THE NOTES THAT WE HEAR
for David Miller


There is a small photo of the author playing a clarinet on the back cover of his new book of collected poems; a small brush and ink painting on the front.


Last time I tried to write a poem for him, a friend phoned to tell me about another friend's death, and the poem, although completed, was sidelined and ignored, to all intents and purposes lost. Indeed, some phrases were woven into a different poem of mourning and loss, a tribute to the deceased.
 

The sun is still low, there are shadows across the patio, dew on the grass. It is a morning to make prayers and angels out of light, a day of moments yet to happen.


I wrote to the poet as a result of buying a pamphlet of his at a book fair in the Welsh borders: eight prose texts, careful arrangements of small phrases and short paragraphs that entranced me then and still do now.

 
It is only the second day this year I have been able to sit outside. Yesterday I was frantically writing about a musician and artist, sections of a conference paper I am due to give in a few days; was trying to figure out connections between repetition and stasis, ambience and sound, process and control. I ended up discussing Eno's visual art in relationship to John Taggart's poems about Rothko.


In the chapel, dark canvasses suck up the light: rectangular stains and layers hung on concrete walls, sacred images rooted in spiritual disbelief; mirrors that reflect nothing, paintings out of time that mute all conversation.
 

In the dark room, slowly changing colours, music and light: scratches, textures, gestures, loose grids of pixelated forms. Never-to-be-repeated combinations and random tesserae.
 

From the fragments of the world we make meaning, from the notes that we hear we make song.


     Rupert M Loydell 2014