poetry, quotes

don’t change a thing this time

…Take Charlie Parker’s grave all overgrown with weeds in Kansas City. Add nothing,
Except an ocher tint of shame. May all your Christmases be white & Bird be still
in L.A., gone, broken, insane. Take Beauty before her habit mutes & cripples her,

Then add some grief. But don’t change a thing this time, not even a white gardenia
Pressed against her ear. Not even one syllable of her name. “In my solitude”
Is how the song began. All things you are, & briefly, as, in solitude, it ends.

– Larry Levis, excerpted from “7. Coda: Kind of Blue” from “The Perfection of Solitude: A Sequence,” Selected Levis, 161

What I like most about this is the way he’s telling you how to interpret the scene even as he’s showing you the scene.