Thursday, September 30, 2010


I am working on a series that has only been born in the sense that a fetus is a baby. It will be called "Études." Étude comes from the French, meaning study. An étude is a piece meant, through kind-of musical acrobatics, to force precision in the fingers. What's funny about the études is that, though they're meant for study, they comprise some of the most beautiful music written for piano (or harpsichord, guitar, etc.).

My études are a study of place, based on the idea of places that exist in memory as bearers, guardians, even containers of memory. Physically, such places might still exist, though of course they'd be felt and experienced in the present context, and so they cannot be the same places.

What we do not study may fall prey to forgetting, and what what disappears from lack of study we may never learn the corners, the nooks, the crawl spaces of. The dexterity we acquire from such study is not for others' amusement but for ourselves, that we might be able to say we own what we have seen and done, what has been done to us.

This one is a rough first draft. No idea where it will come in the series.

Étude, corridor

You understand that what you have seen
occurs only once.
Is a flipper's tip disappearing
off the coast. Is an ailing comet. If
it's too narrow to turn around,
the thing will vanish.

How could it be in the first place?
What can touch it?
Questions for the creator, if
He or She is home.

Are you ready to speak this place
into existence? Have you sucked enough
from the bone?

If this should be the last place
you study before you blot him out,
call him once on the hall's black phone.

Let the ringing be a resting place.
Let the ringing wail down the hall.
Let the hall be a tunnel too narrow to turn around in.