The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

August 23, 2017

the BIG AMERICAN guitar *

*made in Indonesia

with the big american steel strings; I have troubles playing
this instrument (owned by Azure's father); I'm for quick
playing, light touch, but here, my hands give out and the
music is strange and kind of wonderful, never mind the nails
are the worst for it. these guitars are louder than the nylon/
nylgut/gut-stringed instruments; they don't have the twang of
course, that slow dying-out sound of the prairie wind for
example. they resonate with the hollows of thunder in the
canyons; they're a message of arrival and departure, the sound
of the iron steel train on the iron steel tracks, the Whitman;
at Dickinson's brother's house, there was a 19th-century gut-
string banjo on the fireplace mantle, nothing like this (but she
might have played both today, or none at all, or did she then?);
here is the sound of delicate fingers and their exercising, the
frustration of wanting to do with the strings what others might
do, of the daytime nighttime bigamerican guitar, irresolute in
my hands, I wanted this

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