Essays and Memoirs
Public Pain Print E-mail

73(San Diego Reader July 5, 1990)

Yesterday during a morning nap, Mrs. Jo Anglemire, a downstairs neighbor at the apartment complex where I live and the wife of Val, the maintenance man, died. I came home around noon, arriving moments after their adult daughter had heard the news. As I walked up, I could hear her shouting repeatedly, “No, not my mommy!” and “Daddy! Daddy! Make Mommy come back!” The words cut the air like mad hornets.

I walked up to their apartment. The screen door was propped open. Three people were in the living room. One man, tall and gaunt, stood alone. The other, heavy-set with shorts and long socks, stood holding the woman who wailed. The large man stood still, in an eerie frieze—arms clamped around her as she pushed her head up and screamed. He held tightly, her head giddy as if under the broadside of a fire hose. Leaning against the outside wall was a white-cushioned stretcher. I slumped against the doorjamb.

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Unanswering the Question: Charles Ives Meets Charles Olson Print E-mail

cdeb024128a0546bfd209010.L(Perspectives of New Music. Double issue: Fall-Winter, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1981; Spring-Summer, Vol. 20, No. 2, 1982)

This essay started out of a desire to experience my own convergence with the music and writings of Charles Ives and the esthetics and poetry of Charles Olson. What began as a measure of my relationship with them became their relationship, in something larger, with each other. Furthermore, the same experience has always been counterpointed in my own work as a composer and writer. The legacy of the arts as being separable, by virtue of their expressive content, audience, differing perceptive modes, etc., has seemed to me to be an illusion propagated by some traditional casting of identity, of what art-forms "say."

How one form can say something, or one thing, better than another, the economic argument of the efficiency of art mediums. I feel that the genesis and experience of music and language are inseparable, if one can get beyond, if one can unanswer, the questions they supposedly address, to the exclusion of each other. They indeed converge in essence.

This essay, perhaps my first significantly original work, is now available here.

 
Mamamotormobile Print E-mail

riderfalling xgzy1j(Flash Nonfiction, January 1972)

Up the ramp, the radio’s on, we view round for lights and the lights remain and let us in.

Look at us, driving the Interstate, driving the flat curve of the earth.

Look at us, leaving the city, heading west through the state, into the Horse-Trader’s dialect.

Look over us, mamamotormobile, for we’re going home with high beams on in the frozen hare’s eyes.

We’re going home with the tire wheel grazing low, the steering wheel grazing lower and tickling our tired waists.

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