12 February 2008

I don't speak well, I mumble, to life's little tragedies

Bluefield, WV

A Story About the Body
--Robert Hass

The young composer, working that summer at an artist's colony, had watched her for a week. She was Japanese, a painter, almost sixty, and he thought he was in love with her. He loved her work, and her work was like the way she moved her body, used her hands, looked at him directly when she made amused or considered answers to his questions. One night, walking back from a concert, they came to her door and she turned to him and said, "I think you would like to have me. I would like that too, but I must tell you I have had a double mastectomy," and when he didn't understand, "I've lost both my breasts." The radiance that he had carried around in his belly and chest cavity--like music--withered, very quickly, and he made himself look at her when he said, "I'm sorry. I don't think I could." He walked back to his own cabin through the pines, and in the morning he found a small blue bowl on the porch outside his door. It looked to be full of rose petals, but he found when he picked it up that the rose petals were on top; the rest of the bowl--she must have swept them from the corners of her studio--was full of dead bees.

youtube video for Lambchop's "Is a Woman"

3 comments:

Karen said...

Have you posted this text before, or am I going crazy? I've wondered this at least once before while reading your blog with a different selection of text. Please tell me I'm not going crazy.

Karen said...

Also, I do really like this photograph. All of the components fit together well. Good job capturing it.

mark burnette said...

Hmm...I don't know if it means your going crazy, but I don't think I've posted this text before. I posted a couple of prose poems by Louis Jenkins a few weeks ago, but none by Hass. Of course, I could be forgetting, which I'm prone to do, but I also looked for Robert Hass in the search box and this post was the only result.