Archive for March, 2012

Somewhere in my house now a metronome beats 120 beats per minute in 4/4 time. It runs continuously and can’t be turned off, only muted. That’s how it’s designed.

I purchased the metronome when I started playing classical guitar recently. My life is now measured with a rhythm I can’t hear but only know is there, steadily beating on with accented and unaccented notes.

I suppose clocks tick away that way too, but they aren’t designed with music in mind.

When you walk through the front door of my house, the music stand is the first thing you see. If the Chinese system of Feng Shui is correct and our houses are set up along a compass of energy, the energy in my house passes only two things as it flows from my front to my back door: the music on my music stand and the paintings in my back room. Perhaps somewhere along the way I should post some poems as well.

Unlike poetry and painting, music is more standardized. The right hand notes of guitar music are plucked in a certain PIMA pattern, and the left hand presses particular frets. The musical notes and rhythm remain the same, and it is all counted with a metronome.

I am recently unemployed, and music is one of the only things in my life that arrives each day in a predictable manner. Maybe that’s true for everyone. We rise in the morning not knowing what a day may hold. Our bodies change, friends, jobs, finances, homes. It can all change in an instant.

But somewhere for me music is waiting on a music stand. It helps calm down the rattle and chatter in my mind and a general feeling of being disconcerted.

No concert yet, just the warming up of strings, flutes, oboes, horns and distant drums. They clash together, not yet forming music or melody.

And the metronome beats on.

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The Yellow Sweater

Typography and type face,
point size, leading and line length.
I adjust the spaces between your words,

to make sense of the meaning.
The words are there
like the yellow sweater

tangling at the foot of our bed
the night we make love.
The sweater twists in our feet,

jams in the sheets,
tangles in the edge of the covers,
as we fasten and unfasten each other.

Few things in life are clear to people. 
They look into their hands
and forget what it is they are holding,

what it is they want to hold
what hesitates in the water between them —
those lips, those lips.

Did you have those so many years ago,
and one willing to see them,
waiting for them to open,

like words on a page to mine.

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