Glenn Gouldís Second Recording

of Johann Sebastian Bachís Goldberg Variations

 by Rick Burkhardt & William Gillespie

 

Aria

 

there is a king

the area was filled with its history

you heard her, keep away from me

trucks will have to be brought in for damage control

quasi

tracks had been there

were

there is a fortress

where

there lived a perfect tooth

 

 

Aria

o

There we are.  Here we were.  Here they are.  There they were.  But now, now.  Time, place, antecedent.  Stricter structures.  The symbolic possibilities of the fact of there being two of us are limitless, exhausting, exasperating.  When there are in fact at least three of us.  You, me, and them.  And where are they now, now when we were here.  Here, now, this.  But they?  They are walking.  They were writing.  They will be talking.

 

1

 

I let go of the mountain

which fell smoothly

 

1             

 

I brushed only one tooth a day to save time.  In this manner I also tied one shoe a day, ate one meal a day, washed one hand a day, slept with one eye open, and read only the recto pages of the books I was supposed to.  Every other second was mine.

 

 

2

 

tie

tie I

tie I fill

tie I fill with

tie I fill with leisure

 

 

2             

 

I am a rock, I am a mountain.  I am waiting for someone else to arrive and be the ďme.Ē

 

3

 

will all the effort

have been                 a)  necessary

                                b)  satisfying

                                c)  exerted at all

                                d)  weightless

                                e)  touch

 

 

3             

 

I will fill in this cavity with liquid paper.  I will repair the broken shoelace with staples.  I will eat four meals a day until I have caught up.  I will know this time, place, understand it.  Time then, will leave, will no longer pass for me.  I will have always been sitting in the second floor window of 203 E. Oregon.

 

4

 

I left excited,

was scene

in sense

 

 

4             

 

I was weightless.  Before lunch.  Afterwards it wasnít five yet, but.

 

5

 

to ingest in jest

I sense sheíll

 

5             

 

I am in this scene and I have no idea what the play is.

 

6

 

cough like the eskimos kiss

and then lie

 

 

6             

 

I will reply in jest.  My performance cunning, full of bravuro.  My boots will describe a circle with the two spurs.

 

7

 

My escape?  Did no one told you of my escape?  yes, I escaped

I was reading a lot of

 

7             

 

This lie got me nothing.  A counterfeit fact will cause meaning deflation.  The more lies in circulation, the less truth, indistinguishable, is worth.  Wheelbarrows of lies.

 

 

8

 

round whale delights

my shallow trough

 

8             

 

I read.  I am reading.  I read.  I was reading.  I will read.  I will be reading.  I have read.  I will have been reading.  I had read.  I had been reading.  I will have read.  I will have been reading. 

 

 

9

 

Iíll

file

style,

pile

while

Iíll

still

spill

 

 

9             

 

Troth.  Snagular pentagon escapement.  Carpalicular rapture.  Renegade random.  I will, Julia, I will.

 

10

 

I dropped into the spastic peak

twine

 

 

10           

 

I spilled, I spill, I will spill.  Explain yourself.

 

11

 

how are you feeling?

how do you know?

how long have you known?

how long can you keep knowing?

how do you manage that?

 

 

11           

 

Twine binds you.  You are bonded.  You are with yourself, you know what it is to be yourself.  You know your limitations.  Of course you do.  You are tied to a chair.  You have found yourself.  And you are tied to a chair.

 

12

 

you will take a seat

you will take a seat you didnít want

you will take a seat you didnít want anyone else to have

you will take a seat you didnít want anyone else to have to

bother with

you will take a seat you didnít want anyone else to have to

bother with

 

 

12           

 

You will manage.  I know you.  You will get by somehow.  You will cope.  You will manage an entire franchise, I know you.  You will, Julia, you will.  Here comes my favorite part.  There it went.

 

13

 

imperative finger prodded

inwards

against

the wall of the ward

wardworld

 

13           

 

You didnít bother to check the glove compartment for a love letter from me tucked into the map of Massachusetts.  You didn't bother to climb onto your roof during the thunderstorm to see if I might have tied a shred of silk to your television arial.  You didnít dive to the bottom of the sewer.  You didnít bury yourself in your own backyard to see if I would dig you up before you choked on dirt, twigs and worms.  You didnít love me and your way of showing it wasnít to.  You hadnít met me yet, you say, a flimsy excuse.  You didnít leap off a skyscraper to see if I would catch you.  You.

 

 

14

 

do you have a match?

do you have the time?

do you have a problem?

do you have a

 

 

14           

 

You ward me off with stalactites, cattle prongs, and vicious rabid octopi, an army of tarantulas and scorpions, accordionists, spikes, guard dogs.

 

15

 

guard dog

garden

you will take one step forever among the gardenias

you will visit the king

there will have been nothing wrong

the voice will remind you of a hoarse command

saliva will ring in the plants

your chainís tightnesses will have left you excited

but with nothing to eat but grass

you will feel a symptom coming on

 

 

15           

 

You may have a tiny problem.  Well, you will have a tiny problem.  A tiny one, but you will have it.  In fact, you have it now, and you had it before, and you will have had it before.  You could have had it before for many many days to come.  You wouldnít have had it, had you taken precautions.  You may have, in fact, taken precautions, but it may not have helped.  Have a problem.  No, no problem, I have plenty.  Have one or have had one.  Your choice.  Have or have not.  Let them have eaten cake, so that they will have known what it once tasted like.  Have another cigarette, have had a smoking problem, have cancer.  Have another drink, have been having a drinking problem.

 

 

16

 

his doubt nagged at you

her insecurities plagued you

their itch teased you

who were all these first people

 

 

16           

 

You had a symptom.  You had had a symptom.  You had been having some trouble with your digestive system, you told the doctor.

 

17

 

exude

extra

terminal

 

 

17           

 

You itch.  You peel.  Your rash spreads.  You have never had a smoking problem.  You have problems that seem to have started when you returned from the middle east.

 

18

 

youíll

youíll climb

youíll climb into

youíll climb into another

youíll climb into another soaked

youíll climb into another soaked symbol

 

 

18           

 

You will have a terminal illness.  You will have a disease you die from.  You will be sick with something there is no known cure or treatment for.  You will look forward to a slow onset.

 

19

 

what was that past the tear duct

what it was that passed the tear duct

 

19           

 

You soaked your feet every day.  You had a glass of red wine whenever you ate red meat.  You never wore stripes with plaid. 

 

 

20

 

play that back

told you to play that back

who told you to play that back

the people who told you

 

 

20           

 

You are in the duct that runs between your gall bladder and your pancreas.  You are crawling through wiry fumes and hot air.  You smell disease nearby.  You wake up.  You are sweating.  The ceiling fan spins slowly.

 

21

 

flames will

freeze the

cinema kiss

beyond hope

before the

calendar runs

out

 

21           

 

She will have told you everything she knew and she will have asked you to sign a form or two and she will have been sympathetic and offered you things before your appointment was over but her work day will end and she will get into her car and drive home and cry and listen to Bach and sit by the fireplace where a fire is already built, but she will not light it.  She will think about Virginia Woolf and John Lennon, sad things.

 

 

22

 

fired

fired against

fired against orders

fixed

 

 

22           

 

She didnít write the calendar, she just accepts it.  She didnít tune the piano.

 

23

 

nobody has any

a)  proof

b)  knowledge

 

23           

 

She is fixing the porch swing.  She fixed the porch swing.  She fixes the porch steps.  The younger she bounds down them, turns cartwheels in the grass.  She is sad and doesnít understand why.

 

 

24

 

will there be a redefinition of honesty?

will happiness be part of the redefinition of honesty?

will everyone be happy as long as they donít know everyone else is happy?

 

 

24           

 

She will come to an understanding of knowledge.  She will come to understand that Kant, although a wise and generous thinker, cannot help her.  Even in the best of tragedies.  Raising this child.  Kant canít.

 

25

 

couldnít it

they heard the voice troughing the stained glass

before they saw the crumbled wall

but after the light beams muted the sequestered

dust

the invitation to disappear

 

25           

 

Everyone didnít score in the 99th percentile on their SATs, you know.  Not everyone could read at age three.  Not everyone was accepted into that high school.  Not everyone could swim underwater for a minute and 32 seconds, or complete the mile in fourteen minutes.  Not everyone went to so much trouble to take LSD, not everyone smoked marijuana so early in the day.  Muted trumpets will tell you this part.  In the lower octaves, a kettledrum and cello are having intercourse.   Higher, there are flutes flying formation.  My father has cancer.  It had developed in his prostate gland, which I believe produces a fluid in semen that prevents sperm from congealing.  He expects to have this gland surgically removed, increasing his statistical longevity.  This will render him impotent.  I doubt he has a sense of humor about this.  I have never known anyone who has died.

 

 

26

 

eek!

a scimitar of tails

 

 

26           

 

It disappears.  She disappears.  He disappears.  They disappear.  Are disappears.  Is disappears.  Was, were.

 

27

 

what next?

when will they answer?

where does the minister want to go?

 

27           

 

Time, time will lacerate me with a scimitar again.  Time will render me deformed with its defoliating apparatus.  Time will gouge, swelter, and pinch me.  Time will crush me in hydraulic jaws like some wriggling newt a centimeter thick. 

 

 

28           

 

Butterflies.  Minister.  Were.  Jalopy, limousine.  Was.  Recording, performance, composition.  Had been.

 

28

 

the lizard fell from the valley

the valley fell from the subject

favor

 

 

29           

 

It asks me a favor.  I like that.  Favor me with one request yourself sometime kid.  I know we are only pronouns in this lexicon, but.

 

 

29

 

things are looking

the crowd are not sure whatís

 

30           

 

Whatís the problem?  Hey, Glenn, where you going?  Glenn, this is only number thirty pal.  Hey, come back.   You want another take or what?  Glenn?  Hey, weíre not finished!  Glenn!  Come back!  Glenn?  Oh man, that cat is weird.  Whyíd he take off like that?

 

 

30

 

the mice will have seen

the mice will have seen it all

the mice will have seen it all the way through

the mice will have seen it all the way through

 

Aria

 

Through this, through that.  Trough the eye of a needle, hurricane.  Through some miracle coincidence.  Through luck or discomfort, sex or nostalgia.  Through deliberation, error, or undeserved good luck.  Through shrewd marketing, through trial and error.  Through good fortune.  Through the generosity of others.  Through a plethora of pharmaceuticals.  Through hell, leather, smoke, flames; through performance.  Through wind, sleet, hail, January, November, five weeks without a solid hour of sunlight, compost, mush, detritus, dead leaves.

Aria

 

the valley stood very still

a bell did not belong but rings

forty days it rained but the nights are bright and clear

trumpets called for a creature nobody has ever seen

what sounds will be heard in other atmospheres

what sounds here will never be heard