Sunday, November 30, 2008

i belong to the components of my body

there are 317.4 miles between this shambly apartment and the unoccupied southeast bedroom in which my mother harbors relics of my childhood. sailboats on an evaporated sea.

i feel an obligation to her, that creature that i was, to never forget anything. my whole life as a tunnel, a canal, a walkway, museums upon museums of installations between terminals in the chicago o'hare airport.

"what?" he asks. our faces are two stones next to each other in a wall and he still cant hear me.

the components of our lives and of our bodies are all stones all-next-one-another in the same wall along a single long road and he still cant hear me. we are 317.4 miles long. at first i think there is an earthquake, but then it's just my heart beating.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


i am one can of thick-and-hearty lentil soup away from going home for thanksgiving. there is still a box of wheat tabbouleh salad that was left behind by the girl who lived here before me, but i eat cold things out of cans these days. eating has become a purely mechanical experience. gas in the tank.

a teacher of mine once said that the purpose of poetry is "to tell the truth beautifully."

"and after that," i told somebody this week, "i had no real questions about why-poetry."
he smiled. "it presupposes that there is an inherent value in truth."

i loved that he opened that door and i loved more that we chose not to walk through it.

writing is hard these days. a bad dry cough in my brain.
god give this to be a good vacation.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

another pianist here said on the subject of bach's b-flat major prelude from book one:

"the only way to play it is pretty much as quickly as humanly possible. they should have competitions for that. where they fill a room with, like, a hundred pianists and it's like a race."

"starting gun and everything," i suggest.

"yeah. wow." he has a way of primarily addressing his shoelaces. "i'd like to see that."

his shoelaces shuffle around in response. i probably say something too, but it's not as important.

i complained to one of my teachers at the beginning of the semester that the tempo she insisted on for the associated fugue felt like a funeral dirge.

"last week, you said it was like a christmas carol." her voice is a small bird watching you curiously from ten meters away.

i'd been insisting on a harpsichord-style articulation of the subject for a long time simply because i liked it, because it just tickled me, though the whole piece was made significantly trickier as a result. everybody asked me about it and i told them, "it establishes the second beat."

which is true but also completely worthless bullshit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

for the first time in my life, i think i might actually be swollen with the pride of being an american. barack obama was elected president of the usa last night, though -- and admittedly, in the same sentence -- proposition 8 passed in the state of california. i'd take obama over 8, though, because 8 will fall apart eventually, and a change such as obama will (and is!) bring(ing) about takes more than just wait-until-the-next-season. it takes an ocean.