Truth in Abstraction


Under a hollow sky
grey worn concrete listens
scream of a solitary car.

“Just want to write something. anything. been too long. Mind, liquid pencil. You know.”

Jazz tickets on the dash.
(solo performer – no net over absurdity)

“Write about that..”

Street lamps recede infinitely
fathomless ether’s lost
slipstream of rust swallows all.

“See what he’s like first.”…”Your call.”

There’s a tug, a pull towards
the light and motion
the swirling abstraction
luminescent dance in glass and shadow
seeping out of brocades of steel and concrete

the city at night
night tides thick with colour.

“Empty road, inviting city. Very Kerouacian.”

Car screams a little louder.

The outskirts come into view.


Empty streets repeat in circle
asphalt constant self devouring.

Neon hums, street lamps chatter
sidewalk smoke ripples
reflections upon reflections.

Jazz tickets slide across the dash.

Chicken broth of ancient forever
rides night airs
long ago memories
fast filing seats, flavours upon flavours.

Logic abandoned
signs abandoned
knowing abandoned
we just follow the way.

Neon roar echoes in hollow factory caves
colourless flames abstract burn.

There, under the
Ashen Dragons gaze
empty seats, luck that can’t be passed up.

We eat noodles under starlight.

Ashen Dragon, indomitable
keeps flickering,
and flickering.


Stage lights roll.

Red light
hangs in dust.

In the hall, over the seats, over the stage.

Jazz tickets now stubs now becoming cranes.

Silence, bass ambles forth.
First steps turn into
stumbles, tumbles,
scrapes, hacks,
accumulation of mistakes
collective hang in red dust.

He tries everything. Arco, pizzicato,
bass as percussion – devoid thumps.

He’s patient though. Amidst the inferno,
there’s the sense, the knowing, he’ll find the way.

He stops. Stops seeking. Turns to sought.

IV (Musical Interlude)

A thread only he can see
faint, and fainter still gossamer.
bow swish arc, tentatively ensnared
dark enigma thread entwined among bow strings
a weave drawn into a screen
across the stage wall.

Abstractions start to turn into form.

Pizzicato dance
chips away,
immortal peaks of gleaming jade.

Arco slide
carves away,
innumerable valleys of shining emerald.

Tips and taps
river flows, duckweed and herons
hermit huts in forest and moss
troops of gibbons with melodious howls.

Tunings align with heavens changes
cherry blossoms bounce on singing winds
oriole songs drift through five willow forests
recluse paths swept clean of tumbled pine cones
pines rest under blankets of silent white.

Across the stage
crafted in pregnant emptiness
the ancient forever
in a down town dive.

Two cranes rest on a table.


Re-emergence under the
hollow sky.

“…there’s truth in abstraction.”

Ashen Dragon
still flickers.

Chicken broth
still lingers.

Empty seats,
still luck runs.

Noodles under starlight,
and sky grey caravans.

“Nice title…hanging around?”
“Catch the train back, gotta write this.”
“See you soon. Stay safe kid.”

Ashen eyes flicker
words clatter by under a neon gaze.


First image from here:

Second image from here:

Third image from here:

Fourth image from here:

Fifth image used in a previous post, City At Night, Ode to Blade Runner, credited there.

This poem is out of my comfort zone, begun life as a fiction piece, and has badgered me for nearly or a year. So it’s nice to get it out there. Also an homage to one of my favourite musicians, Motoharu Yoshizawa.

About skyraftwanderer

A person who enjoys writing short story things, poetry and other random things that come into my head.
This entry was posted in Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Truth in Abstraction

  1. simon7banks says:

    That’s brilliant. I love it and will return to it. I particularly liked that first five line verse.

  2. simonhlilly says:

    Nice change of image and style. Love the final return to the mythic imagery ( after the disguised mythic image), on first read …. ( theres a typo somewhere I think ssh won’t tell)

  3. brian miller says:

    nice….there is a nice attention to sound through out this that makes it special to me and accentuates the visuals…well played on jack’s style…great story telling…i really like the set up of your opening verse…

  4. claudia says:

    ashen dragon…eating noodles under starlight…Kerouacian for sure…jazzy as well…and love the pics as well…i’m such a lover of urban mood and air…and you captured it wonderfully..very, very nice

  5. Laurie Kolp says:

    Wow… this is amazing. Love the musical interlude.

  6. kelly says:

    It reads like it is completely in your comfort zone… love the immediacy, the almost stream-of consciousness, the fabulous cadence. Wonderful!

  7. zongrik says:

    very Asiatic imagery. i love the musical interlude too. i was expecting something jazzy, but i’m glad you put the bow in there (I love classical music)

    apollo and the two muses

  8. Brilliant and noodles under starlight…I like that! Enjoyed the journey!

  9. Blue Flute says:

    Captures the feel of living in an urban environment through different scenes. I liked the musical feel to it as well as the change in styles from one section to the next.

  10. hobgoblin2011 says:

    This is terrific. I love 1 and 4, but they’re all very, very good. I love how you really are able to bring each stanza to life. The interjection of dialog in the first one is amazing. As are these photographs. You really picked some great images here, both in verse and in image. Thanks

  11. poemsofhateandhope says:

    This is epic, swirling, such a kaleidoscope of images….I really liked the stanza about the road, and the yearning to travel, along with the picture this really spoke to me…the times I’ve just wanted to set off down that road (so much more romantic at night)….with the cranes I also got a sense of that post-modern ‘bladerunner’ flavour- just bought back those feelings as they drive off at the end of the film, knowing their mortality…..some really great verses here – one to revisit, re read and re feel methinks

  12. poetcolette says:

    I value large-scale truth.
    In any medium.

  13. Beth Winter says:

    I felt the flash of images and the sounds. Love how the tickets progressed and tied the piece together solidly. Wonderful.

  14. “Neon hums, street lamps chatter
    sidewalk smoke ripples
    reflections upon reflections.”

    This bit really stood out to me because of the unique description in the street lamps chattering and the feeling of paralleled mirroring of smoke rippling, reflections. The whole of this is very well written, skyraftwanderer!

  15. Eva Von Pelt says:

    Wow! Love this ; ))

  16. Shawna says:

    These lines make me want to visit your brain and dig around a bit:

    “Mind, liquid pencil.”
    “no net over absurdity”
    “asphalt constant self devouring”

  17. 1emeraldcity says:

    It works! I like the consciousness, the awareness that you are writing, first…then the style, the subject; really unique and brilliant. Like much!

  18. This is a major piece. Perhaps it will be a lifetime masterpiece, it certainly has in it the makings. It’s here, it’s down and it’s shaped. I suspect it will be whittled a little at a time, adding small touches and subtracting others until you feel it rip from you complete, finished, fierce as the dragon, beyond the abstract progressions of jazz. I am enamored of the piece but your luck will hold as it becomes more in the playing, as all good jazz does.

  19. D... says:

    The first one made me think, on our trip of the world we will need to tour Alaska, in a Jeep perhaps a Willy. On said journey we will need to properly fill our knapsack/rucksacks/backpack. The second one made me want to eat Hakata (Tonkatsu) ramen and read “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep”. And the answer to the question is: yes, yes they do dream of electric sheep, most likely because they are counting the little buggas so much.

    • You know, I’ve never read the book. I should get on that.

      And once again, I can’t leave Blade Runner alone. Which is a good thing. I’m gonna watch it again. Not right now, but some time soon,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s