Micro-Installment :: THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

6 Dec

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT :: Installment 8½

December 6, 2009 :: Year of the Wolf

Forecast: bitterly cold, clear skies, full moon

::

::

“Look at the moon,” she said. It was almost full. A few days early or late.

I thought of wolves.

Just as when you meet someone they begin to appear around every corner, under every lampshade, so when I take on an investigation—as I did into my confoundry over the recent influx of winged animals and combustible rock in contemporary lyrical imagery for Installment 7—the topic surfaces and resurfaces until it paves over my then-thoughts with a new understanding.

This new eye, or ear, is attuned not only to tone and timbre but to muse and metaphor. As such, it’s my duty to report the news (the journalist in me demands it):

Wolves have launched an attack on the blackbirds.

[Headline on deadline:]

LYRICAL ICONS CLASH IN MESSY MELEE OF FEATHERS AND FUR

[Subhead:]

Victor of musical mash-up announced early 2010

I’m making mixes for an undisclosed upcoming holiday, and during one friend’s, who shall not be named to avoid spoiling the surprise (now all of you are wondering if it’s you. don’t try to guess. wait until the 25th. …or whatever day the secret holiday might be on…), I found myself creating, quite accidentally and unexpectedly, a mix worthy of the wolves.

Blitzen Trapper, an appropriately (if treacherously) monikered band for the holiday season, began the playlist.

I drove into the woods and wandered aimlessly about
until I heard my mother shouting through the fog

It turned out to be the howling of a dog

Or a wolf to be exact, the sound sent shivers down my back
but I was drawn into the pack and before long
they allowed me to join in and sing their song

So from the cliffs and highest hill, we would gladly get our fill
howling endlessly and shrilly at the dawn

And I lost the taste for judging right from wrong

For my flesh had turned to fur and my thoughts,
they surely were turned to instinct

And obedience to God

From the grave came the Dead’s dire wolf—all six hundred pounds of sin—to spar with Howlin’ Wolf’s coos and smoke — Jerry and Chester locking eyes and pistols, crying to the moon (whose womb is on display a few songs later in Devendra Banhart’s ominous ode “Hey Mama Wolf:” And when a belly blooms / I know what to call you now / hey mama wolf.)

Putting the finishing touches on the mix are Sea Wolf’s “I Made a Resolution” and The Working Title’s “Wolf.” (Here is where my brother knows this mix is not his, since no one, not even a mongrel, would give back a song.)

The rest of you, the speculation continues. But please note: I will not respond to guesses by phone or email.

By howl only.

::

A couple notes:

1) This Installment’s original title was “I’d Like to Dovetail Off Installment 7 (or) My Brother Wants to Kill Me Right Now,” but it was cut due to wordiness and the fact that inside jokes do not make good titles.

2) The content of this Installment has nothing to do with the recently released The Twilight Saga: New Moon, despite my wife’s persistent theorizing.

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