The Score

Jack Kristiansen


            a lifetime

of practicing



            but now

this angel at the desk

            will allow you


            through the doors behind her


            if you can demonstrate


            that living has taught you

to play

            without hesitation or mistake


            the cello part

of the Death

            and the Maiden quartet


            but she offers you

neither a cello

            nor a score



the rebuke

            that you’ve lacked the grace


            to bring your own bow.



Jack Kristiansen exists in William Aarnes’ composition books, where is he working on a developing series that he thinks he will call Something Discovering Itself: Poems after Klee.  Poems from this series have previously appeared in  A Millennial Sampler of South Carolina Poetry, Tipton Poetry Journal, FIELD, and The Literary Review.