Steve Dalachinsky | Photo: John Rogers

Bud Powell – for Yoshiko Otomo

ho ho keh kyo ho ho keh kyo ho ho keh kyo oh oh Yo shi ko
oh oh Yoshiko
– throat is gloved & we are so full of self-pity
taut urges diminished

nightingale singing outside your window ( oh oh Yo shi ko oh oh Yo shi ko )
followed unexpectedly i send you my twisted fear & young man’s love
strutting like a wild bird of desire in the dense rainy morning
& breaking down – stroked & diminished
( your appetite still full like your smile )
i kiss you gently on the lips & say goodbye
you chanson me with your tiny voice & utter Bud Powell
i kiss you again on the forehead – yup that Bud Powell is really sumthin –

you die on a beautiful spring morning
slight wind
scent of flowers in the air
one canary yellow sock on – the other off
there on the floor beside you in the kitchen where you had fallen
it is Mother’s Day
what is this strange gift you give us @ 9 a.m.? Ah Yoshiko
the talking doll that kept you company
sits on the kitchen table
mumbling unintelligibly in its funhouse voice –
i break with the room
pull away the table
& become that brilliant partner
soft stuffed lizard of a doll with its programmed emotions
i’m not allowed to eat bad food but i do
the day smells of perfume
the women break down then the men
i send you my slippers
my lonely selfish consciousness
pudding – french toast
& romantic french cinema
wrought iron roses – linked arms – & a kiss on the lips every day
soft pale lips – OH OH YO SHI KO OH OH YO SHI KO
a tear falls on my shoe – single voice clustered harmonies – ghost of a chance
there is a perfumed wind as you cross the channel
a slight mist hangs over the mountains
this one’s about grey hair i think
Bud Powell splashed quick & delicate around the kitchen
i missed your departure but saw you lying there breathless
a shy & breathless dignity that even death could not dismiss
a slight wind & i hand out tissues to everyone
as we weep a tear falls onto my shoe it is Mother’s Day
everything but death is in a language i don’t understand
but maybe death too
alright i’ll stop crying – a perfect gift for us all on this day of mothers

we all write our own stories
the emergency room is one legged bleeding fingers
teeming with LIFE
it’s Mother’s Day
did we push your innocent smile too hard?
Oh oh Yoshiko Oh oh Yo shi ko
i pick up your tiny sock & place it on the chair
push the table back into place
this time it was death that brought us here
not good food – scenery – or strong constitutions
those these are in abundance
clusters of notes fall
you must learn to live for others
if you’ve given up living for yourself
don’t wear red on red days
breathe Yoshiko breathe
this is a perfect gift you give us on this day of mothers
even the doctor must feel blessed

mist rising & exploded
wind exploded
tears falling exploded
smells exploding
your heart full just exploded

i touch your brow – break down
Bud Powell
i whisper
Bud Powell

mist rising from my eyes Ho oh Yoshiko Ho oh Yoshiko Ho oh Yoshiko

steve dalachinsky sasebo city japan 5/14/06