Draft 7 8/4/2012 (draft 1 3/17/1996)
The Naming is one of the first thing I recorded. The original was on 4-track with the water sounds made by splashing in the bath tub (I was not in the tube—water and electricity should not mix). Later in 1996 I tried it again, with the the water in a bucket in my room/studio and MIDI instruments and sampled water sounds sequenced. The version I put together in 1998 became the core to several more incarnations and those individual tracks (now called stems) were re-used with slight modification until 2007. Draft 7 still uses some of those recordings, such as the water sounds, the bass, guitar, and one of the pads (the instruments are highly distorted through numerous processes and copying, becoming barely recognizable).
In draft 7 I recreated the tracks with the water drop, the "diver" breath, and the word "water" (still using my original samples from 1996. The lapping water is still the recording of water in a bucket. I elimated several layers of sound, especially the other water sounds (samples), partly to get away from the morass of reverb. The original vocal is there in "underwater" versions, front and back, and the central vocal has been re-recorded.
The poem has gone through several incarnations, beginning circa 1982. The current version was written 1992/1993 as a prose poem. Though overtly sexual it's about sensual awakening. To a lot of people it seems that explicit sex leaves nothing to their imagination. To me, it opens the imagination.
Since the spring of 1983 almost all my art has been channeled into a project called Laughing Water (yes, I was probably reading too much Tom Robbins). The idea was to create a collection of poems and erotic drawings. Over the years it has grown to incorporate all my writings and recordings and a series of over 130 erotic drawings/paintings/collages. This is one of the key pieces, The Naming:
The oily warmth pressed against me, cell for cell, like a fever dream of perfect submersion. It crept along my penis in tortuous slowness, as though my life would pass before it reached the bottom. But then it spread over my scrotum and thighs, filled the hollows along the ilia, and, like a tide, continued up my abdomen, lapping each rib, overrunning pectorals and clavicle. It pooled into a hood of warmth wrapping my head, crowning my senses until it poured into my lungs, suffusing like a balm. Every blood vessel shook with a scream in slow freefall, a plunging through liquid depths, almost weightless yet sinking...deeper...sinking deeper.
It was a lapping and a rocking, the way the smallest waves roll along mid-ocean, minute ripples on the deeper swell barely discernible. It was a rhythm of euphoria closing in, swaying, pulling me in. Drifting and swaying into the depths, pulling me in.
I called it Laughing Water.