Letter to the Editor

by Philp Nast

Dear Editor,

Years before I met Hayden Carruth in Syracuse in the early nineties, I read his essay “The Formal Idea of Jazz.” Jazz interrupted by talk or noise irritated him. It irritates me. I knew we had that much in common as we sat one night in a relatively quiet corner at a boisterous party, drinking, exchanging a few words, listening to a jazz cd played in another room. Some riff made him smile and he tried to talk about it, but I didn’t hear, couldn’t filter the jazz from the noise. The 
moment was lost. He grew quiet.

A small thing. One moment. One shared observation. I regret the loss. An appreciation of regret and its role in thought is something else I know we shared.

Originally Published: May 1, 2013

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This prose originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2013

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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