Julius Eastman

Stay on it. I’m here to show you a new system of love. All the codes have new rhythms, new silences. There is a clean beat. People are usually tamer on the floe of music, so you can be needlessly violent; speak boldly when they question you. You can’t do what you want, but anything goes—as long as they are alert, you are on repeat, making blood with your voice, cowing them into position, or undressing a man. Stay on it. I’m here to show you a new system of love. All the codes have new rhythms, new silences. There is a clean beat. Love is embarrassing for all of us. To be only a composer is not enough. You must give note to understanding, and hold it. Performers should listen intently to one another, and respond at any time; though there are wrong times. Heed the clef. I try to imagine a listener as a force field of senses, a flare of freeform reflexes indefinitely raging; always too small or too vast. Never enough attuned. In exchange, I sought basicness, a fundamentalness, packed at the tiny flyspeck where success and revolt are one. Because every time you think yourself loose from the stony forms … perhaps you are just too preoccupied. Stay on it. I’m here to show you a new system of love. You must give note to understanding, heed the clef. Sometimes, when you are up late, the sun feels like hard luck—the earth’s natural tempo machinery that disconcerts. But every sun contains all of the information from the suns before. Recursion, that’s the riff, ride it, light like desire charging the air. Meanwhile, a whole armada of risks, what I am to the fullest, kept approaching. And I retreated to the undergrowth, because who gives a shit. The gentry embezzle art, they keep it, and presence is sly. Stay on it.

Nic Leigh‘s work has appeared in The Collagist, DIAGRAM, UNSAID, Gobbet, and the Atticus Review.

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