Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Lazarus writing: David Bowie and the fountain pen

What remains unwritten at the hour of our death? A frail David Bowie voice cracking, eyes bandaged, shaking, singing "I've got nothing left to lose / I'll be free / Just like that bluebird/ Oh, I'll be free" seems to surrender himself to death but yet he doesn't. There is no peace in the dimly lit room with the coffin-like wardrobe; the face with its button-eyes is anguished, the guitar sounds distorted; Bowie, the shrouded, tortured figure in bed, gets up and dances his old dance moves bathed in the light coming from the hospital window. His face is the distorted face of the dying, a mask of fear and yet he does not surrender. Something has been left unwritten. 

He sits at the table and grasps a fountain pen. Things have been left unwritten. There are still things to be said, things to be created and yet so little time. He writes frantically on paper - what has been left unsaid? what needs to be said? oh, there is no time - the pen marking the paper, the pen marking the table, the face anxious, the time running out.

The scarred body cannot surrender to the crevices of the bed and the creases of the blankets, it cannot go quietly into the night; it still needs to leave its mark, to write its presence, to dance its last dance. 

David Bowie - Lazarus

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