The Fat Sounds He Made

One of the best pleasures

a sensitive human being

can have in this realm

is to luxuriate in the sound

of Andres Segovia

pressing his fat, sausage-

shaped fingers into and

against the nylon strings

of a classical guitar.

Segovia (1893-1987)

rescued the guitar

from the “noisy fingers”

of Flamenco players

in his native Spain,

and he brought

the guitar to the

concert stage

and the music of

Bach, Schumann,

and other supreme

spinners of heart-tearing

soul-healing melodies.

I’ve listened to packs

of classically-trained

guitarists since Segovia

passed, but not one of

them comes close to

the sounds he made,

especially when he’d

play a chord, which

then died away,

except for one lone

note, which he rocked

back and forth with

a sausage-shaped

finger in his

unashamedly-

romantic way.

So much so that

many modern

classical guitarists

now mock his

style as “sentimental.”

 

But what they fail

to undertand is

that in music as

in life, it often

comes down to

that one person

one moment

one note

sounding

long after

the others

have

faded

away.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie

 

Serpentine Melodies

As the melody of Bach’s Suite in E minor

(BWV 996) snakes up from the signal spark

of elemental life in creation’s chemical froth,

slithers upwards and grows legs on the

greening earth, then scaled wings, colossal

brains, then armored legs striding into ships

sailing across ladles and centaurs of stars for

eons end to end, only to find that there’s no life

at all out there after all; meanwhile, no one on

this frozen Earth remains to recall how we sat

in leased Kias in parking lots and laughed at the

perfect hopelessness of our lives on this ball,

how our jobs and lives were made increasingly

insane and impossible by stuffed suits who sat in

perfect suavity, smirking at the controlled chaos

they created for the many, as we fell to exhaustion,

heart attacks, strokes, insanity, despair, et al., while

the women most equipped by nature of revivifying

those sparks of inner fire in us went to the controllers

and their most brutal minions instead, those masters

held Earth’s best beauties in their arms, as they

smirked above their centuries-crafted chaos, as we,

the street-level slaves, stupid enough to have believed

we were free, slumped over behind the wheels of

leased Kias, cheap beer on our breaths, between

endless errands, in the parking lots of corporations,

bars, dollar stores, death-food joints, strip clubs,

mega-churches, sports arenas, and malls, and

listened on leased car radios, to this or that vivifying

melody that seemed to take us somewhere, anywhere,

oh anywhere else at all….

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of MAIL-ORDER ANNIE