In A Past Life

2016: “In A Past Life” is a chapbook whose content forms the principal nucleus of a series of songs and poems that fall under the umbrella of a project entitled “Menagerie.” The idea for the project reared its head in the spring of 2010 and persisted through to 2013, arising from my interest in mythology: it fascinated me how we perform the narratives that are essential to us, so that in the end they are collected together — a host of beasts capering in a menagerie. The resulting poems and songs are preoccupied with the manner in which we strive to bolster our lives with a symbolic resonance, in the hope that our stories might outlast us and become grandly outlined simulacra of our time in the world. When we strive in this way, it allows us to feel connected to the vast generations of ears that might hear our stories, and to the generations of stories that we ourselves have heard. We do it so that we might never be alone, and if we do it well enough, we become part of something universal, taking on the monolithic character of the cultural and historical mythologies upon which our civilization has been built. The performance comes at a cost, though, and that’s something that I also explore — the things that we give in exchange for the feeling of permanence.

Originally, the chapbook was going to be a lengthy group of poems released by Rufus Books with the title of “Menagerie.” Unfortunately, some things beyond anyone’s control went wrong with that, so I published a shorter selection of the project’s more lyric and overtly mythic poems with The Alfred Gustav Press in a chapbook entitled “In A Past Life.” The books shipped out to subscribers at the end of May, 2016.

On July 1st, 2016, I officially released “Euhemerism EP,” a group of songs that undertake a more narrative-oriented interpretation of the project. You can stream it here in SoundCloud:

You can also find a free download of the EP (along with a remix of the song “Arrival” by Streamline-S), a complete cycle of the poems, and ink drawings by Hannah Alexandra Smith on Bandcamp: