Blog Project Day 84: A poem and a swoon…
Maxim Vengerov. Photo by mrlibvid1
Around 1994 I fell head over heels in unrequited love with the young (at least younger than me) Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov. Thanks to my friend S. I saw him perform a couple of times at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, and I think I even lovingly gazed at him from afar backstage one night after the concert, but I’m fuzzy on that. I hear from S. that he has since retired, but I’m definitely on board if he ever stages a comeback tour. p.s. It’s interesting to see in this poem some of the gestures that will show up in several of my blues poems, particularly “Blues for a Pretty Girl” and “Jumping at the Green Mill.”
“Cadenza” (for Maxim Vengerov)
Allegro non troppo
The hands unfurl from silkened pockets
deliberate their way to the tender places
on the violin. His head bends
to the old wood in measured prayer.
The music flurries an arm. His shoulder,
his back arc in the explosion
heels thrust up to God.
The unbroken plane between eyelids and
brows becomes a stage for the music,
his fingers a benediction.
He charms music
from the trembling
Allegro giocoso ma non troppo
The face presses so far into the violin
the bow whispers directly to the devoted ear.
The left arm moves like
a boy’s self-pleasuring hand,
coaxes virtue from the tense neck,
sears an imprint of Brahms
to my caterpillar ear.