Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nothing I Do Entitles Me to Eat My Fill

"It is true, I earn my living, but it is only an accident." --Brecht

Had lunch in a German restaurant today, after playground time. I wonder if my daughter will remember that her crazy mama used to drive her from place to place around the city playing the same song over and over. Today it's Milton Nascimento's Sueno con Serpientes, off Sentinale. This analysis quotes an interview with poet/songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, saying "various writers have speculated that the song symbolizes the never ending struggle through life's conflicts, the truth found by facing one's hidden fears, absolute truths and false images that mislead people, or political systems that sow the seeds of their own destruction." I think it could apply to any kind of system--everything eats its own tail (at least, it does if it's been keeping up with its yoga classes). The system is dead; long live the system--tear it down to build it up again (hey there, Pluto. Down, boy.). But I also believe you can choke them with your goodness, when you've got nothing else to work with.

"Of serpents, I dream
Long, transparent and in their bellies they carry
all they can snatch away from love
I kill one and a larger one appears
with even more hellfire burning inside
I don't fit in its mouth; it tries to swallow me.
But it chokes on the top of my temple
I think it is crazy; I give it a dove to chew,
and I poison it with my goodness.
Oh, I kill one and a larger one appears..."

It opens with Mercedes Sosa quoting Brecht (my favorite poet, writer, everything, and the one I'd call an influence if I'd ever written anything successful):
"There are men who struggle one day
and they are good
there are others who struggle one year
and they are better
there are those who struggle for many years
and they are better still.
But there are those who struggle all their lives;
Those are the indispensable ones."

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