Wednesday, August 17, 2011

haibun || Sheila E. Murphy

I never knew the history of my teacher. I saw only the part I heard, his muscular hands
for which the instrument remained a small and simple thing. My thinness, partial
intellect, my formulating psyche. Felt my sight-reading lift away, note by note. No tones
sprung from my soul. The more code I lost, the more angry he became. For him,
performance was a tiny shred of evidence, compared to his creation of the instruments.
When asked about mechanics of rote cleaning, he responded, "Wear it out playing it."
Too much thought blunted the symbolic gestures meant to turn into relaxed inflection.
To be safe, I started to hear nothing, feel nothing, resist the next thing scheduled to occur.
I held the keys, my breath, I looked into the inner case where silver lived.
I had boots for outside slush. I felt my talent fall away. People heard my flute replace
a self, perhaps suspected that I loved identity that they could know and feel
from windows that I wored like Kevlar clothing in broad daylight.

Vibration shapes, the shapeless afternoon, warm snow gone gray beneath half light

Sheila E. Murphy

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