January 19, 2010

There are two hills in this town. The university sits atop one; the other has a water tower painted to resemble the American flag:

From the bathroom I can look out and see it peeking over the roof of the church next door to my house. It’s lit from below, giving it a metallic sheen. A ship hides in the belly of the water tower.

So when I relieve myself in the middle of the night, I can look upon the modern trinity of God, UFOs, and American infrastructure.

It took way too long for me to write that.

I used to be able to write a couple pages at once, skinny-dipping into streams-of-consciousness. I’ve never considered myself a poet. More like an efficient recorder of words that come one right after another, that don’t get hung up on tiny details, that never run out of things to say. I know that stream is still there because I can reach it while dozing, not dreaming but not really awake—sometimes I can view whole pages of words, a document of the subconscious, but of course I never remember what it said.

Maybe that’s the thing. It wasn’t really about anything. The conscious mind arranges the words into meaning.

“Roygbiv” from Boards of Canada’s Music Has the Right to Children has that voice loop, the “ay” sound, and there’s no telling what the sample’s really saying, so any listener can apply their own: “hey,” “late,” “face,” “shape,” “space,” “faith,” “fate,” “lace,” the list goes on.

It’s like that with the dream text. Latent thought. Meaningless, yet.

Having a holiday named after me would be bitchen. What do Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Saint Patrick, and Christopher Columbus have in common?


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