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Hi, now that I have your attention…. this is not a post about “that” book or its upcoming movie adaptation, what one reader called “The Repetitive Sex Book.” The greys here nestle in-between hard-edged blacks and icy whites, crumbling certainties pile up like dusty rubble at the base of a mountain —  the greys here reflect the life that is, as opposed to the fantasy of absolutes each of us carry in our little subconscious “satchels.”

We are programmed to think in dichotomies — a board book of opposites teaches 2yr olds, “black or white,” “light or dark,” “full or empty,” and as adults we either/or our way through life. We are happy or sad, in love or in hate, feel joy or sorrow. In those absolutes, I think we lose sight of the life we have in the “in-betweens.” How often do we look at that god awful half-full or half-empty glass — do you ever just want to pour some water from the pitcher? It’s those moments of sorrow that get punctuated by silly, healing joy, or those moments of drama eased by pockets of calm — those are the real snapshots of your life. Pierre Joris, French translator, poet and performance — beautifully captures those tumbled, dusty moments that fall between the this and the thats of life. Enjoy:

is it a good thing to find

two empty pages between the day

before yesterday & yesterday

when trying to make room

for the blue opera afternoon

of today a sunday like any sunday

in may?

there is no one could tell

or judge though my own

obsession with the in between

should dictate the answer

& thus let me rejoice at being able

to insert today between the

day before yesterday & yesterday

as if it were the yeast of night

allowed these spaces to open

(do not say holes to grow)

in the spongy tissue of this

my papery time-space discon-

tinuum—

leaven of earth leaven of writing

of running writing to earth

in these in betweenesses that now

please as much as the opera in ear

that asks que dieu vous le rende dans

l’autre monde but the desire is to stay right

here in this world this in between even as

the sound changes the radio sings son

vada o resti intanto non partirai

di qua

exactly my feeling sheltered on these

pages now filled and pushing up against

yesterday.
In Betweenness by Pierre Joris

 

opposites attract:

  • Black & White  (Royal Tailor) — little pop, mostly forgettable, except it has a nice hook
  • Hot & Cold (Katy Perry) — sneaking love for the whipped cream pop creation that is Ms. Perry. This is a fun summer, top down, music cranked song.
  • Sing it Loud (KD Lang) — her smoky voice, while originally country, is more suited to songs like this torchy anthem…
  • Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Queen Latifah) — another fantastic cross-genre singer — she makes this classic all warm and rich
  • Fast as You (Dwight Yoakam) — one of the glittering stars of the late 80s/early 90s, seeing him open for the Dead at RFK was a fantastic concert
  • Slow but Sure (Count Basie) — imagine fire in the fireplace, swirling a glass of red wine, listening to this as an autumn rain…
  • Dark Star (Grateful Dead with Branford Marsalis) –there are few musical experiences that were as much fun as seeing the Dead, there a few shows when you got the bonus of Bruce Hornsby and Branford Marsalis — the version of Dark Star with Branford, in fact the whole album is just happiness on a disc.
  • Light My Candle (from Rent) — not often do you find love songs crafted around cut off electricity, and a missing stash — this one works as the point/counterpoint builds the tension just enough
  • Live & Let Die (Paul McCartney)– I would have been a Bond villain if it meant I could have this song play anytime I walked into a room — just that cool edge.
  • Kiss me Slowly (Parachute) — one of those it’s corny and sweet and almost too romantic — but redeems itself in its spare arrangement
  • Lonely Like Me (the Deans)  — less happy love song, but the Irish band is so hot — a Dublin review said of their performance, “That was liquid sex, from which we the audience all drank and were brought towards the orgasmic climax that freed us all from our minds for just a short while, all too short” so there is that….
  • Nova Baby (the Black Keys) — yes, they are ironically cool, and part of the whole retro geek moment — but this song kicks ass
  • I Will Follow You into the Dark (Death Cab for Cutie) — one of their more accessible songs, this is a gorgeous, romantic ballad that you might not expect
  • This was Never Meant to be (Sting) — one of his jazzier pieces, gorgeous flowing rhythm with dark and depressing lyrics — vintage Sting
  • Drift Away (Dobie Gray) — so very very 70s, but it works and you will hear it in your head
  • Should I stay or Should I Go (the Clash) — the best either/or song ever. Is there a time when this song comes on that you don’t want to turn it up?
  • Touch of Grey (the Grateful Dead) — there are days that you feel 17 and other days not so much — but “every silver lining has a touch of grey,”
  • Fields of Grey (Bruce Hornsby) — my oldest daughter could name Bruce Hornsby’s sound before she could say the alphabet — this song echoes memory lost in the in-betweens.
Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life –> Omar Khayyam

Take care,
Aly

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