THE NOTES THAT WE HEAR
There is a small photo of the author playing a clarinet on the back cover of
his new book of collected poems; a small brush and ink painting on the front.
Last time I tried to write a poem for him, a friend phoned to tell me about
another friend's death, and the poem, although completed, was sidelined and
ignored, to all intents and purposes lost. Indeed, some phrases were woven
into a different poem of mourning and loss, a tribute to the deceased.
The sun is still low, there are shadows across the patio, dew on the grass.
It is a morning to make prayers and angels out of light, a day of moments yet
I wrote to the poet as a result of buying a pamphlet of his at a book fair in
the Welsh borders: eight prose texts, careful arrangements of small phrases
and short paragraphs that entranced me then and still do now.
It is only the second day this year I have been able to sit outside.
Yesterday I was frantically writing about a musician and artist, sections of
a conference paper I am due to give in a few days; was trying to figure out
connections between repetition and stasis, ambience and sound, process and
control. I ended up discussing Eno's visual art in relationship to John
Taggart's poems about Rothko.
In the chapel, dark canvasses suck up the light: rectangular stains and
layers hung on concrete walls, sacred images rooted in spiritual disbelief;
mirrors that reflect nothing, paintings out of time that mute all
In the dark room, slowly changing colours, music and light: scratches,
textures, gestures, loose grids of pixelated forms. Never-to-be-repeated
combinations and random tesserae.
From the fragments of the world we make meaning, from the notes that we hear
we make song.
© Rupert M