Chant Down Babylon

You cannot chant down Babylon, mon.  Not with music or anything else.  I refer of course to Bob Marley’s song.

Babylon always wins,  It’s the champ.  It will send you reeling with the damned on the plains of Gomorra.  Native son, you will live to see the city of your birth pulled down brick by brick.

Sometimes an artist transcends themselves.  I am thinking of the second movement of Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor.  If you haven’t heard this, I challenge you to listen to it without crying.  When I heard it I kept it down to wet eyes.  It is so sad and so sweet.  Don’t bother with the first and last movements; they are average, at least for Bach.

I have always thought my writing at least compares favorably with Hemingway or Fitzgerald, but probably not Cormac.  He’s the champ.  I cant do what he does, not for very long.  Besides, It’s not my strength as a writer.  Mine’s a kind of minimalism and immediacy that make characters jump off the page.  And I am humbled when I read Cormac outdoing himself.  Consider this passage from The   Crossing:

“He knew her well, this old woman of Mexico, her sons long dead in that blood and violence which her prayers and her prostrations seemed powerless to appease.  Her frail form was a constant in that land, her silent anguishings.  Beyond the church walls the night harbored a millennial dread panoplied in feathers and the scales of royal fish and if it yet fed upon the children still who could say what worse wastes of war and torment and despair the old woman’s constancy might not have stayed, what direr histories yet against which  could be counted at last nothing more than her small figure bent and mumbling, her crone’s hands clutching her beads of fruitseed.  Unmoving, austere, implacable.  Before just such a God.”

    That’s why he’s the heavyweight champion.  This kind of brilliance.

I feel the cold, stinking, sephrucral breath of poverty breathing on me.  WTF will become of me?

Damn this machine.  Since it broke down it’s been acting like a Ouija board.

Well, that’s all for tonight.  Peace and Light, everybody


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