ART HURTS Records

, but it hurts SO GOOD!

How To Pass Wonder On (2001)

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wonder600Ten travelers meet on a street corner in San Diego. The first has alot to say about Kandinsky and he’s emphasizing every word; the second wants to relate a happy memory of his grandfather, but emphasizes every second word. The third feels the number three has cosmic significance, stressing every third word, and so on to the tenth who is holding forth on the nature of infinities and punctuates every tenth word. These hypothetical characters would dig Beston’s most avant-garde project, “How To Pass Wonder On” which navigates a mini-universe of meters and meanings over acoustic grooves ranging in influence from Brazilian capoeira music, to Cuban rumba, to American blues, to the Gnawa trance music of Morocco.

1. six
2. three
3. four
4. nine
5. eight
6. five
7. seven
8. two
9. one
10. ten
11. zero
12. outro

Analysis

 

Thoughts on Meanings and Method from Beston Barnett

 
“How to Pass Wonder On” is a collection of word-songs, each named for the meter (“1” through “10”) in which it was arranged.  The conceptual object was to explore the relationship between natural spoken rhythms and metrical or structural rhythms.  Though “1”, “2”, “4”, and “8” could all be counted the same, the basic melodic pattern in each repeats according to its meter.  Thus each song represented a unique challenge for me in terms of finding an aesthetic compromise between natural and metrical spoken rhythms:  I would take a set of lyrics and try to fit it to a meter.  Or, put another way, I would try to keep the natural flow of the words, but let the meter bring out its own emphasis.
 
The lyrics themselves developed out of a series of writing exercises.  Each is a sequence of thought trains, what might be called ‘streams of consciousness’, centered on a single simple word or idea.  What began as a mental way of getting past the blank page expanded into a larger narrative project.  The final lyrics grew directly out of these motivating words and concepts:
 
       6 – words and bones
       3 – three
       4 – fingers
       9 – dog jaw
       8 – my fantasy house
       5 – Sweet and Lowdown (movie with Sean Penn, directed by Woody Allen)
       7 – city
       2 – dried Mimosa seed pods
       1 – Kandinsky
       10 – infinity
       0 – things and meanings
 
In most cases, the choruses followed as simple melodic interpretations of a line or two from a verse. 
 
Once the rhythm of the lyrics solidified, I could then build up musical arrangements around the finished verses, drawing loosely from a lot of different musical traditions to try and match the mood of the words.  The most obvious folkloric influence is in the percussion: the music is dominated by the tan-tan (a Brazilian hand-drum) and the cajon (a flamenco drum I picked up in Spain which is also used in the local musics of Cuba and Peru).
 
The painting on the album cover is meant to be a visual parallel to the process by which the music was created.  To sum it up: start with something ‘natural’ or ‘meaningful’, superimpose it against a set of related structures to produce a series of pieces, and then enhance the series with color and texture.   The pattern of numbers in the center of the painting is the ‘natural’ element: they are actually the song titles in order from top-to-bottom and left-to-right.  The squares around the outside show counting systems like meters superimposed on the numbers in the middle.  The upper left is a kind of connect-the-dots by one: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10.  The second, clockwise, counts by two: 1-3-5-7-9, 2-4-6-8-10; the third by three: 1-4-7-10, 2-5-8, 3-6-9, and so on.  By the eighth, the pattern has fragmented into dots because the count is so high: 1-9, 2-10, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.  Lastly, paint and sculptural elements flesh the patterns out, as the musical arrangements flesh out the words and rhythms of the album.
 
In the final analysis, the conceptual element of the project can be thought of as only a vehicle for making music.  The variety of meters allowed me to stretch some traditional musics in new directions without plagiarizing them, and the rhythmic spoken word structure gave me leeway to navigate lyrical ideas with more depth than comes easily to melody and rhyme.  But, like most artistic endeavors, the goal remained to create something which its audience would find beautiful, or meaningful, or both.
 

Lyrics and Annotations

 

six

 
words looking for a home
looking for a heart to crawl into
words shining from within
words out walking on water
words standing up like stones
words raging blind like fire
like broken pillars at midnight     torn
and weeping     words full of desire
mumbling to each other     huddled
in corners     waiting in bent grocery lines
words desperate to turn the page
words yearning for the new beauty
on the gangplank    the madding crowd
always looking to the west
words tearing through your typewriter
ribbon     shrieking     alive
 
bones     glimmerings     two corners
a snake spinning on a spit
bones     spears in our hands
bones     glistening and wet     bones
two pairs of eyes rising     the sun also
smoke from wet grass     also bones
unafraid of the new tool
canoes pushing through the rushes
bones, like time itself, leaning forward
two by two     all of us
bones     gray eyes, gray eyes
looking out to the sun
a people of pale gold     scattered bands
roving     hunting the wild bones
we’re wearing only skins
wearing only skins     alive
 
words with their own meaning
keeping their own counsel
words torn and groping
words that are pushed to the brink
words like Grendel diving away
covering their sad faces
eyes with their own light     words
also with their own light     words
words running it down
holding slippery truth in the balance
one hand for killing, the other
for being killed     words mesmer-
ized     words caught in the lurch
living the space between only
words at the sacrifice, holding
the bleeding snake over their heads     alive
 

Notes on “six”

 
The music of “six” has basically a funk backbeat extended to 6/4 so the bar is broken up into threes, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, with the ‘snare’ on 2, 4, and 6.  In contrast, the words tend to be broken up into two lines per bar: 1-2-3, 4-5-6.  Between the second and third verse, there is a rumba-like break in which the triangle plays a funky palito pattern in 6.
 
13        “the madding crowd”  This phrase comes from Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”.
 
21        “rising the sun also”  From Ecclesiastes 1, in which the passing of human generations is compared to the rising and falling of the sun; it is from this Biblical passage which Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises takes its title.
 
26        “two by two”, like the animals boarding Noah’s ark (Genesis 6-8).
 
37        “words like Grendel diving away”  When Beowulf chases the monster Grendel back to his watery lair, he has already ripped off one of the monster’s arms.  In John Gardner’s retelling of the myth, Grendel is bested with words.
 

three

 
three standing there
their eyes glowing together
too much alike to be brothers
and one only a wisp
three fighting through the wreckage
holy swords gleaming and white
three as the second phase
the primary division     terrible
in their threeness     inner workings unknowable
watch them come
holy as pilgrims     weighed down
a world like fractured ice
the spoon, the fork, the knife
like kings dividing a piecemeal land
coming through the eye of your shining
telescope glass
 
I only see three     only
I only see three
my kaleidoscope’s broken
I only see three
 
the truth about clovers
the truth about clovers
crowding also into sunflowers
as they wilt at noon     and rise
alive, lithe, untried
the rhythm of cultures meshing
the rhythm of struggles     unity
in confusion
only the sense of a structure     ephemeral
clouds bursting at their seams
swirling and discoloring     untame
three as the first set of lines
where no lines belonged
quietly     a Buddha sits in the garden
looking for the force that through
the green fuse drives the flower
 
I only see three     only
I only see three
my kaleidoscope’s broken
I only see three
 
unfocusing     losing sense
tri-colored noise     tri-dimensional
wreckage     a lull like crickets
singing     six wings
six wings     mosaic beauty
shadows in their many shades     spinning
three spokes for a wheel
too complex to be two
almost square     jealously
narrowing their eyes over the board
plotting the endgame
eyes fixed, ruthless, fatally three
snatching at the crystal ball
our graphite faces
in your misty crystal battery
calculator screen
 
I only see three     only
I only see three
my kaleidoscope’s broken
I only see three
 

Notes on “three”

 
On “three”, I use a major scale with a b5 to produce a kind of dissonance to fit the melancholy of the verses.  The triangle plays a 6/8 samba tambourine pattern over the slow 3/4 backbeat.
 
3-4        “too much alike to be brothers / and one only a wisp”  This is a reference to the holy trinity: the ‘wisp’ is the holy ghost.
 
21        “the truth about clovers” is that there are no four-leafed ones, only three-leafed.
 
26-29        “the rhythm of cultures meshing…only the sense of a structure”  3/4 and 6/8 times predominate in the traditional cross-cultural musics of Cuba and Brazil.  They can often be disorienting to northerners, because the beginning and end points of musical phrases are not uniform.  This disorientation is sometimes called “losing the one.”
 
35-36        “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower” is the first line of a Dylan Thomas poem of the same title.  The poem expresses confusion, maybe anxiety, because the forces that give rise to life and to death are often the same.
 
42        “tri-colored noise”  All the colors in the visible spectrum can be produced by mixing three colors.
 
42        “tri-dimensional wreckage”  Any point can be located using three coordinates.
 
48        “too complex to be two”, or somewhat more than two.
 
49        “almost square”, or somewhat less than four.
 

four

 
as a baby touches the tail of a cat
as a lion touches his tamer
as a song touches more than lips
the yellow dust from a butterfly kiss
without you there’s a hole in me
without you there’s a hole in me
I don’t know where the hole is at
but there’s definitely something gone
 
I remember magic fingers
I remember your magical fingers
I remember magic fingers
just before I open my eyes
just before I open my eyes
 
in the coolest moment of morning
with my eyes still crusted with sleep
with the echoing of images blending
in the smallest circle of light
without you there’s a hole in me
without you there’s a hole in me
there’s a hole, there’s a hole
on the other side of my skin
 
I remember magic fingers
I remember your magical fingers
I remember magic fingers
just before I open my eyes
just before I open my eyes
 
we are all burning silver
we are all fiery gold
mothered by pearl   wind on the water
sweet honey in stone
without you there’s a hole in me
without you there’s a hole in me
like an open mine shaft’s vein
like a terrible, terrible eye
 
I remember magic fingers
I remember your magical fingers
I remember magic fingers
just before I open my eyes
just before I open my eyes
 

Notes on “four”

 
Most of “four” alternates between minor verses which are in swing time and major choruses in a straight time accented by the Caribbean feel of the electric guitar.  Towards the end, the song moves into double-time and the guitars play fast triplet arpeggios characteristic of the guitar bands of Zaire.
 
 
29        “wind on the water”  This is an image from Genesis 1:2, also used in song ‘one’, line 51
 
30        “sweet honey in stone”  This is a reference to Deuteronomy 32:13 – from which the greatest activist female African-American a cappella group in the world also takes its name.
 

nine

 
like a twig snap     the rabid jaw, the clawed paw
snap     what’s hiding beneath     too
huge, too horrible to fit on the page
a viper in the bedsheets     human history
absurdity draped with meaning     countless tragedies
told and retold as we sneer
and point our wet fingers     when
the teeth clamp shut     when a spiderbite takes
our daughter     when a toe is lost to the mower     sprayed
out in clumps of grass     when
they shovel us under at Ypres, Verdun, Stalin-
grad     tragedy is a puppeteer
he is mouthing our mourning with
strings     with strings and faces at the bubble
leering, distorted     baring their teeth
in laughter
 
the dog jaw is there     the dog jaw is waiting in car
trunks     lurking in walk-in closets
hiding in family trees     smiling out
from the basement, the cemetery, the slaughterhouse
the dog jaw is drooling over meat
ingratiating and guffawing     with whiskey
breath     mindless     biding its time
armies slouching through the desert     hairy     sticky
with blood     a deathmask grin     circling
nearer     brown and gray wings     ugly heads
like a sudden switch of light bulbs
a party gone awry     when
the drunk blade unsheathes     when
the werewolves begin to tingle
stretching their thick spines
in laughter
 

Notes on “nine”

 
I used 9/8, so disconcertingly close to straight 4/4, to increase the jarring effect of the lyrics on ‘”nine”.    As in “six”, the interaction of cajon and triangle evoke that between congas and clave in Cuban rumba.
 
4        “a viper in the bedsheets”  Rickman Powers wrote a poem in high school entitled “Apathy” which I remember went something like:
 
                       I saw the snake at midday
                       Paid it no attention
                       And found it in my bed that night
 
11        “shovel us under at Ypres, Verdun, Stalingrad” is a synthesis of lines from Carl Sandburg’s “The Grass” which Mrs. Venable, my eighth grade English teacher, so lovingly made us memorize and read aloud.
 
17        “the dog jaw” is a practical joke.  You rub your jaw and say something like, ‘man, my dog jaw’s really been acting up lately.’  When the victim asks what dog jaw is, you say, ‘here, you can feel mine right here.’  Then when the victim reaches out a hand to feel your jaw, you bark real loud and snap at their fingers.  Then everyone laughs.
 
24        “slouching through the desert” evokes Yeat’s poem “The Second Coming”: “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”  Lines from this poem have been used a lot in modern literature.
 

eight

 
bust a hole in the wall     make ART happen
breathe in it     throw down your wet towel over it
an insight in every corner
tiles     green brick fired black and salt green
sea waves to hold my dishes
a tree will grow through it     fix my bed to the root
sheets patterned like a starry sky
at the head, a sensual darkness
a beautiful woman sleeping naked
a moat around it     soft jungle sounds
the ceiling sloping and billowing
water moving throughout like veins of warm gold
wood stained dark, almost ebony
a Japanese feeling     stones, bamboo
crisp paper, light     no angle right
dried mud and sea glass
light refracting in afternoons
in the living room     with the bird cages tilting
and sunlight as in Venice     oily
olive and singing     two huge stones
to make the door, an old Spanish sort
with a heavy brass knob guarding secrets
and levels     stairs     tricks     trapeze
candles in the alcoves     blue-green glass
low domes     lopsided arches
reeds swirled into flowers
a library threatening cave-in     in no order
save my own     skylights and turtle shells
manuals for taming lions
spelunking made easy and how to call dragons
books by my best friends
star charts and peeling novels
allegories and tragic plays     some of course
dusty and forgotten amid threadbare rugs
African weavings across the ceiling
a showerhead on the patio
and old sail for a curtain     the water running
away over smooth stones     every other corner
perfect for a hammock     for watching
green frogs sputter in the fountain     much made of
peacock feathers     patina’d bronze
dry orange peel     cut granite
bent and barky wood     silk and beadwork
from my wife     alabaster
fainting couches built into the walls
a room of one’s own     honeysuckle, bougainvillea
wisteria on the balustrade
beams carved with the images of our lives
a secret door behind the pantry down
to the dank basement     playground for gnomes
dirty tools, cobwebs, and the smell of peat
everything rank with meaning
scribbling from my teeming brain     the music of the mockingbird
never cage it
 

Notes on “eight”

 
The only song without anything resembling a chorus, “eight” speeds up slowly until the climactic line at the end.  A lot of tracks of random sounds and percussion were allowed to fade in and out of the mix to give the repetitive riff some variety.
 
4        “green brick” is unfired brick.
 
30        “how to call dragons” refers to song “two”.  See note on song “two”, line 21-22.
 
49        “a secret door”  This whole song owes a lot to Robert Frost’s Directive which also leads the reader through an extensive imagined landscape to a symbolic secret spot which casts the earlier description in a new light.
 

five

 
in the end, smashing the guitar, and huddling against the pole
as of something beautiful, red, and rare
turned gray and gristly     swallowing the pain again and again
til it comes hulking out     raw and back-stabbing
and real     so I remember myself     cursing past midnight
hypnotized by rage     love souring and piercing
in that weird hour when it’s all torn apart
and nothing is learned
in the grips of a chemical tide     heat     water
breaking through     red rage     and images of happiness
crinkling and drying     burnt at the edges     suddenly
black and white     and brown and sodden with tears
there is a stone, massive, with blood grooves for the letting
and only tied to it can I have my guitar back
 
clouds blowing in low and hot     and it’s too bright
melting     evil magic     a heavy sky
living with fences     breathing on glass     transformed
in an instant     the living wing become less
the living hand, a fist forever     stiff
won’t give again     won’t run over the fretboard
like an outstretched apology     like a whirling weeping bird
cutting arcs     no
so tip the bottle, make a toast: I made a mistake
I will cut off my fist
there is a stone, massive, with blood grooves for the letting
and only tied to it can I have my guitar back
 
to wrestle the angel, I, wretch     begging to be beaten
to be overcome     yes     and the strings
cranked down     in silence     racked
the pole     the cold ground     the trains     melting in salt
opening up     a hothouse inside
like halved tomatoes     these temperatures never mixing
the cold skin and hot flesh
wind made white at the furnace core     love
is a red line with a terrified flash at the end
smashing the guitar     with grainy eyes
with splintered breath     with dirty wing hewn
and aching knees     crouching at the slick altar
there is a stone, massive, with blood grooves for the letting
and only tied to it can I have my guitar back
 

Notes on “five”

 
There are a number of flamenco elements in “five” – the instrumentation including cajon and Spanish guitar, and a reliance on the Phrygian scale – but the underlying groove and cymbal-work is jazz-flavored.  In this sense, it follows in the footsteps of other flamenco fusions like Coltrane’s ‘Ole’.  A second upright bass track uses the bow to create ethereal harmonic effects.
 
1        “in the end, smashing the guitar and huddling against the pole”  At the end of Woody Allen’s faux docudrama Sweet and Lowdown, Emmet Ray smashes his guitar against a lightpost in a train yard and then collapses against it, weeping and crying, “I made a mistake.” after he loses the love of his life.  We are told that he never plays the guitar again.  Most of this song is about that scene.
 
20        “won’t run over the fretboard”  See note on line 1.
 
23        “I made a mistake”  See note on line 1.
 
27        “to wrestle the angel, I, wretch”  This comes from a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem “Carrion Comfort”.  The last lines are “That night, that year / Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.”
 
30        “the pole, the cold ground, the trains”  See note on line 1.
 

seven

 
the city is a jumble     the
city is a rumble     the
city is a maze of words
a maze of quick
glances     of
strings like a cradle     of
dark patches stretching over a
map     and little bright colored
lines where you’ve been
a matrix of
throbbing stories     criss-
crossing and lying to one another
at night the city
is a star-mirror
black with pin-prick whites
neon nebulae burning and
 
winging through the city
on electrical wings
with hard-eyed smiles frowning down
 
winging through the city
kicking up the brown stones
tearing steel girders loose
 
winging through the city
living on electrical fire
after-burning billboard lights
 
winging through the city
straightening the bent arms of beggars
switching outfits in a telephone booth
 
winging through the city
 
the city has no plan     it’s
breathing heavy
giving the demographic push
all those color
lines gone tec-
tonic     subduction
zones     race faults
cracks in the concrete
jungle     fa-
cets winking     the
city is a pregnant fortress
birthing god knows
what     to-
morrow maybe
you feel she is about to
pop     when you’re
 
winging through the city
packing meat crates
sniffing at trash cans of Chinese
 
winging through the city
in crazed demolition
blasting two million love songs
 
winging through the city
screaming back at subway brakes
mohawks cut like skyscrapers
 
winging through the city
calling out number nine
number nine, number nine
 
winging through the city
 
how can that many “I”s fit in
one place?
going the opposite way on the train
reading their maga-
zines     pre-
tending away     is
there room, psychically speak-
ing?     if
a mind is a universe
this is a ten-million universe is-
land     a living to-
po     a promontory
for anti-claustrophobe cra-
zies    more living than
dead     but plenty of ghosts
all the same     take
earth     huddled with the
beggars     hollow-eyed in
an alley     warming her
hands over the sewer
the city stands on its own two
feet     grimaces
spits at the curb     cusses and
laughs way out loud
 
winging through the city
shocking out lightning rods
dodging falling air-conditioners
 
winging through the city
pulsing through the network
overflowing in a thousand shit-pipes
 
winging through the city
clutching the arms of opera-goers
parachuting into paradise
 
winging through the city
rolling up its sleeves
spitting in its palms, watch out now
 
winging through the city
 

Notes on “seven”

 
The musical arrangement on “seven” is loosely based on Moroccan Gnawa trance music, with heavy  cymbal-work and the upright bass, played with a pick, imitating the guimbri.  I think the fast tempo, ranting vocals, and congo playing recall the sound of the Last Poets.
 
27        “straightening the bent arms of beggars”  When asking for money, a beggar holds his arm straight out.
 
37-38        “concrete jungle”  One of Bob Marley’s best songs describes the harshness and inhumanity of living in the city.
 
56-57        “number nine”  One of the Beatles’ strangest songs, from The White Album.
 
72-73        “more living than dead” refers to the amazing fact that, as depicted by the shape of the population curve, there are more humans living today than have ever died.
 
79-82        “the city…out loud”  This is an evocation of Carl Sandburg’s poem “Chicago”.
 
85        “dodging falling air conditioners”  Peter Bibring tells me that an inordinate number of people in NYC die each year when accidentally struck by falling window-unit air conditioners (I have not verified this fact).
 

two

 
there are murmurings at the edges of our eyes
and in the crisp angling of grass underfoot
the wooden match striking
squatting around our little altar     a flame
almost invisible     skirting up and down
the seed pods like a straying cat ducking
the thrown can     the leaves wrinkling over
and into themselves, then floating from their pyre like
freed spirits     calling
to the murmurings at the edges of our eyes     murmuring
become song     through that thin oriental
smoke at the brilliant edge of things
our heads cocked sideways in concentration
all our molecules whispering the lie of edges
humming in their little frequencies     their secret
tangent touches     matter momentarily
outside meaning     outside meaning
and outside this small
sphere of discovery     great dragon
beauty is waiting to pounce
 
my grandfather and I match-calling dragons
in the backyard under a tree of pears
in a space cleared of the rotten ones
amid these angry, sweet-toothed bees
handing down some kind of Indian wisdom
how to entertain kids maybe
how to pass wonder on
to shift what we see     see something else
light a match: there is a wild orange
hiding in dry bark     close your eyes
and the sun is only a purple blot
see only edges     only motion
only hot and cold     only tile     only
what’s in between     only ripe and rot
only love
only blue, bright sky-wings
only green scales flexing in the leaves
only breath like living wind
only dragon-eye red gazing unblinking
from the fire
 
I love no scent like the burning of the mimosa’s
dried seed pods     a signal
an excitation     rearrangement
of meaning     the molecule’s shivering speech
like a first beckoning kiss
calling orange-tinted newness
out to play     the royal shining scales
of change     and quick claws darting
behind bushes     a cat’s slitted pupil
blinking down     waiting     searching the horizon
sweeping the perimeter     transfixed
by the burning bush     awaiting its crackling
voice     walking through thin white smoke
our features frozen
become part of something     calling in the quietest
voice, the dragon
 

Notes on “two”

 
The groove on “two” is based primarily on Brazilian capoeira music: the guitar goes back and forth between 1 and b7 imitating the ‘Angola’ rhythm which the berimbau would traditionally play.  At the end, the arrangement speeds up into a samba feel, and the tan-tan plays the part it was designed for.
 
21-22        “my grandfather and I match-calling dragons / in the backyard”  My grandfather, Richard Weesner, did actually try and convince me that burning dried seed pods from the Mimosa tree would call dragons.  We even tried it once.
 
25        “Indian wisdom”  My grandfather was a scholar of Native American history and folklore.
 
51-53        “the burning bush…voice”  Moses received his calling when god spoke to him through a burning bush (Exodus 3).
 

one

 
lines   spines   doodles in red   blue   and azul
stand back sucker I’m’a Kandinsky you
my secret semaphore structure’s more than you can chew
it’s lines   spines   doodles in red   blue   and azul
 
oodles of noodles streaming across the page
sage in his clarity   knowing the colors like brothers
one ear pressed against the speaker   drawing out
its swells   its tremolos transformed   its bells
and crescendos reborn   they speak to each other
each brother   another stitch in the witchy pattern
witching the canvas this way   numbering them
riding the blue horse over them   trampling them
sampling them   a scientist probing his own neurons
turned on   terrible   punching yellow
pinching green   seen scribbling musical phrases across the pages
tramping brown across the town
unwound   spinning around bright planets in a purple sky
rainbows in our eyes   evidence of the nonsense
a composition labyrinth   a maze of rays
and when you cease to doubt that is when you find your way out
 
lines   spines   doodles in red   blue   and azul
stand back sucker I’m’a Kandinsky you
my secret semaphore structure’s more than you can chew
it’s lines   spines   doodles in red   blue   and azul
 
a postcard to those who are also dreaming of its
bright face   the clock’s tick-tock mired in shining space
gesture wired in place   the paintbrush held
aloft   tossed   and with eyes looking through you cries
I know something you don’t know   ain’t
everybody got soul   chaos   control   chaos
control   bowling through the palette   color like coal
lit from within   burning   brandishing
boiling past the abstract   outlandishing
how does light work really   on us I mean?
does green shine spectral sparks at our spleens?
with what voice does red’s sheen speak to our hearts?
our parts   puppets in his spectral art
dancing under his purple nights   his yellow lights
his orange kites   his blue nights and teal
dizzy   spinning around and around the color wheel
 
lines   spines   doodles in red   blue   and azul
stand back sucker I’m’a Kandinsky you
my secret semaphore structure’s more than you can chew
it’s lines   spines   doodles in red   blue   and azul
 
letting it come   drum down on his brain like rain
the criss-crossing planes   the shapes of things
rings   perceptual stirrings   happenings
winging through two-dimensional space like
the Red Baron   staring at the blank canvas til tracers rise
to its white face   ablaze with anti-patterns
and the touch of brush like a wind over the water
a soul animating the whole   making it
rock and roll   and I myself
and the warped pencil are doing something like that
I myself and the warped pencil
are doing something like that   something like
 
lines   spines   doodles   shapes
in pink   green   orange   and grape
the face of things to come’s reflected back from your plate
create   create   create
 

Notes on “one”

 
“one” has basically an acoustic hip-hop feel, though the idea of it being in 1/4 can be heard more clearly in the pulsing rhythm of the chorus when the backbeat goes away.  A similar chord progression was also used by Joan Armatrading in her song, “Opportunity”.
 
7-9        “one ear…crescendos reborn”  Wassily Kandinsky received much of the inspiration for his non-objective paintings from music.
 
11        “numbering them” Many of Kandinsky’s compositions were numbered as parts of a series rather than titled.
 
12        “riding the blue horse”  Kandinsky is associated with a circle of artists known as the Blue Rider group, from a magazine in which they often exhibited called Der Blaue Reiter.
 
30-31        “chaos, control, chaos, control”  A wood board which Kandinsky painted on both sides figures prominently in the play Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare.  One side is colorful and playful, the other somber and geometric, prompting a protagonist in the cinema production to spin it from a wire-hanger, intoning, “chaos, control, chaos, control.”
 
51        “a wind over the water”  This is an image from Genesis 1:2, also used in song “four”, line 29.
 

ten

 
heads roll, waves roll, musics roll
crashing into each other     twisting and folding
making a new music sound ancient     the sky trembling
overhead     drawing black lines around my body
drums no longer beating     seabirds caught
in their own air     not struggling but singing     this
is the scene I am picturing in my head     the air
viscous     ten footsteps in the sand
a castle ongoing     turrets upon turrets     bridges
and balconies     so many they double in on themselves
a maze rising into clouds     ten shadows across
the white shore     a singing     a thousand sounds
things coiling in patterns     coiling always in
into the belly     exalting wings     oily design
tired from our long bath, I lie down on the starry
freckled ground     in stately blue, the king of numbers crowned
 
lay down, lay down on the silver shore and let my head just wash away
lay down, lay down on the silver shore and let my head just wash away
lay down, lay down on the silver shore, on the silver shore
 
numbers crunching the fields     counting the whites
of their eyes     the cold breaths before their faces
like horses, we are saddled     one long line     infinite
in two ways     sharp smoke from dry grass
numbers stinging eyes and not hearts     a line
behind skulls     a string stretched taut     infinitely dividing
nautilus bones     a glass sky
unbreaking     tracing and retracing these footsteps
peering out the slatted window     peeling sky-blue paint on the walls
an alley leading on forever
rivers in the grain of wood     eddies, banks, wind patterns
veins in green leaves as black trunks arch skyward singing
 
lay down, lay down on the silver shore and let my head just wash away
lay down, lay down on the silver shore and let my head just wash away
lay down, lay down on the silver shore, on the silver shore
on the silver shore, on the silver shore
lay down, lay down like the day before, nothing less or more
lay down, lay down, score on score through the open door
lay down, lay down, let the waves roar, sea birds swoop and soar
lay down, lay down at the spinning core of the storyboard
 

Notes on “ten”

 
“ten” is a slow ballad with a whole step modulation towards the end.  The chord progression is I, Vmi, IImi, IVmi6, V7#9.
 
4        “drawing black lines around my body”  refers to the way in which much early modern painting (Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso) uses dark outlining to delineate figures and objects in the frame.  This has the effect of collapsing the picture onto the plane (decreasing the three-dimensionality of the scene) while strengthening or solidifying the composition.
 

zero

 
mr. thing and ms. meaning
their love, a garden of fences between them
thing calling out, “look at the tree”
meaning smiling back, “think of the apple”
a whole enough tree, or so it seemed on better days
on bad days:
       meaning piling metaphor on steaming metaphor
       the first sin and the falling
       a cherry to be plucked, broken, defiled
       or the aspirant act: man, feeling for god, reaching up
and thing barking out
       “I am done with apple-picking now
       let me taste, be satisfied with
       the golden sheen, the crisp wet flesh, the sharp bite
       come and eat!”
backs turned, furious
hissing each to the other
in their inward way
       “I know you
       I know none of this is true”
this ragged rifting of subject and object
of eye and I, of genius and genus
of the knife and its brutal task
and pointing their mental fingers, indict,
       “why do you persist?”
and so, turning to the loved one within:
 
I know you   I know you
I know none of it’s true
I know bright child eyes see through
none of it true   I
knew   I know you   I
 
sister meaning and brother thing
in a maze of their own making
meaning casting and recasting him,
       “what are you?
       why do you love me?”
and thing hiding between the words
tired of their thumbtack parade
their pecking and pigeonholing
the prince and the sorceress
the pride and the wanting
the sad sack and the party girl
both sorry now, I think
going around talking to themselves
talking in their sleep
remembering their first names
given to them at the foot of the tree
the monkeys that came cautiously down
their first meaning, their original thing
sad to think of love that way
driving at night, thing willing it to end,
“we damage ourselves, we are wrong medicines”
and meaning’s haunted eyes, lips pressed thin
replies, “I hate these roles we play in”
so thing whispers warmly to the meaning within:
 
I know you   I know you
I know none of it’s true
I know bright child eyes see through
none of it true   I
knew   I know you   I
 
thing and meaning in the crucible
a battleground with coordinates in the real and the imaginary
truth and beauty constantly changing sides
their love between them
in white burning bonds
staring across at each other with changing eyes
at first, unseeing, then laughing
then startled, afraid, angry for years,
and then desperate, needy,
then clear with knowing, caring even,
then tired, mixed flashes of compassion and contempt,
and finally turned inward
seeing a meaning within the thing
a thing within the meaning
we will take each other with us
we will walk our separate ways
talking into our shirt pockets
and dreaming through the landscape
this finally enough
and meaning softly to the thing within:
 
I know you   I know you
I know none of it’s true
I know bright child eyes see through
none of it true   I
knew   I know you   I
 

Notes on “zero”

 
Musically, “zero” is the exception to the other songs because it has no set meter.  Instead of allowing the word rhythms to be dictated by the meter, the meter is determined line by line based on the natural rhythm of the words.    This means that a line in 3/4 might be followed by one in 7/8 followed by one in 5/4, etc.  Also, the tempo goes through some contortions, cutting by a third at the beginning of each chorus and building smoothly back up to tempo by the verse.  The music does not stem from one particular genre or another, but the melodic feeling of the chorus owes something to Mindy Smith, a Nashville songwriter.  See the original manuscript.
 
2-9        “their love, a garden…broken, defiled”  These lines conjure up imagery from the story of the garden of Eden found in Genesis 2-3.
 
10        “the aspirant act”  Robert Frost in his poem “After Apple Picking” used the apple as a symbol of human aspiration, likening the act of reaching up for an apple to that of reaching for something beyond ourselves.
 
12        “I am done with apple-picking now” from Frost’s “After Apple Picking”, see note on line 10.
 
22        “of genius and genus”  Modern critical theory tells us that art can be viewed as the product of historical forces and cultural context rather than the work of individuals.  However, as an artist, it is difficult to see one’s work as anything but individual creation.  In sociology, similar debate is often described as ‘nature versus nurture’.  In criticism, it might be described as ‘genius versus genus.’
 
46-49        “remembering their first names…their original thing”  As in lines 2-9, these lines conjure Edenic images, but this time with monkeys in the picture – suggesting a sort of synthesis of creation myth and evolution.
 
62        “coordinates in the real and the imaginary”  Imaginary numbers are the square roots of negative numbers.  Mathematically, it is sometimes helpful to solve engineering problems by mapping onto the ‘complex’ plane in which one axis is real and the other imaginary.  Here, the idea is extended to emotional problems.
 

Referenced or Relevant Work

 

After Apple Picking

by Robert Frost

 
My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.
 

Directive

by Robert Frost

 
Back out of all this now too much for us,
Back in a time made simple by the loss
Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off
Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather,
There is a house that is no more a house
Upon a farm that is no more a farm
And in a town that is no more a town.
The road there, if you’ll let a guide direct you
Who only has at heart your getting lost,
May seem as if it should have been a quarry –
Great monolithic knees the former town
Long since gave up pretense of keeping covered.
And there’s a story in a book about it:
Besides the wear of iron wagon wheels
The ledges show lines ruled southeast-northwest,
The chisel work of an enormous Glacier
That braced his feet against the Arctic Pole.
You must not mind a certain coolness from him
Still said to haunt this side of Panther Mountain.
Nor need you mind the serial ordeal
Of being watched from forty cellar holes
As if by eye pairs out of forty firkins.
As for the woods’ excitement over you
That sends light rustle rushes to their leaves,
Charge that to upstart inexperience.
Where were they all not twenty years ago?
They think too much of having shaded out
A few old pecker-fretted apple trees.
Make yourself up a cheering song of how
Someone’s road home from work this once was,
Who may be just ahead of you on foot
Or creaking with a buggy load of grain.
The height of the adventure is the height
Of country where two village cultures faded
Into each other. Both of them are lost.
And if you’re lost enough to find yourself
By now, pull in your ladder road behind you
And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me.
Then make yourself at home. The only field
Now left’s no bigger than a harness gall.
First there’s the children’s house of make-believe,
Some shattered dishes underneath a pine,
The playthings in the playhouse of the children.
Weep for what little things could make them glad.
Then for the house that is no more a house,
But only a belilaced cellar hole,
Now slowly closing like a dent in dough.
This was no playhouse but a house in earnest.
Your destination and your destiny’s
A brook that was the water of the house,
Cold as a spring as yet so near its source,
Too lofty and original to rage.
(We know the valley streams that when aroused
Will leave their tatters hung on barb and thorn.)
I have kept hidden in the instep arch
Of an old cedar at the waterside
A broken drinking goblet like the Grail
Under a spell so the wrong ones can’t find it,
So can’t get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn’t.
(I stole the goblet from the children’s playhouse.)
Here are your waters and your watering place.
Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
 

The Force That Through The Green Fuse Drives The Flower

by Dylan Thomas

 
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.
The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.
The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.
The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.
And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.
 

Carrion Comfort

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

 
Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoíd thee and flee?
Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, cheer.
Cheer whóm though? The héro whose héaven-handling flúng me, fóot tród
Me? or mé that fóught him? O whích one? is it eách one? That níght, that yéar
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.
 

Concrete Jungle

by Bob Marley

 
no sun will shine
in my day today
the high yellow moon
won’t come out to play
I say darkness has covered my light
and has changed my day into night
so where is the sun to be found?
will someone tell me now!
’cause light must be somewhere to be found
instead of concrete jungle
where the living is heartless
concrete jungle
man you got to do your best
no chains around my feet
but I’m not free
I know I am bound here in captivity
yeh, I’ve never known what happiness is
I’ve never known what sweet caress is
still, I’ll be always laughing like a clown
won’t somebody help me ’cause
I’ve got to pick myself from off the ground
in this ya concrete jungle
where the living is harder
I said what do you got for me now
concrete jungle ah won’t you let me be now
concrete jungle …
 
Chicago
by Carl Sandburg
 
Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:
 
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen the marks
of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cun-
ning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Bareheaded,
Shoveling,
Wrecking,
Planning,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse,
and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing!
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.
 

Grass

by Carl Sandburg

 
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work–
I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg.
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and the passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?
I am the grass.
Let me work.
 

The Second Coming

by W.B. Yeats

 
Turning and turning in the widening gyre,
The falcon cannot hear the falconer,
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
the ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
 
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand;
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When some vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight; somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds,
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
 

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

by Thomas Gray

 
The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow’r
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wand’ring near her secret bow’r,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould’ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twitt’ring from the straw-built shed,
The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire’s return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke:
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye Proud, impute to These the fault,
If Memory o’er their Tomb no Trophies raise,
Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flatt’ry soothe the dull cold ear of death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway’d,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time did ne’er unroll;
Chill Penury repress’d their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village Hampden that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some mute inglorious Milton, here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country’s blood.
Th’ applause of list’ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o’er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation’s eyes,
Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse’s flame.
Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet ev’n these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spelt by th’ unletter’d muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e’er resign’d,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing ling’ring look behind?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
E’en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
E’en in our Ashes live their wonted Fires.
For thee, who, mindful of th’ unhonour’d dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
Haply some hoary-headed Swain may say,
‘Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
‘There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
‘Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Mutt’ring his wayward fancies he would rove,
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or cross’d in hopeless love.
‘One morn I miss’d him on the custom’d hill,
Along the heath and near his fav’rite tree;
Another came, nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;
‘The next with dirges due in sad array
Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.’
THE EPITAPH
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A Youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.
Fair Science frown’d not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark’d him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heav’n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Mis’ry all he had, a tear,
He gain’d from Heav’n (’twas all he wish’d) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose,)
The bosom of his Father and his God.
 

Exerpts from the King James Bible

 

GENESIS 1

[1] In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
[2] And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
[3] And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
[4] And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
[5] And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
[6] And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
[7] And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
 

GENESIS 2

[16] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
[17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
[18] And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
[19] And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
[20] And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
[21] And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
[22] And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
[23] And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
[24] Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
[25] And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
 

GENESIS 3

[1] Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
[2] And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
[3] But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
[4] And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
[5] For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
[6] And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
[7] And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
[8] And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
 

EXODUS 3

[1] Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
[2] And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
[3] And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
[4] And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
 

DEUTERONOMY 32

[9] For the LORD’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
[10] He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
[11] As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
[12] So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.
[13] He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;
[14] Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.

 

ECCLESIASTES 1

[4] One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
[5] The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
[6] The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
[7] All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
[8] All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
[9] The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
[10] Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
[11] There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.