It’s Christmas Day

it’s christmas day.
the wind is up a bit,
clouds are preparing a total invasion – it’s been blue skies for weeks.
long live merrie, and happie kubrick

already the days are a few seconds longer than last week;
that always encourages me to get my wind up,
to take a new chomp at the biscuit of significant living.
like a prestidigitator, the mind pops out of the hat
the world as we have known it, large as life,
sitting in the sun on the St Marks square,
scarf flapping in the breeze, smiling or bite your beard.
you in your kitchen in freeport making simple soup
then, whoops
a morning in the blue room in salisbury on the way to tampa,
light playing in branches outside the window,
f with a cup of coffee looking askance at the slightly uneven keyboard of
the piano, and whoosh
my brother in dark glasses in the airport bar, plotting murder,
mari leaning against marble fluted columns at the temple of aphrodite
somewhere in turkey,
her white skirt blowing (does that photo still exist, you wonder),
but this vision is run over by a red mercury convertible on a dusty road,
or left in a minimized window
when fred clutches his right(?) hand under his armpit as the swelling begins
and we all jump
into her car and puncture in our haste the oil pan,
and so on and on,
a veritable pride of kodaks in this and that apartment or field or why not,
the smell of a street in athens, where the roasting meat makes memory
salivate for more?
the wind howling in kushadasi…
marvel at the gigabytes we have in common memory…

and yet we are all puzzles to one another,
most of the pieces scattered in the many years of silence and no contact

soon our satellite will leave the influence of the sun – think of it!
it seems whatever we find, we have space for it under our skulls

where did i see this: like a sponge too drenched, the mind when saturated
with grief spills and thus we created tears

also: when soaked with such splendid shared time, we overflow into smiles
and lungs swollen with exhilaration as if we could breathe life into each
other and the universe itself, merely by saying robert, fred, italy, greece,
doug, leftittown (to prequote robbie), tree, rose, red clay, green fields,
mother earth

as 9-year-old yoji in soller said if god is everywhere you and i are god

Lots of love from
P&S
together with you on this celestial RR (pace e.m. forster)


From Patrick on 25 Dec Y2K

Hope you all had a happy Christmas.

I sent this to a couple of friends who are older than I am, Fred Young (in North Carolina), and Robert Dreicer, now in Florence, Italy. We all met when I was teaching on Long Island, and they met all of you, and Donna, so I thought, you might want it, since it is in a way, part of your history, too.

Now we are all so much older, and hopefully some of the sorrows of then have been healed. Some, I say, because never can all be cleansed. Each of us has deeds to regret, and mine are awful and inexcusable…

Still, much love to you all, and may you prosper in this new millennium.

Your father,

Pat


And from 29 Dec Y2K

Yes of course [you may post it]
It was composed on the spot
and sent without further thought- –
which one day I might regret:
but not yet.
Have a good blowout
but not on your Widget!
Love
P

Enough Waxing, Now for Some Slow Waning

E-mail from Patrick on 18 June 2012.

I’m taking a charter flight to Pisa and a train to Florence tomorrow, back on 24 june, the day of Jan Juan. I will have my mobile phone.

Mostly I’m moved to make the trip because a neighbor just died and his son had a wake, then another friend due to arrive for holiday fell, and is being operated on for a blood in the brain, I’m not getting any younger and one of my oldest friends is now ailing in his 80’s. I’m afraid if I wait much longer, one of us won’t be there. Plus I really want to try for the US in the fall, so wouldn’t be able to see him then.

In the meantime, I’m Ok, not to worry. Walked to the sea today – no that was yesterday, and caught a ride back up.

After commenting on Father’s Day, he added:

it’s suddenly cooling off with a light breeze. in between the foothills and promontories below the Teig, clouds are forming out of nothing and climbing up into the blue. quite extraordinary. behind the church a thin mist appeared, consolidated, congealed, if that’s the word, into a hefty white cloud and then rose up like the holy ghost. and behind a sort of butte which most of the time looks to be attached to the cliffs of the Teig, a wispy grey cloud floated along, making 3d from 2d, delineating features seldom distinct. and the last of nightingales are piping their forlorn farewell – it is said they only sing until they mate, and these maybe didn’t score?

the torrente is now bone dry until the next big rain. it’s so quiet now that on the way to the cala you can hear the pods of the wild wheat when they pop open and toss the seeds, or a chameleon shifting under the dry leaves.

enough waxing, now for some slow waning, for twill be a six am morn and straight into the sunrise t’ward the airport. we all turn into mr magoos at 100 kph.

When I asked about the friend in Florence, he replied:

No, it’s Robert Dreicer. We taught school together on Long Island, I visited him in Athens in 63, and he visited me with Fred Young in Galilea, Mallorca in 72.

Obituary for Fred Young

Fred Young and Patrick were fast friends, deep friends, unending friends, for many years. Many of his letters, and those to him from Patrick, reflected their mutual zest for life, appreciation of the arts, and passion. Patrick had saved this obituary in his files, important enough to keep after downsizing most other things. I present it here to add context to the many letters that have been (and will be) posted. Continue reading “Obituary for Fred Young”

standing silently together each day at sunset

(e-mail from Fred on 12 Aug 2001, part of a large collection Patrick sent to me in Aug 2015)

Subject: greetings

Dear Stephanie & Pat,

Full of music, good food (no small admission from one who lives in Firenze), dance, incredible landscapes, some new friends, & best of all, affection. I have printed them out as shared them — the best of his eccentric prose. & I received yr gorgeous card. I now have an impression of yr inviting & interesting (horrible word — should be dropped from critical vocabulary) house. I learn that both of you became stone masons over the yrs to achieve ‘your place’.

& learn anew, Stephanie, that you are extraordinary & dear. However, he did not mention that you sang for him. Continue reading “standing silently together each day at sunset”

Greetings . . .

e-mail letter from Fred to Patrick and Stephanie on 14 Feb ‘1, which Patrick sent to me on 8 Sep ’15 as part of a large collection.

Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2001

Subject: Greetings . . .

to you’all,

dere Stephanie & Pat, i miei valentini,

Yep, I finished a whole novel. Loved AN EQUAL MUSIC. Is Tononi a real violin maker? Cremonese?

Thus is the Genome Project mapped. & race is not a scientific concept. What WILL the bigots do?????? No that they ever depended on reason. Continue reading “Greetings . . .”

But …

e-mail letter from Fred to Patrick and Stephanie on 31 Jan ‘1, which Patrick sent to me on 8 Sep ’15 as part of a large collection.

Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 19:08:46 -0500

Subject: But . . .

Merwin DID say, ‘If I wasn’t human I wouldn’t be ashamed of anything’

& Oooo how we need Iraq. You know . . . Your tax bill is losing favor, sir. BOMB IRAQ. I’ll make a strong statement to begin my administration. BOMB IRAQ. Ms L. may testify. BOMB IRAQ. Some say, sir, that women should decide the disposition of their bodies. BOMB IRAQ. Etc., you know, someone let the blacks get away, so now it’s Iraq.

But, despite being human, I say Greetings Stephanie & Pat, Continue reading “But …”

Yep, did get yours

e-mail letter from Fred to Patrick and Stephanie on 31 Jan ‘1, which Patrick sent to me on 8 Sep ’15 as part of a large collection.

Yep, did get yours

& yours, dear Stephanie,

& have no explanation.  suspect it was my server.  Address remains the same & is in order now — I think.

Still can’t raise the nonet.  But am glad to have the op. 134 made clear.  Geez, that must be something to SEE performed — not to mention heard. Continue reading “Yep, did get yours”

Re: musick & cosi varii

e-mail letter from Patrick to Fred on 28 Jan ‘1, which Patrick sent to me on 8 Sep ’15 as part of a large collection.

Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2001 15:03:53 +0100
Subject: Re: musick & cosi varii

yessir, fred, i loved an equal music. it seems a lot of young musicians don’t, but young folks in general are not so romantic as they ustabe. sentimentality they hold against writer, composer, or expressions of feeling in the flesh. not all, but so many it’s remarkable.

the beethoven quintet: we actually have the score and parts here Continue reading “Re: musick & cosi varii”

Each Day’s 1st Cigarette with 1st Coffee Is a Holy Moment

e-mail letter from Patrick to Fred on 20 Jan ‘1, which Patrick sent to me on 8 Sep ’15 as part of a large collection. Patrick was responding to an earlier message in-line, so I’m showing Fred’s text in italics below.

*********

we just return from hearing mozart, schumann, and shostakovitch for violin and piano to find yours.  i’m Continue reading “Each Day’s 1st Cigarette with 1st Coffee Is a Holy Moment”

I’ve Been Slow to Write

Letter from Patrick to Fred on 7 Nov 1982, in which he talks about the work on the house that Stephanie and he bought, and poetry, and his book on Dr. Weightnovel (never completed, still being developed when he died 35 years later), and the acquisition of a hernia in July 1982.

Letter to Fred 7 Nov 1982