Tag Archives: music

The Bowie Found Poems: Space Oddity

Welcome to the lastest installment in the David Bowie Found Poetry Project!  Eventually, I’ll get a better name for it, but at least this one’s descriptive.  If you’re new to the site, you can check out the project’s inception here.   After working with “Diamond Dogs,” I decided to loop back to the beginning, and the second poem in this series is crafted with lyrics from the album “Space Oddity.”

Bless You Madly

A found poem of lyrics sourced from the album “Space Oddity”

 

We broke the ruptured structure built of age,

and I’m not obliged to read you statements of the year,

but my head’s full of murders

where only killers scream.

They say you sparkle like a different girl,

but you cry a little in the dark,

because I’ve got to keep my veil on my face

because I love you badly,

because the rats chew my bones

and there’s a cash machine spitting by my shoulder.

 

Your strange demand to collocate my mind

scares me into gloom.

The hangman plays the mandolin

before he goes to sleep,

before he sweeps the pillow clean.

He dreams our weapons were the tongues

of crying rage

and his, a phallus in pigtails.

I tell him,

Put your helmet on.

I got eyes in my backside

and I’m stepping through the door.

And as the sunrise stream flickers on me,

no purse of token fortune stands in our way

and my spaceship knows which way to go.

 

We burnt one hundred days,

and I still hold some ashes to me.

I can’t touch your name—it burns my wall with time,

unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed,

but I paint that love upon a white balloon

and fly it from the toppest top of all the tops.

 

 

 

Which album should I work with next?

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How Music is Making Me a Better Writer

A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that the bulk of my time was spent on creative writing and academia.  Granted, that’s probably what you’d expect from a creative writer who’s also a teacher and a doctoral student, but it seemed almost overwhelming.  I felt one-dimensional.  I was worried that I had tunnel-vision, and that my creativity would suffer because of it.  Because of all that, I decided that I needed a new recreational activity.  I have a tendency to turn to other art forms for this sort of thing.  In the past, I’ve worked with acting and visual arts.  This time, I was drawn to music.  I happened to watch a movie that featured a theremin, and decided that I might want one.  I did all sorts of online research, became awestruck by Clara Rockmore, and ultimately bought a relatively inexpensive pitch/volume theremin.  I’ve been playing almost every day, and what I love about it is that it doesn’t feel dire.  My writerly and academic pursuits can sometimes feel really weighty because they’re such a big part of my identity.  When I think about not being a writer or not being an academic, I feel like I don’t know who I am. (Psychologically, this is probably not super healthy, but psychological soundness has never been my primary goal in life anyway.)  I’m sure that many people feel this way about their passions.  I cope with this by adding other things into my life.  Maybe these things won’t become the core ingredients of my identity, but sometimes they become the spices.  They become the subtleties that make me feel like I have more than one dimension.  I love playing the theremin, but nothing about that experience is quantified or qualified by performances evaluations and publications.  It unlocks a sort of freedom that translates into the other, more “serious” areas of my life and makes me a more innovative and productive writer, scholar, and teacher.  What artist doesn’t want that sort of growth in their life?  I guess the moral of the story is that taking a break from what you’re serious about can make you better at it.  And if, in the process, you can learn to play spooky, electronic versions of every tv sci-fi theme song from the past twenty years, so much the better for you!

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