The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Art of Cinema #494

The Haunted Palace (Roger Corman, 1963)


Bart said...

"If Charlie Parker WERE a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats" is the title of Charles Mingus's song (aka "Gunslinging Bird", 1959).

swac said...

Believe me Bart, this comes up about once a year, and we're sticking with a direct quote from Mingus himself that says WAS and not WERE, as posted by, among other places.

I believe that there are some album covers (Mingus Dynasty, I think) that use WERE, but there is some suggestion that somebody at Columbia Records arbitrarily decided to correct Mingus's grammar.