The inner storm broke in January,
When I received a letter from an unknown admirer,
Forwarded to me by an acquaintance.
I read its seemingly innocuous lines
And stopped as if they were a message from another world.
On the surface
It was merely a belated accolade for my written musings,
But one sentence held me and worked on my imagination:
Until now I've never wished to be another person,
Not even for a little while,
Until just lately when I found your writings.
Then I wished to be another
If only for the briefest span of time
To make sure you know that I love
Those vignettes 'as no one had yet done.'
The author, a musician from Vienna
With a musical name,
Was referring to my occasional pieces.
She struck an extraordinarily expectant chord.
I, who so often strive to be another person,
Wrote back with undisguised enthusiasm
As if these simple lines had transformed me into someone else,
An instrument of feeling and singing,
A Seer like Arthur Rimbaud's famous wood that wakes up as a violin.
The man, myself, was the wood;
The letter that touched me turned me into an instrument
Of the most intense of effusive poetic prose
That displaced any further poetry for a time.
For the appearance of this unknown musician
Unleashed a series of letters,
Unusually voluminous even for me,
Beginning with my favorite mummied Egyptian monarch
In the Berlin museum and turning into music,
The sublime province of sound,
To assert new recognitions about myself and my art.
Or is music the resurrection of the dead?
Does one not die at its border and emerge in splendor,
No longer to destroy?