Song of the crickets calling their lovers home
down in the water glittering insect cities pass
into night. Deer stops to look back then fades
away. Slow motion tumble thru space.
Time sings like a shattered mirror in the
rain. Dawn comes shining clean again.
Homeward the stranger returns:
old train chug along between yellow autumn
hills past barns + little farmhouses. Air
ringing clear in the morning. An avalanche
of leaves glimmering orange + black.
Dick + Jane wake at granma’s house +
suddenly their real! Tip over a pitcher of
cream + go running off into the leaves giggling
as they go… kids all down at the pond. From
dark within its depths irredescent bubbles
rize clicking like dirty pearls among the
droning dragon flies + the irredescence
of the bubbles is the irredescence of their
wings. Something in the wind: beneath
the dead apple tree up on the hill: heap of
old apples rotting to cider mush + maggots.
Beautiful little girl in lace + black velvet
stops with her pony to feed on it. Sun
catch her hair in a blinding swirl as she
kneels laffing in the sweet slime of decay.
School bell rings in the distance but no
one comes. Still the kids drift lingering in
their autumn dream.
Twilight in the parlor immutably vast:
potted palms. Persian carpets. Italian vistas
+ Chinese acrobats, all gathering dust
in the pendulum silence. Only the clock
tolls out the passing of time. Who could ever
know the strange dramas that’ve been
played out within these cobweb mirrors:
the poisoned fantasies the meaningless
intrigues that flicker + flare in contorted
pantomime. No one ever comes here any
more. The governess was roasted twitching
in her own fat. The rest all died of boredom
once some kids set out to explore it, tying
themselves together like mountain climbers,
bringing along an ample supply of peanut
butter + jelly sandwiches… but they
never returned. Even now they could be
clawing away from within the mirrors
trying to shatter the silence with their
Meanwhile down at the chapel a new mass
is being held tonight. Old church siezed
+ ravaged by a dark animal innocence as
massive rhythums heave echo + roll into
infinity. Thru teeming swarms of life
howling young savages circle wide
horizons calling up the holy ghost with
rams horns, conche shells + pounding
human feet…. a crown of thorns!
Blood of the lamb!
Could already feel eternity descending
like a ton of old velvet in the smoky
darkness. + oblivions child: dancing
naked upon the blood soaked alter, looks
up into the lurid undulations of an ameboid
galaxie, spinning off in a hypnotic frenzy
tears out her heart + feeds on it raw.
+ in the glow of the transfiguration, you
look down only to discover you’re covered
with dust. Bodies dancing in the vague
flicker lights of the candels become paper,
then break up in fragments + flutter away.
Then walls pull away. The floor pulls away.
Time pulls away + the last spark fades like
a star in this pit of night….
“I’m afraid the old family freakshow just isnt
what it used to be. I hardly ever go there
anymore its deteriorated so. Ever since
granfather sold out to the whitney’s its
been down hill all the way.”
Warm currents of organ music –
Cold smell of decay –
Rare birds stalking the shadows of an
abandoned stage set: persian columns
illuminated from deep within by pickled
specimins suspended in a weightless primor-
dial fluid: embrios + freaks…unnamed
creatures from the bottom of the sea….
strange parasites + life forms as yet
unknown…all waiting in darkness
hovering like silent frozen planets.
Dirty bursts of blood:
peacock wrenched to the ground.
Distant hoots + howls rize thru the jungle
as the children descend on the carcass
clawing away at it with cries of mangled
depravity: t-shirts smeared with human
grease, mouths dripping animal lust.
Joints popping. Feathers trampled. Kid sit
sucking on bone marrow….
a night of insects strangly
constellation of dancers metamorphosizing
in fluid darkness: their bodies speaking in
cryptic forms of a lost code “+ now before we
leave off for a 5 minute break….”
“No! Let them play till they drop!”
48 hours later lead singer but a shriveled
corpse wretching up the last shreds of a
departing spirit. Mouth gapes open with
a croak. Brain hits the floor like a sack of
slugs. “Quick! Get him some water!”
Somebody toss a glass full + it shorts out
the system in a crack of blue.
“Ever wake in the morning + everything’s
strange, like you never been there before?
Well that’s l.a. … it’s like waking up into
daytime television with no way out. I swear
it’s a real trip, a genuine plastic jungle
+ suddenly the ground caves in beneath
him pulling him under till at last….
reaching down thru the tangled
roots he embrace his belovid Anne Marie.
rize + shine!
Waves thru the cypress trees. The willow’s
weep! Old newspapers + candy wrappers
tumble on down in a wirlwind of dust as
Sailor John go running down the night
with Ann Marie in his arms: dreams
billowing out behind them as they dissapear
down the tracks, mouldy pieces of Ann
Marie scattered along the way.
+ come the dawn…memories fall like
dried rosepetals, mingling with feathers
in the blood stained grass….
MW May 11 1968 Arcata
Martin Wong, Firefly Evening, 1968, Ink on paper scroll, 210,8 x 38,4cm, Courtesy of the Martin Wong Foundation and P.P.O.W., New York and Galerie Buchholz