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Poetry of Issue #8                                      Page 24

Unfinished Business

If Schubert could do it, I’ll do one better. My symphony’s consummately incomplete from the beginning. The signature
in my flat’s the opening key. Nothing to speculate about, no random notes in my music room to be orchestrated by tomb raiders; no posthumous arrangement after my death. No speculation as to why I stopped its inception when I did. Just a long-drawn-out diminuendo that starts legato with no strings attached. The quiet work radiates off the page like a Cabernet’s bouquet. It needs neither baton nor metronome. It’s keyed into seething sympathies. Like loaves of leavened dough, it rises in silence. I give posterity smoked piano on bar lines that aren’t drawn. The chord is my shepherd, I shall descant; retards on my staff, they comfort me in the absence of my melodies. Major sharps are flattened beyond repair. Tacit symbols clash against the passing winds; drums roll into the distance. There’re processionals of pundits parsing empty staves in A flat bridged with ties that boast subdued resolutions. My taciturn score unfolds in schoolrooms, on turned-on laptops, and at business meetings. Its music’s piped into children’s nurseries as they sleep. It’s heard in churches, as Low Mass - between standby lines of the liturgy. It modulates through rosaries of meditation in temples and monasteries. It’s performed by commuters who gaze musingly through bus windows, tuned to horns like patrons of the Philharmonic. My ambitious work appears like Minerva, pulled fully formed out of my dread. Its scales line my face. And designated rests leave grace notes on tombstones trumpeting eloquence.

Previously published in The Puckerbrush Review, 2012

Frank De Canio