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calendar   Thursday - April 10, 2014

Don’t Cross The Streams

As all fans of the old movie Ghostbusters are aware, crossing the streams of the ionizing plasma gun could cause “all live as we know stopping instantaneously, and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light”. Which is about the strongest warning you could make for “don’t do that!”.

It is also well known that some things just don’t mix. Oil and water. Immiscible. Yup, there’s even a word for it.

Yet, a tiny corner of the music world exists where “mash ups” are born. Songs made up of two or three other songs, laid down over each other. And sometimes this works quite well.

One of the more recent trends in restaurant cooking has been fusion cuisine. The tastes of one cultural style of food married to those of another. And sometimes this also works quite well.

Over at American Digest, Gerard Van der Leun, he of the memorable name, gives us a section of his poetic opus The Book of Days; this segment being called The Valley of Shells and Bones.

It’s his own work, but I think I can taste a bit of mash up here. Seems to be a good taste of Shelley with a piquant spicing of Kipling. You’d think those flavors would fight each other, but in Van der Leun they develop into an entirely new taste. Poetic fusion. I like it.

“What scaled and feathered fetish
shakes awake our loamy sleep?
Who opens these sealed vaults
where clotted dust obscures the golden masks
clamped tight upon our dreaming faces
now drowned in tinted musk?
Here where the spiders curl
and chitter in our crystal lockets.
Here as time’s mouth leeches out
our blood and brain and bids
our leather skin to tighten
in on our staring sockets,
and bind our breath that once
laughed and gasped within the dusk?”


      Here is your thin, tin trowel
      and here your sable brush
      for prying loose these mitered stones
      and sweeping off the dust
      that sifts between these shaken dreamers
      like paling ebony snow
      as you squat above the site
      where you worshiped once below.
      Thrust your torch through shattered walls
      and map the stains on stone
      to explicate these distant deaths
      from strewn patterns of bone.


The distance that such deaths define
Is measured by that ageless path
That winds up from the sea’s last limb
Meandering to the blood’s demands,
And, rolling over shells’ sharp rims,
Finally finds its well-worn way
To midnight’s flaming brands
Where vacant, lusting faces stare
From behind masks of whitened clay.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/10/2014 at 07:12 PM   
Filed Under: • Literature •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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