Planet Waves | Eva, Can I Eye Eno? by Christopher Grosso


 Eva, Can I Eye Eno?

By Christoph Lucifer

"All fundamental-ists have the same message, which is a message of intolerance. I'm sure if there's a new fascism it won't come from skinheads and punks. It will come from people who eat granola and believe they know how the world should be." --Brian Eno

Every so often you let something in that penetrates to your core like heroin. If you're lucky, though, it's not heroin but more like a song. Today I was lucky.

I had on one of the many promotional CDs I acquired while working at The Wisdom Channel but to which I had never gotten around to listening. This one was a compilation entitled Trance Planet, Volume Four. By the time track #9 rolled around I was very much in an exotic-rhythm-induced trance. And then everything cleared.

You know that feeling when you hear . . . well, actually it goes so far beyond what your ears can do that the word "hearing" is a misnomer of what the experience entails-it's more like "revelation"; like the chord change in the bridge of a song somehow shares the same attributes as whatever Spark of Life first infiltrated primordial mud to give rise to something that lives, breathes, grows and perpetuates. That kind of thing, know what I'm saying? Rare. Especially in American culture these days. This song had me crying.

Even though the constellation Cancer was coming up on the horizon at the moment of my plop into this luminous weapons-grade nuclear waste-tainted toilet bowl (giving me-or reflecting in me, as your philosophy prescribes-an annoyingly amplified sensitivity to the vibrations of the planet), crying over a song is quite an extraordinary event at this stage of my game.

I guess I cried because the singer of the golden melody, and the musicians and the tune itself, came from Pakistan. I didn't know it at the time but after the 6 minutes 9 seconds flowed by I read it in the jacket of the CD. The singer's name is Abida Parveen who is, according to the notes, one of Pakistan's most beloved singers of "qawalli, the devotional music of Sufism." The tune is entitled "Ghame Zindagi Se Guzar." I don't know what it means in whatever language is prevalent in Pakistan, but what it means to me is something otherworldly coursing up my fluid column and radiating out through my primordial mud bones, clearing away some illusions; clearing the way for some kind of understanding about my Pakistani brethren. I'm not sure how to articulate that understanding, except to say that, as I said, it made me cry.
Yes, I'm aware of the whole hegemonic (or not) Judeo-Christian genealogical explanation about the biblical brothers Ishmael and Isaac, feuding sons of Abraham, the linear patriarchs (it is written) of the Arab tribes and Jewish tribes respectively. But, unlike that explanation, this pure, unadulterated melody seeped deeply into my soul, and drew itself out of my soul at the same time. It was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard, and I've heard my fair share.

Real it was and, in comparison to the state of our American cultural crisis, it cast a cleansing wash of forgiveness over my American arrogance. Reality, I guess, like true revelation, makes you cry like that.
I used to wish that, if there was going to be a nuclear winter, we might as well just get it over with, and begin again from the paramecium stage of evolution, if need be. The nuclear problem alone is so immense, so complex and convoluted, not to mention corrupted by distorted political thought based on dysfunctional notions of power, that there is no chance that status quo humanity (alone), on its current path of anti-wisdom, can even dream of a feasible solution. Not as long as Uranium-238, which permeates the soil of hundreds-more likely thousands-of communities near weapons plants, testing facilities, bases, arsenals and long-abandoned WWII and Cold War-era makeshift refineries, has a half-life of 4.4 billion years.
4.4 billion. That's the number of candles we put on our planet's birthday cake, boys and girls. It's not even geologically appropriate to talk about such things using a year as a unit of measure. We're talking epochs, periods or maybe eras. Eons. Someone, I dare say, wasn't acting responsibly.

By my calculations, we'll be cleaning up Uranium for the next 55,000,000 incarnations. And that's not counting the remaining half of the unstable atoms that will have made themselves comfy as inseparable addenda to the water molecule, washing into the low places. Hell, maybe by the time half of the atoms decay the species will have mutated to the point where we can just eat the remaining radioactive decay byproducts because, fuck, we'll be swimming in them. Eventually we'll be ballast-shitting Lead-206 to stay afloat.

And here I am still trying to untangle my own personal childhood traumas from this life.
I pray that Pakistan, the source of that celestial euphony I referred to earlier, isn't wiped out in the coming months, or weeks or days. Or hours. In less than ten minutes, Pakistan brought me more bliss than thirty-four years in . . . well.

By the way, although I adore Brian Eno's poetry, the title of this article is merely the title of my last PlanetWaves offering read backwards. That's all. This was supposed to be yet another story about how the myth of Chiron underpins our experience and instead it turned into, well, another story about how the myth of Chiron underpins our experience.


Through dark and primitive passages I searched, sometimes hunched down low crawling on hands and knees, bloodying my belly on sharp and jagged rocks, snagging the skin on twisted roots ripping and tearing, face-first through mounds of guano, currents of cold. Waves of black.
Finally I found the myopic mullah sitting, just as I thought, quietly against a craggy wall, legs like a pretzel, in the dim glow of a laptop computer screen.

There seemed to be no one there to protect him. His bearded face reminded me of my hirsute cock and balls, overgrown, untrimmed for so long; face drawn, just hanging there, dangling. Catching my breath, I looked into his right eye with my left.

"Mullah?" I probed.

He closed his eye, nodded.

"Mullah, you're in big trouble. Everyone in the world wants to kill you."

Silence, his eye flickered and rotated, a blue flame, a natural-gas pilot light on a stove.

"You're killing off your species. Destroying your women . . . turning them into cattle. Why?" I gently demanded.

Silence. Blue flicker flame.

"Mullah, tell me your thoughts. Please."

He sighed. I waited. I restated my question.

"What is this hateful 'law' that is inspiring you to reach over and blow up our buildings, our jetliners . . . our people?"

"It's the very same law that inspired your ancestors to acquire North America," he answered.


I often have thought this very same thing about status quo Christianity. After the massacre in New York-though in secret-I had done the unthinkable: I had quickly found a place in myself that was at peace with him and his followers devoting their lives to destroying the infrastructure of global Americanization fueled by the depleted doctrine of Manifest Destiny.

The question, for me, is whether that place was contrived or apriori, the latter being the more desirable of the two, I suppose.

But then again, neither one would make life any easier in a state of Martial Law.

"I see where you're going," I said "But how does a person go from point A to point Z like that? Obviously the Arab world sees a problem with Western support of Israel at the expense of Palestine, but very few people, it would seem, are willing to entertain the notion that the answer to the problem is yet another, even bigger, problem, which is where you find yourself now. I mean, this is your job, for Mohammed's sake!"

"Sometimes," he began slowly, "a mother can't bond with the child because a convergence of forces precludes it."

He paused to collect his thoughts, and, presumably, let me collect mine.

"Let's say the mother's mother was cold and distant, as was 51 percent of her lineage up to that point. Early traumas froze her into little girl, mentally, sometimes. Let's say the girl's father, of the other 49, died suddenly when she was young, and her crazy aunt next door came in on that terrible day and, when no one else was in the room, said to her:

"'You killed your father.'

"That's the aunt who, as a child, would stomp baby ducklings."

I sat down on the cold, damp floor, felt the smooth clay on my palms, his audience of one, and listened intently as his imagery splashed across the cave walls.

"Sometimes, when she grows up and has a family of her own, the unhappy, now pregnant, mother further disconnects from her emotions through addiction. Hence the fetus is addicted, breathing smoke and fumes instead of oxygen and nutrients. And when he comes out, an addicted infant, which is the same as a disconnected infant, he's born into withdrawal.

"Disconnected, he grasps not for breath, not for air but for fire, for smoke, for carbon monoxide and nicotine, and he can't even get a hold of that. He cries for comfort, for a warm mother, but finds cold, finds ice, and cries some more. The big people around him, father, mother, older sisters, get tired of his wails, get tired of losing sleep, resent him, unwanted, unwelcome, and pinch the infant, pinch him on his side, pop him on his head, smack him in his mouth. Hold his nose closed. Sometimes they send him off to stay with relatives' for the night, some good, some bad. He can't distinguish.

"He shatters into many."

A smidgen of rock-powder trickled from the cave ceiling.


"Unbonded and unbondable, the infant grows quiet. His family thinks their pinches are working, quieting him, but in his solitary mind he's deciding; his first lone decision.

"He sees two options: 1) take nourishment, or 2) refuse nourishment.

"Choosing Option 1 requires a will to live, he understands. And his is like shards of glass in the alley. He carefully examines each piece for enough structural integrity to sustain a life here.

"He thinks no, passing on Option 1, and choosing Option 2 because there are no will-to-live requirements for refusing nourishment. His decision made, he becomes calm inside.

"The mother and father attempt to force him to eat, nullifying his decision, hijacking what's left of his will. But in an attempt to reinstate his decision, he throws it up again and again, until he gives up on giving up, and decides to take the food.

"In order to bond with the infant, and make the infant bond with her, sometimes the mother takes the infant son's penis into her mouth, and sucks."

That'll do it. The one-eyed mullah, looking ashamed, tapped a few strokes on the laptop keyboard, as a fine stream of sand drizzled from the ceiling, knocked loose by an inaudible vibration rippling through the rock high above the cave. "I suspected something like that," I said, "But I wasn't sure."

"She's not a bad person," he said, now talking to me, " . . . just bewildered. Both the mother and the father were confused." He resumed his homily toward the void. "Sometimes the father unconsciously realizes this and, in an attempt to protect the mother and his shabby family from scandal, orchestrates the means to permanently defuse the potential instability created by the mother's bonding trick. He writes a line of code into the son's developmental program that says <My mouth belongs to daddy. And it will self-destruct in the light of the truth>. Sometimes, as the infant grows into a child, the father reboots the program with angry commands; 'Shut your goddamn mouth!' he yells, and 'Your mouth gets you into trouble!' and 'I'll break your goddamn neck if you open your mouth again.' No one would believe such things. Except the child.

"Sometimes the mother reinforces this deterrence by writing another line of code into the son's program that says <My mouth belongs to momma, and it will self-destruct in the light of the truth>. 'Don't you tell anyone what goes on in this house!' she screams at him with a clenched fist cocked back. 'I'll bust you in your mouth!'"

I noticed then he was holding his embouchure funny, like he had some sort of wound on the corner of his mouth.

"They've come at him too hard and too crazy, so sometimes the child is a nondescript swirl of undefined emotion, sometimes batting at the air, like a cat."


The rumbles above became slightly audible.

"As a toddler he receives yet another profound wound. He's at a neighbor's house, fascinating over their dog-a German Shepherd bitch-nursing her newborn pups. This touches him on the deepest level he doesn't understand, but he's captivated by the scene which holds the potential key for his own healing of infantile injuries. Feeling the impulse to join the bitch in extending his love to these helpless creatures, he reaches out to caress them and, before he can react, the mother bitch snaps her sharp teeth at his lip, like a rattlesnake strike, protecting her litter. He tastes his own blood for the first time, and a new line of code is written in his program: <love bites>."


"Alone in his room, the child finds a creative impulse deep inside him that feels good, feels liberating, makes sense when he expresses; helps his emotions to find order and meaning, a way for them to move and a place for them to go. But, whenever he can, the father disrupts and destroys the creative impulse that was healing the child. His bedroom has no door, just an empty archway like that. His father is free to enter as he pleases. Doesn't need to knock, teaching the child not to knock.

"Sometimes home alone, the young boy sneaks into his parents' bedroom like that. He finds pornography between the mattresses, and feels a warm fire consume his mind. In the closet he finds projection movies of a woman who looks like his mother sucking another man's cock. Looks like her, anyway. He's not sure. But he feels a new feeling, a strange feeling in his belly, then his chest, then his throat.

"Now the child's mouth carries all the secret anger, the fears and the shames, the taboos and the ecstasies of his clan. The fear begins to grow, making an angry galaxy in there."

A muffled explosion rattled the cavern. A fist-sized rock fell to the ground. The mullah was unmoved.
"One day the boy is walking through the woods and, turning over a rock, happens upon two snakes intertwined underneath. He takes the rock and pelts the snakes. He picks up another and hurls it, killing one of them. The remaining snake stands its ground with its mouth open, hissing at the boy. He finds another rock, and kills the other snake, too."


"Sometimes the son grows up and owns a shop that sells canolis. He makes his canolis and gives them to older, motherly women, who can't resist showing their gratitude by sucking his cock when the time is right. He manipulates, because he thinks he's found some power all his own, power over maternal women, thus taking back his will to die which was hijacked at infancy by his mother and father.

"Sometimes the son can't seem to shake the mother off long after the father has died. He goes all the way across the country, selling his canolis, but unconsciously creates the circumstances by which he must return. He does so with an underground arsenal of profound and deadly rage, but which he doesn't understand because it lay buried in his mouth, like an armed landmine awaiting its trigger."

I heard then a cantering ensemble of heavy-soled boot-steps reverberating down some distant corridors, equipment clacking together. Louder with each stride. The mullah tapped a few keystrokes. Took out a cell phone and extended the antenna.

"Mullah, what are you doing?" I quickly swiveled my head towards the entrance. When I looked back at him, both of his eyes were blue flames. He smiled.

"Sending the detonation code . . ."

Quickly I stretched the y-axis of time, which felt to him like time standing still.

I got up, walked over, and put my arms around him. Squeezed.

Squeezed tighter.

And it started to rain.


Why are you still crying?
Your pain is now through
Please forget those teardrops,
Let me take them from you.
The love you are blessed with
This world's waiting for
So let out your heart please, please,
From behind that locked door.

-The Quiet One


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Space graphics above from the Rosette Nebula in Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulfur.
Credit: T. A. Rector, B. Wolpa, M. Hanna. Planet Waves logo by Eric, and Via Davis.