new logic for old saxophones



John Berndt





















Night sky unveiled by the line of thatched huts, the village’s upper perimeter, tracing
the same shape as the inverted depression of Bellinsgauzen Crater on the moon as
seen from its immediate South. The dust there unmoving for centuries in mottled
flattened clouds, a pattern isomorphic to the blurred dusky stains on the table cloth
resting in front of you in your dream of a Mexican restaurant. Your brainwaves which
constitute or fabricate the dream expressed as light—are the same intermittent violet
glow that shines on your sleeping face as you dream, asleep in the faux-leather
recliner chair in your study. The length of these frequent unconscious moments, each
day over a year, recorded as an irregular series of blocks which, when uniformly
compressed in time, from a specific starting point that is lost, exactly mimic the pacing
of the camera flashes on two celebrities, digitally frozen on the flow of an unfurling red
carpet. The impression of the frenzied scene reminding their lone chauffeur of his first
bright plunge into the cold Maine water, the chaos leaping off the dock all at once with
the other children. The decelerating dip of his body towards the bottom matching the
low bending arc of the Ubud player easing into raga Malkauns Pancham. Its low
sound invoking the passing, the recurring sadness you feel toiling in the funeral home,
this and then that inert stranger before you on the synthetic velvet. Your momentary
struggle to right the mast of your day, to continue as before, is an effort like pushing
the dangling punching bag with the full weight of your body only to have it swing back,
the reciprocal curve to the feeling sitting across from her in the diner, it going
unnoticed that the joy you should feel does not come. Outside bats wheel in the sky
equally lost, rendered invisible above the windows of the diner, a series of limited
stationary negative squares separating the two incompatible ambiences. The window
corners draw more acute angles from a perspective across the room, the shape of the
clean white A-frame chapel at the end of an edgeless rectangular blue swimming pool
bordering the beach, carefully picked flowers, resplendent formal white and gold
costumes, waves crashing behind that could have been at any time, unfocused stare
restlessly turning inward and then out.

(Denpasar, 2010)