Archive for February 23rd, 2011

A WORD IS WORTH A THOUSAND PICTURES

I go through phases with music–and in recent years, I’ve especially been listening to motion-picture soundtracks/filmscores.  In most cases (as with the aforementioned Inception) I get the music, after seeing the movie.  But sometimes I get it before seeing the film.  I haven’t seen The Dark Knight yet.  But I purchased the CD of the filmscore at Barnes & Noble, right after the movie was released.  It was just sitting on the new-release rack, and I sampled it at one of those headphone stations–and was shocked at its powerful beauty!  This was one of the best filmscores I’d ever heard in my life–and it still is!  I don’t how many times I’ve listened to it, and how many times I’ll listen to it again!  If you haven’t bought the CD already, I highly recommend The Dark Knight: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Music Composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard (2008) (UPC 0 9362-49860-0 3)!

After listening to this filmscore, for three years, I finally attempted (and completed) a music-impression poem inspired by it.  And like this, the poem was also included in my writers’ group’s monthly newsletter–though much more recently.

As with all my music-impression poems, the words have nothing to do with the music–I just wrote down the images it evoked, as I listened to it.  So the text for this piece has nothing to do with with the movie at all (it couldn’t, since I still haven’t seen it).  Yet I’d like to share it, for your curiosity, if not enjoyment.  (Note: The metal that makes the white man crazy was the term the Sioux used for gold–and this can be found in one of my favorite books of all time, Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, as told through John G. Neihardt (Flaming Rainbow) (originally published in 1932–ISBN 0-671-80381-6).)

Filmscore of The Dark Knight: Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard

Scott ____

A turbine grinds sand into power, making coal obsolete for all but diamond manufacture.  Yet the rock-that-made-the-white-woman-crazy now enables light-speed travel.  And the next True Sioux wears the metal-that-made-the-white-man-crazy ’round his waist.  Planetary perfection gleams from her naked hips, as she spins through her new house.  And when the wrecker’s ball busts it a century later, I see her for the first time.  Sharks flee sea lions who’ve seen them first.  A dog flees me, as I chase it back into its yard.  For might becomes fright when confronted.  An Argentine rancher rides into the sunrise, and I go to sleep for the day.  A stallion grazes gracefully on the milk-that-became-grass.  A porchlight splits darkness into columns that smash upon the concrete, blocking the front door.  They wave from a carousel, as I approach the separate universe we call Heaven.  For ghosts don’t haunt us, we haunt them.  Yet they don’t mind.  A crystal doorknob finds me, along the street.  And I pick it up, and carry it home.  Bees emerge from an old drum, to pollinate the passionflowers of age.  A herd of helicopters lifts off, its pilots armed to recover da Vinci’s stolen sketches–as the sword-wielding thieves fight to the last woman, arguing where to sell them.  My chest tightens, as I read my own fiction from the future.  Her pregnant morning is my dream of what I could do to revive our dying evening.  Bison trample the ground of those who slaughtered them for fun, in my television-mind I cannot completely escape–having lived in the eye of the motion-picture box since birth.  But if I cast it into a dumpster, I’ll simply buy another.  Perhaps, however, I can weaken its intrusion by writing before it while its eye is shut.  Obviously so.  For the bison now trample the air or the water instead.  Such is the power of words. 


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