n. 1 The process or state of being saved; preservation from impending evil. 2. Theol. Deliverance from sin and penalty, realized in a future state; redemption. 3. Any means of deliverance from danger, evil, or ruin.

--Funk & Wagnalls Standard

Akhil IX

Achilles at the prow, daydreaming of points of exposure in his armor, as the shore of Troy rushed towards him, realized not one place he ever lived felt like home. Remembering once as a boy his father taking him into the wilderness. The lesson being Salute Every Man and Bow to None, the object being learning to live comfortably in pain. There in a clearing in the woods they discovered an eagle engaging a hare, an intangible, unspeakable thing. Thus Achilles learned quickness. It was the comfort of this memory that he let his mind rest on, the clever darting hare, whenever he was troubled.

Somebody told me once that the way Homer was able to recite the Iliad over the course of many days was to imagine the story as a house with many rooms, each section representing a room populated with the story and so, in his mind, he would walk each room describing what he saw. Today on the job, your poet could find no room in his mind in which his mind could rest, so he lay down in the darkest one he could find and wept.

Just before the beach, Achilles remembered himself as the boy high in the trees. He told that boy endure, child, endure. He thought of Hector waiting for him just beyond the dunes, his own singular art of killing. Coming over the prow and into the surf, his is the shout that can be heard for eternity. The arrows raining down from heaven, thousands of them, each one is a gift.


Achilles 8- Tim

I carried my friend Tim in the truck a couple weekends ago to Lowes to pick up some material. He is building essentially a walk-in cube to be installed in his studio to showcase his work. In theory, it will be able to break down and sounds like an installation piece with four walls lined with wainscoting and furniture. Though I've never told him, Tim is an artist, one of the true seekers. We loaded up studs and for payment he bought me coffee at Starbucks. We like to swap war stories, sometimes, from the bad old days. Coming out of there he told one back when he played with Schwa and a brawl broke out, I think he said in Chapel Hill, complete with ambulances and chairs flying, and he hid under a table. Back in the truck, heading toward his shop, I countered with this one:

My sophomore year I went downtown with some other kids to a show in a warehouse club on Foushee named Caution. I think it was the first time any of us had ventured below Belvedere into the true grimey heart of this city we found ourselves in. I remember stairs up to a wide open room and a typical metal outfit grinding out some noise, all hair and bad teeth and attitude. There was a pit just under the stage with about twenty young guys hurling themselves around. I scored some beer somehow and me and my friends stood at the edge of the pit, uncomfortably, not sure what to do except watch.

Eventually the pit cleared out to a ring of boys all facing inward, with no one paying any attention to the band or what music they were making. I could feel the volume of it in my chest. The two guys left in the ring looked to be friends as they were both laughing as they threw each other around; one big guy all in black and a smaller dude in boots, jeans, biker jacket and no shirt. The big guy pushed the other into the crowd and he came running back and plowed into the man in black's chest. The kids forming the ring threw whoever got shoved back into action. Everybody grinned, the band never slowed down. Then the smaller kid in the jacket, leaping like a rabbit, crossed the width of the floor in ten jumps or so and landed his fist dead in the face of the other guy, knocking him down. At that very moment the ring collapsed with a surprising suddenness into an ocean of violence, every fist thrown, every body there colliding, the band playing metal full bore behind it, perfectly choreographed as if it had been planned that way. I told Tim I though it may have been the most beautiful occurance I have ever witnessed. We were stopped at a redlight at Broad and Boulevard, I was smoking and he responded,

"Dude, all of your stories have some element of violence in them and how beautiful it is. I think you must be really angry."

"You think?" I said, laughing.

"Yeah, it kind of worries me sometimes."

"No shit. It's been there as long as I can remember. Since I was a little kid. I don't enjoy it." I smoked a little there at the light and said, "I really would like to get rid of it one of these days."

"You will." Tim said.


My Fucking House

in my fucking town.


In May, on a whim, I downloaded this album. I hadn't regularly listened to Sleep since the mid nineties when I was in art school and washed dishes for a living. I have no idea what possessed me to download it, other than it must have been divine providence, because Sleep, and the two bands that rose from it's ashes, Om and High on Fire, have become entirely undercurrent in my life since then.


Death is This Communion

High On Fire--2007