Down The Rabbit Hole


I had been chosen as a freelance contributor at Creative Talents Unleashed, with my poem Kitty Kisses, for the literary publication of Down The Rabbit Hole, 100 % of all proceeds from this publishing are donated to “Starving Artist Fund”
The book is now available.
Down The Rabbit Hole
https://www.createspace.com/7363268

https://creativetalentsunleashed.com/2017/07/09/ctu-press-release-contributors-announcement-down-the-rabbit-hole-2017-anthology/

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Leila Samarrai: Literature in Serbia only exists at the level of gossip


My interview for the online magazine Afirmator (in Serbian)

Leila Samarrai, a Coffee Interview for the online magazine KULT (in Serbian)

In times like these, where we have in Serbia a whole line of parastatal humbugs where everyone aims to attain the role of the Father of the nation, outside of this politicization, the poetic world is thus divided on various sects who don’t recognize the quality and poetic approach of one another. Whenever I think of this I think of Nestor Kukolnik, a court author from the Pushkin era, who remained famous merely for being a blusterer who kept jamming sticks in the wheels of the aforementioned Alexander Sergeyevich, but who was far more reputable in his time; where the two of them stand now is not even worth talking about.

What can I say? These feral times are not all too friendly to poets. But neither are we to it hence I hope that, when it passes (and transience is ever present), there will be enough poetic testimonials about who we were and what times we lived in.

Leila Samarrai, Republic Of Serbia, Belgrade, July 25th, AD 2017

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Leila Samarrai: Literature in Serbia only exists at the level of gossip

Interviewed by Tamara Lujak

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Leila Samarrai is a new author who, one could say, is only now gaining traction in the Serbian literary scene, even though she has already published both a poetry and a short story collection. How she finds her way into the aforementioned literary scene, how she stands out, whether the literary scene even exists or not, all of this and more will be what the budding author will talk about, so – get ready…

 

How do you see poetry?

LS: As a type of shamanistic chant capable of chasing away the darkness within us.

 

‘Poetry is meant to save the world, to reassemble all fragmented things.’ Do you agree with this claim by Hamvas and why?

LS: One can’t help but agree with Hamvas that the new history took many a sacred thing away from man or mankind, thus instead of kings and dignitaries and whathaveyou we have various surrogates in their place, ‘suspicious persons’… The poet remains, and under the shapes and forms of the suspicious persons, by himself, he lives his life under the mask of the (no longer court) jester… So if words are what separates animals from man, from this animalization of the barbaric modern age, who will bring words back into harmony and redeem man if not the poet? But the question is: are there among the poets people that are strong enough, whose magical voice is thunderous enough to resonate in the all-encompassing cacophony reigning over us?

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How does poetry fit into the world (yours and everyone else’s)? Or how does, perhaps, world fit in (your) poetry?

LS: Man is in his own microcosm akin to a personal box, with poetry as its lid which it can defend itself from the world; which can be opened in desire to meet something wider than your own personal reach.

 

How do you deal with the decision of many publishers not to publish poetry collections?

LS: Realistically speaking, this is suicide.

 

What does poetry teach us?

LS: It teaches us how to think, how to express ourselves. Teaches us compassion. There is a quote there from Heine: ‘What does this solitary tear mean? It so blurs my gaze.’ Poetry gives deeper insight to that which we might have missed in the daily rush of things: I believe in man, which is why I say Maybe where there surely must be a Yes.

 

Can we live without poetry?

LS: If we can live without tears and laughter, day and night, zombified under neon lights, in front of our television set, or amid smoke and noise, we can live without poetry, learning and thinking, let someone else do the thinking for us.

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What is poetry to you?

LS: An opportunity to be alone with my thoughts… An opportunity to create something that I could, once called out, show as my own contribution to the world.

 

How would you define poetry?

LS: As an old wise serpent which only occasionally comes out to catch the sun (and scare people).

 

How useful are literary festivals and workshops, can they survive today, in these times of utter poverty, and can you learn something from them?

LS: Learning is a matter of an individual, their desire actually…

 

What did the internet give the authors, and what did it take away from them?

LS: Most certainly a bigger audience, in wider circles…who can nonetheless distill the crux of it all. The Internet is a Babylon where any author can both add and take away a brick laid, depending on one’s affinities.

 

You’re aware that in your line of work (namely writing) there is little ‘coin’ to be had (or rather there is less and less of it), and yet you persist. Why?

LS: You need to be a ‘nerd’ to be a poet, that is without a doubt, and without regard for any monetary compensation; living off of poetry is not all that doable, and success is, evidently, a category always in flux. As far as I’m concerned, I find it natural to express myself in verse, and whether I am far from any kind of recognition, well yes, I am… On the other hand, being recognized in Serbia means picking up all of the provinciality around you and publishing it.Hence why I want to be recognized outside of my country’s borders, because that is indeed recognition – proper recognition.

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According to you, what kind of generations of authors are coming?

LS: The world of prose and poetry is split into various sects which do not recognize the quality and poetic approach of their peers. What will come in the next hundred years from all of this, I shudder to think.

 

How does the contemporary literary scene look like to you?

LS: When you take one look at all of the things being published today, with zero criteria, then it’s clear that our literary scene exists merely due to money. We did not move one step out of communism. Where we were literarily is where we still are, except the market is far smaller, and poverty of intellectual and any other kind far greater. There isn’t even a Serbian literary scene, nor is it allowed to exist. Critics are at their positions, established authors at their own, primarily political, then literary, or artistic. In short, literature in Serbia only exists at the level of gossip

It is a complete systematic collapse here, and with zero respect for the author and copyright, nothing will get better and Serbia will remain a literary black hole, irrespective of the vast number of people willing and capable of writing something.

Nobody publishes poetry collections, because there is no profit there. It is well known: the author has to pay someone to publish their book, this is the alpha and omega of it all. The publisher does not care a bit beyond that. If by any chance the author ‘gains prominence’, then he will be endlessly reprinted, copyright will be broken and the publisher will claim to be doing a favor to the author by these reprints. Printing itself is cheap. For instance, someone’s book of aphorisms or short stories can be sold online, it is also in bookstores, and the author is not at all notified of this, nor has any insight into the matter.

And the publishing itself is reduced to moneymaking. You got the green, you publish the paper. If by chance you become a household name, you will be published, but the ‘sweet sweet cream’ will largely be theirs, the publishers’, and yet they will also tell you how fortunate you are to be published. So, the copyright of your works is completely vulnerable, or nonexistent. The publisher does not give a damn about quality, they don’t even read what you give them, or merely skim through it. Everything comes down to the money, cash that is, and sex. Which is, again, a good topic for a story or a novel, even journalism as a sociological phenomenon, at the end of the day. It is a mark of an era and a country.

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Not to mention the misogyny, the treatment of a woman, a smart, beautiful, attractive woman who, by the way, is an excellent writer. In short, the treatment of meat in Serbian literature.Cheap trafficking and treating the female author as a piece of meat, a sex object with no right to think, but to bow her head. You can be as smart as you want, unless you do what the slime wants you to do, nothing gets published, no career, no living by doing what you love most and know best. Speaking of various chauvinisms, why keep quiet of this one. To me at least, these people are laden with complexes and cannot achieve sexual or amorous pleasure normally, or whatever else they need, and this is where the sickness begins, the blackmail. In everyday circumstances, they know that they cannot reach beautiful, smart and talented women, and they use their pseudo-power to prove themselves to their friends and their own selves. It is cheap trafficking, and I believe that women, in that sense, have it harder than men. Little is written of this, nobody speaks of this, and it is the cancer of life in this here country, in this here system-less system and criminalized society. I still believe that it doesn’t necessarily have to be so, but now I point to the literary world not being a bright-colored gentle butterfly which contains all the beauty of this world. Talented people are leaving, we are losing the intellectuals, we are losing people who could raise this country out of the muck. And then we wonder how Mrkonjić and Ilić become ministers. It is clear: violence and sex, the basis of reality shows, completely transferred into the literary sphere, which should, at least, be a bastion against the flood of pap and primitivism.

Leila Samarrai: A good author is he who isn’t afraid to speak his mind


Leila Samarrai: A good author is he who isn’t afraid to speak his mind

Interviewed by Tamara Lujak for the online magazine Afirmator.

My interview for the online magazine Afirmator (in Serbian)

A master of the short story form, Leila Samarrai is a published award-winning author. She loves writing, stating that literature is her life, she dreams of having her own manager, like American authors do. Inspired by the Pythons, Charlie Chaplin, as well as everyday events in Serbia, she writes brief, jocular, satirical short stories, filled with anger and bitterness of relief. Delve for a moment into this world of hers.

 

What is the author’s mission?

LS: His mission is to be a good writer and that’s about it. I think this was the main thesis of Joseph Brodsky.

 

Why do you write?

LS: I write out of pleasure, and because I think I have something to say.

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Where do you get your ideas from?

LS: It’s simple, I bang my hand against the table, a genie appears from the magic lamp, bows and says “What’ll ya have, oh Magistra Ludi?!” I then make a wish that gets instantly fulfilled.

 

What makes good poetry or art and how would you define the craft of the poets?

LS: Art is a game. Poetry as well. At the end of the day, you either know how to play it or not…

 

What, according to you, is a good author?

LS: A good author is he who isn’t afraid to speak his mind; he who dictates the art of the verse. A scribbler who merely keeps quiet and enjoys being lauded is nothing but a reader with nothing of importance to do. He whose written word trickles from his wounds into the world and onto paper is not afraid to both praise and criticize, this is what he strives towards.

 

What is literature and the purpose of art to you?

LS: Survival of the human species.

 

How did you come to the idea of publishing Boris K. (Everest Media, Belgrade, 2013)?

LS: In the age of absurd events in Serbia, which clash common sense, it wasn’t all that difficult to be inspired, to write an absurd satire in the manner of Monty Python, or even Chaplin or a science fiction space-time traveler, which would reflect reality in the mirror of old woman Valentine. Pythonesque burlesques interspersed with a Kafkaesque atmosphere reflected in the name of the titular hero are merely some of the references that build up the overall feel of the novel. Why Kafkaesque? Because Boris K. is, even with all of his Johnny Bravo capabilities, merely a regular, tiny man in a sophisticated cog of the system which makes mincemeat of the sophisticated, but grinds it well. The Johnny Bravo effect, the muscles of the superhero are but a part of this comedy of the absurd, because the hyperboles I like utilizing, sometimes to their upper limits in order to strengthen the absurd and highlight it in the process, are but one piece of the comedy and that comedy, so to speak, gets more comical.

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At International Belgrade Book Fair, with Zoran Stefanovic, the reviewer of my book “The Adventures Of Boris K”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoran_Stefanovi%C4%87

How did Boris K. come about?

LS: First of all, if we don’t take into account the scientific theories of existence of parallel universes, in the present day Serbia as it is, unfortunately, we can notice that in order to merely survive the people need to live in some sort of personal universe, to be ‘deluded’, as the British would say. Those with more creativity can craft up to five-six roles… Don’t many of the Munchausens find refuge in their own lies? Still, Boris K. moves through worlds of alternative history and his fate is resolved in a satirical science fiction novel which is in the process of creation, and all of this close to the encounter with the aliens of civilization number 5. But more on this some other time…

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Can we expect a sequel to Boris K.’s adventures?

LS: As someone who feels at home with long form writing, I admit that would be rather easy work were it not extremely difficult to someone whom struggles with rationality, mathematical focus and dramatic precision, but let’s say it takes time for the plot to come together, the answer is as follows: you can, the ideas are everywhere (I agree with Plato on this one), maybe not as soon as I would want them to. Boris K. is not just a short story, he is an omnipresent avatar and a portrait of an undisciplined, yet witty cosmopolitan man. And he demands only the best of plots, a beginning, plot points, my favorite peripety and a witty resolution with hints of bitter irony aimed at the society around us.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

LS: Like a sculptor I chisel away at a novel made of tangled tales waging wars for each individual sentence. This work does not demand precision in the sense of a well-rounded plot, it is fantasy in and of itself, a fantasy where the awoken sleepwalk. The novel fits my narrative sensibilities which focus both on the plot and the character nuances and has the attributes of magical realism, therefore I’m good at it and enjoy working on it. I hope to leave a footstep in the snow with it somewhere in the distant north, where the plot is happening…for the future storytellers of the same genre (magical fantasy).  Officially this genre does not exist, or rather is not named as such. There is magical realism, but this is a work of magical fantasy.

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Any advice for upcoming authors?

LS: Don’t walk the same track as others. Break patterns and remember that Kafka was extremely insecure. He considered himself a bad author, which he masked with hysterical laughter (a sort of compensation for shame) whenever his friends were talking him into reading his works aloud. Also, he wrote them late at night. This is not the type of advice you should heed if you’re an early bird.

Glory Of Babel, I walk thy streets, bare and free



NAHUA

It’s a place of seven caves

Someone calls me by the name.

Hueyapan vicar it was:

“Diego”, – he told me thus – down there in aztatltlan(tli), savages of Nahua

Cut people up

In pieces.

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A sacrifice

Diego, a sacrifice.

Chicomostoc the holy…

Rabbi Isa, Rabbi Isa…

 

RICHARD THE CANNIBAL KING

 

He took rothers and left the stead, that is the King!

The Cannibal King

For the King is the great power

that overpowers the great power that overpowers

the powers the great power

that overpowers the great power that overpowers the powers

Unis,Unis, Unis

Mother, mother, Mother who is Father, awaken me!

Fear not the nightmare, my child, but sing praises to her

 

SUDD MA’RIB

 

Selena is reading the spells from the Book of the Moon

Blood, my heart, my bill, me in a pool of blood

Ruinous, violently, I bounced my moist body

Towards the tambourine stars

usuddMa’rib, la ciudad perdida

my bane, in the pit, an engine-maker, a prophet, my salvation

mydeca, are – pr – pour.. pour, pour..

my blood

my bane

my heart

my salvation

Abwûnd’bwaschmâja

Abwûnd’bwaschmâja

And to this the Rabbi told me:

Talitakumi.

l’ahlâmalmîn.

L’ahlâmalmîn.

 

EGYPT

 

Yet another dream…

 

I was born

The Goddess of Air and Invisibility

I was born and died a virgin of the Ogdoad

me, Amunet, the female hidden one

the androgynous goddess, the serpent, the lesbian

goddess of graves and coffins

and the moonlight cast by Iah made my dream illumined

I am the nightly vision written of in Anacreontea

Take me to your bedding, if you want your woman to love you

Your hands quiver, but they know how to caress

Kiss that bit of the body where my eyes divert

Of the tombstone

In the dark land, in a bloodied area, in the riverbed

You will be reborn

In the Ogdoad, you will be reborn

In the suddMa’rib, you will sing thy love and thy life.

 

TALITA KUMI!

 

Fear mourned me

Horror clawed at the cheeks

The spasm of fear is as hard as a quince

 

And glory be to the hellish tower of slaves!

glory! oh Babylon

I walk thy streets, bare and free

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21st Century – Salieri’s revenge


In the 21st century music is no longer a friend of the muses. It has become a tool for “good” entertainment and for money -making exclusively, and those “goals” are the only criteria for its existence. Don’t even get me started on the visual arts and literature. (It’s tragic) The question remains: what is a writer (painter, musician) to do in such a climate, where even he is despised as a selfish, ridiculous creature who “lives in his/her own world” not having a clue about “real life”, the one whose art is mainly a cheap mask as an excuse for laziness (well, not all that cheap…)
It is irrational to think that art can be more than a hobby for a woman or a man unless it is eventually paid for. And in order to be paid, in cash or by credit card, it is necessary for you, my dear friend and colleague, to have a big shiny house and to be financially more than secure and possibly a lord or a count. Then all of it makes some sense! This is a typical relativization of a pondering mediocrity.
What to do? What could be done in a climate like this? The answer is: No matter what, the artists should refuse to listen to the shrill voice of this unhappy, materialistic, desolate era, removed from all of humanity. Their work must be done in silence, for the next who will accept it with a smile or refuse it with burst into laughter.

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Dervish, Part Two


Part One

  1. – But luckily, I have the fully enraged sun to drive away the nightmare, here it is insidiously melting in the sunlight! – Gennardo thought, while his dreamy eyes were darting around looking for the holy notes. The ecstasy of the nightmare was still strong within, and the that which he remembered and the objects floating on the other side of consciousness were but sections suddenly illuminated by lightning, which would circle its movement after the blast, moving towards other, distant lands and new matter. All that he remembered was the taste of a gastronomical luxuriousness and a non-sweetened drink with aniseed grains.

– The manuscript, where is my manuscript…I mean…my notes… – his hands were shackled by rush, and his soul by longing to open those famous doors of Holy existence anew. True, at the same time that reality took control over the crazed shrieks of phantasms of dreams, with his outer eye he circled the basic shape of the rounded edges of the sheet music notebook which appeared as if it were bleeding under the sun, in radiances aflame.

– This must be the truth bleeding…or is it my blood…? – he realized that the blood traces were not an irritant vision, but was instead his forehead moist from the injury which occurred under the intransigent punch with a blunt object wielded by someone’s strong hand.

– Want a napkin? Or tea? – a well-known OverVoice boomed which bled tones of Seiler piano keys in finer nuances, insolently stepping on the left pedal and causing Gennardo an inexplicable disgust.
– Step away from my una corda, you wicked bastard! – but the Sufi kept on observing him with even more of a wicked calm, thus Gennardo took a step back from his callous reaction under the power of this gaze whose chill could possibly be rivaled by the tip of the iceberg floating along the North Atlantic…

– Have a hijab to cover your head, heal the wounds and learn some humility when you speak to your master, Jemila! – he all but shoved the shawl onto his head, leaving one end to dangle on the side somewhat more than the other, he pricked it into place with a hijab needle, and the longer bit of the shawl he wrapped around his three-day-old beard, then slapped him twice and said ‘it’s a hijab!’

– Master, this must be some sort of a joke, I am a man, I cannot be Jemila.

– You will be what I say you are until the moment I die!

– But, you are dead!

– No, you’re dead. But finish the Dhikr and you will resurrect, by the Turks one and all! But, I must give you some praise, I am very pleased with your work last night, Jemila. I just feel bad that you barely touched your rice pudding, you merely looked at yourself in the mirror and drank raki the whole night.

To this Gennardo leapt like a leopard in an attempt to escape, he threw himself at the glassy mirror surface in all his might when, under the tune of the cacophony that was the Sufi’s laughter and its own bursting into pieces, he squeezed the perky breasts cloaked under his aba.

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– Good lord, the size of them…the mirror broke under their weight… Wait, I…I have…I have become a Muslim woman!

– The long sleeves of this black cloak will give a wider swing to both your creative hands. No more morning hanky-panky, my son, at least until the Dhikr is as clean as a whistle!

Gennardo/Jemila shivered, and his scrawny face went pale with fear as the room flowed in an ethereal rhythm. The spirit produced an unusual sound not unlike dull sobbing, tilting his head left and right until the red pupil of his incorporeal eye faded to the hue of snowdrift. Then the spirit floated around the room, while the newly-crafted Jemila lifted up her skirt with an unsure notion of a scabrous male hand, riddled with fear of the plausible wrath of the spirit, feeling up her crotch – when all of a sudden she came to a hurdle, namely Islamic tights with a Zebra pattern, and within them a lump not unlike a scroll or a stone slab.

– Touch yourself there again and you’re getting a monolith! – the enraged Spirit said.

– Where is it? You ethereal son of a bitch! I hope they burry you dead among the living! Give me back what I had before I ever had it – I am a man, a man and my main tool is ruined! May your unliving embodiment be ripped off into the dishonorable exile! – the moment he said this, the old man cast a hellish curs upon him with swift kung fu motions, the room was filled with noise, and the stone grew to weigh an amazing 170kg and shaped itself to a steep rock upon which Jemila was twitching like Sisyphus.

– By Omar, Allah cast his judgment upon you!

– Jesus damn you, sheik, may the tribes of Mozambique sew your everyday garb for eternity!

– Jemila, I will give you one…gelded…if that means a lick to you, until you finish that scribbling of yours. As supercilious as you are you will not even reach the pentatonic scale if I do not make you humbler than a Mycenaean tomb. The chiffons and light scarves from the Islamic boutique “Il Deserto” are what you will wear, as a humble apprentice in the master-art workshop of her Islamic master.

The spirit extended his incorporeal hand, then mumbled some incoherent magic words. The rock was gone, and Jemila flew into the air suddenly and inexplicably while heavy sheet music notebooks well on his aching head from the ceiling.

– Sit down and write, and I will play now, to relax you. And do not argue with Omer’s ancestor, Jemila, or the only tool you’ll have left is that pencil in your heavy, manly hand. – The spirit exploded, but also went soft for a moment. – and you are a pretty one, even like this… if I were a bit younger…and alive…

But Jemila exploded as well. Truly never an angrier woman had there been anywhere. Jumping over the table, he grabbed the Spirit by the throat so that the hot desert air scorched his hands, but the poor composer was not even aware of the flaming pain, because, truly, there never was a bigger tragedy since birth than the one now bursting out of his throat.

– Cagna arabo, dammi il mio cazzo, subito o non si vede una chiave di violino da me, in modo da scopare con il vostro turchi e con i loro cazzi, oh inferno. Non toccare il nostro cazzo italiano. chiaramente!

But the all-seeing ‘sheik’ paid his dues in turn.

– Che tipo di temperamento, che donna! Donna turca, senza dubbio. Prenditi cura del tuo mani, Dzemila. Tornerò il tuo cazzo di questa mattina, anche se sono rimasto molto soddisfatto con la sezione.

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– Then it’s a deal.

– Yes… Al Zahra!

And he burst into laughter clad in horror while the turban on his head quivered from laughter.

– And be careful, my Al Zahra. Be careful with ALL of those keys, because all of this, as you can see, can get you to dangerous and rather unpleasant situations.

To this Gennardo Al Zahra pulled a revolver out of a drawer, placed it onto the table, opened up the notebook, lifted up his aba, gave good thought and said with a shrill voice:

– Oh…well look how good this is that I wrote… I just don’t remember when all of this happened exactly. But I don’t understand – he grabbed her hijab – this is a harmonic support written by an aesthetic ear, and just between you and me, mine is Salierian. Oh how tense these sixth chords are…

– You will be tenser than any sixth chords if you do not satisfy me with your next manuscript…

– Do not remind me. You semi-visible bastard!…Or these… excessive seventh chords. Though this little lady…erm, little lad did manage to one-off the sound which flows with most composers according to preset harmony rules and without departures in form, with some exceptions that again prove the rule.

– Did you already get so well acquainted with the Sufi philosophy, my sweet Ferda…

– Al Zahra!

– Sorry. By simply wearing the hijab you stepped into the way of Islam, Al-Zahra. You gave up the most precious of things by adopting the queer identity of unified religions – like the Emirates, are they not all united? And my goal is to unite all inter-sixth-chord-al countries of the world through the astral plane, ridding ourselves of the corpses of disunited churches – the dead stone slabs from which disgusting, moss-poisoned, despicable rocks grow! You’ve already passed phase one. And your award shall be, after all of the Sufi stages are complete, only 28365767 of them, I shall attach Big John to you, the greatest of cavemen achievements.A fresh, prehistoric specimen, a subject of confusion to the archeologists of Yale U for eleven thousand years!

Al-Zahra’s eyes lit up with glee.

– Uh uh uh … perhaps a Phrygian dominant scale would come in handy here – he stared at his manuscript dully – certainly, I will not change the rhythm of three sixteenth notes, I suppose I knew what I was doing. I think I will continue with the counterpoint which would be the F major!

The spirit sighed only to look at him angered.

– The subtext of the Sufi is a philosophy. Cyclical. Can you understand that, Little Horny Man?

– It might be, since it is both the Dervish and the Death, a cyclical piece.

Sufi’s eyelashes closed, after he rolled his eyes to the side quickly. He was ticked!

– Allahu Akbar! Every single tone must be a heartbeat in the service of Allah!

– I am not a Muslim woman!

– Do you want the Big John or the monastery, Al-Hazra!

– You are a false spirit. Turks are not Arabs!

– But they prey to Allah! Listen to your heart, Jemila. Boom boom. Boom-boom!

– Good, good! I know. Allah just came to me and told me that the secrets of the universe are hidden in the plagal cadence. – Al-Hazra looked at Sufi, filled with hope.

Annoyed, Sufi snapped his fingers and Al-Hazra fell into a philosophical dream.

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  1. I would love it if he could wake up somewhere smack in the middle of the Land of the Rising Sun, with the melancholy of a Greek who walked along Hierapolis or of a Turk clad in the Bursa silk.

– But the hell with Italy! The damn hill Monte Casino and Saint Benedict are to blame for this! The artists of Lombardy too! They didn’t want the great Rumi as part of their library and then? Who do we have? Donizetti, a bully who used a Roundel dagger to carve deep grooves in the torn bra of his wife oftentimes finding her in the arms of his own lover while his tears flowed hard and bitterly down his twisted face as he phoned in Tu che a dio spiregasti!, or that killer Gesualdo, an impressive madrigal singer and serial killer in his own home! Instead the Lombardos implemented the various Disciplinarum Libri, gardens of Milan, chest pains to stop the promising rhythm of the numbers which were studied by the first Italian composer, posing as Saint Augustine of Hippo, until he also, like that Gennardo, lived to see God bestow upon him the cadence which he has to create, and the Holy one tell him that it’s always worse to have the golden key as opposed to a wooden one.

He rubbed his sleepy eyes, ate the rice pudding from the table in absolute delight, disrobed up to his tights, gently rubbed his full breasts, removed the hijab and let loose the hair of gold, one would swear that he, as a woman, was visited by Aphrodite in his dreams.

He took his pencil to paper, thought of the Ivory Coast for reasons unknown, and started composing. He opted for the fragmental approach, with some episodes of repetition, but…

– It certainly would not be of harm if I put in minimal modulations, and make a few bars of chord mutations, and then a few for their reversals, uncompromisingly keeping track of the tonality within the heart similar to the guiding star floating in the heavens.

– But, only in the beginning. Dominant scale, you shall not escape me.

– That’s right, my son Gennardo – a potential cousin of the Canterville Ghost said. – I gave you your Joe back, it’s true that this wasn’t that particular cave, but even these Ancient Greek caves were good for something.

The composer-man calmly said:

– But, only after the subdominant chord takes it to the uncertainty of the closing act.

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The manuscript, mute and untouched up until that point, shaped itself into a living melody performed with the skilled left hand of the Sufi at the keys which stretched from the bass to the right parallel with the notes of the bass section which maintained the characteristic untamed nature of the upper melody lines.

– Ehm, my son Gennardo, very good… Do not forget to write down the bass clef.

Gennardo looked at him pretentiously.

– I did not forget. By the way, Old Seethrough… why did you introduce yourself while glorifying the Turks, by Iraq?

– Not Iraq! – the Sufi jumped up as if burned, sighed and said excitedly – because of comfort. Turkey is closer to Italy. Geographically.

Gennardo, whose doors of unrivaled narcissism and power were flung open, decided upon some idle banter with the Evil spirit.

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‘The old man is joshing with me. But I will be famous, I can see that. Oh lord, how talented I am!’

Sufi, not realizing what is happening in the thick head of his student who as is true to his nature leaned towards proclaiming himself as some sort of heroic ideal, shook his right hand, looked at Gennardo hopefully and with a smile which leaked like the Niagara falls down his incorporeal jaw with seethrough, at times pearly white teeth, he asked:

– And what about the left, my son?

Gennardo looked at little Joe with admiration, like Snow White’s stepmother queen in the magic mirror on the wall.

– Gennardo, my son… – but the ghost suddenly flared up – Now is not the time for this. Write, damn you, write! I do not have an eternity to waste! I have plans, ethereal life! I am not lazy!

– Slow down, pops. Music is a steep coast, and I would like some Riesling…

– No, no and no! – the apparition flew towards him and smacked him on the head with the kaval. – Write!

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– No.

– You better write or I’ll…

Gennardo looked at him with a wicked smile on his tiny lips.

– I have stared into the eyes of Evil numerous times, especially in the La Scala. Here is the manuscript, you finish it yourself.

– You…you…un-castrated wrecking tramp! Step the hell away from MY table!

While Gennardo was observing him with significant surprise, the spirit charged towards the manuscript which was writing itself lead by the invisible, terrifying hand of the Divine:

– If Allah allowed you to rotate like a chord, he would not allow the holy Scripture of the Omayyad to continue in that direction.

And as his turban fell from his head, his hair caught fire and his entire body spoke, and the voice the same as bare iron was whipping the back “of all you mortal ingrate bastards, and oh my Dervish, you will not go to Greece, so help me and self-immolate me the great Allaaaaaah!”

– Master, your hair is on fire. True, I did not know how to finish this, oh me the humiliated Salieri, oh me, oh my personal anguish! Not even your holy Turkish power was of any help!

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– Iranian, fool! – With a mighty motion of the shining hand the powerful Sufi rammed a clef down while wildly spinning towards the door, knowing he didn’t have a lot of time left.

– Oh Allah, now I know how Joan of Arc felt! The body is burning, it hurts, but it is dangerous not to finish it and leave with merry disdain the glory to that damn amateur Orpheus!

– A counter-rhythmic structure, Wop! Always of a temporary character, that’s what it must be. Then come the influences of…erm…I will have to fit the instrumental transpositions in a very, very specific manner in order to create ecstatic confusion which leads one to spiritual bliss. Do you follow, son?

– You mean, like bruises? – the Italian asked confusedly.

– Not contusions, Al-Zahra! Something within me got mixed up in my powers. You somehow woke up from a deep sleep.

– And what of these influences? – Gennardo asked terrified as the Master was spontaneously combusting. Not even the dark wind that burst into the room managed to put out the fire of his heart.

With a tired burned up hand he wrote the last few bars, while Gennardo was rolling on the floor engulfed in terror, howling:

– Call the fire brigade!

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– The fireman does not help there, only the Fountain of Fire– the Iranian said and started singing.

‘Only when the school and the mosque and the minaret

Collapse, only then can the Dervish get together.

Until fealty turns to treachery, and treachery to trust,

Not a single human being can become

The part and the organ of truth.’

The doors opened with a horrific bang and the same humongous man from the hill, golden-haired and dark in gaze had upon sifting down Gennardo placed both hands on the table, lifting above it, and the entire castle akin to Vesuvius above Pompeii, mowing down a few chandeliers in the room with his athletic shoulders.

– Get it solved, Rumi. Give the pride of Music to Greece. In return Zeus will stop the storm at Athos and destroy the Greek fleet. By the Sun and the Moon, fire and water, Francis of Assisi can be stopped. It stands to reason that the crucified man will merely be a shell of the Roman plan when Persia rules the world. The Nietzschean God will not die, for He will never have existed. Ultimately, is Music not the most important of all? Let Persia wage wars, let Greece play its tunes…and the rest – here he looked at the Italian – let them curse that same Francis of Assisi and their Lombardos. Oh, by the myth, get it solved.

Rumi gave him a stern look and as the Greek Heracles laughed looking at his weak body, Rumi shrugged.

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– The influences enable a powerful elaboration of the theme before its resolution – he looked at the Greek as his body was aflame – It is true that to Dionysus these resolutions were left too undefined considering we’re tackling tense chord sets…Yes, my son, everything can be resolved upon tension. And not just in them, but also in excessive and reduced chords while the doubly reduced tones can solvate on varying sequences. The Greek mind cannot comprehend this, but sending bad weather to the Persians, that it can. – Despite being all but charcoal at this point, he did not lose the passion to point his index finger at the Hellen.

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– Your problem, Rumi, is that you are living in the past – there was a grin twixt the cheeks of the Greek.

– You see, Gennardo, my son. Your beloved La Scala collapsed the moment this was resolved. (A powerful blast in the distance.)

– You no longer need to worry about your reputation. And the Sufi is dancing with the stars. – Rumi said, whose body was already burned. He turned to dust and disappeared.

‘I do not care about not being famous THERE as long as there is nobody superior. Besides, the manuscript is here.’ The minute he thought this, he grabbed the Notes with all his might and squeezed it to his chest defying the Greek who towered over him, or rather the house itself.

– But why did you yourself not resolve all of this, Dervish? – Gennardo asked astutely.

– I wasn’t able to – the Giant shivered in anger.

– Those vain Greeks…but we have Donizetti and he will knife the lot of you! – Gennardo raised a fist in the air. – Our madmen do not originate in myth, they are born True!

The Greek, and it was Apollo, waved his hair amid which was interwoven the seed of magic and stopped the fire, he snatched with a breezy motion the notebook from Gennardo’s gnarled hands and made his way to the exit, tearing down everything in his path.

– See you later and have a good one – with the notes and the kaval, therefore, he went to the door in an attempt to close them with an even more deafening bang.

– Wait…wait… – the Italian rose from the floor. – You cannot take that. This was written by me, Jemila, Ferda, Qasim, Al-Zahra and Rumi. All you did was start the theme. We were the ladies that…erm…the men that finished the threepiece song. This is not yours.

With a calm expression on his face the giant turned, and the face in question took on the hue of deep mythical stability while he, with his tongue clean, with not a whiff of abruptness nor rudeness, replacing the dark flash in the eyes of the Furies with a glow of an unbearable sun, approached Gennardo and with a friendly handshake which crushed his right shoulder thus putting him in hellish anguish for life, and trying to offer him a handshake of truce rejected by the Italian, he said:

– “Dionysia” is a Greek record label whose manager is Aphrodite and which exists for nearly 10.000 years. Its primary field of interest is music copyright protection and it’s responsible largely to the European commission and the NFB champion’s league (not that we don’t have some powerful connections here as well). Orpheus, upon reading “The Trial”, decided to be a stickler and to only gather material while he’s keeping records. Dionysus already burned the “Dhikr” onto a disc in standard audio format, and I have long ago given the ID, filled in the form, in short – I beat you to it.And what were you thinking with Sufi music anyway, Salieri? You are not a Dervish. Neither am I. Only Rumi could perform all of this, and what are fools for? Still, I will tell you something that the old nostalgic fool didn’t.

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Red Infinity, Robert R Splashy Art

Anyone can be a Dervish if he realizes that creation is a game, that the Dhikr itself was conceived by a non-Dervish as an experiment of the western musical thought.  – Apollo scratched his head here. – The Dervish is he who bravely wrestles with tonal variety. What makes a piece colossal? Would this piece be as massive as my Hellenic hand had it not yearned for the definition of resolution? But, to you, as well as others who were not what HE was, and Lord knows where in Persia he is now looking for a new moron to protect the art from the Greeks – the cruel god of music laughed lovingly at this statement – the musical and life symbolism do not let up. Little Horny Man… – he moved onward to tap him on Sufi’s “Johnny” gift, to which a crushed Gennardo ran to the other side of the room and curled up in the corner.

He was squealing for a while in his misery, only to crawl, with that one shoulder crushed, to the phone pushing his body away from the floor with the left hand, to grab the headphone and, slightly repenting in his mind due to the sins of pride which did not go well with Christian mercy, and even a bit teary-eyed remembering the passion of his self-immolated Master, to dial an unidentified number, dragging his voice down the telephone cable, gruff and heavy, but mostly desperate which gave him additional strength to utter the decisive, Solomonic, unequivocal and rosy resolution:

– Attorney’s office, please.

 

DERVISH, Part One


Part One

He had learned the secrets of the universe from the manuscript itself, and had felt the tones in the best of his fingertip muscles.

The sound of winds and leaves whooshed through the plain through which the Brenta river ran, meandering the old sandy loam soil. Why it was this particular heath not moistened and not watered by rain that Gennardo Schiavone chose to write his new opera, “The Temptation of Don Salvatore”, would become clear if the traveler made three quivering steps on the dry soil, one of hard ossified structure.

After the last fiasco he went through performing the concert for piano and strings “The Espresso Variant on the Subject of Death of Saint Vitalis” in the Italian Center of Culture and the intransigent criticism at the “La Creazione”, Gennardo decided to find the musical solution for the probable salvation and continuation of his music career in the heart of the Great Heath.

„Now, wasn’t it He who went to the desert to know… that, in the wasteland of life, here, under this tree may my body be as the one of the Savior, and may the menace itself visit me, to engender within me a sacred tone…” – Gennardo piously mumbled and the moment he thought of this, he spotted the Dervish emerging from the fog, with a kaval in his hand.

– This isn’t a kaval – the Dervish said, reading his thoughts. – It is a ney..Karghy tuiduk, an instrument of wind.The oldest instrument in the world.

“He uses a ney. A Crooked Pan..Whatever did he do to him?”

– The devil had changed his garb since time immemorial, but the truth is that an Arabic fashion chic coming from a Catholic was not something I expected. O how my bitter salasplayed at the expense of this poor shepherd – the insides of his carotid arteries were overcome by darkened terror for a moment, which made his neck bulge up and his body stiffen, while he sat, perfectly calm, under the tree and as his head was encircled, halo-like, by the tops of Northern Apennines. A hum of the sea was heard in the distance.
– Have you ever heard of him? – the Sufi asked, using his free hand to scratch himself on his mohair.

– I have.

– And have you played him? And what are you hanging on that hillock for – the Dervish spoke nervously whose appearance still largely confused Gennardo considering his height which overshadowed the tree of Gennardo’s hillock and his lush blonde hair.
– It doesn’t match the goat-hair cloth. He doesn’t even look Italian. Which shepherd could this be?

Gennardo shook his head, somewhat calmer, as if a thousand honorable forces presently included him in the congregation of good spirits.

– But only if you’re not a Turk! – shouted the up until that point godlike Dervish, to which Gennardo felt goosebumps on his head and scratched it, while he was hallucinating a pentangle shape or any other life-threatening apparition

– By Saint Vitalis, should I run as fast as my legs can carry me for this is some rotten business here…

But, the Dervish said:

– I will now play for you.

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And he trapped him on the spot with his first tone which sucked the composer in the vortex where music enters the man and disappears inside of him somewhere.

And he played the instrument made of hollow reed, skillfully shuffling his fingers across the ney holes. It was a round-up of the movement of music dug deep into the rhythm.

Nearly in a religious trance, Gennardo danced swept by the accord of divine forces streaming from “the spheres” – and within the Dervish’s song which bore Gennardo’s dancing body through the typhoon he spun around faster and faster in an unexpected manifestation of the universe, to perceive, through the binding of the heavens and the earth, a universe of love and a different godly principle, hypnotically repeating “Masnavi, Masnavi” pushing close to a hallucination.
– Who did he see? What happened to him?

It was an old man with a strong, thick beard a la Bektashi, in woolen clothes with a white hat on his head and while fear grew in parallel with curiosity within Gennardo, he felt that the Dervish hypnotized him more successfully than Franz Mesmer.
– This man would have mesmerized the entirety of the Scale Milano and would have made the prima donna Fibrazini perform Chaliapin’s partita, and the audience perform a group jump on stage in the style of Nureyev and all of them, made joyous in the vertigo of musical insaneness shout: Gennardo, Gennardo!
– And who are you, whitecap?

– Jalal ad-Din Muhammad. I now stand on the Pearl of Khorasan.

– Unbelievable! – sweat poured off of Gennardo out of massive excitement, thus he shot a very serious glance at the blonde God of music who abruptly stopped playing and as he caressed his ney, he was leering at the nigh-maddened Gennardo who, in the same manner, caressed his denim clothing made for him by Gianfranco Sestili himself and as shrewdness was growing within him, he asked the odd, and yet a rather…rather… simple shepherd:
– Was this an Italian stornello?

– Just a miracle I listened to inside of myself while walking along the heath, I sat on a rock, to freshen myself with a noggin of wine, it’s something akin the antic metaxa, and… This is just the intro, of course.

– It just came to you… well, that’s how it goes, my friend… – his heart beat faster – my stornellos – his fingers snap – like that. Cosi. Facile! And why did you stop playing?

The Dervish shrugged.

– The spiral is the evolution of the circle.

Ah, he felt that the spiral is open for my musical ears. I cannot even make a threepiece song out of this, let alone a sonata form. He must continue! He must!

And his hands shook.

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– Well go on, then, finish it! – Gennardo grabbed the Dervish’s shoulders desperately – Finish it, I want to hear more! Until the end! You barely played anything at all, so why did you stop playing? I want you to play all the way to the coda, do you understand me? All the way to the devil’s tail! – the scream no longer slubered in the musician’s throat, and his face wend black and blue as if both tar and wax were poured on it.

– You are a Turk! – the Dervish was flabbergasted.

– I am not, I swear I’m not! I was scorched by the hot Italian sun! Blood of fire!

– I know, friend – the Dervish grabbed his hands, and it was such a gentle squeeze that Gennardo squealed and looked into his strange visitor’s eyes, and that which he saw in his eyes filled him with dread. He all but shrieked – Without question – it’s nice when blue, pink, reseda and yellow are mixed in the cornea, but all of this without pupils and a gaze full of love, but which burns…ouch! – All you’ve written up till this point are ruins. Look into yourself. This is where music is hidden. Do not despair, I shall come again and rebuild all of those ruins…in a century or two because I have something important to do.

– A-and…and what do you…cuh-cuh-call this composition? – Gennardo grinned like a road bandit.

– A Dhikr. How else? And remember. The spiral is the evolution of the circle – even though he was still speaking, a force of dead nature! It was clear to Gennardo now, and if it were dead, he does not fall under the copyright law, this Dervish who was miles away… somewhere close to the horizon, leaving only the memory of his wild stare and …oh, and… I cannot forget what I have just heard… ah, I would never forget! And some of it is already gone! Oh, if I could only write one part down – Gennardo was rocking back and forth, but a thunderous voice soared over the hard soil.

– I will help you, but only if you are a Turk. For one day the land of Khorasan will give Alexander of Macedonia, almost of Greece what he’s due.

– This must be him notifying everyone who intend to do dark misdeeds in the name of breaking copyright law – Gennardo consolingly told himself and then spoke to the spirit hovering and meditating over him.

– Gemo, I have for you a pure roton chianti classic riserva. Almost pure Sangiovese!

– A Turkish Riesling for me, if I may.

  1. – Sit, oh spiritual man – he already took the see-through Sufi into a villa bedecked in rustic design. The living room was lined with chairs made of massive fir tree with reclined back, and the red leather sofa where Jelalhudin curled up comfortably, was full of pillows filled with polyurethane foam.

– There’s the bastard!  He tricked me. Played a few notes, hypnotized me along with the Alps and the distant sea and fled. He is squinting with his pupil-less eyes and mocking me to my face.

But the Sufi master was silent.

– You said you would help me. Why do you keep silent?

The Sufi got up, somewhat less see-through, and said pensively:

– I am not that sure that you’re a Turk.

– I am, I am! Me being in Italy is pure coincidence! My great-great-seven greats grandmother was Yemina, for the time a very forward-thinking, very close cousin of the beautiful Jemila who was a grandmother on the father’s side of Saint Roxelana!

– But she had removed our Grand vizier! – the spirit added angrily.

– My grandmothers Yemina and Jemila have nothing to do with that bloody murder! I am a Turk and I can prove it. Here! – he turned towards the rectangular mirror with a textured gold-colored frame, lifted his hands up to his ears and after saying “tea, tea, tea!” the Sufi embraced him.

– Repetition is the mother of wisdom. Now I know you’re a Turk.

– I know I’m a Turk, but who is he? – Gennardo said excitedly and after an added repetition of “teateatea,” he continued. – Whoever it is, an Egyptian, a Sufi or Rumi’s illegitimate son, I must finish what he had started. But how? This piece, or rather it’s beginning… Oh, Salieri, Salieri! Why did you not sing all of this on paper like in the film and then die…?

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He looked at his notes which he managed to clean out of his ears for a moment, after the Dervish had left him.

– Oh Cavallasca… Oh cosmic dignity! Yes…I could put in something of a back-up, on lute, perhaps. Btu what what? Go on, tell me, Mozart of Khorasan!  – his finger pointed to the smiling Sufi.

– Be guided by your sense of orientalism, Gennardo…

– A Phrygian scale then. Therein lies the key! All oriental scales come from the pentatonic one – he was thinking rapidly. – But how can I turn this Dervish’s composition performed from a rotating dance sensation, more repetitive than my nagging wife which fortunately stayed back in Venice…how can I turn it into a symphony? Or at least a sonata form? “Gennardo’s sonata” – he was daydreaming, when suddenly Sufi’s voice exploded anew.

– I am back to help you in the name of the once widespread honorable Ottoman empire. Allah Allah, have you no trust?

– Well alright, who…hmm…were you?

– Rumi. But not the self-taught philosopher. He had been a very distant cousin. I, too, am dead, hope you don’t mind? This tiny composition that bothers you so is but a mere trifle when compared to “Sufi’s War Games” which I composed in the thirteenth century.

– And why did your colleague flee?

– That was Apollo. He did not want to mess with Turks since they vetoed Greek credit debt…

The spirit got up and walked about the room, deep in his thoughts. His gaze paused on the rectangle mirror, danced a few Dervish circles around him and stopped before the glassy surface. – I am glad I’m still both smart, and spiritual, and reflectible! –he caressed his Sufi beard while listening to this.
True, the old ghost does have an expression. Though, nothing strange about that. The aging Sufi spirit is nothing similar to the imaginary count of Bram Stocker.

– The truth is you need the pentatonic scale. But, we want an authentic melody, like what Wagner would compose. For this to happen, the job must be done differently. – attracted by Gennardo’s squeals, astonished he turned around, upon which realizing that the composer went mad with happiness and that he was between two separate cycles, one of which was insanity, the other enthusiasm.

– Tell me, what would you want to do, a sonata, a concerto, a symphony based on Orpheus? Ah, Orpheus, you minx, you’ll get what’s coming to you – there never was an empire bigger than the Ottoman empire… – the ghost went on and on.

– A sonata form… but… but… – Gennardo was concentrating staring at a few notes – I need the bridge, the B theme and the closing section.

Oh enough with the book terms! There were no such words back in my day, and still I was the most famous composer that ever lived in Asia! The only condition I have before helping you is that this sonata be written in honor of the Turks and that its name reflects this, Sonata a la Turca!

– But that’s already been writ–

– Never mind. What did Orpheus give you… – he extended his slender and candle-lit bright hand.

The minute Sufi said this, Gennardo snapped from his dream.

There was nobody in the room.

– O dark chamber of evil, I swear I did not dream this!

True, he was reminded of this by the Dervish’s manuscript which fell from a semi concert grand piano with a deafening bang as if it were slammed down by someone’s invisible, beefy hand.

A deep, ice-cold night was impregnated by eerie goosebumps. Out of reasons unknown, his own reflection made him engrave all of his shapes in the midnight glass. He saw himself, but in a mintan shirt and leather boots. Over the shirt was a carelessly flung short caftan. ‘As if somebody else had flung it there.’ By some unknown miracle a calpac, a conical woolen hat, was on his head.

– So it did happen. – He concluded happily and even though he felt neither hunger nor thirst, despite not eating nor drinking a thing throughout the day, the old spirit selflessly treated him to a sultan’s pilaf and Istanbul’s Risotto, as well as various dishes completely covered by the expensive Il Tavolo Italiano.

The composer carefully set aside two sultan plates from the table and spread out a magical manuscript of the most beautiful opening theme ever uncovered to the human ear, at the same time pouring a bit of raki in his glass in order to devotedly bend over the manuscript.

– Transcendental, indeed. It can be performed with an echo. Oh, how sonorous. This Orpheus, whatever he is, is good… Still, let’s see what I can do with the exposition that this Sufi, Apollo, whatever… gave to me.

He said and flung open the sheet music.

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– The good man wants the sonata and then sleepwalk a bit! I’ll show you, tiny Wop! This is a threepiece song in an A B A pattern, with the first part being changed to the point of being beyond recognition. And I like this, just like the good old chaotic tunes, O the Berberian choruses, fight on fight on against Gennardian lulling of sacred music into mediocrity.

– Few can use this strong tonal ace to win in a cruel and uncompromising game of destruction for the purpose of creation. This brave Aladdin does not hesitate.

The staff lines with their spaces waved in order to enthrone themselves alongside the mute Sufi choruses into an expertly performed final note which Gennardo used to line up the following notes, and those after, and those after.

– By this raki in my hand, I will be disharmonic – bathing in blinding light, while his hand shone at the same time, and the calpac went a bit askew, with glassy Gorgon eyes he wrote savagely akin to the first musical maniac genius on skinned animal hide. He went for some unexpected solutions for melodic degrees, implementing the forbidden sixth degree in the exposition, where the dominant was not to be resolved.

– I bet that that solfeggio composer Gennardo would have resolved in as early as the tonic! – the Sufi said with no bitterness, as he sung, pure-heartedly and with his eyes closed the Mevlevi chorus unifying poetry, music and dance. – Ah, to hell with him, the sixth degree is seeking new resolutions to itself and new salvations from sin which ego te absolvo will provide for it…

But, when he heard Latin, he was taken slightly aback and grabbed his calpac with both hands. – Oh Daemon, daemon, control those who are to follow and in line, if necessary I will light a thousand candles and switch off all artificial lights so that this a la Turca music might drone onward and not stop in time, let alone in etertiny!

To this a giggle followed, and then a bang, and at long last, all went quiet.

This fear, where could it come from? This language I speak I could not utilize to understand it, and why should I fear Latin and then remember it? What hurt can the ego of this language inflict upon me, and surely its ego-lingue is hurt!

At the same time several psychological phenomena intersected within him. And yet another just as creepy as it is unresolved in the pensiveness of his decisions shook his heart down along with the quaking hand. Candles, quiver on this wind of doubt, light bulbs, burst for you are in contact with a musical evolution far bigger than your own!

At that moment all lights went out in the villa, and someone called him by the name. – Qasim, I generously offer you candles so that you do not have to walk all the way to the wardrobe in your living room, fifth drawer from the bottom, on the left.

– Qasim… – he was overcome with joy, but his heart was overtaken by a dark shadow which was completely shooed away by the candles. They appeared, out of nowhere, finding room on the table among all of this rice pudding.

– These candles only reproduce themselves from your memory, Qasim of Khorasan, do not fear. Never fear the deep memory, oh Qasim! – a rotting ghost of sorts walked about the room for a second, making dance circles with its creaking voice, taming them one by one with its arms outspread and eyes closed. – Oh I can do it, with both hands! – Sure you can – the old apparition said. – You always could, Qasim. – At this point the apparition disappeared.

He continued writing the music of the spheres at the same time, filling in the part with both hands.

– Allah is great and He will not return me to the old resolution, but rather make me anew… There it is! There’s the resolution! – He grabbed the notes and with a mild conductor gesture he sang with a crystal clear voice the rest of the exposition admiring the fullness and clarity of sound. Each contact of Gennardo’s senses with a melodic line created fervor in the Being whose substance was limitless sound, and the pulse was the rhythm of the Timeless.

– Any criticisms of this, Jelalhudin? Perhaps Gennardo cannot Sufi-ize like you, but I swear to you that he was here as well, and that we resolved everything together…

Invisible, spectral arms snatched his throat.

– Do not vex me. Being invisible does not make me any less dangerous, quite the contrary! That bastard would not even be able to start this Khorasan pearl which you’re crafting, one of the ancestor of Yemina and Jemila, and Saint Roxelana, let alone finish it. However, you still have work, if you didn’t notice! You damned little sloth, why did I ever bestow upon you the symbol of Logos? Allah curse and punish me! I will tune you in Kairo yet once more, you soulless villain! Ben sonsuza kadar lanetlenmiş olacağım!

And he hit Qasim/Gennardo on the head with a kaval with all his might.

– Forgive me, teacher, woe is me Holy Spirit, I shall finish what must be finished, oh by both of your saintly hands of Khorasan!

A holy silence was sprinkled in the room anew.

– East. West. I will suffer a nervous breakdown from this garish Sufi. Tomorrow I will tell him to leave my house – Gennardo thought as the morning sun bathed his face, yanking him from the eerie nightmare.

– What a dream! What a curse!
persequendum est (this thing must be continued)….. Part Two