Beethoven by Shane Koyczan

By Mark Ashworth 25 Jan 04:11
38 slides
2
Beethoven
Shane Koyczan
3
Listen
his father
made a habit
out of hitting him
see
4
some men drink
some men yell
some men hit their children
5
this man
did it all
6
because I guess all men
want their boys
to be geniuses
7
Beethoven
little boy
living in a house
where a name meant nothing
8
living in a house
where mercy had to be earned
through each perfect note
9
tumbling up through the roof
to tickle the toes of angels
whose harps
couldn’t hold half the passion
10
that was held in the hands
of a young boy
who was hard of hearing
11
Beethoven
who heard
his father’s anthem
every time he put finger
to ivory
12
it was not good enough
so he played slowly
13
not good enough
so he played softly
14
not good enough
so he played strongly
15
and when he could play no more
when his fingers cramped up
into the gnarled roots of tree trunks
it was
not good enough
16
Beethoven
a musician
without his most precious tool
his eardrums
could no longer pound out rhythms
for the symphonies playing in his mind
17
he couldn’t hear the audiences clapping
couldn’t hear the people loving him
couldn’t hear the women in the front row whispering
18
Beethoven
as they let the music
invade their nervous system
like an armada marching through
firing cannonballs
19
detonating every molecule in their bodies
into explosions of heavenly sensation
each note
leaving track marks
over every inch of their bodies
20
making them ache
for one more hit
he was an addiction
21
and kings/queens
it didn’t matter
the man got down on his knees
for no one
22
but amputated the legs of his piano
so he could feel the vibrations
through the floor
the man got down on his knees
for music
23
and when the orchestra played his symphonies
it was the echoes of his father’s anthem
repeating itself
like a brok-broken recor-brok-broken record
24
it was
not good enough
25
so they played slowly
not good enough
26
so they played softly
not good enough
27
so they played strongly
not good enough
28
so they tried to mock the man
make fun of the madness
by mimicking the movements
holding their bows
a quarter of an inch above the strings
not making a sound
29
it was
perfect
see
the deaf have an intimacy with silence
it’s there in their dreams
30
and the musicians turned to one another
not knowing what to make of the man
trying to calculate
the distance between madness and genius
31
realizing that Beethoven’s musical measurements
could take you to distances
reaching past the towers of Babylon
turning solar systems into symbols
that crashed together
32
causing comets to collide
creating crescendos that were so loud
they shook the constellations
until the stars began to fall from the sky
33
and it looked like the
entire universe
had begun to cry
distance must be an illusion
34
the man must be
a genius
35
Beethoven
his thoughts moving at
the speed of sound
transforming emotion into music
36
and for a moment
it was like joy
was a tangible thing
like you could touch it
37
like for the first time
we could watch love and
hate dance together
38
in a waltz of such precision and beauty
that we finally understood
the history wasn’t important
39
to know the man
all we ever had to do was
listen.

Slides in Beethoven by Shane Koyczan

Beethoven Shane Koyczan
Listen his father made a habit out of hitting him see
some men drink some men yell some men hit their children
this man did it all
because I guess all men want their boys to be geniuses
Beethoven little boy living in a house where a name meant nothing
living in a house where mercy had to be earned through each perfect note
tumbling up through the roof to tickle the toes of angels whose harps couldn’t hold half the passion
that was held in the hands of a young boy who was hard of hearing
Beethoven who heard his father’s anthem every time he put finger to ivory
it was not good enough so he played slowly
not good enough so he played softly
not good enough so he played strongly
and when he could play no more when his fingers cramped up into the gnarled roots of tree trunks it was not good enough
Beethoven a musician without his most precious tool his eardrums could no longer pound out rhythms for the symphonies playing in his mind
he couldn’t hear the audiences clapping couldn’t hear the people loving him couldn’t hear the women in the front row whispering
Beethoven as they let the music invade their nervous system like an armada marching through firing cannonballs
detonating every molecule in their bodies into explosions of heavenly sensation each note leaving track marks over every inch of their bodies
making them ache for one more hit he was an addiction
and kings/queens it didn’t matter the man got down on his knees for no one
but amputated the legs of his piano so he could feel the vibrations through the floor the man got down on his knees for music
and when the orchestra played his symphonies it was the echoes of his father’s anthem repeating itself like a brok-broken recor-brok-broken record
it was not good enough
so they played slowly not good enough
so they played softly not good enough
so they played strongly not good enough
so they tried to mock the man make fun of the madness by mimicking the movements holding their bows a quarter of an inch above the strings not making a sound
it was perfect see the deaf have an intimacy with silence it’s there in their dreams
and the musicians turned to one another not knowing what to make of the man trying to calculate the distance between madness and genius
realizing that Beethoven’s musical measurements could take you to distances reaching past the towers of Babylon turning solar systems into symbols that crashed together
causing comets to collide creating crescendos that were so loud they shook the constellations until the stars began to fall from the sky
and it looked like the entire universe had begun to cry distance must be an illusion
the man must be a genius
Beethoven his thoughts moving at the speed of sound transforming emotion into music
and for a moment it was like joy was a tangible thing like you could touch it
like for the first time we could watch love and hate dance together
in a waltz of such precision and beauty that we finally understood the history wasn’t important
to know the man all we ever had to do was listen.
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