Sunday, October 13, 2013

Eulogy for a Lion: A Love Letter to Bill Hicks


In the gauzy memory of my childhood bedroom there is the specter of a lion. The lint from two decades ago floats listlessly through the air, collecting on the screen of the wood panel television, and glinting in the ripened light from the window of my reverie, after billowing from the corduroy beanbag chair. In the mess of checkered sheets suggesting ancient geographies there is a creature who slumbers regally upon the phantom of my trundle bed, wearing the lofty beatitudes as a crown and dreaming of vast empathies in the harbors of night. And lost in the ether of remote acquisitions, he can never sense the sharpness in an interval of time; the transient butterflies have returned to their steads. And with such a multifarious drama to swarm above his crystalline head, he has forgotten his volatile physical form and the gravid sorrows of watery faces.

You couldn’t help dying any more than you could accept the draconian terms that the industry offered, the meaningless trinkets on spray-painted altars and the shame in the hearts of the mannequin martyrs; the cloying devices of sainted directors who could not love the candor of your skillful incisions. You were meant to wear medals for obscure acts of valor and be fabled in reverent listening sessions.

In the almost twenty years since you left in a sunburst you have grown to encompass an entire dimension, which is more than the legacy of your brooding persona and can never be mimicked or otherwise cheapened, where dinosaurs catechize Sunday school teachers and bury their riddles in the Garden of Eden, where the bloodthirsty elephants are all on the run and the lizard people no longer worship the sun.

Where we never had to bring another fireworks show to a peasantry armed with conventional guns, but we shocked them with lines of attritional prose for increasing the sadness of their reticent slums. So they had no choice but to offer a truce. And the waffle waitresses were studying Proust. And I wonder whose gum they were chewing that day, when the flying saucers came down to take you away.

Honestly, Bill, I don’t know whether I’m sadder at the fact that the frauds still thrive while Fascisti attack, that cubic zirconium is touted as gold, or that genuine diamonds get weary and old, and abscond with their brilliance in a flourish of gray, to the deep dark waters of Arizona Bay.

And sadly, I don’t believe for a second that you are somehow able to hear a word I say, but nothing really ends in this big blooming universe, or begins for that matter, and we meet in the middle, and at least I can take some comfort in the fact that in the grand scheme of things I know very little. I know what compels me to wear the regalia of an artist or someone with valid pretensions, to cut through the cumbersome Gordian knots and defeat the guerillas of cherished opinion, so I’m keeping your spirit right here in my workspace and I won’t give you up to divine apparitions, or the litanies sung by anonymous clerics who live in the grandeur of faraway steeples. 

27 comments:

  1. If only I could think of a more eloquent word for "fantastic".

    (Come to think of it, that probably explains why I can't write poetry.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Fantastic" works just fine for me, actually.

      Delete
  2. Hi Elliot! Thank you for your visit to my blog today. It was so kind of you to comment, considering the video was for women, you just touched my heart.

    Anima also has videos for men, they actually have one in the I Am Awesome for guys. You can check it out on Facebook.

    You really speak so eloquently about your friend/uncle...not sure how he's related to you. But he sure made an impact on your life. You express your feelings very well. I see you like the word fantastic, so I'll say yes, it was 'fantastic'!

    Peace,
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a relative or someone I knew. He was a stand-up comedian.

      Delete
  3. Nicely done! I agree with the rest - fantastic is a good choice. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Elliot, thank you for visiting my blog today, I have not seen you for a while. I will also say that your writing is 'fantastic' or actually something more than that, it is also very visual. I would love to write with such eloquence, something to aspire to, one day perhaps.
    xoxoxo ♡

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is astonishingly wonderful writing! Thank you for your kind comment at my blog today, the tip on the song Rilkean Heart, etc. So glad it led me to your blogs and this post. Was not familiar with Bill Hicks so did some looking around, and wow. You may or may not have already found this tumblr page (maybe you even created it!).


    ReplyDelete
  6. what an intriguing letter....ha cubic zirconium touted as gold...this is our reality in many ways, a fraud....when the music fades you know...and often we dont know what we have lost until we do....

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great writing indeed at your feed, brought to life with every word and pulled back the curtain

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your writing really touched me greatly!! Nice to meet you here at dVerse!

    ReplyDelete
  9. i wasn't familiar with him - so had to google first - a great write - tightly written and with great images as well

    ReplyDelete
  10. good to meet you in the middle, Eliot ~ M

    ReplyDelete
  11. I wish I could write like this! You have such a way with words!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, though I should say it took many, many hours to find these words.

      Delete
  12. You write very well ~ I specially like that you keep his spirit with you ~

    Thank you for your visit in my blog ~

    ReplyDelete
  13. elliot, i had to look up bill hicks. yes i'm that dumb @$$. now on to your excellent writing. where i could feel the 1970's setting of the wood paneling tv and corduroy bean bag chair. but aren't you took young to have lived in the 70's? my fave line was: "cubic zirconium is touted as gold, or that genuine diamonds get weary and old." ps. fun fact you shared about the ex-girlfriend fashion stylist. yes i believe you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Teddi. No this was in the 90s but it was a wood panel tv from probably the early 80s. But I'm almost old enough. Was born in 80.

      Delete
  14. "he can never sense the sharpness in an interval of time" Wonderful stuff! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. A fine tribute, Elliot--beautifully worded with "fabulous" imagery.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Back and to the left" was a catch phrase in my house for many, many moons. I'm sitting here trying to decide what I like most about him...his dark, sarcasm was great, his topics were right-on and he was fucking hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  17. WOW. Nicely done. Very fitting.

    ReplyDelete