July 26, 2011

Oh, Amy, We Hardly Knew You

I must update my mail art blog tonight,
but first I must say here how deeply I regret 
the passing of Amy Winehouse, 
a woman so young, so brilliant, and so tortured. 

 In the beauty of her life-giving arrogance

I thought her gorgeous.
 I especially loved the
"rehab/ no, no, no" song. In its rhythms, I connected to her,
even knowing it was a song of death.
  And that hair!
Do you know how much time and effort it takes
to rat yourself
into a temple-high beehive?
It is torturous to be wildly different,
to opt for the best 1960s hairdo
and the eye makeup in which we all look like whores.
Winehouse invented a drummer to follow, 
but the drum came with needles,
and she loved the needles
more than us,
more than the morning sky,
more than the music.
Or maybe not. 
Maybe it is just too damned hard to stop.

She reminds me not at all of Janice Joplin,
unless you count addictions;
and I see
no connection to Kurt Cobain's suicide.
Think instead of Heath Ledger.
Until I saw The Dark Knight,
I underestimated the magnificently gifted, 
courageous actor he was.
I saw it in Amy while she still lived.
I don't know how much research
exists on the cost to artists' souls
of leaving it all
on the stage,
in the concert hall,
or within the text.
Not much, I suspect, because people willing
and also capable
of doing so is a fraction of the whole.
 May the majority live long and prosper, 
but may those few
brilliantly blazing stars
pouring themselves out for our sakes
remain in our memories and
retain our respect eternally
for taking the rocky path through the forest, 
holy sacrifices so the rest of us
may imagine what living to the utmost entails.

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