In the Belly of the Night

Montreal, September 1, 1999

~~^^~~ ~~^^~~

..... .... "Possibilities beckon mid the colored lights. Thoughtforms of steam rise from the asphalt and are swept away in the wake of the taxis, taillights blinking through your mind with endless inscrutible insistence. A smokestack rises like a ship's funnel from a working excavation: another boatload of souls charoning off to the boroughs of Lethe, or maybe to the Daybreak Express? Is that a scrap of rags or a man collapsed in sleep beneath the windows of a bank, curled into his own warmth as if into the last refuge the world will offer him? A woman's face goes past, graced with a beauty you would have thought impossible here."

... Sitting here listening to Charlie Hayden and Kenny Baron, in 'Night and the City' reminds me of my time in New York, and puts me in the mood for magic, .. the magic of rhythm and harmony as it transforms metallic and stony dissonance into warm perfumed flesh, .. flowers, ... dreams, ........... "Okay, let's sing us one of the old songs: its a hard tough town, too heavy to pick up and run with and way too big to move with whatever muscle life has left you with this weekend. Should you take up smoking Luckies? What time is it? What decade have you landed in tonight? What's your most essential name and what's your function here? Is it Walk or Don't Walk, Uptown or Down, the real world or just one more astral fantasy? Some nights are so confusing it gets too hard to tell."

In the acid capital of the world, ... my mind sometimes wanders, ... not from acid, but from the inductive history of this place, ... Mont Real, ... an old brother to New York, ... a softer brother , reverberating with a melodic francophonie, ... leaving us at the end of the day, ... not with "an edgy, dangerous glamour, a hatbrim slant romance", .. but with a rounded softness, a beret'd grin, ... a decolletage which warmly beckons.

Both cities put us in the 'belly of the night', reminding us of our containment, ... our common immersion in something of our joint making, ... something rather bizarre which we never expected, but something which is 'ours'. "So that it's kind of odd that it is precisely here --- in the belly of the night, ... beneath these standing stones that ultimately indicate a sacrifice, ... our sacrifice, ... and the refracted sodium haze that dims the stars you otherwise might steer by from human sight --- whether against the odds or because of them, that the music has always burned brightest, its flame tending toward its truest, most visionary shades of blue: an unexpected blessing, an unearnable payback, a spring of pure water in an unforgiving run of the country: a taste of tenderness and a glimpse of what might be the real illumination in the picture. So at least the music would have you hope. I say go with it, I say take a flyer."

Snuggle in, ... feel the sonorous warmth of the underbelly, ...soft and mellow music soothing you as you settle into it.

... But when morning comes, ... and you look once more upwards, ... into the blue and starless skies of a new day, .. don't fall for what you've heard, ... that what you're looking into is inert and frigid void, ... an infinite emptiness of metallic blue populated by frozen and unconscious objects.

If you look with feeling and sensitivity, .. you may see the belly of the day, ... an earthy, moist and fecund belly, ... perfumed with collective warmth, ... and you can find cuddle there if you believe in it. Euclid is our uncle, but not our master, ... the abstract dream of Euclid and his stark choices vanishes, ... when we see ourselves as the makers of bellies to snuggle to, ... when we see ourselves as the weavers of cocoons within which we snuggle into the warm belly of our own collective, .. go with it, I say, ... take a flyer.

~~^^~~ emile ~~^^~~

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