close box


All You Have to Do: A Convocation Poem


All you have to do is write one true sentence.

Write the truest sentence you know.

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast


What is a hinge. A hinge is a location.

Gertrude Stein, Americans


A hinge is a hinge. Sometimes.

What is a hinge. A hinge is a location.

All you have to do is make one true hinge.

Let the hinge hold two things:

a door open, a door shut.

Open it, open it, your one true sentence.

A reed is a hinge. A bow, a breath,

a finger on wood, on brass, on gold,

thumb on a string, open, shut,

your eyes, lips, on each of these,

so much will hinge.


All you have to do

is find yourself one true hinge

(a stage is a hinge)

between here and there.

What do you know about silence?

Silence is the truest sentence I know.

Sentence me. I want to write silence

like a hinge to sweetness, to desire.

Sounds hang on silence

(sound, silence, sound);

sounds undo us, sound on sound,

drumming humming within,

and then that lift,

what opens like a bow on strings, a breath,

a thumb on skin, and then, and then,

the loss of these things.


What is music. Music is a location.

A hinge between here and there,

that breath, lost, returning.

Play me the tune of silence

(write the truest sentence you know)

call to me with that singing,

how else, I ask you,

how else may we (may we) begin?      


Commissioned by Curtis Institute of Music



0 | 0