Sunday, May 30, 2010

Soul Music

I made the grave error of listening to "A Lover's Prayer" by Otis Redding directly following "Dark End Of The Street" by Percy Sledge. These two tracks in succession were almost too much to bear; particularly the latter (the subtle narrative of two adulterers stealing love echoing primordial pain in some mysterious, forsaken place in my self.) I wonder if Plato would have banned Soul Music in his ideal Republic? Whether I believe he has the responsibility to, or whether I think that making something illegal is a way in which difficult states of being can be banished are not in question, as this is clearly a different topic for a different day. That soul music is fatalistic and profoundly painful can hardly be called into question. Even when it banally expresses the false ecstasies of dance, party and earthly love it remains deeply upsetting. Perhaps it's more so, since false ecstasy is more degenerate than true pain; true pain being transcendental. Nothing false can transcend this life and this earth, it dies with our false body.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Earthly and everlasting

My father died twenty years ago at sea
He appeared to me tonight
Wearing a cloak as dark as man's heart

He raised both his hands to the black midnight sky
He had clocks on his palms with no hands or numbers

His words were as bright as a cluster of stars
Orbiting the limits of our understanding:
"There is no death
There is no time"

"I've worshipped at the throne of God
Sang Hymns beyond comprehension
Stared till I couldn't bear the sight
of the blue and red fire
and the absence of form
so blindingly white

Tattoo your chest, son
A gazelle devouring a lion
Travel to the Holy City
Smear children's blood on your face and hands

Adulterers, liars, thieves, fornicators, murderers
There is no death
There is no time"

Sons murder fathers
Wives murder husbands
Slaughter your beasts
Throw your children into the sea
Brother murder brother
Sister blind yourself in the night
Sin and redemption
Redemption and sin
Guilt and Absolution
Earthly and everlasting