The Space Between The Notes (A Poem About Slowing Down)

The Space Between The Notes (A Poem About Slowing Down) April 4, 2020

[Ellis Marsalis and his piano]
On the night that Ellis Marsalis died,
You reminded me that
Music is the space
Between the notes.

The first three bands
I tried to be in
Kicked me out
Since I overplayed the keys.

My mind is always overplaying;
Then I oversay the words
And overstep the dance
And overstay my welcome.

A friend told me if you breathe
Out in twice the time that
You breathe in,
It puts on the brakes;

But the trouble with breathing
Is you have to keep doing it,
You can let everything out,
But the lungs still have to work

A few seconds later;
It will be nice one day
Not to have to breathe
Any more, maybe when

I’m in that hospital bed
A few weeks from now,
The music my body makes
Will be exquisitely slow;

Maybe my mind will let things fall
And my words will be simple
And I’ll stop wondering am
I there yet? Is this finally the period?


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