Never Begin to Sing (6)
November 21, 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).
When I first began to sing this song, I was inspired by feelings of love and beauty. But this song has continued long past its inspiration; I have been singing, continuously, for many years now, and my inspiration was — as it turned out — only momentary. This song is so familiar I can sing it somewhat automatically, while I accomplish other tasks such as eating, washing, and obviously writing this page. But what I cannot do is sing another song. I have been told that there are Tibetan monks who are able to sing two tunes simultaneously, but these monks must not sing a song such as I have been singing all these years. It takes the whole voice to sing this song; the mind can wander momentarily — it is remarkable how much can be accomplished in a moment — however the voice must be concentrated, indeed the whole body must participate to some degree. This is because this song is sung at top volume. It must be extremely loud. This was an aspect of my initial inspiration, and I will never compromise that vision. It is a song that — for all its other defects, which I now know all too well — is incomparably, magnificently loud. I believe that it may be the loudest song ever composed, and if I am not the loudest singer who ever lived, I must rank fairly high among those that have gone before, as I have never met a louder singer in my lifetime. Some contend that it is difficult to compare, because other singers claim it is impossible to perform in my presence. They say that this is because of my continuous singing, but I believe it is simply egotism, a common fault of singers. It may be that I am typical in this regard. But my song, and its volume, are anything but typical. About this song: it is very simple, however it expresses all that I have just said. It also expresses my desire for it to end. But it is perpetual. I will die before this song ends, and then it will carry on without me — still at a deafening volume. There is no other way for this song to be sung.
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