Friday, May 3, 2024

The Mississippi by Walt Whitman and me


It was an absolute pleasure to work with Walt Whitman! He is a beautiful writer, a very positive person, and a charming collaborator.

I don't know what he thought of working with me because he is dead.

In what is just one of several downsides to being dead, the dead belong to us.

Which I suppose makes me sort of a grave robber, but the good kind! The kind doing important anthropological research into the evolution of people.

Or their stagnation.

Or whatever.

Today, finally, I have a poem set to music, with serviceable, appropriate imagery I shot down by the river.

Down by the river,

I shot my footage,

Dead, I shot it dead.

Sorry, don't mind me.

Anyway (you can mind me again), below is some of Walt Whitman's stirring verse on the veritable Mississippi, set to music by machines! And me! Unlike a lot of the poetry I'm working with, this is pretty straight forward in terms of immediate intelligibility, but if you listen to it 47 times like me, you will find that your understanding of it nevertheless deepens.

It's probably best opened up or watched on YouTube. But my statistical analysis of it shows that most people prefer to not watch it at all, so chart your own course...


The Mississippi!


  1. “great writers are indecent people
    they live unfairly
    saving the best part for paper.
    good human beings save the world
    so that bastards like me can keep creating art,
    become immortal.
    if you read this after I am dead
    it means I made it.”
    ― Charles Bukowski

  2. As Dylan Thomas said at one point, "It's a writer's first duty to attack his country and assault everything it stands for." There comes a time when you can't do much else. There would be no way I could go back and work for Time Magazine now, I mean, you really make your own bed after a certain period. And if the times are on your side, you're a hero-if not, you're a fool. Look what happened to Tim Leary. The tide came in and went out ... and he went out with it.
    Hunter S. Thompson


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