May 1, 2003

From The Horse's Mouth

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Sitting down to write the last “dark horse” column I see my confused silly invention walk to the scaffold. The process is illogical yet I find it necessary to reenact the execution. One sunny day, “the dark horse” woke up to the sounds of a melancholy British song that spawned a meditation which, after some editing, became the first Horse’s Mouth. After the initial publication came the realization that 23 more would follow.

Listening to music daily, one becomes accustomed to periodic mental responses generally encompassed by variations on the troika of “awesome, interesting, and sucks.” These mostly glide by unnoticed. “The Dark Horse” carried me to perform some cranial gymnastics, to inspect the aforementioned troika in hopes of finding beneath the rubble and dust of trivialities the gleaming, semi-precious specs of an original idea.

Weekly transformation of the private joy music provided into mini narratives became a means of slashing the ropes that bind the concept of criticism together. Unlike a music reviewer, I was given the selfish pleasure of feeling no obligation to be informative or objective. It was simply my sorrow at Joe Strummer’s passing or my glee at listening to Captain Beefheart turn a phrase. For this, I extend my gratitude to the editorial powers that be.

As the minute of execution approaches my confused dark creature stares at the crowd gathered around. Being a myopic soul, the horse can make out only a single lunch table with some familiar faces. She winks to them and hopes that the blurred silhouettes behind are other faces (though slightly less good-looking of course) and not just bushes and tree stumps appearing to be readers. The method of execution is, I believe, only appropriate given the fictitious circumstances, namely death by bleach. Total erasure.

This brings me to the most significant part of the event — the songs selected to mark the occasion. Funeral songs fascinate me because they provide an opportunity to manipulate a ceremony that by definition slips from one’s control. If the will and testament are the last words, the funeral song is the poignant post-script. Last night, my dark one whispered to me the three songs to be played once she is mare no more. She wanted to begin with “All the Tired Horses” the orchestral opening to Dylan’s Self-Portrait. Continuing, rather predictably, she chose the funeral classic “Danny Boy” to be performed by Shane MacGowan, if he is able. To close the ceremonies she wished for a particularly beautiful version of Django Reinhardt’s “Minor Swing.” Some may say these are odd choices but knowing her as I do, they are perfect. Now that I’ve completed my mission as messenger I wish to personally say …

“Peace” to “the dark horse.”

Archived article by Maxim Pozdorovkin