Letter to You Because I’d Say this to Myself


Everything is transient. Nothing stays. It all circles each and each.

Do not be deadened. Rejoice because of it. Take up something like a stone and hurl it
into the sky. It comes back, but not for you. It never was something to be had.

Sure, Beethoven or Bach. Even Tchaikovsky broke through chambers
just to seal them up again. He beat the thin bones each night,
and when he wasn’t, he was
coursing the lines in his head,
the scales of his pain, out into an ocean.

He’d rise,
drink, throw himself into a wall, record madness
and think nothing of it, muttering all the while
about circle eights. About the Black Forrest.

After his mother’s death, he began composing.

it circles. Get down on your knee. Grab the clay.
Use something more substantial than guilt to grind into.

Run into a wall. Hook something out of lime.
Your own hand. Not hope, darkness. Where hope recovers.
Grate it against your teeth. Tell the ground stories.
Lie. Learn something
about the stars: not beauty, but that they’d rip your bones
apart if they could. Just to be near you. This is intimacy.
And it comes back. Waves of sound. Or on a keyboard,
or in a postcard. Something is calling you forward.
I had a hand in that.
I said to the pine “hold him down.”

Round again. Uncurl a fist,
learn a fugue by heart. It plays again
in your oval window and through it, to the midbrain.
It locks itself away. Until you push through.

Escape into lines, that’s fine.
Escape into the codes, linear transfers.
But the earth will push you out again.
Grass will sing about God.
You’ll feel something lighter than a woman’s body, you’ll feel air.
And all around you, eights and nines.
With gods writing about movements and the opera.
About auditory space.
And you’ll think you’ve been here before, on this plane.
You’ll think we’ve been the same person.

Tchaikovsky saw stars in his mind. But he composed anyway.


1 Comment

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One response to “Letter to You Because I’d Say this to Myself

  1. ComePassion

    Brilliant, probably.

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