Issue 19




While Listening

     to a Hundred Thousand Harps


Mary-Marcia Casoly





         After scenes made strings

                                    Circular stairs

                  After strings made scenes so many books

Stops and pauses

Pauses and stops                                    Espresso by Touch

                  Ruffled pages                  Feathers Striking Strings

After flowers paint by number black

Glissando Moon                  Move over Irving Berlin

                  What identity?                           Charades

When will I see you again?

Cruel brief sweet embrace                           Harpo Harlequin ducks

                  Hundreds of parts         Gathering and amassing

Crumbs of Rousseau

Melody                  not so much heard as what underscores song

                  The Lovers Embrace

         Tiny abstinence                  Remember

Blocked wood                           Strings pedals tuning knobs

         Minstrels within deviations         Harpo Etudes

Thousands of moving parts

Her phallic spine                                             Impromptu feathers

                           Children of Claude Cahon

          Deft bare feet of Martha Graham moves through the Cave of the Heart

Pigs-in-Clover   guardian angels    Sailing Away on the Henry Clay

                               Now Voyager

Six Novellas of Djuna Barnes                  Remember

         Cruel sweet brief embrace

Sidewalk sparrows popcorn

Such a notion was possible                  Waltz Me Around Again

         Popcorn Sparrows Sidewalk Questions (sheet music)

Photomontages of Dali’s women in states of rapture

         To play an extended chord simply touch the root note

                                             Harpo Ellipses Honk! Honk!

         A touch after long threads soft hair strings

Taunt inversions of the triad

         Blondes dancing across black spaghetti string bridges

         Eight fingertips sleeping inside removed pockets

Modest echoes remember

Island of Mysterious Bells                           Harpo  Rebels

                  Strings of beaded curtains part

Their chairs placed close together

Gestures of Animals                                    Island of Mysterious Bells

         Overtures of resurrection

         Ruffled Pages Movements  of  Feather          (sheet music)

They can dance as they were                  A Night in Casablanca

What identity

         When he sat down to play the harp, Harpo became Arthur

                  Willows and Birches

         Blind doves sleeping                  Apppalachian Spring


                  Thousands of moving parts sound gathers

Constellation of Midsummer Night’s Dream

Hummingbird black sun                           Prayer from the East

         Gathering and amassing Harpo after Harpo after Harpo

after Harpo…

Harpo never spoke a word

Surge of Orpheus                           Desire 55 and below

         primrose mirrors possible and                   in-

Caravan of Castanets

Sweep of Barcarolle                  Harpo’s feet up on the ottoman

The Smoldering Chimneys

         -different light brushed within deviations

Missed indifferences                           Angel dancing across white

stiletto bridges

         Stones from the Great Wall

The Cocoanuts                   Waltz Me Around Again

         A weakness their strength extending chords deftly

Tropic of Cancer

Nature is an   Æolian harp                           Romance 80 and above

         A female body is here inverted so that  instead of the head appearing

Love Me And the World is Mine

Skintight Moon Glissando                  Awakenings

         so that the uppermost part, the curvature of hips and


                           Bells beneath wings

         Cruel sweet brief embrace

         Nobody has seen anyone play the harp as Harpo did

Wings beneath bells

Takes their place                           The fluid form is recognizably human

                  Tiny abstinence                  yet unfamiliar

The bright lights conspire to this effect                  blurring

The receding angles of the body                  Man Ray in Paris in 1929

         Arguing for their liberation of artistic treatment

                                    Deformation of the academic modern

         Breaking ground                  Love me and the World is Mime

                            Tango for Harpo’s Thieves









Mary-Marcia Casoly is the author of Run to Tenderness (Pantograph & Goldfish Press, 2002) and the editor of Fresh Hot Bread, a South Bay area zine for Waverley Writers and an open poetry forum which holds open readings with featured guests.  Her chapbook Lost Pages of Bird Lore is part of the Small Change Series (Word Temple Press, 2011).  Her chapbook, Australia Dreaming, is included in The Ahadada Reader 3 (Ahadada Press, 2010).  Her work has been included in the ebook Shadows of the Future, The Argotist Otherstream Anthology (Argotist Ebooks, 2013).  She has appeared on several poetry shows on public television and has work in the forthcoming anthology “Her name is . . . Adelle, Clara, Mary Ann, Mary-Marcia” to be published by Poetry Hotel Press. 



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