Friday, October 26, 2012

Aimless reading: The W's, Part 4.2 (Rosmarie Waldrop)

Differences for Four Hands
Waldrop, Rosmarie
Differences for Four Hands


Given to me by the author.

My other memory of Rosmarie's visit to Buffalo in 1998 or 9 is of getting stuck in the snow. I picked her up at the hotel one morning and took her to breakfast at Cybele's on Allen St. Cybele's was a small cafe that served excellent food. I used to eat there practically every day. A couple of years later they moved across the street next to Rust Belt Books. Lori and I used to go there for the ropa vieja they served at dinner.

As good as the food was, service there was terrible. We used to have to schedule two free hours in order to eat on a Saturday. You'd get a cup of coffee and then you would wait, and wait...and wait. It was always worth it, but it really was absurd how long it took to get your food sometimes.

Sadly, the inefficiency of the kitchen also spread to the management of the finances. The owner, a dear sweet woman who was also a lawyer, got into some tax trouble and started borrowing from an estate she was overseeing in her law practice, fully intending to pay it back. But it never works out that way, does it? When she got caught, she felt so horrible she entered a guilty plea without the benefit of counsel and ended up going to jail for six months.

Which spelled the end of Cybele's.

Anyhow, my memory is that I took Rosmarie there for breakfast and we talked about Charles Bernstein and Susan Howe and Robert Creeley and the poetics program and Brown and Burning Deck Press and then afterwards crossed the street to my car. It was a very snowy winter that first year in Buffalo. It snowed from Thanksgiving until Easter.  My car was stuck and I remember having to ask Rosmarie to press the gas pedal while I tried to push the car out into the roadway. I think someone may have come along to help us.

We eventually made it out.

from Differences for Four Hands

Clara, you won't be forgiver. Surviving. And by how long. Too practical, too competent. Not yours, the seal of pathos. Clara, I need to talk to you. I too admire the gift for destruction. I need your help on the long way round to death. Difficult. For all but the most sure-footed. You hold the keys, navigate narrows, the space of music in the proportions of blood and air. Strongly the chords, the cascades of angels, falling in counterpoint and entire conclusion.

Play for us, Clara. Play the music we breathe.

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