it’s either/or with the earth.  Like how I hate sour cream topping.  And sleeping fish.  But how I love tacos and a rhythm section that knows when to keep going when close to last call my voice can’t carry the chorus.   The earth is a song between lovers.  A bride and a groom.  A song of birth crying out its requiem.  A song of land after time at sea.  What occupies it when you take a deep breath and name it a country.  Like a whore finding love.  The earth is simple.  Confounded in what you seek when you are sick and sleep brings unseemly dreams that pursue the desires only memories have the strength for.  A dialectic.  For you either love the earth or you hate it.  Your love a drug.  Your hate a coma to the pain.  A war really.  A constant at odds.  To love what is of earth is to deny thrice what isn’t.  A bipartisanship not on the ballot.  For there is only one common ground in this love and hate and that is in death.  That is where the two meet.  What is of earth and what is not…  And I feel like it’s on the tip on my tongue—what I want to say about this.  My capricious battle with the corporeal and incorporeal.  How I’ve felt one while indulging in the other.  Like in itch while meditating.  The memory of a woman from a scintillating scent on a wet rag I use to wash myself.  Perhaps a woman the avatar the vessel to my understanding of this earth and what abides forever.  That deliberate descent of deity to earth.  That epiphany.  And transfiguration…  Today is Friday.  And I remember you.  I remember you all.  A token in so many forms.  First loves.  Those almond-scented eyes that looked at me from a backseat window of a Ford as I left the shade of a tree in Mississippi, and I just nineteen.  Unobtrusive to an old man’s request when the day comes there are no old men and no country for them the weight of their offer without women in the bargain.  Those eyes and those days in Rosie’s bed before the war and the cold way she told me to move.  To get in and take that ride.  That first kiss and the words I said then.  The words I said when I said I would never work again—enslaved to this earth in its rancid perspiration.  So maybe that’s the story I must tell to be with it, the earth—the number of odd jobs I’ve held to make a living between songs on stage.  And there have been many of them.  Many in betweens.  Like in that upper room in Soulard with Bethany while she was pregnant with our sons and we waited in silence for the next song along the waxed grooves of a vinyl record.  The unanswerable silence I felt to her question of which did I love more.  The earth—her—or what I searched for in music my hands holding a shining guitar and the song I wished it to play—my desire for her…  And I have failed.  I have not been enlightened to fear, worry and regret.  I still desire the desire and before sleep my past comes to me.  The ghosts of former lovers.  The wages of half-hearted earnings.  I think of Mississippi before the war, my time as a soldier and Bethany knocking on my door on the West Bank.  The end of an affair in New Orleans.  Those days without food or sleep while I waited for our firstborn son to die and the aching echo this would have on our son that lived—Benjy—his twin.  The joy when Dulcinea was born like a rainbow promise that my curse had been lifted and I would not have to return to that crossroads with my bartered soul, my hands stained with blood—the blood of Bethany’s first husband…  I have failed because all this—all of it—is of the earth, and only in that common ground of death does the intransient torpor of my sins find its forgiver—me—abiding in the oneness…  And I know I must give thanks.  I must be thankful for my mistakes and all my shortcomings for in them perfection is found.  In that increment of time after the increment.  In that mad vision of hindsight…  My children are six.  Soon to be seven.  I’ve seen them through sickness and health.  In tears and laughter.  And my prayer of earth to what is not of earth is that my sins are remitted unto them for what is remitted here is remitted there in heaven—a dimension of being yet barely visible through the veils, the mechanisms of our time and how we measure it.  And no one owns it—not you, me or even God.  This the fallacy in all the top slots of the corporation.  Man’s capitalism.  That’s why the villains need heroes and the heroes need villains in all this our either/or fantasy.  And so I give thanks for my loss.  What’s lost here gained there, and I know I don’t have to wait.  I don’t have to wait for it.  I don’t have to wait on my father waiting on me…

            –David Threnody, on Thanksgiving—from his journals 1948 to 1955

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