The Zappa Particle



Back when I was a teenager and blind, depressed, living in a provincial culture so insufferable the air could give you hives–Nixon in the White House, Viet Nam spreading to Laos and Cambodia, stupid teachers like bell hops pulling their filthy cold war luggage, back then I sat up late thinking of particles. Vast magnetic streams sweeping through cosmic dust clouds. This was the perfect time to discover the music of Frank Zappa.

Of course no one discovers an artist in a vacuum. I was reading Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts, edited by the poet Ed Sanders

“Dedicated to pacifism, national defense thru nonviolent resistance, total assault on the culture, vaginal zapping, multilateral indiscriminate apertural conjugation, Hole Cons, Crotch Lake, Peace Eye, mad bands of stompers for peace, & all those groped by J. Edgar Hoover in the silent halls of congress.”   

The particles, discordant, were me–they wouldn’t cohere to dopey television; particles of mind were apolitical, dancing through blackness, resting in zero and growing hot; one could have animated dreams.

Outside in the streets was the ossuary of America. In my room I played Zappa, especially early Zappa over and over.

I still hum and half sing “Who Are the Brain Police?” in the shower.

American media is an unintelligible cluster-quarrel of corporate war machines and religious hostilities. But painted across the half obliterated signs of our universe “outside” are beautiful darknesses of mother particles.

Here’s to the wide awake cold color of your eyes.




0 thoughts on “The Zappa Particle

  1. We don’t shower in L.A. We rub ourselves clean with a dry washcloth. And I prefer humming the WW1 ditty “Bells of Hell”


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