Nightblooming Cereus by Nichelle

Cereus Sonnet

Night blooms the white cactus flower

In the city in the desert.

Rose blooms my love

In the village away from me.

Cherries blossom on the tree

I planted for her.

Her mother tore it down,

But I replanted it.

Catastrophe waits for us

With her orange spots.

Time, time, can it be stopped

By words & pictures,

Music, notes, sounds, or noises

In the city in the night?

Nightblooming Cereus by Nichelle

16 May 2010, Phoenix, Arizona, America
Rose Reiss by SAGReiss Rose Reiss by SAGReiss
Nightblooming Cereus by Nichelle
Still Life by Rose Reiss, Naïa & SAGReiss Rose Reiss by SAGReiss

From: SAGReiss

Date: 18 May 2010

Subject: Music, notes, sounds, or noises

This verse is perhaps obscure, although following the link should clear things up for those who understand French. Peter tried to clear things up this morning, and made a foul mess of it, I fear. He seems to be drawing a distinction between music & notes on the one hand and noise on the other, with sounds falling somewhere in between, or perhaps overlapping the two. It should be noted that the finer distinctions & connotations of the French words (musique, note, son, bruit) are inevitably not exactly the same as their English equivalents. However, I would say that music is made of notes in tempo (& not in time, which is a different mental category). Tempo is the musical organization of time, and not even beats per minute, which does refer to chronological time, defies the fact that music is defined in terms of beats per measure, or whatever time signatures refer to. (My cousin Andrew once defined music as sounds in time, but he was wrong on both counts, although he has forgotten more music than I will ever learn, as have most of you.) Sounds & noises, which are essentially synonyms, may be used in music, but they occur as metadata, just as images are metatext that illustrate the text. Moreover, Peter gets the definition of a note completely wrong. La (or A in letter notation) is NOT 440. La is NOT something that can be sung, or used to fashion a proper chord. La is everything that is recognized by an ear trained in the western musical system as falling between G-sharp & B-flat. It is a spectrum of frequencies, since all that matters is its value as a unit of opposition in a digital system of symbolic representation. A La that is sung a little flat is still a La, and is immediately recognized as such, as when Murder rolls his eyes and says: "That A is fucking flat." If it were very flat, he would say: "Why is she singing G-sharp, when the score says A?" To generalize, a note is one of a finite number of musical values in a given system, usually a stream of frequencies in the arbitrary division of the octave, but I doubt the latter is necessarily true, even if it might happen to be universally so. In the Hebrew music system as understood by Haik-Vantoura's reading of cantillation marks, La is Atnakh and comprises everything between Tifkha or Tarkha (G) and Munakh (B). (The only sharps are D & F.) I shall now relisten to Peter's show, and of course he has the opportunity, if he's reading, to tear my ass to shreds, and I'll even give my cousin the opportunity to rebut, should he wish to do so. Let's be fair. OK, Peter is confusing "pitch" ("une hauteur sonore") and "note", which is unforgivable. Also unforgivable is his fucking bad taste. Bach I can live with, but Nabokov? Horrible, horrible.

Facebook Poetry

Sunday 16 May 2010

Nichelle: got pictures of the night blooming cacti downtown.

SAGReiss: A white flower blooms on a prickly cactus at night in a city built in the middle of the desert. Is this a poem?

Dirk: that thing looks like it eats small cats

Monday 17 May 2010

Nichelle: Honestly, Gaby, I think Dirk's line is a more promising poem...

Nichelle: that thing looks like it eats small cats

green-tongued, snakelike, ravenous

forbidding, unbidden, unforgiving

forging crisp, white blooms in a busy night corridor

Fluffy is now prickly, Sugar- saguaro

Blossom, strangely enough, still blossom.

Nichelle: Hmm. Or not.

Dirk: I like it

SAGReiss: Night blooms the white cactus flower

In the city in the desert.

Rose blooms my love

In the village away from me.

Cherries blossom on the tree

I planted for her.

Her mother tore it down,

But I replanted it.

Catastrophe waits for us

With her orange spots.

Time, time, can it be stopped

By words & pictures,

Music, notes, sounds, or noises

In the city in the night?

Dirk: you forgot the eating of small cats

SAGReiss: Not exactly, since Catastrophe is the name of our cat.

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