These bowls, spindled, confuse. So painted red for C, dark blue for A, their rims become octaves, ethereal as any mist distracting hand and ear. Their tones persist in air as atmosphere. Players succumb to madness, haunted by the earthless sound
of crystal rims, whose cut-glass figures, round half spheres, remind the listener of young orchards in spring whose first fruit, understood as sweet sap on the still unripened wood, seems like the earliest of songs she’d sung: unspoken promises, a glance, the small
light touch of whispers near a garden wall. Or if her lover hears translucent notes, they force return of dreams, remembered long after the dawn’s return, after birdsong reshadows limbs, after the pipe-led goats abandon orchard lawns, their revels done
except within his mind, as fingers run along those rims, through octaves, as the air harbors vibrations, resonating in both listeners now, while the vessels spin as she continues playing, unaware of reminiscences her rhythms spread.
Click here to listen to a glass harmonica sound bite.
About the Author
W. F. Lantry’s poetry collections are The Structure of Desire (Little Red Tree 2012), winner of a 2013 Nautilus Award in Poetry, The Language of Birds (Finishing Line 2011), and a forthcoming collection The Book of Maps. A native of San Diego, he received his Maîtrise from L’Université de Nice, M.A. from Boston University, and Ph.D. in Creative Writing from University of Houston. Honors include the National Hackney Literary Award in Poetry, CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize, Crucible Editors’ Poetry Prize, Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (Israel), and the Potomac Review and Old Red Kimono LaNelle Daniel Prizes. His work has appeared in Asian Cha, Gulf Coast, and Aesthetica. He currently works in Washington, DC, and is an associate fiction editor at JMWW. His website is at http://wflantry.com