That morning I dozed off in an overcrowded, over-heated bus on the way to work in Himeji dreaming I was watching a 1957 live MJQ concert in Amsterdam. That series of paradigm shifts as I returned to sentience… The baboushka metaphor again – or a series of concentric bubbles. A roughed-out poem eventually written as a ruba’i sequence.
It was eventually published in Original Clichés in 2016 and submitted to ccmixter as an audio poem where it was picked up and remixed by Grand City Break / BOCrew.
Everything is a series of unlikely coincidences…
Bubbles of reality
So here I am, a front-row seat
in Amsterdam, a cool-jazz beat
Modern Jazz Quartet they’re called
It’s ’57. Urbane. Sweet.
Chamber music’s Modern Age,
John Lewis piano-playing sage.
Lost in music’s interplay
my seat jerks roughly towards the stage.
My earplugs and my iPod fall
I realise I’m not there at all
but on a bus with windows fogged
and in Japan I now recall.
It’s hot in here but not outside
Commuters sleep all through the ride
We pass Himeji Castle, snow,
My reverie’s abruptly died.
I wonder if I’m really here
an Alien Resident for a year
or back at Home still sound asleep
alarm about to ring out clear…
And so it goes, banality,
the bubbles of reality
like Russian dolls each bubble pops
I doubt my person-ality.
And when I die will I be less
than all a bubble can compress?
And will the final burst reveal
a mere sphere of nothingness?
The ruba’i is a Persian form of the quatrain. (Multiple stanzas in the ruba’i form are a rubaiyat, like The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.) Basically, a ruba’i is a four-line stanza, with a rhyme scheme of AABA and has been often used in English such as Robert Frost’s famous poem Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.