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Six Sights and Six Sounds: A Sestina

By Robert Russell



Dear H.


I see a small, beating heart enshrouded by darkness. Like a growing flame, the beating, imminent pulses illuminate the void. With a wave of light, blood and metallic tumult smother the room. Bass pours into each crevice, growing too, in synchronization with an ominous throbbing. Haunting, curious, striking dissonance echoes throughout all chambers. The chaos subsides into dormancy, only momentarily before the heart comes back to life. It writhes and screams in the darkness, yearning for bloody relief. That once small flame explodes again in an aural destruction of noise.   


I see dancing figures in white, zoomorphic and phantasmagorical. A ritual in a forest, sinful noise, occult and gnostic, seemingly transcends worlds. Walking on dead leaves, destination imminent, the throng sways in tandem and pushes through the mist. A woman in white stands in the darkness and sings in melodious melancholy. Light emanates, bleeding through her pores with striking bass in a harmonic minor scale. Neither dead nor alive, she is unearthly. Her surroundings–dormancy, nature slowly coming to life. Leaves, trees, birds begin to sing, leaving no trace of prior hauntings.   


I see a snowy dove trapped in a cage, unyielding and suffocating. A creature lurks nearby, haunting and torturous. The bird sings quietly, quiescently questioning in chirps that cut through the noise that clamors from the mouth of the monster. Her tears drop and fall to the floor frozen in dormancy, unique snowflakes shattering upon impact. The dust kicks up, then silence, an ominous, imminent signal of an impending attack. Footsteps inch forward, booming treads, the cage shakes from bass, then suddenly the cage flies and splinters in myriad shards. Light breaks through the darkness.


I see a young man, standing in the spotlight before god. Church organs sound from the darkness. He screams out his lungs, straining with each breath. He convulses with his hands jutting, haunting, pontificating his heretical professes. He is angry, cheated. His voice bellows, an eruption of bass and blasphemy against the betraying face that once loved him. His screams rise to stifle the noise that fills his head, driving nails into his mind and heart. The empty air moves slightly, an imminent smite inching closer with each word. He is ready for punishment, but nothing, only just dormancy.  


I see a séance taking place in an old, dilapidated cabin. Mountainside, dead of winter, dormancy and death for as far as the eye can see. As the sun slowly descends behind the mountain, darkness blankets the landscape. Glimmers of light and screams flow from the cabin, an imminent necromantic ritual coming to fruition. The soft words sound to cite an old adage about a haunting that took place within the walls a long time ago. A Russian horror fairytale. Candles shine, noise escalates, shadows loom large over the sigil. The flames suddenly die with a large windfall of bass.  


I see a couple, swaying, grinding in synchronization on a vacant dance-floor. Kicks, snares, bass, synths blare from invisible monitors. A ghastly voice penetrates the air, bringing life to dormancy. The couple is entranced in their love for each other. Their subtle movements inspire the static noise that surrounds them. Nothing exists but them in this moment. Their light fills the empty darkness, their entangled forms glowing greater and greater. Tiny traces of gold fall of their limbs, a haunting yet beautiful sight. The music slows, their dance slows and the darkness returns; death is imminent.


Dear H.

That drop on our horizon is imminent; an anticipation of treble and bass

Ominous and haunting as it is, this realization is the embodiment of dormancy.

Life is nothing but darkness, and music is nothing but noise.



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