Note: Poignant graphic references to blood and violence.
Author’s Note: This hinges upon a powerful Thee Kabal performance at St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit back in 1992. The show featured what turned out to be extreme ritual cutting. In the wake of the Oxford shooting I’ve reflected on my own navigation of mental health issues (I’ll still call it madness) in public schools in the 80s. This piece references a post high school performance, but early on I began to use creativity and ritual to transmute violence and shift aggression away from others. I’ve always been able to find accomplices.
Part letter, part song, part poem because I don’t know how to say what I have to say. I really don’t know if I’m the one who needs to say it anymore or if you are or ever were the person who needs to hear it.
Time shifts priorities as proximity shifts perspective. We are still having that high end conversation in Tucson. The bodies are still writhing across the carpet under our feet in Leeds. And there’s a trail of blood that’s followed me from the stage at The Shelter to where I sit now. It’s all still happening, at least a part of me is still there, though I’m almost always unaware.
White (her) Black (me) Red (rage) bodies collide intention with surgical precision. Naked, empowered through vulnerability, horns out an up on that same stage Rabbit choked on. The battle begun years before. Black face? No, head to toe and matched by bodies painted white and red.
Do the alchemy.
Blood rights, blood games, a blood rite on a blood night. They don’t make them like that anymore. We wrote it into being and it bore us out in-to-it. I do not remember the cut happening, focused on White, the vessel. The blade so clean I couldn’t feel it; thoracic, a scalpel, T3 to T10 and three bars cross.
How deep? Too deep and St. Andrew’s began to spin. And I stood up into it, huge. My horns cutting into the spiral opening above. Sticks in fists, drumming as though I knew how to steer into the vortex. Blood everywhere and away we go!
Red has apologized profusely, in fact that’s all Red has done since. White and I left town. She left me and is now a clown, respectfully. Black is me, not like that, but still bleeding nonetheless, tracing red trails from stages, basements, mounds, mountains and wooded groves, across this land, ocean to ocean and beyond. Broken and trying to breed until we did and now coagulate to blend in.
I don’t know if that gets us farther or higher, I stopped pretending to know more than I know years ago and it has cost me. I no longer presume that you would want to hear me say I’m sorry and don’t know if I can maintain course while attempting to adequately do so. Please know if you need me I’m still bleeding on that stage, we’re still tying flower garland in Mysore, and I’m still standing on the shore of Galilee. I’m there, mouth gaped in between the Dome and the Wall. You know how to find me.
This piece is included in Eden Bloom Eschaton Life