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  • Writer's picturerobert-holliday

"Big" Listening


Can you feel the sounds around you?

in your body?

in your mind?

Can they touch your skin and make you warm?

are you vibrating with them?

or vibrating on your own?

Is there a tone to your body?

a harmony?

a rhythm?

Is it all connected?

can you hear it all as one?

one big orchestration of vibration.




Can you listen with the body?

Can your feet hear the traffic outside?

the voices below?

the not so gentle hum of machines

far and near?

Is it beautiful?

iS It sTrange?

Is it sad?

or magical?

Can they listen to you?

these sounds you hear?

Can they speak as voices speak?

or sing as vocalists do?

And speaking of speaking,

is there another you speaking?

the one inside your mind,

the one that tells you many things,

the one that puts on plays for you?

Can you hear the melody?

in what they are speaking?

If they are them,

then who or are you?

The one who is speaking?

or the one who is listening?

What is it like to listen,

when sounds don’t have a name?

What are sounds like without ears?

Without a head?

There is a concert


all around you

right now.

Can you hear it?

Can you play it?

Can you let your realizations go?

Can you enjoy your delusion?


Wandering imaginary landscapes

Breathing flashes of illumination

unwound to misunderstanding

over and over again

Folding into mu

these crystal idols


waiting to be broken--

The Body

A Monument

the body a vestibule

The body

a vehicle

The Body

a score The body

a sound

The body

a Witness the body

an instrument

the Body

an ocean The body

A Storm The Body

outside the body

the body unbound

The BodY

A Machine

the body

desire the body

No body

The Body nobody the body

inside the


t he body


The body lost…

the body found.



little eyes

little ears

little tongues



in stillness

or in slowness.-

The edge so clear

that the edge falls away

and the body is (no more)


Am I dreaming?

this body

these sounds



formation of mind.

In stillness I wait

for an image

a sound

a landscape to unfold

from the depths—


Hypnotized by its pull

I forget I am dreaming.

Can I dream?

knowing I am dreaming?

one foot in the door of awakening

the other in the depths

Countless times awakened by thoughts

awakened to another dream.

Is there nothing to hold on to?

No certainty to be had?

Mirrors reflecting mirrors of consciousness

unending, incessant

I awaken to caste symbols

to apprehend the reality prior to


Elusive, enigmatic

it escapes

dissipates like vapor to the sky

and these symbols

etched in familiar fabric

expound a version not at all the same

faint remnants of something too far away

to harbor light

or a momentous truth

What is this strange bridge between

these worlds?

this transmigrational tunnel

this highway among souls

a great vessel of the cosmo’s?

veins of a goddess?

And where am “I” and what is this?

Am I still dreaming?

If I can listen for the one who is listening

can I dream the one who is dreaming?

This I who writes as I am now,

questioning the “I” who writes,

pondering the other I who knows

far more about this I than

this I knows of it

this I of this and that

left and right

true and false

clocks, names and games

and this other I

who doesn’t know they are dreaming,

who forgets itself

who questions little

and knows a great deal.

Can I dream

knowing I am dreaming?

Am I doing this now?

and am I alone?

or are we together?





Are we dreaming together now?

as we move?

as we listen?

Could we…

Listen to sounds together as if they are our last?

Touch the spirit of the depths and be brave enough to share?

Perform an intentional act of unintentional birth?

Record some places we like and make a sound collage?

Make some rituals for the sun?

Make sacred the ordinary tasks of our day?

Sing the same pitch before we sleep?

Remember others are remembering to remember?

Make visages from our subconscious, and perform a play ?

Make a festival, to celebrate our imaginations?

Speak directly with only our eyes?

Sing to the full moon, wherever we are?

Perform a slow walk, all through town?

Perform a concert, a fire as our score?

Make an altar, to house the memories of our dreams?

Make rituals to thank the earth?

Write letters to give to strangers?

Share our fears, and make them curiosities?

Remember the sounds of childhood, and create a circus?

Spend some time talking with plants?

Practice some backwards motions throughout the day?

Amplify ourselves writing whatever comes to mind?

Play the thoughts each other are hearing?

Perform an action intended for another place?

Mirror ourselves mirroring each other?

Make a collective act of surrender

Play the rhythms of our heartbeats until they are in sync?

Whisper our dreams in the dark?

Forget ourselves and make a friend of unknowing?

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