Playing Music

I remember best when I was twenty, after piano lessons, when I applied what I had learned. I put in the effort to master Mozart’s sonata in C, and I played it for Granny and Granddad, and my mother, and Grammy, her mother. It made me cry and it made them cry. Grammy, “Well, if I knew you could play like that!” and then she trailed off; and Granddad, “I wish to hell I could play like that!”

 

I always wanted to be an artist. I am an artist in a poet’s body, and language and words are always like paint to me. I love music best, but I could never play fast enough or read music very well to feel I could become a virtuoso, even though I thought hard about going to music school. I have a good ear, and a good feel for the moods and emotions of music.

 

I used to play jazz in my bedroom when I was studying when I was fifteen, but my parents would get mad and take the stereo away from me. I know it’s ok, because I worked in an OR for several months and the surgeons always played music. It calmed them and helped them to concentrate.

 

So I always play music when I write, even when I read. Playing music got me through the writing of my Master’s final exercise, and I got an A and passed the reviews.

 

People say my poetry is musical. It’s that, and painterly too. It’s not so much the sounds of the words and vowels and syllables, or even the rhythms, as the intense, brilliant tones.

 

That’s why the kids I hang out with like me so much. They are musicians, and I can play with them when they play, at shows, and it’s divine and great. I can even write stuff spontaneously, on the spot, at shows, and read it in interludes where I ask them for a break, in the middle of a show, say. And it inspires them and spurs them on, helps them to triumph over their fatigue, with so much exertion.

 

In other words when I recite my poetry I play music. I am even playing music when I am writing. My poetry is music, which is what all poets and authors, and artists, have always tried to do with their art. So I’m a success, and I have an ego, and I’m glad, because that helps you get through the day as a writer, because no one else is going to give you the credit you give yourself, the fanfare, the music.

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