Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dearest, up in the aerie trying to figure out what to write (it rarely comes to me very easily). The most glorious spring day today, mild temperatures, got myself to the conservation area for a walk, just in layered sweaters, finally glimpsed the mountains again, muddied and wet the bottoms of my jeans as I made my way around the sodden melted park. So I'm sitting here now, trying to relax myself into some sort of reverie where something will come. Perhaps an image will prompt inspiration, so I peruse images (john koch portrait) and find this one, which (if cropped - three's a crowd) reminds me of you and me. You know, my darling tin man, perhaps I am the witch who did something for you, but you know, you've done a lot for me too, sitting there beside me enjoying whatever song I'm singing...

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.

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