Sunday, August 30, 2009


Franz Schubert - Wasserflut, Die Winterreise
with Ian Bostridge and Julius Drake

Liquid lapis lazuli, the night
knits all the gold spirit threads
on which your abandoned beads
blink planetary solitudes.

If you pour yourself into her net
she'll cast you to beyond the seas
and teach you to offer your necklace
as pigment for the most holy hem.

But you're distracted by the skyline
and forget it's not for concrete
you can't see the blue-violet depths
that call to the gulls in your soul.

You keep seeing cockroaches skitter,
always at the edge of your sight,
and your eyes get tired of searching
for what they don't want to find.

Surrender this need, and like a bead
it will glide and show you the thread
tied tight to the hook in your heart
and pulled by the most loving hand.

thank you vv for the music response

Friday, August 21, 2009

Talk with Me

This dawn breeze I have given you,
don't corral and nail it above
ocean currents or caribou trail
maps: each with its color pin,
quickly to find
as your mind travels tomorrows.

These raindrops I have given you,
don't splinter and channel
into speakers and sprinklers:
all encouragements to linger
and weigh choices
in the fresh produce aisle.

Is it because I am God
that you think I have no need
of tenderness?

Felix Mendelssohn - Allegro, Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
with Michael Rabin (1957)

poem title and text in italics from He and I by Gabrielle Bossis

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wants, by Philip Larkin

György Ligeti - Atmosphères

Beyond all this, the wish to be alone:
However the sky grows dark with invitation-cards
However we follow the printed directions of sex
However the family is photographed under the flagstaff -
Beyond all this, the wish to be alone.

Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs:
Despite the artful tensions of the calendar,
The life insurance, the tabled fertility rites,
The costly aversion of the eyes from death -
Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs.

from 20th Century Poetry & Poetics (Oxford University Press, 1969)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The limits undone, by Neile Graham

Giuseppe Verdi - Kyrie Eleison, Requiem Aeternam
NBC Symphony Orchestra, Arturo Toscanini conductor (1940)

I call it sorrow that makes me leave
this house; unfolding the cloth that covers
the windows, I am closing the eyes of the dead.
It's grey, raining outside and it suits me well,
pulling the door to, turning the key in the familiar
lock one last time.
...............................This time I forgot to say
goodbye to each room, like I did as a child,
so I step through the soggy leaves and circle
the house trying to make it whole.

If I knew the words to make the sort
of spell this needs I would say them. Instead I walk
to the car, try not to look back.

Suddenly I'm miles away in the rain
on the highway and can't remember how
I got this far; the windshield wipers
scrape in front of my eyes and I'm driving inland -
away from the land's end,
from the house at the edge of it.

If I stare out the attic window at the night sea
I cannot quite make out where shore ends
and ocean begins: the limits of everything
undone in the darkness just as on the highway
grey road dissolves to grey sky.

I am leaving nothing, take the weight of my life
down this road, though I thought I had left
it behind. Sorrow, like darkness, like rain,
blurs all borders and everything comes flooding in -

I greet each room like a child.

from Spells for clear vision (Brick Books, 1994)
thank you Prospero for the music

to your knife


....................i am





Antonio Vivaldi - Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Friday, August 14, 2009

Invincible recluse (Solitario invencible), by Vicente Huidobro

Frédéric Chopin - Nocturne Op. 27 No. 2with Dinu Lipatti, live recording

Like a basket of bitterness
Filled with silence and light
Frozen asleep
You leave and return to yourself
You laugh at your own dream
Yet you sigh shivering poems
And convince yourself of some hope

Absence, the hunger of keeping silent
Of no longer emitting so many hypotheses
Of closing the talkative wounds
You surrender to a special anxiety
Like from snow and fire
You want to turn your eyes to life
To swallow the entire universe
Those fields of stars
They fly away from your hand after the catastrophe
When the perfume of carnations
Spins around your axis

transl. from Spanish by Sherman Souther
in Many Mountains Moving, vol. v, no.1
thank you vv for the music

Friday, August 7, 2009

After great pain, a formal feeling comes, by Emily Dickinson

Giuseppe Verdi - Lacrymosa dies illa, Messa da Requiem
Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Agnes Baltsa, José Carreras, José Van Dam; Wiener Philharmoniker
Balgarska Chorova Kapela Svetoslav Obretenov and Herbert von Karajan

After great pain, a formal feeling comes --
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs
The stiff Heart questions, was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round --
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought --
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone --

This is the Hour of Lead --
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow --
First -- Chill -- then Stupor -- then the letting go --

Giuseppe Verdi - Lux aeterna, Messa da Requiem

poem from
for music info see resonances