Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Answer #172 - Banished to eternal brimstone

It's October in New England. Go to fullsize image

Every other yard on the way in to nearly every borough and township sports a ghoulish display of bones and the Undead.

And not the silly, cartoonish inflatable ghosts and pumpkins - Go to fullsize image  these yards and porches are meant to scare trick-or-treaters.  To actually SCARE them.  This is not a holiday for the sheepish, after all, here in the land of the witch hunts.

Out of balance in the Western World.  We live out of balance.

Koyaanisqatsi, eh? Go to fullsize image where did the balance go?

We banaished all things dark or mysterious (or unknown, strange) to the land of the brimstone and eternal suffering, and by doing so, banished a part of ourselves to silence...

It's the silent part that speaks best on Halloween.. through the mask of a ghoul, a devil, a corpse, ghost, monster or other wild thing; the silent, wild part that speaks the anxious uncertainty of the animal kingdom that we Stewards have so long brutalized.  It speaks the silence of the last acre of land that still lies in true dark on a moonless night, and speaks in moans and howls with fangs and horns while wars are waged for shiny rocks to throw at glass houses.

I want to go home and make ghouls out of old clothes and dried corn stalks and animal bones.. and the antler and skull that showed up out of nowhere five years ago at the edge of the woods, in the biting, ragged grass - Go to fullsize image  bits of skin and fur still on it.  I want to put them everywhere, everywhere, everywhere in the world.  And howl.. maybe like Ginsberg, because he heard it out there, too.. in the quiet, at the edge of a dark wood

Maybe like my dog, who says everything while saying nothing at all, but who howls when he hears the coyote calls that I never will.

However it happens, I'm tired of the silence.  I want to wake up the wild part and look it in the teeth and then howl a ragged, bleached-bone lifetime at the sliver of a Halloween moon.

Five days from now I'll cut the first dried stalks and dig up the bones the dog buries behind the barn...


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Answer #171 - Fried Pies and Serial Killers

As seen from The Road:

As we pass the Fried Pies, Exit 51 sign on Hwy 35S in Oklahoma, a black leather-clad cowboy is hitch-hiking.  He is striking in the vest that shines and the hat tilted just so.  He's a hitch-hiker.  It's incongruous.  I think maybe he's out of gas - a shiny black Cadillac on the highway somewhere north of our entry, bone dry and oxidizing minute-by-minute in the punishing Oklahoma sun.
Go to fullsize image
I think maybe he's a serial killer.  On the off-chance that he's a serial killer, I won't stop.  Though I entertain the morbid notion that a narrow escape from the clutches of a cowboy serial killer would make a great story, and maybe then a song.  But even I'm not reckless or foolhardy enough to risk it.

So I drive on.

This is in contrast to the last side-of-the-road oddity I saw in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  On the way to the Porcupine Mountains Music Fest, a pair of boots - standing upright in the graveled shoulder of the road.  No one around.  Just the boots.

What is that?  I ask the passengers, as I rubber-neck while we drive by.

I'm awe-struck.  Who leaves their boots?  Who walks away and why?

Is this some sort of art installation?  That Christo person, maybe?  Will there be standing boots now every few feet along this road?  Go to fullsize image  A friend once proposed picking up pianos from people who were giving them away and placing them randomly in wooded areas.. just so people could stumble upon them.  And maybe play them.  And maybe wake up a bit from the hypnotic routine that is civilization.

Is it like that?

About a mile up - we see him.  Stocking-footed and walking in the gravel.  He looks dejected.  He has a backpack.  He has a hunter's cap with ear flaps.

That's him, right?  Should we stop?  Do you think he's okay?

Do we really want to stop for someone who has walked out of his boots for no apparent reason?, asks the scientist bass player.

Hell yes, I think.  But I don't say anything.

I suppose he could be a serial killer.  And yet.. what a story that'd make, huh?
What a story...