Music to Your Ears
Southwestern “Street Hassle”
Prose poetry in the vein of queer outrage
“Waltzing Matilda,” two words … five syllables and synonymous chords, echoing throughout the room … a vibrating, coagulating no-nonsense that dives into the resigning silence that once cohabitated with this town we call home. You had a rhythm, you had a poet, you had silence floundering under the sensuous call that took over once he spewed his manifesto of too many drugs taken and too many honors granted ourselves as human beings. Yeah, maybe it was a little heavy on the sentimental side, yeah maybe he said too many things in the span of nine-plus minutes, but he was right … and even more importantly, he was profound.
Reed—first name Lou—the poet of drug-addled inconsequence … The Velvet Underground was screaming for a life to call its own, but the rest of the world was dry-humping to the sound of his voice, his strident waste-band turning at the bend, as the rest of summer dissipates into the mountain air. Maybe the sound of the vacuous hum was loose in the remnants of its stay, but who would sound the horn for the marching intuitions of days when Stonewall made no elastic sense, as it stretched the belt of wasted tides …
No disproportionate scope can taint that wafted picture, no stretch of the mound can turn the pitch. Yes, techno-dynamics clipped that elastic chord, yet the demonized man heated his angst upon that skewer. Oh, that cycle-counted prism may have cornered itself upon that holster, but those bullets found a home within themselves, and those clouds shot over a mountain's echoes. Sure, gay culture can swoon over the inclusion of Robyn, Kylie and Gaga-infused rhymes that hold no weight yet carry the brunt of a nation's will to seek solace in the perfume-soaked season of discord, but they'll lose in the aftermath as they seek a wavelength of human proportions.
No, that would mean too much. It would crucify the boundaries of a good record, a hot esteem brewing within the confines of another laden limerick. Yes, it lays itself bare upon an outstretched oak whose branches reach toward that bright, summer sun. Yes, that heat is emanating from scratches in the wood, the strumming of that loose string; yet its silence will not heed the course of the switched-off, sanctioned few. Instead, it will quiet itself amongst the outrage, initial its narrative upon the highway stones and say, “Hold steady.”
He said, “I'm glad that we met, man,” and he speaks of cops, old ladies and ODing hussies hiding in the garbage of run-down tenements. Dickensian sentiment runs through his veins as he snorts another line, and he dreams of calling that beat his own, but he realizes it's just wasted, bad luck …
And then those violin strings rip through the sheets, his blood runs through the holes of glory … yes, son, you may have seen that dig in the run, that pot in the hole, but I'm not quite through yet. You see, I've got another solo, and though it may seem hollow, I think this is one that might win ’em all over. But yeah, it may take a while before we reach the end, and you'll want to sit silently and reflect … on the weight of those measures, as we strum silent strings among salient treasures. And I think you might be here to stay. Yeah man, I think you might be here to stay.
Nobody's Smiling Tour: Common • Jay Electronica • Fly Union • hip-hop at Sunshine Theater
James Whiton at Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse
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