Mudlark No. 48 (2012)

“You Play Bach Your Way, and I’ll Play Him His Way”

                                           Wanda Landowska to Pablo Casals, 1941

But there are so many ways! Even with the Nazis wrecking
your home, that maid still in your service who willingly serviced 
your husband. Denise, fearful companion, already wracking 
her mind: gathering a posthumous future that grows heavy 
as a harpsichord—its confusion a double row of keys,
a 16-foot stop, a hardened time, this present that persists 
like marble floors in L’École de Musique Ancienne. What puppet 
show is this? De Falla’s notes fall with an old-fashioned tinging,   
your hands a blur of birds over a stream. There’s nothing for it, 
no end at the end. Only strangeness. You arrive in New York.
The Japanese are bombing Pearl Harbor, while you still wonder
about those bright women in Nadia’s salon, les amoureuses,
such lovely voices, a slender hand that hews just the right notes,
girlish heart. A world of pianos beginning to thunder.    

John Allman | Hotel Pool 
Contents | Mudlark No. 48 (2012)