Thursday, April 8, 2010


He has learned the song as a small child. He has learned that you can sing the song at the same time that others are singing the song, and that you can sing it starting at different times. He has learned that a song that you can sing in this way is called a round. Any number of people, of groups of people, can join in, and, if they come in in the right places, it always sounds correct. The song grows in power. It swells. It hypnotizes, it makes everyone one voice. Different rhythms -- secondary, tertiary, and on and on -- begin to make themselves known, begin to differentiate themselves. The song begins to sound different than it did at first, and it continues to sound different in different ways. So long as there are new voices, new groups of voices, adding to the song, the song can continue indefinitely. He has thought of the children's song, the round, at first as a defense mechanism against the stench of this group, this group into which he must venture. But, perhaps the round is not a defense mechanism against, but a forward gesture into the group. The round, which he is starting to be able to hear in his head -- much as he has heard the double speak, earlier, with The Great Magnificence and others on his journey -- brings him into the group. It replaces the smell. It replaces it but does not obliterate it. It is his smell, recognized by the group -- and, unlike the other people, individuals, whose minds he has seen, the group is aware of his presence and is able to react to his presence -- the song is his smell. The song is acceptable. And he must be made acceptable to this group. The song, the round, his singing the song, the round, the hearing of the s(s)m(o)e(n)l(g)l, the round teaches him some of what he must know, now.

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