Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Forgotten Words: "With emptiness all around"

There's something of Orpheus here. Orphic mysteries embedded in the mid 20th century repressed white teenage dreamscape. But the gods are made of mud. Voodoo totems and effigy worshipped and burned in the cult of celebrity possession ceremonies. While the man behind the curtain retreats into a terminal Graceland fantasy. In the end, the voracious American maenads sit before the profaned effigy of the cannibalized King burping up melodic chunks of mystery train and calling for feral hound dogs, ritually flensing the babyfat face off the next innocent child star and nailing it to the skull. Long live the King. The King is dead. Rust never sleeps. The mask slips again and again. And whosoever puts it on is fated to be ridden down by the old gods.

It was a low point. But revelatory. The Pythian Priest babbling in tongues is the Mystery of the Blues. The Great Translator, Robert Johnson's rider is the loa, Papa Legba, Met Kalfu. Watching Elvis spit pieces of bone out of his mouth is watching those old gods hollow him out from the inside. Elvis paying the Orphic price for making the long snake moan. Delphi. Memphis. Tupelo. Mississippi. Incantatory spells.

You lied when you said you loved me
And I had no cause to doubt you
But I'd rather go on hearing your lies
Than go on living without you
Now the stage is bare and I'm standing there
With emptiness all around


Don't you know I'm caught in a trap?
I can't walk out
Because I love you too much


Well, I'm so lonely
I get so lonely, I could die