How to catch the holy while humming along to “Santa Lucia” (Jack Jezzro, Guitar Romance)

February 15, 2017

After a phone call with Brian Doyle

Hello, this is Brian Doyle. Got your message and thought I’d call
instead of e-mailing. I can’t believe you were planning to come all
the way to Chicago just for my workshop. Sorry you couldn’t get
there. . . . Wow, that’s pretty radical surgery. Sounds like you’ve
been through some bad stuff. Careful not to sneeze. Well, I assure
you I didn’t say anything worth traveling that far for. Nothing earth
rattling. But if you like I can send you two pieces I used for
handouts. Just so you know they’re not how-tos. They’re stories. A
bit shy on the surface, then they get bolder, wiser on the inside. . . .
I sort of sidle up to the who, what, when, where. Sneak in and try
to catch hold of something holy, good, graceful. . . . I hope this
doesn’t sound glib—I start by putting my fingers on the keys and
typing. Haaah, this’ll sound even glibber. I never take time to parse
words. One sentence just tucks into the next. Now you know why I
have a hard time with how-tos, recipes. Step one, step two, mix,
bake, serve while hot. I think you’ll see what I mean in the
handouts. One of them is kinda silly but the other is crucial. Dawn
and Mary. . . . So tell me who you are and why you write and have
you gotten to where you can hum while you write?