Somehow I thought he’d want to do
different things from what they used to do
together here. But no, a show,
a big Broadway musical show,
is his choice for tonight. Yes,
there are tickets. I was half-hoping not.
And wishing in vain that it was May, not December,
and we were buying for three.
That last spring night we had clear hope
we watched Guys and Dolls in her hospital room.
Though we’d missed the beginning, and her favorite song,
we watched till the end.
She nodded off,
as she always did at home before the tube,
head on his shoulder,
but nodded back in,
to say, surprised, in her everyday voice,
“It’s good,” letting us believe
she was on the mend.
After that, she had just three days more,
and only one in which
she could say a word.
Fifty years, Dad would say,
with wonder in his voice,
that after a whole half-century
he couldn’t have kept her with him
for the whole show.…
– Patrick Goble
Author’s Note: “Behemoth” is a synthesis of the different styles of music I have studied over the years; as such, it borrows from many genres but belongs exclusively to no single one. I’ve never really cared much for the tendency to rigidly categorize music by [sub]genre—doing so leads less to diversity than it does to rigid compositions and performances that are written according to a template. Music is structured, and music is rule-based. Probably more than any other art form, music is mathematically driven. Of course, the visual arts are governed by ratios and the rules of visual perception (particularly in the case of naturalistic art), but I would argue that mathematics runs thicker through the veins of music than it does any other art form. Due to its intrinsically ordered nature, music need not be bound by any artificial means. “Behemoth” was written with this in mind.…