Never Begin to Sing (5)
November 18, 2017
One in a series subtitled 10 Prose Poems about Sound by HILOBROW friend Damon Krukowski. Republished with the author’s permission from the 2004 collection The Memory Theater Burned (Turtle Point).
The guitar grew heavy, heavier each day. At first it was enough to shift my position while playing, but soon my legs began to ache from supporting its weight. When I couldn’t bear it any longer on my lap, I began placing it on a low bench covered in cloth to protect the wood. On the third night of this arrangement, the bench collapsed. The guitar was undamaged; its mass had changed and the wood was now a denser material than the floor. It had become impossible to lift the guitar without assistance, and as I travel alone, I had no choice but to leave it where it lay. The nightclub allowed me to extend my gig, for the time being, so the next day I set to work learning how to play the guitar as it lay on the stage. I found a rug, and performed cross-legged, with the guitar before me. I could no longer move its neck. As its weight increased, the guitar began to sink into the floor. The next evening, I lay prone on the rug and stretched out my arms, reaching over the top of the instrument rather than from below. Eventually the guitar sank level with the stage. I lay down beside it now, no longer plucking or strumming its strings but simply stroking its wood. I found that I too was growing heavy, perhaps from the immobility of this new position. The next evening, I did not get up after my performance. All night, I lay beside the guitar, as we sank together deeper into the ground. I could see the lights of the room above me, as far away as the stars on a clear night. When these lights faded, the guitar and I entered a world I had heard about in myth and song, but which I had never believed I would witness. I did not see it, exactly, but felt it seep around us, and then inside us, making us ever heavier. Once it had filled us both completely, I could no longer find any difference between myself and the guitar.
CURATED SERIES at HILOBROW: NEVER BEGIN TO SING by Damon Krukowski | WTC WTF by Douglas Wolk | COOLING OFF THE COMMOTION by Chenjerai Kumanyika | THAT’S GREAT MARVEL by Douglas Wolk | LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE by Chris Spurgeon | IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Alexandra Molotkow | UNFLOWN by Jacob Covey | ADEQUATED by Franklin Bruno | QUALITY JOE by Joe Alterio | CHICKEN LIT by Lisa Jane Persky | PINAKOTHEK by Luc Sante | ALL MY STARS by Joanne McNeil | BIGFOOT ISLAND by Michael Lewy | NOT OF THIS EARTH by Michael Lewy | ANIMAL MAGNETISM by Colin Dickey | KEEPERS by Steph Burt | AMERICA OBSCURA by Andrew Hultkrans | HEATHCLIFF, FOR WHY? by Brandi Brown | DAILY DRUMPF by Rick Pinchera | BEDROOM AIRPORT by “Parson Edwards” | INTO THE VOID by Charlie Jane Anders | WE REABSORB & ENLIVEN by Matthew Battles | BRAINIAC by Joshua Glenn | COMICALLY VINTAGE by Comically Vintage | BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh | WINDS OF MAGIC by James Parker | MUSEUM OF FEMORIBILIA by Lynn Peril | ROBOTS + MONSTERS by Joe Alterio | MONSTOBER by Rick Pinchera | POP WITH A SHOTGUN by Devin McKinney | FEEDBACK by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FTW by John Hilgart | ANNOTATED GIF by Kerry Callen | FANCHILD by Adam McGovern | BOOKFUTURISM by James Bridle | NOMADBROW by Erik Davis | SCREEN TIME by Jacob Mikanowski | FALSE MACHINE by Patrick Stuart | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE by Significant Objects | 12 MORE DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE by Significant Objects | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE AGAIN by Significant Objects | UNBORED MANIFESTO by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen | H IS FOR HOBO by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FRIDAY by guest curators