Works of Art about Monte Capanno 1970

A Page devoted to other artworks from residents of Monte Capanno, page eight

Playing Songs

by David Zack

An edition of approximately 400 copies
Nyoi Press
Cleveland Ohio
October 1968

to continue project battering this clattering insistent IBM blipping machine hour's concentration on a memory and on music which rolls off a platter just outside this purple study to compete with the electric clatter

Glenn Gould playing Beethoven sonatas Opus 10 absolute simplicity ridiculous velvetglove sophistication the velvet gloves  purple too turn the piled glowing notes of Ludwig Pianosmasher into separate strands each one subdued to each of the others a sort of high clarity to connect now with the musician of Uruapan

Ur-rap-on not of the Chaldees Ur Ur more original conversation we drank with the musician of Uruapan on my birthday two months ago late into the clear roaring singing night till the start of an overhung queasy better forgotten day after

my birthday 29th year to heaven down from the high room two dollar a day penthouse overlooking jungle and high factory chimneys yellow blue pink tile walls porthole window in the bathroom for seasick bathers deep wooden tub with brass faucets on its side

to the bar movie-set bar hidden in courtyard flowers and frogfountains civilization of those old leftbehind Moors concealed from the blank featureless abode street like the green singing world behind a seraped Indians expressionlessness street that runs west from the main plaza of Uruapan the marketplace where Gregory Pecker was playing Moby Dick fifteen years later
bar shaped like L man could meet himself in an L-shaped bar like Conrad's secret sharer in his L-cabin not know he'd share beer with himself till drunk and rolling the john

linking us in the L-base to the bar itself a long bottlereflecting mirror we sat back to the wall looking at the entering world over small round black shineysurfaced table

at the bar song a copa de la casa to celebrate keeping ahead of age barkeep might have put Canadian whiskey in at thrice the price but use Mexican rum good spot for birthday more to drink Bohemia cool hoppy beer of classical Mexican beatniks

after two beers the singing was sharp clear but strange pulling as if man's voice was young callow hand at his guitar had sureness genius on the recordjacket

one guy's playing guitar said Maija the other sings and buys drinks

light in the courtyardoverlooking strainglass window behind us yellows now guitarplayer  sings as he plays a whiskeyvoice like Dylan Thomas like Bob Dylan voice with knowledge of syllables in it that makes l in love sound of LaborLust Living LossLiverpool knowledge of phonemes in morphemes phones in phonemes meaning of minimal sound units by a slight shift in Q-quality can an ordinary Arab say icecream sell the camel fuck thyself find God IBM electric typewriter certainly why not a strange cosmicseeming knowledge far from rote more beers more Bohemias

man comes in with son son's simpysmiling wife Italian looking housedressed lady man pretty well drunk patriarchially plastered sees us sitting drinking our Bohemias tells waiter to bring us more bottles then oblivious to us like a patron of arts reads word on male independence to son son's wife not to his own old housedressed wife she was old enough to remember even when her husband was drunk

Maija drawing gives waiter sketch on back of cornily cartoonprinted paper napkin in fresh ink she and I raise our fourth Bohemias to the gentleman who bought them for us man raises towerofPisalike son and daughter-in-law tug at his collar fringes young moderns of Mexico are so easily shocked like Jewish college students with old country parents who own small Manhattan haberdasheries don't bother tourists mixed with father stay away from those gringos we could not bear you should insult them murder them to jail.

Mozart quartet coming through on my phonograph now this thing of a simple returning theme building in violins cello taking it then lapsing back to rhythm as fiddles develop it anew all soft and strong complex and clear this music thing I want to do in words remembered scenes

 pull up chair for the paterfadrunkias talks petulantly bombing innocent children in Viet Nam hanging Negroes stealing Mexican revenue we keep agreeing son daughter-in-law commune across room with their tall silent Mexican drinks
America who burns innocent children with its jellied gasoline

us saying bad thing

America who hangs men of the colored race

us saying bad thing

America that stole oil from under Mexican noses and now wants to take us over like Pato Rico

Pato Rico pato's a duck like Donald also queer us saying bad thing

Maija shows man fourteen to thirty-three legged pink and violent o-wrench and gale preen colored beasts with many richly varied eyes scales tales and vestpockets in her big marroon-jacketed sketchbook beasts climbing nearby volcano Paracutin which we would we hoped do tomorrow
man likes the beasts fantasy is never common politics
Mozart record stuck in a measure of the rondo two violins and viola chirp chirp click chirp chirp click leave it a minute chirp chirp click chirp chirp click chirp chirp click chirp chirp click chirp chirp click chirp chirp click try idea common politics would be impossible in a world without machines a million fakegrin posters of some public sodomist and verteranofwhores a would without machines which make records stick in a groove stick in a groove chirp chirp click chirp chirp click up jog needle need l L in Love like LaborLustLivingLossLiverandonions

this man likes beasts talk of Mexican greatness more Bohemias son-in-law sidles politically across room joins talk experimentally we send drawing of beastguitar happy godlike beast to guitar player at bar Maija stands to look at him he's been singing all this time two hours now look said Maija he holds his guitar upright on his knee like a hundred year old lithograph of a flamenco accompanist

mother comes over tells son-in law to tell man his daughter will cry if he doesn't stop making a drunk fool of his drunk self

hour of business closing group comes into beery smoke of this L-shaped bar in Uruapan still happy from three hour lunch like a bunch of balloons red pink yellow funnytwisted balloons man introduces us to them one by one as dear friends great artists exceptionally fine balloons do they fill them with nitrous oxide in Mexico laughing gas must be when someone calls you great is he putting you on you think Americanwise where no one is wise or great president strives effortfully to achieve absolute ballscratching ordinaryness but in Uruapan with music living through the room petty politics resolved in multilegged and more than rainbow colored Maijabeasts with many Bohemias we were all great in Uruapan in the L-shaped bar though perhaps unknown beyond and never to be known the man leaves straight unsupported trailing wife daughter son-in-law proudly

got her out of the hospital today said one of our new companions still perhaps she'll die

there was an old lady who swallowed a fly

wife daughter son in law maybe or the Virgin Mary

guitar player sits where drunk was singer pulls out tubular wickerseated chair opposite us waiter makes introductions both Maija and I have beers lined in front of us as if we were telephonebooths in Milwaukee
 

singer talks about his business a restaurant in Mexico City 12 hours away by train he visits each month shortsleeved dull red serious violet white and black check shortsleeved sporty shirt he spends his time in Uruapan being with friends but will marry next year and after that take business a little seriously but not before he goes to Europe by himself

why by yourself

because my fiancee she does not care to go to Europe she wants to marry have babies besides I could not afford us both

strange a phrase cuts off another friend off the infinite list of possibilities a twinge strange edges on men's surfaces scrape the tender skin of friendship without a sound or sign nothing showing

if you don't share tastes why marry could eat icecreamsundaes seperately instead of with the same spoon silver or plastic

Pergolesi my countersound now baroque Italian opera conversation between man and lady goes on on on sharing melody harmony totally you could switch one character for the other have the man sing lady's words in his mantenor effect would be as continuing as harmonious as undifferentiated by character people pieces on a board not individuals God save the mark

God save the nark in Pergeolesi and it seems in Mexican conversations

singer goes on can we sing a song just for you again blench how could anyone sing a song just for you the music fine going through the drunken hours in the other part of the L-shaped bar we said so in drawings in worked at Spanish because to say you can't sing a song just for us seemed important after 17 beers on a birthday

guitarist largefaced like Dylan Thomas broad as J.S. Bach but no great wig face large as his whiskeyvoice with awareness of meanings inside sounds curling black hair gray fringed dressup cowboy pants in Mexico a guitarist is a supercowboy the greatest people these guitarcowboys have just escaped an audience of great dumb milkgiving animals

his hand makes shapes in the air as he talks and listens tactile visual sublimation of unnecessary sounds called conversation

understanding without speaking group talked as windowlight grayed purply into Mexican night simple trading of pictures with Maija who spoke no Spanish as center this musician of Uruapan two lines folded in a napkin for a face and Maija beasting our home San Francis a five beast Golden Gate bridge

this guitarist spoke English carefully used no more than the few phrases the drinkbuying singer laughed with not to say the guitarist spoke English perfectly his accent was thick as if the man learned from a book but he knew this foreign language as he knew music
 

so many people so beautifully ordinary a man who rises above the level of numbered lessons studied in schools scales learned by academy rules is both amazing and almost undetectable like Isaac Dineson's artist chef hiding her talent under a cabin in a remote Scandinavian outpost to be appreciated by the mysterious visitor arrived from Paris in a whirling tornado with a load of dirty diapers voila the perfect omelet oueofs aurora borealis known to locals only as fuckedup scrambleds

the singerdrinkbuyer figured himself for the only English speaker in Uruapan it seemed couldn't accept someone who didn't own a restaurant in Mexico City who wasn't engaged to marry could match his educated accomplishments

across the table large fat man praised his taco shop before God best in Mexico he said smiling like three uncles

I plucked the guitar tentatively tentatively as it stood before its own chair where no one'd stumble onto it rang like a gong large instrument inlaid with jeweled chronosome charts
old he said from Spain a friend loaned it to me

picked it up by the neck whispered a scale from bottom E all the way up then chords
down from the top aepggios in harmonics

silence a second talking again beers beyond count a steak thick hot section into cubes each with its own toothpick waiter removed apron sat at table treating Maija me with special respect businessmen avuncularly guitarist no special way

into the night carrying bottles of Bohemia guitariast with instrument slung upsidedown over shoulder hand gripping carved scroll to another restaurant by they said a singing river that flowed from a spot near the volcano Paracutin singer tacoshop keeper who paid bill for beers waiter'd meet us there later guitarist played there as a job in L-shaped bar for fun played piano and sang for money

rode to restaurant with taco king singer guitarist in 1949 Chev missing right rear fender painted bright red with nailpolish donated by a whore gone hippi

driver part of party we jounced through cobbled streets pocked by sewerholds paid 3 pesos quarter American

large place tropical decor trees behind hatched greenpainted fencing open so the river rushing past provided music when hired help didn't bar half a block long hundreds of tables with checkered cloths three waiters no customers but us

And we seemed moving through the place like the river born at the volcano Paracutin outside more beers more beers morebeersmorebeers seemed not customers but part of the scenery friends at home yet not rondo in last sonata of Beethoven's Opus 10 Gould can touch ridiculousness establish this immense control so the bass which another pianist makes rhythmic roaring is a line independent of but complimenting treble melody then he takes it to the edge of falling apart so fast without bombast

this I Ching thing anything well said relates to anything else well said I mean well seen same thing music blending into wordstream Beethoven by Gould and the guitarist of Uruapan any music might also blend but not now seem as right

moment of your birth the key to wisdom this astrology bullshit any moment any you

this has gone beyond an hour music playing for days now when I'm not here typing I put on levis congealed with bright heavyduty enamel paint at rich Victorian trim scallops squealing Primavera   fertility flowers on Corinthian capitols did you know they were there peeking out of three-D arabesques?  red orange brightgreen yellow superblue now I sit again in my purple and Chinese red room lights of San Francisco satisfying photogenic outside the 3rd floor window writing about what artistry friendship a place I was two months ago me and beastpainting woman Maija

we're painting our house rainbow the writing why why to trade with you reading this with me reading it ten minutes from now after supper in a year a million years after

why why because I for one I me I'm sick of seeinghearing storied

give me simple straight stupid beautiful beautiful beautiful reality

high reality

finish this fast for I have a house of my own to paint before the world's eye a month at it now and a day from done

three Victorian stories rainbow painted and that to write about

Dylan Thomas on the platter singing simply as John borne by Salome about the life process never letting fall the least salt seed in barren earth always the most the painters are working by spotlight outside the other window it's midnight and the rainbow's still aborning

musician of Ur-rap-on played piano and guitar five hours sitting at out table between songs sipping brandy beer dulls the head he said

I proposed to stay in Uruapan all summer study guitar learn to play a great sounding one leave tiny ladyinstrument we bought in Barcelona for some tiny lady who'd find it near a cloud

musician of Uruapan played danzas from Puerto Rico a parody of the Moonlight Sonata called it J.S. Bach all the Mexican songs ever thought of

we will stay months I said
stay in my house said the taco king
more beer said the waiter
time to leave we agreed

till morning we agreed
lunch at my house said the taco king
we will all be there said the musician of Uruapan
we will stay months I said

Maija was working on Beast Supercorn a cob of corn with red cape and large chest-s of course

taco king young callow singer with fiancee who wanted kids not to travel waiter from hotel somehow left first searching their pockets for cash

I do not think they will find it said the musician of Uruapan

doesn't matter I said this too was a new experience I was never before a rich American
of course not we you and I know that said the musician of Uruapan

the bill was twelve dollars for everybody

we were very sick all night and in the morning no one was at the house of the taco king two days later we could eat again found our way to the volcano which we climbed on horseback led by a boy on foot without shoes who asked me for a shirt

I gave him a paisley one but still cannot remember the words of the songs I sang by the singing river while the musician of Uruapan played his great old guitar loaned by a friend


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