“Fanfare for the Common Man”

kk 175
Ireland, ah the green of it

This morning when I got on the freeway, “Fanfare for the Common Man” was playing and I immediately thought as I always do when I hear this Aaron Copeland music, of a story Mark Goff wrote that was published in 1989 in The Northridge Review. I never met Mark Groff and I have no idea if he’s still writing, but that story has stuck with me all these years.

It is in the second person and it is Midwestern and sexual and musical all at the same time. I remember a line that was something like, “You are planting your seed in the Midwest,” and right then the narrator’s having sex with a big fun corn fed girl, but you’re all up in it because it’s in the second person.

Let’s try this.

You get up early every morning, but you begin to get up earlier and earlier. No matter how early you get up, it isn’t early enough for that part of you that’s always flogging you. You get up at 6, but that’s not enough, you get up at 5, then at 4, pretty soon, you won’t be going to bed at all.

Once that happens, you have caffeine introduced intravenously, and you keep yourself coiled so that eventually you don’t ever sleep at all. You write. You exercise. You make phone calls. You read manuscripts and more manuscripts. People call you and ask what you think of manuscripts and sometimes you aren’t sure if you know what they are talking about. You’re tired and your sight is blurry.

You work harder and you exercise more. You try to remember why you are doing all this. Ah yes, it’s because you want someone to think, and you want to think yourself that you are doing something important in your life and that all that counts for something.

You are acutely aware that if you were a man, your whole life would be better. You’d have the right jobs. Men are part of a bro fest, they all help each other put meat on the table. They make sure that they have real jobs which create real meals.

Women try to help each other too, the “girls working together” means that you can help your girlfriends get into little conferences, little readings, getting published in little magazines.

You think that with the running, the writing, the working so hard you will find yourself in a different level, on a different sphere. You’ll be like a man.

You are very tired. You aren’t sure what time of day it is. You believe that if you try harder you can transform yourself.

While you get on the freeway at 6 am after working out at the gym, you turn up the radio. What you hear is “Fanfare for the Common Man.” You can feel its music reaching into you. You can feel yourself greening and wild like the fertile crescent at the beginning of the world. It’s the music of creation.

Published in: on November 20, 2013 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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