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January

The lute lies rusted in its green case odor of pines is synthetic; sweeteners artificial; even salt!  our tongues crave something dif...

Saturday, January 28, 2017

January

The lute lies rusted in its green case

odor of pines is synthetic; sweeteners artificial; even salt! 

our tongues crave something different

translators don't know languages; ignorant even of their own traditions

the policies of the state are greed, hate, ignorance

***

And my own work, what refuge can it offer

against the dull hell of other people's writing?

Projects half begun, never finished

Juvenile fantasies of jazz piano

And lipstick ladies? 

Lame parodies of Pound's Confucianism

& worse 

Addictions to self-improvement

And the memorization of Keats

Always under and overconfident at the same time

Even self-criticism inert, leading only

To more stupid bachelor breakfast tricks

***

False starts, sluggish or jerky

But amid sloppiness and incompetence

Something rising higher 

Not even transcending what's below 

That old sweet cadence

***

And what of the tunes that take shape under my fingers
as my sister loses speech, along with her own music


now calling everything music, even the rain flooding the yard
pointing it out urgently to me and saying the music


As though to compensate, preserve the symmetry of things
my brother and I started playing piano again


unknown to each other
There is no tone adequate here


clinical? certainly not lyrical
My flippancies fail me

***

And what of the sexual demon

the same at 55 as a 15? 

***

And the wordless melodies under my fingers, where do they come from,

Why do they satisfy an itch in my brain? 

Why won't words come along with them? 

***

The correct terminology makes the landscape limpid

We can breathe, finally; as though things occupied their proper place

But the Lydian mode makes me think of Lydia Davis

The Dorian mode of Doric columns

The penumbra of words, like Clark Coolidge inviting you into private

Head-spaces, yet you accept that bargain, somehow

To live among those textures for a while

***

Stochastic is a word whose meaning is veiled for me

I've looked it up before, but it does no good

I know the definition will never "stick"

I imagine it as something thick, dark, and mysterious

Legerdemain as well, it might be the protocol for an arcane ritual?

Are these really even words, or the product of my own dreams?

Others know words, their meaning and origins

I must be content with their penumbra 

***

Is that within the realm of the sudden?

***

I like to sleep in the sun like a lizard

But the sun is a Winter one and I am inside

There is no inside for the sun, though it enters

As I go under several times, then up

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