Here’s a little tune I play to keep my spirits up. Sometimes when I go to sleep at night I hear music playing in my head. And it’s far better than anything I could ever play. A few months ago, I was mighty sick and I awoke from a feverish dream covered in sweat and I grabbed this guitar that just patiently rests against my bookcase and the core of the song just popped right out! It sounded like joy to me. So I’ve just been playing this song since then. It took on different shapes and tempos. Sometimes when I’m walking about I catch myself whistling it. When I play it, I feel like a horse trotting on a beach in summer. So please forgive any bumps along the way and trot with me!
horse glutes gunfire
horse chompers apple
horse hoof horseshoe
horse eyes celestial
horse gallop sliced mechanical
Once there was a troupe of actors who traveled from village to village like a merchant who sold emotions instead of wares. The troupe inspired sparks of joy in the saddest of places and reflected the dangers of aggression to angry villages who tended to be more peaceful afterward. All across the land the troupe found great success and villages eagerly awaited their return for they were also renowned for their after-parties.
But then one day, the troupe performed for a village upon which they had no effect at all. The troupe could not read the audience and this put them in a state of dismay and they noticed their performance suffered for it. They were used to making a mark on even the blandest of villages and this felt outrageous as a result of their comparison. Who were these ignoramuses, the actors asked themselves backstage.
After the show the audience invited them to the show they put on for themselves once a week that happened to be right after theirs. The troupe needed to know why this audience did not respond to their act, so they postponed their after-party and quickly accepted. And the troupe took a seat as the audience. Despite their desire to tear the performance of these novice dunces apart who clearly could not appreciate the sort of worldly entertainment they had brought to them, the actors were driven to mad laughter instead! And they cried the most cathartic tears they had ever had!
After the show, the troupe praised the villagers and knew they must be the healthiest people they ever met for their village appeared as a result of good hard work and somehow they also entertained themselves at the highest level. The troupe begged to let them live with them but the villagers politely declined because they had no need for this troupe who demonstrated such an imbalance through their performance. It was the nicest way they could tell the troupe that they were in fact not good enough for their standards.
And so the troupe traveled on and moved villagers in other villages but their performances did not feel the same. Subconsciously, routines from the village crept into their show but each one mangled up into an unrecognizable lump of half performances. Each show made them feel like a traveling band of old and stale tricks for imbalanced audiences who needed their mediocre entertainment to get through their miserable lives, as they bitterly put it.
They wished they had never performed for that village and became so bitter that they forbade any from talking about the village and its performance as it really had affected them. Sarcasm infected each member of the troupe. They could only appreciate the irony of any situation. And only schadenfreude brought them any comfort. And the more harsh and biting their shows became, the more farcical, the more popular they were throughout the kingdom (except in that one village were they dared not return). They drowned their sorrows in ever more lavish after-parties that became so depraved that one party became their last when it involved debauching the kingdom’s princess for which they were sacrificed as part of a new campaign by the king to return his state to some modicum of purity and what he liked to call good living by burning a select few at the stake.
When the village heard of the poor troupe’s fate, they were relieved that they had not accepted them into their village but they felt deeply sorry for their tragic lives and so they put on a tender show salted with the bitterness of what the troupe had become, as accounts came pouring in from traveling merchants. And the show was so powerful that they decided to travel with it. They moved village after village and when the king happened to see it, it brought him to tears as it struck a nerve with regard to his notions of purity and the imbalances suffered by the troupe so that he demanded that the villagers become the official troupe of the kingdom.
Down by the concrete river, the spirits arise from patches of datura where the spiral that became a pinwheel stretches itself again to take on the form of ghostly plant emanations pollinated by the consciousness of any wanderer who lingers long enough for the vegetal spirits to unfurl their psychoactive shapeshifting tendrils and guide the awareness toward the unity of all things through the merging of forms and the collective existence of iterative semblances.
The gentle bloom unfolds. Its fruit a shield. The flower a star. Its warm dough a heart. The petals a pinwheel. Its seeds a portal back into the unfolding bloom.
split across polyester screens cut by the echo of feathers divided into coffee stains hewn down to gestural stubs
Once there was an old witch who lost her ability to see. She could no longer use her cauldron or her mirrors to watch over the village nor could she see where anything was in her hut nor any wolf lurking in the woods nor any tasty rabbit hiding in the understory. One night a spider came down from the ceiling and landed on her nose. It woke her but she stayed still and felt it walk across her cheek. it’s string trailed behind it and tickled her skin in a way that felt loud to her. This gave her a brilliant idea.
She brewed up a pot – a magic stew – of liquid power that allowed her to spin webs from her finger tips. Those spun from the left would not be sticky in order to just gather information. Those spun from her right were sticky and intended for traps. As she felt every surface of her hut she wove webs into and under everything with her left hand until she could feel where anything was from anywhere she touched her web.
Any movement of the smallest bug or slightest wind was brought to her attention too. So she wove around her hut and webbed the forest to her awareness. Now she knew where every wolf and rabbit were unlike when she had her eyesight. She had rabbit stew whenever she pleased and wished she had lost her sight much sooner.
Then she made it to the village and wove her web into every house and pathway. And as the village folk performed their daily duties, their actions reverberated in her web and startled her with a new vision of the people she had previously despised. All of their daily movements struck the strings and produced a music unlike any she had ever heard. She had heard the music of nature and when she webbed the woods that music did not surprise her. She had even heard the music of the celestial orbs, and the delirious sounds of the moonlight. But she had never heard the humble music of the folk from the village. And she wept at the spare beauty of all that seemed so unadorned and plain.
The people, however, did not hear any of this music. They did not know why she had webbed their entire village and it angered them. They grabbed their axes and torches and marched toward her hut. But she had heard that music too. It was loud and angry and full of confusion. She knew that confusion was almost always involved whenever somebody killed someone else anyways. So she had already made a sticky perimeter from her right hand that the marching villagers got entangled in. They tried to burn through it but there were only more webs.
With a captive audience, she told them that she had gone blind and meant them no harm. She told them about her idea and why she webbed everything. Then she let them go, and asked for their mercy because the music of their humble lives soothed her and she needed to hear it to go on living. And they, in turn, stopped calling her a witch and came to her for advice since she had heard all of the reverberations of their words and actions.