Monday, June 21, 2010


There’s an old man trying to put a book on a shelf
but there are already so many books on the shelf
there’s no room for the new book among the other books.

There’s a young woman playing a flute, improvising
a melody with her eyes closed, her body swaying.

There’s a rumbling sound from outside as a truck drives past.

There are six groups of people standing, softly sobbing.

There are six bodies on the floor, not moving, silent.

There are people standing, whispering on telephones.

There are people sitting, pressing keys on computers.

The old man gives up trying to squeeze a book between
books already on the shelf and turns the book sideways
and slides it horizontally on top of the books
already on the shelf wedged tightly from side to side.

The young woman improvising a flute melody
plays a staccato phrase mezzoforte piano,
an exhalation fugue with the truck noise from outside.

Unending episodes. A theme forever seeking
recapitulation. A due. Ad libitum.
Affannato. The noise outside. The improvised song.

There is an old man turning away from a bookshelf.

There is a young woman playing a song on a flute.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This is a still picture taken from a French film called “Gainsbourg, vie héroïque.” The woman sitting on the floor is a British model-turned-actress named Lucy Gordon. Just before the film was released Lucy Gordon committed suicide.

There is a place, something like a community, sometimes called the ‘fashion world.’ People in the fashion world try to mix something like art with something like business. Sometimes people outside the fashion world refer to the people inside the fashion world as the ‘beautiful people.’

Trying to mix art with business—in the music world they say all the boys want to play an instrument and all the girls want to be an instrument—creates fantasies like that picture, which are something like a counterpoint melody—and better than nothing!—to something like melodies like this:

Ruslana Korshunova—Model, suicide, June 2008

Lucy Gordon—Model, actress, suicide, May 2009

Daul Kim—Model, suicide, November 2009

Alexander McQueen—Fashion designer, suicide, February 2010

Ambrose Olsen—Model, suicide, April 2010

Tom Nicon—Model, suicide, June 2010

There is an old man turning away from a bookshelf.

There is a young woman playing a song on a flute.


1 comment:

Carmen Alvarez said...

Beautifully written.