The “After the Music” video animates a poem written especially for the holiday season by West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace. It combines Sonia-Wallace’s poem, read aloud by the poet himself, with holiday card artwork designed by West Hollywood artist Steven Rahbany and animated imagery from Zoo Crew Productions. The video was produced by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division in collaboration with Zoo Crew Productions.
AFTER THE MUSIC By: Brian Sonia-Wallace
Praise the Zoom call.
You’re on mute, love!
Can’t hear you —
(secretly) Praise (the bad) connection.
Praise our home offices, our home schools,
our home gyms, our closed bars, our kitchen dances,
our cooking fails, our odd jobs. Our rented
U-Hauls. Our promises to stay.
In a workshop (online, duh), my friend Dorsay,
a resplendent seventy five, crowned in Diana Ross curls,
shares her poem: butterflies, a lover’s caress
and then — Why should I not want to just die?
She seeded concerts across the city for decades.
Now, it’s impossible to sing together. Everyone is slightly
out of time. What happens after the music?
We gape and stammer, but Dorsay —
she booms laughter, claps her hands.
We’re here aren’t we? However we gather,
it’s a party. Our face parade, through lag and crash, and latency,
logging on against erasure. I’ll be there
next week, writes Dorsay. A late night promise.
The next morning, bougainvillea shocks pink
across the sidewalk. I leave the Russian bakery
with a loaf of black Borodinsky rye.
Praise the long walk, with no end. The right now.
Our newly fragiled bodies.
That awkward, grateful way we hold each other
at any distance.
*with permission from Dorsay Dujon, founder of Make Music LA*