Thursday, 7 August 2014

PARLOUR - The Horn by Hadiru Mahdi

#5 in a series of blogposts from VulpesVulpes reflecting on their AirSpace Gallery Residency activity for  PARLOUR


In a box beneath a pistol
split in two, brass too
with fixtures also, rendering
the gun a wall piece ornament
it never worked though this may still.
You found a horn

Brass plated circular bulb
curving inside itself
would have fit a car, just that
not yet Vintage
and quacked and quivered to warn
or signal or jeer

It's torn leather pump at rest
is true to form but pressed
useless. Let us return it


Removing the pump and
pushing air past a split brass reed
the junk shop guardian can make it sing
He asks for 5, I would offer 2
to settle on 3 or 4
but we will pay the full. For the laughter
song and dance
translation and smiles of his embarrassed
tortured son


On a quest to repair
we make the days of three thrashers
who at our improbable request
are at a loss. Though the last
knows a man who may know

Go south. Cross railway tracks and
carriageways to the old town. Climb
a hill halfway then turn left and curve
around. He makes and fixes winds
and brass, plays just to test. Is
surely, I say, worth an ask


He can yes, offers first a Rave replacement
not realising its jest. Something less
apt but more suitable is whittled on
hand restored lathes. We insist
there is artistry in his handling
and shaping of hollow grounds
and holes for sound


Reformed a new horn and symbol
of what comes from walking
and following leads. Now it
can fill airspace, start races

With time and training on
proper embouchure
in this Centenary year it could play
the Last Post, for example
to commemorate what we struggle to praise
or alert or serenade

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