Was waiting in arrivals, looking up at Jean Batten’s plane and, knowing that she ended her days a recluse in Spain, buried in a pauper’s grave, and when I was a child, thinking this sad but now I’m an adult thinking, that’s pretty dope.
Filthy, ill, and slightly crazed
dirty hair waiting to be washed
not the fashionable dirt
of rebellious youth
I’m a disgusting large yellow stain
around the crotch, dirty bare feet
thrust into shoes without laces,
I’m aggressively dirty, an aristocrat
making some sort of statement
crying over a pauper’s grave, in love
with the dead.
a love song for the handprints in the Pech Merle caves (pt. 2)
Did you know that Genghis Khan
met a scribe and fell in love
with the way words tie things down?
He had them draw up the laws
of his Mongols in blue-bound books,
because blue is the color of the sky;
and to the khan of horsemen and great
broad steppes of grass, the sky was holy.
So is the law, so are all things
that tie man to man to man.
For every mummy, carving, cave painting,
scroll, tablet, or footprint that we find
there are those that have been lost–
washed away, sand-scoured,
For every story passed down, every exquisite tomb,
there are men dead unsung, paupers’ graves,
lovers unrecorded whose lovers are unrecorded
whose children are unrecorded
but not unmourned.
Wrap things in sky, because everything you love
should be as watched over
as the rolls and rolls of grassy earth.
Press your hand up against the cave wall,
dripping, and leave a mark.
Wait for the storms to come,
the earthquakes and the burrowing things.
Wait to be lost, and press your hand up,
watch the color dry.
No matter what will come,
unmade or not, found or forgotten,
listen to the silence tell you:
this is yours, here, now, forever.
One of the Popes of the 9th century, Pope Formosus’ reign was fraught with war, chaos, and political intrigue. During his five year reign Formosus made many enemies, among them was his successor, Stephen VI. Pope Stephen hated Formosus so much, that he would take weird to a whole new level in order to exact revenge on his former enemy.
In January of 897, about seven months after Formosus’ death, Pope Stephen ordered Formosus’ corpse exhumed from its grave and put on trial. In what would become known as the “Cadaver Synod”, Pope Stephen charged Formosus with a number of crimes including perjury and having ascended the Papacy illegally. During the trial, Formosus’ rotting corpse was propped up on a throne and clothed in Papal vestments. Stephen himself acted as prosecutor while a church deacon was appointed to serve as Formosus’ defense attorney. While judges were appointed from local priests, the synod amounted to nothing more than a show trial in which Stephen maniacally screamed, raved, and hurled insults at the dead corpse. Formosus’ was declared guilty on all charges. As punishment, his corpse was stripped of its Papal vestments, three fingers on its right hand were removed (the fingers used to conduct blessings), and all orders issued by Formosus’ were nullified. Formosus’ corpse was buried in an unmarked paupers grave. Later it was again disinterred and cast into the Tiber River.
The Cadaver Synod turned out to be Stephen VI’s undoing, as the people of Rome were too weirded out by his bizarre and insane behavior. He was quickly deposed and imprisoned, where he was strangled to death during the night. In the meantime Formosus’ corpse had been recovered from the Tiber and reburied in its proper grave at St. Peters Basilica. The next Pope, John IX, nullified the Cadaver Synod and issued a Papal decree banning the trial of a dead person.
BC#➒ TOKYO DREAM/Yoshiwara Jinja-Yoshiwara: 300 years as Tokyo’s biggest red-light districtIn 1956, Japan’s Anti Prostitution Act shut down Yoshiwara, easily Tokyo’s most infamous red light area. For the previous three centuries, this neighborhood northeast of Asakura had been one of only a handful of licensed vice districts tolerated by the authorities. Over its long working life, Yoshiwara was home to the courtesans in decadent robes who were depicted in the ukiyoe of Kitagawa Utamaro and the charming, difficult women of Nagai Kafu’s novels and diaries. Poetry of the time often compared the women to cherry blossoms, alluding to both their beauty and their short lives. Inscribed on the wall at Jyokanji, the 350-year-old temple where some 20,000 prostitutes were interred in paupers’ graves, is the saying: “Birth is pain, death is Jyokanji. Read Tim Dunleaveys review of Tokyo Dream @ DNB◉UNITED.COMVandergrift, Pennsylvania, population 5200, is a town in Southwestern, PA. Once home to the largest sheet steel mill in the world, it exists entirely within a peninsula jutting into the Allegheny River. One suspects it also inhabits a place and time within the artist. This is a love song to a memory, or maybe a semi-sweet lament for a simpler time of playful youth. Two vocalizations flow in and out of the music, one sounds, to me at least, like the word Home. From the start, “Vandergrift” demands your immediate attention.
First, the song makes an announcement, after which it drives ,then rests, then drives again. Every seven bars of pounding beats is followed by a soaring interlude that includes a voice that often exclaims…Home. Then, having caught our breath we jump back into the hard driving verse. We repeat the cycle long enough to internalize the sounds and feelings that BC#9 seeks to share with us, at which point we are brought back slowly. “Vandergrift” then ends as it began, only this time announcing itself to the world. There is a video of “Vandergrift” at DNB UNITED.COM. It’s a compelling montage of real and surreal images that move at the same frenetic pace as the music. The first half of the video invokes the industrial past of its namesake town with a late 20th century sci-fi theme, then pushes into the present and all of its big city consumerism. It’s a wild ride, check it out. This is a strong entry by an established artist, BC9, and a strong launch for DNB UNITED RECORDS. The label is promising to be a positive force for unity in the often fractious world of musical performance and recording. Let’s face it; the competition sometimes causes us to be our own worst enemies. Cheers to BC9 and DNB United Records, and to all they hope to accomplish in the future. Buy Link: itunes.apple.com/album/id1117294064?ls=1&app=itunes