What Makes Me Tick


Someone asked me “what I’m on” because I was freewheeling, slingo lingo, luxuriating in tone, diction, the twist of a mood, and of course I was enjoying me-self.

If you’re dishonest you answer the question with post-modernism; one is merely the product of a thousand layerings of propaganda, advertising, half formed ideas, fractal philosophies, on and on. Or maybe you don’t blame acculturated language for your strangeness. You blame mother. Still Freudian you blame mother and father. Ah, the compensatory joys of acting out with sparkly shoes and a moth eaten cape from Goodwill. You can recite poetry aloud and do some silly dance.

In my case it all comes down to hearing Enrico Caruso in my grandmother’s attic, the old Victrola was still functional, the record was on the platter, untouched, just waiting for me to appear after thirty years and set the music free. And accordingly I did. I turned the handle, set the record spinning, played “Vesti la giubba” all alone in that Victorian attic in rural New Hampshire. And so Caruso is my tutelary angel, as he has been for millions. Sing, play your drum, your heart is breaking, you have such a lovely song and a rich face, you really do. No one can know more than this.