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Open Faces Eight


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A new band plays inside Tara's Place, tonight. A band of rhythm and blues, and they are sending down their own brand of an old thing they look to make new. They've been up on the stage for awhile, running through the chromatics of their progressive minors and stretched out chords. They've been doing it in such a way so that it almost seems easy to think of them as three overgrown, love bent boys standing as if out on a sidewalk, somewhere, letting go on the strings of their red, blue, or gold flecked yoyos. Still letting down on the strings, still deftly popping back on them to bring a yoyo safely cradling in their hands again, still walking the dog, or taking off for a trip around the world, while they keep standing where they stand, tonight, in Tara's room. It's just some measure of how singly, even convincingly in a child's sort of way, they keep up the momentum of their own musical school. Except for when they lean back on a drum break, or when artfully dodging behind the silly talk of some well known and blue roadhouse rule. It's Domino's band playing up there, the same as the one he went to hear on the night when Melissa first sat with Richard. Everyone in here is getting caught up in, caught out in, the musical thing the band is doing, that they've been doing for a week; in the way the coloratura of their music making is mostly a greening thing, and in the way the music keeps pouring out of their seems as if pouring out from behind a blind. This is maybe some part of the long tailed thing they're after, and why they call themselves Duck Blind.

It’s a three piece concept they pursue, the same as what Stepping Out’s had been, and that takes them to what they’re searching for, then finding, the moody thing they keep looking through. As early as with their first set they’ve been urging each other on, and keeping each other going. They’ve been setting each other up, almost giving each other the nudge, until singly, sometimes together, they fall through the sought after opening in their concept, the same as what is never much more than a rift. And they’re falling through to where they instinctively feel their way inside the catacombs of modulated tones and half-notes. It is how it is when Domino bends back on the shoulder of his fretless bass, as if he knows that the down-from-under sounds he’s after wait for some bare headed traveler to coax them out and over. Or when he slides his fingers across that fretless arm and doing away with all the exacting mathematics of musical notations. It’s also some light headed measure of what the lead man does with his rhythm guitar, and who everyone on the musical side of town knows as the Music Man. It’s what he is doing when he cuts loose, leaving his band behind him, when he chases after one of his stepped note runs as if stepping up the rungs of an angelic kind of ladder; or when he sets the strings of his guitar to mewing like a seagull, while all the time circling in the plainsong of his imagination until the whole room finally swallows its vertigo and can go circling with him. And the drummer is never too far behind the others. Sometimes he even follows in front of them, simultaneously chasing after them, as if he’s some kind of shepherd’s dog keeping them from breaking too far away. Except for when they’ve got to let him go. Except for when he looks to stretch out on a roll and get himself lost in a new Cymbeline ring of top hat and snare. Maybe it’s what he meant earlier in the night when he told Richard how he always looks for a new kind of half-beat, quarter beat, unheard-of-beat so that he can slip on past the atavistic soldier drumming he sometimes hears in his ears. Maybe taking a moon walk can teach him something new, he seems to think maybe it can teach him a new kind of drum talk, a new way to nail down the rhythmic textures almost always brushing close in front of him. It is a part of what he seems to be after, those changing textures, those mysteriously beating cadences. Richard can’t help but wonder how close the drummer will come, this time, as he comes back in from the outside rims, stepping back into the regular groove where he keeps time again for his charge of musicians. When they will go leaning, again, into the confluent strain of their own kind of rhythm and blues; and leaning until it is a mighty stream running through the Deltaville of memory and imagination, until the band’s language of musical associations really is a greening thing, a blue veined greening, of purely spoken emotions. Richard can’t think of any other way to say it, except that everyone in here, tonight, is falling in behind a Duck Blind’s shade of blue. That it is a blues sound so deep, so punctuated and deep, no one sitting in here can be disappointed with anything they haven’t been given to keep. A sound so deep anyone can come up clean again and silver-green; anyone can break the spell, disgorge the tail, come up ready to keep on chasing after an unsaid sweetness.

There is that much musical excitement running the rounds, tonight. It doesn’t matter how far away anyone is sitting, or how closely any of Tara’s tabletop conversations proceeds. It’s almost as if the strings of a Duck Blind’s own rhythmic thing are reaching out into the room, winding and unwinding, pulling back and letting go, leaving no one with any doubt what a yoyo’s life it is to keep tied to a spinning spool of emotions. Funny how no one complains about the way a Duck Blind’s rhythm and blues is playing with the room. Funny how it is everyone keeps asking for more, keeps urging the band on, keeps asking the boys to let them keep inside the fat bottomed thing the band does.

A Duck Blind has already made its way through the different schools of R&B. It’s as if they came in here ready to lay their journey papers out for everyone to read. Or maybe it’s that they had to carry on their own conversations with all the blues players having shown them the way in. They’ve been steadily talking away for awhile, sometimes letting themselves chatter on with another tasty guitar lick, or getting themselves seriously inside the heavily laid down vocals of a song, while they keep on looking for something new to say in an old tune, some new way to increase the size of a musically emotive vocabulary. They’ve mostly driven the older sounds down, by now, they ones they’ve chased after, they same as what they would happily go chasing after again; the sounds that have taken them through the broken back streets of any of a number of windy cities, and out onto the freeway where a blues tune can become a steadily driven thing. They’ve even musically struck out of town, as if there wasn’t even a caretaker’s reason for sticking around. They’ve headed on into the opened out perimeters of the low slung Texas blues where it looked, for sure, as if they were running for no reason in particular except to be running. Just running. Just getting driven harder than they were driven before they still thought perimeters could perfectly be pinned in; and driving their blues sound faster, driving it harder, until that particular road was not much more than a thin ribbon, until they were skirting its soft shoulders, wondering about the softness of its shoulders, while a rhythmic echo somehow caught up with them, slowing them down, turning them around, heading them back on back to something they still didn’t know they knew. Like the bayou blues. Like the coiled tones and accented bridges of the bayou blues. Like the Crescent City smiles, the softer hammering, the xydeco exotica, and the Delta town funk. Like the bayou blues. Like the dreamy thing they almost seem to be seeing there. Such as maybe the face of a Creole kind of woman sitting inside a cooling courtyard. It is just funny how easily they slipped into the electric backrooms of those black water rhythms, or how Domino, especially, seemed to be at home there, keeping their beat from going slack, from getting too easy too long. How he does seem to need to keep them going. To keep them heading out to where they scratch and dig again, until they really do coax out another mother lode of melodies, while sliding down the scales of another musical mystery, as if crookedly making their way for the sea, as they fly out on a free bird’s kind of cuckoo measure, as they almost laugh their way through a Georgia moon, as they were coming out to where they could see the sea, as they reached for what the Music man seems to be after, and that is maybe just as simple, as dangerously overlaid, somehow still as simple, as a tidewater’s kind of rhythm and blues, as a marshy bed dream, something like a sunrise you’ve seen over the waterway. Richard found himself thinking, as the band went through its anthology of steely guitar blues, about what kind of different march for the sea these boys made. Maybe the music they played is some part of what it is like when the make-believe of any real beauty can be rising up again, always different from what she was before; and how she can take to herself the mingling, cellular kind of rhythmic talking she understands, even if no one else does. And what can it matter to her if no one else can, since, she always has a way for calling on her own. Her kind. Like with this three piece concept that keeps on going down behind a blind, and whose incessant rhythms inside the beating bush blues always seems to say – have you ever heard the earth moan, ever heard her cry, ever heard her heaving in her chest, or seen her raised on a slender finial when she kisses the clouds?

Maybe it’s some part of what the mountain man, Alex, said earlier in the night, after he and Richard had stood by the stage and talking to Domino. They were watching the people coming in, while the two bass players talked about things Richard could only guess at. As the band was about to start in on its first set, and after Domino went over to the bar for his first beer, Richard said the place looked as if it would be busy tonight. Alex then allowed, in that sure shot manner of his, as how everyone always comes back to the blues. Like with his father, Alex said, and with his grandfather who started up on, and who ended it in, a Cincinnati back up band playing the back up blues. And everyone looked as if they were coming back to sit in on this thing the band does. Coming back to a blues sound resonating in the body’s rhythms. Richard didn’t think he has ever seen the place so crowded.

By now the band has started to let itself go, started to unschool itself and reaching for this new tidewater tune of theirs. This introspective, slippery, way of harmonic thinking that seems to be the kind of thinking you do without actually thinking, and that rocks steadily through the rolling top, off-beat rhythm so loosely tied to its own song it’s easy enough for everyone to let a song’s melody line go, or to rock back and forth between any of the three melodic ideas the band floats out together. They’re stringing the music out by now, really stringing it out by now. They’re staying just shy of a rhythmic kind of swan song, staying just in front of a Madame Butterfly sort of thing while they make it look like a cakewalk, not much more than an easy stroll on the boardwalk, except for when the drummer’s moonwalk has started catching up and they can no longer make light of the blues, knowing you should never go all the way out and slight the blues. It’s then when their three melodies become two, and how they’re slipping back down inside a song while the Music Man gets stretched out on that single signature of his, and almost going for the unbearable thing, while that high flying chord idea becomes a single note serial run again, looking to go turning and wheeling, even soaring over on a wind song in a seagull’s mew. Richard figures that a Duck Blind has gotten to where the drummer said, earlier, how he always knows he is where he has made it, being so far inside a tune, he said, that he doesn’t know what the other two are doing, or he doesn’t know when he knows, even as he knows he knows, or something like that. A Duck Blind plays it just that tight tonight. They’re putting on the bite, and they’ve been closing down around the sound. Everyone in here is inside the music, getting inside these tunes too and so early on letting go. It is as if they sit cranked out too, even if it should be too early for them to be letting go. It’s maybe why the Music Man has started bringing back in his band, calling them back inside the room again, and coming back to where Tara’s is a contextual thing instead of a musically stretched out journey. The band then breaks it down for awhile. They leave the stage and they’re letting the rhythms they’ve been running after take a rest too. And Richard figures he is ready to come out of their musical thing, pick up on the skein of what went down, today, before he came into Tara’s Place. Not that it is so difficult a tale to tell, since, it only needs a few words. It is just another one of those double duty things that keeps on happening, that Richard has started to think of as a carpenter’s kind of tongue and groove fitting. Sean left, today, and Melissa is gone too. Sean made off for somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Melissa left on a refitted sailing ship, the Lord Jim, headed for the islands with Hugh. An earth turned beauty left town, today, having barely come in on a wet west wind. Gone now. Sailing out on a sailor’s jib boom.




Last edited by Terreson, Aug/6/2011, 8:07 pm
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Re: Open Faces Eight


Monica sits inside tonight. She is at the bar with Dudley. Pulitzer is sitting with her too. They’ve come in from where they were sitting in rocking chairs on the porch, and where Richard spoke to them earlier. Given the hour, it looks as if this will be one of those nights when Monica stays on inside Tara’s Place, when a financial officer in a bank lets her home duties wait until tomorrow. Richard wondered, as she came in, if maybe there is something in the face of her picture perfect lover, the portrait of Willy Nelson hung above her bed, she isn’t wanting to see in her tonight. Maybe she doesn’t want those perfect eyes to see something of the imperfectly tied up feelings she has for her sailor man tonight; feelings for her sailor man, tonight, who smuggled himself out from under her, she said. He didn’t tell her he was leaving. But she awakened anyway this morning knowing he was gone, she said. Knowing, also, he isn’t alone. He could have at least told her, she said. He didn’t have to skip out suddenly like that. Richard is just now realizing Monica is the kind of woman who knows what is going on around her, who doesn’t need to be told, who knows by virtue of how quietly she can make her way through things going on around her. She is like a woman you never hear coming until she is on your doorstep, then with little sound knocking on your door. She is witchy that way. It is also something of how she is sitting at the bar; carefully, almost like an owl, sitting at the bar, and with Dudley and Pulitzer perched, flanking her. As silly as it may seem, Richard just did a quiet kind of favor for a larger-than-life sailor of the seas, even if he is a small time smuggler. It’s in the fresh round of drinks Monica and company are sipping on. The one Richard asked his waitress to send over to them. It can’t hurt Hugh’s case. And it may help him when a witchy kind of woman is back in her home again, working at her fixing, mending and cooking again, and when she is quietly wandering in her thoughts out to where she might find herself fixing, mending, cooking, or stirring up a weather stew. Here’s to you, Hugh, even if you are a small time smuggler. And to the Lord Jim. And to a first time traveler who’s gone on out with them.
Aug/24/2011, 8:04 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Sean never came back to the Jacaranda, except for the night he stepped into the lounge dressed and ready to work, looking around at the room instead, then walked upstairs to the office to tell the manager he didn’t think he wanted to do it anymore. It looked as if the game he and Richard have made of working, serving slippery perceptions, mixing concoctions, trading in spirits, and observing their customers in an uptown establishment when customers never think they are being closely scrutinized, was no longer a fun game for him to play. Maybe there never can be a better reason for moving on; for moving on and for moving out, then when it seems the right time has come to let go, to take it on the outside again, when the game comes up and it is time to go chasing after another. This has to be a way of proceeding through those same old rainbow feelings, while still chasing after the middle of things, that is a virtue with a name, even if Richard doesn’t know what to name it.

Richard didn’t see Sean again until today, except for the evening when Richard was versing his new partner, Prince Melon, in the Jacaranda’s ways for setting out its drinks, and when Sean brought all of his plants for Ronald the gardener to set out in the restaurant’s garden. What a green-gold find it must have seemed like to Ronald, as he scurried back and forth, and lifted those greening, simple shaped, clustered, ovate, toothed, and palmate plants and flowering perennials out of Sean’s car. It was when Richard finally got that his friend was leaving town. It was also when Sean told him he hadn’t decided where he would go, but that he would stop by Richard’s apartment on his way out of town. When Richard mentioned to Melissa what Sean was getting ready to do, he was surprised by how quiet she became, how quiet and drawn down inside herself she became. It was a friend-loss, for sure, and something always on the other side of that virtue Richard still can’t name. But he also understood that Sean’s leaving was the way for his friend to go. It was time, that’s all. Besides, there always would be the outside chance of meeting up with Sean on the outside run again; of maybe starting in on that nervy kind of bar they talked about opening; that Moroccan café, or Brazilian speak-easy, they used to picture themselves running, and with the smooth operator ease they knew they could reel out between them. If not that, then, Richard figured he could always find out where Sean would finally settle in. It’s just how it can be between friends who are like twin fishes coming out from of the same old triangular sea. So Richard couldn’t understand why Melissa seemed so solidly sad for him, why she awoke the next day in the same mood, why she hadn’t had much to say to Richard in the few days since. Such a rube he is, Richard thinks to night with a shot glass portion of self-loathing.

When Sean came by this morning, and still bearing a gift like the good Irish guest he will probably always be, Richard had already awakened to the reason for Melissa’s drawn away quiet. She must have slipped out in the late night when he was sleeping soundest. She must have slipped out that much more easily, since, as Richard can see now, she had already left him behind her no later than the night when he told her Sean was leaving town. She must have gone straight down to the docks to slip aboard the Lord Jim. Like a quietly walking light-in-shadow girl who would quietly slip into the arms of some old smuggler, looking to see what it might be like to go handling snakes with him. There wasn’t much left of her in the apartment, except for the note that read – I tried, but I couldn’t tell you. I’m sailing with Hugh. And I’m leaving you loving you, sweet man, in a way I hope you can understand. You’re still tucked away inside me. – And except for every little trace of how she has been in his apartment, that is waiting for Richard, tonight, and this time for sure. Right. Okay. She’s gone. Like Tara’s swinging doorway that keeps on opening empty handed and without her. And, right. Okay. Sean’s gone too. Like a horseman who has ridden through, like some gentleman Virginian who stopped in to see if the scene would fit him. Only, with Sean, Richard was ready with a parting gift to be given between friends. It was a pair of black riding boots Richard bought in a trash-to-treasures store, thinking he would learn to ride horses too, but that have never fit him.

Sean and Richard sat out on the balcony after Richard made for them one more cup of coffee. Sean was going into the great Northwest, he said he decided. He has heard they do things differently there. Which, he hoped, means they go about the business of living, forgetting, rekindling, and letting things go with a little less desperation, or with a little more feeling for how the pages can keep on turning. He didn’t know, he said. Maybe it isn’t any better out there. He figures it can’t be any worse. But he thought he would take a look to see if it is any different. Besides, he has heard of a rainforest tucked away on the coast somewhere, and that must be one hell of a garden. Sean then said he would also stop in New Orleans on the way. But Richard didn’t pay much attention to what Sean was saying, until he heard Sean say he was thinking of letting Dennis’s emerald green boa go there. Maybe it is a crazy thing to do, he said, and he will probably talk to someone in a snake shop when he gets to New Orleans. When Richard asked him what he was talking about, Sean pointed down to his car. There was Dennis’s green boa coiled up in its glass house on the passenger seat. Sean then said he had taken the snake from Dennis on that early spring, cold spring night when they were sitting in Dennis’s living room. He also said the ragged wound in its belly is finally healed over. They both agreed Sean is one crazy Irishman. They laughed at the possibilities for car-time conversation when Sean handed over the gift he brought in for Richard. Saying, as he did, maybe Richard could learn something from what he has told Sean about his daughter. It is a walkman, a clip-on-your-belt kind of music box with head phones. It has a new set of batteries, Sean said, and it works. When Richard pulled the riding boots out from his closest, giving them to Sean, his friend tried them on. They fit, Sean said. Thanks, he said, and he guessed he better be going. They said goodbye, left unsaid the true things that should be said between friends when one of them is stepping out. Sean said he may be calling back for Richard if he ever finds that nervy kind of bar for them to run. But Richard quietly found himself wondering, in his turn, if he still has the same taste for mixing up slippery drinks and short order perceptions. So get yourself going, horseman, Richard thought as Sean got into his car and waved back. Don’t ever let them stop you again, don’t ever let them keep you from reaching to the middle spaces of green you’ll probably always tend towards. Just stop up your ears when they start talking about the great gray rip-off, and the hollow hearted cheats, when they start making those long and lousy speeches about what you can’t have in a dream. Just keep on going, sweet dude, keep on riding past the blues.




Last edited by Terreson, Aug/30/2011, 6:37 pm
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Richard then deciding to spend the rest of the day fishing, automatically doing the thing of his of keeping on the move when it is the best way to go. Picking up his bait net, bucket, tackle box, and rod, he walked down to where the tidewater river turns back into the marsh. He could also pass by where the Lord Jim might be docked. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t where it had been tied to the dock. They would have gone out early. They would have motored up the river and they would have long since cut through the inlet. They would already be tacking an unseen breeze.

It is why his arms and shoulders are feeling so knotted tonight. Richard is realizing he must have thrown his bait net out over the river a thousand stupid times, trying to fish the day away, or until he went back home to take a shower on his way to Tara’s Place. And the band is starting it up again. They are starting it out slow and easy, and they are going a little Latin on their friends. They’re rapping back on the blues, and they are coming out from behind their blind playing a smooth tune. They’re looking as if what they want is to show the room how sinuously strong and sweet their musical thing can be if they just hold back a little on the beat, if they keep the back up bass walking through his patch of space like a lazy, long necked goose, and if the drummer can content himself with lightly touching out the time, which he seems willing enough to do. At least for now. It’s as if they’re trying for another kind of opening, just a different kind of loosely woven mood thing, while they let the Music Man rhythmically open up on a Brazilian sort of samba tap. It’s just a sweet water tune they’re playing. It’s the kind of tune that can cleanse the moon in a light rain way, even healing a bruised moon when what she wants is to turn inside. And it’s funny how this band seems to be going for the whole spectrum of rock n roll emotions, never staying long enough in any one corner to let a musical cliché get taped to its side. Or is it just a glorious kind of detail this band is going after, and, even, looking to let the man rhythmically shift his mood until he can come up with a tone like a blue mood going to mauve? But, already, the drinks are being sent up to the stage, the ones being bought for the band, the same as what will eventually drive them back inside another hard and fast roadhouse rule; that will keep on driving them down into the blues until they’ll start looking to get themselves stretched out again, no matter how they might try to keep themselves in line with a contrary kind of mood.

But Richard fished the day away. He went on down beside the river to where the water turns brackish, to where it is a stretched out ribbon thinning behind the tidewater’s barrier island. He kept on walking until he found a smoothed out point where the river starts bending back inside the marsh, and where the river grass is mostly submerged when the tide is full in. He could see how the tide was already far enough along and running back in. It is where he emptied himself out this morning, like the contents of his pockets he stored inside the tackle box, and where he became as fundamentally instinctual as a fisherman must be whose livelihood depends upon bringing in enough sea strong life to take him back out again. Only, Richard wasn’t looking to be like a fisherman. He wasn’t looking to be like anything that could raise itself out of the water when it can mean he will fall back down again. Maybe that’s why he spent so much time wading out in the river with the net’s hem between his teeth, crouching down, and waiting for the fingerling mullet to come cutting their certain chevrons as they swam near enough for him to reach out and catch them. He stood there, crouched and waiting, until just before a crossing school was near enough to see his certain shadow. Then he would swing back lowly, bringing his net out and around in a smooth sweep that opened it perfectly almost every time he went through the motion. And almost every time he closed up and in on the net, then pulling it back just before it started to settle against the river’s bottom, he would catch some part of the quick and certain school he was after. Then pulling the net back out of the water and raising up on the net’s ring. As automatically as Richard caught them, he set the fingerlings free. He even caught a large enough flounder this way. He felt sure he had found a spot with a good, sandy bottom, that there was no need to worry about getting his net caught on an oyster bed. There were also the grown fantail mullet Richard caught, and even a lady fish that must have come in on the start of the incoming tide. One cast brought him a coral colored seahorse that seemed happy enough to curl its tail around his finger when he pulled it out of the net and held it in his palm. Even after Richard cast out over a small patch of submerged oysters that tore the net in two places, and after he mended it as best he could with fishing line, he kept to the motions of swinging back with a stretched out arm and sweeping around again to open the net’s hem. Maybe this time it was the couple of pan sized angel fish he was bringing in, or the small mangrove snapper, or another mean looking toadfish with its jagged teeth. Richard can’t remember when he has ever been as lucky with the net, or as careful, or as certain and deliberate, or with as little appetite for any of what he caught. It was just the motion that had hold of him, as if he was trying to get the technique right one, small time. Waiting, crouching, swinging back on the net, then sweeping it open again, and opening, and closing, and pulling it back in. It was the main of what he kept doing while the tide came into the river valley’s saw grass basin, and until it started to slow down around its own high water mark. There must have been a whole school of fingerlings that finally got caught in his net, and that he mostly let go except for maybe a half-dozen. He finally left off casting the net out, then straightening his shoulders, and wading back to the river bank.

After he filled the bucket with water for the fingerlings he kept, after setting a liveliest one on his hook near its tail, he took his spinning rod to a place where the grass was thickest, wading out to where the water came up to his knees. He started casting out just over the edge of the grass, where he figured the red bass would be skirting along, looking for the same fingerlings he had been throwing his net out over. Richard was already sun baked by then, but another hour or so wouldn’t matter; and smelling of fish, and sweating hard, and as mud marked as any laboring Indian can be. His line wasn’t out over the grass for very long when he felt in his thumb that heavy, steady bite a large channel bass can take. Then holding still for a second, maybe two, while taking in what little slack was left playing in the line. But he knew his fish had already taken the bait. Maybe it was already registering surprise at the slight taste of steel on its lip. Just before his fish could spit out the hook, Richard set it through her lip with a quick, sharp pull on his rod. The thing was already done. His heavy fish was already trying to stay as close as it could to the river’s bottom, trying to hug the sandy bottom, maybe looking for a hole, and desperately wanting to stay outside the curtain of grass that must have seemed like the most dangerously enclosed space in its underwater world. Richard didn’t give it any freedom on the line. He could tell it wasn’t large enough to snap his line’s test, even if it was large enough to double down on the fiberglass of his pole. Then he started reeling his fish in, and holding back on the pole, as the line began cutting a razor path back through the water grass. His fish was still trying to cross its way back out of the grass, and swimming as if its tail was digging down into the bottom. But there wasn’t much it could do by then. And bringing it in was suddenly a leaden kind of pleasure. After he reeled it in close enough, Richard saw it was a red bass, that it was an eight or nine pound fish, maybe ten. He pulled it on back through the water, not wanting to let it flip itself over the way channel bass can when close enough to the surface. He brought it out to where it was a beached thing, a tired and caught out river dream. Then he saw how shiny a fish it was, and that it was a she-bass fat with roe. He never had though this river knew a prettier fish than the channel bass. It was in the shimmering colors running across its side, like the liquid rainbow, and in the way its body is an evenly tapering thing going back to its river dark tail. And still there the surprise in seeing how, well, yes, how sinuously strong and smooth a red bass can be. Even like a rhythmic thing. Like a musical dream. He then strung a cord through the bass’s gill, he took the hook out of its mouth while tying the cord’s other end to the bucket. The sun was lately angling by then. He put his bass back out in the water. A mistake he doesn’t think he will ever make again; that, or just not go fishing. But he didn’t know how much longer he would stay down by the river, or if she was part of a school that might still be coming in. So he let her swim about, thinking it the best way to keep her fresh, while he baited his hook again and cast back out to the same spot where he caught her.

Standing back out in the water, Richard couldn’t help but think about the fish behind him. He finally turned around, and he saw her doing that smooth and easy swimming, that same kind of slow swaying, while going from one stretched out length of cord to the other. Even when he looked back out in front of him, and seeing how well hidden the river surface was becoming beneath the shield of the sun, he still sensed how his catch was crisscrossing the cord’s radial length. He kept on thinking how she was swimming behind him, swimming smoothly and crisscrossing her line behind him, until he reeled in his line and walked back to her. He decided he would put her up on the shore and out of the water. Only, now, she wasn’t so sinuously strong anymore, and the iridescent sheen of her had started to fade. She was going to gray. She was tiring herself out. Or maybe she was finding it hard to breathe in the foot warm water. Instead of pulling his red bass up onto the bank, he untied the cord and pulled it back through her gill. Then he saw she couldn’t move very far or fast. She could barely move at all. She had no sense of being let free. When she did try to swim again she knocked against Richard’s ankle. Which sent her tumbling back through the water in a somersault as if she was doing a space walk, not much more than an emptied out space walk. The sight of her tumbling was the horror, or maybe it was Richard’s heart hurt closing in on him. He then picked her up, waded back out to where the water was cooler, and where he let her go. He sat down in the water, submerged up to his chest, watching and waiting for some sign of her. Then he finally saw the saw grass trail of her as she was bending back into the slender blades on her slow way out to where the water is a deeper thing, where she could go back inside the underwater passages a fisherman can never much more than imagine. Richard didn’t see the bird coming in, the swivel necked cormorant breaking the surface of the water just out from the grass in front of him, and that held another liveliest fingerling in its bill. It must have been swimming with the incoming tide, or maybe Richard hadn’t seen it fly in. There it was taking and shaking its catch, swallowing back on its quick silver fish. It eyed Richard in its bird-wise, sidewise fashion. Eye to eye the sharp billed cormorant seemed, or so he imagined. Fishing for things that maybe can’t belong to him. It’s when he decided on a shower, decided to listen in on the new rhythm and blues he has heard is getting played out in Tara’s Place. And she was gone out. She is swimming in the stream. His shiny red bass become an unseeable thing.
Sep/1/2011, 10:11 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Re: Open Faces Eight



Still the thing in what they’re doing on the stage, tonight, what a Duck Blind does with their sound, what they keep on doing as Tara’s customers pour through the door. Where did she come from, this black haired woman now singing with the band, standing in front of them, singing with the band, and who has already gone through two of the most essential tunes Richard has ever heard? What’s ever in a word? And who is that walking in with Mickey, with the Mighty Mickey man who’s walking into Tara’s and not alone? It’s just that the black haired woman keeps on with the boys easily playing for her, playing the back up for her as if they’re falling somewhere back beneath her, having fallen somewhere back down inside the tune she carries as if getting folded back under. Richard has never heard her before. He’s never heard the kind of singing she sings in here. For the first time, it seems to him, he’s hearing what it’s like to hear a songbird singing in here. Like a night bird, really, a night bird you hear singing in the middle of a sleepless night when you’re too tired to move, too tightly coiled up inside your own motor house to unwind, and you hear that long liquid song coming from a night bird somewhere, until you somehow get to where you unwind. She’s singing like that, singing in the way a mockingbird will wake itself with its own insistent song in the late of a summer night. Everyone in here is falling inside too, falling somewhere inside her song and back down under. Like the mountain man who just leaned over Richard’s table, and who closely said he would sign it all away, every rhythm and blues pact he’s ever made, if he could get it that pure just once. Just one time of being easily that far inside a song, that close inside. She is that close inside the lyrical sources of a musical spring. It’s that essential, that close, that easy.

There it is again, for Richard, in the song the black haired woman sings for them. But you never would know she is anything but a flesh and blood dream. Still there is that same earth-seed sense, that same sense of something underneath coming through, that same rhythmic beat coming in, that same emotive tune. Like Melissa’s heart beat, Richard remembers. Like what it was when she leaned into him on an ocean morning’s dark a.m. And it’s okay. Only, now it’s in a song a black haired night bird sings. She doesn’t even seem to know what she’s doing; which is probably why she is that much closer to what she’s doing. To the songs she sings, to the lyrical strings she’s pulling, to the, to the ripened earth-seed feeling, like a world-soul thing, what’s coming through in Tara’s crowded space.

There’s nothing indifferent or studied in her essential voice. No fretting, no sweating, no frenetic stretching for the outside ends of her musical skin. Everything in how she carries her tunes is effortless. Like every easy seeming time the earth rounds herself. Or like every fire bright morning when the earth turns on her side. Richard could cellularly swear it’s some part of the surprise a first-formed Adam must have felt the first time he awoke to hear Eve singing. Speaking for himself, Richard is certain he would have decided right there and then that Eve was the world. Just as it looks as if everyone in here has slipped down into a similar conclusion as they’ve kept on following the way, and it is in the way, that a black haired woman keeps on singing. It’s a kind of heart talk coming from a sweet soprano pulling no punches. A mood thing, a steady vein running through the room. And it’s got to be another part of that virtue Richard thinks he is in a better position to name. A flamenco kind of virtue. A certain sworn, unspoken, unreasoned allegiance to a down under heart language everyone in here keeps to. And paying the price. That same old tremulous line of logic running through a rock n roll theme that keeps giving everything up in order to stay true to a tune; that keeps giving up on every esteemable thing to keep to a green-gold trail whose one promise is to keep on going. But then the back haired woman leaving the stage, stepping down through her own continuous spaces, leaving a continuous stage, stepping back down into Tara’s story she just ripened a little more. And already the band called Duck Blind is not letting the thing alone, who starts running along their silvery strings in a kind of dream answer to the black haired woman. They’re not leaving it alone anymore. It’s as if the Music Man has finally decided to open it all the way up, to roll it all the way back to where he’s no longer one step ahead of the score. But he’s got to let it go, Richard thinks in a panic. Got to let it alone. Got to let go of his fish bright sea dream already lost sight of from the shore.

A duck Blind starts in again, looking to catch hold of the room. The band is making to take them all deep inside their electric outfield where the funk has no place anymore, where the deep funk can’t get hold of you anymore, where their rhythmic sign starts out cajoling, where the drummer easily raps out the beat as if his drum heads are wrapped in blue sheets, and where Domino is holding back slightly, just holding back on the groove. Only there is something in how they play it down, in how they slide inside their musical notations, a little too sneaky. It’s as if they’re coasting through, inwardly laughing at what they’re about, and knowing, in that deep under improvisational way of knowing, where they’ll be going; and already cutting it back down a scale, while the Music Man takes a first step out of their harmonic infield. It’s something else Richard doesn’t think he’s ever heard in a rock n roll band before. It’s kind of like a picture perfect thing they’re doing, they’re progressively doing; kind of like a perfectly painted mood swing through time. That is, if pictures can sing. But pictures can sing, Richard understands, and keep in front of a musical dreamer too. And in the same way the Mighty Mickey man sits inside Tara’s Place, tonight, with his postcard picture girl. It’s his postcard picture girl who’s come in with him, sits with him, who could almost be a Morning Star’s twin sister. Funny how much softer she seems than what her picture had let on she might seem. Funny how Mickey sits with her, no longer looking like the hunted Highwayman he’s always looked like.

Now a Duck Blind is starting to rhythmically lean towards the outside, and going the whole way to new. Already they’re tying the thing back in, even while they let it loose once, twice, three times, as each of them is coming through in a kind of give and take conversation where both harmonics and rhythm are looking for a new kind of home. They’re still tying it in, still letting loose again in the way they let each other go their own whining, crying, lying, threatening, and true-tone way, until they’re coming back to where the Music Man picks up on the skein belonging to that one rhythmic muse of his, his seagull mew, his skipping-over-the ocean dream, his circling, soaring, windy screen where, you can almost swear, he’s getting caught out again, saying his heart-true things to her again in the only way he knows, and just because he gets he is alone with her there where nobody can see them, nobody can ever come between them, nobody can steal her away from that place between them. And do watch over her, Mother Sea, Richard involuntarily thinks. Please keep her safe. Please keep her inviolate. She’s just a hard one to lose.

It’s how it must be with the Music Man too who looks as if he’s learned to keep himself out of those really rocky places, those rock faced places, those concrete smothered plains where a musical muse will never sing more clearly than when she’s whining, crying, and beating back on the blues. Like the young Turk who just ran screaming out the door, and screaming those words - Rock n Roll – while the Music Man keeps circling back to his tidewater tune, his sunrise over the waterline. Maybe it’s something, also of the rapport he has with his back up bass who always seems to know when to pick up on the slack line; and who’s always running deep inside the tune, except for when he breaks through on his fretless bass, or boils over, when he’s no longer content to simmer, and comes to tell the Music Man in his fingers he knows where he’s been. It is what the dark haired Domino is doing right now. Smoothly going loose, smoothly going down on his bass, getting wild, while his bass resonates through its deeper, underwater spaces, and while he shows them all how ineluctably he can clean through the earth notes, like a man who’s chosen to stay on the moon. Domino the back up bass. Domino, Melissa’s dark haired brother whose eyes can get stranger man sheathed, and who can go back as easily to a gentler thing. They just keep on chasing the song down, then coming back around to where the tune is triangular. Just like the sea. They keep on shifting the mood, and keeping along the ridge like a drum walk, not much more than a stretched out accentual drum talk. Do let it go, drummer boy, do work it out. Keep on cutting through the mix of the atavistic drum beat in your ears. Keep on coming down on the fix like a man working in iron. Just let it stay the way it was once. Don’t let the Man come back in on that thing of his again. Don’t let him get back to the unbearable thing that’s so much like a sweet sounding dream, what the Music Man is doing for his friends, while finally letting the two other musicians to join in and the sound is a rhythmic ensemble of three alchemists. It’s how they all step inside the tidewater time. It’s how they step back in from the electric outfield, bringing Tara’s customers back in with them, closing down, back to where she’ll keep on having play with them. Back in with them, looking to get played another new time, going all the way out with them. Then closing down. Closing down. Back inside Tara’s Place.


Out on Tara’s porch. Richard can’t see where there is anymore story to tell. Jennifer flies in, next week, for her summer vacation with him. It’s only been a fulling idea to flesh out. That’s all. He’s been sitting out here, during a break in the music, and looking at a picture poster he’s never seen before. He notices for the first time there is a beauty salon next door. Its interior lights are on. Through a window he can see a poster of a woman’s face. It is one of those high fashion faces, being so clean and a little unreal. One of those posters and faces whose purpose is to sell products. What has caught his attention is the window’s lattice work. He even had to look around where the crossed wood intersects, squares off a view, to see that the poster is the photograph of a beauty. But there is no point in worrying the thing. When she is ready she’ll slip past the lattice work, slip through, slip on down the back streets with one of Richard’s kind. Again. She has always had a knack for gliding out the side door, for sliding around crossed and barred proprietor doors.



Sep/2/2011, 9:47 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 




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