Monday, February 22, 2016

The Pianist

The pianist visited the court yard before his performance. He was here to play that piece pulled from the dust of the attic. No one had heard this piece except for his six-month old son.

The pianist looked around him at this unattended lament, the untouched statues holding up the notes like clefs. The gargoyles begin to sing, pianissimo at first and when the pianist closes his eyes and really listened Fortissimo.

The beautiful notes emerged the more he realized this place is a symphony, The green moss the flutes the scattered domestic flowers, now wild, the horn sections. His fingers become the string section over the branches and limbs. His feet percussion on the stone walk way.

The notes become, like, an abacus and he counts them, keeps the beat, the wind a metronome on the eye lashes. Music begins to overgrow in this overgrowth.

The king and queen clear the way their children dancing to this piece I‘ve written in the sky. The boy who smiles when the music is right and dances along with the beat I, I create. That is music.

I return to the concert hall, the courtyard still in my eyes, in my soul, and play and play until the baby cries and it is time to go home. Time to feed him.


The concert hall turns into the court yard, and dreams and fancies do come true and we wake up alone in the hermitage another day another set of scales on a piano that must be tuned daily.

Music. The breathing of statues. Perhaps:
The quiet of images. You, language where
languages end. You, time
standing straight from the direction
of transpiring hearts.

Feelings, for whom? O, you of the feelings
changing into what?— into an audible landscape.
You stranger: music. You chamber of our heart
which has outgrown us. Our inner most self,
transcending, squeezed out,—
holy farewell:
now that the interior surrounds us
the most practiced of distances, as the other
side of the air:
pure,
enormous
no longer habitable.

Rainer Maria RilkeAn die Musik (Munich, Jan. 11-12, 1918) from Gedichte aus dem Nachlaß in Sämtliche Werke, vol. 2, p. 111 (E. Zinn ed. 1956)(S.H. transl.)

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