Saturday, June 30, 2012

Playlist IX: Gail Golden, Jack Peachum, J.Cisto, Kayla Yandoli, Evie A.T.

1. CELLO SUITE by Gail Golden



For years I watched from balconies,

backs of auditoriums,

the lawn at Tanglewood,

watched the cellos,

watched the hands

in mysterious dance,

pulsing vibratos

through the halls--

watched motions of bow

define sound.

For years I said


I should play the celloʼ,

said it again over lunch with a friend,

heard at last the desire

throbbing between words,

left the diner consumed with intention,

floated through details as if in a dream,

renting the cello, finding the teacher,

climbing the stairs for the lesson at last.

It was easy.



I am transported by the smell of rosin,

grooved fingers, and the sound

vibrating against me

into my chest,

though I can scarcely endure

the unbearable noise,

Brahms lullaby as it was never

meant to be played.

Summer mornings I practice,

enraged. How dare anything

be this hard. Perspiration

dampens resolve,

shoulders ache, bifocals steam.

My whimsy becomes

a grotesque assault against

all that is beautiful.



Yet I love the tiny, freckled teacher whose hands fly from note to note,

her frayed sweater exuding elegance when she plays,

need how she finds purpose in my confusion,

love Saturday lessons, scurrying up Broadway

balancing cello, purse, umbrella,

feeling invulnerable,

find inspiration in the teacher

ʼs room above

a violin shop,a room barely furnished,

but profuse with music.

For months the violinmaker scowls, knows I am an impostor,

unworthy of dusty rooms where instruments

hang from walls, lie on tables, awaiting his strange tools.

Others more skilled confer with him, whisper

over beautiful brown instruments.

I pass through.



A friend asks,

ʻdo you still play the celloʼ

and I say,

ʻyes but Iʼm not any goodʼ,

and he says,

ʻdoes it matterʼ?

Another friend and I recall teenage years

when each of us played piano, sonatas glowing

through winter afternoons.

Yet we both stopped, mortified at not being Horowitz

or Rubinstein,or the high school prodigy

who played every assembly.

Capable, with modest talent,

we loved the music enough for a lifetime

and simply stopped.


minuet 1

Whenever I practice, the dog seems pleased,

runs for a squeaking toy frog, then chews her noise

along with sounds I torture from strings.

Others in the house play radios, wearily close doors,

and I, sympathetic, still long for a time when people will

open their doors to listen. Why?


minuet 2

I am sounding better. Sometimes

I can close my eyes and find

the right place on the string.

Hands and eyes hear, I feel

sounds, can play longer before

back and shoulders throb.

When autumn brings cool air,

the violinmaker replaces the bridge

on my cello. He no longer scowls.



I practice in a room with a large window and a mirror.

Just outside, a feeder hangs from the porch.

Birds swoop past, stopping to feed.

The teacher says keep shoulders

down, fingers down.

In the glass I see brown hair, eyes, cello,

feel contorted with struggle,

but my reflection looks serene.

With spring, I reopen windows,

play etudes to an easy breeze.

The birds, seeming to hear,

respond, a feathered orchestra of sound.

Cello song, bird song, spring song,

breathing to music,

I play the morning.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sarabande, from Cello Suite No. 1, by J.S. Bach

2. OUR PIERROT IN AUTUMN by Jack Peachum

"Je est un autre"- Rimbaud

1. "Hip to all that jazz–," yet still,
     that organ heart expresses his dull pain.
     Don’t worry, it will pass with night,
     and dawn and the chill of rain.

2. But then above the counterpane,
    along the covered surface of my knees,
    the white Pierrot must come and sit
    and smile at me and sneeze.

3. Oh, white Pierrot, if you please,
    are there not two of you?
    One in black, perhaps, or grey,
    to suit a different mood, a graver hue?

4.  No? Then one must do,
    will do quite well to sit above the counterpane.
    Pierrot, my boy, there are tombstones in your eyes,
    and your arms are full of the dripping rain.

5. Turn from the window, Love, turn from the rain,
    and come to bed with me.
    Pierrot has filled my eyes with clownish pain
     and the rain is on my knee..

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Capriccio for Two Pianos by Francis Poulenc

3. BEAUTIFUL ME by J. Cisto

I’m in the youth of my life
A small stream, serene
Unfiltered waters that move like
The youth of my being 

Over and on and stretching beyond
I see the river
I see the mountains
I see the mills
I see the fountains  

And O how I want to be large
Full of mass and moving fast
I’m thicker now
& feel it moving quicker now 

I’m in the stride of my life
Gaining momentum, paying attention
But what I wouldn’t pay
For my remembered vibrations
Sensations of might
Fill my mind
Fill my body
Fill my soul
Fill my time  

I grow and I age
I’ve sown and I gave
Only the ocean’s left
To embrace  

I’m in the stead of my life
No one could fill in for me
Instead life moves through my waters
Cleansing the daughters of my daughters  

They flow through me
Adding to me
Passing through me
Splashing through me
Laughing to me  

They’re ready to rise
High as rivers and tides
I feel so calm
Calm as when I first began
And rose to the ocean
Like flowers on sand
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: It Was A Very Good Year by Ervin Drake (part of the inspiration for this poem, according to the poet).

4. SIMPLE AND SWEET by Kayla Yandoli
Here we are yet again
Playing music that changed our trend
Tuning, the strings, all in one key
To fit my words, simple and sweet
Just like the rush of the sea
I know where we are is where we should be
Learning, the roots, I never lived
Through your heart, simple and sweet
It’s coming around again
Laughing to jokes, we thought would never end
Singing, to Neil, in the heart of our leave
On your porch, simple and sweet


Each second, each minute, and each hour are passing by hastily
Each day, each month, and each year does the exact same thing,
And I found it really disheartening . . .
How could I ever explain my misery to you?
Would you even understand if I ever try to explain it?
I am witlessly uneasy, realizing how my childhood had left me long ago
I am vigorously nervous, noticing how my adulthood is starting to leave me too
I am hopelessly fearful seeing how my old age is preparing itself to greet me soon.
Am I senseless for having such sorrows?

(My mind is filled with series of despair thoughts every single day)
Have I been foolish for having such fears?
(My sleep is haunted by series of daunting nightmares every single night)
And, I wonder . . .
Aren’t your day also filled by the same despair thoughts?
Aren’t your nights also haunted by the same daunting nightmares?

But, I guess you are not . . .
Because . . .
You always seem so happy, filled with delights
And it is all shown through the grandeur of your old age smiles . . .
It’s kind of hard to explain . . .
But I somehow realized that,
I am soothed seeing your smiles
I am contented picturing your smiles in my mind
And, I found my peace from those heartwarming smile of yours
Through your old age smiles,
I am reminded that aging is an ineluctable fate,
It is the course of life not to be disquieted, questioned or opposed.
Through your old age smiles,
I am reminded that life is just like a story
And, I am the only liable writer of my very own life journey
It is my duty, to live it well and to end it well
Ensuring it will be a story worthwhile telling . . .
I must not let any part of it goes wasted unnecessarily,
Letting it turn into some kind of pitiable existence which worth nothing
Through your old age smiles,
I found my way to put my senseless sorrow and foolish fear faraway
I am inspired to cherish everyday of my life delightfully
And . . .
Seeing as, there is nothing worth more than the chance to live in the moment blissfully
Therefore, there is no reason for me not to smile as I am greeting each of my new days
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F (2nd movement) by Dmitri Shostakovich

Friday, June 29, 2012

Playlist VIII: Kasia Fedyk, Donna Zucker, Kaylan Pedine, Walt Whitman, Percy Shelley

1. SOUL OF THE OCEAN by Kasia Fedyk

Ocean, oh my sweet ocean
I smell your scent among the forests
upon the rivers that flow.

The salty taste you bring
lingers on my tong,
part of me belongs to you
remembering how you look at me
with those watery eyes
how you take me in
like a lover.

In moon light you want me to bathe, in your coolness
filling my heart with your warmth
if I tell you something will you keep it
in your coral, in your soul whispers.

A piece of me floats on your surface
like a feather belonging only to you
so, I surrender.

How precious you are to me my endless friend
I fear you at times, your power scares me
can you believe that for a moment.
Love has no fear. I know

What you do to me, no one will ever now
just one look at you and I change, I transform
into a butterfly of freedom
you are the cocoon I live in
till my wings of color and your pattern
creates me in your vision.

You are the Beloved's arms; To me
as the sun settles in your arms
saying goodbye to the world
for a brief moment
allowing the moon, her lover
to shine resting upon your arms
in the darkness.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: L'isle joyeuse by Claude Debussy


2. HOW TO SAY GOODBYE by Donna Zucker

How to say goodbye
I knew it was at an end 

Try and end well
Wanting something to look forward to 

Hoping, all too soon forgetting
How well you have done
How far you have come
To have it all end all over again

And back you are
From where you started

No farther ahead
But alone again

Searching for a companion
Someone to walk with

Self fulfilled prophecy

Finding friendship and reason in the woods

Where I should be
Where I found a real home
Where I don’t want to leave
Where I wreck as I do

For I am a middle, not a beginning or an end
I hate new novels
I begin halfway in
Long for the comfort of the known

Wanting newness
But someone to come along
Not wanting to go
Go alone 

Got used to a knock on the door
Then no need to knock at all

Wanting to stop by
Sit on the chair


I’m ruining it before it ruins me

Having to leave
Nothing to hold onto

Don’t want to go

Don’t wreck it
Don’t forget
Don’t wreck what you had
A perfect moment
A perfect time

It was
It was

So take it with you
Accept it for what it is

A moment in time
I don’t want it to end

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: "Nimrod" from Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar

 3. TURKISH CIGARETTE by Kaylan Pedine

I sat and I – I stuttered, no I – shuttered, Ugh, I stuttered, but I-
Mumbled, pensively mumbled, teeth grinding, fingers winding,
Where sanity punches out her time card, replaced by insanity – Binding-
Together to go to work in my mind, searching for answers, but never productively finding

Yeah, I stuttered, and I- pensively mumbled
The lyrics in my head that refuse dismissal
Never leaving my mind despite the persistent trying
Leaning back in that rusty chair where I have sat before, that one night of endless crying

Feet propped up, giving up, coughing up
All those regurgitating thoughts while staring up
At the unfulfilling mass of blackness while stars light up
Damn, not again. I bitterly grin. Failing as always. Here we go- I’m going all in.

Into that part of my mind that I loathe, dealing with things I’d rather put to repose
Gently, No, No, carelessly, the Turkish cigarette rests
(Consciously 4 months saved for this moment in time- this location, nevertheless)
For I knew I’d catch myself in a moment of detest with hope in finding rhyme in process

It lies, between my shaking fingers, now readily quitting the protest
Of dealing with dealings and feelings and endlessness and endless hopelessness
Of bitter cringing and mock grinning and senselessness and endless powerlessness
Such an unbearable state, it finds itself in constant regress, but also finding comfort in its laxness, this Turkish cigarette.

As I stressed every lyric building a temple of eternal anxiety in my head
A very furnished, creaking floor home that has been burnt and broken and now lies dead
A house no more, yet its weight upon my shoulders and unnecessary battles in my head
Enough. Quit failing. But, that’s just one Turkish cigarette.

On the back porch an overwhelming amount of obscurity bathes over me as I-
I again sigh each word with such honesty and familiarity that it brings this absurdity
To utter such language as foreign as the back of my hand
I inhale. I breathe out. I am done. The smoke began to expand.

The gray mass rises circling into the night- directionless, yes- lacking fight
Of who knows best, but that’s not what caught my eye as I focused intently I-
Well, still randomly glancing back at the sliver of grey dancing into the night
But now fixated on some mysterious concept of this light

Pinpointing a single star I started to question
When mysterious leaves and familiarity becomes more of a blessing
I looked past the cloudiness to visualize that light
What mystery! What beauty! What unexplainable existence in sight!

I envisioned exercising with what leftover energy I might have left in my soul
To employ and to draw near that mass of fire giving off such unique glow
I envisioned that star racing closer to me, brighter and brighter, encroaching on me
Into my space, my reality, where what I once presumed, now is a lie and I- I can only…

That wonders such as those need to exist where they are meant
For all to witness and to fully benefit
From the questions and the beauty and the entire concept
Of the great significance of an unexplainable magnificence

Finally, as I genuinely inhale the final drop of my Turkish cigarette
Until next time, then, until next time I am fully inept

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Aqua e vinho by Egberto Gismonti

4.  from I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC by Walt Whitman

I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves?
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul?
And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?

I have perceiv’d that to be with those I like is enough,
To stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,
To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh is enough,
To pass among them or touch any one, or rest my arm ever so lightly round his or her neck for a moment, what is this then?
I do not ask any more delight, I swim in it as in a sea.

There is something in staying close to men and women and looking on them, and in the contact and odor of them, that pleases the soul well,
All things please the soul, but these please the soul well.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: String Quartet No. 3, Op. 67 (1st movement) by Johannes Brahms

5. LOVE'S PHILOSOPHY by Percy Blysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever,
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle;--
Why not I with thine?

See! the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower would be forgiven,
If it disdained it's brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;--
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Love's Philosophy by Roger Quilter