TROUT   [4] 

Les Murray
Music to Me is Like Days
  Once played to attentive faces 
music has broken its frame 
its bodice of always-weak laces 
the entirely promiscuous art 
pours out in public spaces 
accompanying everything, the selections 
of sex and war, the rejections. 
To jeans-wearers in zipped sporrans 
it transmits an ideal body 
continuously as theirs age. Warrens 
of plastic tiles and mesh throats 
dispense this aural money 
this sleek accountancy of notes 
deep feeling adrift from its feelers 
thought that means everything at once 
like a shrugging of cream shoulders 
like paintings hung on park mesh 
sonore doom soneer illy chesh 
they lost the off switch in my lifetime 
the world reverberates with Muzak 
and Prozac. As it doesn't with poe-zac 
(I did meet a Miss Universe named Verstak). 
Music to me is like days 
I rarely catch who composed them 
if one's sublime I think God 
my life-signs suspend. I nod 
it's like both Stilton and cure 
from on harpsichord-hum: 
penicillium - 
then I miss the Köchel number. 
I scarcely know whose performance 
of a limpid autumn noon is superior 
I gather timbre outranks rhumba. 
I often can't tell days apart 
they are the consumers, not me 
in my head collectables decay 
I've half-heard every piece of music 
the glorious big one with voice 
the gleaming instrumental one, so choice 
the hypnotic one like weed-smoke at a party 
and the muscular one of farty 
cars that goes Whudda Whudda 
Whudda like the compound oil heart 
of a warrior not of this planet. 
   © 1998