Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Letter to Sandy

________instantly arrive- and then O my blessed
________goddess with a smile on your deathless face you
________asked me what the matter was this time, what I
____________called you for this time,

________what I now most wanted to happen in my
________raving heart: "Whom this time should I persuade to
________lead you back to her love? Who now, oh
____________Sappho, who wrongs you?"
________Come to me again, and release me from this
________want past bearing. All that my heart desires to
________happen- make it happen. And stand beside me,
____________goddess, my ally.
Density, ..*ghost*..

Dear Sandy,

Firstly my apologies for not responding earlier, I am not being aloof- mostly I feel a little... capricious. Not entirely decided on one certain mood or another. I seem to manage, most times, several simultaneous states of emotion-being; so that when people ask me: how are you? I become very anxious and haven't the slightest clue how to extract all the various clouds from out each other to give a definitive statement of any kind. _fine thankyou.

The above fragment (i've edited it a little to fit the space) is from a prayer by Sappho. Martha and I discuss from time to time our Beatrice's, (think: unicorn, the end of a rainbow, the-one-that-got-away). For whatever reason(s), you do not end up together, which is the sad part. The queer part really. Emotionally, it all seems just-right. Manufactured perfectly for your heart (and it's beautiful when two people's hands are just the right shapes to fit into each other), and yet, you can't quite get it together. I cannot understand how this is possible. I offered a few days ago a mini-theorem: that God perhaps creates two souls so splendidly aligned as to be unquestionably attracted and loving towards one another- but the forces of life, the influences of various persons, fiscal responsibility, caste.religion.bias, all these layers of complexity simply adulterate it. It is a sad thought. Mostly I am certain that when I die, and no longer have to filter myself through my body (,_mind, and other appendages), in my sightlessness I'd see mostly everything more clearly. I'm very envious of my grandfather. Since February 10th he's been floating around. He can hear the heartbeats of trees, and spends his afternoon morphed into a blade of grass smiling at the sun, and then his rhythmic sleeptime breaths are the high-tide of some forgotten beach in Elysium. (are you tiring already of my Classical references?)

So I wanted to take a moment to talk about the last post on this blog, I don't in general like the idea of expounding on one's own work, but I wanted to demonstrate to my various critics ("you are too abstruse!") (though to my defense, my critics would rarely use the word 'abstruse', most likely they'd summon the great depths of their literacy and manage a "you are too weird!") that my writings are not completely at random. That a great deal of thought does sometimes go into their construction. Mikrokosmos are a set of short solo-piano pieces composed by Bela Bartok. (the reason that that is obvious is because I've used the Eastern European spelling of the word, same as him). I've been trying to write more concise poetry for a few months now. In that past (and present) I have not quite managed a terse and laconic style, and am aspiring to it. The idea is to fit a whole lot (of meaning) into a tiny framework. Like a haiku. You could say a haiku is something of a microcosm (now using an english variation of the word). So that explains why the little pieces are soo brief.

The subtitle of the work is √Čtudes d'ex√©cution transcendante, these are the 12 transcendental piano etudes (studies) of Franz Liszt. He uses the word 'transcendental' in the sense that the pieces were written to be the most difficult works for piano ever written. At the time, he was successful- and still, they are amongst the most difficult, thus their aspiration was to 'transcend' the abilities of the then-pianist. My poems are a play on this title. I use the word 'transcendental' by its dictionary definition: of or relating to a spiritual or nonphysical realm. Thus, my 12 (now you see why there must be a dozen) 'letters' are addressed to transcendental nonentities: forever, history, disappointment and so on.

Some are successful. Love, future, silence, and God I am very happy with. Never I am not so pleased with. I would like to spend some time discussing the idea behind it:

Dear never,
__I build you with

When I was 12 years old, my parents built our home. My father and I would sit opposite one another across the kitchen table and draw 'plans' for the home. My father's looked very technical. He used graphing paper and something he tried to explain to me called: scale. I on the other hand drew mansions and space-station lookalikes. When I suggested to my father we add another 11 stories to the one he had drawn, he explained that that was not possible. I could not understand what was soo impossible about it.

Some years later, perhaps I was 14 by now, in Sunday school, a particularly dense (he was seemingly very unintelligent) young man professed that when he grew up he wanted to be a neuro-surgeon because he loved the brain and wanted to spend all his time "playing with it". The teacher laughed at him. He did not understand the humor of it. He stared back at her and said: what? what's wrong with that? My point is this: the concept of negatives is not something that we immediately know to start off with. Sadly, it is a concept that's developed, in time, through disappointing experiences. At those ages, I remember Eman and I discussing going to Harvard or Oxford or La Sorbonne with a certainty that even the stars believed. A certainty that even we ourselves! believed. I wish I had something of that belief left in me now. I remember saying to Ms. Reid, my then-piano-teacher (and evermore-teacher), I'd like to play the c-sharp minor prelude.
ME ___Rachmaninoff.
HER __uuuhhh
ME ___that's what I'd like to play.
HER __aaaarrre you sure? Perhaps you might manage it, but... it will take some time.
ME ___that's fine.
HER __as long as you promise to play some other things in parallel.
ME ___like what?
HER __how about this Bach minuet?
ME ___[minuet... sounds so... small]
HER __don't be scared, let me play it for you, at least listen to it.

____[J.S. Bach, minuet in G major from Anna Magdalena's notebook is heard]

ME ___[i have never been so happy in my life]
HER __what did you think?
ME ___why does it make me happy?
HER __[he wrote it for your soul, not your ears] shall we give it a go?
HER __hands seperate now dear. Right hand first. da da da da da da da' dada.

That is what IV. is about. Where I am now, so completely entrenched in a sense of that's-never-gonna-happenness, and its genesis, which is a fairly strong recollection of recent disappointments.

I want to talk about one final thing before I leave you, it's Damien Rice's O album. For a long time it just made me... so sad. It doesn't soo much anymore. I certainly do have sad memories associated with it. A particular train ride from Hamburg to Prague comes to mind. I remember looking and being soo shocked the world could still be so beautiful despite how I felt. I remember writing a six page letter during that ride. In it was this line:

you who are soo great and deserve so much, and me, whose sole qualification in life seems to be that these trees covered in snow move me to tears.

The album makes me swoon. It doesn't matter what time of day it is, or where I am. It is an album for couches, and overcast days, and the feelings of love, and missing of it, and the wanting of it, and that if you think about it, lips are dry desert sunsets. I listen to it often in Seattle, which has somehow become the place I come to recollect.

I have used many words and said nothing really. Nothing about how I feel, so I shall try and answer that with a list before I say my adieus.

  1. elated. jubilant
  2. sad, as though I were soaked in air, and air was invisible- so while I was swimming in it, I still could not know it, and describe it
  3. excited about the new wonderful people I've met
  4. lonely. alone. a moon in orbit
  5. excited about what life might.could hold
  6. terrified about what life might.could hold
  7. accomplished and proud of who i am
  8. ashamed. small. tiny
  9. useless
  10. useful
  11. concerned with creation
  12. concerned with escape: be quiet and drive (far away)
  13. erotic. sensual. i want to kiss women's ankles, knees, thighs. fingertips, wrists, shoulders. necks, ears, eyes.
  14. i want to lie here alone and read and write and be left to myself and my no-longer-avoidable history.

    I grow too-large Sandy.
    I am noman anymore.
    I am no man.
    I am giant.
Much Love

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