Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why Not?

Why not one more song in the cool midnight blue? While babies sleep and spiders hunt and worried fathers pace, I make one more strange shape, electric green in the night. Why not? Why not? While the black blood of the earth, that demon of civilization, bleeds into the briny seas and clock hands tick methodically round like waltzers twirling to the Blue Danube, I go bravely hop scotching into fields of beets, crimson purple veins throbbing in the green leaves.
I saw the face of my ancestor in a photograph that was taken today. A pale plump, round faced woman looked back at me from a photo that had been taken of me. How strange that she is me and we are meeting today for the first time. Why not? The last face I remember seeing was so much younger and leaner and tortured, a puffy red faced beauty, but I looked at her in a mirror and thought, “I hate you, I hate you! Nobody loves you!” and I saw her cut her blond hair off.
Such heavy lead filled thoughts to cart to the alchemist, laying them down on the work bench, smelling perfume of cinnamon and sulfur. The devil was here just before you. Can I make gold of this worthless lot? Why not? Why not!
Breezes from countries I never saw caress my face, leaping from leather binding and gold leafed pages to posses my fingers and send them to write fairytales and boil split peas. So many silly things pass through this window I call my self, why not one more? I almost loved the woman I glimpsed in the photograph today because she looked like a grandmother that once rocked me and like a cousin who I don’t know well at all. A cousin that shovels snow from her porch and eats black bread covered in butter and cheese.
I had once been a citizen of earth until I longed to learn to sing the songs of Saturn’s outer rings. Then I trained on the moon called Titan and gave water to a strange man and loved him through eternity, strangely familiar forever. Come with me deeper into the abyss!
While students memorize and serpents molt and gurus pretend, I wriggle, pale and slick in the underground wells like a Naiad, wailing an eerie tune to summon the strange. Up it comes, frightening me in dark hallways when I thought I was alone, drifting through the blue sky like paramecium under a microscope’s lens.
If you thought there would be a point in all of this, if you hoped for it and found it lacking and frowned, then you’ve never been to Titan. The locust make a noise like music in the evening and the swallows sing in the mornings and everything smells like licorice and coffee while the hands on the clock tick tick tick and fathers become grandfathers and die despite the lucky rabbits feet their granddaughters give them. Little Lagomorph paws dyed blue and dispensed from red machines after two quarters of a dollar have been placed on its long silver tongue just outside the air conditioned cool of a powder blue general store at the base of a mountain in the heat of a parking lot with a view of a lake. They come out in plastic bubbles, but nonetheless grandfathers die and their bodies are donated to universities.
Why not?
While grandmothers fan themselves and mice scurry through cupboards and river rocks soak up the heat of the sun to warm lizards’ bellies, I open doors into invisible worlds and listen to the thoughts of others.
A sympathetic ear is so rare that individuals are almost always startled when you respond to their innermost ramblings. When you hear them whispering to themselves, “I hate you, I hate you! Nobody loves you!” and you crumple up just like a frightened pill bug and cry inconsolably, they will find it hard to accept that one occurrence is connected to the next. Plausible deniability.
Why not? Why not?
Why not one more song in the cool midnight blue? While babies sleep and spiders hunt and worried fathers pace, I make one more strange shape, electric green in the night. Can I make gold of this worthless lot? In dark hallways when I think I am alone? At the base of a mountain in the heat of a parking lot? Come with me deeper into the abyss!
Why not?
Why not?

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Inch By Inch

Like a thousand beetles crawling out of the decimated corpse of the Pharaoh, my ideas spill from my cracked head to rejoin the blackness outside. What was in is now out, rejoining the abyss, the cave-like halls of nowhere, my mother’s ancient cold womb. When the stars tumbled out dancing like sparks hissing off the arch of a welding torch, that was my beginning too.
Just as a dragonfly was once a nymph that spent five rotations of the earth around the sun hunting in the deep aquamarine waters of the lagoon before becoming a winged predator that would live less than a month, my larval stage too was much longer than this phase of existence will be.
In my infancy, I was a star burning and swirling, drawing everything to myself, a different sort of predator of the deep, waiting to gain the strength and size necessary for my transformation, my moment to super nova and spread star seed through the curving darkness of the womb space, waiting for that seed to impregnate the terrestrial egg where, warmed by a foster solar entity, it would grow into the newest me, the me that here sits breathing oxygen and expelling carbon monoxide.
I have not yet reached completion, if such a thing exists, as I am still housed safely within the world’s shell, incubating, waiting for the next moment of acceleration to crack the cocoon with wings unfurled. If the egg does not crack then the chick will die before it is born… so I let it bleed out into the abyss…all my animal hopes for preservation.
I was not always as I am now, I will not always be as I was a moment ago, that moment which lapsed, folding in on itself in quiet surrender to the ever flowing passage of time, of thought, a victim of an organizational system that is void of life, a mere mechanical apparatus for processing eternity, a factory for turning darkness into light, a star making machine that I have sometimes thought was myself, but is in reality only one function of self.
Deep self is nestled at the hub of the voyager called eternity, extending its tentacles in every direction, a living pulsing organism moving the blood of being through its veins. This lifetime, a fragment of the life cycle of a star is only a small side effect of the functioning of this vast entity. A little thing like white blood cells gathering around some infected tissue, a thing which happens within the body of a man without the man ever noticing unless the white blood cells fail in their mission and he grows ill and dies.
So this great play unfolds within the body of a titan that has considered us occasionally, but has never called us the crown of creation. This being in turn does what it can with the probabilities that dictate its nature.
I am dreaming. This was all a dream, this black blood spilling from my head into the darkness outside. A dream, the whole warm safe sphere before the ship’s hull was breached, that too was a dream. A dream that I danced like a prince among my whirling peers, glowing hungry for life and death.
Life and death. Motion. The crawling of a worm, inching its way through an unknowable matrix. Inch, Life, Inch, death, inch by life by death by inch, making its way, never knowing where or why, always going.
Would I un-dream any dream I ever dreamed knowing the fount would never grow dry? Knowing each one was an inch by inch by inch motion. No, I wouldn’t erase my nightmares nor my dreams seeing that they were just a motion like a dancer’s arm sweeping gracefully over her head, or her spasmodic jumping.
I let the beetles go their way, go wherever they can find a crack, a crevice, a hole to exploit. I let everything go to sway like the flora clinging to the inner wall of the small intestines.
I cannot know you, great titan, if I hold on, hide within my shell like a crustacean. I will know you as the river knows the sea, one body flowing into the other, waters exchanged.
Like a thousand beetles crawling out of the decimated corpse of a Pharaoh, my ideas spill from my cracked head to rejoin the blackness outside. What was in, now rushes out, what was out now rushes in. A new phase of existence. A train wreck., most beautiful, sublime, bodies spilled along the rails to ooze nutrients into the soil where the newest me will grow.
I was not always as I am now, I will not always be as I was a moment ago. Like a dragonfly, like a star, living through dying, the pure motion of existence. Inch by inch by inch I am made new, again and again.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

We Wear The Music

We wear our music. That’s all that we are really interested in, what our music looks like. How it sounds is secondary. Fashion is the most important element of music at this moment. Its faciomusica coadunatio. At my high school everyone wanted a green Mohawk. Everyone wore studded leather belts and bracelets and died their hair and pierced anything they could and held their clothing altogether with rows of shiny safety pins. Hardly anyone liked to listen to Punk Rock, but everyone wanted to look like it. One boy arrived at our school dressed in all black. He had been imported straight from Los Angeles and his hair too was long and raven hued. He wore Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails and Type O Negative T-shirts. I bought albums based purely on the way he looked, and listened to them with religious fervor, waiting for my own hair and nails and lips to turn black, even though I disliked some of the music more than not. I had a serious case of faciomusica coadunatio.
My understanding of this condition is limited to my own experience with it. The truth is that my hair, lips, and nails never turned black. I never put on a Skinny Puppy tee shirt. Hell, I never even got out of my orange polka dots and electric green paisley prints and into a nice black tee shirt, until I managed to hook up with a guy who was wearing one. Then I wore his. The truth is that listening is not something we humans do well. It requires attention, a sort of non-animal interest, and we are most thoroughly animals. Being social animals we have an overwhelming need to be accepted, to fit in. Fitting in is crucial for animals. For example I once had a hen that killed every black chick that hatched in her nest and spared only the two that were yellow like her. We humans are the same way. We look for visual cues to signify for us whether or not someone is one of our kind. Image is crucial. Being highly adaptive we have developed fashion, which is a method for disguising our true ambiguous nature so that we can fit neatly into a particular clan of humans.
You can look at our clothes and see who we want you to think we are.
“I listen to country.” Means I am a good old American Christian guy or gal. I say this with a pair of blue jeans, with a big belt buckle, with boots and a hat.
“I listen to rap.” Means I’m the bad ass urban outlaw and hustler. I say this with gold chains and baggy pants and shiny new sneakers.
“I listen to Rock.” Means I’m the jaded “not quite all American” that feels a little snobbish about that not quite part but is still fairly protective of the All American. I say this with frayed or torn blue jeans and T-shirt.
“I listen to Alternative” means I am way too snobbish for the glorified country twang that passes for rock, I might even be a communist if that pisses you off.
Punk = I don’t care what you think or how many times I get punched.
Jazz = I’m thoughtful, possibly educated and I like coffee and rainy afternoons.
Classical = I’m very thoughtful, I love the arts, I think global and buy specialty shoes and sometimes have my pants tailored.
There are greater and greater levels of subtlety that might be explored, but it is all a complete ruse. We may or may not be those things we want you to think we are, but we have become adepts at the art of faciomusica coadunatio.
Now buying a shirt or pair of pants is the same as buying music. You can even buy shoes and get a free song on some web sites. The song is like a breath mint offered to you after your dinner. Clever musicians, aware that music should be free, have found a way to slip it in with our habit for primping our image. Like Mary Poppins, they realized that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” With faciomusica coadunatio, you can fuss about with your image and get some music without noticing.
We wear the music when perhaps we should let the music wear us. We should let it flow through us and move our bodies, minds and spirits wherever it wills, unimpeded by our monkey brains. The real is there, existing despite the genres and social implications. Nothing is the way it appears. Eyes lie, and so many organisms have learned to turn that fact to their advantage, developing camouflage so that they won’t be eaten by larger organisms. Knowing this, we should go forward accepting that what we see is not what we get. If we open our hearts and listen there is so much more to music than the way we look when we hear it.

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