{THE PILL BOX } spacer
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{Friday}

 
.........yes, it's true, my archives are sick, my archives are dying and I live by the server, and I had a feeling you, you of all people would find that funny and you know what, you do, well, laugh softer, my angel, or you'll maybe choke on that ice you know .........

but.........
.........- only today I made a hasty category error, blush) but I still do not really understand computers if by understand we mean ......

well, we know where 'understanding' got we two, after all, precisely air, just look at our war, the ruins, my feeble attempts at reconstruction, just digging myself deeper into several wholes, oh I wish I could turn to religion like others to solve all my problems, wish I could just let flow a never ending beard and ban pretty women from 30 feet (or 310 inches, which ever comes first, and no jokes about that, its early) in all directions round me, maybe that's ......... deconstruction?

.........as if that would help, ghosts on the superhighway driving nowhere fast posting in all directions, and leaking, listing, and I sometimes think you're a woman, you know how funny that is, you can't tell from your 'voice', I've made sure I no longer have to hear it, reduced to a few codes now, code is our destination don't you think, and that is where my computer takes me, encrypted in U, and you are hell for me to pray, you know, to learn, at this late stage of things, I never thought I'd have to learn this langauge of the faraway near (but then, I never thought I'd hear you scream), I thought I'd got past all the checkpoints with my frayed but still boyish charm, wicked puns, and that chet baker thing I told you about that time, FATAL pity, or a simulacrum thereof, I mean that night was such a singularity me being truthful like that (a never to be repeated performance ah no- .........

.........and last night after reading your voice, I was lying in bed with a Lacan in my hands and I conceived, the perfect figure to describe what goes on between us, it's like a mirror, a gift passed back & forth, and each reads out, rubs off and re-inscribes their latest lyric text, and when the Other comes to read it (the Other always comes to read you, that is the dream), they read your words but all they SEE is their own face (mouthing the Other's words back to- .........

.........and I don't really understand it at all, I still have a child's - or, rather, a sixties child's which is to say one born in or about the 60s not a child OF the 60s - as I say I still have a child's vision of all this, almost literally, I kind of think of all the computers in the world being fitted daily hourly minutely with their own little pill boxs or like a post card reproduction thereof (how happy a coincidence that pc ALSO = personal computer, I wonder if he anticipated that when he wrote his cp/PC, ah, he anticipates everything, uncannily, compulsively, pro-ductive-ly, that one, I'm a mere bodge-up merchant in comparison {the pill bodge?} inside a shabby duct tape frame (did you ever think that was 'duck tape' when you were a child and conjur up allsorts of images? just shows you what a mis-perceived Logos can conjur in the way of phantasies ......... and were you ever a child?, well, I know about that once with the tears, but ......... )
.........and that word, an-tic-i-pates, do you see the code ticking over in there? I bet- .........

.........I came across this great uncanny quote the other day (but what about overcoming phonologocentrism, what ever happened to that, it was fun while it lasted but things came to a head too soon and we all went back to speaking our mind like shrinks on the clock or the meter), where were we?, something about the devil walking on bowed & hairy legs, I don't know (analyse THAT! for you know my legs: smooth like a baby's, or maybe an old man's, or both at the same time and how uncanny is that?) but if I posted every quote I liked I would never write word one of my own, and don't think I don't think about doing just that some days, well, take this, what I'm writing now, is it me or is it him (and how much is you, pseudo ventriloquized?), I wonder sometimes if I shouldn't be in one of his books, the other one, what's his name, you will know, with Ur memory, you remember everything (YOU should over see my archives!, like you already don't, I sometimes think of you like that image, of Poseidon, who sat - .........
.........i don't know, it's another obscuring reference, a deep well in my pirates economy or echonomy and we would need a website the size of china to excerpt that, I've been writing it since 1982 can you believe that, writing it in my head like I write you, and did you ever think of something like SARS as the game of corpse played for high stakes, like a computer code, a virus, being written & rewritten by each person singularly as they pass it on, where our singularity our own special little code meets collectivity, or where mass insularity becomes fatal, where we are nothing, another digit, and it strikes me, how we in the west, w-i-w, are so obsessed precisely and PRE-size-ly with micro dots & spots of all kinds because we are so deeply unconsciously PETRIFIED of some killer bug, some devastation, some true real devasation, obsessed with the MICRO because we're petrified of the MACRO, like, even on my toothapste it sez: "bringing you MICRO protection!", don't panic!, I wish, but you look at something lke SARS and each time they come, they JUMP the divide from micro to macro SO quick, like a horse over a speed bump .........

.........anyway, because I read a book and then that writer's voice dies inside me, becomes a speaking moss there .........

.........I must have told you that story so many times, we all tell ourselves that story daily, until it stops, bringing out the dead, we do, daily .........
.........no big deal like Schrader's/Scorsese's movie wishes it was, he thinks things have got to be bad or off the rails before you start seeing ghosts, but don't we see them everywhere, all the time, my dear, every day?
.........I do, and I don't just mean Borges and his cat Beppo, or me and my first cat Bebop {i miss her so, my little familiar}, I mean this is the the fabric of things, ghosts, isn't it?, freud didn't go far enough if anything .........

.........of course I love all this, it's what I dreamed of, recall, not so long ago I protested, why is it today musicians can just put out a little disc whenever they want, not much of a lag between idea conception and release, (and I love those new cases, clamshell are they called, coil's pink ones), but how many do, how few in other words, how many take real advantage of this (the underground rap sector, maybe, and I envy them that, their vrs freedoms, it's what beat pomes/bukowski used to be, but why aren't there more of them and less of the lowest-common-boast thug/bling sector?) and now but we have these little cartes, to post, ah, to post, oh but the double meaning is delirious, don't you think?, as any one who has read JD's carte postale will be aware here, as you are, my ESP one, always, I told you, I never stop telling you - and tolling you) you) you) - tolling your absence telling our distance measuring our time like this: click - .........

.........and I don't really know how to "progress", I simply hang around like a ghost, your spectre, yesss, a p here & c there, do you see, only the "I" is missing, to complete the PIC-ture, to n-dure, this writing hops, and hopes, scratches itself, samples itself, dubs itself, with all the secret names in our reserve, I would say at our disposal but I don't like the sound of that- .........

.........I have disposed of enough in my time, including time most of all, you know that, all the time I let run to waste running off from my waist, but no longer, starting from here, now I will interrupt myself incessantly, and all in your name, not that "they" will ever know, you know, I will write of dancing skeletons, and dreamed flaneuries, and new centuries, and lost certainties, and all the rest, the remains, to come, starting from NOW, starting with you, afresh, each day, each 'post-', posted each morning when I wake, a kind of post mortem, like that actor said, deliciously I thought, as his parting line, in Heathers: "what are you going to do with your life, now that you're dead?"
.........I love that line, it has a ring don't you think, of affirmation, but uncanny, and you know how much I over-rate the uncanny, and perhaps why, and perhaps you're the only one who knows just why I do, after all this time, all these signs, I don't even know how many of them really saw the joke (similar to the Heathers line in its way) with my 'first' book, if book you can call it, after all (it didn't come out at all how I thought it would, in my mind all those articles remain where they were published, and benefit from it in my view, they somehow don't belong bound and set and shaved & clean), anyway, the name (always back to the name, as we know, even when economised, cut, tossed), did they see? VITAL SIGNS, it was when I was in the detox place, squeaky clean corridors, they took my pressure twice a day, up and down and marked it all down (all those archives, buried somewhere) under PENMAN: VITAL SIGNS, signs of life, traces, what remains, and how it describes an inner working we'd perhaps be happier not- .........

.........and now, starting again, starting with you, my post, my after, my next, my address, my destination which, well, I will never again reach for shore, I will remain permanently half aswim, I would say destiny but that's such an UN-post word isnt it (but camus wouldn't flinch, would he?) .........
......... I love all those books, like the one so recently gifted me, you know what I want to read before I write it, Benjamin's Arcades, or Derrida's Post Card, or his Living On // Borderlines, or glas {ooops! talk about parapraxis: i just typed "gals"!}, of course, which, it gave birth in such a perverse way to my own dear steep KLANG (and perverse births give way in their turn to perverse little deaths...), or Bataille's inveterate note taking, a written potlatch, a stone giveaway {I MYSELF AM WAR}, or Leiris, it is my favourite mode, perhaps, one of them, you know that more than most, epistolary, confessional, offhand, of the moment, notes, more notes {cuts, tracks & bruises... did I ever tell you that was going to be my first title for the book, except I thought it overplayed a certain aspect, I thought of it as long ago as 1982 or something, but then Malcolm Bradbury - of all people! - brought out a slender tome called Cuts, does anyone remember that now?, I doubt it somehow), so you know I am having a ball with these logs, this self-spun web I try to catch myslf in, this pixilation of my Being, each day, sometimes three times in one day, I think of you, you, most of all, yes, yes, and YES and I don't hesitate, I sit right down and plug myself in, post myself to you, you, my other, here you are again, ecriture yourself .........

......... and I have found a new way to post you, without anyone knowing, you most of all, you are so far from knowing, that is not at all your station, I post you in bits, you & me both, from my lips to my fingertips, as if they were substitutes, each for the other, teletype, telegram, post card, dated, timed, unsigned, & most of all you will never know how much I need you, literally can't function without the thought & the thinking through (of) you, even tho you are the purest absence, and always will be, and all that will remain of me, after I've gone, even in a second, you are the second me, I knew that the first time I set you down under me, it was my fingers (or was it my lips: impossible substitution), ecriture yourelf, sheets & sheets of you, and now you're just a screen, PICture, hieroglyph, glyphic pic, code, my code pixies, pixels now, and a hieroglyph or nonsense paraph that no one will be able to "read" (I like the fact, don't you, that computers "read" their instructions) after we're dead, and we are going to die, I bless the thought of it, daily, this Being gone, this 'P.S.': I.C. you no longer (it, ca, SA, savoir absolu, all that .........
.........or an emblem say {i love the word "emblem", I wish I knew why, but it's just one of those words that seem to call or cling or come to me, inc-e-ss-antly, yes, over & over again, already underlined, like little angels, little golden silver slivers, little underlined angels}, a cats head?, oh my yes, turned to the side, like the funny little furry dark M on top of Buckleys head .........

.........M for what? Metaphsyics? Meow? Maze? Mal- .........

.........but even on a screen you are still my love, nothing stops you from coming back to me, my little angel, my own singular malediction (another one of my angel words) to haunt me, in a sheet on a sheet under a sheet, you are still you, my other me, myriad, in bits, blissed out, typed in, addressed to no one and only to me, everyone can read it now, here, the vital joke being that inside my pill box is where I hide out in the open, like Derrida says of the p.c. which also of course in our post age designates personal computer, how personal can it be, we most of all know the risk of hitting that SEND key and sending myself to you before I've checked myself, spill spell pell mell .........
......... and oh the trouble that can bring down, and I've already done it here a few times, but only you will know, because it's in you I let myself go, across you where I unfurl myself, reveal myself in barbarous code & invocations, spell myself out, your glamour my grimoire, my gravity, my gift, my suspension, my waiting, my note, my song, my phonic 'x', hey, and maybe it all comes down to that in the end, that I started writing you because I couldn't bear to hear myself speak, what had to be said and hasn't been said yet, only circled around, that's the ticket, and it will never be redeemed, especially not on the phone, which as you more than anyone know I execrate, absent myself from, deny its line, preferring the unterstand of unsigned unpressed untouchable - .........

.........Dial M for......... magick? Maya? metaphysics? ......... memory ... of course MEMORY! What else could it be?

.........And not being present himself, he instead wrote m/e, insisted in fact:
'And just a moment ago I thought I heard you come, or rather, thought I heard that sound you make when you come, when you are coming, when you come without warning, when you sing coming, j'arrive, but it was nothing, or rather, it was just someone applying the breaks, outside, as I myself inside apply the break, it's called singing, you do it, I live only to hear it after all, when everyone else has gone to bed, and daylight fails, you are still you, incessantly, a singer, it's called song, and I know we will be listening to the same song together for the rest of time .........'

.........Have you read me yet?
.........(Or are you too busy singing your song to come?)

.........-so far as I know these breaks or cartes or posts have only been read by people I know or who they think they know who I am, 'me' or a certain moi or ego or it, and who knows they may even be right about some things .........
.........but only you alone know how little you know me, or about me, or, know me well enough to say (and you alone have) you can't place me, you can no longer find the right place for me, so I've invented this one, signed myself into this e-box rather than d-tox, you have no where on earth for me, which suits me, I (wrongheadedly, ego) even consider it the highest honour, a form of compliment, our perplexity a prize, and you pay the only compliments I prize or want, or desire, un certain regard, which doesn't necessarily mean how it sounds, and you who, I cannot forget, the only one who ever got it right, on off the tip of your tongue, who CALLED me how I am called, my secret name- .........
.........and gave me the potlatch of myself to mine for the rest of my autumn days .........
.........and we have no need of keys, or harmony, to know we wil be going in and out of each other the rest of our lives, how does Blanchot say it, the call of the faraway near, our domains, and don't you love that phrase by the way, domain name?, I do.



VOX COP {contd,
numbers 4 - 6 in an occasional series designed to covertly refute the dessicated-old-git-rock-critic moan that They Don't Write Them Like That Anymore, oh I remember when John met Paul and Joni said to Aretha yadda yadda -


ZERO 7 · 'Destiny' & 'Distractions'

From the ridiculous to the sublime in the course of one (great) landing: "I lie awake, I've come to ground / I'm watching porn in my hotel dressing gown. And now I DREAM of you..."
You have to hear how this woman sings - each word, each space, each inflection: whoever she is (I don't even know her name, she's just a guest vocalist on a promo copy of a CD I only heard and obtained by overlook chance and which, I neve play anything but her two tracks) she has the most arresting 'soul' voice qua voice I have heard in years. My kind of voice - not trying too hard, not grandstanding, just odd, naturally odd, a voice of small triggers, granular detour, almost theatrical, almost on the edge of parodic, but not by-numbers DIVA-thearical and following set glass-breaking routines, but in love with its own soft wry strangeness. (She makes the "porn" in that line sound like the call of a tropical bird.)

I can do without rest of the CD frankly: inoffensive IKEA-kit soul, Mercury Prize melancholy: I never play it.
But these two tracks I play over & over & over again, bewitched, waiting to hear and be surprised & seduced by THIS VOICE again. In the pivotal chorus ("Even though we're miles apart / We are each other's ... DESTINY") she elongates the word "destiny" differently each time she touches it, or thinks about it, or is surprised to find it on her lips, or mind. (And isn't that just the way with destiny?)
She drifts, in her thoughts. "On a clear day I'll fly home-to-you ..." And as her reflection closes, she returns to the pivotal line, but with a different tone, which I cannot quite encapsulate. It makes my heart flutter & fill. She keeps circling moth-like around "I'll F-L-Y", over and over, under, around, hopeful, doomed, doubting, HURT, defeated, torn, plummeting ... so that this auto-da-fe of a finale forces you to hear the song again, anew, differently, sing it yourself, within yourself ... destined. Or derailed.

"Distractions", as befitting its title, is more light-hearted or light-headed it would seem. But she takes it slower, sexier, sardonic, like a dare, like 'You don't know how close you nearly hit with that jokey offhand remark of your's...' Contains a brilliant line which at first I thought went: "So go on, Mister / make this me, Mrs you -" but which is, in fact, I think: "So go on, Mister / make Miss Me, Mrs You." But she immediately retracts the flack of that eyes-down up-blush wit: "I love you, I LOVE you / I-only-make-jokes-to-distract-myself ... from the truth, from the TRUTH."
The 'I-love-you' pleading, but the second line sung-spoken almost robotic, sotto voce, like a PS to herself she only half wants the other to hear.

You really have to hear the multi tracked voice arrangement here, as suddenly a dozen MEs - low, high, slurry, sexy, harsh, couldnt care - swirl around one another trying to decide on a final version, the one she's going to present to the Other: the place she's decided she's going to be (in) for him, or he for her. A place to speak from, and return to: a place of ... what? Safety? That's not what it begins to sound like. "I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I..." - until, Escher like, the truth BECOMES the twist & turn of her voice, and the music follows her, and finally takes off & discards its clingy pastiche-soul prophylaxis to flow and fall and fill some darker stiller place with a swandive of real soul that leaves you - and itself - stranded, none the wiser, hanging uncompleted, inconclusive, stranded still, still and stranded, grasping for hair and brushing away the - her, your, our - tears.
A final askew electric piano figure, guitar strum ... and then in a strange brief gust, strings fall like memory trash blowing around a sad isolate out-of-season jetee...


ARTO LINDSAY · Invoke

And ah, look, an old friend has arrived to see us on that very jetee. . .
He's just touched down and is checking thru customs. Mmm, rather a lot of baggage. He's been around the world, and then some, seen a lot of hotel rooms I shouldn't wonder. . .
Invoke, I have to say (and already said it, last year) was a grave anti climax after the splendour and perfection that was 1999's Prize. (He-zeus, is it really that long ago?) Fittingly, in one way, as Invoke appears to be a reflection on a lost dream, the sound of bruised fingertips, chastened heart, absence. It is a sombre reflection on the absence of whatever or whoever it was that made Arto's Prize so joyful, becalmed, frisky, aflame.

Here, now - he sounds BAD. Unfortunately, he doesn't sublime it into perky enough art. Still, there's inevitably the odd line strong or strange enough to hold your hand as you sleep, or don't. From the truly doleful 'Unseen': "Why'd you take your eyes away from me? / All they see / And all they keep unseen away from me ... " ; and "All my visions curve down to one bead of sweat / My whole life bears down on an hour / I stand / Illluminated ..." He sounds more ill-disposed than illuminated, it must be said, out of sorts, like he's lost the key or crucible to his base sensuality; but one or two tracks do cut the mustard, kiss the cat, do the samba (one begins "Your ultra privileged pyjamas -" which has got to be worth something), including this, the title track.

Another begging bowl song in its way, just like Zero 7; but Arto, being an arty boy from New York City, plays the alienation (or alien nation) effect: the music all balmy Baha surf and spice, while his vox remains as dry as a Lacanian footnote. He's a Melancholy Anatomist listing the body parts of memory, the siren or sewer workings of remembrance, lifting what he needs from what - if truth be told - he really needs to let go of, once and for all. He calls into the night time air of his own split consciousness, his cold cold mind's tristes tropiques: "I call your image to mind / Call and recall / tactile and olfactory scent / I list your numerable and innumerable parts ..."

White nights, black out days.

"I invoke, and I invoke and I invoke," he sings, but sings it less like the hoodoo spark plug of old than some Torch singer out of late Beckett, heaving a weary sigh, one more way of counting those drown-time waves of mal heur & doleur. (Once these waves were echoes in your own blood of the Other's physique. Now you hear these echoes everywhere - they blot out all else - all echo, and no body.)

He keeps invoking, in hopes that some salving answer at least will also come: some revealed truth. But "there's no rest to be had" - only repetition.
He takes a canoe out on2 the bumpy current of screened memories of this distant or disappeared (or disabused?) Other ... it never stops. He won't let go. It won't let him go. He doesn't know where to go. He doesn't know a place he can go. He doesn't know how to place HIMSELF in relation to all this. Are such thoughts pure waste? Nothing will ever come of them, after all. And so but, wearily, finally truthful, concluding:
"I summon... ILLUSIONS."

Now all he has left is the language in which to express his emptiness: bitter wit, undulant metonymy, compensatory figures, landfill fibres: "I summon... illusions / Especially / The flismy underpinnings / of temporary things." (Hear the sadness of how he pronounces 'temporary'.) "On my knees in a new memory / Wrapped up, set up, being visualised / Panting & lifesize." Echo, strap, earring, mirror, clue. "I call out / TO YOU / Up to my waist in a howling wind ... and all the trash it brings."

The strings here the withheld tears of a wit; despite the bouyant under-funk it's the funk of something rolling down a hill, out of reach, a funk of mere hamster wheel repetition. "I invoke and I invoke and I invoke ..."
Trying to invoke GODDESS-sense, he provokes only an insoluble cul de sac quandary, the placeless place of memory fire, brisance flicker, debris, loop.


TWEET · Drunk

In its own silver-bullet martini-sour way, the distaff version of Arto's Invocation. But where Arto is fractured, bothered, twiddly, this is a simply MASSIVE track. If you heard her smash hit "Oops" this is like the slowed down, spaced out, hungover cousin of that paen to all-alone-late-at-night self-love action. There, she (literally) turned to herself to ease the pain of an insoluble problem. ("You were this thought I needed help from."); here, she jumps in to dissolve herself completely. "Got a five in my pocket, gon' buy me some gin."

Just as Arto obsessively neglects all he should be doing, could be doing, all the people he could be with, all the places he could be, in favour of his eternal return to ghostly (in)vocation, Tweet, in her straightforward soul-sister way crosses off all social (non-) choices & no-chancers to flatly state: "Cos I'd rather be DRUNK." The sublime production multi-plies her breathy voice into howls sheets wind spectres slurs shivers. "And I'd rather be DRUNK / than to drown in my tears/ And I'd rather be DRUNK / on a cloud away from here. I don't wanna be sober - no, not sober ..."

Like Lets Get It On with the horniness and self assurance and Other hope taken out (or re-directed to a martini glass), it's so gloriously hymnally sonically gorgeous you don't immediately realise that behind the glow and tremble of the veilmusick is pure blue(s) desolation. "Broke and alone, nowhere to go / And loneliness is hurtin' me so / And I'm drenched in my tears." Drink cedes the night to a one-rung- higher or lower suck-session of drugs: "One stone left tonite. I think I'll smoke just a half." Uh huh. Yeah: right. Then an hour a night a week three years have gone by in a silvery blur and you find yourself doing nothing but... SLUMP.

"Drunk" manages to be both pleadingly poignantly sexy, and seperately lyrically bittersweet, in its own soft core sofa-flop no-soda-pop way. As the shadows gather, the Absolut darkness about to shutter down, she breaks down into mere syllables - bits - no-sense "...killin me ... don't wanna..." breath - sob - sigh - the strings rise but you can only hear a too-late-tonight disavowal: "I wish I wouldn't be here in so many pieces. I shouldn't drink a SIP."
And I like it that she just says DRUNK: that she just talks the mundane meridian talk of us all, no faked up tricked up hip syntax of the moment, no posing with certain brandy or champagne brands as if they were the only elixir to ease or freeze life's burden. I'm. . .DRUNK. Confessional but funny, dry, slinky, fly.

· from Simple Things CD
· from Invoke CD
· from Southern Hummingbird CD




posted by Ian 5/30/2003 09:34:00 PM

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