Friday, September 23, 2011

Tori Amos

(poem II of Star Cycle)

The setting: a university musicians' workshop, 
Northwestern, students gather in nervous clusters, 

fireflies circling. Whip-frayed and glowing, your
dangerous locks stray loosely around the room, weave us

into a diaphanous quilt. The questions: Where do your 
songs come from? Do you write music or words first? 

And for sheer genius how could any of us match “...little 
Fascist panties tucked inside the heart of every nice girl”? 

This is simply unfair. Siren and muse, elemental candy, 
you sit at the piano—the black & white behemoth that 

swallows you, your fingers tease it at first, coax the artist's
something-that-never-before-existed, the dissonant 

sound palette. You are a force possessing. It is possible 
in this auditorium filled with people to close my eyes and 

believe we are alone, to pray that I become the piano, 
though I must acknowledge the sobering realization that 

everyone here has just done the same. we are powerless 
in your aftermath. we are drenched in your sweat.

I do not remember the hello or goodbye, but am of a
memory of a glancing hug, a Euro kiss, a freckled cheek

lacking makeup, framed by fragrant hair, the scents of 
rose, patchouli, earth, and damp forest, the Tori-speak 

of irises and unicorns, mythos and mysticism, of your  
world into which we can only yearn to have been born.

--Martin A. Bartels (working draft)

1 comment:

  1. Ms. Amos conducted workshop for advanced music students at Northwestern University in the late '90s. I attended as the only journalist covering the event. I think this particular workshop was when 'Under the Pink' was released. Later she performed a concert in an intimate auditorium setting. Hers was among the most powerful and memorable performances I've seen.