The wind is angry tonight. It’s not hard for me to understand why. She’s blows over the castles in the hills, the high performance cars, the barbwire and gang tags, the eroded soil and cancerous fields of clear-cut forests. She blows over the ocean’s dead zones, the starving communities, the torture rooms of warmongers. I would be angry, too.
Writing prose, typing prose, is not at all like writing a song; this is much more cerebral. With a beat, my body moves as I write, I tap my pen and bob my head to the sound of the drums. My lips move with the words. Here, at the keyboard, there is only the dance of my fingers and the steady drop of my head as gravity pulls it down. Then, as I sit up and twist my spine, it unlocks with audible cracks. Repeat as needed, until it’s all on screen.
A couple of years ago death came to visit me. I was in the kitchen. It was late, alone in my mom’s house, and I was drinking. Death came and told me it was time to go; there’s a knife in my hand and poison under the sink, choose your own adventure. I was ready.
But then a funny thing happened.
All of my ancestors showed up, too. Hundreds of them, thousands of them, all in my kitchen, looking grim and resolute. “Not so fast,” they said. They lived and died and suffered to bring me to the earth, to make me a possibility. “We have given you these gifts, of speech, of song. All we ask is that you put those gifts to use. Say the words. Sing the songs.”
So, I had a choice. I could go with death and leave this sick show of babylonian life behind. Or I could stay, and make the medicine.