https://soundcloud.com/mikeopitz/midnight-in-triana In the ruins of the cityCardboard for a bedSleep the great musiciansWith visions in their heads. At the end of EmpireLiving in the debrisArise the great dancersStruggling to be free. The city falls around them“The fruits of Babylon”*Soldiers in the streets at nightTerror in the dawn. (“O yeah” / “Police and Thieves”) Gunfire in […]
I wanted you yesterday and I want you more today.
It’s a garden of earthly pleasures—won’t you come out and play?
And I dreamed you were my inspiration.
Bold lovers on a midnight ride.
Dreams like this—shadows and mist.
Dreams that don’t abide.
Sufferahs caused by slavery
An’ live in the system (shitstem) that’s slavery’s child
An, live in the depot of slavery’s trade (in Jamaica)
Live in the dread pit slavery made
The Sufferahs got nothin’ to lose
When the slavery system falls
When the ego system dies down slow
When the empire system rots.
Dis yer place is a frozen
An island in the snow
All the people dance so gritty
All the people move so slow
Dis yer place is cold and icy
The winter winds they always blow
Spend the time in the cloudy
Make the people oh so cold
In the ruins of the city
Cardboard for a bed
Sleep the great musicians
With visions in their heads.
At the end of Empire
Living in the debris
Arise the great dancers
Struggling to be free.
Wish I knew you in a different lifetime—different from this one.
Wish I’d met you on another planet—closer to the sun.
The heat would rise from our bodies—and melt into the air.
Ecological convergence—a bi-symmetrical pair.
Wish I knew you in a different way
Than gender and despair.
Like Bob Dylan, “I was thinking of a series of dreams.” I had been reminiscing about the many classes I have taught and the many students I have known as a series of dreams. It seemed like an appropriate metaphor to me. However, it is always a slippery business to translate the images and sensations of dreams into words, syntax and story. Each of these elements imposes a world-view and an interpretation on what Freud called “the royal road to the unconscious.”
FROM THE VAULT (ORIGINALLY POSTED IN 2015) It seems like a long time ago when I was sitting in my living room, listening to Burnin’, and Bob Marley’s image on the cover of the album spoke to me. Burnin’ Album Cover Picture. TheWailers Burnin’ I wrote down what he said—in Patois—which I do not speak. […]
It’s interesting to think about the relationship of a song to its dub. I discovered this relationship through listening to Burning Spear’s Marcus Garvey and Garvey’s Ghost and Lee “Scratch” Perry’s dubs of many classic reggae songs. Because I was a member of reggae’s white, middle-class audience, I was immediately drawn to the spiritual and political songs and sought them out.