Skirl of pipes,
Chatter of mandolin,
Curlicue of istampitta and geometry of Bach,
Wail of the nyckelharpa and knotwork of the sean nos,
Smoke of the rebeticos in the hash bars of Smyrna and Athens.
It’s all there:
Flaked Etruscan frescoes, shouting horsemen under Central Asian skies, tea-houses on the Silk Road; Mughal courts and Katak sacred dancers, poets in perfumed Iberian gardens; Turkish asiks riding muddy Anatolian streets, singers lifting makams in Damascus studios; Berbers chanting verses at star-lit oases; black-porter poets puffing cigarettes in the back parlors of Gaeltacht pubs;
From crossroads dances, RTE broadcast studios,
Bronx tenements, Chicago kitchens,
To a river landing on the Missouri:
It’s all there.
For Roger Landes, in friendship. CJS 8/21/01.