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after Tabula Rasa, for two violins, string orchestra, and prepared piano, by Arvo Pärt

part 1: in motion


saw blade one ear to other ear         then


gong ridges open what door    what opens

one violin string    narrow    falls to the ridge edge


bells      their different     edge     core   vibrations

metal’s own spaces


violin at altitude        not flying

not ascending        dwells in its own height

height        without contrast

one string keens          keening cut      by


string masses tread hard out of silence        not from hidden space

don’t exist first           then do

in space absolute     without contrast of absence


hard footfalls       then disappear         not pause      turn behind themselves

lost to hearing       procession turns behind itself

each tread its own entity           no fours     no threes    no twos

string masses strike      between each rapid footfall    space opens for a next heartbeat

flatfoot dance                 flatlined skipping

footfalls thicken        set down     hard


piano    crashed     piano   gongs and bells born from it      push low

deep root piano body           in a room of         windmill arms

factory floor of windmill arms         dodged      like


cavern of random pendulums on razor string

help        fallen

nothing in the cranium     but these strikes     these bells



part 2: toward motionless


    rocking strings         rock stillness           like star clusters

piano metallic voice     an array of      bubble gongs      from

            an ocean floor          dark ocean floor fountains

                    bubbles across the water surface

currents in the lake surface       currents curl across       one water sheet

body falling from surface down


the strings are fish also

chandelier  star  constellations  become  fish

body floats face down  on a surface banked by forest

                         falls through layers of water

                                       kelp waves

   fountain detonates            geyser from ocean bottom


looking eyes open downwards  into constellations of fish

eyes dead eyes open  eyes see downwards

this body lets fall through layers of water

this body windmills


                 fish beneath     carpeted

in falling eyes open face down through layers of water

            body finds spaces    in ranks

                   rows         of stringed instruments      which are fish

                        in their long ovals            their movement the same calm

                                         always same calm

                        choirs breathe from deep water

       as the piano sends a geyser

            bubbles ascend toward the body falling      drop back from the body


fish become few    body sinks

almost only the one body itself

the more fallen the body     the further the geyser recedes


eyes dead eyes open eyes watch the depth

come toward

bulbs of light come

fish who carry lights in darkness

feed in darkness

body falls toward spheres


                        chandelier constellations of lights      carried by fish

                their scales shine in instants