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17 January 2006 to 25 February 2005 · tagged fiction/poem
C1: Remove all four strings, wind four (or five) layers of ordinary plastic wrap around the fingerboard, and re-string. Theocracies are inevitably undone by meteorology.  

C5: Isolate this cellist stage left (see diagram), in a bidirectionally soundproof enclosure with visibility only towards the house. Performer should follow the score as normal, with timing cues from audience reaction. If you are sure of your own worth, you will be less reluctant to criticize others.  

C8: Adjust to Morat tuning (modern) in movements 2 and 5. Never mistake hope for authority.  

Va2: Performer should be contact-miked at the base of the throat (concealed under clothing if possible), and should whisper as indicated in the score. This channel should be mixed at the volume of the loudest single viola. America is not the only nation in which the market has failed God.  

Va3: Perform standing, hooded. Air is the element that does not dream of airlessness.  

1Vn2: Affix round mirror of 3" diameter to center rear of instrument body. The light is warmer here, but we feel tired and unsafe.  

1Vn9: Each time an audience member coughs, stand and announce the next number (counting down from 50). After zero is reached, stop playing and stand for the remainder of the piece. If you interrupt a story, you assume responsibility for its conclusion.  

2Vn3: Do not doubt yourself. You are born with wisdom, and lose it only through fear.  

2Vn6: Insert nine glass marbles, as large as will fit through sound holes. Do not allow other people's envy to become your beacon.  

2Vn7: Sit with bare feet in a tray of sand. Learn to say your name without speaking, without opening any doors.  

FH1 & 3: Where marked in score, turn to face each other and join mouths of horns together. Charity is a distraction.  

T2: Marching. Not forgetting the gift.  

X1: Satellite radio. If music is not a language, then neither is Dutch.  

X2: Manual typewriter (bell removed). Kind words are bought with foreign blood.  

X3: Mild regret. There is no excuse for independence, but sometimes the alternatives take longer than lives.  

X4: LG5275, ringers "Personal 2", "Personal 4" and "Young Cranes", volume "Medium High". The number should be listed in the program. Cities should be built by the children that will have to be born there.  

X5: Shoe horn, dry soil. White is both the color of dust and the weight of famine.  

Conductor: In addition to normal movements, a rook on an edge row or rank may turn at open corner squares and continue along the next rank or row. Circumnavigation is not why the Earth is round. "Round" is not what I mean, but math is the only real secret I have left.  

Composer: The gap between morality and ethics is best understood as compassion. In the truest portraits, the voice of the brush is not the paint but the canvas.  

Mezzanine right: Provide materials and instructions for paper airplanes to be thrown towards orchestra left. If you teach a baby to fly, she will leave the earth to us.  

Orchestra center: One hour before show time, soak each seat cushion in warm honey. Keep to yourself. The nights are long and dense with lies.  

Outer lobby: Line floor with pre-1986 magazine cigarette advertisements. Power is a metal, but forgiveness is a shape, patience is a hammer, and clarity is a vice.  

Ladies toilet: Scented towels, but no running water. It doesn't matter what other people learn.  

Front sidewalk: During intermission, oil and set alight. Unlike the sun, the moon must be invited, and sometimes we forget.  

Nearest seacoast: Speak quietly to the water when there is nothing left to say.  

Two weeks prior: Cancel, wait one hour, then retract the cancelation. It is good to grasp young that promises are made of skin.  

Afterwards: All dissent is interred in the syntax of its assumptions. Only by moving outside of politics, formally, can one accurately articulate the constraints of historical inertia. Sumerian music utilized four extra keys we now deny. It is possible to make paper out of water and salt, but governments are at best compromises between expedience and flight. They tell us that all the new planets are equally flawed. Climates without seasons breed corruption among well-meaning idolators as readily as larvae among new-fallen fruit. Attach hinges with black tape. That is no longer the lowest note once we've thought of another. There was a town here, but then you came and told us the story of how the stars were brought to you and you clothed them in orange silk and perfect poetry, and our children left to follow their souls and our parents left to follow our children and now there is no home here but the way the air shifts to stay behind us when we fall upon our palms and our fables and the marble rises towards what our tongues were before we sold them to you for a dream of silence and the tempo of sky.
We looked for you in this nearest water
until there was nothing in our hands but your salt
and though we tell parables of your fears
that we only ever believe as a kinder doubt than truth  

we miss you in this city you left behind
in precious figures and previous shores.


One will learn to hate the sideways the squares of there fold
as if the wind is waiting upstairs until
the last edge of the paint evades us  

one will buy hats to hide in this town
and never admit to arrive
in a stand of torn screens and autumn warding  

and will the certain fields to know why to come
and flatten with compass pull
and one makes morals of lines
to wrap like fleeing hearths around you  


but lift now from paper and walk the near edge of the world  

under the creased thirst of wept awnings and their older names
one steps from galleries of sawdust and caramel into uncharted air  

paint how along each lane there has beckoned you
and laden one's undoing with cougars inscribed on rockets  

and how one and there are in a mural of banished distance
wearing enmities and flour and weariness and salt
and resting brightly on the place where knowing alights  

there is a present tense of away that never falls on canvas maps
and only one and there are lulling it to see  

and the way these streets brush into leaves and foyers
is the way there is shading into you  

and how far can it be if you can walk there  

[White Oak]  

and then one has memorized boards enough and tendered excuses
that the year comes through the chair rungs and into our house
and we have made welcoming angles of our tables and ourselves  

each truce of there is a spark of lengthening cords
set into one in the sillworn history of crowded dreams
one has painted the weight of these doors apart and then together  

trusted the empty roads to remember why you've come
and imparted you with gravity's flair
and one makes bedrooms of signs
to have swayed like earths below you  

and one day there carried them.  

Stochastic in our causes, patriots in a republic of disingenuity, discarders of our angels, prophets of the silently unwound, we cede imbalance to inertia and the slow wind to the quickening hours. Give us reticence to the measure of our tolled waiting, and open ways that we may be escaped by the enchantments we helped tether. And we kneel in parted seas, shelter us with black clouds and the sinuous disenfranchisement of sand. When we stray from the islands of your tenuous grace, lead us to half-hatched disarray and limn our scars in the exhalations of convulsive repose. Give us panic for wakefulness, and tiny hatreds for eyes. Place our souls in the thick throats of lost doves, and our doubts in the deepest vaults of your sightless candor. Lead us to webs of dread and the shut exits of last year's mice, and let their thinset tremors smooth us as we diminish. We are the unmoved and the yet to know; we are the hollows of the bled and the disintegrated confidence of our practice. We are always here, and we are nowhere found.  

So we are undone.
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