“Isle of the Cheetah” by Hum
Main engine 3 start command. Main engine 2 start command. Main engine 1 start command. T-zero Solid Rocket Booster ignition. Liftoff. «Chance brought me down on your side» 15+ years shitfaced standing on various pieces of furniture guitaring the hell out of the air. «And your hand looks so nice in mine» Covering it poorly during band practice downtime. Sitting home alone getting high and playing along, first on the left channel, then the right. That electrical blossom stutter giving way to the opioid float-bliss of a warm, clear Fma7; the hi-hat sizzle when the drums kick in; the precision grind of the distortion. Inevitably going through the whole album because why stop. Sometimes a bass was nearby. Bruised thighs from playing lap drums. «And all this means nothing to the sun» I almost know better than to think this is what astronauts listen to on a loop in orbit—the most perfect space travel music (Hum the most aptly named band ever) for all of us stapled to this island. «Are we leaving this one?» The cryptic ’90s lyrics late poems of analog industrialism—when space travel was still a collective aspiration. «It’s been a thousand years seen since inception, and you’re radiant, glowing» It still gives me chills.
Alex Crowley is a reviews editor at Publishers Weekly and a co-curator of Brooklyn’s MENTAL MARGINALIA Reading Series. Winner of the inaugural Paul Violi Memorial Prize, his poems have recently appeared in Phantom Limb, Forklift Ohio, Haribo,BORT Quarterly, and elsewhere.
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Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.
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