Dark star crashes, pouring its light into ashes.
Reason tatters, the forces tear loose from the axis.
Searchlight casting for faults in the clouds of delusion.
Shall we go, you and I while we can
through the transitive nightfall of diamonds?
Last week, Robert Hunter– longtime Jerry Garcia collaborator, Grateful Dead lyricist, and early MKUltra test subject– flashed permanently to the linguistic plane in which, one assumes, terrestrial linguistics and DMT have no further use. He was seventy-eight and previously had written the lyrics for basically every Dead song not written by John Perry Barlow, which is to say the majority of them. Like Barlow, who was dispatched last year, Hunter embraced the nascent internet, through which one still may locate many of his uploaded journals that, unsurprisingly, reveal an active and introspective mind.
In the time since his passing, many writers have made reference to “Black Peter,” a song obviously about death, even as one recognized that the song bore meaning as a communication to or about Hunter’s partner, Garcia.
For purposes of this post, I suggest instead we turn to the band’s great suite, “Terrapin Station,” for words more self-referential:
Let my inspiration flow
in token lines suggesting rhythm
that will not forsake me
till my tale is told and done
The storyteller makes no choice
soon you will not hear his voice
his job is to shed light
and not to master