Saturday, December 12, 2015

December 12, 2015

Luxury not to have to go to the theater until evening. We did get a little practice in, which did not prevent us from having, I think, the worst night yet, or at least the most inexcusably bad night, since all the “hard” parts were excised. Kamikaze baritones torpedoed us in harbor. The large crowd which stayed for talk-back did not mention this, so perhaps they didn’t notice it. But I’m sure Charlie did. I’d be surprised if we are asked back next year. One woman said, “Are you the one with the deep voice?” “Yes.” “I wanted the whole time to ask you to sing ‘Old Man River.’” I said, “Wave a dollar in front of me and see what happens.”
The bad singing disheartened me. I went from anxiety to get it right to weariness with the whole thing without any period of excited accomplishment in between.

Hiking back to the car through the lively city, I stopped at Brasilia for a drink at the bar. The bartender, Shu, is a Chinese-American who had never made a hot toddy before. But, enjoyed his conversation. He says he hates to go back to China now because everyone there is a Capitalist obsessed with money. He still laments the Nationalist fall, and recommends Mao as a better poet than people think he was. I recited Pound’s “Bowman of Shu.” He had never heard of Pound, or of any Westerner writing Chinese poetry.
Day of summery mildness. I opened my windows for a while. The camellia is duty red.

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