Opus 118 No. 2

The Poets and Writers Prompt #77 asked us to write about something that takes place in an instant. I decided to write about an instant in music — one of the biggest challenges I think. I included a YouTube video of the piece that inspired the poem, one of my favorites of all time. Evgeny Kissin’s version is by far the best, but piece number 2 starts at minute 2:00.  Here goes:

Opus 118 No. 2

Saturday morning
at the practice hall,
second floor:
a fading gingko tree
waves slightly from the wide,
clean window
and early light
warms the mud-colored carpet,
attentive to a Brahms intermezzo
one he dedicated to an ailing
Clara Schumann, another composer’s wife.
The event of two chords
comes easy like a wind that
pauses before a dark
landscape, its colors
too tired, too fragile
to distinguish themselves,
hues of bruised fruit,
skin, things seen at dusk,
two chords like settling
in a soundless depth with a voice
calling from outside
the dreamt place
heartbreak laid out
on a shore one cannot re-encounter
in that light
under those glad, warm shadows.
A bird flits from the tree,
someone has descended the last stair.
I see my desire in the window,
rising from the instrument,
bringing it closer to breathing,
sleeping.
I want to rock my insecurities to sleep –
Harmony, a submerged garden.

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Getting into the Hang of Things

*This is a draft of a post I wrote awhile ago which I never finished. Just thought I’d post it to post it.

**The Indian food comment at the end is also obsolete. Now the number of meals has probably gone up to about 8.

Finally getting a bit more used to running around the city, making lesson plans for about 14 classes, juggling work and social life, contemplating the eccentricities of life in Madrid. I’m glad I’ve gotten to see more of Madrid and its outskirts, and I’ve also gotten to explore a bit of its music scene and some museums during the past two weeks. Got to see the Reina Sofia last weekend, which houses a great collection of modern art including Picasso and Dali. Also went to the Prado for a bit but was too museum-ed out by then to actually explore anything past the El Greco. Must go back!

For Julietta’s birthday, we went to this flamenco bar in Tribunal and saw this really great band that did a lot of flamenco and Morrocan-influenced jazz. A woman began to sing in the traditional style and then all of a sudden started stomping her feet and dancing on the stage. I’d never been so entranced in my life.

And last night, I went with my friend Nancy to see CSS. We got Galician food with some of her friends beforehand and waited almost an hour at this incredibly packed little hole-in-the-wall in Lavapies. It was well worth the wait; the zapatilla was ginormous, the size of five or six normal sandwiches put together, and three times as thick, stuffed with roasted ham and melted cheese mmmmmmm… I think it’s the best Spanish food I’ve had since I’ve been here. Anyway, CSS was great and a lot of fun. Ran into Natalia strangely enough, the lender of PJ’s and slippers (and bed) the night of La Noche en Blanco.

Some other notable things: I had Indian food three times since I discovered a little street lined with Indian restaurants in Lavapies. So yummy and cheap.