Like the blues

Videopoem  for the Metaphysics of Love Project

Poem: Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins & Ray Hsu
Camera, editing, grading & music: Swoon
Footage: Dementia 13 (Coppola), Lodewijk van Eekhout & IICADOM


Like the blues, the blue notes
mean many things.

No union is more
profound than marriage

for it embodies the highest ideals

fidelity, devotion
sacrifice and family. One quality
that they all have in common

is that they are lower
than one would expect
classically speaking

Two people become
something greater than once they were.
But this flatness

may take several forms

As some of the petitioners
demonstrate, marriage embodies
a love that may endure

even past death.
On the one hand
it may be a microtonal affair

of a quarter-tone or so.
It would misunderstand
these men and women
to say they disrespect

the idea of marriage.
Here one may speak of neutral
intervals, neither major nor minor

Their plea is that they do
respect it, respect it so deeply
that they seek to find its fulfillment
for themselves

On the other hand, the lowering
may be by a full semitone—as it must be,
of course, on keyboard instruments.
Their hope is not to be condemned

to live in loneliness, excluded
from one of civilization’s
oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity
in the eyes of the law. It may involve a glide
either upward or downward

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
is reversed.

Again, this may be a microtonal, almost imperceptible
affair, or it may be a slur
between notes a semitone apart, so that there
is actually not one blue
note but two

It is so ordered