Garbage, Live -- San Jose

front and centre, house
lights dim, the crush and sway
-ing left, the swaying right; the amplitude;
the AmplitudE; I
plant my boots, I use my
left to keep my body from the undertow, I use my right
for azimuth and counter-current damping. Useless.
Screw it.
Loss of balance. Lack of oxygen, and leaning right, then
leaning left and someone screams she cannot breathe; the
crowd exhales, a girl inhales and screams again; my
nostrils flare, I breathe, I breathe; I smell
the rising steam before the pistol
crack, I feel the shake and twitch; I lose
my sense of perpendicularity (the close and
dark, the crush, the sliding right, the
sliding leftward); sliding soft,
then louder, louder--Mahler--sweet and slow and
warm and sad, a string of pearls

I catch between my teeth. I brace

my hands against the girl in front; I feel
the hands and arms and legs and bellies, elbows,
not exactly sexless, pressing, swaying, held in check, until

the Fifth implodes; a tensile
chord, a skein of dog-end sounds, a wreck of
collimated blue, a

heave and
toward the girl
onstage--chaotic, massive (she eats it up and
near the exit, someone trips; the beast
goes down but does not know it, yet)--I seize
the handles of her hips, the girl
in front; a sudden tidal surge, aspray in sweat
and fractured sound, our lungs compressed, our
faces flushed,


in half a beat
the thrashing surface closes tight. My

torn, my
grip is tight, I haul against the rip--(I will
survive this crash again, I will survive and crash again,
and crash
again, until the magic takes)--the crown
of her head and then her shoulders break the waves (the beat
the words the notes the noise); she (Stockholm, early
summer, sunrise) shakes and yells, her fist
upraised, her shoulders, the small of her back
against my chest and hips, her
head, her hair are
plastered to my face. The red-haired

Scottish chick onstage (remember, I remember)--Flaming
June awake and agitated, (smash-bottle, straight-razor
tongue and satin knickers, leather boot
in your dimwit face)--incites
the stupid
boys to mosh and surf. They do
her bidding, while the rest of us, alive (alive!) and
overheated, leap and dance and grope and sweat with her. We're
soaking wet and deaf, we're
holding tight, we're
shoving back.

JDP 98/09

Copyright John D Porter © 1998

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