So what if Huberman put chin to wood in the bunker
like a slyer, spryer Mephistopheles,
his hit record found in a stack
among the books and brandy?
It only means forget the Torah
and its 613 laws like paths
to fidelity; here’s one twisted like an LP’s long groove.
Maybe the führer couldn’t help
listening to a Jew scratch out a Slav’s strains.
But Plato had it wrong about music
tempting men towards virtue.
They could tap their feet right there in hell
or what chandeliers converted
to a finished basement, the master’s hand
delicate as a conductor’s lining up the needle
amid the diesel fumes.
They might have flown the newlyweds
around the room in chairs
while Goebbels chanted and Speer clapped,
Hitler easily tamed
despite the bodies and blackened trees,
Bandinelli’s Cerberus licking the hand
of Orpheus, all those awful years
hardly there like air,
trembling when he starts to play.
David Moolten‘s most recent book, Primitive Mood (2009), won the T. S. Eliot Award from the Truman State University Press. He lives & writes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.