Nor am I susceptible to summary, spontaneous levitations. I mention this in passing, merely. Not that I am immune to demons. Of the sort which howl and niggle in those grey hours between comatose reclining and startling. The ritual wrestling between id and ego. Of course, the unabashed bohemian in me protests. Brought to heel presently by a snot-nosed brat in utility boots: Leery stomping Leary; hammered – choked – with garlands in turn. Such is the duality. Of rodents. Rubes. A perfect interlocking cross to bear. Well. Just what I might be trying to scrape off my chest escapes me, all gut intuition, the dry heaving over porcelain with the fuse to the morning sun not quite lit. It has taken more months than expected to settle.
As for chores, virtual house clearing evaded me. While routine chipping, and gouging, and filing has not. I have resisted all sensible urge to update my profile, irritating as it is. That inaccurate barometer of fleeting curiosity. The earth snake coming out a hole: tumbling out the sky in shock. We have been back, of course, to visit. To marvel at the rubble. To excavate neighbourly ties. To retrace footsteps.
\”I have a suspicion that my writing smacks of Chintz curtains of late. Albeit stained – holed – but fidgety nonetheless. A scent of magnolia masking mothballs. The lifts are often thick with that smell. Eastern Europeans arriving with tightly sprung suitcases, folded bed linen. Heirlooms.\”
\”Looking down on the rose garden, I see the wrought iron waste bin standing alone on one corner. It is still new enough that I often mistake it for an elderly person stooping to feed the pigeons. The sunlight gleams on yellow painted seams so they protrude like pencil sharpened elbows. Toothpicks. My vision is not what it once was, I have sometimes misidentified black refuse sacks peppering the grass. Even Merle Haggard seems a little distant. When he steps out on the stage. I made the dinner pouring gins. Not quite neat, but I know my kitchen like the back of my hand. I can sidle around it slicing mushrooms as well as any blind man. I fry eggs as big and fat as cataracts. I can shuffle like Lemon Jefferson, and pour them dry and mean.\”
The following – one of five wholly instrumental collaborations – was recorded and produced at Robert Quine\’s loft apartment in NYC between September 1979 and July 1980. Don\’t throw that knife. Or come unstuck, vibrating in the park.
▼ JODY HARRIS & ROBERT QUINE: DON\’T THROW THAT KNIFE from \”Escape\” LP (Lust/Unlust) 1981 (US)