notes from the road: god, monsters, & heroes. [part one: preface 1]

i’ve been meaning to write this for quite some time.  the last eighteen days have been the source of much joy, consternation, revelry, drunkeness, sobriety,  fool-hardy adventurdom, wistful temerity, and soulful introspection.  so it must all come together in this unfortunately long, and unwieldy post.  normally, I aspire to Hemingway’s paucity.  a pervasive, almost religious pithiness.  but here I must collect too many epic and disparate and meaningless and odd things into one basket and so it will be my Hawthorniest voice yet. Purple, and over prepossessed.  and precious.


i keep meaning to write.  but you get to the hotel too late and your lobby call the next morning is in two hours, or you simply haven’t the wakefulness and presence of mind to be writing, or you stop moving only long enough to drop everything, trip the explosion of your luggage, grab the necessary items and glance at your ever more haggard visage in the vestibule mirror on the way out. i took  pictures and i took notes.  i kept supposing that at this stop i’d make a “part one” or do a  little installment or begin a foreword.  or post a video.  but i never did.  always there were interruptions, obligations, or: music.  and music is the cause and the reward of  all this intinerancy. music is the damsel, and the knight, and the villain.  and, indeed, music tells the story.  sings to the muse and stands just back of the sight lines.  music is in the air and in the dirt and on the stage, and in the wings.  many times, these past weeks, i thought i might expire from the pressure or fatigue, from the lack of privacy or the lonesomeness.  and each time, music was lodestone that shone in a yawning blackness — an abhorrent and hungry void — that seemed to follow me about the neck and head, to swim in my eyes and relieve itself in my thoughts. i did not cry.  i did not weep.  but many times i ached and shook and stood aghast.  many times i moaned, shrieked, and could not place myself.  even could not, sometimes, find myself. but that is what displacement is.  to make music — maybe any art… i don’t know because i am wack at most but music.


where have i been?  if there is any remembering to be had, I must remind myself what I meant to think then and write now. else, I have imagine the past not as it was but, indeed, as it might have been.  as I’d have liked it, perhaps.  if i’d taken the requisite time then to jot down a few notes, I could remember.  instead, there is this.  again like coming out of water in a crowded place full of activity.  there was nothing.  there was silence.  there was nothing.

and then, all this.  i apologize for my inconsistency.  i cannot help it — i get carried away.  sometimes, in the act of musicking.  sometimes in the thoughts of thinking of it.  i am in a one such place now.  thinking back, and back, and back.  this was a tumultuous year and i was sure i might perish before I saw it through.  and then, here i stand.  diminished and yet greater.

it is a curious thing we all do.

[one year and five days later]

i found myself quite incapable of sleeping.  excitement, anxiety, perplexion, digestion — who can say for sure what the true cause of it is.  i tried, for a change, to simply lay down and go to bed before it was really the wee small hours.  i tried. and failed.  it was midnight.  then it was 1230.  then it was 1.  then — oh joy of joys — it was 215!  then it was 221 (how is that even remotely fair?)

it went on like this for sometime. then: it was 5am. and i simply got out of bed and started writing.

reading back in the post, i can’t even remember what the jist of it was.  only that I last edited it on November 1st, 2012.  trying to convey the developments of the past 12 months in succinct (or even just intelligible) english is impossible.  by use of stark and vague vignettes, i can do the trick.

there was darkness and sweat, some slowly mildewing sweetness, the funk of work and sleep-deprived bodies, hotels, hotels, hotels, motels, a few more planes than usual.  a lot less trains than I’d like.  my car, cruising, running, bumping, and sometimes limping along. New York nights, Kentucky nights, Canadian nights, South American nights.  keyboards, pianos.  computers, and two-inch tapes.  records and records, and records — actually. i sang more things that I’ve now forgotten then things that I know remember. lots of sighs, good and bad. rooftops. plenty of basements.  packed venues, and mostly-empty-bars.  and many, many, many names.  names of songs, peoples, places, and the various things-and-thoughts dividing and connection songs and people and places. avenues and obstacles.

and lots and lots of days.  and hours. and lots takes.  and punches.  there was crapton of harmony (but i can always use some more).  and i was there.  and sometimes i wasn’t there.  and sometimes i was there — but i really wasn’t there at all.

babies. children. adults. and old folks.  and me, sometimes stepping over the gaps of those distinctions in my own self.


and, as always, there were gods. and there were heroes.  and there were monsters.  and i was wearing all their robes.  and still, i think i am but a man.

certainly i was hideously rash.  but also, terribly charming. mostly i was early but i remember being late moreso.

and here I am. writing this both early and late.  both wakeful and tired. sort of medium between states of being.  and still very ardently trying to be. I was not confused often, but I was often confused by others.  more precisely, i am probably confusing.  that makes more sense.

there is still some time left in the night.  i might, therefore, make my way back to bed.  and feign sleep.  but really start wrapping little filaments of hours around my head until i have to get up.

and then, there will be plenty more where all of this came from.  but i wanted to put my foot down in this place and mark myself.

and finish without stopping.




About akiebermiss

pianist, composer, singer, writer. hater.
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