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Posts Tagged ‘clarinet’

Raw Material

May 13, 2012 Leave a comment

A customer tries to buy shirts with “a boiled cotton scent that reminds him of his grandmother.”

A famed conductor agrees to create a music festival with definite Aryan overtones, I can see from the poster for it that the clarinet mouthpieces they use are impossible to play. I am horrified by the fact that the orchestra would do this. The conductor assures me privately that the project is like “subtly digging an obnoxious guest you have in your own home.”

I wake up wondering if these two things, and an even vaguer memory of another transaction where I stand wondering if I’ve already paid, or should pay, for something I’m not even sure I still have, have any threads of connection I could braid into some kind of poem.

I lay awake wondering if I can make it from the bed to the point of writing it down without losing it all, like carrying a handful of oil.

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In the Details

April 30, 2012 10 comments

We played Mahler’s First Symphony tonight
in a civic orchestra sort of way
but it gave aging rich women a place to
go in their wraps and
my mother-in-law sat with my wife and
said she saw horses and did ‘three-legged-dances.’

There are so many moving parts,
I said. The work has defied the best
orchestra’s efforts to play it, and
to play it, not listen to it, is to
count measures of rest after rest
and wait to come in
wait to come in.
The clarinet part is to sound
like a cuckoo and the conductor
makes crazy faces to inspire you
while his back is turned
to the audience.