Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary. Often posting 1st drafts and editing in (almost) real time.

Month: April, 2015

Letters From Attica [an excerpt] by Sam Melville (1934 – 1971) & the Frederic Rzewski Composition ‘Coming Together’


I think the combination of age and the greater coming together is responsible for the speed of the passing time.

18. See?sm4

it’s six months now and i can tell you truthfully few periods in my life have passed so quickly.

19. city

i am in excellent physical and emotional health.

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there are doubtless subtle surprises ahead but i feel secure and ready.

Detail 4f15. Taken Aback

As lovers will contrast their emotions in times of crisis, so am i dealing with my environment.


in the indifferent brutality, incessant noise, the experimental chemistry of food, the ravings of lost hysterical men, i can act with clarity and meaning.

i am deliberate–sometimes even calculating–seldom employing histrionics except as a test of the reactions of others.

15. Taken Aback

i read much, exercise, talk to guards and inmates, feeling for the inevitable direction of my life.

66smDetail 4f

Sam Melville (Letters From Attica)

Above is how the spelling appears on more than one site.


I narrated this text four years ago or so with professional musicians performing Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together & Attica.

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Sounding this text to the music was one of the most emotional things I’ve experienced: hypnotic, exhausting and exhilarating.


Frederic Rzewski selected this body of text for his composition.


A performance featuring narration by stage actor Steve Ben Israel with Frederic Rzewski on piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSuuwJFw4wU  The video opens in a new window so you can follow the text here if you wish.

prison 2

Credits and information about this recording: http://incessantnoise.blogspot.ca/2009/08/frederic-rzewski-coming-together.html


Good Friday


Jesus swayed to the music, grooving in the rain.

figure 2

Not yet a prisoner at Abu Ghraib.

figure a

The rope he used whipping the parasites in the Temple

passed hand to hand.


Like the very young, he also desired peace and love.


The authorities posed him, for sport,

 in their carnival of madness.


Roll away the stone.

because ofbecause of 1because of 2

Before midnight.


Before midnight,

a young artist storms the stage.

moon sun

Wearing red oak leaves,


the vast, glistening night.




Commingling with rain & shadows.

lemony rinse

Crying forth her gravelled composition.


Melanie Safka performing Birthday of the Sun live at Woodstock (1969):



Roll away the stone.


Source material:

Christ’s Crucifixion by Diego Velaquez


Photograph of

Abu Ghraib prisoner

@ Wikipedia.org


Woodstock photo (detail) uncredited, found online.


I’ve digitally recomposed new images for non-commercial

purposes of commentary.

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