fredag 15 januari 2016

"Bowie will never die"

  Idag utgår mitt planerade inlägg och istället ägnas Musikfredagen åt David Bowie. Han var en otroligt beläst artist, också inom poesins område. 
  Jag kommer att publicera två texter av honom och en dikt från Pulitzer-vinnaren Tracy K. Smith som handlar om honom.

David Bowie, Chicago 2002-08-08
Foto: Adam Bielawski


  David Bowie slog igenom 1969 med låten Space Oddity.

  The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars blev det första albumet som visar hur David Bowie var den första att kombinera rockmusik med teater, en musikstil som populärt kallas glamrock. Albumet var ett konceptalbum kring den utomjordiske rockstjärnan Ziggy Stardust, som utvecklas från att vara en figur i Bowies lyrik till att bli rollen spelad på scen och senare också i privatlivet.

  Bowie var dock ingalunda en debutant vid genombrottet utan hade redan, i olika bandkonstellationer, The King Bees, The Manish Boys, The Lower Third, släppt en rad singlar och hela fyra soloalbum. Då hans musikkarriär inte tog fart studerade han pantomimteater, kunskaper han senare skulle komma att använda när han utvecklade sitt androgyna alter ego Ziggy Stardust. Hans första hit kom 1969 med singeln Space Oddity. Singeln, som släpptes nästan samtidigt som Neil Armstrong tog de första stegen på månen, blev en storsäljare i hemlandet och har tack vare rader av återutgåvor blivit den mest sålda Bowie-singeln någonsin. Källa: Wikipedia


Eight Line Poem, performed by David Bowie
(from album Hunky Dory. RCA Records, 1971.)

The tactful cactus by your window
Surveys the prairie of your room
The mobile spins to its collision
Clara puts her head between her paws
They've opened shops down West side
Will all the cacti find a home
But the key to the city
Is in the sun that pins 
the branches to the sky


  Hysterin som uppstod kring Bowie och hans Ziggy-alias hade inte skådats i Storbritannien sedan The Beatles dagar och över en natt var han en superstjärna. 1972 producerade Bowie också Lou Reeds genombrottsalbum, Transformer samt Mott the Hooples All the Young Dudes, som också innehöll det av Bowie skrivna titelspåret. David Bowies sista uppträdande som Ziggy Stardust var på Hammersmith Odeon Theatre i London 3 juli 1973. Avskedsspelningen filmades av D.A. Pennebaker och resulterade i filmen Ziggy Stardust - The Motion Picture som gick upp på biograferna först 1983. Källa: Wikipedia

Ziggy Stardust, performed by David Bowie
(from album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. RCA Records, 1972.)

Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Weird and Gilly
And The Spiders from Mars
He played it left hand, but made it too far
Became the special man
Then we were Ziggy's Band

Ziggy really sang, screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo
Like some cat from Japan, he could lick 'em by smiling
He could leave 'em to hang
Here came on so loaded man, well hung and snow white tan

So where were the spiders while the fly tried to break our balls?
Just the beer light to guide us
So we bitched about his fans and should we crush his sweet hands?

Ziggy played for time, jiving us that we were Voodoo
The kids was just crass
He was the naz
With God-given ass
He took it all too far
But boy could he play guitar

Making love with his ego Ziggy sucked up into his mind
Like a leper messiah
When the kids had killed the man
I had to break up the band

Ziggy played guitar


  Den ultimata hyllningen är väl nedanstående dikt av Tracy K. Smith. Den är hämtad från boken Life on Mars som förärades Pulitzer-priset i poesiklassen 2012.

Don't You Wonder Sometimes, by Tracy K. Smith (f. 1972)
(from Life on Mars : poems. Minneapolis, Minnesota : Graywolf Press, [2011].)

After dark, stars glisten like ice, and the distance they span
Hides something elemental. Not God, exactly. More like
Some thin-hipped glittering Bowie-being - a Starman
Or cosmic ace hovering, swaying, aching to make us see.
And what would we do, you and I, if we could know for sure

That someone was there squinting through the dust,
Saying nothing is lost, that everything lives on waiting only
To be wanted back badly enough? Would you go then,
Even for a few nights, into that other life where you
And that first she loved, blind to the future once, and happy? 

Would I put on coat and return to the kitchen where my
Mother and father sit waiting, dinner keeping warm on the stove?
Bowie will never die. Nothing will come for him in his sleep
Or charging through his veins. And he'll never grow old,
Just like the woman you lost, who will always be dark-haired 

And flush-faced, running toward an electronic screen
That clocks the minutes, the miles left to go. Just like the life
In which I'm forever a child looking out my window at the night sky
Thinking one day I'll touch the world with bare hands
Even if it burns.

He leaves no tracks. Slips past, quick as a cat. That's Bowie
For you: the Pope of Pop, coy as Christ. Like a play
Within a play, he's trademarked twice. The hours 

Plink past like water from a window A/C. We sweat it out,
Teach ourselves to wait. Silently, lazily, collapse happens.
But not for Bowie. He cocks his head, grins that wicked grin. 

Time never stops, but does it end? And how many lives
Before take-off, before we find ourselves
Beyond ourselves, all glam-glow, all twinkle and gold?

The future isn't what it used to be. Even Bowie thirsts
For something good and cold. Jets blink across the sky
Like migratory souls.

Bowie is among us. Right here
In New York City. In a baseball cap
And expensive jeans. Ducking into
A deli. Flashing all those teeth
At the doorman on his way back up.
Or he's hailing a taxi on Lafayette
As the sky clouds over at dusk.
he's in no rush. Doesn't feel
The way you'd think he feels.
Doesn't strut or gloat. Tells jokes. 

I've lived here all these years
And never seen him. Like not knowing
A comet from a shooting star.
But I'll bet he burns bright,
Dragging a tail of white-hot matter
The way some of us track tissue
Back from the toilet stall. He's got
The whole world under his foot,
And we are small alongside,
Though there are occasions
When a man his size can meet
Your eyes for just a blip of time
And send a thought like SHINE
Straight to your mind. Bowie,
I want to believe you. Want to feel
Your will like the wind before the rain.
The kind everything simply obeys,
Swept up in that hypnotic dance
As if something with the power to do so
Had looked its way and said:
                                               Go ahead.

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