Ineffable (I Did Not Know the Green)

from by Gary Setzer

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lyrics

What are these shapes in front of me?
(They are ineffable.)
What are these things inside my mouth?
(They are unstoppable.)

All that I know
Turns into stone,
The snake in my mouth
Fakes what I knew.
Of the things that I knew
Only rubble remains,
Inside my mouth
Blood-of-stones stain.

Am I connected to this ‘scape?
(It is with certainty.)
I use my tongue to separate?
(Tongues use the alphabet.)

I cannot see,
I cannot hear.
Why can’t I hear?
My ears are clear.
I cannot hear
What I can see,
When the text leaves
What will it be?

I could not see the trees,
I could not see the sky.
I could not hear the breeze,
I could not feel the grass.

Systematically we put away the snake and when sites shake
We revel in the tiny turns that it will take and then we say,
I did not know the green,
I did not know the blue.

How are there parts to mystery?
(Two-toned hypocrisy.)
This tongue-division isn’t clean
(Two-toned hypocrisy.)

All that I know
Turns into stone,
The snake in my mouth
Fakes what I knew.
Of the things that I knew
Only rubble remains,
Inside my mouth
Blood-of-stones stain.

These marks, these words divide as well.
(Sublime and beautiful.)
New tongue-division harmony.
(Touched by vocabulary.)
This awkward field is atomized.
(The ghosts made durable.)
Divide me, divide me.
(This flux is durable.)

I cannot see,
I cannot hear.
Why can’t I hear?
My ears are clear.
I cannot hear
What I can see,
When the text leaves
What will it be?

I could not see the trees,
I could not see the sky.
I could not hear the breeze,
I could not feel the grass.

Systematically we put away the snake and when sites shake
We revel in the tiny turns that it will take and then we say,
I did not know the green,
I did not know the blue.

The ringing sound has reached my mouth.
The taste is shattered by that sound.

(Hold it. Shape it. We cannot remake this.
Take it. Shake it. Snakes might make or break it.)

Electric snakes they palpitate.
Built shorthand piles, a snake disease.

(Hold it. Shape it. We cannot remake this.
Take it. Shake it. Snakes might make or break it.)

I could not see the trees,
I could not see the sky.
I could not hear the breeze,
I could not feel the grass.

Systematically we put away the snake and when sites shake
We revel in the tiny turns that it will take and then we say,
I did not know the green,
I did not know the blue.

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Gary Setzer Tucson, Arizona

Gary Setzer is an interdisciplinary artist. He currently lives and works in Tucson, where he is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Arizona. His performances, installations, objects, and videos have been exhibited and screened extensively. ... more

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