Three Images

#1. The record player skips emitting miniature sonic booms that penetrate the atmosphere of cigarette smoke, dull twilight and quiet laughter in the living room. Sofia, the eldest at 21, picks up the needle and puckering her lips sends the offensive ball of dust resting on the tip of the needle careening into some dark corner. Lennon resumes his interrupted performance as four girls, continue a lazy mind’s stroll down Abbey Road, cigarettes ever ready. Jennifer’s dyed red hair shines like blood in the light of the dim lamp as her thin artist’s fingers, ringed, carefully shuffles a deck of faery tarot cards.  Meghan, stocking feet padding on the paint-speckled carpet, begs a reading from Jennifer. The shuffling of the cards beats out the time as “Something” opens with whining guitar. Four girls chain smoking in a dark room when the beach is just down the street. The Beatles Collection on vinyl, each other’s company – a sacred space. They decide to spend another night at home.

#2. Finger on his left hand gently poking upwards toward the ceiling, Professor Neu emphasizes every point on his passionate lecture on Socrates. Tiny round spectacles cling to a hooked nose.  There is alarming volume and animation in his black eyebrows. Every nuance in speech obviously demarcated by a sudden upward jab of his eyebrows. He reads from his notes, which lulls the students into a comatose state, pens moving in hypnotized unison. Once in a while, Neu’s deep voice cracks; everyone in the room notices but no one gives any indication.

#3. Ripped jeans, white froth of fray around the hole’s edges and a white threadbare shirt cover his hunched shoulders, lifting slightly as his lips gently drag on a Camel Filter. He observes the six girls immersed in their notebooks, pens galloping on paper as fast as his smoke gallops on the air. Brow furrowed he ponders what the girls write. Boys, sadness, strangers? Do they write about him? One girl writes about his cigarette and how the sight of it sets her hands to shaking. He gets up before she can beg one of him. All she has left of an addiction is a paragraph that’s addicted to it.

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Birds

The days are sharpening into long dreary halls.
No getting over or under,
trailing fingers along white walls.
The eyes that still hope for better and
the struggle, compressed sigh,
words ooze from under breath.
There is a surprise for the call
to fly.  The wings have been lost.
Do you know why?
They say female birds are bigger,
more drab. They carry so much
weight and it makes them so
bitter and so very very
sad.

A study

A fantastic and embarrassingly whimsical panegyric of the musicians that would and did.

or

The Panegyric That Was Long in Coming – or – (For the Music)

This is no apologia for something that was promised long ago and never delivered (until now).  This is no excuse to become someone of worth to a group of certain people (namely the band).  This is not a testament of talent (namely the writer’s).

This is an inspiration, a demarcation of something special that is festering in the plastered, carpeted, gilded heart of suburbia.  It is a love letter.  It is a simple offering to a non-entity that is music, but if music had no entity, it will certainly assume a shape, albeit blurry shape, after these words have painted a wardrobe for it.  The color of this wardrobe is blue, a blue like a screen door swinging shut at dusk when the crickets begin to sing.

The shirt this music wears is sky blue.  Blue like the hue of the ocean when the sun’s corona makes it smile.  Its pants are worn faded blue Levis, or, the color of your first bike after the sixth fall.  It is the blue of our childhood in the shock of impending adulthood.  This music is the silent blue flashes of a television screen on white walls when the hour hand has just passed midnight.  This music is Voltron action figure blue, tiny and breakable yet still menacing and exciting with its sharp plastic corners and metamorphosis.  Blue like the Orphic pulsations of a star, solitary but brave in a sea of unforgiving black.

On any normal day you can catch this now painted thing swaggering with a limp on any sidewalk.  It is there in our everyday perceptions lurking behind a cloud, splashing noisily down a riverbed, playing tag on the metallic sheen of high rise buildings, or careening off the fenders of blue automobiles in noisy city streets.  This music is Blue Ravine – the main street of a sleepy, but perpetually waking suburb, the aorta of a heart that doesn’t know it’s beating.