between fifth and sixth.
I mean the real spoon back beat
of piano pounders simultaneously
striking the air, steely
in a flock of metal birds beating
their wings out of time.
Now the flower sellers line
the street, mute with their loud mums
and long-necked lillies,
tuberose and tea flowers.
When I’m in a normal mood
he once said, music drips
from my fingers
Pounders weren’t allowed to plug their own songs.
So he stored his tunes
in a notebook safe from the din.
The buildings had ears back then
and they still hum an occasional String of Pearls
still whistle a bar or two of S’wonderful.
Here, where nostalgia’s continual
mixing with the cacophony
of last week and next June
it’s as if only yesterday
Gershwin made airplanes
from sheet music and soared them
into the tin pan clattery air
singing no doubt this one can fly.