The Rigorous Sadness of Erik Satie

He didn’t permit visitors to his one-room apartment in the 27 years he lived there. After his death (from drink), the landlord let in friends and family. They discovered an inventory of cultural anarchy. The room was littered with more than 100 umbrellas. There were two grand pianos, one placed on top of the other. He had used the upper piano as storage, not only for letters, parcels, and old newspapers, but also the kind of noises an audience would pay not to hear – sirens, taxi horns, a jack in the box. Behind the piano, they found a gray velvet suit he thought he had forgotten on a bus years ago. In the pockets were notes to himself. On one was written, “Shake like a leaf,” and on another, “Be invisible for a moment.” 

Howie Good’s latest poetry collection, Gunmetal Sky, is due in February from Thirty West Publishing,

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