Vlado Perlemuter Playing Ravel

By | 1 July 1997

The elegant sadness of this music
is just the first layer.
Beneath enter again
the corsetry of a remote childhood,
the bindings between the shoulder the neck
the puffed belly.
Find the white lonely fingers
poised above a lake in midwinter
and all that dies in small rooms,
the earth realigning itself,
small beginnings of order.
Breathe in the mathematician’s crust,
the carefully measured sticks that prop up
mysterious buildings where
the hearts of reptiles are frozen.
Stand for the smallest part of a second
in the doorway where the rain
gathers fragrance from the herb garden,
where the longing for another world
strips you bare

While the after-tremor of this music
ripples, eddying around you,
only sit firmly as you play
and glance with the lightest nod of recognition
at all the wedding photographs,
the funeral notices.
Sitting upright concentrate
on the earth’s movement,
the invisible passage of light into dark
so that the exact measure of elegance be transmitted –
just enough for this moment
to outdistance pain.
Let the pause between notes
be brief yet long enough
to break however lightly
the gravity of falling through soundless space.

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