Notes Towards an Essay on Rock-&-Roll: About Playing

Music is a madness of your bones, those
stairways of marrow, a wildness
that comes out as song whatever its sound
ing name: 0 Ma that boy
was born to dance, o yes
indeed! and who can tame
or ride that stream to balanced notes
and measured, spins a moment
live and poised beneath his sky
and light, to plunge
with a silent ear-darkening sound,
be still. Facing their faces
whose eyes are a web restraining,
you fear for the force to invade
your shoulders, possess your fingers
and diaphragm, tongue, till your notes reveal
your naked name and nature
plain, alone, yourself
betray. For the itch
of singing tingles under the skin
when you listen, aches in your ear
to be free. If you yield
its fires will light your volcano slopes
in a night where your lava licks
hot liquid love across day greens
and gathered pools of quiet time,
not only the skin games, surface
as hair, and lies that you scorn
so simply. But you will be fire,
wild and free, though it leave you
alone, as it will,
as you will.

                                                13 May 1966