Monday, October 02, 2006


Geese fly low over the magic castle, silent from that short distance, going west a day ahead of the storm. The sign on a church billboard claims, "The fear of God is the beginning of true worship."

Out of the fall forest filled with trees soon to show their gray, a woman walks, bare toes pushing puddles of brown leaves unexpected. She has come from the river that flows into the endless sea. Mud covers her slender legs almost to the knees as she holds her cotton dress, wet around the hem, just higher. She is thin and blond with perfect features that I want to caress as I watch her come toward me.

The more I listen to Ray Wylie Hubbard’s recent CD, Snake Farm, the higher it climbs on my list of 2006 favorites. I can see clearly each of the 11 songs as a black-and-white R. Crumb drawing.

An older Hubbard song comes to mind. In the song, "The River Bed," he or his character goes to the river as the earth shivers in the night. He knows he should not go there, and should not stay. He meets a woman in lace and velvet, and is baptized in dark waters. I believe that the song is about addiction; as I watch the woman in the cotton dress, I believe my song is, again, about my relationships with the muses. Perhaps that is my addiction.

A string of birds flies low above the trees; the musician is deaf. Later, a full moon hangs in a hungry sky. Silence is like a mask while water laps against the shore. Some tedious fisher of souls throws out net after net of notions to entangle us in the strings, to trap us in tiny ideas with the promise of more.

It's getting stranger in a strange land. Implausible deniability. The bland lead the bland, although sometimes someone takes an initiative or stumbles upon a truth. Last year, the National Toy Hall of Fame finally got around to honoring the simple cardboard box – for what the box allows in children.

Ideas flow. Images create. I am in solitude in the magic castle with the woman in the cotton dress, wrapping her in my heat. The brass dragon watches over us; the ghost under the castle is quiet. The woman is too delicate for a Crumb drawing. Her scent is gently cinnamon. She welcomes me, so flawless to the touch that she seems, for a moment, unreal in the firelight as I wash the mud from her feet and legs, and embrace her. We create as we mingle.