Electric Review

Culture & Criticism Since 2003

“Scarlet In the Moonlight”

Original watercolor by Eric Ward, © 2021. All rights reserved.

In 1975, Bob Dylan encountered violinist Scarlet Rivera one afternoon on a New York City street. In the blink of an eye in a mystical millisecond, a bond was forged. Afterward, they would play together in a relationship that would span lifetimes. Their first meeting inspired this poem. 

Scarlet In the Moonlight

“(in) the half curl of dreams (where) God breathes”

(one)
Night the rider
Heard strings glow
In his mind
So he
Looked twice

(trying)
To capture
The mystical hiss
Of violin tongues
With the
Razor points
Of his eyes
(tried)
To realize
The half
Tangled impulse
(music)
Into milk
(breath)
And wine

(one)
Night the rider
Saw her beside
A blood
Stained cliff
In his dreams
(scarlet)
In the moonlight
(warm)
As rust
(made)
Him look twice

('truth)
Is beauty
(full)
In flow
(flowing)
In lines
(down)
Both sides
Of the heart'

by John Aiello

March 2021

Read John Aiello’s 2020 interview with Rivera here.

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This entry was posted on April 5, 2021 by in 2021, April 2021, Poetry and tagged , .
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