Seventy-eight per Minute

 

In the trunk that stopped time
at August twenty-ninth
of nineteen fifty-one
is a page from the Wichita Herald
as a cushion between the Emperor
Concerto and Love Music
from Tristan, kept so long by chance

with Eleanor Roosevelt’s My Day,
a column which questioned
the curious procedure
by which Argentinians have apparently
nominated their President and his wife
for another term . . . just beneath

the Back to School advertisement
offering woolen slacks
for eighteen dollars fifty, and
a pair of Oxfords
for twenty-one, to give
the rugged effect so desirable
this season. Next to Wagner,

Bloch for piano and orchestra,
a Haydn trio, and Heifetz
playing Brahms
while Eleanor continued
. . . as tho it had all been
engineered in the best totalitarian
manner. Hitler might have been
chosen and nominated in this way.
Stalin could put over

something of the kind, and perhaps
even Franco . . . Today, in twenty-seventeen
the tune’s as familiar
as when Smetana’s Moldau
was a black river spinning.

David Chorlton


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