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Photo Credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

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Tara Betts

Tara Betts



On Seeing Alice Coltrane


mystic robed
saffron orange
bashful smile
bent in bows
to keyboard

audience
treks through thick
tunnels of sound
translinear
universal
monastic
galaxies

this journey
taken just
once under
wings pulsing
with layers
of orbits
striking me

centrifugal
pulls deeper
into stellar
existence
reverberate
concentric
entryways

monuments
radiate
eternal

regret her
hand gently
guiding you
backwards through
sound, toward
your cold seat
to open eyes

out of closed
vortex into
dimmer light.




When the Needle Drops


The cipher's grooves mimic scratchy
bop and spin of LP's. Each recess
an abyss of memory anchored in pulse.
The pelvic arch opens in this sound.
Timber heeds some sacred motion
where head points chin to collarbone.

We greet the complexity of bones,
their unexpected affair with tendons
and sweat befriends the pores swollen
with smoke. The body acts as its own
mystic, apothecary and sweat lodge.

Ache is some sonnet that the dead
have not named or claimed.
Meter winds with bodies
in blue & red lights. Rhythm finds
its home in oriki, decima, aguinaldo
the son, the blues. Some history

unrolls in chests and pops its corners,
a windowshade exposing us to the next
morning, so much tugging and beelining
toward bills, crowded trains, shifts,
whatever corks anarchy and blood inside us.