Okay, so my answer to the previous question didn’t even require words! But this one from Gregory Stock’s book does:
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one ability or quality, what would it be?
I would be a shape-shifter–I’d have the ability to morph into any living thing (plant or animal), then back to myself at will! I could be anything–or anyone, including a much healthier version of myself! This is the main reason I’m so fascinated with werewolves! I could become an invincible superman, with unlimited strength–or a tiny bonsai, admired by countless people! I could fly as a hawk, swim as a dolphin–the possibilities would seem endless!
The following music-impression poem of mine illustrates this shape-shifting dream. I wrote it in November, 2009, and it was included in my writers’ group’s monthly newsletter. As with all my music-impression poems, its title is that of the recording that evoked these images in my mind.
Indian Music for Sitar and Surbahar: For Meditation and Love (Imrat Khan, with Shafaat Miadaad Khan)
Aunt Veronica has arrived early, so I have to keep her entertained until Mom and Dad get home from work. She sits across the red room from me, smoking, looking bored–as I talk too much, even for a thirteen-year-old. When I’m forty-three, I’ll swoon gloriously in her cigarette smoke–then stop chattering, and approach her. For she is brown-haired, brown-eyed, brown-bodied, like Natalie Wood. And she’ll receive me ravishingly, since my fantasies never fail. The live oaks, from which Aunt Veronica was born, are also brown, especially when wet. Brown too is the Darjeeling tea in my Washington National Cathedral cup, the end table on which it sits, the arm rest on my recliner, the sharpened end of my pencil, the cardboard notebook I use to steady this spiral one–and probably the sitar and surbahar from which this brown-sounding music moves. Brown is the color from which all colors bloom.
I meet Renee at Yamato, a foolish choice for a first date. But this is the hostess from Logan’s Roadhouse, of whom I drunkenly asked her e-mail address. And after dozens of ignored e-mail invitations from me, she has finally accepted. I just hope they serve saki–I’ll need it when I’m served the check. Outside the restaurant, a down-and-out dog sniffs a McDonald’s bag along, in the breeze bestowed by the pleasantly disappointing Tropical Storm Ida. Along the sidewalk comes a bearded beggar (a biker before he had to sell his Harley). The manly man tries to pet the dog, but it flees. And the kindred man kicks the McDonald’s bag, bitterly.
Shape-shifting is my favorite sport. I was Aunt Veronica, I was Renee, I was the bearded beggar, I was the dog. Now I am a rat snake, awakened from hibernation by a dream that I was a possible poet. From beneath a palmetto, I sway my way through a fence, and onto the Pensacola Municipal Golf Course. An old man soars a ball a great distance, to the approval of his peers. I find it, once it hits the ground–then grasp it as with an egg, and return it to the golfer. But just before his club hits my head, I swoop into a hawk–and ride Ida’s still lingering winds, above hundreds of houses, on this Veterans’ Day. My parents have invited me to Mobile for Thanksgiving Dinner. But since my car is unstable, I’ll fly there today, just in case–then morph into myself again.
Well, dinner was delicious–I return to Pensacola as a flying fox, and to my recliner as the possible poet. I frantically dance lines of some of my worst poetry ever, before this raga ends. Perhaps if I sip a cup of Irish breakfast tea, I can then be more original, creative, and clear–but there simply is no time. So I put the damned notebook down, and just listen!