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Page 87

Nothing like chaos, gibberish, static
to attract decoders like ants to sugar.
Is Shakespeare a trifle obscure in spots?
Not when you recognize it's all a code
to help you bring home the Bacon.

In late Beatledom, fans proved wondrous things
from album cover clues and backward messages
an unchosen few could hear in the most chaotic
tracks, where songs descended into jungle-noise mixes
of old clips from King Lear, traffic noise, zoo noise
and Lennon-knows-what. Though, from my own
decipherings of the Dully Nudes, I conclude
that John Lennon is as dead as he can be
(not very, actually).

Fans proved, around 1969, that "Paul is dead" --
an imposture, barefoot ("like a corpse!") on the cover of
Abbey Road. And somewhere on the Internet,
I suppose one could find a clutch of aging fans
who still exchange clues that positively prove
Paul died then, our current Sir Paul a phony.
(Imagine -- as John was wont to sing -- imagine
the REAL Paul writing disco hits!)

Someday he'll die. If John and George can die,
anyone can. I'm sure Paul hopes it will have
mattered -- that the years between death and death
were worth delaying being young again.
Me, I liked him young, but I liked me young, too,
and am in no hurry to live in a crib again.

What's odd is that the cavernous abysses of chaos
that open in our work should attract spelunkers
(see them bent over in the most tortuous passages
of our poems), eager to make sense out of the abhorred
nothing (blankness as static); yet, so often the sense
they construe, reflecting their fears, is that we are
someone else or dead or never wrote.

Note: Bits of a performance of King Lear weave in and out of the chaos that underlies the final goo-goo-ga-Joobs of Lennon's "I am the Walrus". Traffic noise, animal noises, etc., clutter the background of "Good Morning", "Revolution #9" and a few other songs, mostly Lennon's, all post-LSD, mostly pretentious (as Beatles music goes) , though in "Walrus" just about everything works. (Anyway, bad Lennon is damned good just-about-anyone-else. Not counting "Two Virgins", his album of primal screaming with Yoko. Listen to it if you want to appreciate the value of silence -- which is the audio form of the blank page.)

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