Friday, 10 September 2010

Sam Shepherd - RHYTHM

If everything could be sung to the standard rock and roll progression - C, A minor, F, G chords - then everything'd be simple. How many variations on a single theme. The greatest drum solo I ever heard was by a loose flap of a tarpaulin on top of my car hitting the wind at eighty. The second best is wind shield wipers in the rain, but more abstract, less animal. Like the rythyms of a rabbit scratching his chin. Vision rhythyms are neat like hawk swoops and swan dives. Slow motion space rythyms. Digging rhythyms like shovels and spades and hoes and rakes and snowplow rhythyms. Jack-hammer rhythyms make Ginger Baker and Keith Moon look like punk chumps. Oil can rhythyms, ratchet wrench rythyms. Playing cards in bicycle spokes. A string of rapid-fire, firecracker rhythyms. Propeller rythyms. Cricket rythyms. Dog claws clicking on hard wood floors. Clocks. Piston rhythyms. Dripping faucets. Tin hitting tin in the wind. Water slapping rocks. Flesh slapping flesh. Boxing rhythyms. Racing rhythyms. Rushing brooks. Radio static buzz in a car when the engine is the dictator. Directional turnsignal blinkers. Off and on neon lights. Blinking yellow arrows. Water pumps. Refrigerator hums. Thermostatic-controlled heating systems. Clicking elevators with the numbers lighting up for each floor. Snakes sliding through grass. In fact any animal through grass. At night. Buoy lights. Ship signals. Airplane warnings. Fire alarms. Rhythyms in a stuck car horn. Eating rythyms. Chewing rhythyms. The cud of a cow. The chomp of a horse. Knives being sharpened. Band saws. Skill saws. Hack saws. Buzz saws. Buck saws. Chain saws. Any saw rythym. Hammers and nails. Moneyclanking in a poker game. Cards shuffled. Bus meters. Taxi meters. Boiling water rhythyms. Clicking ballpoint pens. Clicking metal frogs. Roulette wheel spinning rhythyms. Tire rhythyms. Whittling. Stitching. Typing. Clicking knitting needles. Parrots sharpening their beaks on wood. Chickens scratching. Dogs digging for moles. Birds cleaning their feathers. Cocking guns. Spinning guns. Bolt actions. Lever actions. Snapping finger nails. Finger popping.Cracking knuckles. Snapping bones. Farting. Spitting. Shitting. Fucking rhythyms. Blinking eyes. Blowing nose. Coughing without control. Candle flicker rhythyms. Creakinghouses. Thawing ice.
And you call yourself a drummer?


Hawkmoon, PAJ Publications, New York, 1981.