the work and personal site of Jared Alessandroni

Posts Tagged ‘son’

A Little History

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

I heard, in the next room,
My son playing Für Elis on the piano.
Or piano-forte. But actually,
A Casio, which has
No hammers or pads –
Just a lonely black cord,
Connecting it to

The wall socket which runs
Copper down 16 floors
To a substation on 40th Street
Which channels the power,
From Canada,
Like a delta in the Hudson
Drips from the north making it to us.

History is like that,
Some of it even true,
Having flowed downstream
Swimming with
Rocks and Fish
Until it has a special taste,
An ironic freshness.

I want my son to feel,
Not just know,
The pluck of the harpsichord
Indefinite in dynamic, tinny,
Filling up the hall,
In the Medici court.
Just as Cristofori did.

I want him to be there,
Not just look at a picture,
With the men in the lab,
In the 1920s,
Working with vacuum tubes.
I fear the picture, thinking,
Everyone here is dead now.

From the piano to the tubes
To the Casio,
To the iPad he uses for sheet music,
The scope of history is both
Enormous and claustrophobic.
Our apartment stands in Native soil,
But was once a subterranean volcano.

Where does it end?

It makes me think of my son,
Supposed to be reading or
Playing or something else,
Standing suddenly in front of me
Arms open, ready for a hug.
Here, this is for you.

Someday I will be a picture
And the phrase will again be true.
Everyone in this picture
Is dead now.
As, I shudder at the thought,
Will he be.
And what will it matter?

That I was suddenly
If illogically,
Inspired to take him uptown to
the Met
Where they have an original
Cristofori piano,
Molded by his hands.

Will that memory mean,
Nothing
Or will it mean
A small drop of something,
Hundreds of years on.
What will he
What will I

Have created?
Everyone in this picture
Is dead.
But their ghosts,
Lying there with open arms,
Whisper, Here,
This is for you.