I sit down with a cup of corporate tea, remembering Mr. Monatgue from high school.
“Don’t buy it if you can’t invest in it,” he said, motioning at the coffee cup on my desk. I smiled at this comment, tickled by the special treatment. He spoke to me as if I were a peer, and because he taught calculus it somehow meant even more. Royalty of thought. Math. Or pre-philosophy, as I like to think of it now. A booster course between shock and pain. My aptitude.
I open up my laptop for writing, to Chopin. The opposite of yesterday.
You said to trust your subconscious, the imagery and metaphors that come through. This notion was an effective sforzando to my rolling shore. It washed up memories of long lost metaphors. Piles of seaweed and mismatched symbols make for an ugly beach.
I remember being thirteen, when I wrote through my subconscious.
Back when I shyly crawled into the hollow of my brother’s ex-guitar. Opening myself in the shell of it’s resonance, untangling my heartstrings, I would be learning that music was not a weapon. Almost.
I had not yet reached the safety of honest love when my dad’s aching heart sought the spark of my rebellion.
It was a school night when he asked me to play him a song. I clicked my lamp but it wouldn’t light. Fishing the cord from behind the nightstand, my hands told me it had been cut. I sense my way through a dark room. I’m scratched with broken strings burst out in all directions. Ripped from the body, wires reaching for me, coiled steel all frayed. I pick it up gently, empathy, feeling my body crunch.
“A dissection of a loop into the limpness of strands,” I hear you read to me. “A dissection of a loop into the limpness of strands,” again for me. “A dissection of a loop into the limpness of strands.” Your words tap gently, oscillate, reverberate.
I remember being thirteen, and the voice of my subconscious. And for the longest time I could only write poetry about petals falling off flowers. Now I fixate on the blossoms of rhetoric, or the physics of blossoms. Analysis just shy of creation.
At the piano, I want to play with you. But my melodic interference is just that, to your ears, tuned to Chopin, and the placement of the measure on the page. Until I play about you, on my own thread. We later sit on the roof and you strum my guitar. I tug at the neck but you pull back. I let go. And when it is in my arms again, I hear something tangle and crunch inside me.
I wonder if you feel the same when you read your poetry. Until we stand. You perform. My questions dissolve into the magnificence of witnessing you play with what is so clearly your purpose. I see the parallel.
But that’s not what matters now.