February 11, 2008 Patterns In Recognition
picture, if you can, a large crowd.
all moving. all talking.
all commerce and combustion.
hands touch. mouths move.
colors everywhere all flying.
the policeman wears a gun. he has a purpose. you don’t know what it is in the moment, but you can feel it in its abstraction.
at night. outside the city.
when the lights are gone.
and we face the rim of the galaxy. or so it would seem.
in the sky. at night.
the great crack, the rift.
proof that we have a location, a place.
crowds speak. quietly sometimes.
but murmurs don’t last.
and if one voice rises, even a little bit, another will do the same.
eventually, the murmur will become a hubub and the hubub deafening.
then it will all fall away again.
tonight at the menares airport of marrakech i will be playing chess. american pop music will be playing over the loudspeakers. being american, every song will be known, every melody recognized. eventually a very strange song will emerge. it will be plaintive and also sad. its melody will be elusive. almost recognizable. tracing just out past me. its rhythms dare me to reveal them. it will be decided that this song, barely audible, is unknowable. its melody and rhythm unbreached. i will stop playing chess long enough to pay my respects to its signatures. in awe i will realize that i have been listening to a female newscaster speaking in arabic.
november 22, 2007 marrakech