Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pretty Blue Flowers At The Gates Of Hell

On the train from Paris to Berlin
I studied all the wreckage and ruin
And I couldn’t tell if the gates of Hell
Were on the outside or in
On the train from Paris to Berlin

I don’t know. Maybe the pretty blue flowers
were trying to run away from the dark
and they got all tangled up. Now the dark,
the wild dark, will be able to catch them.

Getting cropped and composed, getting glammed up,
is a moment of freedom from the wild,
a moment when the wild dark is held back,
reduced to just a trivial background.

The empty lot full of tangled blue flowers
I photographed when Amy Winehouse died
has been completely cut down. I don’t know
if city workers or county workers
did the job, but heavy machinery
did the cutting because tractor tire prints
left their pattern in the dirt and crushed plants.

I didn’t photograph the empty lot
now because it’s just a green rectangle
between two rectangles of parking lots.

Amy Winehouse is gone and the wild flowers
I photographed to remember Amy
are gone but the rectangles are still here,
the flat green rectangle without blue flowers
and the asphalt rectangle parking lots.

The flat green rectangle without blue flowers
is still just an empty lot, nobody
is digging it up to build something there.

If anybody had asked me about
letting the plants continue to grow wild
or cutting down everything in the lot—
if anybody had asked me if they
should send in the industrial cutters,
I would have told the workers, “No, no, no.”

Nobody asks anyone anything.

We have to find time to make images
and write about everything. And sing songs.

Tomorrow there will be only tire tracks.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“There's nothing you can teach me
I can't learn from Mr. Hathaway”

Donny Edward Hathaway (October 1, 1945 – January 13, 1979) was an American soul musician. Hathaway contracted with Atlantic Records in 1969 and with his first single for the Atco label, "The Ghetto, Part I" in early 1970, Rolling Stone magazine "marked him as a major new force in soul music." His collaborations with Roberta Flack scored high on the charts and won him the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the duet, "Where Is the Love" in 1973. Six years later, his body was found outside the luxury hotel Essex House in New York City; his death was ruled a suicide.

Donny Hathaway at Wikipedia

No comments: