From “Fields, Rituals & Distance” by Spike Dougherty and John Schmidt




Multimedia, Poetry, Prose


 


"Fields, Rituals & Distance" cover, with cassette
“Fields, Rituals & Distance” cover, with cassette

Muted Noises and a Mysterious Instrument on the Other Bank
by John Schmidt

There is a river that runs through the center of Kyoto: I first heard it here. A few have suggested it might be the sho, a mouth organ that is used in gagaku court performances. Wikipedia tells me that gagaku literally translates to “elegant music.” That is a genre, which is also a judgment, which is also a historical fact. Maybe I should be more specific. It was the man playing inaccessibly on the other bank, and K. listening to the man, and me watching her listen, and the indifferent percussive backdrop of construction which nevertheless continued above us. It was all of that, and also the boy whose bicycle chain fell off as he passed by. So I can’t point to where, exactly, the elegance inheres, unless I mean the landscape, as a whole.

 

Interior view, with booklets by Schmidt and Dougherty on facing covers.
Interior view, with booklets by Schmidt and Dougherty on facing covers.

Muted Noises and a Mysterious Instrument on the Other Bank
by Spike Doughterty

I ask you

to come knocking. Her knock is a footstep. Break your back trying to replicate. A slurp and a whine and a whinny. Pony: scream for me, pny
out there on the street

the room tone, a knocking scream. It sounds internal. So easy to take inside. I take you inside/of you and a murmur. Her fortress knocked on his whine. Non consensual
of sound, environmental. I can;t turn you off, can’t turn you off of me. &I vibrate, without, when want separate/d. When we sit across from each other not listening/wanting. But entered.

Stop moving me.

 

Excerpted from Fields, Rituals and Distance, a correspondence and experiment between Spike Dougherty and John Schmidt. The chapbooks/audio tape are available from No More Books at info.nomorebooks@gmail.com