Inside this record are many landscapes...

Midnight streets of New York, wandering 46th, accompanied only by the scroll of red LEDs and the electric hum of empty buildings, the fear of nothingness and the thrill of promise, awe-inspiring reminders of American ingenuity and all that you left behind to rule the jungle, but with each step new hope--1970s Texas, crystalline in winter time, TVZ wandering around the trailer in Clarksville with a shotgun and singing sad songs to the black man who carries with him the sadness of a hundred years… watch as he cries and the woman holds his massive hands with her tiny one… even today I drive these hills and the spirit remains, fresh and arresting like cold sunlight--Keith Haring in the Paradise Garage with the cap on backwards, the melodious thud and abyss-like quality draws one in and suggests a new home, one filled with the lost souls of a thousand orphans, united in a dance and hugging the West Side Highway in the middle of a storm--Wolfgang Voigt in the Königsforst outside of Cologne, visions of cold air and vaporous synthesizer arpeggios moving in and out of his body, the eventual coming of church bells from the great cathedral, and that slow but steady syrup-like reaffirmation of oneness with the earth--My grandmother's house in New Jersey, unchanged but somehow more silent, just up the hill from the train station, a train I never took but always dreamed of… oh the unremarkable yet unforgettable journey from the supermarket along the winding road, past the farm stand and the obscured house where, legend has it, lives (or lived) the great lion from the MGM title card that plays before old movies, he with the signature roar, a fitting allegory for a now-disappearing America, one rich with holy objects and local lore… yes, up the road and back HOME to that holiEST of places, filled with thick carpeting, Peranakan dishware, and solid wooden toys still smelling of the post-war era--Visions of Chet Baker, the eternal wanderer and the unfair genius, suit-clad in Rome or bleached-out sunny Los Angeles... long, languid palms swaying in the wind while the trumpet floats over you like a constantly dipping bird, yet still somewhere in the midwest a family grows and wonders, and when you really stand back and look at it Chet is the microcosm of America and these black and white images, fair or not, connect the four corners of the nation and define how we tell the story of the past--Scotland ten years ago, crossing the bridge from Wilton Street to the Great Western Road, the black church and the Kelvin picturesque at my left-hand side, feeling a smaller version of the feeling I once felt standing atop Arthur's Seat, looking out over what seemed to be the whole of the eastern half of Scotland and really inhaling that fresh, cold damp… how much time goes by and how much time evaporates, yet still we are left with the knowledge that all of our history, all of the hard work and heartbreak is dwarfed by the silent authority of rock and landscape, old as creation--Memories of Berlin (both inherited and primary) at night, Christmas markets and the scent of woody perfume, the coldness of a million vacant flats contrasted by rich restaurants filled with warmth, only to descend into chaos and an intensity I have rarely seen, a mass of creatures interweaving in the dark collectively remembering that the terrible things were not so long ago, trying to exercise a demon that was handed down, then to reemerge into daylight with McDonald's in the Ostbahnhof and synthesized beaches waiting just over the road--A calm planet floating silently in space, or maybe it is a moon, which draws near one's vision and away again, almost like a computer-animated graphic, though now they are saying there may be no difference between a graphic and reality… the strange peace that comes from looking up into the sky and realizing that the moon really does exist and what a fantastic thing that is, the unexplainable aspect of nature and how that void in knowledge brings an almost comforting powerlessness, like a child enraptured by a tantrum who, after a long struggle, is finally lulled to sleep--A little green club where I once stood in SOHO, why it must be the very place where Francis held court and George sat beside him as both the subject and object… the ghosts of swinging London are always calling me, winking at me from corners as I pass between brick buildings, but as time goes by does the vignette remain a great immutable tapestry or is it just another object that fades into dust? Methinks the first but me always thinks the first… yes, ghosts of SOHO and emotions of the past, who can say what passes between a painter and his muse, but we can be sure that when the lights go out they are still only this: two figures in the dark.

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