So-Mi-So (poetry)

for Z. Bayor

Patting his bowling ball belly,
my Hungarian violin teacher would say,
“This is my integrity!” then laugh
and point to places in the music
where it was OK for me to blink.

It was a perfectionist problem, he declared,
knowing better. “A perfectionist problem!”
why I kept my eyes open, why I cried
when I played, why I was “Masterful!”
he said, at shoving my shoulders
into my ear canals—why he trotted out
his “integrity” regularly to buy my smile.

Trust your bright hands can handle things
when you need to close your eyes.
He rested his celebrated fingertips
on my right shoulder.

“You don’t have to go any faster than this.”
He rocked with me like he used to
with his lucky daughters and sons.

And he sang,


-M. Ashley

Another one I found buried deep in my notebook. I miss this man. If only I could do a Hungarian accent! Hear me read it:

One thought on “So-Mi-So (poetry)

  1. I looked at doe as C and thought: C C# D# F D# C# A A# C F# F D# A# . Interesting if you want to stay in the octave or go strategically down one. More melancholy down next octave a A. I have a silly old keyboard, don’t have a violin. But everything is sad. Isn’t it wonderful to close the eyes when emotion overwhelms.


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