Monday, April 28, 2008

the poetry of a line, the harp and a radish with mustard...

"my composition 1960 #9 consists of a straight line drawn on a piece of paper. it is to be performed and comes with no instructions. the night i met jackson mac low we went down to my apartment and he read some of his poems for us. later, when he was going to go home, he said he'd write out directions to get to his place so we could get come and visit him sometime. he happened to pick up composition 1960 #9 and said "can i write it here?" i said, "no, wait, that's a piece, don't write on that." he said, "whadaya mean a piece? that's just a line".

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one of my favorite poets is po chu-i. he lived from 722- 846. this poem is translated by ching ti:

the harp

i lay my harp on the curved table,
sitting there idly, filled only with emotions.
why should i trouble to play?
a breeze will come and sweep the strings.

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once i tried lots of mustard on a raw turnip. i liked it better than any beethoven i had ever heard."

la monte young, 1960, TDR magazine.

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