February 11, 2010

What's Up This Weekend? Special Valentines Day and 4th Anniversary Edition

I was listening to Garrison Keillor's "Writer's Almanac" on CBE as I parked in front of the dry cleaners. He was telling the story of Irish poet and playwright, Oscar Wilde, who had gotten himself incarcerated for two years at hard labor on the charge of "gross indecency". Keillor read Wilde's flamboyantly rapturous and beautifully poetic love letter written from prison to his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. In the cold isolation of the "deepest abysses", his passion seemed to burn like a pure white hot flame. "Pleasure hides love from us but pain reveals it in its essence." Listening to the reading of this letter was one of those moments when you just sit in your parked car until its over. I remember the nagging feeling that I was missing some connection to me in the reading of that letter. It wasn't until I laid my head on my pillow that night and descended into the mental twilight where my mind blissfully wanders so freely, that it came to me. The theme of the triumph of love over pain and separation in Oscar's letter was the same theme of my most recent Valentine poem, the synchronicity of which compels me to share it with you at the bottom of my musical almanac along with a copy of Wilde's entire letter for your Valentines Day reading enjoyment. I would attach a scan of the pencil and watercolor painting that illustrates the poem on each of the Valentine cards but one of the many traditions associated with the annual production and dissemination of my little art project includes a prohibition on sending them to men. Oscar would not have approved.

It is also the 4th anniversary of "What's Up This Weekend?" and another of my traditions is to ask my readers to let me know who is actually reading this self-indulgent crap by simply hitting the reply button and adding a message if they are so inclined. Thank you for reading and, for those who have been so inclined, your support is what keeps me embarrassing myself each week.

Thursday, tonight, Dick's has The Boki Quartet hopefully including the lovely Betsy Pandora who I have yet to actually hear sing.

Friday, Moon High, The Songbirds and The Alwood Sisters are at Rumba.

Saturday will be a Valentines Day Eve with lots of choices. The Broken Hearts and Broken Strings showcase at the Basement features Lydia Loveless and her great new band, Two Cow Garage and many others. Matt Monta & the Hot Coal Band and Bombing Mansfield are at Bernie's. Carabar has two of the best rock bands in Columbus, The Lindsay and Bookmobile. Wet Darlings is at Ruby's, Mary Adam 12 and One Under are at Rumba and The Spikedrivers are doing a CD recording show at Skully's. Treehouse has Ghost Shirt, SPD GVNR and Mt. Carmel.

Sunday, you can spend Valentines Day with Girls, Girls, Girls, a collection of our most talented local female musical artists including Linda Dachtyl on drums, Elisa Nicolas on Bass, Nicole Rachelle on Sax/Flute, Lindsay Ciulla on Mellophone, Bree Frick on Cello, Molly Winters on guitar, and the sweet vocals of Za Unitt. Beautiful!

In the space between our stars
I see the lines of a constellation
I may not feel the warmth of your skin
But my passion is a fiery sensation

I wish the taste of your sweet lips
Could replace the flavor of a tear
There may be only silence between us now
But love is all I hear


"My sweet rose, my delicate flower, my lily of lilies, it is perhaps in prison that I am going to test the power of love. I am going to see if I cannot make the bitter warders sweet by the intensity of the love I bear you. I have had moments when I thought it would be wise to separate. Ah! Moments of weakness and madness! Now I see that would have mutilated my life, ruined my art, broken the musical chords which make a perfect soul. Even covered with mud I shall praise you, from the deepest abysses I shall cry to you. In my solitude you will be with me. I am determined not to revolt but to accept every outrage through devotion to love, to let my body be dishonored so long as my soul may always keep the image of you. From your silken hair to your delicate feet you are perfection to me. Pleasure hides love from us, but pain reveals it in its essence. O dearest of created things, if someone wounded by silence and solitude comes to you, dishonored, a laughing-stock, Oh! You can close his wounds by touching them and restore his soul which unhappiness had for a moment smothered. Nothing will be difficult for you then, and remember, it is that hope which makes me live, and that hope alone. What wisdom is to the philosopher, what God is to his saint, you are to me. To keep you in my soul, such is the goal of this pain which men call life. O my love, you whom I cherish above all things, white narcissus in an unmown field, think of the burden which falls to you, a burden which love alone can make light. ... I love you, I love you, my heart is a rose which your love has brought to bloom, my life is a desert fanned by the delicious breeze of your breath, and whose cool spring are your eyes; the imprint of your little feet makes valleys of shade for me, the odour of your hair is like myrrh, and wherever you go you exhale the perfumes of the cassia tree.

"Love me always, love me always. You have been the supreme, the perfect love of my life; there can be no other..." Oscar Wilde


  1. wow, I'm happy to be the first... your poem summed up this beautiful letter, your poem is one of the most beautiful things I've read-- thank you

  2. Generally, I find the poetry of aging Caucasians to be suspect by default, but I'm happily forced to make an exception here. A lovely and moving piece of work, and thank you for sharing it.