Syncope, Cupola, Pulse
for Nate Mackey’s
“as though song were a leg”
“as though the heart were a ventriloquist”
To re-make the mistake. Seize the flaw. Flow.
“The queen of rhythm, syncope, is also the mother of dissonance; it is
the source, in short, of a harmonious and productive discord. The
process allows some limping before the harmony, however: it is some-
times said that syncope ‘attacks’ the weak beat, like an enzyme, a wild-
cat, or a virus; and yet the last beat is the saving one. Attack and haven,
collision; a fragment of the beat disappears and of this disappearance,
rhythm is born.” Catherine Clément, Syncope
Obatala (the “unblemished god… the serene womb of chthonic reflections… a passive strength awaiting and celebrating each act of vicarious restoration of his primordial being” [Wole Soyinka]) leads the deities in soaking up the human broth. In Sanskrit poetics, rasa is the savor, the aesthetic presentiment of divine nutrition; art as sublime altruism, from mortals to the immortals—this nudge of flavorful necessity.
A “physics of bliss, the groove, the inscription, the syncope: what is hollowed out, tamped down, or what explodes, detonates.” (Roland Barthes)
Speck or scar; striations of the fold, creasing the text. Stains, blurs, corruptions. Bracketed dust of Sappho, Archilochus…