And on the day when the birds started singing the car alarms – we were suddenly awakened with the anxiety of having lost our keys. Jacket and jean pockets, the bottom of bags, scraped and searched until a flutter of wings betrayed the wandering source of siren. Now close. Now far away.
Niggy Tardust awakened on a bed of books, dog-eared and opened: Bolano, Henrietta Lacks, George Bataille, Nikolai Grozni, an illustrated atlas of the trans-atlantic slave trade, Hurston’s Spunk, writings and images by Tracy Emin, Louise Bourgeouis, Kara Walker. The rising Sun burst through the clouds and into his eyes, making blue rings visible around his brown, transparent bark-like, pupils.
Niggy closed his eyes and attempted to remember his dream, which had somehow transformed bird-song into siren. He had been somewhere deep in the catacombs beneath Paris/New York/Rome- something about Pompei, a volcano, an oracle in a room, like a cave, with huge cracks in the floor revealing the orange lava beneath. The oracle, she had punctuated her phrases by dropping hand-held clumps of dust/rock/salt into the holes where sulpheric steam, like smoke, billowed to lend itself to the ambiance of haze and illusory distortion. He had been running through a maze of long corridors beneath a city, the ground and walls the color of sand, the greyish water he swam through to get there, and then the woman. What was she saying? What did she say? She had made a distinction between birth and blossom, boom and pop- the rise of the underground, the cauldron, the orange flame, the pre-sent, the present.
He opened his eyes and opened a world- as simple as that. The past, like a dream, was behind him. The sound of emptying trash on his laptop and , Voila, it was a New Day. Niggy was all hard-drive and memory. Fully charged and fascinated by the sudden rise of volt and vocation, he climbed out of bed and opened the window. It was the beginning of autumn and, this time, more than leaves were shifting through the ordinances of change. Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, and now, even the streets of America had begun to flood with those yearning for a difference that was not always simple to articulate.
How could there be both famine and abundance? Wall Street, like the ancient walls of Jericho, had somehow barricaded new and old forms of governance, and the poor had begun policing the police. It had come to this: technology fueled furor- social networks, global networks, had made the invisible thread, visible – varicose vernacular – corporeal calligraphy – clockwork oranged, like stained cells in a culture. We had begun to understand the mechanism. Famine was as manmade as nuclear holocaust. A gross mis-use of power had led to an even more gross distrust of authority. How could they be trusted when they placed allied friendship before the equitable treatment of humanity?
It was a matter of banking. And he who had placed seven o’clock in the bank and gained interest in the hour of God. He who’s memory had banked vaults of autumn forests and Amazon River banks, and screamed them into sunsets that echoed in earthquakes, was now in the company of his peers. They had disproved Einstein’s theory of light and basked in even newer theories of darkness. Tardusted and tentacled, the cancer of common sense had come to say “hello”. “Hello”, Niggy said to his nude reflection in the mirror, Martyr Loser King in bold across his chest. Niggy ate Biggie for breakfast, then brushed his teeth, and dressed.
Then came the explosion.
First in heart. Now at hand.
This trees blood
was painted on.
that he felt
the only magic
we believed in.
that tricked us
An excuse to sing.
To be continued…