The first oxygen goes to feed the fire
that flames in the heart of us;
that flares our gaze out beyond
the near business of day to day.
Like the bonfire
which begins its own round grave,
the center goes first into coals,
then cinders, then smoking dust,
a crater ringed by useless fuel.
Burn from the outside in, let the flesh go first and leave nothing bur spirit to ignite your glowing soul to supernova o glorious cosmos! before the last collapse into that darkness from which all light is born.
Transcription of a recording from 25 Mar 2017. Patrick began by talking about a house in Valldemossa and Ivonne’s generosity with her mother, then the topic shifts gears to when to take his next pill. You can definitely here the pain in his voice.
… that place in the house in Valldemossa where there’s an archway and its cracked at one end, as though there’s no supporting beam. So Ivonne, having studied architecture, thinks that that’s a weak point where the roof is going to collapse. The crack is spreading down the wall.
My father is referenced in the very first line, and Lois is mentioned later. I think this is one of Fred’s poems, but I’m not sure. The penmanship in the note matches a 1971 letter of his to a reasonable degree (the L and W in particular) and he references Bob, so I think my guess is good.
Con los ojos cerrados te veo. Con ellos abiertos, te miro. Con las manos cerradas, te hablo. Con ellas abiertas, te palpo. Con la boca cerrada, te hablo. Con ella abierta, te beso. Te escucho y suspiro, respiro y te inhalo. Con los cinco sentidos, TE AMO.
I’m an imperfect copy of an imperfect father Adopting his failures Mimicking his weaknesses Poorly duplicating his better qualities His virtuosity in music His confidence with women His tenacity in publication
We shared the joy of teaching A love of words and music A sharp wit and curmudgeonly air A familial void The absence of each another Over too many years
I’m an imperfect copy of an imperfect father Yet I must self-acknowledge My few qualities, the ones he lacked As a racer As an engineer As a responsible man
Stephanie’s instrument was recorder so from the outset it was evident we needed a harpsichord. My experience with music told me that if you had the instruments, the musicians would appear, a kind of magic. So if you had a guitar, for instance, everyone with an illusion of being the next Bob Dylan or Cat Stevens would show up in your living room. Given our new interest in Baroque and Classical, best would be to dispose of the guitar. I passed it along to my daughter Gretchen. She at nineteen was visiting Spain for the first time. She fell out with a bartender named Pedro and smashed my guitar over his head.
Here is a link to a YouTube video of the Russian String Orchestra directed by Patrick’s good friend Misha Rachlevsky. You may recall that Misha led the memorial concert for Patrick in September of 2017.
This video is from the last concert of last year’s USA tour (November 19, 2018, for Friends of Chamber Music in Miami). It’s only 37 minutes long.
Misha wrote “Each member in this composition, which I commissioned for our anniversary season, is featured as a soloist. And at the end (last 7 minutes or so, including the encore) we show, that classical music concert can pump adrenaline as well as any rock band on a good night.”