NAPOLEON’S WILD HORSES

25 May

Cole Desolation
“Desolation”
c. 1836

Thomas Cole
1801-1848
America

I’m listening to the sound of the glorious invasion, treading water as history’s calvary overwhelms the collective mind of the human herd. There’s a tangle in my mind today. My spirits are low, my energy gravitating back toward bed but my will bids I won’t go. Wait, I’ve been this way before. I know this texture. These blind fingers know the music I have yet to hear.

There is solace in marble rooms built by a now-dead empire; there is comfort in the antique harmonies of strings and wooden pipes, human breath. I am doing nothing, treading water. I have yet to declare my beautiful whatever. I see the eyes of the people about me looking up in anticipation of… something? Revelation? I engage in the safety of dispersonal conversation. Human contact deprived of its physical discomforts, the infiltration of eros and envy. How peaceful we all are in this noöspherical coccoon. My fellow monkeys puzzle me.

In these chambers crammed with Emerson and Brodsky, Aristotle, Orwell, Wilde, Rossetti, Lorca, Delillo and Blake, there’s a man who sits here every day and plays electronic solitaire. Does he win? Outside, a sixteen year old kid watches bullshit hip hop at public expense and makes very loud trade negotiations on his phone. The 21st century black market barter system: if the girl wants his drugs she shall be prepared to swallow his semen in exchange.

At the back of my mind: a woman. Two perhaps. One spirit lying underneath a myriad of faces and curves? I hunger. Others hunger for me and I will not feed them. I have forgotten the name of a poet and retrieve some help from someone I barely knew once and do so no longer. He didn’t make the grade, still he retrieved the name of another long forgotten woman who’s words meant more to me than the legends her circle of acquaintance gave rise to. Legends with dicks of course. Ladies, it’s not that you’re not any good, it’s that you don’t care about immortality enough. You have no desire to make the world in your image.

I check in with new friends and at the same time learn about the new art forms that come of the ability to blend word and image and music at will, broadcast to the world. Things will change, fast and slow. We’re too short-lived to notice. Too fast-living to pay attention. I visit old friends, an almost daily habit. They’re different to me of course. But we communicate thanks to reason and the internet.

The brass infantry lets off a volley. The lone tenor is a cannon. The schizophrenic strings set to their frenetic, hysterical race toward spiritual orgasm: Freude, schöner Götterfunken, tochter aus Elysium…

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