Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Poem by Sagine Corrielus

To Patience

You are a virtue which
many do not have, which I do not have. Waiting and waiting
as the tiny clock ticks away the time we have left.
Thus, your lack drives me crazy. Making me wonder,
making me think. And in your absence,
I am a stone cold wind of fury. Capable of demolishing
anything in my path. A soft silent yearning,
a harsh summer’s heat, an ungraceful Giselle.
I am everything and nothing all at once, each tiny
discrepancy causing me unrest. But really who am I to deny
your healing, gracing me with your prowess.
Your keen sense of stability conducting me away
from the wind, the destruction, the self-loathing, the hate.
And into the soft, quiet, maudlin center of a thousand lullabies,
making me want. Yearning for the calm, I am everything and I am nothing.
A flame slowly extinguished, with a deep sense
of profound knowledge and prudence.
Relaxing and Relaxing, drifting into the cool blue light.
Relaxing…relaxing… relaxing…

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Poem by Ian Riley


When I was just a little boy, I used to play pretend.
Never did I give a thought that happiness would end.
As I became an older boy, imagining became the norm.
Pretending was for little kids, an immature art form.
Now that I am all grown up, it’s only dreams I keep,
And even then I only dream, unknowingly, asleep.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Symphony no. 25 by Manolo Gonzalez

I had continued to practice my art most dutifully, garnering about three or four subjects every other fortnight. My art, as well as my heart, were swelling to the most sublime depths, like the strings in a symphony. It was a most exciting time, what with my studies at the conservatory and love blossoming in the stagnant Tuscan wind. 

During the mornings I would dive into the melodious sublimity of instrumentation, and in the afternoons I would relinquish all thoughts and put forward all of my available attention to her, my swan queen. We would spend the hours in a state of pure ecstasy. Whether it was love or lust, I dared not press my advantage past that of pure courtship, with hopes of marriage in the near future, of course. It was a delight watching her eyes spill fewer and fewer valuable tears. In fact, I believe that after that first night she never spilled tears at all. It was not only I who had done that, but the music that pulsed through my veins, the frequency of which penetrated her bones. 

My hidden art was, of course, a touchy subject. Although I wished to show her my masterpieces, I could not be persuaded to believe that she had the capacity to fully understand such crowning artistic achievement. So, I didn’t. It was, shall we say, exciting to my person and my art to harbor these glorious achievements. It made it all the more fulfilling knowing that while she went home in the evenings to take care of a dying aunt, I was out, making art for the whole world to relish. To keep such a fantastic secret from an innocent girl who had no secrets was both terrifying and wonderful; forbidden, in a most titillating way. There can be no love without deceit.  This little knowledge in my mind helped me through a great burst of artistic output. As if in a procession, one after another after another would fall to my instrument, with the same care taken each time. As a violinist, my arm would race back and forth across not strings, but the neck of artistic vigor. I was a factory of pure, unembellished art, and my own god. 

This spur allowed me to take a chance in performing my greatest and grandest piece. I entered into a rather large disagreement with my most mediocre maestro, and my fellow colleague who acted as more of a lapdog for him. I decided that I would save them from their own mediocrities, and do them the favor of allowing them to become immortalized in art. Doing this, of course, required some planning, as I was dealing with two subjects this time. 

On the first day I bound and gagged my colleague in my apartment, and held him sequestered in my boudoir. Luring him into my flat was no large feat, as all it took was the weak promise of sambuco. My professor, the mediocre maestro, was a bit harder to reel in, naturally, as he actually used his mind to think, and not to follow, like my colleague. I had figured out that the man was fond of the many fallen women that plagued our fair town. So, I offered to host a night of musical discussion accompanied by drink and ladies of his choosing, a custom of young bachelors. Knowing that, as he was the proud owner of a faulty memory, he wouldn’t remember to make such a call to a woman, I jotted down the address of my domicile on the Via Antonio Alfieri on a thick sheet of parchment and handed it to him. 

The next evening I awaited him dutifully, wearing my best waistcoat and breeches, as I sat in my study with my colleague bound in the next room. When he arrived, we chatted about Brahms and Bach and then, once he was filled with vino rosso and limoncello, I began my latest masterpiece. So grand a piece required an act as bold as leaving my front door unlocked, which I did, and began to prepare the two men, laying side by side on my large oak table, by disrobing them and sharpening my instrument. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

To Evening. Sonnet by Ugo Foscolo

Perhaps because you are the image of that fatal quiet
so dear to me, you have come,
O Evening! And when happy summer clouds 
and the gentle west wind are your escort,
and when from snowy restless heights
you send shadows and darkness into the world,
you descend summoned always, and gently hold 
the secret ways of my heart.
You make my thoughts wander forms
that vanish into eternal nothing; meanwhile 
this cursed time flees, and with it, the throng 
of cares with which it me destroys;
and while I gaze on your peace, that warlike spirit 
sleeps, that yet within me roars.
translation by Nick Benson of Ugo Foscolo (1778-1827), ‘Alla sera,’ published 1803

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Un Amor by Manolo Gonzalez

It was a glorious afternoon in Firenze when I first laid eyes on my beloved. She was holding an old wooden rosary in her porcelain hands as she walked out of Il Duomo, with bright red lipstick on her lips and nail polish to match. After my first masterpiece I had gravitated around the cathedral looking for new inspiration. Artistically speaking, this quiet Tuscan town was the ideal place for art and artists such as myself to flourish. The city once inhabited by Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, masters of their craft, truly, would serve as nurturing mother to my art; an art that would have enchanted the world had I lived in the time when I could have the patronage of the Medicis.

She walked slowly, with purpose and yet with hostility down the twisting narrow passages of the city, as moist eyeliner made a zigzag down her round cheeks. I followed her to a yellowing derelict building on the Via Ghibellina, and stood watch outside what I guessed was her window from the cobbled streets below. Several men of no particular importance or significance, especially to my art, made their way in and out of the building in timed procession. Very musical, I thought, and gave the matter no more thought.

After about midnight, she left her abode and strolled down the streets with fresh tears in her eyes. Not letting such beauty pass up, I persuade the enchantress into a dim Spanish tavern, Salamanca, with wooden floors and blood red paint on the walls. Flamenco filled every corner of the room as I walked in and took a place next to her at the bar. After some persuasion and charm, of which I have an abundance, she granted me the honor of buying her a glass of the establishment’s sangria. Her bright red fingers circled the rim of the glass as she spoke; her neck bowed and twisted with every sip and clenched every time she encountered a piece of floating fruit. The sound of hidden despair rang in her voice and filtered through the room as I fixed my eyes solely upon hers. 4/4 time of the handclap began the Catalan rumba that would become our first dance as inamoratos.

The guitar strings pulsed as I held her fair hand in mine; the vocalista’s heartache vibrated in her eyes, as the bongos and guiro lead our steps in time. Over the sangria I had learned nothing from her; over the flamenco, I learned everything. Un Amor. Without the utterance of words, our hearts conversed, matching a joy that perhaps only the practice of my art could match. At the end of our dance, the slightest glimpse of a smile twisted her face exposing pearl-white incisors. Her sadness captivated me, and my joy beguiled her. She glanced at the crumbling clock on the wall and announced to me that she had to return home for a previous engagement.

I lead her back to her home on the Via Ghibellina that night, hearing her steps click to the beat of our shared flamenco. Before she went in for the night I caught another glimpse of her pearl-white incisors pronouncing the resolution that we should rendezvous again soon. She went inside and I took up my spot under the gas lamp which limply lit the pathway, and watched at her window. A small man wearing a waistcoat much too small for his bulging stomach entered the palazzo some time after she did, which made me ponder if perhaps he was her previous engagement. I then started to ponder who my next artistic subject would be.