The Downtown Artspace Concert

After the helicopter
had circled once and gone away
during the Allegro non troppo
the atmosphere was calm for the Brahms quartet
until the man in the back row
who had wandered in while the doors
were open for the audience to drink
their intermission wine in the parking lot
looked surprised to find himself
the only one applauding
before the Andante moderato began
but held a finger to his lips
when asked to keep quiet
which, technically, he did, while clenching
a fist and extending his arm
in a power salute
not exactly in keeping with the spirit
of the Quasi Minuetto
during which he was ushered kindly through a door
that slammed when he stumbled back in
and sat in the chair set aside
for him for a few lively bars
but he still couldn’t just accept his good luck
of a drink and an hour
in a warmer place than the alley
so back outside he had to go
although he would have been welcome
to stay had he only
been taught expectations.

David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in Manchester, England, and went to live for several years in Vienna, before moving to Phoenix in 1978. Arizona’s landscapes and wildlife have become increasingly important to him and a significant part of his poetry. His most recent collection is The Devil’s Sonata from FutureCycle Press. The shadow side of Vienna provides the core of The Taste of Fog, a work of fiction published by Rain Mountain Press.

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