Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday 25 March 2007

–asks Lauren

it has made me realize
in the way you realize a thing you've already realized
and are seeing again
sensing again
in a real way
because it's happening to you
i mean you feel the cold
you live through the discomfort
you hear the things you don't want to hear
and the things you do
and the things you never even thought of
and you're standing there
in that locus
being present
it has made me realize that
everything that is
is made
this is a contructed world
i am the creator
and destroyer of all
i am realizing i have limits too
there's no way to follow every thread
i have to let some of it wash over me
i'm learning how to say no
how to draw boundaries
i only extend so far
i am learning how to be thanked and appreciated
how to receive gifts
since i'm every poet
i can gift these gifts again
to poets
artists everywhere
i am realizing that
simple communication of any kind
is the largest and smallest gift
we can offer carry accept any day
and it's in most demand
because it's least abundant
because it's connected to time
and time is something we've strung to success and play
both of which are empty now
so we suffer
i am realizing this project
is built-in time
time to connect
these are the lazy no-days
that never figure into the schedule
the days when everything gets cancelled
the sails
the sick days
the days we're were looking for
waiting to be taken
take them
this is not work
this is life


It's cold, it's drizzly. It's wet, it's cool. It's damp. By 9:35, my sign is hung and I am bundling up. I got wet on the walk in and so start my day shivery. I add a layer of thermals, a scarf and gloves. The wind steals my body heat.

Michael and Michael stop by. They have passed dozens of times. They stop this morning for some reason. I am thankful. I offer Michael my apple. He says, "From you, I'll take it." Michael reads a poem from memory almost. Michael says, "We walk the lake everyday." Michael has a thick white beard. Michael wears a red ball cap.

This morning people who visit ask, "Will you read us your work?" And so I read them the poems I keep in my wallet, "Roof of Air" and "HotsenHorseman."


David Horowitz visits. He brings a bagful of poetry. David publishes William Dunlop, a former professor at the UW and longtime Seattle resident. William Dunlop died in 2005. Caruso for the Children, & Other Poems, a book of Dunlop's verse, is available from Rose Alley Press. David reads to me from Caruso for the Children.

"The First of the Ninth" takes as its subject the premiere of the 9th symphony conducted by Beethoven himself, who was by then deaf. "It's a familiar tale: an aging Beethoven, ill and deaf, conducting the orchestra and chorus in the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, conducting even after they had ceased to perform, after they had reached the end of the stunning new work, after the audience had already begun to applaud, continuing to conduct until a singer turned him around so that he could see the thunderous cheers that were resounding throughout the hall. The image is deeply moving, so much so that more cynical historians would like to discount it; it is, they feel, too perfect to be true. Yet this once, however, the cynics are apparently wrong, for several eyewitnesses tell the same tale of that fateful performance in Vienna on May 7, 1824." [Elizabeth Schwarm Glesner, Classic Music Pages]

Dunlop's work luxuriates in the visual. The crease in a man's shirt, the bends and switches in the material as he claps. In slow motion, a woman's arms move like a bird's. Such detail quiets the world so we can experience the concert hall as Beethoven did, in silence, in cotton-stuffed appreciation.


Marsha and Ian and Ron visit. Classical guitarists, flutists, lovers of music. Ron is on his way to sing at Carnegie Hall. I ask, "What's exciting in music in Washington?" Without a doubt, they agree, it's McIntyre Hall in the Skagit Valley, an hour north of Seattle. They came into the city this weekend to see Adam Holtzman at Benaroya Hall. "A brilliant guitarist," they report.

I invite them to present their art for, an instigation I'm organizing for late April. I invite them to give their music to the public.


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