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{Sunday}

 
THE WEAKENING BEAT
Excerpt i}


.........for years now for some reason I've kept myself at arm's length from her (well, let's say from everything, not just her, but maybe in truth it all started with her, this it or id or some thing I seem intent on avoiding or detouring or sublimely internalising as a forgotten debt) but for certain at any rate the time it began I listened to little else, taking her in constantly whatever else came and went, listening to her weakening beat ......... and with no end in sight; not yet, it seems, and maybe not ever .........

.........so what it's all about it finally seems to me is this: the Other's ear and the pleasures we always find there: to listen to, to lie back against, to lift off from. This other pleasure of her's - bleak dawn shiver such a revelation when this someone sings for you and you alone, it seems, your pleasure alone the matter in hand, it sings, this being enough to keep you till another morning comes to you again with opportunities for redress and balance when otherwise you might fall apart at the seams, so- .........

Our first time ......... you must have heard, must have sensed- (I miss you more than most any Song can ever say please believe me this much- ......... More songs? that's the last thing in this unholy world I need right now-) .........

.........And her? This was icily different.
Finally, I felt myself able to shake off this ingrained & indentured indifference, her singing feeling inside me as it did like a form of finally not lying any more: this voice spoke to me and singing its song sounded like a form of profane truth .........

.........You know?
When it sings, sings and sings for you alone and you are sung back into existence (do you remember the night it took us a while all that vodka and all our roundabouts) but you sang me back into existence the spill the spell the particulate all and general call of you, you touched, then unbuckled, my armour, flooding my desert, bringing me back to life it felt like merger, sweet merger, commingling elsewise and otherwhere over hitherto unmeasured distance, without comparison or compunction or punctuality - none of those - none of these now we're in heaven now I can be who you are and feel safe in your time, timing, everything I had felt denied inside my buckled-tight life .........
.........why?, why not?, why not let you have even the smallest amount of time, I don't know, not why, honey eye, ember tongue, you, you at least, at last, you must remember, our first time, must have heard, must have sensed finally I feel myself able to shake off whatever it is, this thin invisible screen, from birth, or before, we both know I wasn't even born .........
.........but do you remember?, the difficulties, especially anything to do with the tongue, what is called speech, and it's no coincidence this blooms in the soil of my writing, mine, alone, here, now, tonight, and all I finally want to do perhaps is steer you through those crowds, their monstrous imputation, crush, senseless, my devotion is without cost without complaint, I - .........

Not now, then.

.........Distances we will never reconnect, retract, no, no "you", never again, never again that first time such a sweet song of you come back to haunt us, each blush, each touch, all the tongues to come, completely alive now, all you had to do was listen and it wrought such immeasurable change- .........

Not now, then.
A different you, now: positioned within some sweeter absence.


.........So henceforth it all comes down to this: a study of intermittance. The chances we grab, from ......... where? From all those inbetween places.

Song of our misplaced sympathy, forever lost to us, now.

Plus any all other 'ends,' finally lost to Reason itself.

But for a differential minute or two distance is dissolved.

.........this "you" sung back into existence, all other contingent "I"s forever lost to all subsequent attempts at beginning over again: beginning to speak, beginning to count or account, beginning to explain: the in-term-in-able work of it all- ......... still, you sing.

(And we owe - you - so much, now, still.)

.........I wish I could find it again, find myself enveloped by you again, feel time slipping away out that hotel window again, but it's not to be, I have to be, I have to keep sentry over my own affairs, family romance, even as I cannot forget erase rinse away the tears fell from your eyes onto my throat that 'hour' will never be up, it was "you," do you see, it was you, speaking from my silence, who started it all, there is always someone to speak and someone to answer in silence, but this time it opened onto a wider world of pain, perplexity, analysis, song, micro tremors, a new dawn, even as I scurry onto a plane, to be with all the others again, songless, vodka in my orange juice, time, the time of couches all over the world, and studios, and .........

.........song, still, the song that stops our silence, and wakes our conscience, the con and the science there surely no coincidence, although we, of all people, should be alert to how alive coincidence can be, make us, its song, and me, prisoner of what which finally whose past, of who knows how many separately murky or divine lineages, it doesn't matter, one little vocable from you and it all dissovles again and I can speak with my own tongue, finally, it is not torture to hear your gap, your foreign ecarte. your heart in pieces, your family travail, your bruises' rodeo map, you, me I ... I'm ... condemned, it appears, finally, and this is fine, to cry my own song this unshakeable avowal until doomsday's coming on .........

.........the same old apocalypse that never arrives, while never ceasing to come.

.........meanwhile, hedged between 'needless' and 'needles', here I am, heedless to sway, here we are, come around again [en gaine], at least, this much in common, we lost our foothold on proper Being, being proper, very early on, undone by all those artificial dawns we had no one to hold, hold on to (so: I didn't lie that time, lying there, you had no idea I don't think, the chemistry set inside me, why I started to shiver at that time in the morning when I did so need someone to hold on to ...), so we seek refuge shelter city ordinance our own design in tiny little drops of powdered unction, unofficial pilgrimage, grimly, gaily, each daily day, each knotted night, each teeth mark belt, each cotton swabbed vein, each browntooth frown, each soot smudge smile, each stylus mile, each crushed grain while .........

.........and here we are, again, see, home again, all this time, and no time at all - JUST LIKE SONG - {what's that lyric how's that song of your's go? such sweet song comes back to- .........

.........did you ever notice how any song any of its manifold "you"s can mean a thousand different things, how popular song which is after all the heart of you, comes back each time to the place in it of "you", of "I", and how in each singer's mouth they shift around like dream scapes, and .........
.........and you sing there, my ear is here, not the "same" time at all, split, always split, in time, far more time than space, a map drawn of a thousand heys from a pair of lips a dozen 'Best of-' CDs away now and this is now forever I know, I know .........
.........but it's still me back here, just like I knew it would be, sucking on my silver pipe, in the midst of my butterfly sentinel night, the smoke in my I, the smudge I've made of my soul, this fatal lack of you, the slack of a life always and forever, now, lost to reason just as you, you, are always being lost to me .........

......... we find ourselves, one way or another, overturned: this overturned "you", now bound to resist each fresh imposition, implication, imprecation, each fresh attempt at "making sense" of you, her, us, it, all, anything, any damned thing at all you care to name - ba ba ba, ba ba, ba da ... da da - in other words, reasonable criticism will get nowhere fast with this new "you" of her's ) your's ) ours ) . . . because we're different, now. Always will be - .........

After her.

.........and that is just the point: how on earth can one write a reasonable thing, in a reasonable tone, after she has overturned all our sureties, with that tone of her's, its faraway near, its beckoning elsewhere, its sinuous otherwise, its depth charge lost horizon, its snowdrop lien, lipcurl, line?

.........going, going, g...one now, your shellfish cells a priori claimed, narcotic clams now, liberated into a whorl of selfish selflessness, lost to reason itself, reason's airs, air alone, tiny whirlpools of it as you gaze down into another 5.53 (a.m.? p.m.? check-) street, lorries, frost, familiar chill illness, too early too late, both, his her (my our) coming going always too early and always too late now (which, this is indeed the first thing you learn, you are always going to wait), this archaic new you, this is you now, your domain, no choice in the matter, deepdown, you know, irretrievable this time, this is Time for you now, this is (y)our new time, body, pulse, step, stop, breath, life lived at this lower volume now, little else beyond the hotel windows etched with frost each dawn each drain cold September "you", rhymed "you", slandered "you" (oh, but don't be afraid ...), all in staggered all a loss of every "you" ever expected or wished for, and - .........

In return?
Apocalypse in our veins; sand falling inside your eyes.

.........((((())))).........


.........- CUT: to the unsung reel: glossy shots of her captive pain, the film's mood going more for wan theology than hard shorn pornography (or some improbable between)(wrapped in nothing, locked inside her padded cell)(while we pad around warm outside: always outside)(sweating out her cells in hollowed interim)(white padded cells, of course white, sweating out not blues but whites, white poison white noise, the drug, its colour, its apocalyptic entrenchment now, in her, other her, hard worn, hard won defeat, dim her colour, the others they all mist and merge around her now, at long last love, or jouissance at most, its higest low pitch, figurally at least .........
.........up there on the screen now for our entertainment and education both (but who knows how such things will turn out, what turning take, there is something about this scene I suppose I am saying, that might just capture some of us on the wrong wavelength, something about Billie as black Saint Theresa, hands between legs, squirming in abjection, the moss of junk a beehive inside her veins, a bearing down, an ultimate face-off .........
.........as if a destiny, one we might all partake of, a Gift, say, which now coheres into the PROJECTED MAJESTY of her, her majesterial presence - wrecked wracked ruined maternal imago - which, or so this particular version of her story goes, she would otherwise have lacked .........

Crucially: not heard, but seen.

What might all this mean?
.........I think, now, looking back, that something like this question lodged in some part of me, way back then, nineteen seventy something, before I'd even heard her really, to speak of, I knew her name, knew her as a name, a myth, I was beginnning to juggle two and two, take it all in, like an addiction, like my own addiction to come .........
.........obsessed already with pills and downs and city dawns and personae ... carnal and calamitous like all the city hours to come, from hay to bee to zzz to H to c to shining red sea, each reached for beached core addiction to come ... and, like my other addictions, to come, undimmed, all done, being untranscended, for here I am X years later .........
.........a forever deferred apocalypse, to comprehend and transcend it still my ultimate quest, still unable fully to account for it, at all, to replace it with a proper count .........
.........although of course you came close that time I told you my Chet Baker tale - tears, Thai, wine: so little time - and then in the midst of my supremely self-contained duplicty, ka-BOOM, this entirely unexpected apocalypse of tears, real tears, markers of a very real fear, calling, undone, sad sorry truth squeaking out with my voice and I FELL ... helplessly ... into a melting indifference like her your his voice, stumbling words that told you what my heart meant going on down, into, through where my SOUL went replaced now by this song this dawn this debt that forever comes back to YOU .........)

.........And you may say that all this has little or nothing to do with a voice, with a simple song, with my designated role (the things I should be explaining to you, making clear clearer cleared), but far from it, for I was caught by her myth, her myth founds and triggers the equation that begins the addiction and - and why precisely does no one ever query such seduction?

.........Maybe that is precisely the secret subject of my investigation, i.e., the whole nature of this seduction? As such and such as: why one voice and not another? at this time and in that place .........
.........aura around this, which, her voice as it leans in to whisper its cracked code to you to tell you and no other - or at least that is how it felt this is how it feels this is the toll the cost the arrow the bend, in code, All of me, why not take all of me?, Can't you see, I'm no good without YOU... Take my lips..., telling you whether you want to or need to hear it of the toll up ahead, the cost, the risk, all the tolls, all the bends, the whole other side of things as they bend & hustle & break, twist & buckle & rake, spill & sparkle & TAKE .........

This voice being the proof of the myth because it is so different.
A singularity come from no where we know.
For sure, no body else has ever been able to present us with anything like this unforced voice.

.........Especially, if you will, all our "black" voices: because the politics so-called (the call, politicised) of Black Voice (not just singers, but speakers) insists upon a kind of grandiosity as the proper destination and bearing and dignity and destiny of "the" black voice (so to speak: recompense, so to speak), whether it's Otis Redding or Martin Luther King, the gospel delicacy of Marvin Gaye or the "real" femininity of Aretha - all, oddly, personifying, according to preset whim, either carnality or the church.

Either way: a Destiny to come.
.........Which is precisely where she differentiates herself: in the softest possible way, by way of how she lets herself be heard, the way in which she sings otherwise, letting a crack open up in .........

In the way Being is sung.





posted by Ian 6/01/2003 08:51:00 PM

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