The Spanish word garabato (‘scrawl’) has a staccato pop to the ear, like a spate of rim shots. It evokes line and form in a night on the town, gadabout and roguish, flirting with all and sundry, living it up, dancing on feet of Klee. Cy Twombly was a righteous garabatero. The very name — Cy Twombly — is a luscious sonic doodle, like Bo Diddly.

Why is it easier to look “abstractly” than to hear that way? I account only for my own eye and ear, of course. And I refer to the experience of listening to Miles Davis versus Cecil Taylor. If I am a string, Davis pulls me, Taylor pushes me. Somewhere I read that Taylor plays his piano like a drum. That helped me confront, if not cozy up to, what I hear. Taylor hammers the instrument with what tracks as manic zest. It gets respect at a minimum.

Then there are the gestures of word washing over, through and across the white spaces of my Poetry magazines. A monthly fire-hose of verse. Truly we inhabit an efflorescence of devil-take-the-hindmost in the kicking over of traces. Where do I find the edifying pleasure in it? — Oh, go pleasure yourself! I hear the verses retort.

No argument from me. What good is it to be sentient if your receiver’s turned off? Rigidity is the Beast. Stay curious about art that’s intrepid and aloof for as long as possible, the Oracle sighs. (She was a poet, not a fortune teller like they thought.)

(c) 2022 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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