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Novice Karate Group (ages 8 & up)

공개·회원 9명
Valentine Ponomarev
Valentine Ponomarev

Tears On My Piano


I know who you areI won't say any namesI just want you to feel what I feel (all these tears on my piano)So if you turnin' your carI don't have any shameThat every song I writeIs I want you back, yeah, it's so fuckin' sad, baby




Tears On My Piano


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I know who you areI won't say any namesI just want you to feel what I feel (all these tears on my piano)Can't think of a melody (melody)That makes you come back to meGot all these tears on my piano(All these tears on my piano)


The rhythm of very old waves cascading in a sea of salty tears was almost audible as my mother first read aloud to me Edgar Allan Poe’s musical, mournful "Annabel Lee" when I was perhaps eight years old. Poetry, then and always, has brought alive to me the world’s motley cast of grieving, joyous, crazed, graceful, menacing, lost, and gorgeous inhabitants and their habitats. My love affair with language and its astonishing power to stir intense response would lead me to graduate degrees in English and eventually to law school, where I gained a further respect for words as brazen manipulators, little hussies capable of seducing judge and jury. (No brief, of course, could ever match "Annabel Lee").


One torpid afternoon in June, an unexpected rendezvous changed my vicarious alliance with poetry. With classes at the university where I teach in recess, my only duties for the summer would involve representing abused/neglected children in court for a few hour each week. Hot and drowsy after running errands, I arranged myself languidly on the sofa. The luxurious prospect of several free hours stretched out before me like a deserted beach of warm golden sand unfurls before an Ohio snowbird newly arrived in Florida. Unaccustomed to sitting still, I considered rising from my cozy seat to play the piano that stands against the wall opposite the sofa, but sluggishness restrained me.


What a fine piece of furniture that piano is, I thought to myself. Over one hundred years old, my upright is a rich brown oak with a satin finish that the years have made lustrous. As I looked at the curvaceous scroll-work, the lid onto which it is carved was transformed into a forehead furrowed with lines of wisdom only a long, thoughtful life can etch. I noted the mellow ivory keys, slightly yellowed by age, and heard melodies sung, in a haunting soprano, through those eighty-eight "teeth," none of them false. And then my lady the piano began to dance before my mind’s eye, her three glossy black pedals a trio of quick little feet that never miss a beat to a tango, waltz, or jitterbug. Her partners were all who had danced with her — tentatively, awkwardly, gracefully, or tenderly — over her lifetime, as she graciously, patiently accepted the hand of even the novice.


I had picked up a pen and paper instinctively, almost unconsciously, and began writing, crossing out a word here, substituting a phrase there. At the end of what seemed like a short while, I held my finished version and realized five hours had passed. The afternoon sun had sunk, twilight had fallen, but I had completed my first draft of my first real poem. When my husband read it that night, I felt a rush of gratitude when he responded, "Our piano has a life." We named her "Lady Baldwin."


For whatever reason, Lady Baldwin waltzed out of my piano, onto my page, and into my life to become the first of my poems to be accepted for publication. But more importantly, she roused me from a lifelong semi-coma in which I perceived the world through five torpid senses. Since that summer day, I am overwhelmed with joy as I see violets chase each other through a yard like schoolgirls in purple uniform; with repugnance as I hear and smell death’s labored and decayed breath pervade a hospital room; with wonder as I feel snowflakes brush my cheeks like chilled powdered sugar.


After I composed the resignation, I took my scooter over to front campus and I poured out some big tears. It wasn't supposed to go like this. I loved being the music director at that church. It was a perfect fit. I mean I was supposed to turn into an old man doing that job. I imagined myself someday celebrating 50 years of gathering around the piano and leading the Kent congregation in all our favorite hymns. I figured they'd have to pry those black and white keys away from my piano playing hands before I'd be ready to go. But ME/CFS had a different plan. I'm 56 years old and just as I was coming into my stride, the illness brought me to my knees. I'm disappointed, I'm angry and I'm sad.


I appreciate the organic way that the music program developed over those many years. When I started, it was a one man show. I was a pot smoking folk singer who luckily had taken 10 years of piano lessons as a kid. I struggled to play the hymns as they were written, so I quickly learned the faking technique. In the early years, I would choose the music for the day on the drive to church that Sunday morning. I honed my improvisation skills and I used them to cover my ass for my unpreparedness. Except for a few outspoken critics, the congregation was incredibly accepting of my unconventional and folksy ways. We were a good fit.


ut then... high school! How fondly I recall the carefree, idyllic days spent at Castro Valley High -- a successful track career, a newly awakened passion for the piano, a best friend forever, and a pretty girl by my side. Except until a couple of hamstring injuries ensured that I would never sprint again, and Carpal tunnel pain physically limited my piano time to five minutes a day, and some sort of space-time anomaly apparently remapped forever to a small, finite expanse, and fits of adolescent idiocy resulted in my fleeing to cower in a corner whenever my side was occupied for too long. I guess high school wasn't that carefree or idyllic after all.


ut then... college! Frankly, the only ones who have ever found Caltech at all carefree or idyllic were those whose failure had already been assured, and were simply biding their time until eviction. Nevertheless, Caltech was the best four years of my life. I was introduced to brilliant, fascinating, inspiring people, people who thought and played as I did, people who made me feel at home. I was taught the Way Of The Electron, and I found Enlightenment in an epiphanic discovery destined to guide my journey down the Path Of Life -- the profound, soul-completing Joy of creating Boxes With Lights And Buttons. And, for the first time, I experienced the gentle caress of a woman's hand, and love and passion and quasi-cohabitation, and whispered "I love you"s, and whispered "I don't know if I love you anymore"s, and the enraged slap across the face of a woman's hand, and tears and heartbreak and basically, all of the dramatic elements you would expect from the finest Telemundo soap opera (even including the terrifying, life-threatening medical condition), except mostly in English and without impregnation by space aliens. As far as I'm aware. 041b061a72


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