Saturday, July 7, 2012

Because I Am So Happy and All the Dismal Issues Have Been Made Tractable at Last, and So I Say to Her that the Late Symphonies of Gustav Mahler Are More Lucid If You’re Sitting Close To, and Above, the Orchestra, so that You Can See the Contrapuntal Lines Moving from Strings to Woodwinds and Then Back Again

Gustav Mahler was born 152 years ago today. Serendipitously, listened to the above two weeks ago, the first below last week, the second below this past Tuesday, found Mahler's name on today's birthday search an hour ago. I'd ODed on Mahler in my thirties, rarely listened in my forties, caught the end of the 2nd on the radio a month ago, and... Hey, I'm still trying to find a photo of the Fed's opulent dining hall for Frances, help solicited, maybe one of you has a father who lives across the alley from Fred Fernancke who can ask his father to ask Fred (to die painfully, slowly) to take a photo of the dining room with his iPhone and send it along for a blogpost about what a motherfucking Corporatist stooge Fred is. Als0 to0: Freeform or Death has received a challenge grant from two anonymous donors.  If we can reach $67,000 by Tuesday night, they will kick in $13,000!  This opportunity is a dream come true that will greatly improve our ability to make festival deadlines for this coming year and ultimately help bring the film to a much larger audience. So give here. Als0 to0, yesterday I read this on this guy's recommendation, I recommend it to you, a couple hours of magic, it's been awhile since I read a work of fiction and daydreamed of air-guitaring it. Als0 to0, the good referenced yesterday is still good, the standard standard, the shitty improving, I acknowledge it really serves no purpose other than excuse, but regular programming will resume soon, or not, though I insist it never stopped.


Charles Baxter

We are stretched out on a dingy sofa, and I think
I must be barefoot because a woman whom no one knows
Is massaging the ankle of one leg of mine and the instep
Of the other, all this toward morning, and I have that
Occasional epiphany one has while still asleep
That I am floating down a river
Because I am so happy and all the dismal issues
Have been made tractable at last, and so I say to her
That the late symphonies of Gustav Mahler
Are more lucid if you’re sitting close to, and above,
The orchestra, so that you can see the contrapuntal
Lines moving from strings to woodwinds
And then back again, whereupon this woman,
Sitting (I now realize) at my feet, says, in the full
Heat of our dream life, and in that happiness,
“Please marry me. Your mother likes me,”
And so I wake, not laughing, although my mother

Has been dead for over thirty years, but in wonderment
Over what quality this dream-woman must have owned
To have pleased my mother so that she,
My late mother, would have said, despite her ban
On ordinary pleasantries, that she had liked someone,
Anyone, who might have cared for me, and as I lie
In bed I think of the last movement of Mahler’s Ninth
When the melodic lines go quiet for minute after minute
In a prolonged farewell to music and to life,
Which my mother would attend to in her bathrobe
Late at night, the stereo turned up, blended whiskey
In her highball glass mixed with milk as a disguise,
Leaning back, hand over eyes, silent-movie style
Like Norma Desmond listening as Von Stroheim plays
The organ wearing his white gloves. No, it wasn’t
Mahler, it was Schoenberg, Verklärte Nacht,
Moon-drunk music, mad and inconsolable.

1 comment:

  1. "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" ("I am lost to the world . . .")- finale of the Five Ruckert Lieder. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf at Bruno Walter's final Vienna Philharmonic concert.