Friday, January 14, 2011

"Saying what I mean to say"

Friend, sometimes the wind's scuttle makes the reeds
In the body vibrate. Sometimes the noise gives up its code
And the music is better at saying what I mean to say.
--Terrance Hayes

And how. How many times have I wished for the right note to convey what I am after. Or the right brushstroke. Writing, stepchild of the arts, is what you have left if you can't draw or sing or play music or dance. It takes home the least primal award.

I've been listening to Robert Johnson and Son House and Blind Willie Johnson of late. Those cats could sing and play nursery rhymes and still move you to tears or reverie.

Language must have been born out of frustration. Why can't he/she understand? How come they don't get it? How can I make them know? How can I make them see me? And words grew and attached themselves to things and concepts and actions through consent and a hope that we were speaking their true names.

Maybe I am glad for this frustration after all. This need for language and to find the right words--to invent them if need be. The struggle to say it precisely.

Maybe. But sometimes I'd still give music the nod.


Stephen G. Bardsley said...

even the cavemen drew pictures on cave walls! It took many more years and brain development before a written piece was created. you dont give writing enough credit Mike! The ability of spinning words into a piece of artwork is not something anyone can do. And that comes from someone who is probably a better artist than most will ever meet. I have a BFA from the Corcoran, but envy writing! Later, Bards

Kelly said...

this is a great post