worry worry worry
every season something to fear
teatime as agent of planetary destruction.
cosmic dream radio , Episode 13
Episode 13 must be unlucky because I recorded this beneath the branches of a massive oak tree that fell on my house in the recent nor'easter.
Nevertheless, I shelter beneath it's boughs, pull out the synth and record "every season something to fear" in which I see the proverbial tempest in the teapot: teatime, bananas, and my iphone charger are revealed as implements of planetary destruction. Yay imagination!
what on earth was I thinking?
In AP English years ago we read Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts. Even though it wasn't my "kind" of poem (I was struck by Stevens' Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird) the poem stayed in my head because I studied it and because I associated with it the image that it reflects but does not itself contain: the image of Brueghel's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus". The poem does not describe the painting. It uses the painting to contemplate the human relationship to tragedy.
The painting depicts village life: a herdsman, a ploughman, and a busy port full of neat sailing ships. It is one of those delightful Flemish landscapes that is engaging all the way to the horizon, where minute, fantastical little cities and mountains are painted with much pleasure as the subject in the foreground. Right of center, dwarfed by the ploughman and his ox, a boy crashes into the ocean. You can just see his tiny legs amidst all the delightful sea froth and sailing ships. Without the painting's title, you might not even notice the boy. No one in the painting appears to notice the astonishing catastrophe.
Auden's point is that tragedy: even cataclysmic, miraculous tragedy (a winged boy falling from the sky!), does not hold our attention long, if it can even catch it. Life goes on.
My point is different.
How well the old master's knew we would not remark our own fall. We do not especially want it to happen, but we have somewhere to get to and, flush with fuel, sail calmly on.
See the painting: Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
Read Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts
Listen to me read Auden's Musee des Beaux Arts.
Refresh your memory on the fall of Icarus myth.
I worry about exotic fruit because of the fuel used to refrigerate and transport it to me. Learn the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions from the EPA.
The polar bear appears to my mythological/apocolyptic beast totem for climate change. She appears in "Christmas Trees", too (Episode 10).
Listen to or download the poem without the intro on soundcloud:
sing, woman, sing. deer crash through windows. hell hounds want to play. this crappy bar? you've been here before. nothing's changed. let's turn this basement into a club. everyone's looking for someplace to go.