Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Conversation About Tone Poems

Skateboards? I almost made them respectable.

"I've been reading it," she said. "And I like it."


"But. I don't understand."

There's not much to understand. It is what it is.

"Yeah. But what is it?"


I think of it as a series of tone poems.

"But it's not. I don't think you even know what a tone poem is."

Sure I do. It's a short piece of prose designed to evoke a certain feeling or emotion.

"No. A tone poem is a single-movement symphony that tells the story of a poem or painting. That thing you're talking about? It doesn't even exist."


Well that's how I think of it.

And that's what 'tone poem' should mean.

"This is your problem," she said. "It's always been your problem."

And I stared at her, wondering why she became so rigid and so literal. I knew then what I'd never known before -- how lucky I was that we didn't wind up together. And I couldn't get this song (a perfect modern tone poem as far as I'm concerned) out of my head:

And she shook her head sadly and said "When are you going to learn that you can't just make shit up?"

Not yet.

Not just yet.


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Believe or no, this is the first time i've ever listened to either of these Joe songs with headphones, really loud. Wow.

Ralph Hanson said...

I really need to get to another Joe Jackson concert. It's been two years.