the cmrc blog

I live


 

I live

in earshot

of Heslington

Hall. At night,

I hear

 

the clock

strike the hours.

They have replaced

the gears and

the bell;

 

now it’s

synthesized.

I no longer

imagine

or hear

 

whirs, clanks,

gaps, errors.

It’s all correct,

uniform,

pleasant.

 

***

 

I think:

this is not

how time passes.

This is no

longer

 

a clock;

it’s a pat

on the head, meant

to assure us

that all

 

is well

when it’s not.

And why should we

not embrace

a clank?

 

***

 

A clank,

different, asks

that we give it

love. A clank

is an

 

alien,

paperless,

in a land of

music’s rich

pure tones.

 

***

 

Welcome

the clank. Take

it in; make room;

change your world

for its.

 

I’m sure

someone meant

well. Someone thought

I would sleep

better

 

without

clanks, whirs, gaps.

But why should I

sleep better?

Wake up!

***

 

Before,

I could choose

experience

and all that

is not

 

certain.

Now, without

refugees, clanks,

whirs, gaps, flaws,

I am

 

consigned

to a world

of correctness.

It becomes

harder

 

to meet,

discover,

experience,

and love. What

a loss!

 

 

William Brooks

September 20, 2017


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About the author

bill

William Brooks studied music and mathematics at Wesleyan University (BA 1965), then received degrees in musicology (MM 1971) and composition-theory (DMA 1976) from the University of Illinois. He taught at the University of California and the University of Illinois before becoming Professor of Music at the University of York, England. In 2009 he was appointed…

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