The death and triumph of rock and roll

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By Lourd Ernest H. De Veyra

Ten tabs down. Grassfield of cigarette butts carpets the room.
The window frames the moon.
The eye misperceives the moon.
The mind misperceives the world.
Ten tabs down. A case of beer reduced to its barest amber essence.
Scent of puke hanging in here like a junkie friend refusing to leave.
Ghostly smoke.
Scattered strips of aluminum rest on the floor— sordid confetti.
Scattered splinter of shadows.
The secret strips of solitude inscribed in his bones.
Ten tabs down. Black dog
Sleeps under the bed. Fat ticks and incessant fleas
Pepper the face of decaying wall.
Confused calendars of Tanduay and naked women
With bad makeup and bad hair caused by bad lighting.
Imprints of dried spit, piss, and sweat on the bedsheet.
Last week's newspapers lie crumpled beneath the table.
Cracked clock face. Cobwebs on the mouth of the amplifier.
He rearranges his bones on the bed.
He picks up the rusty Strat
And cradles it like a long lost skeletal child.
He runs his hands down the neck,
Sweeping away the dust of forgetfulness,
Slow and seemly,
Rust on the strings
Tattooing his fingertips,
Like grill burns, adding new lines–

His destiny is rewired
A chord has arrived

A riff announces itself
Inside his head
Rekindling old beats
Blood reddening

Blue jamble of notes–
Flame forms
Inside fingers

Blues scales blue notes fluttering about
Fragments of shattering glass
Blaring all over blue room blue air
Blue night

Cigarette fog
Dry lips like dehydrated skin of fruit
Dry mouth the dream of flight
Reverie of blue mutating into a scream of mad orange light
The lightbulb is the center of this universe

He takes one last puff, drops the butt and crushes it with a heel.
He sweeps away the dust and cobwebs off the amp, traces the power cable and plugs right in. Immediately the familiar thrum, breath of voltage, a string's vibration sustained.

The pickups are screwy and sensitive, like a mouth inhaling the smoke and the gathering light. Through its iron coils, regurgitating everything into a drone that sticks in the air fiercer than static. He looks at the lightbulb and realized
The incandescent god ruling this small, four-cornered world–
The diameter is everywhere and the center is nowhere.

This hour breathes shallowly.
He feels the instrument, fears
It is about to shatter anytime soon– then
– a swoop of a hand, pick scraping across all six strings–

An E chord implodes
Silence explodes

In the brain grow seeds
dreaming of pentatonic flight
Delirium all directions filled out drumming

And there is nowhere else to go no one else to find

No one else to play for
As there has never been one to begin with
and never will be

There will be nobody to please

An E chord implodes and there is all to release
All there is to release

Chord turning into something:
A dark bird, its wings godless and wiry
Scorching cold hide

Half-note half-bat
Thousands of them
Tiny black things
Flapping all around

See his hands swatting away frantically

His arms dotted with small teeth marks

Telling him

He will be born again
He will be born again

Montage Vol. 10 • December 2006