Your Lovely Clearness

swampmessiah on April 07, 2013 01:29

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    Your Lovely Clearness
    Draft 1—9/14/2003. ACID. Tweaked 4/29/2006, 3/8/2008, and 2/28/2010.
    Draft 1.5—9/28/2012. ACID.

    The poem dates back to the spring of 2001. There was a young woman in the building who would look at me like I was a lower life form, so in this poem I’m a sea slug and she’s a jellyfish.
    This composition seems to have come together slowly, an accumulation of loops and the reading of the poem, sitting several months before completion.

    You come to me the brightness
    of dream, Lucifer’s radiant daughter,
    shimmering and smooth,
    as I step to you a bleak shadow
    on the fringe of nightmare,
    libidinous, amorphous freak,
    son of no one, lingering,
    waiting…

    What fine hypnagogic mutants
    we’d conceive, our liquid off-spring;
    dark dioramic children
    lapping and receding, returning;
    quirks of memory already forgotten,
    always nagging, almost present;
    murmuring insistent voices
    calling past, calling future,
    naming strange faces and time,
    all time, with evasive nouns,
    naming unknown textures
    and currents under the surface,
    naming moments mysterious
    with words that dissolve
    before we hear them.
    Our children adrift between worlds,
    omniscient, inarticulate—
    will we love them so?

    Like our fluid progeny,
    the meaning of touch remains elusive.
    Your lovely clearness barely disturbed,
    a jellyfish serene, dispassionate,
    the faint twitchings of loathing
    confined to distant tentacles,
    where I, vainly groping nematode,
    hope to become entangled
    then slowly drawn up to the lustrous
    inflated center of your self
    to be accepted for the final consummation.

    19 Comments

    19 timed comments and 0 regular comments

    • caravantine
    • M Jeffrey Sampson
      M Jeffrey Sampson at 7.01 on June 13, 2013 01:59

      A superb poem and a great mix.

    • M Jeffrey Sampson
      M Jeffrey Sampson at 3.19 on June 13, 2013 01:55

      @hanklebury: I second ALL those emotions, Hank.

    • Soloneili
      Soloneili at 3.41 on May 20, 2013 08:23

      I think formal poets will have to rethink the role of abstractions because you deliver a compelling piece here that demands a close listen. Your reading voice ranks alongside that of Liam Neilson to me and I can never here enough of him. Chuck in Richard Burton too while I think about it. Anyway, this is brilliant and I love the finished product technically (I've read the other comments). Great stuff and a great example of this genre.

    • mark goodwin
      mark goodwin at 6.34 on May 15, 2013 23:08

      Hlo Michael! Please share this, and more of your work to air to hear . Also, check out: Experimental Poetry & Music by MD Friedman/

    • hanklebury
      hanklebury at 3.19 on April 17, 2013 03:46

      @swampmessiah: Well, I told Robert not to drink that stuff.... But seriously, I use the oddball reference because there was a point when I started studying old records (pre-studio wizardry era, that is) to learn how to be a better engineer and producer. And what struck me was the simplicity of it all: the voices and instruments were all there to be heard clearly; the musicians knew when to fill in and when to stay out of the way. They had to, because there was no "mixing" as we know it. This is said not to discourage stretching one's artistic boundaries at all! I'm just passing on a lesson I learned when all the options of modern recording were starting to overwhelm me.

    • swampmessiah
      swampmessiah at 3.19 on April 14, 2013 16:47

      @hanklebury: Ernest Tubb? I suppose next you'll tell me you were Robert Johnson's roadie. You're gettin' older by the comment.…Good advice, though. I think I'm already mixing at a pretty low volume but when I posted the track it was barely audible when I listened, so it sounded different than I remembered it.

    • hanklebury
      hanklebury at 3.19 on April 13, 2013 17:04

      @swampmessiah: Maybe what I'm trying to say is: put that voice out front, and the accompaniment will take care of itself. It worked for Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours, and it can work for swampmessiah as well.

    • hanklebury
      hanklebury at 3.19 on April 13, 2013 05:50

      @swampmessiah: If I may chime in...my years in recording studios taught me that the voice does need to be front and center. When I was starting out, it was cool to bury the voice in the mix like REM, the Replacements, Husker Du, Black Flag and countless others did. But those records got old and annoying soon. These bands were supposed to be "really saying something"--problem was, you couldn't hear it, and I don't listen to those records any more. Your sounds are great here, but I wouldn't want them to obscure your fine reading of the poem. One mixing tip that has worked well for me is to listen through at a very low volume--if you can still hear the different parts of the music and if the the voice is still clear, then you're on the right track. I like the way this one is mixed.

    • Dave Migman
      Dave Migman at 5.12 on April 10, 2013 10:44

      Great to hear another track from you Michael. Your sense of timing is impeccable! Strong sense of rhythm with word and song.

    • swampmessiah
      swampmessiah at 3.19 on April 09, 2013 16:02

      @all n4tural: Sorry. I've always considered you someone who means what he says and says what he means.…I'm just someone who's always unhappy with what he's done and always trying to explain and justify it.…Regarding how the vocal sits on any kind of poetry or spoken word piece, I've been involved in a debate with many others here on soundcloud. I actually prefer having the vocal more buried in the mix, like on an old Black Sabbath record (compared to, say, a Johnny Matthis record). I've gotten requests from non-native speakers of English that I supply text and that I make my voice more up front. I thought that was a good point. Also several people who grew up speaking English also thought the voice should be clearer, more present. This has led me to using compression on my voice and mixing more front and center.…I think having the voice mixed lower is often more aesthetically pleasing and sometimes makes the composition work as a whole but makes more demands on the listener if you actually want them to give a shit about the words. I don't think many people have time to dig deeply into my stuff to extract the meaning, so I'm willing to go with the request to have the vocal more present. I don't think there's a right answer and that's part of why I keep remixing the damned thing.

    • all n4tural
      all n4tural at 3.19 on April 09, 2013 15:26

      @swampmessiah: well, i wasnt being subtle or anything. i really did like how the voice came in front and center

    • swampmessiah
      swampmessiah at 3.19 on April 09, 2013 15:00

      @all n4tural: Thanks for the kind words.…I've been bouncing back and forth on the arrangement and mix for 10 years. I'm still not happy with it.…When I mixed it the voice seemed present but sitting in the mix. When I uploaded it and listened it seemed too out front. The volume at which I'm listening might be part of the problem.

    • guitarwizardsofthefuture
    • hanklebury
      hanklebury at 4.23 on April 08, 2013 04:34

      Excellent poem, and very well read. The description sheds a lot of light on the situation. I've been a sea slug myself.

    • hanklebury
      hanklebury at 6.50 on April 08, 2013 04:33

      I love the insistent drive of this track and all the elements that come and go and come back.

    • all n4tural
      all n4tural at 3.19 on April 07, 2013 16:35

      great reading, and i like the way the voice is way up front in one's face, as it were

    • Bill Greasy
      Bill Greasy at 6.07 on April 07, 2013 15:26

      love the accompaniment and the poem. the description adds a nice bit of humor.

    • swampmessiah
      swampmessiah at 0.00 on April 07, 2013 01:32

      You come to me the brightness
      of dream, Lucifer’s radiant daughter,
      shimmering and smooth,
      as I step to you a bleak shadow
      on the fringe of nightmare,
      libidinous, amorphous freak,
      son of no one, lingering,
      waiting…

      What fine hypnagogic mutants
      we’d conceive, our liquid off-spring;
      dark dioramic children
      lapping and receding, returning;
      quirks of memory already forgotten,
      always nagging, almost present;
      murmuring insistent voices
      calling past, calling future,
      naming strange faces and time,
      all time, with evasive nouns,
      naming unknown textures
      and currents under the surface,
      naming moments mysterious
      with words that dissolve
      before we hear them.
      Our children adrift between worlds,
      omniscient, inarticulate—
      will we love them so?

      Like our fluid progeny,
      the meaning of touch remains elusive.
      Your lovely clearness barely disturbed,
      a jellyfish serene, dispassionate,
      the faint twitchings of loathing
      confined to distant tentacles,
      where I, vainly groping nematode,
      hope to become entangled
      then slowly drawn up to the lustrous
      inflated center of your self
      to be accepted for the final consummation.

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