Saturday, January 25, 2014

Preludes & Fugues: Playlist for January 24, 2014


 

Gouldian Kit

By  Lucie Brock-Broido  

 

What makes you think I’m an eccentric, he said, in London

 

To the rag of the reporters who had gathered to report

 

On his eccentricities — the tin sink light enough for traveling, but

 

Deep enough to swallow his exquisite hands in water filled with ice.

 

 

A budgerigar accompanies, perched atop the fugue of Hindemith.                                

 

                                 You are trembling now like the librarian reading

 

                                 To herself out loud in her Arctic room

Composed entirely of snow.

A broadcast (high fidelity) bound by the quiet of the land and

The Mennonite who told him

                                We are in this world, but are not of this world,

 

You see. From the notebook of  your partial list of symptoms, phobias:

 

 

Fever, paranoia, polio (subclinical), ankle-foot phenomenon,

 

The possibility of  bluish spots. Everything one does is fear

Not being of this world or in this world enough.

                                There is no world I know, without some word of   it.
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sonata in G by Domenico Scarlatti
 

 
Introit & Fugue

By  D. Nurkse  
 

After death, my father  

 

practices meticulously  

 

until the Bach is seamless,  

 

spun glass in a dream,  

 

you can no longer tell  

 

where the modulations are,  

 

or the pedal shifts

 

or the split fingerings . . .

 

 

if he rests

 

it’s to wind the metronome  

 

or sip his cup of ice . . .

 

 

but who is the other old man  

 

in the identical flannel gown,  

 

head cocked, listening

 

ever more critically,

 

deeper in the empty room?
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Prelude & Fugue in E-flat by J.S. Bach
 
Prelude
Richard Aldington

How could I love you more?
I would give up
Even that beauty I have loved too well
That I might love you better.
Alas, how poor the gifts that lovers give
I can but give you of my flesh and strength,
I can but give you these few passing days
And passionate words that, since our speech began,
All lovers whisper in all ladies' ears.

I try to think of some one lovely gift
No lover yet in all the world has found;
I think: If the cold sombre gods
Were hot with love as I am
Could they not endow you with a star
And fix bright youth for ever in your limbs?
Could they not give you all things that I lack?

You should have loved a god; I am but dust.
Yet no god loves as loves this poor frail dust.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Prelude & Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner
 
 

Not the Song, but After

By  Nicholas Friedman  

 

Now everywhere the pageantry of youth

 

      is on display:

 

The squeal of bike chains spinning through the gray

 

     plays fugue to puddle-froth;

 

 

The punctual blitz of hyacinths in April

 

     ushers spring

 

with lavender dripped from the upturned wing

 

     of wind-swept Gabriel.

 

 

A youngish pair walks wired at the arms—

 

     she casually ribbing

 

him, he lightly brushing her breast, jibbing

 

     their step to spare the worms

 

 

stranded along the road. Too soon, their laughter

 

     rises and goes

 

drifting toward silence. And now the young man knows

 

     love’s not the song, but after—

 

 

like the mute, remembered chorus of the rain

 

     that stains the walk

 

long after falling, or the lifeless stalk

 

     still hoisting its head of grain.

 

 

Uneasy now, she loosens from his hand.

 

     Their dark familiars

 

stare back, reflected by the passing cars,

 

     with speechless reprimand.

 

 

Before the chill, each chartered hell grows hotter,

 

     yet every burn

 

will teach him how to run—and how to turn

 

     her wine back into water.
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Prelude No.13 in F-sharp major by Frederic Chopin
 
Fugue  Howard Nemerov
You see them vanish in their speeding cars,
The many people hastening through the world,
And wonder what they would have done before
This time of time speed distance, random streams
Of molecules hastened by what rising heat?
Was there never a world where people just sat still?

Yet they might be all of them contemplatives
Of a timeless now, drivers and passengers
In the moving cars all facing to the front
Which is the future, which is destiny,
Which is desire and desire's end -
What are they doing but just sitting still?

And still at speed they fly away, as still
As the road paid out beneath them as it flows
Moment by moment into the mirrored past;
They spread in their wake the parading fields of food,
The windowless works where who is making what,
The grey towns where the wishes and the fears are done.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Prelude, Chorale & Fugue by Cesar Franck


 

 

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