Home > Poetry > The Foot of the First Violinist
Richard D'Abate
Published: Wed Jul 1 2015
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
The Foot of the First Violinist

I meant no disrespect
to Mozart, but first there were

three hundred chairs, complete
with human beings, and then

they disappeared, or seemed—
or things are only real

by virtue of attention,
and I had turned my eyes

To her erotic slipper,
flesh and bone—perhaps

a flaw, a predilection—
but then the concert hall

itself dissolved, as though
the god of secret parts

had brushed his wing across
the physics of the evening,

Or time, no longer under
music’s metronome,

had just revealed its true
discontinuity,

its porousness, stochastic
holes, and I was gone,

falling, or translated on
toward something like a fine

Oblivion, a trance,
a kind of death-in-life,

but conscious and alone-
if by “alone” we mean

that I was congruous
with a stage of emptiness,

or a broken boundedness,
or a fantasy of home.

Richard D’Abate is the author of the poetry collection To Keep the House From Falling In (Ithaca House Press, 1973). His stories and poems have appeared in Epoch, Apple, AGNI, Presumpscot, and elsewhere. A former executive director of the Maine Historical Society, his essays on the legacy of European exploration have appeared in various collections, including American Beginnings (University of Nebraska Press, 1993). He lives in Wells, Maine. (updated 10/2017)

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