Thursday, September 22, 2011

Steve Dalachinsky: For Billy Bang

a hero’s welcome 2 / the rainbow gladiator
for Billy Bang

america is unkind to its heroes
few streets with plaques
few obscure country roads renamed
i being ignorant historian
will not even bother to name even one
used to be that things used to be that way
like being in a storm with no clouds to blame it on
sketching perfect stories
flag folded into a neat triangle
      beckon / become these strings
                  that thought: lament
    remaining full / brought toward your chin
             blown away
                   expelled / womb
   emptied out of guts & self

& now American hero you are in someone else’s hands
in a system far far away yet connected always to HERE
& the thirst one feels of apprehension when apparitions appear
the thirst one feels / the thirst one has for comprehension
              the death of metaphor but not of soul

if everything we do is in the past then all our conversations are memories about to happen
& though you are gone your spirit has not even begun to touch down rest & reside here in
the present in the past in the future which is your music & your passion your occupation
                                         & your light
so it would seem then that we have unlimited time in the past which is now to gather
& to speak / to make music & to sing
illuminating – warrior – translator of emotions - to those who knew you – soldier
now M.I.A. – unpredictable big sadness awaits us – big joy from your SOUND
your art a postcard of the world – its beauty – its horror – its tenderness - its ferocity
you had a way of opening up the silences from within – cluttering them with form –
                  taming then unleashing language – twisting it in & out –
      your train of thought never drifting from your purpose - the hardship of battle
                                        & the spaces between things

          you no longer wait to be pulled away – the deities claim you now
welcome home hero – to a new birth every day - the clouds & birds possess you now
     all manner of clouds & birds to praise the great upheaval that your music brings
           bottled the way our dreams are - the way things reach us
                    the way we inhale & exhale the lyrical night

the way the music so sweetly assaults us from so many different directions
     surrounding us with an aura of freedom that seeps into our blood
   beyond ailments / pain &; bones - inside our life - as we grow “older”
                      sometimes weeping for the happy crowd

i could sing all day about the passing storm
tiny explorations of the horizon
the way the wind pronounces its name during the aftermath
limping home at war’s end / this never ending war

so march on / march on
a city is only as good as its music
your music filling the city’s voids & chaos’s
city boy from the country this will always be your home
    & the song that sometimes comes out wrong
               is always right -
so you do it your way
                      & i’ll do it my way
               & this way it becomes a thing. mine. yours.
                         ours. memory’s. time’s.

Bonus clips: