Noise Jar

October 25, 2009

1

There is much death in the water:

The wax figures are drifting near the beach,

Jellyfish-like, chrysalis-like armor;

Unknown in number and nearly

Transparent in the tidal surf; the so called

Vestigial tentacles should be

Reclassified as potential weapons—

For there is too much death in the water:

Large fish, the costal seal population,

Land mammals, goats and dogs, are floating in

The surf; a humanoid figure, grey in

The sand, of giant-like proportions

Has washed ashore, five miles north of the town.

Either he is dead or unconscious. We

Estimate 16 feet in length. Perspective

Is, however, difficult to establish;

To land would be foolish, though satisfying…

Please note a parallel with the story

The Drowned Giant by one J.G. Ballard.

Quote: On the morning after the storm

The body of a drowned giant

Was washed ashore on the beach

Five miles to the north north west of the city.

This could be visionary, for an odd

Approximation exists: the ship wreck

Took place four miles north of the city.

The giant must have been aboard. Question:

Was he killed by the sea, drowned and

Carried ashore, or did he forge his way

To land, only to lie exhausted in

The shallow pools? Debate on this issue

Remains inconclusive. There has been movement,

But we cannot remain here after sunset

To track the changes in the tides. Those damn tides.

Question: is this fiction salient at all?

Transmission will cease here: Over.

(Noise Jar)

There is too much death in the ocean.

2

Does this sound crazy? A saliency

Taken to an insanity? Friends, I

Have read and re-read Jim Ballard’s so-called

‘Fiction’ a hundred times, a thousand times,

And I have one thing to say here:

Big Fish Eat Little Fish—

Yes, if you’re thinking Pieter Brueghel,

His painting and his parable, go

Ahead and shout it: It’s an image!

Imagine! Yes, my friend Ballard purloined

The Brueghel image to create

A modern mystery play! Ecce! Behold:

Another Lilliputian fantasy,

Another Leviathan in his kingdom…

Fair enough! But stop for a moment,

And take your place inside the frame. Try it,

Come on, become that giant fish,

It won’t hurt—much. Take hold of the

Declining consciousness; feel the old wounds

Of an old world as new light, new sound, and yes,

As new noise grips the new world. The greatness of

An image can be found in its refusal to

Accept the relative.  It takes a stand

In majesty. Its philosophy is

Philosophy—where philosophy is

(Noise Jar)

Porous—where it breathes, and changes, slithers—

Where it appears as a dead god on the beach,

A dead giant about to regain his soul…

That is my answer. That is my stand.

Philosophy in the bulrushes.

3

First of all, I can do his voice. Here, listen:

(Noise Jar)

Shit. This is crazy. He’s listening at

The wall right now, listening to hear…

The Parafin… the Parafin!

He’s trying to hear them as

They turn us into cabbage heads

Or something—giant ears…

I told you this would happen, all this

Nonsense on the radio, a giant with an

Army of little…what? Little noise machines?

It’s crazy, it really is…

4

How’s that?

It sounds just like Mr-Sane-Mr-Safe,

Doesn’t it? Thinks I’m listening to

The neighbors fart, while the walls quake;

Thinks calling them a ‘noise machine’,

Or labeling them the ‘Parafins’,

—Or for that matter ‘Equilibrium

Disturbers’—will halt the auditory

Reinterpretation of the world, this

Time’s Great Instauration.  But

They all think that, don’t they? Think you can sing

To curb the noise, can shout to end the yelling.

Jus t stop your ears, my man, and the Parafins

Disappear … yeah, disappear… from sight

But not from mind, right? Let’s face it

We were taught by the world to see.  Can we let

A similar world inform our ears? We’ll see.

We’ll hear. We’ll go forward. (Noise Jar) Won’t we?

5

Well, I guess I was about the first to know.

This new place, it’s like a theater, it’s like

The old amusement parks we had when we

Were growing up, like Palisades Park, like

A Disneyland, but smaller, and not

For kids. Definitely not for kids. It’s

More like a science fiction thing

For the old folks. You sit in booths around

An artificial lake—‘Lake Listen’, they

Call it—and you ‘hear’ the water, you ‘hear’

The sky, you ‘hear’ the Parafins as they…

—they thrash—

You ‘hear’ the fucking grass grow—

You know that thing from George Eliot? About

The other side of silence?

They call

It ‘Evolutionary Heaven’. It’s

All sound. You go on sound trips, you go

On sound vacations…

(Noise Jar)

…Trips, excursions the mind creates. You don’t

See, you don’t really think, you sit and stay

Immobile and…

I guess they keep you here

Forever, until you die, for your own good,

Until you stop hearing the sounds, until

The Noise Jar breaks for good, I guess.

I guess that’s it…

There is too much death in the water.

I just hope there’s no heaven.

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