behind glass, glenn gould’s chair

canted, wood worn like copper plate
and cushionless, the boon companion—
over even the muse and his canon—

sits full sung, with the wurlitzer
toccata smeared across its keys
by breath wandering, attempt at dialogue.

leaning, bending, i can, with great
difficulty, create a blurred version
of myself upon that throne, its dry braces

creaking canto unique to my body.
i am, in this moment, a vision
spread over fingerprints on glass plate.

holding the position, i place my feet over
invisible pedals, tumbledown brass, quite clumsy fondle.
what gossip have i to tickle His ear, to send fair glenn

who so, upon the chair on which his father
carved tree leaf wondering, found himself
taken by the Spirit, bottled cloister treasuring

runs beneath his fingertips, giving, totally,
speaking the tongue of his contrapuntal god?
and i sit, not sitting, feeling for the outline

of keys in my pocket, thinking of what
i interrogate, if anything, and rise slow to
the sharps in my knee, the lashing of so many

flat failures. perhaps bliss is not
the conversation. but also not the many-mouthed
knowing answer. I think.


Benjamin Kessler’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming in, Hobart, DIAGRAM, Pithead Chapel, Jet Fuel Review, Entropy, Storyscape, Portland Review, Epigraph, Superstition Review, Aperçus, X-R-A-Y, The McNeese Review, and Peatsmoke Journal, among others. He lives and writes in Portland, Oregon.