all, prose & poetry, thoughts

Take me

….to the old library in your home town. We will leaf through frail pages and trace the faded photographs of your ancestors with our fingers. We will sit down in a fort of books and journals pulled from the shelves and search through forgotten family trees and piece together untold stories. We will imagine what our lives would be like in those sepia tone years, how our days would be filled with work and fresh air, and our nights — with candlelight and barefooted siblings and freshly baked bread. We will find your namesake in a crumbling tome.

….to the bridge above the city on a moonless night. We will rise above the traffic and the taxis darting through the dark like so many fireflies among sleeping skyscrapers. We will watch the water of the river below us ripple and fall still in the breeze. We’ll look up at the stars and make up constellation names the way the ancients used to, connecting mythical beings to human fates born under their dim glow. We’ll write ourselves into the story of a star and float upwards, stretching our hands out until we touch the sky.

….to your windowsill, both of us breathless after a kiss so long and tight that all the air leaves our lungs. We will wrap ourselves in blankets and climb up into the window, nesting in that portal between the entirety of the world outside and your bed, still warm, where our shadows now stretch. We will share a cigarette from a pack your brother left behind, dangling our bare feet, our toes touching, unable to let go. We will feel innocent and young, like high schoolers drowning in new love, all the roads and possibilities still open, twinkling ahead of us and calling forth.

….to an island in the north, where fir trees and winds rule the landscape and the sea is onion-green and wild. We will come by boat and gather driftwood for a totem pole you want to build, and make a fire out of bark and pine cones. You will take the dog out for an early morning walk in the fog and come back hours later with a new song you wrote among the pines. I’ll make the coffee on a rusty stove and curl up on the porch, a ball of wool and fleece and notebooks on the mossy logs, writing a story that can only be told in a place like this, where the air is cold and filled with smoke and seaweed and your music drifting in the morning wind.

Advertisements
Standard
all, inspiration

This is how it is

The particles of bright crystals of sound permeate your body and mind from all directions. As a mass of long notes takes shape, there is a vigorous middle note, you can’t catch the melody but can perceive the richness of sounds. It links up with another mass of sounds, intermingles, unfolds, turns into a river which disappears and appears, appears and disappears.

A dark blue sun circles within an even darker moon, you hold your breath enraptured, stop breathing, reach the extremity of life. But the force of the pulsating sounds becomes stronger and stronger, lifts you up, pushes you towards a high tide, a high tide of pure spirituality.

Before your eyes, in your heart, in your body oblivious to time and space, in the continual surge of sustained noise, of reflected images in the dark sun within the dark moon, is a blast exploding exploding exploding exploding explo- explo- explo- explo- -ding -ding -ding -ding then again absolute silence. You fall into an even deeper darkness and again feel your heart pulsating, discern physical pain. The fear of death of the living body is concrete like this, the physical body you failed to abandon recovers its sensitivity…

…In the snow outside my window I see a small green frog, one eye blinking and the other wide open, unmoving, looking at me. I know this is God.

He appears just like this before me and watches to see if I will understand.

He is talking to me with his eyes by opening and closing them. When God talks to humans he doesn’t want humans to hear his voice.

And I don’t think it at all strange, it is as if it should be like this. It is as if God in fact is a frog. The intelligent round eye doesn’t so much as blink once. It is really kind that he should deign to gaze upon this wretched human being, me. His other eye opens and closes as it speaks in a language incomprehensible to humans. Whether I understand or not is not God’s concern.

There are no miracles. God is saying this, saying this to this insatiable human being, me.

Then what else is there to seek? I ask of him.

All around is silence, snow is falling soundlessly. I am surprised by this tranquility. In Heaven it is peaceful like this. And there is no joy. Joy is a side of anxiety.

Snow is falling.

I don’t know where I am at this moment, I don’t know where this realm of Heaven comes from, I look all around.

I don’t know that I don’t understand anything and still think I know everything.

Things just happen behind me and there is always a mysterious eye, so it is best for me just to pretend that I understand even if I don’t. While pretending to understand, I still don’t understand. The fact of the matter is I comprehend nothing, I understand nothing.

This is how it is.

—  Gao Xingjian, Soul Mountain

Standard
all, thoughts

The haze

That night, all of it a haze of memory and dreams, which started in an underground dance club in a seedy part of town and ended in a sunrise rave at an ancient fortress on a hilltop overlooking the city and the sea, the clouds so low under us that we were watching the sun coming up from underneath them. 

I was sitting on the stone walls of the castle with a group of backpackers from a tiny island country across the world, our feet dangling over tree tops, and the wind blowing in from the sea, when suddenly a group of seagulls burst upwards toward us through the cloud cover as it was parting, their wings lit up like gold in the rays of the rising sun, and we felt like we were those seagulls, capable of going higher and higher, carrying the energy of the night and the new day with us, the rhythmic beat of the music echoing through the abandoned hallways of the fortress granting us that power of flight.

That night was déjà vu opening its first bracket. Years later, I am closing it here, silently, my voice gone, the music no longer a part of me but an old familiar friend to fondly pay a visit to, my mind like those echoing hallways, ancient and empty, wise and no longer of this world. 

Standard
all, prose & poetry

Lost in time

I get so lost in time. Did this happen already? Was it a dream or a memory? Same numbers are reappearing on clocks while the clocks themselves change, age, and die. The landscapes are changing and repeating. Illusions stopped being optical centuries ago. The mind becomes a hall of aberrant mirrors and thoughts conspire to never again reflect quite right.

It’s all a handful of sand. Huge, deific hands. Enough to fill a beach at the end of the world. Music becomes water. Someone’s building castles of words, sand, and music as I’m floating right over, lost in centuries I haven’t lived.

I’m slipping off the edge, balancing, but no, this already happened. I’ve been falling for days. Longer. Maybe there’s no edge at all. I dreamt it or someone else did. Years ago or worlds away. I don’t know if it was even me. This wasn’t even me.

Standard
all, inspiration

Seven Cover Songs

The art of the perfect cover song is in transcendence of a genre. It’ll make light into darkness, and absolve overwrought drama of a pop tune into indie-alternative legitimacy.

Here are seven amazing covers – a perfect playlist together, or a worthy addition to any mix.

1. Weezer – Unbreak My Heart (Toni Braxton cover)
Rivers Cuomo rock-emotes until every last note of cheesiness has been stripped away and the legitimately heartbreaking lyrics about a lover leaving shine through. 

Continue reading

Standard
all, inspiration

Daily Inspiration: Dark Side of Classic Album Covers

A fantastic online gallery of work by the artist Harvezt imagines what lies behind some of the most iconic album covers.

The Dark Side of the Covers series takes on the famous album covers by Nirvana, David Bowie, The Beatles, Rage Against The Machine, The Velvet Underground, Iron Maiden and others, unveiling the artwork’s unspoken context by craftily recreating what the reverse shot would look like if a camera had been placed in the background of the original cover.

darkside-nirvana

Nirvana – Nevermind

Led Zeppelin - IV

Led Zeppelin – IV

Beatles - Yellow Submarine

Beatles – Yellow Submarine

Check out the entire set on Flicker, with the accompanied explanations of the history behind the album and its original artwork.

Standard