Nasty - Poem by Diane Hine
The house is empty.
The windows are shut.
The practice pedal on the upright piano is depressed.
It takes twenty minutes to massacre
Haydn’s Capriccio in G.
Afterwards, I wash my hands
and imagine a salon in Imperial Vienna.
The theme is hiding in a harpsichord.
Joseph extricates it.
He releases it, chases it and recaptures it thirteen
times in seven minutes; mostly in a cheerful mood.
One hand marches and the other plays triplets.
How is this done without severing the hemispheres?
He juggles with it; multiple plectrums pluck the strings.
He steadies it with the left hand, tidies with the right
and staples it shut with three identical chords.
I examine the history and discover that Haydn
took his theme from an old Austrian folk song
called ‘It takes eight people to castrate a boar’.
I don’t like it anymore.
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