Memory at its finest lacks corroboration
—no photographs, no diaries—
nothing to pin the past on the present with, to make it stick.
Just because you've got this idea
of red fields stretching along the tertiary roads
of Saskatchewan, like blazing, contained fires—
just because somewhere in your memory
there's a rust-coloured pulse
taking its place among canola yellow
and flax fields the huddled blue of morning azures—
just because you want to
doesn't mean you can
build a home for that old, peculiar ghost.
Someone tells you you've imagined it,
that gash across the ripe belly of summer,
and for a year, maybe two, you believe them.
Maybe you did invent it, maybe as you leaned,
to escape the heat, out the Pontiac's backseat window
you just remembered it that way
because you preferred the better version.
Someone tells you this.
But what can they know of faith?
To ask you to leave behind this insignificance.
This innocence that can't be proved: what the child saw
of the fields as she passed by, expecting nothing.
You have to go there while there's still time.
Back to the red flag of that field, blazing in wind.
While you're still young enough to remember
a flame planted along a road. While you're still
seeing more than there is to see.
Earlier this year, there was a post called, "Just say you're with the band." By whatever means it has come to be, I found this two nights ago:
It is a one-inch, pin-back button, offered by Portable Graffiti. Cost: $2.50 plus shipping. I know I must have it. Wish I could send one to each of you. Know that I do so in my heart.
If you have not discovered Jayne's blog, I will just say that she is a better source than my favorite, extinct, Saturday morning FM program for finding, knowing and sharing new music which usually involves stringed instruments.
Last night we watched, on Instant Netflix, AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story, about the brief life and career (1961-1994) of the controversial comedian whose final performance on David Letterman was pulled, only to be played some 12 years later, with an apology to Hicks' mother.
This is from one of the clips shown in the documentary, the one I found most moving and most closely aligned with how I see things. If you don't know his work, he continues to be relevant and hilarious and insightful:
"I'm gonna share with you a vision that I had, cause I love you. And you feel it. You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense each year, trillions of dollars, correct? Instead -- just play with this -- if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world -- and it would pay for it many times over, not one human being excluded -- we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever in peace. Thank you very much. You've been great, I hope you enjoyed it."