Category Archives: musician

Don’t Keep Score When Music Is Losing from Crack-up Poems, Crack-up Songs

—dedicated to Dan and to his best friend

We’ll talk now of what he was.

It may serve as antidote and sedative,

As palliative to what he has become.

There once was a man who wanted

To be different, to be new, to be himself,

Influenced, of course, by the past,

The present, and the future,

But not owned by and certainly not

Speaking for any of them, speaking for himself.

 

He was to be his own new man

A work of his own art,

And that art really did not need to entertain

Or be accepted. Of course, if it were,

That would be amazing, dazzling, fitting,

But that was never the great thing.

It was as if he were a scholar

Whose job it was to quietly, steadily,

In a large way or a small one, to

Quietly, steadily, and quite seriously,

With enormous intention,

And yet no thought at all,

Absorb though exposure

Strange and random images,

Music, noise, sounds, thoughts,

Poetry, dangers, bliss—

Drink all the transporting tea of this

And then to breathe it in the heart

Of this new self that was himself

Influenced, of course, as we have said

By the past, by the press of all,

But not owned by any of it.

He would make a sound, a song, a music

That would speak a simple or

Complicated truth, or joke, or twist of fate.

A 12 or 13 philosophy—his own yen yang,

Surrealistic hog calling if that would

Bring I into B-B-B-B–Being,

Tell of Lake Tear of the Clouds,

And a spear through the ambient veil,

Or, now here’s where it gets personal,

About a call to a woman in the night,

A test of love she passed driving

Backwards down Spring Street waving.

It would involve chance elements.

The statement would be open to interpretation.

The participation of the listener and the viewer

Would play a part.

That’s how new it was meant to be.

 

This art, his sound, his music

Would exist and live in the air

Around the listener, but

Freedom, real freedom,

Not a catch phase version,

A real freedom searched for and found

Would fly in the space

Where his song was being born.

 

I’d like to end this story there

On that high and positive note.

I will resist Morrison’s deathless dirge,

And only say that what we have talked about

For these past few minutes went away.

He went away. Everything went away.

Not just the music, but the place

That he was so close to creating.

It is floating now, unformed,

In that still, chill oxygen

That fuels the dreams

That dwindle

Down at

Dawn.

 

 

 

 

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