Certainty [vibrations of a bell] fidelity
Yes ally all-eye is yes alimentary lies yes ale eye usually yes ally an eyeful yes full anomalies arose yes allium an alloyed eye or algae-eyed on a lake yes annually unusually lassoed alas a last eye yes a naked lie in an alley a liar eye says yes eye islands allure and unalloyed actuals evolve yes allegedly I yes-eyed the lie men with all my allusive might yes my alias my algebra eye aligned I allonymed yes I allowanced my ally on all fours my eyes alluvium all else awry yes alleluiah eyed allover unusually yes arrow eyed all a quiver yes to belly a lie in eros as in ocellus a belly eye your ocean eye ally all yes or last
I composed "Certainty [vibrations of a bell] Fidelity" by first recording myself in binaural mics saying "ally" in the left ear and "all eyes" in the right ear. (Binaural recording allows for recording spatially the way we actually hear—with two ears, a left and right channel.) By having simultaneous competing ideas ("ally" versus "all eyes") vibrating "in the madhouse of the skull," as Beckett says, I could come up with (marriage?) vows that build in doubt, an overpowering ambivalence. I composed the piece trying to make use of only the sounds I was hearing. I wanted to saturate myself in antagonistic sound bytes within the context of thinking of romance/love/marriage as a binary system of received, or overheard, ideas. Of course crypt words and phantom sounds proliferated. I looped the recording and listened to it as I wrote and revised. [End Page 239]
Christine Hume is the author of Musca Domestica (Beacon Press, 2004); Alaskaphrenia (New Issues Press, 2004); and a chapbook with CD, Lullaby: Speculations on the First Active Sense (Ugly Ducking Press, 2008). She is an associate professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Eastern Michigan University.