I just wrote some more for my old “stiff, tortured bones” poem. I hesitate to say “finished,” because who knows? The impetus for this was the expansion of an old fantasy; to some day have Alembic make me a custom bass. The design I had settled on had the Borrellian runes for their conception of the circle of life on the fingerboard (birth, life, death, etc) or those for the elements. The body would be a nice wood grain (probably coco bolo). On the body would be a phrase inlaid with pearl or silver (the “tortured bones” phrase), written in the Borrellian language and in Borrellian characters.
Well, today I got to thinking that it’s really no more of a fantasy to imagine a set of identical basses; four of them; a 4-string, a fretless 4-string, a 6-string and a 12-string. All identical except for the phrases inlaid into the body. I first thought about having individual, unrelated phrases, but given that they would be a matched set it made more sense that each one would have a part of a poem, and that perhaps each part would reflect my conception of that type of instrument. This led to the completion of the poem. I kind of like it. But I guess the final completion of the poem would be its inscription into these instruments, wouldn’t it?
Now all I need is about $45,000 to have them built. 😉
Anyway, here’s the completed poem:
How I resent these stiff, tortured bones,
the aching, sweaty weight of flesh
I would be free, formless and weightless;
a whisper on soft summer winds
I would be strong, but incorporeal;
rolling thunder and falling rain
Become music, and danced abandon;
slip these mortal bonds for the skies
Each part would be on the basses in this order; 4-string, fretless 4-string, 6-string and 12-string. The poem may never wind up on basses, but I like it all the same. That’s enough.