That Strange Memory We Have

comments 13

The other day,
and without
because it
made sense
in a very incalculable
kind of way,
and eschewing
all my previously
of character
and personality,
I responded
to a clever
stapled to
the picture
of a pet mountain goat
that by some accounts
had gone missing, and
by other accounts
been found,
that was taped
to a promotional photograph
of a local practitioner
of esoteric dietary arts
involving seeds and reeds
that was tacked
to the convex, fibrous,
bristling, sun-dried
mass of a utility pole,
and joined a cover band.

a couple nights
a week after work
I put on dark sunglasses
and fake, voluminous hair
and take my place in
the ensemble.
Hafiz offers
two or three words
of instruction
to everyone at once–
nevermind we’re all holding
different instruments–
and then we go
tigers over teacups
like a punk band
channeling a thunderstorm
about Rachmaninov,
smirking and shimmying
and pretending like hell
we can really jam,
pulverizing the area
with some godawful renditions
of the song that gave
rise to tuna fish,
or the one that
created orchids.

Despite our jangly
bruising of the air,
something feels right
when we play this music together
without knowing how or why,
like we remember something
sacred that sifts to the top
of our brokenness,
something that only
makes sense when we
admit to this pain as one,
and revel in its power.
Later, we give each other
fist pounds and wordlessly
saunter off into the night,
knowing one of these times
this strange rust will wear off
and things are really going to click,
and then
and then
and then

and then what!?


That’s what.

* * * * *


    • Ha! Thanks for being in this ethereal band here with me, Alison. I am jamming away on the inside, dipping a toe in the water of the river where we are all joined, reveling in the great noospheric, stirred-pot concoction in which we all discover new riffs on the nature of being. All brought to us via an incredibly rich and forever binding non-locality.



  1. Maybe in time we all have to go solo; perhaps not because of any ‘musical differences’, but a deep and incessant instinct that our magnum opus will only ever reveal itself as being played in the uniqueness of our own chops.


    • Perhaps, Hariod. I like to think we take turns soloing, and that the solo is all the more meaningful for arising within the context of the larger ensemble. Or that we all solo at once, and that the very willingness to honor the uniqueness of our chops allows for them to be magnificently woven in ways we cannot comprehend in advance into beautiful tapestries.



  2. ~meredith says

    Rachmaninoff… so easy-peasy, such fluff.
    ( No wonder you go tiger over teacups
    what fun!
    I used to go
    all goth
    over hyperfinger-maninoff.)


    • Yeah… pure fluff… I didn’t need any coffee today after watching that video a few times last night… 🙂

      Humans are quite amazing beings. Artifacts of grace like this Rachmaninoff piece strike me as the nature of who we are turned inside out, put on display… revealed. It is glorious to behold.


      Liked by 1 person

    • fun always reminds me how rich we are. how safe the nature of being truly is. that we can get lost in play, and always be found…


  3. Wow Michael …! Wow…!
    Rachmaninov has always been passion in training, ramping up the flight gear for take off. All that needed emotional steam to fly without leaving the ground, twirl standing still, laugh without making a sound…becoming a blur of love.


    • Thank you, Jana. I love your description of the melding of Rachmaninov’s inner revelations with our recognition of the inner glories that take flight and soar without our feet even leaving the ground, and the idea of becoming “a blur of love.” Somehow when we do experientially encounter the love at the core of our being, it is indeed a flashing, blurring brilliance. I am reminded of a quote you posted recently on your blog, about a sense of humor being common sense played at a different speed. And I can’t help but attempt to borrow and massage the analogy, to suggest that passion and genius are stillness, whirling at light speed…



  4. Your then, then then, brought to mind a poem I put in a birthday card to a dear friend recently…
    “What if you slept?

    What if you slept
    And what if
    In your sleep
    You dreamed
    And what if
    In your dream
    You went to heaven
    And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower
    And what if
    When you awoke
    You had that flower in you hand
    Ah, what then?”
    ― Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Complete Poems

    I think your band is the most marvelous flower I have ever heard! What then, may I ask? I hope you will be touring in some realm! So marvelous – all of you!


    • What a great poem, Marga. This band thing– it’s an outside of time, outside of space, flash mob pretty much. Everyone’s in it. We’ve been tuning up for eons. We went to heaven, and then woke up here with an instrument in our hand… wondering what the hell it was for, none quite alike and far too many comparisons and trading instruments back and forth, a lot of quizzical stares, guesswork about how to play them, deep questions about where each one fits into the Whole… Some fancy and baroque. Some simple and wooden. I think the thing is, like… just blow the damn horns, bang the damn drums, strum the bars of the cage like the strings of a really, really big harp. Get the band back together… 🙂



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