All posts by kcmccormick

Musings on Mark Hollis

New beautifully-written article in PROG magazine by the co-author of Spirit of Talk Talk.

“I never met Mark Hollis but always had the feeling that he was a co-tunneller under the surface of what pop music might mean,” tweeted Peter Hammill upon hearing of Mark’s death, aged 64, in late February. Musicians united in respect, emphasising the range of Talk Talk’s reach, from prog to pop to post-rock to all who seek to tweak the envelope. “Real originality is a rare commodity in music,” Peter Gabriel, who’d seen the young Talk Talk open for his Six Of The Best reunion show with Genesis at a rain-sodden Milton Keynes in October ’82, told The Guardian. “Mark created very personal pictures with his music and magical voice: a wry, unique and soulful take on the world.”

Mark Hollis a Life in Music

St. Cecilia’s Day

St. Cecilia’s Day

Annals of the ages
preserved no evidence,
not a trace esconced
in the walls of titular tombs.

Yet her spirit guided
the hand of history
to the bones of her testament

in her name,
carved into stone
of a sepluchre in the catacomb.

She lives,
enlivened by the virginal joy
not given over
to earthly ecstacy.

Hers, the empassioned embrace,
of the sacrificial body.

Hers, the voice
ringing out the sweet sounds
of certainty.

A life, emboldened to stand
firm in the face of gallows,
flourishes
and runs free
into welcoming elysian fields.

The haunting gaze of conviction
urges us to run abreast,
yet fixed souls stand in awe
of such simple,
wonderous,
radiance.

This, the heart of the saint.
This, the incantation of eternal love,
a wordless aria
soaring to heaven.

And so she is here,
as present as you and I
as we, in unearthly voices,
sound the passing knell

to cast the thundering waves
of joy—the light engaged
to cast aside the trappings
that sustain the worldly
mammon and the madness

Faith and light and trembling
hope—you know the voice
sung out to angels,
the censorial sonance to the cold
hand of the rex legem

Condemned now,
the responding smile
opens the heart
to the flowing blood of truth.

There, the bejeweled
backdrop of guilded stones,
reveals the maiden betrothed,
not defiled.

Eyes cast aloft,
her soul ascends
through winds divine

and just below,
the angelic gaze,
a perfect alabaster nape
which twice and again
the henchman cleaved
but could not sever.

A final sign
of love revealed,
of three in one—
her love now sealed.

Kevin McCormick
22 November, 2018