strange tides: chamber music III [1997]

by Lindsay Vickery

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released October 28, 2012

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Track Name: [descent of the celestial monkey wrench] part 1 [1997]
I. I see you infinitesimally small and without mass spinning you are growing in the blue sky at 11 o'clock I should look away I should blink and clear the page but you continue to grow without making a sound

IV. between my breathing your breathing inside my pulse your pulse translation of a star crossing my sky to the corner of your sky there
you seated shining I am drinking that light you lift me
part of the sky ascends from blue to the black of infinity
another sinks and drowns saturated in colour and there lost divided tries again and again to shut its eyes

V . I am counting over and over I have lost you you must be here here amongst these numbers I turn them over again and again as they fall like pieces of shattered glass I'm sure I can hear your voice [I stop for a moment to dream] let me find something a strand of hair a scrap of paper with your phone no. a sentence you forgot to finish please something these numbers are growing heavy they fill the sky and all the gaps between the pages
nothing not even your eye watching and trying to be nothing not even a moment when you pause hearing that unfamiliar echo of some lost indefinable sound

VI. in a room with white walls I place my seven dreams of you: in the corner by a window
there is a black tree in the room and in the opposite corner stands my dark recording angel she is smiling
I can hear my breathing as though my ear is pressed to my mouth
you are there in the doorway you enter and place your seven dreams beside mine (I ask if you need help because they look heavy you say its ok) we look at each other

I turn my angel is holding a picture of you you are looking at me in a distant room you are singing faintly but you lips are moving out of time we look at each other
I turn I am in a field on my knees there is a black tree in the field it is day (so blue that I can't stand up) it is a day but there is no sun in the sky
[I am lying on my back looking at the empty sky a black river is flowing from my head I feel like it will never stop]
quiet if I open my mouth the world will collapse these are the only words I write

VII. ok I will capture the ring of white hot suns that orbit my head
ok I'll lead them on a string down a dark street in single file in the middle of the night
ok I'll search for the largest cupboard in the world to bury them in behind the teacups
Track Name: [descent of the celestial monkey wrench] part 2 [1997]
VIII. with you close
I touch your skin woven from such tiny warm threads your neck curving out of focus
your skin so soft and scattered here and there with black stars and little silver lines wakes etched in the white sea
our hands embrace each other their coasts merge
and following your spine's wake my lips navigate across a smooth white ocean rocking with your breath
[your sweet breath that I want to follow to chase and sink in me] they travel this path blindly lightly
like a shimmering bird
my hands rest at your centre a forest where they lose themselves perpetually radiating a kind of clenched uncontainable desire
I close my eyes and enter a world made of skin feather and bone wound irretrievably around each other here a leg a hip a curve some lost corner of me or you tied up together an elaborate kite happily crash landed here happily
and the crazy universe of your mouth filled with comets runaway trains and tiny rough skinned animals
they tumble on their own frenzied trajectory in this expanding and contracting universe
I'm holding your face like a photograph of the sun writing your face into the landscape of my head I trace your outline with my finger from the crest of your forehead to the turn of your chin I trace it over and over learning each angle
your face the shining circles of your eyes the crescent of your mouth reflecting some impossibly happy day from some perfect summer afternoon a cool dream wide as a river that nothing could disturb

X. my name was there
dark and heavy on the floor so I kicked it as hard as I could and it splintered into a cloud
that was weeks wide the mooring ropes and telephone wires fell through the dust and tiny pieces of me fell like a sad rain for days and days
[this is my name these are my wings floating down in a mist all my corners bumps and bruises all the places my elbows rested all the quiet places I thought I hid myself and songs I rocked myself to sleep with]

XI. the corner window is open it is cool there is sun the room is light
you are sitting on the chest by the window looking outside your legs in your arms making an A
you're just there
[its not the sea outside there's not a record turning round in the groove but its the same picture]
a peaceful zero day the clock is silent there's nothing to say you're just there
[its the same picture from that old dream probably even the day after a storm (or before)
(seasalt on the windows)
the same picture with you happy but not really there or at least I'm not there where you are]

XII. time heavy time water made of stone glacial time will you never pass from here to there
how many days in a week? how many hours in a day? how many minutes in an hour? how many million seconds? I've carried them each unendurably heavy second filled with your absence I held my breath and felt them dragged like bags of cement across my body
I close my eyes the second hand strikes my forehead more and more slowly
time every microscopic particle and wave passes in one eye and gouges its crazy path through the glacier in my head then back out the other
water made of stone how many seconds filled with your absence
will you never pass

XIII. your words always thinner and thinner where are you? your words that I hold together with a song from my childhood
time's hammer crushes each green hope flattens and breaks the cords connecting words to actions so they slip laughable back into the abyss of doubt and become just speculation just imagination casting long uncomfortable shadows back toward the world
let me count these moments no let me hide them bury them where
time's incessant lapping can't erode their shape can't transform them
how many times? how many different ways before there is nothing left to tear up?

XIV. today is friday today is saturday today all the days of the week gather together to watch this star sink below the horizon
you are gone
I look out from my window there are houses probably thousands filled with people
in motion a white noise of motion thousands of colours with no significance hidden with no outline
and you are there too but still luminous in my mind
somewhere you breathe like a million people breathing every moment you sleep and eat and talk your eyes open and close you are in the world and out matter and light together both earth and a dream
your body is the outline of my love your body encloses my love a house filled with your light with doors you would never open to me
you might be sleeping with your sad sleeping mouth or making coffee crouching by the answer machine or looking for something to wear I don't know
in the next room a woman is dreaming or a man reads the paper an invisible child walks by they make no sound in my world
tomorrow you move you direct your life the furniture is shifted you decide to lift the carpet and polish the boards something else perhaps something that belongs to your fading future
and down every street others actions will silently echo moving one way or another
in many places
they will make plans talk about their plans their actions will shine for others
your luminous trajectory will gradually break the surface of my world less and less adding to the chorus of white noise of unknown voices
and me too my voice my body [my body that remembers you each time it moves my body - so slow to learn you've gone] even these words will turn grey - the colour of the wall or part of a road somewhere
all these words questions I will never ask now without meaning [their answers would be more empty questions an unknowable mirage only multiplying my doubt]
all these words that I write endlessly day and night questions written on sheets of glass infinitely thin pages that cross through me again and again each time less distinct like an image repeatedly photocopied until there is no flesh left to copy
and still filling the sky from horizon to horizon your body more real to me than the sun your body
more real to me than my own will grow as thin as the sky it holds up breaking its moorings on some unseen midnight current and silently ascending
someone else will touch your hip where my hand rested and my hand on another it will rest there some other day mute and without history
silence wells up from the centre of the world and falls like a blanket of fog it is the silence of my thoughts tired of circling
I am quiet I wait for the world to turn
my day will become night and my night day
some other day