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tenth moon
blue electric light

I don’t know who I am.  I don’t know who I am.  My parents don’t take me seriously when I tell them, but they can’t see.  I really mean it.  They say, you’re John, you’re our John.  Now take out the trash and stop staring into space.  But it all adds up to just a flat blank square. 


Do I want other people to like me?  I don’t know, but I think I do.  Do I want to be included and invited places?  Do I want to take girls on dates?


I like music okay.  Sometimes it creeps up my spine and makes me feel like a snake, almost like I want to burst out of the shell and be the free, free snake.  But it doesn’t rip, so I can’t and I can’t explain to anyone what I mean—how it’s deep inside my skin, like I’m wriggling in a deeper place.  Does that make sense?


I want to go to San Francisco. 




Sometimes I go to other kids’ houses and we sit on the bed or the floor.  We talk a little and they put on records. 


The guitar solos are wild.  I heard a Clapton solo, and blue electric lines were rippling across my spine maybe underneath my shirt.  I didn’t know whether it was just inside my skin, or inside it and over it,  but the blue electric lines were whipping and swipping up and down my spine,  with a stippling and dipping interpenetrating of cartilage,  blood  and my blue electric light.  I could see my blood teeming with flying black dots.  But it doesn’t rip. The sound of the guitar was like a magnet to my body.  The sound of the guitar was pulling like a magnet at the individual components of my spine to make those parts click outward and press harder to my skin from inside me, like rungs of a ladder when you open the ladder.  That is the snake. 


And you cannot scare the snake with electricity, because the snake just dances with electricity.  It knows how to bend in it.  Does everyone already know this?  Do they already know what I am saying?  And sometimes I can feel the blue electric lines trying to extend until they form a hand that can reach to rest on my head and fall sparking streams of blue electric light down my face to singe my neck and enter through my chest. 


Kids have magazines that show San Francisco, and they all talk about San Francisco.  Some of them want to go out there too.  And some of them say it isn’t right what the kids out there are doing, how they’re turning their backs on their families and forgetting their obligations, to just wander in the streets.  But everyone knows something is going on in San Francisco. 


It is calling me. 




I went and got a record.  It was the Simon and Garfunkel record, and I liked how the guy at the counter smiled and nodded when I brought it up.  He said, “Right on, man, right on,” and it was like we were friends.  And I gave him money. 


I took the record home and I listened to it.  But then I didn’t know what I bought it for.  It didn’t have guitar solos, it was just guys singing.  But other kids were talking about it, so I listened to it too. 


I don’t care about America like other kids do.  They were singing about America and I didn’t know why they were talking about it.  It’s just a place. You could be from here or from somewhere else.  And you wouldn’t see it the same way if you weren’t from here.  So it might not be what you see.


But at school, I keep hearing kids talking about Simon and Garfunkel, and some girls were singing that song together. So I keep listening to it when I get home after school, because I’m trying to understand and I’m trying to be like them.  I do want to understand, but those Simon Garfunkel songs don’t turn alive the snake in my spine. 

They say there’s a lot of music happening in San Francisco and that all kinds of new ideas are happening there and you can be yourself and not have to be who they tried to say you were. But I never thought I was anyone, so I just want to know who they are, and what they think America is. I was thinking I want that.


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