“The music is beautiful it takes me”


The music is beautiful it takes me a long time to see that this is besides the point. József Lendvay is beautiful like the music masculine affirmative embracing what is sad although I do not know from stories told to me but the music speaks and I understand it. But he says it and I have heard it clearly. Then something undeniable happens as József commands the percussion the second and third violins the patient cellos stare at the black shoulder-length curls begging for some contact waiting for a sign or a nod of approval or a rebuke József walks away from his attention and checks in with the bass reluctant at first again this cannot be a mistake. The bass speaks confident plays confident the incomparable shadow of József who notices nods again. The orchestra swells rehearsed a thousand times a reckless bass bounces atop other instruments strings stinging the fret board hard leather soles delighted at the floor boards of the wedding of flames the bass is free never before. Never. Reverie reserved a shuffling now of the feet somber and the bass back into His shadow then His shadow He blots out. In this disappearing the most muscular His eyes emerge to lunch spit out bones evaporate eviscerate. He reappears totally beside the bass nods the bass inhales draws its shadow repeats fills himself in with shadow turbulent shadow bravado fragile bravado deadly bravado’d shadow recedes all swell embrace bigger than clearly music not an imitation now but a formless capital commanding József still dancing in the shadow smiles bows bravo.

Stanza XVI from ‘Stanzas in Meditation’ by Gertrude Stein

Should they call me what they call me
When they come to call on me
And should I be satisfied with all three 
When all three are with me
Or should I say may they stay
Or will they stay with me
On no account must they cry out
About which one went where they went
In time to stay away may be they do
But I doubt it
As they were very much able to stay there.
However may they go if they say so.

from Part IV of Stanzas in Meditation from “Stein: Writings 1932-1946, Vol. 2”

Stein on France, Progress, History


“The background of tradition of profound conviction that men and women and children do not change, that science is interesting but does not change anything, that democracy is real but that governments unless they tax you too much or get you defeated by the enemy are of no importance.”

Gertrude Stein in Paris France