Wednesday, April 6, 2011
My darling, I have been feeling so unpoetic the last few days, maybe even a bit self-conscious. It was great fun hatching that post about the chance encounter with a Great Poet - that post almost wrote itself - it came out in a sudden torrent, like a downloading, and only needed tweaking afterward. Which is actually how that mash-up of his and Eliot's poem came about for me. I was having a lot of fun (at the time, November 2009) playing pingpong (as it were) over a period of months on the incredibly witty & brilliant 12534 blog. Mr. North Fifth Street had posted (as I recall) the My Erotic Double video (I wonder who it is who so beautifully reads aloud that poem?), and I don't remember the exact sequence of events, exactly... except one afternoon something wyścieliło mi do głowy - shot into my head - or as Emily Dickinson would say, it's poetry if it feels like the top of your head is being blown off - somehow I linked those two poems together. They came together exceedingly quickly, in a matter of minutes, almost instantaneously. Most of the tweaking afterward had to do with punctuation (which I don't think I got perfect) and then the final "Peach?" The Ashbery ran out before the Eliot and, as a poetic masher I was a bit like a cartoon character running off the end of a cliff - great what now, where do I go, what do I do, before going straight down?
So writing & inspiration are a funny thing that way. I show up daily - tenacity for sure & hard work (I'm thinking of what Bob Schneider said on his Let the Light In promo video) - well, it's a process of sorts... it would look like loafing to many, searching around for clues, inspiration, wandering around, working out, thinking of you, putting together meals, sewing whatever, indulging spoiled cats -
Let me add that the other day I read an item that four heretofore long-lost letters written by Chopin have been rediscovered and are now on display in a museum or library in Warsaw. I read the item with interest and frustration, because it gave no clue to the content of these four runes. I've borrowed a volume (in translation) of his letters from the library, via interlibrary loan. I've been paging through it, listlessly. I am finding his letters rather boring - though I won't blame Mr. F. Chopin, the fault may lie in the volume as edited, chronologically but without annotations that would help contextualize the notes, to the extent that I found myself looking up Chopin's dates (1810-1849) so that I could figure out how old he was in the very first note, dated 1816. (For future readers of this copy, I noted his dates in pencil on the first page.)
Anyway, Chopin has me beat by a mile in the musician and piano department, but possibly my listy are a tad more entertaining than his. Then again, he was involved with George Sand, a writer whom I've never read - and I wonder what her letters might have been like, assuming she wrote some to him. I'm guessing that maybe she blew the top of his head off? But I don't know details of their biographies, and I've never read her...
My darling, and so I recollect with great joy & delight when you followed me from the kitchen and sat next to me at the piano...
On the menu tonight, sesame baked chicken, leftover mashed potato, salad dressing made - by me - with honeycup mustard, which I whisked together with lemon juice and EVOO --
all my love
but in my mind's eye
when I think of you
John Koch (1909-1978), Musicians (1937),
oil on canvas, 36 x 43-1/4 in.