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My Voice in the Desert













1. Dislocation


This new place seemed rather a vast and empty space. Not that there's anything unpleasant about emptiness. The void... the void... the void... is so instructive, so very unoccupied. But this was an emptiness of self, the emptying out of a self, of a closely packed life. I looked out into an expanse of desert terrain, exhaled a dense, hyper-urban construction of my self, and inhaled the arid evanescence of my own mortality.















2. Bikers and Soldiers


My exile as it turned out, was less about place and more a reflection of a particular kind of infantile longing. Unlike the sense of abandonment generated by the absence of one's guardians. More like the desolation of finding no comfort in those who remain close at hand. This remote sensibility tends to inspire creatively erratic choices.

Here then, appeared a biker, a soldier, a man accustomed to the smell of fear. Sequestered like members of a secret sect, trained to kill and funded by we the jellyfish citizens, so that we may maintain an illusion of safety.

And when and if they return, and when and if the battle is over, they receive little supplemental instruction in living to counter what they have learned about death. Alienated and hunted, they continue the hunt. Their austerities place them at odds with civilians they call us, implying I guess, that we are interested in civility. Under these conditions, the line between war and the end of war blurs.


















3. Between Worlds


The sounds of the desert are ethereal, barely audible. The smell of the desert is more potent than its audio track. But this is not to suggest that it is quiet. Squeaks and squeals and momentous squawks abound. And peeps and inconspicuous clicking sounds.  But it does not overwhelm. One must oneself remain very still and silent in order to hear the rhapsody of small beings. Even a lizard utters a perceptible syllable, however obscured against the cry of coyote.  










4. Forsaken Redux


My brief encounter with the aforementioned personage was a lot like Jesus' desert wrestle with the archfiend himself. Demons, so clever as they are, take full advantage of us when we are at our lowest. We forget the care of the self, flossing and so on. We numb with substances.  Sex then, is sedative, not at all expressive of any kind of inter-connectivity. 

But like Jesus, I was not meant to cede that struggle. And like one more tiny pulse in the wilderness, I too would make my declaration.








5. My Voice in the Desert


My voice: my transient voice, my resonant voice, my emphatic voice, my hidden voice. If not melodic or harmonious, my voice in the desert may be at least unobtrusive or abstract.

God exhaled an oxygen-rich gust, endowing all earthbound souls with the capacity to sing at the top of puffed-up lungs. And then withdrew, leaving us with something to sing about.
My song is like the clicking hind legs of a cricket. As living things will, he protests, again and again, Where have you gone? Are you coming back? 

This is the price of freedom, rather than the all out sacrifice present day sovereigns would have us believe. No tough guys, no uniformed sentries, no wmd's or steel girded edifices, no Byronic vows, or vested interests, will maintain our desired state of security. A marketable commodity in these times of hyper-alert, there remains no patented cure for the indeterminacy of being.
My inhalations are resolute yet. The air held in the hollow of my chest unites with anatomical mechanisms. My mouth opens, pushing out audible tones. And lately, I find myself wandering liminal terrain, lending a spirited howl to the undiminished lamentation in progress.





text, video stills, 2005

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