why we do what we do

“that was the only reason for them” he says
“to teach the violin– the singing,
holding tunes and such”

he drinks red wine
&we’re in the former classroom of an ancient castle,
music banging from the speakers

“so when did you start to play?”
“i was eight– left home– it was at boarding school,
it was disaster”

he sits in the aisle,
a little boy, his teacher practicing–
“i wanna play like that”
& it’s a love affair
it’s hate
it’s tough times

“at thirteen i gave up//
lost the years when you learn most” he says,
shrugging his shoulders
“couldn’t bear to touch her”

little groups around us,
bent over their sketchbooks

you know love is real
when it comes back
like throwing bottles deep into the sea
&some resurface
with a loud splash

“so you took her back?” i smile

mesmerized at how he holds her to his chin//chest
&the gentle bend//his arms//hands
wooing her in yet
another tune//that way beyond the chambers in my breast
resonate and hang head first
like bats from the old castle wall

“&what about you?”

“hmmm” i take a sip of beer
“guitar, piano, saxophone.. just nothing very good”
“you sketch”
“i write”
the taste of reed and vowels on my tongue
“nothing in depth”
we laugh
“i go and dance” i say
& lean
into the song, the beat of drums
//devouring me


for PU


39 responses to “why we do what we do

  1. its a love affair
    its hate
    tough times

    all that goes into art and music
    and the relationship between him and the instrument
    it comes through in the music —
    and the dance.

  2. The relationship to what we do.. It’s like a love affair..devoted to the sounds of vowels – or to that instrument.. During my vacation I didn’t write a single line.. And now the lines are bursting like flashes through my head… Sometimes you just have to put that instrument and just dance 😉

  3. This is one of those poems embedded with pearls…my favorite section begins “you know love is real when it comes back…” …just a perfect stanza to my way of thinking…just a fine poem overall IMHO.

  4. Well, I think if you do what you love to do, even if you don’t reach perfection in anything, your life is well lived. If something brings someone enjoyment (and perhaps also to others) that is a good thing. If only the perfect could play a violin, there would be few orchestras. I like the way you wrote this poem. It gave me thoughts beyond the words.

  5. What a lovely conversation between two artists. I think you’re too modest especially about your writing. You need to accept that your writing is superb. And from what I can see, the sketching isn’t too shabby either.

  6. At a certain point, I think we have to do things because we want to do them, out of love for the act itself maybe more than the results. Although you have every reason to be proud of your own results. 🙂 Nice sketch!

  7. Brilliant! This says so much about creativity, lost and regained, different for all but all united in the need to create, to love the very craft in what we do, brilliant, thanks, Kevin

  8. i love the apprenticeship stage, which lasts forever. but there is a part of the leg in which we learn so much so quickly becuz we are devoted to the craft. we understand our place as a student, which means we recognize our betters and are able to learn so much. love how you honor that development.

  9. I really like the personification of the violin–music is a love affair. I’m sad at times that I left “her” more than 20 years ago, but I do believe she influences my voice in poetry and prose, too.

  10. This is most definitely an enchanting….entrancing piece. Love does have a way of finding its way back to where it’s meant to be.

  11. Sketch Artist, Writer, Poet, Musician…and you def use those to give the ugly world a glaze of beauty. The Art-Universe is full of hard work (90%) and talent (10%) and definitely a career of love and perspiration. That you can practice all these AND enjoy a career in business world, is dedicatory.

    Thoroughly I loved reading this humble “autobiography”, Claudia

  12. Violin (my personal favourite) red wine, drums, LUST and the taste of vowels on your tongues and being devoured by the passions of the music and the moment! This poem has it all. I love it!

  13. “you know love is real
    when it comes back”….this world is the heaven where we get all these..poetry, music, art, dancing and the like beauties..love the lines both in words and in sketch…

  14. What a great conversation and picture too. Creativity is what sets artists apart by doing something not only for themselves but others too.

  15. “You know love is real when it comes back,” awesome. I love this and can really relate to the nostalgia of youth and learning an instrument but not giving it its due.

  16. Music or words…when it comes, its an on-going love affair ~ I love the ending, embracing the song & letting it devour you ~

  17. It is the joy in here that I love–in words and paint–that the conversation took place, that the music plays, that you press it into a gemstone and pass it on.

  18. Claudia, in the end, for me, it’s all about the dance – the one art that doesn’t require quiet, sitting still…! I love how he made a lover of that violin, and I know when I play guitar, when the music resonates in my chest cavity, that’s a voice only the player will here.

    This seems random in ways, but aren’t all the best conversations like that? And when I’m at the piano, I play barefoot to the vibe is totally organic! Dig? Amy

  19. Your work engages and engulfs me, Claudia. Your diction and cadence effectively convey the mood of the room, the tone of the conversation. Nothing in depth? I disagree.