My first story was cribbed from Highlights magazine; I rewrote the thing, the nun typed it in proper form, the story was submitted, my parents were proud, I was silent: from that day to this, penance.
My brother, Matt Curtis, divined a saying, “Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.” trouble is, sometimes, the facts are the story; even so, there is Truth, and there is truth: craft in art tells the difference.
Each young stud would like to know if he is the best horse in the race, if he merely places or shows, if he is in the herd, if behind he falls into infamy, or worse, into anonymity. For this, I have composed a history of civilization in verse, in sonnet, in hundreds of voices, in “Colloquies: A Review of Civilization in Little Songs”. In that, and in libretti, lyric, history, philosophy, criticism, et cetera, I run my race to the finish, where I hope to meet you.
Might I tell you a secret? All things are magic, nothing of us is solid, time, space, history through us passes as breath through lips passes into air; and then, even the words you now read, these things of ontological existence are corporeally, nothing; yet, of all things, strings-of-words from mind-to-mind survive all that words have made, temples, towers, teacups, and this is a story worthy of telling.
The fingers keep the motion, the rhythm keeps the time, the rule keeps the measure, and the tool keeps the line; the subject makes the story, and the form makes the design; the craft is mastered by the hand; the art, by the mind.
Once, when young, I created a most artful, galloping satyr; proud, I delivered it to the foundry for casting; a sprew was placed on the expressive face; the statuette was ruined; I melted the metal back into the blob from which it came. Recently, I composed a book rich of ideas, challenging and beautiful, the editor, for careful cause cut one-fifth. Books of The Studio Press, in prose and verse, fiction and exposition, have faults that are personally innocent, and by this innocence each may live. I hope, that although not faultless, some of these books might live with you.
Just now, likely I am creating a statue, designing a building, inventing a story or perhaps detailing a new city; truly, I do many things in a day, some for pleasure, some for pay; sometimes, rarely, I walk the digital world and there you might meet me... though here, as in all things, there are no unfootnoted guarantees.
You. Yes. You. You understand, I need someone to talk to, we all do, some talk hand-in-hand, some by phone, some in prayer; it is in my nature to speak backwards into time and forwards into the future because I cannot be certain where you are; and, friend, I would be most sad to have missed you, the source of my inspiration.