The Other Side
——for Kelly Bucheger and What Would Mingus Do?
—and for Fred Whitehead
The world ended a long time ago
back when the Universe exploded, what they call the Big Bang
we’re all just ghosts, part of the afterglow
slow cooling embers thrown out by that immense bonfire
—John Roche in The Joe Poems
We hear them far and
seeking us and we them
them and us
shimmers shivers shakes
our vision leading us
or far within
our side or theirs
as the sounds
theirs and ours
assemble and hover
both sides singing until
we seem to know … … …
And they come to the edge
And we seek without fear
And we hear from beyond
And respond deep within
and we reach on through
the other side.
Meditations on The Other Side (beginnings)
The other side of what?
inside or out?
Do we (should we) break on through to it? [* below]
Or do we conjure it, invite it to break through to us?
Is it a place of possible comfort?
a place to fear?
Can it be (must it be?) both?
Can we have one without the other?
Ah—the “other”: other than us, alien?
or an entity missing from us, not a place?
or an energy field—to tap into which is to feel and to know?
Is it dimensional? Or so at once parallel and interwoven with “our side” as to be us? Yet it is/has been removed from our field, perhaps by us—or has/is it? Can it be us and not us at once?
With what, if any, obligation are we than left? [* above]
If we or “it” break through, what then? Can we (ought we) lead “others” (as in Plato’s cave dwellers) to/through it? Surely we must dissolve any barrier again and again, as in the taking/making of any sacrament; and as we do, how—if at all—do we sustain our link to “others” and with what likely results?
In what posture do we hold ourselves? Independence? Obeisance? What posture in relation to OTHER? OTHERS?
We reach for/allow sounds: voices, rhythms, cries …
We hope to render them in music and words or in various sculpted forms, in which acts we have reached the Other Side or perhaps have obviated any need to do so or perhaps have discovered that there is only one side.
The public role of art (I see it daily at performance/readings), before it becomes embalmed, institutionalized, has never been more necessary.