Playing the Black Piano

Overview


Like Whitman's, Holm's poems celebrate the vitality of life--whether found in music or food or people. Moving across the surface of contemporary America and the world, from Oregon forests to the deserts around Tuscon, from the endless marketing of phones to the experience of an MRI, Holm comments with humor, biting commentary, and ultimately affection on the waywardness of the human race. The book includes tributes to Art Tatum, Glenn Gould, and many classical composers, as well as poems of the moment--marking ...
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Overview


Like Whitman's, Holm's poems celebrate the vitality of life--whether found in music or food or people. Moving across the surface of contemporary America and the world, from Oregon forests to the deserts around Tuscon, from the endless marketing of phones to the experience of an MRI, Holm comments with humor, biting commentary, and ultimately affection on the waywardness of the human race. The book includes tributes to Art Tatum, Glenn Gould, and many classical composers, as well as poems of the moment--marking the falling of the Twin Towers or the death of Paul Wellstone. The first section of the book reflects Holm's long experience in China and Iceland (wonderful poems about perspective and distance). The second section reflects Holm's ongoing love affair with music wherever he finds it, from Bach to jazz, from China to Minnesota. Parts 3 and 4, Free Market Wind and The World is Enough, are engaged with the world as we know it--sometimes depressing in its vacuity, often absurd, sometimes heartbreaking, but ultimately a place we would much rather be than not to be at all. The last section of the book is a spirited elegy to the dying and death by AIDS of his close friend.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571314178
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions
  • Publication date: 3/11/2004
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,504,844
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Table of Contents

The Ghost of Wang Wei Looks at Skagafjord 5
Bird Poetry on Skagafjord 6
In the Sauoarkrokur Supermarket 7
At the Icelandic Emigration Center in Hofsos 9
Food Fight Duet. Sanichton, B.C. 10
Bread Soup: An Old Icelandic Recipe 11
Tjaldur at Tjonir 12
Bach in Brimnes 14
Summer Light in Brimnes 15
Icelandic Recycling on a Summer Night 17
Night Fishing in Skagafjord 18
To Kristjan Arnason 19
Angels We Have Heard on High 23
What Beethoven's Music Will Do to You 25
Heavenly Length 26
The Man Who Threw Nothing Away 27
Playing Haydn for the Angel of Death 29
Romance Oubliee. Franz Liszt. 1880 36
The Weavers 39
"Kunstlerleben" 40
Girl Eating Rice - Wuhan 1992 42
Musical Shopping in Wuchang - 1992 43
Capitalist Music on Luoshi Road - Wuhan 1992 44
Art Tatum 45
Glenn Gould 1932-1982 47
J. S. Bach: F# Minor Toccata 49
Practicing the Blumenfeld Etude for the Left Hand Alone 50
My Old Friend AT&T Writes Me a Personal Letter 53
American News 55
Corporate Wind 56
Hallelujah at the Sioux Falls Airport 57
Without TV 58
MRI 59
Delos in the Rain 61
Looking at God 65
The Paranoia of Happy Skeptics Visiting the West Coast 67
Official Talk in Wuhan - 1992 69
An Early Morning Cafe 71
Paul Wellstone - October 25, 2002 74
The Sea Eats What Is Pleases 76
Water Tango in the Sea of Cortez 79
Ecological Anorexia outside Tucson 80
Silence in North Dakota 82
Thistles 84
Coelacanth 86
A Visit with Fred Manfred's Ghost - Blue Mounds, 1997 88
John Clare's Last Letter 90
Wedding Poem 92
A Note on the Door 97
The Sanity of Denial 98
Living Will / Will to Live 101
Playing the Black Piano 104
1700 36th Avenue 106
Lemon Pie 108
Lightning 110
Beethoven in Victoria 112
Magnificat 115
Scattering Ashes at Lake MacDonald 121
Buying a Stone in Echo, Minnesota 125
Letting Go of What Cannot Be Held Back 128
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