Monthly Archives: October 2010

10/31/10 – poem, all saints mass

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your name echoes here
mispronounced but sincere
nestled amid strangers’
half the world from where you were born
four hundred miles from where you died
only me among them know
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10/30/10 – lives of the composers: Morton Feldman

Listening to Morton Feldman’s 2-hour piano diptych “Triad Memories”.

Here is a bit of it on YouTube.

Actually, ‘listening’ may not be accurate. It is ebbing and flowing in and out of my awareness. It is a quiet slow piece, very minimal – in fact, even as it progresses only in the barest of moments is more than one key ever struck at the same time, and I suspect that technically, as written, they really are not; dissonance and chords project from the overlays of the natural sustains.

I do not know much about classical music.
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But I did know Morton Feldman. Kinda.

25 years ago I was a teller at his bank. He was in The University of Buffalo’s music department, and he must have lived in my bank branch’s neighborhood.

He was a big blousy late middle aged Jewish man; seeing him you knew he was some sort of intellectual. His suit and tie always a bit rumpled, his hair rumpled, big glasses. Not that personable, but in the absentminded lost in his own thoughts way. But amiable, and not cold, just a bit distant. Then again, we were just people he had to be in contact with once in a while, an annoying little chore.

We saw his secretary more often.  I had the impression she was more a clerical assistant than a graduate student or aide. If she was indeed a musician, I apologize. A decent looking woman probably in her late 20s, she had the air of being harried. I could imagine she constantly had to interrupt his composing at the piano or his distant musings, to remind him that he had a class to teach in 10 minutes.

She was, basically, the nervous type. An applicable phrase might be ‘long suffering’.

One day, she was waiting in line. He comes in.

He steps up behind her, reaches down.

And gooses her.

She jumps and squeals, shocked – pivots.

He’s stepped back – he seemed twice as big as her – chuckling like a schoolboy with his deep voice.

“Who did you think it was?”

She just gave him a horrid look.

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10/29/10 – poem, choir

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my mouth opens
like everyone else’s
and I let go
and let them guide
me into the mystery
and they don’t even know it
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10/28/10 – haiku, autumn wine

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These are grapes, right? Vines of them are entwined in a fence, at a busy, somewhat grungy, city intersection.
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bare wooden days
and gray iron clouds
press autumn’s wine
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10/27/10 – poem, warm autumn

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blue skies
bare branches
burnished leaves
a wet warmth lingers
a last summer breath
bright – but brittle
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10/26/10 – haiku, autumn gale

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red and rusted leaves
swarming sweeping in the gusts
Like flurried arms of galaxies
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10/25/10 – haiku, moonlight kanji

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moonlight behind fractured clouds
glows like a gray kanji
about to burst into meaning
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