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POEMS FOR BUTCH MORRIS
by Steve Dalachinsky

Conduction 118
(Butch Morris @ Tonic)

the line blurred
the image made obscure
this is relentless irrelevantly seeming
tie between music & blood
fingers flicking like violin string
plucked
the almost spasmodic near-nausea blending
of dare i say unearthly sounds
oh lowly creatures  that we are
wretched devisors
tunnel taxed to its maximum
capacity the suddenness of that precise
abrupt light       on an unclean watch
the spill as spread across the floor
like the turntable-ist’s scratch
within infant genes
of orchestra
here i put the fabric that
holds me in place
peel the music of its layers
lie within the belly of the crater
tulip’s star black & golden
star created by fantasorganismic erupt
corrupting the purity of oh that’s
Butch up there batoning his arms into oceans
Billy’s eyes awaiting the signal
Christian turning near dulled fingers wiped clean of prints
Sharp printing electric power pages
scouring the very hairs of our souls
skinned Graham’s skinned Simon’s busy reverse
young women in black cloth darting & re-inverting
your indentured crown of swallowed thorns
revealed to as i revel in this
the moment itself  axiom cleaned & made clear
at the roots the very fragmented pulsing of
a lost bewildered melody   a flickering of heartpump
& here i close uncountable letters
typed onto my biology
residing in the residue of me  
plain/thinking being
resident reflection of mankind 
residue of calculated risk. 



SKYSCRAPER
(Butch Morris @ the Bowery Poetry Club 7/16/02)

 set 2 pc. #1

of
kith kin
beneath skin
the amber waves
stretching toward stretching
of
mts of highways of
mts of
bricked up crazy waking evening
cooing warble of ghost
of middle passion
blown thru interior of
body contained in long long line that is a country’s breath
locked down tight frenzy of the skull’s transition
allaholymessomissinglinks apeak & chirpin inta foward
CROWD ME   don’tCROWDME
upascape & down another scaling the tipper scales the falling light
a skyhook caught across acoming tongue of stripe-jacketed monumoments
cycling as a solo jaggedz thru a tunnel-o-tunes
tipsy, conductor snoops last stop the night that pass amidst its passage
of pith & spin
& cold flattened metal
oh the headshot
& the long dark march
toward the bottom of the sky
mts of highways of mts of climbers &
jumpers & skiers & droppers &
pushers & ash spangled
breathbones
the song of off-scale sorrow beyond the beauty of sorrow
above the murderous hurtling joys of flesh
scarification of witness to the scrappers
now fell from the mouth of the world
now scraped from the tongue of the world
so let them lie make love & dream atop the straw
the soft soft straw
that only barely saturates their tender skins.



CONDUCTION IS:

insert   remove  revert  divert & move  an entrance into:
a trusting blind allegiance  /  a new kind of freedom  /  FREEDOM / bridging space
dome of the rock  / what’s inside the stone  /  infusing ideas with passion
 po-po-iee-tick-s as the train of  music moves  CONDUCTION
        as the clouds pile thru the speaker logic  /   wangle mangle  tingle / mingle
       pulsing portraits & unlimited possibilities  / life melodies  & solar flexes
weaving   charged  miles   /  toward the  greater journey   /  a way to shape / reshape
 connect     instant graffiti    &   gratification   disconnect     reconnect
interlocking  &  unlocking  /  immediate social & musical network  /  FLOW
the flame itself  /   right down to the bone   /   sweating glass of daydreams 
diverse significant appropriate evening out /  serendipitous / charged
  moving & textural  /  evocative  challenging conventional  & traditional expectation
 powerful communicative & emotional  a new way in which music is composed & played
                                   something that makes one think spontaneously
resonating / interpretative / forward looking /  significant / subversive / submersive
                               a way to reshape  audience expectation
 textural / thematic / melodious / dynamic / tonal / repetitive / modulated / gentle
       connecting the VAROOOOOMM KAZOOOOM & basic fabric
pulsing harmonic waves / river into sea / sea to endless sea /   responsive / fluid
moving toward a greater journey  /  charged with miles of mobile invisible apparel
  crescendo-causing /  punctuated / swelling / echoing / divergent / suggestive
    rhythmic / thematic / orchestral / syncopated  melting bottomless constancy  emotive  & profound knowing soaring heartbeat   / interplay / breath /
          explosive  inspired frenzy   aggressive floating tapestry
 “disappearing into concentrated bursts appearing    reappearing     disappearing.”  
                 buzzing punctuation /  punctuation  is repeat   repeat 
smooth combative intuitive astonishing absolute energy     aspiring inspiring.              
 syncopated  free structure(d)  rising rolling timeless currents of sound
                             resonant  throbbing   pulsing   emotion
        unifying cadences  gliding  guiding  arousing  illuminating
 suggestive / melodic / allowing swirling patterns   /  pulling and releasing,           
                        interpretative evocative  moving  demanding
 a means to expand     contract         compress     express
a way of sticking together    a receding tide   an onslaught of waves
strength of vocabulary applied  / spontaneous interpretation of the score /  process /
         moving through sharp staccatos /  subtle  incomprehensible magic
              the elegance of a solo/  arpeggios /  a wash of melodies
                          keeping the tonal thematic consistency  
     foundations that support soaring beyond itself   gentle currents that stir beneath 
 then explode in ultimate resonating tonal punches   devastating crescendos    
 surrendering to the challenge  there are no illusions left    to illuminate & create
                                                     ONLY REALITY
                sound  & motion intertwined  varied  & self-perpetuating 
the river conducted down to the sea /  a stream of seen & unseen waves  
                                    the sea accepts the river 
as the 2 mix & mingle /  direct  /  hands on   /  alive   /  naked
        as the conductor of a train of thought moves circumstance
       as circumstance becomes unhinged by chance & discovery
               & the plick-aschwaaaaa & the schwoosh 
dome of the rock   &   what is inside the stone  whole & fragmented
unlocking the mind  soul   spirit   heart   flesh   insides   &       outsides  
             transformative & transitional /  expansive  & extending
hot  looming  medium    finishing with brilliant beginnings.  life melodies. breathing.
                         river into the ocean        ocean becoming sky.



Conduction # Infinity (Out of Reach but Never Out of Touch)

1.
Butch: his mischievous smile > stern look > open laugh > dapper apparel >
a real dandy > like back in the days when > his midrange slightly twanged voice >
everything I’ll say is clichéd pompous emotional > rubbed in ashes at times > such elaborate performance we produce sometimes for no one > the wind > trees > the rushing water > walking on hot coals to emit a portrait of pain > among the last & first budding flowers & weeds > his baton / those lighter than air dancing shoes > gentlemanliness > his overall attire that gruff little me admired so much > his NEATNESS > those dancing shoes those dancing shoes > that held him firmly in place > he passed the way neighborhoods pass yet always sustain their quality > personality > somewhere in the brick > the way seasons pass & are replaced always by hosts of new  hustlers > new lovers> & he one of the last of the real of the real > a unique lover of the unique & loved by all > the unique & mundane alike > come again next fall > winter > spring > summer > come again in storm & dust > those dancing shoes that I wanted so much > last of the real of the real > dancing on indifferent waters…

2.
it’s warm grey > a partial of a bridge floats between 2 buildings > bare trees blanket the river > a lifetime’s profound effect inspires the music’s language > qualities > progress >
shared experiences on & off the bandstand > intelligence > compassion > passion > courage > contact > appreciation > special > gifted > interpersonal > shrewd > sharp always zeros in on feelings & strengths > brought out the best in all > presence > worked with nurturing > worked til the end > gave as he danced in those special shoes > baton wave(r)ing >  all for the flight the stage the flow the all the legacy for the future to be taken > remarkably dignified > professional > though sometimes lost his cool > always taught with his presence > treated all as equals > a prime element of conduction > open direct validation > hey I’m with the band I’d feel sometimes > those dancing shoes that held him in place rooted to the NOW > truly always in the instance > makes you get it > get what he gets > the essence of the process > challenging > demanding > draining > gotta get it right > you knew when he knew he got it right > that smile the body relaxing > though he never felt secure > gave more than enough > but when he felt he failed or that he didn’t go far enough you saw it on his face & when he succeeded you saw it on his face > that smile > the baton relaxing > worked with every type of person > instrument in completely unique ways developed a new concept of world music taking it far beyond that simple term > far beyond the world creating a world of worlds > a clinician bridging 2 worlds 3 worlds endless worlds > how he made the musicians & instruments react/interact > musician & instrument becoming one > helped folks connect with their inner voice > understand & tap into their strengths > mixing their personal languages with his > travelling around the world like running up & down stairs > room heart mind journey commitment > the work always first > well maybe not always >
nothing can stop this force even up to the end > radiates > a special relationship with everyone > heartbreaker with the skill to be a real human being > & so CHARMING >
a charmer a lover > the more one let one self go the more one understood the concept he put forth both audience & orchestra > world traveler dandy handled his illness  positively privately maturely > a mature guy this Butch > a child a dandy a flirt > the band became his family as did his friends & his audience > we all became his lovers of sorts > this perfectionist who rehearsed performed demanded > he left me his extra food coupons in Marseilles & a drawer full of vitamins too > & when I finally got the process his concept what conduction was wow I was up there with him expecting laughing scowling relaxing tensing up getting frustrated or getting HIGH > he was a one of a kind > his contributions will live on > he will & does have imitators but not duplicators > disciples even > filled with exploration > fiery dancey > shoes I want those shoes that dignified presence on the dance floor > as I said he was a hard task master but when he got the results he wanted everyone knew it everyone felt it everyone got it > transcendent > like dancing on different waters > bridging > expanding > building > a life partially hidden by the seasons > like dancing on different waters > last of the real of the real > spirit genius > genuine > scraping the sky with his wand > wandering into the void a partial of a bridge suspended between 2 buildings sunset a lifetime blanketed by a river of trees…………………….

 



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