Driving Hi Hats


I noticed the sound while driving
flipping through radio stations
listening to new york’s hottest hip hop and r & b
not from back then
but from the edge of right now
a soundtrack to the road’s present
I keep pursuing over the horizon

I noticed the hi hats
chattering in double-time
sixteenth and thirty-second notes
dividing and slicing the beat
which was otherwise so spacious
so empty and slow
like my thoughts

cymbals telling a high frequency story
about music technology
speaking too
guiding hands
to the “note repeat” button
to the “double time” function

that sounds cool.
let’s keep that.
those hats definitely make the beat better.

Musical Analogy


To know how a music works over time
notice it aimed years later
somewhere else and far away
in a Target or Macy’s

where the song has you
under its fluorescence
tingeing the silence
as a woman sniffs diffusers
comparing the feeling
of lavender and matcha

and Howard in returns (his ears are huge)
takes the box of broken dinner plates
but fumbles the receipt
calling over the manager
for permission to override the system—

music works like that.

Step Sequenced


The repeating sequence
has a fixed number of steps
that return again and again

a sixteen beat cycle, one measure of time
downbeats—1, 5, 9, 13—on the kick
backbeats—3, 7, 11, 15—on the snare
offbeats—2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16—on the hats

the groove locked
tempo steady
rhythms measured

a repeating sequence just like your life.



Consider yourself
and everyone around you
as consummate practicers

refining ways of being,
honing their speaking tones and counterpoint gestures,
assuming the sound and the movement
of who and what they want to be

we’re practicing all the time,
practicing the patterns
of what we can’t yet play.