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Villa-Lobos lugs his cello through the Amazon jungle. Where he started out is unimportant. Where he is headed is untrackable. No path threads the jungle together, but when he rests and plays each leaf takes its perfect place, the brown and green river bends and bends and never breaks. Birds like shattered stained-glass windows drawn to the quivering sound, blink their green eyes and sharpen their yellow beaks hoping to compete with the cello's music in the cool of evening. At night the musician lays his body down inside the cello and he feels hollow and trembly in his vine-draped dreams. The veins of his wrists are like strings. He dreams an entire orchestra of night that by morning will be nothing but dew its music lingering in the triple fan of leaves in the breathing of umbrella trees. from Prism International, v.26/2, 1988© 1988 Mark Frutkin. Used with permission.
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