Just a bit ago, absorbed in something printed, the thought: I have to break the chain sometime, perhaps it should be tonight. Twenty minutes until midnight, but the judging eye of this mallard pointed me in the right direction. Here I am, posting! We watched the movie, Modigliani, tonight. Right at the beginning, it stated: none of the pictures shown are the real artwork or compositions of the artists, and this is a fiction based rather loosely on the lives of some of these artists. None of the painter's heirs authorized anything whatsoever. Then they began to toss about names: Gertrude Stein, Picasso and his Olga, Soutine, Utrillo, Diego Rivera, Renoir (a very old Renoir, being fed a bowl of thick soupy stuff throughout his whole scene.) Good Grief!
I am reading an old book on this painter, which brought up the movie on Amazon and I got a copy for pennies, plus the cost of shipping. Impulse purchases are, well, impulsive. I could have done well to check Rotten Tomatoes for some ratings. "Modigliani" (starring Andy Garcia and (for shame, Andy) produced by him with some other people--got 4 (!) percent (out of the usual 100% available for ratings. I did count the producers, associate producers, and various other sub-producers as the screen rolled up their names. I got 10; made me think about spoiling the broth in the fine old adage. As I recall, 2 of 44 critics liked the film. Caveat Emptor. I thought the actress playing his lover Jeanne Hebuterne, looked about right; S thought she couldn't act. He never believed a minute of her devotion. And so went another retirement evening.
All the rest of translated Adam Zagajewski (that I didn't have already, or wanted a copy of here) came in the mail today in used-book form.
This poem is on page 26 of Mysticism for Beginners.
Sometimes out walking, on a country road
or in a quiet green forest,
you hear scraps of voices, perhaps they're calling you,
you don't want to believe them, you walk faster,
but they catch up quickly
like tame animals.
You don't want to believe them, then later
on a busy city street
your'e sorry you didn't listen
and you try to summon up
the syllables, the sounds, and the intervals between them.
But it's too late now
and you'll never know
who was singing, which song,
and where it was drawing you.
Last night I woke up in the middle and read a few pages in Hannah Hinchman's A Trail Through Leaves. It's about keeping a journal, maybe with sketches. In the part I read, she was talking about developing a "hand", or form of writing or printing that you might use alongside your sketches. I have never had the slightest interest in developing a hand, but last night it seemd very appealing. I am going to begin right now by inscribing this poem in a notebook in nice printing. Then I would like to try to write some poems that take off from the title and various phrases. I am particularly drawn to the title and the first two lines as take-off points.
But I think my favorite line in the poem is:
"the syllables, the sounds. and the intervals between them."
That's the line I want to have written; I had really forgotten about the intervals!