The Downright Immortality of Erik Satie

Piano 1

Which absinthe, what pill, whose ghost did revere and revile your spirit Sir; which demon angel clasped your spurious heart, what beam or ray of microporous light did wash your anger with tender knowing? For some untold unheard unfathomed effect of nature or the Gods did most surely befall you, sir, as the chime and concord of heaven’s allure coursed through your veins and twitched and danced your fingers so; for trois gnossiennes, for god and supremity, for subliminal truth, for the pitch and timbre and cadence of breath flowing in and out and through your being, sir, how did you channel thus?  How did you dare to express such cosmic fortitude, how glorious your delicate touch, how sensual this ticking tock of a music box of memory and longing, how sweet, how moreish, how embalming this suffusing flow of gentle quick-step and how glorious, how stunning the silence of an urbane audience as your last note dies and you rise from the hall without a bow, how perplexed their jolted minds in this post-incident silence; what has just happened they say, what did he do, who did he think he, which buffoonery is this, this pied-piper’s trick of a man, what transfiguration befalls us now. have we just eyed Medusa they think as the motionless seconds tick, sir, the silence in this hall swirling great patterns across the ether, disturbed and disrobed by your unspeakable tomfoolery with nature – your collection and collation of all and everything out and through a clanking tweeting box of keys atop a stage in a decadent hall in a grand old city of lusts and disappointments – you distended that piano sir with some kind of otherness and you were already too far away outside, walking down the street with your nonchalant stick, after this blasphemous recital, to even know if rancorous applause stuttered its way into rapture amongst the gawping congregation left behind; it mattered not, sir, for in truth they sit there still today, shadows of time, a hundred years since, and you, sir, long gone are also here loud and clear, living through an exquisite chasm in the ether, from which the resonance of your divine ballet of sound streams and pours and wraps the immortality of sound around our fears and frailties today, sir, even still.

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Succumb to the Flow of Time


You seek. I seek. We share this compulsion. Fated towards having and cowered, fearful and small, away from simply being, every moment is diluted and soured by the thoughts of countless other moments lying ahead; ill-conceived dreams of better moments, whatever that means, and the cloying dread of even worse moments still. Most of all, the blood-draining terror of nothing more ahead than more moments just like this – unlived moments, partial moments, hungry and cold stroboscopic flashes repeated without end; the panic of mortality – flash off…the hell of eternity – flash on; our ambivalence towards the greater of these punishments almost comical in its uncertainty.  Our blindness to the truth of our curving, surfing, crashing voyage on the eddies and swirls of time, a river as fierce and exhilarating as any, preventing our unfettered, unclothed, beatific submission and acceptance of this primal flow where moments big and moments small are all moments in swirling liquid succession – indeed, the very concept of ‘moment’ as futile as the idea of a drop of liquid in the ocean – yet we obsess on this drip by drip, illusory version of events.  So, inhale, close eyes, undress, devoid your soul, and leap into this embalming river of time, umbilical connections back into the essence of truth, untainted, as in the womb, by impressions and cognition. Stop seeking and be borne instead on the flow.  You will be sought; your truth found out on the dives and surges of the currents.  You will see that you cannot possibly have when you are already owned by the cosmos; you are in its full and untrammeled possession and all that remains is to be, to exist, way beyond this decaying artifice of the ‘moment’. Succumb to the rapture of the flow…

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Oh How I Love You and Your Imperfect Grace


Oh for your face, streaming rain glimmering your laughter as we tear whooping through the woods; the muddy debacle of our frivolous intuition, holding you close, holding me close. This movie of the mind transfiguring memories to unvisited realms, half real, half wished, oh how you transport me, aloft on a soundtrack of yearning, this love as yet unfulfilled, though real as the wind and the paths untravelled in this visionary forest. Oh how I love you and your imperfect grace; how wizened our grasping hands these days, years suddenly gone; our shared past borne away on underground streams – this now, this dream, this ticking clock quietly funneling our remaining dances; Oh how I love you and your perfect poise; you stand atop and around my essence, vicariously I feel you at every step, the crunching leaves, the scarf pulled high, the wind speaking of your timeless beauty to me, endlessly, lovingly, forlornly and yet with only joy. How we move like shadows amongst these happy trees, how I sail on your presence, how I fail in my devotion, how I falter in these earthen roots of a magnificent awe-inspiring universe, but never ever because of you; Oh how I love you and your unrivalled constancy, your beautiful heart and forgiving grasp. May the quieting clock favour our embraces ahead and may I find in its intricate ticking heart the steadying force of my imperfect devotion, and may I turn to you in every breath and every dream whilst our ever-wizening clasping hands remain.

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The Mud of the Night


I am Remi Soul and I have nothing to live for, less still for which to die. It is a peculiar and pointed joy of my being; or a pain of it, it is all the same. Neither one thing nor another. Bereft of laughter, yes, but old agonies sculpted to numbness by the ceaseless eons of coping. Surviving, that’s barely the right word, wave after wave of eroding, the gentle pulverising, if there is such a thing, of every breath. Cymbal violence I call it. I don’t really call it that but I might do if I had to call it something. The dissonance of an ugly and indifferent percussion. Too loud and too vast. Too negative too critical. Too much in vain. I felt, if I thought I could feel, the sharp ridges of feeling had been sheared off and rounded into a pulp. There were no protruding angles, no insanitary geometry of emotion. No triangulation or floundering orientation problem. Just nothing. Is this is a bad thing? I don’t know. But I do know that my person; my soul they would call it if they knew, was empty, but what can I mean by an empty soul? A vacuous torpor of today is maybe it. Like every day for however long and however long that actually is. Fourteen years I think. Or twelve. It means nothing. Or perhaps seventeen years, I don’t know, they call it a ball-park, of this turgid numbness. I am endlessly awake, to a fault. The bastard or the brain I think I mean – waxes incoherently and never wanes nearly enough. Years of bruising by restless, shifting and fitful slumber, trying to fix its tremulous anchors at a place where the earth doesn’t just slide away feebly. Scree tumbling off without compunction. Tremendous anchors I mean, historic iron ones, big Brandenburg concertos, welded to chains of conscious reference and tangibility in those first craggy, vengeful moments when the eyes shouldn’t open but do, like dead mussels. Don’t cook them if they are already open. I think I mean a kind of vacillating inconclusive exhausting metamorphosising, is that a real word, that never quite reaches the right state, and a seething netherworld between sleep and wakefulness, which is pointless and poisoned, really. How can that be? And is it an underworld or netherworld, and what’s the difference? That is just sophistry. And just more and more flagellating breaths, too many steps from the end. Like dusty old bellows squeezed angrily on peeking embers. The searing flames raging fleetingly with exaggeration on every blast, subsiding then, but not quite the infancy of before. Today, as yesterday I imagine, if I could remember which I can’t, and probably days before that, I shuffled through the day like some incoherent moth. Just the same, I had swam though the mud of the night. And here I am back in the detritus of the day.

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Her Impenetrable Beauty


Her beauty created a harmonic field between our gazes. No, it was not that at all but it felt like her dance upon my soul was more explicable as the cadence of a piano expounding nought but truth. The feeling was pure desire but also more complex. It fuelled a fixated wonder beyond mere hunger. Her naked form stood before me and lust, so sheer yet so narrow, so pointed and limiting, was the least of my problems. I feared the denigration of this unbearably exquisite essence she exuded, swirling emanating invoking the air between us in all its mirage-forming power. Yet this was no illusion. This feminine sweep of downy arm, this fecund extrusion of nipple in its purply ripeness, this parabolic arc of hip atop the unspeakable breath-defying grace of long and powerful thigh, the softness and power of straining calf – all this, mouth-dryingly real and profound, like the sparkle of distant stars or the miracle of steadily beating hearts. Her crowning mound atop the vortex at her centre, saying so much more to me than desire, its symbolic allure speaking of the primal, the infinite and the inexplicable beauty of existence every bit as much as its draw on my engorged spirit, as strong as that was. I wanted her badly of course I did, but nor could I dare to defile this wonder of nature by clawing and heaving and lapping and squelching with all the fervour of maleness at this truly impenetrable and pristine moment. How else to bow humble and rapt before her exquisiteness? Only the hard-won pain of self-denial suggested itself. How her queenly deportment shimmered across her unclothed honesty as she left. How agonised and honoured, in equal measures my palpitations, at the tremulous thought of the next unchained beast of a man, famished and greedy, who would feast on her unparalleled glory, utterly mindless of his ejaculatory recklessness. And yet I tore at my soul with doubts of whether he was in fact a greater fool than I.

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Squeezed Out Memories


I want to create a monument. In memorium to memory itself. All things past are gone and yet not quite done and dusted. I recall so much that it is a true cinematic maelstrom. It’s not as edifying as it should be though, or rather, as I would want it to be. Hang on, I don’t mean that some of the things I remember aren’t great; they are neither great nor anything else, it’s just that they ran past me like a river without the slightest hint of bias and now they sit, real but elusive as figments of a mind trying to tell a story from random mementos of a past. That’s what I mean by not as edifying, you see, that infernal intangibility despite the ‘thereness’ of the memories. That forward momentum, bastard gravity or whatever that is, that won’t let me stop, or go back in fact, and live those racing torrents again, not even for a moment.  That was those torrents, long gone, it’s just that I kind of still feel their echo, their taunt, in amongst the swirling noise of the waters rushing by me right now.  For god’s sake, I mean, it’s actually in truth in reality no messing, a memory already when I started writing this little shit. It feels like it’s the same thing that I’m still doing as I write this – word 216 – as when I wrote I want to create a monument, as if the whole thing, whatever that is, is some kind of entity, an episode. But that’s just an illusion of the mind trying to stop me going insane.  I mean I can’t start over again every second can I. We can’t keep being born it has to start and it has to appear to flow, or it all just makes even less sense.  What a laugh all that is. Like Beckett writing about being “born into dying” or something like that. Like these eddying unedifying paling memories I’m talking about – they all pretend to be incidents, stand up and be counted moments, like sticky photographs in an album where time stands still – and it kind of does in an unscientific way – the movement of light in a certain direction towards a certain aperture towards a certain exposure frozen, or captured more accurately, in a kind of….yes, a kind of monument to memory.  But let’s not go there into that rationalistic mire. Because that is a barrel of pigswill that’s not going to take me back to those moments either, the naked embraces, the accidents, the inanities, the angers, the foolishnesses, the broken dreams, the tremblings, the visitations, the knowings, the certainties, the lies, the truths, the succumbings, the lusts, the hurts, the desperations, the loves, the fragilities, the facades, the bowings, the memories.  A musician said “I function as a channel through which music emerges from the chaos of noise”. Good. I say I function as a sewage system through which shit emerges from the nutrients of nature.  Or memories out of the phenomenology of…of, of stuff, to use the technical term.  It’s just that, once you’ve shat, you’ve used those nutrients.  You can’t get them back.  Like the memories I’m talking about.  So you see I am just a collection of chewed up squeezed out memories, the waste products of consciousness. I am going to resist acquiring any more memories.  So I’ll be batting away experiences, pushing people away with two big goalkeeper hands, and shutting my eyes from now on. Maybe if I switch off the acquisition of memories, the old existing ones will rise up and recreate themselves.  And then I might just be able to go back to the beginning again.

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The Veil of Normality


Each day its own snowy precipice these days; every dark dawn a shadow on perpetuity – a staccato awakening from the balm of sleep. Yet again the escape thwarted by the back-bending gravity of consciousness. This greying beard reflected back beneath a bleary yet ever-hopeful pallour each morning. Hopeful and desirous of meaning today. Briefly afloat on the closing aperture of an ego-driven snapshot; the mirror such a demonic photographer to spew such truth, such agonised reflection back; not to the retina but straight to the soul. Question. How to haul this carcass through today? Answer. The same as tomorrow. With flimsy cloth and the veil of normality; chuckles and utterances to others heard from within before and after they leave the lips in sin cos tan whatever waves. What kind of machine is this? This hearing of oneself as one speaks, somehow knowing and not knowing from second to second what I will say. What stream of hilarious disaster is this then that I am borne upon, an engulfing torrent of rapids and rocks around any corner. What calm and serenity of the placid lakes and forests of the imagination then – those comforting daytrips of the mind to nature’s profundity; how thin the facade though; the animal indifference of storms and icebergs and the amorality and instinctive voracity of a hungry, fanged beast. And how so, all of the above, in the darting glance at a shaving mirror? What platitude what message what thirst what dream what word is all this? And whose word? These are my words but they feel like yours too. For the mirror speaks in one voice.

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