The sky over the Po Valley reads like a Bisto pack;
it's a duff way to pay the rent:
describing the describable,
and yet I've watched these hills for days and nights,
caught up in an infinitesimal part
of this huge tectonic sigh.
Once grounded, the rain's designated path is a slew
of mud and road-strewn stones,
each taken so far then gripped,
nudged against unevenness;
too much friction is something to hold fast to:
much in the way that Mrs. Pina's goat
is more an extension of herself,
even when, dizzy and drawn by illusions of freedom,
it bolts down the wet hill at gusty dawn
while due to leverage and tree-root shift,
the entire garden sways, imperceptibly plied
for an instant, ever so slightly from sloped earth.
It's perhaps because there's only so much slack
to take up at any given time
that what remains flaps free:
a soft awning of Ligurian wind,
which billows deeply sifted,
somehow leaves colours of the inter-tidal zone
mixed with tree leaf and shadow, and Rhubarb?
Rheums tube their 'neathward way hereabouts,
but on the surface? Nothing.
In search of a remedy,
I side-scroll the OS map, reshuffle whole counties
and select a corner of the Rhubarb Triangle,
which gets dragged south to Valverde,
accompanied by the idiophonic metal ping
of a successfully concluded desktop event:
distant pickers grope dim forcing sheds and emerge,
heroic and blinded by searing hill light,
to the hypnotic film score tones of octet for rhubarb,
                              virtual jukebox,
                aching root,
                                            found objects,
and Prepared Triangle.
Somewhere between Liszt
and the Ottoman marching bands
dwelt the as yet unfelt, explicit
valvey hoof-click
of the bebop scale, and
Steve Reich's audient knitting:
a holding pattern; purl one,
a lossless,

June 2nd – 4th Valverde/Milan