For Trent Reznor
I have long been fascinated by perilous, involuntary descents, the body or mind in a state of paroxysmal collapse. Lucifer forever falling after his defeat by God, fixed perpetually to the canvas of the sky, morning star, mourned star, Antichrist Superstar, explosante-fixe. Once music had been Broken, Trent Reznor mapped the Downward Spiral, Fixed its grim stations with Nine Inch Nails. Ground Control would never reach this Major Tom; he had travelled too low and too deep. The music of the spheres was rusty music boxes and liquid light, buzzed through with daisychainsaws. Voices emerge from the void: All the pigs are all lined up, I give you all that you want… Over two decades later the earworms are still lost in the labyrinth of my cerebral cortex and I stammer some of the words in my own Hell-poem. Sometimes, it’s all too much, the metaphors are absurd, the hyperbole risible, I mean come on, mate, cheer up, grow up. You talking to Trent or me? I’m cheered by the groans of the dead souls in Trent’s aural Inferno. I don’t believe in God or souls or Hell, but the illusions look real in this unreliable light and the emotions feel real. A poem is a debacle of the intellect. A song is a debacle of the soul.
Nine Inch Nails have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.