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Across a Great Divide

Across a great divide, an octave reach,
I snuggle pianissimo the tip
Of thumb and little finger, one on each
Delicious twirly pink tumescent peach.
(It's nice to know I haven't lost my grip.)

I wish you were genetically endowed
With two glissando rows from neck to hip.
I'd love to play such octaves, not as loud
As Horowitz, but smooth and just as proud.
(It staggers me to contemplate the trip.)

But young Volodya, so the fable goes,
Would never practive octaves such as these;
Instead, he flexed his virtues to oppose
The tendencies that nonetheless arose,
(For all of us have demons to appease).

Yet who can fathom, when they hear him play,
Reverberations of a summer tease?
The traces of meandering astray,
If any, have been spirited away.
(And Toscanini's daughter holds the keys.)

And even those in doubt have not denied
His Master's Voice across a Great Divide.

 

©2001 Lewis Bruser

Notes:
There are two great divides in this poem: the distance between nipples and the gulf between the world of the living and the hereafter, bridged by recordings ("His Master's Voice was the logo of RCA Records, showing a little dog next to an old-style gramaphone with a big horn-shaped speaker). Vladimir Horowitz, called Volodya by his friends, was married to Wanda, daughter of the great conductor Arturo Toscanini. I once read that as a young man Horowitz may or may not have been involved in a homosexual relationship, with whom it was not stated. True or not, it makes no difference; in my opinion he was the greatest pianist of his time, and the voice of the master is still available to us via his recordings.

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