Tuesday, October 23, 2007

There Is Always Music

to write by. I have been in a strange writing rut and haven't been revising like I usually do. I've been on 'house arrest' for a few days because I sprained my ankle pretty badly on Saturday, but still no writing. The music saved me tonight.

Early in the day my lovely mother came over and we watched movies. Watching Diana's Oscar-worthy performance in "Lady Sings the Blues" always inspires me to seek out more music, more of the lush voices of the women who are often forgotten in our discussions of jazz and blues. I spent the evening listening to Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae and finally settled on Cassandra Wilson.

Wilson's version of "Time After Time" is stellar, pristine. She takes a classic and makes it more moving every time you hear it. Her inflection and pacing is better than most of the best poets I know. I guess that's why pitch perfect music inspires me. I never had Cassandra' tension, her silk, on or off the page and still don't, but tonight she helped me write a poem that's been just on the cusp of memory. This is music's gift and why I find myself referring to it so much on a blog that's supposed to be strictly about poetry. Music keeps me sane, but poetry is like air. I can't live without one, but I'd go mad living without the other.