for Anthony Braxton
Jump or Die
Time is all time
for the player in cosmic space.
Undo the bolts & let fly
or jump back in the box
These are your reality implications
on any day of earth-clinging.
But as to the progressive continuance
of organic life on this orb,
creative vitality must dance
with the constant embrace
of unique experience—
consciousness of the now
in all time.
All the Way Up and All the Way Down
It’s a vibrational liquid, man.
All the way up and all the way down.
Sound sexual? It is.
It’s total physical involvement
all-at-once, it’s music
in mind shapes.
But you need clear round spectacles
for this one,
not cool nightshades.
This kind of cool has eyes open,
hits the books
only to write its own
so that those reading (and listening
and looking) can and will
write their own.
It wasn’t the first
—that was by satellite in 1959—
and it wasn’t the first on the mission
—a similar take came moments before—
but it’s the take that took hold on terra firma
after Cernan, Evans and Schmitt in orbit
became The Blue Marble Trio.
Here’s my bright idea:
humanity turned 17 that day,
awake and rubbing childhood
out of dreaming eyes.
I want to walk in the wake
of the brightest child eyes,
add my link and rub away.
Dreaming is fine
but there are thinkable thoughts.
So think, boy!
Let’s Sing the Planet Electric
Fit to swing according to human and temporal laws,
as a box spilled of its notes written from the left
hand to the right and in that crossing
over comes to rest on the vibrating chest:
A casket swaying slightly on its ropes
lowered into the welcoming soil.
It’s the end of a way of life,
especially for those who go on living that way,
swinging like the hanging jaw
of a grinning skull, mouthing by rote,
If it ain’t got swing, what does it mean?
Well friend, it ain’t jazz if only hip historians
should do the work due to the risk of shock
attendant upon the flouting of codifications.
Those who want music with a future
will write laws that foster the new life,
unpack history for a restructure,
hold firm the form and sing
the planet electric.
Mark Kerstetter makes his home in St. Petersburg, Florida where he is restoring an old house out of wood salvaged from demolition sites. A two-time award winner for drawing and painting at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, his current focus is on creative writing. A winner of the Jerry Jazz Musician New Short Fiction Award and a Pushcart nominee for poetry, Mark is the former poetry editor of the online arts magazine Escape Into Life and the author of The Mockingbird Sings blog. His chapbook of poems, “One Step: prayers and curses” was published in 2017 by Atomic Theory Micro Press.