Tuesday, September 09, 2008


The Song

The small, high wailing
that envelops us here,
distant, indistinct,

yet, too, immediate,
we take to be only
the utterances of loose fan

belts in the refrigerating
system, or the shocked hum
that issues from the darkness

of telephone receivers;
but it speaks to us
so deeply we think it

may well be the beseeching
of the stars, the shameless
weeping of coyotes

out on the Mohave
Please, stop listening

to this sound, which
is actually the terrible
keening of the ones

whose hearts have been broken
by lives spent in search
of its source,

by our lives of failure,
spent looking everywhere
for someone to say these words.


Poem by Denis Johnson
from The Incognito Lounge (1994)

The painting, Solar music, is by Remidios Varo Spanish surrealist (1908-1963) -- Oil on masonite --
Characters she painted have been described as: "These dream-like people, personified psychic fragments possessing purpose but not consciousness."

She died young, at 55, of "excessive tension" , a holistic diagnosis described as:
Tension on these (eyeball) muscles, called the Rectus muscles, creates a condition of farsightedness, and is experienced emotionally as tension in the consciousness, as coming out of one's Self, focusing on Image. It may be experienced as suppressed anger, or anger at one's self (guilt), or a feeling that in some way, the individual is not as important as other Beings.

I am not sure how this condition could do you in ?