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Recital in Black

for Dotty Belkap

Roger Camp


The view from the front row seat

is of the performers’ feet

a trio of classical musicians

violinist, cellist, pianist.

Their instruments’ unsightly skins

accompanied by finger smudges 

their dress black shoes

playing back pedestrian scuffs.

The stage is a set piece 

blackchairs, blackpiano, blackstands,

blacksuits, blackdress

their arrangement on stage

a statement of allegro moderato.

One bow travels east-west

its complement north-south

the piano’s white keys

serving as equator.

No music hear

upstaged by sight.


Playlist song: Beethoven, “String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131”


Roger Camp lives in Seal Beach, CA where he muses over his orchids, walks the pier, plays blues piano and spends afternoons reading under an Angel’s Trumpet with a charm of hummingbirds. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including PANK, North American Review, Rust + Moth, Southern Poetry Review, Nimrod and is forthcoming in Scientific American and National Poetry Review.


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