From Whence, Fragment?

Eine Kleine Esa-Pekka

I must confess that lately I have fallen-in

To swooning over Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Conductor and composer and artiste.

Makes other maestros wish they were deceased.

Now Alsop’s such a genius with a score

Her Rite’ll leave you sobbing on the floor;

And corazones melt for Gus the Dude,

Whose Ludwig’s always lush and well-shampooed;

And oh so hard does Rattle shake and roll,

His Planets will profoundly tilt your pole;

And Alan G. can truly hit the spot

With tender touches on your Turandot;

And how the mighty Mikey Tilson Toms

Gets bloomers drippin’ when he’s droppin’ Brahms!

No question, all those cats can sure conduct.

But next to Esa-Pekka, they are fucked.

Of course, I cannot say I’ve heard

His records or his shows.

Not the concerts he’s conducted,

Nor the works he did compose.

I’ve never heard his music,

But I love him just the same.

For my heart leaps up in rapture at

The music of his name.


He’s such a bad-ass muthafecka!

His name’s a train upon a track!

A chopping block! A thundercrack!


It may be rude, but what the hecka!

His name’s a froggy mating call!

A piston pump! A bouncy ball!

A squeaking cork! A scratching cat!

A frying pan of bacon fat!

A roaring hearth! A racing horse!

A secret agent’s frantic Morse!

A marching corps! A muscle car!

It ain’t no standard repertoire!

It’s sibilants and voiceless stops!

It’s snaps and crackles! Later, Pops!


He’s serious as a heart attecka!

His name’s a skipping phonograph!

A clanking chain! A smoker’s laugh!


He’s bumping like a discotheque-a!

His name’s a sonic masterpiece!

It blows the Für right off Elise!

Arranged for something xylophoney,

It might resemble Reich-a-roni!

With organ backing (LORDY BLESS!),

It might just pass for Ollie Mess!

If belted on a Broadway stage,

It might be Cats as sprung from Cage!

Repeated for an hour or three,

It might be Glass as sung by Glee!


It’s all I hablo, parle, and spreche-a!

To country hick or city slecka!

To Mrs. Right or marriage-wrecka!

In Mission Hills or holy Mecca!

In trailer park or posh Tribeca!

I don’t mean any disrespek-a,

But break me off a double-decka

Eine kleine

Hunka hunka





His name may well be super-commonplace

In Finland and in furthest outer space,

But I’ll forever hear it as, I hope,

An onomatopoeic magnum ope.