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There, and: Internet Enabled, and: Listening To Martinu, and: In The Hallway

From: Colorado Review
Volume 40, Number 3, Fall/Winter 2013
pp. 119-122 | 10.1353/col.2013.0079

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:


There are those for whom figures
on balconies exist, if only as possibilities.

People in photographs with arms
outstretched in salute or worship

before the empty terrace where
a figure is meant to appear—for now,

for repeated scenes, for always.

And there are those with their politics, their
fears and hopes caught in those adoring thrusts,

who must make their gestures even as they
are the ones whose gestures will be mocked

even as that mocking is accounted for.

There exists the brushed-back reticence of the “I”
that makes one otherworldly to the world, un autre,

as in Rimbaud’s case, enslaved, the poet wrote,
by his baptismal rite. So it is with ritual, with repeats

of word or act—the forms insist on want, on warmth
desired as at a drafty window. It is all clear, clear

as that sun-filled winter day, lucent, brutal
and severe, with so much glare the scene

seems pathless, static in its brilliance.

Internet Enabled

Turns out, Tirso de Molina, sixteenth-century Spanish monk,
born of conversos, dreamed up top trickster Don Juan.

150 years later, Emmanuele Conegliano, converted Jew,
A.K.A. Lorenzo Da Ponte, penned the libretto for Don Giovanni.

Online journal Tablet Magazine claims these origins, despite
the Catholic faith of all characters and composer as well,

make this, perhaps Mozart’s greatest work, “a Jewish opera.”
Turns out, according to the internet, Don Giovanni’s ethos runs

an electronic river through paranoid URL after URL :
no one truly good can do much to save anyone from evil,

not even a loving Christ, whose open arms and forgiveness
are as naught to a sociopath like Don Giovanni, so best to kill,

and if needed get what you need to get according to the internet
with its hate sites, ads for AK -47s, designs for IED s, for gas attacks.

But let’s surf back to Mozart. His opera, beautiful, so lovely in fact
Yiddish poet Glatshteyn writes, instead of God, we should revere

Mozart, whose music surpasses in holiness the Sermon on the Mount.
I agree. Despite my irreligion, I have a deep love for Don Giovanni’s

divine last chorus, the one directors often cut, in which singers sing
of justice triumphant over evil after the villain has been led to the pit.

If the Abrahamic god exists, he’s hidden, never graven, his voice
profound in the Commendatore’s implacable, graveled m’invitasti.

Listening To Martinu

Like a bird I told you.
The drum tapping its beak,
And the great stormy orchestra
Undressed me with its throttled
Crescendos, stripped down
The politesse and terrified.
The savagery of myself
Was tangled like a forest,
And the bird drum knocked inside,
And I did not know if it loved me
Or feared me.

In The Hallway

Sign on classroom door:
“The Mystical Experience in Literature has been cancelled.”

Michael Heller  

Michael Heller has published over twenty volumes of poetry, essays, memoir, and fiction. His newest book is This Constellation Is a Name: Collected Poems 1965-2010 (Nightboat Books, 2012). Among his recent books are Escbaton, Beckmann Variations & Other Poems, Exigent Futures, and Living Root: A Memoir. His many awards include the NEH Poet/Scholar Grant, the Di Castagnola Prize, the Fund for Poetry, and New York Foundation on the Arts Fellowships. He lives in New York City.

Copyright © 2013 Center for Literary Publishing
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Michael Heller. "There, and: Internet Enabled, and: Listening To Martinu, and: In The Hallway." Colorado Review 1.3 (2013): 119-122. Project MUSE. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Heller, M.(2013). There, and: Internet Enabled, and: Listening To Martinu, and: In The Hallway. Colorado Review 1(3), 119-122. Center for Literary Publishing. Retrieved November 11, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Michael Heller. "There, and: Internet Enabled, and: Listening To Martinu, and: In The Hallway." Colorado Review 1, no. 3 (2013): 119-122. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed November 11, 2013).
T1 - There, and: Internet Enabled, and: Listening To Martinu, and: In The Hallway
A1 - Michael Heller
JF - Colorado Review
VL - 1
IS - 3
SP - 119
EP - 122
PY - 2013

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