from between islands
Funny enough, I’ve never shared this song with anyone: “Puncture”, by Dot Hacker. The singer (I don’t know his name) starts in a slow whisper of a wail:
It’s useless to say That you only scratch the surface Your surface, your face Bears the mark of everything.
The drums are tight and weighty, and the synths bleed out between the beats in alternating chords, two unanswerable questions bouncing off of each other. “Every undertaking overthrown,” he says, tone rising, then falling off.
It’s a bit melodramatic. I doubt it’s an important piece of music, and I’ve never heard a word about this band. Dot Hacker.
Take my word for it that the song is about moving between loneliness and transience, and about how there’s no island in the middle as he swims between these two places.
We meet in the melody, like old friends. Swimming.
No, it’s about something else. Breakthrough:
A puncture in the sky I'm peering down at all of your Little lives How unimportant they all look now
The melody climbs into a shout, it moves with synchrony and shifts randomly, it gets too close to the sun… and it ends triumphant, defeated, but triumphantly defeated, like the old man in The Old Man and the Sea.
An artist named Basquiat sometimes writes the word scratch in his paintings, and in his notebooks. “SCRATCHING THESE THINGS.” Heartbreaking, for an artist to remind you that he’s only scratching the surface…
But is it possible? To break the threshold. To reach out from the strangest, most personal, most untransferable parts of ourselves, and to touch someone? I don’t know. I hope so.
This isn’t the time of my life for making art. When it’s time, I’ll reach inward, and I won’t worry myself about who I meet there. Maybe it’s that singer from Dot Hacker.
Art is flowering, but it’s also the deep sea creatures clinging to the sulphur vent. It’s the birds and the larvae and the pale green things growing in ashes.
This is a forest fire.
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