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Beneath Cherry Blossoms - The Lilliput Review Blog

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Kesey, Hendrix, Yeats and all ...

 


 

This week saw anniversaries for Ken Kesey (birth) and Jimi Hendrix (death).  Known, of course, for Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion is a book worth revisting and, in fact, may be every bit as great, if not quite as universal.  From one of chapter headnotes, for which he seems be nodding back to Hemingway, is one of those moments one finds sprinkled throughout Kesey's work as often as that of, say, Thomas Hardy:

 

   "Time overlaps itself.  A breath breathed from a passing

breeze is not the whole wind, neither is it just the last of

what has passed and the first of what will come, but is

more - let me see - more like a single point plucked on a

single strand of a vast spider web of winds, setting the

whole scene atingle.  That way; it overlaps ..."

 

And Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix, what can be said that hasn't been already. Well, there are the lyrics, for instance.  Take Voodoo Chile (Slight Return):

 

Well, I stand up next to a mountain

And I chop it down with the edge of my hand.

Well, I stand up next to a mountain

Chop it down with the edge of my hand.

Well, I pick up all the pieces and make an island,

Might even raise a little sand.

Cause I'm a voodoo chile,

Lord knows, I'm a voodoo chile.

 

I didn't mean to take up all your sweet time,

I'll give it right back to you one of these days.

I said I didn't mean to take up all  our sweet time,

I'll give it right back one of these days.

And if I don't meet you no more in this world,

Then I'll meet you in the next one and don't be late,

Don't be late.

Cause I'm a voodoo chile, voodoo chile.

Lord knows, I'm a voodoo chile, hey, hey, hey.

I'm a voodoo chile, baby.

 

And this, Up From the Skies, from his arguable masterpiece, Axis: Bold as Love:

 

I just want to talk to you,

I won't do you know harm.

I just want to know about your different lives

On this here people farm.

I heard some of you got  your families

Living in cages, tall and cold.

And some just stay there and dust away,

Past the age of old.

Is this true?

Please let me talk to you.

 

I just wanna know about

The rooms behind your minds.

Do you see a vacuum there

Or am I going blind?

Or is it just, uh, remains of vibrations

And echoes long ago?

Things like love the world

And, uh, let your fancy flow?

Is this true?

Please let me talk to you,

Let me talk to you.

 

I have lived here before

The days of ice

And of course this is why

I'm so concerned.

And I come back to find

The stars misplaced

And the smell of a world

That has burned,

The smell of a world

That has burned.

 

Yeh, well, maybe, hmm,

Maybe it's just a ...

Change of climate.

Well I can dig it,

I can dig it, baby,

I just want to see ...

 

So, where do I purchase my ticket?

I'd just like to have a ringside seat.

I want to know about the new Mother Earth.

I want to hear and see everything.

I want to hear and see everything.

I want to hear and see everything.

 

Aw, shucks,

If my daddy could see me now.

 

 

Issue #121 starts off in something of an enigmatic mood, prompted by the always challenging, probing work of John Harter.

 

THE PRESENT IS WAY OUT

IT IS BLACK AND WHITE

THERE IS NOTHING TO

BACK IT UP      NO FUTURE

IN IT

NO SHADOW NO SILHOUETTE

OBSCURITY

THE PRESENT IS A WAY OUT

~ John Harter

 

 

Shadows on the wall,

flickering reminders of

my heart without you.

~ Linda Joan Zeiser

 

 

THE SHADOW OF  YOUR

RAIN DROPS FALLING ON

THE SOUND OF YOUR

OWN WHEELS

~ John Harter

 

And, finally, Huff, perhaps pointing us back to his broadside featured in the last posting, with this poignant poem:

 

And now your shadow 

falling across the page.

Where are you?

Why have you abandoned

your shadow?

~ Albert Huffstickler 

 


 

 

 

 


Posted by donw714 at 07:34 EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 28 September 2007 09:38 EDT

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