Glissando

A Poem

By Al Mcclimens


Chopin was the hottest ticket in town
when he played the Merchant’s Hall
in Glasgow in September 1848. Paris
was on fire and anyway, he needed
the money. A year later he was dead
and buried in Pere Lachaise under
a lump of white marble with Euterpe
sentry. Halfway through Nocturne
Opus 27, Number 2 in D-flat Major,
there’s a modulation where, according
to some critics, you can hear angels
spontaneously applaud. Later that week,
walking in Edinburgh, he recalls
hearing one of his own mazurkas
being played from a music shop
in the Grassmarket – the castle
perched up above him, the notes
falling in a glissando at his feet.