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. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Oh, Maria Maria

            Oh Maria, Maria my starship has come
            The pantry is open and we’re missing a bun
            The kitchen is empty and the oven is on
            And I’m lifting these broken bones up to the sun

            Oh Maria, Maria I worship the ground
            I melt like a chocolate and swoon at the sound
            I crumple like paper with your foot coming down
            And losing your favor I howl like the hounds

            When you sent me that letter I was melting like glaciers
            I could hardly believe that the ice age was over
            When you sent me the other I became like a vapor
            I’m sure in the pictures I’m fainter and fainter

            Oh Maria, Maria I swear to the stars
            I won’t soon relinquish these beautiful scars
            It’s true I should look toward some fresh fertile sky
            But I just don’t want to let sleeping loves lie!