Life Outside Prague

begging the patience and understanding of Goren Sonnevi's "First Brain"

Mozart’s Prague Symphony
fails as it always fails
in my distracted earshot.
Today, the symphony
fails to compete with my neighbor’s chainsaw.

The distractions today
discompose a polychordant cacophony.
Chuck finishes cutting up
the corpse of a drought-starved birch tree.
I am in time to witness the final cut.

Then Chuck’s combustion-performance intermits.
I look up to see the last fat
cylinder of white birch log
roll away from him and lumber
toward the dirt road we share,

and I hear in a chainsaw-breve
that I have missed a few bars of the great symphony.
Mozart has failed to compete
with this afternoon’s noisy attentions to duty.

That is,
Mozart, rising, has failed again
to enter the competition with us.
The Prague had risen above us all from the very start,
and it has remained where it started,

never so lofty that it soars above my attention.
The birch log rolls and rolls
and it is all part of the white memory
that will occupy me in the un-codified silence
of the real peace of my day.

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.