shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Leonard Kress


When Modes of Music Change

(A Thirteener)

There's an old guy playing ragas in the living room
where there'd only been cats and incense and bad karma.
Between each raga, he plays contes picked up from Spanish
Gypsies when he ventured into their caves, his guitar
protecting him from their knives. And between each conte
he tells stories from 1964—not before or after:
beach dwelling in Puerto Vallarta right when Night
of the Iguana was filmed and Liz Taylor's and Dick's
blistering presence scorched his beach-house; the moment he
learned all the music in the world boiled down to seven
modes and that he had to alternate between major
and minor keys, because sometimes things start out good and
then go bad--before they can ever get good again.