this project is so near and dear to me for so many reasons that it’s hard to put into words. first collaboration with nathan hall, a brilliant person, artist, composer, and all-around beautiful person. as an album it’s phenomenal. i am completely humbled to be a part of this artwork, which features ten of my poems in it’s liner notes.
so nathan was living in iceland at the time, and he emailed me a piece of music, to which i wrote a poem, and then sent him the poem. he would take my words and create a piece of music inspired by them, and the process repeated itself for probably about 9 months. it definitely captures the feeling of a journey in a new land, and the images and music will forever be tied to my conception of how iceland feels.
in addition to nathan’s compositions, other artists who lend their hand to this project include: will dyar, ragnar kjartansson, sally bozzuto, and many others.
a: pouring black/coffee into black/mugs while morning/light displays the pane/across your back.
you can’t start again: you can’t you can’t start/another wise-blood wish craft/when every little bone/sends another split down/someone else’s spine./we can play and play/weasel with rocks and do things/in the dark with our mouths/create new spaces to be/that we never even knew were always there/if we could look beneath the folds/beneath the fabrics and into our darkest parts./you can’t start, you can’t/start again.
on the origin of the sun and the moon: what then now, you/ask about the coiled body/wrapped hugging legs/warm with wet/sliding toward, through/sliding away. then it moves/retrieves knife from drawer/and returns without missing/a beat. i don’t want to chase after you, you/say as the blade slides down thighs/separates skin from skin/skin from muscle. pull back/a bit you say, and i do/so wet tissue sits braided/exposed gleaming and softly/ticking with temerity to/the tempo of our pulse. i listen/listen but cannot understand the inflection/of your language upon mine/so instead we just stare with fascination/at the wonder of how we work.
for emily: inside photographs of wooden church interiors/i saw six silver circles floating above/where my head could have been/would have been had i been standing there/standing there in the picture./i would have sang you a song/full of notes and other things, maybe/notes i’d written/down in journal entries and those circles/i can’t stop thinking hold/my missing words/beside sounds, intertwined with sounds/or without sounds. alone/and just hanging there above/nothing but the wooden floor and/a modest little altar in the rear./i wish i could close my eyes/&/let the smell/knock me the fuck out.
the purpose is to cut: the purpose is to cut not pull or stretch but cut looking/inside and back outside and down, backwards. using the/application of a directed force sharp instrument separating/into two where once there was one neatly, to multiply./the sketch of an earlier drawing the plans for a monument/never mind the fact that it was never built or that it was/impossible to build or it was built and subsequently removed/made imperfect by photographs, refer to it as the thing, a/phonetic abjection, edges left indistinct but this was just/there appearing suddenly it had always been there then it/was gone and it had never been.
love poem for two pauls (and the laugh of a girl i’ll probably never meet): he buried christmas lights in dirt/filled boxes then himself/at least partially inside a wall./he built a staircase on a roof/and filled boxes then himself/at least partially full of meat/and you just laughed. i love you.
i don’t want to chase after you: plucked string and voice waiting at the end of the hall./the meaning of the word stop, the undoing of teeth/from mouth one by one, there’s blood but not much/a sound like a hum, a humming with lips. humming/with blood and spit on fingertips, like bees./teeth pile up on the floor, an impossible amount. there’s/no way you have that many teeth, end quote/but there they are, roots all sticking out, crooked little legs bent and wet/and reflecting beams of pink light. she keeps humming all the while/reaching in digging deeper pulling apart humming with hand/in mouth. out they come, one by one/each one louder than the last. that’s going to take a lot of stitches/end quote but she just keeps humming, humming/softly and piling herself up on the floor.
i don’t want to chase after you (part 2): here’s a crayon now let me etch/a little something on glass/slivers, reflections showing ways/to make a place thinner/and curved so it could fit about anywhere/slowly pouring through glass./come closer, squint yellow/behind dusty water green deserts/thick and seeping/over dirty glass, records repeat/tumbling as promised until/the cycle stops. reverberating/down gold with lips flowing back and/around in time and then saying it again. in event/of a shattered mirror arrange for an echo. time/can always make whole again.
phase: spinning on a string, lift glass in salutation/check books records return/home and dissolve into drone:/in a saturated space you can see past/movement of arms and fingers/fact checking wasted from spinning./characterize time and money celebrity/culture with examples from text/fashion forward decays inside cooing reverberations/in dark maroon viscera. here’s your glitz/and your glamour end quote. white collar/endless war, endless war/repeats a beautiful man in a yellow dress/black beads tracing veins on his neck.
loop: after morning there is just a black/circle left sitting alone on the black/counter top. the light from the sun/eased across the floor where we mis-/understood words and didn’t say even more./this is it end quote, yes this is it.
see my friend dave’s review of the album here: http://dbernabo.drupalgardens.com/content/album-review-nathan-hall-origin-sun-and-moon
buy the album here: http://nathanhall.bandcamp.com/album/the-origin-of-the-sun-and-moon