting Nature’s procreative urge
like circus mammals jumping through the hoops,
when I can use that elemental surge
of energy to write The World as Will
and Representation, and you’re spared schnooks.
I feel a nobler, independent thrill
when having mental congress with my books.
Okay, I guess the future of the race,
for better or for worse, is your concern,
and that instinctively we both must face
our fate. But reason gives us means to learn
and turn desire for the nuptial bed
into Nirvana’s mystic bliss instead.
What message are we giving citizens?
Our dogs are safe from troubling pranks of Vicks,
and Plaxico will never threaten clubbers with a gun
he carried for his own defensive use!
But don’t try saddling killers with a charge
that never sticks or get restraining orders
if it’s wife abuse. For guns are not allowed
for citizens who try to shield themselves.
They’re only used by felons violating civil rights
of those who heed the law books on the shelves
officials use to keep the rest in check.
How economical becomes this scheme.
The laws are broad enough to keep
the moneyed and aristocrats secure,
and make the rest of us unsure of talking
out of turn or even walking streets at night.
And don’t reach out to the long arm of the law.
For that’s been set for minimum mobility
by those who move on the fast lane.
And there are stronger arms in store.
Talking Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto
Her tonal discourse has some strings attached
to buttress her expository flow.
And fortes of the orchestra are matched
by strong sforzandos with her horsehair bow.
Though hushed by clamorous fortissimos,
once disputatious passages subside,
acute reflexes deftly interpose
her repartee. Its sentimental slide
draws pathos from the argument addressed.
As such, the listener gets her side of
the score, beyond the music accents stressed
inside the staff or bowing marks above.
And just before the final chord is heard,
this fiddler interjects her edgewise word.
Grooving to Shakira’s Ciega, Sordomudo
I ride beside her while she sings her song!
The more I hear her moan she’s gone to waste
because of love, the more I prance along –
side sixteenth notes of her adroitly paced
racnchera. And – yippee ay aye away! –
she canters down its mariachi course
as runs – staccato! rapido! – convey
her, crestfallen vaquera, on the horse
she trots across the forlorn parts of town.
Aggrieved, she rhapsodies “yi yi yi”
whose winded consolation is the crown
that rises from her agitated sigh.
Concluding mexicano hounds of brass
salute her cancion with braying sass.
She storms Town Hall’s stage, determined fighter,
sporting formal dress. A toothy giant
Baldwin grand stands keyed-up to ignite her
thrust. She attacks his body. Defiant,
with fierce forays of floor-shaking fortes,
she crows her show of strength. Legerdemain
fingers stress criss-crossed wrists as she essays
pianissimo passages that strain
her battery of skills. These tasks spring traps
to challenge her defense force till it cracks.
But swift sforzandos show how fast she taps
into her arms, till hammered pedals tax
sapped resources for her cadenza’s pitched
assault on major key positions that bewitched
her captive audience. And what display
of firearms begins her forte siege
toward a triumphant finish of the fray!
Downplaying any subsequent prestige
or plaudits following the final chord,
she hunches by the ivory for sore
resistance from the pummeled sounding board.
For primed by battles with this rattling score
she’s well-equipped to muffle overtones
that resonate from her prolonged assaults.
They slowly fade away with dying groans
beneath her respiration’s starts and halts.
She slackens following this pregnant pause,
then smiles triumphantly to loud applause.
Previously published online, with 22 lines, as “Concords” in Illogical Muse, Summer 2010
About Frank De Canio
Born & bred in New Jersey, I work in New York. I love music from Bach to Dory Previn, Amy Beach to Amy Winehouse, World Music, Latin, opera. Shakespeare is my consolation, writing my hobby. I like Dylan Thomas, Keats, Wallace Stevens, Frost, Ginsburg, and Sylvia Plath as poets.