Several people have asked about the spoken word passage near the end of “Rumi We’re Losing” (from Into the Ojala, by Moon Hotel Lounge Project).
This was a brief writing exercise in which I imagined what I would say to the great Sufi poet Rumi (his wiki entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi#Major_works) if by some miracle I encountered him on a city street somewhere today.
In the studio, we wrestled with how prominent the vocal should be, and eventually decided to let the words come across as just another texture. We ended up editing out some of the lines — guess which ones!
Of course there is lots more to say to Rumi or a similar poet from another age — this started with the image of Rumi making one of his long wallking journeys in modern times, and some of what he might need to know about the ways people interact these days. Rumi’s quest was at least partially about celebrating love, and when I read his wonderfully alive writings, I can’t help wondering how such an openly rhapsodic, generous soul would fare in our hectic me-first culture.
What would you say to Rumi if you found him outside a donut shop on a busy streetcorner?
RUMI WE’RE LOSING
Go ahead, go ahead
might as well go out and look around.
when you gain the street it’ll all be different
noise forever, hollow noise.
battle cries of the entitled.
just be ready – these people start from suspicion.
they look at you funny just for breathing.
they got the eyes narrowed, the guard up.
this is where they perfected the razorblade smile.
world headquarters of frosty cordial.
it’s not like when you were hanging around.
we lost something you thought humans would never lose.
think it’s somewhere back in the video aisle.
maybe check the Interwebs.
now Rumi we’re losing love.
that walk you took? that spark you gave? so easily, to everyone you met?
it’s leaking out, melting off, evaporating.
vanished like some asterisk on the endangered list.
gone like the blue out of the ocean.
Rumi, we’re losing.