Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
What makes you feel more alive than thinking about death? It has to be thinking about death in a way that makes you uncomfortable. It's only then that you can truly cherish the living you're doing, the loving that you're being allowed to receive and partake of. The other day, our five-year-old asks ANOTHER question about death. She and the next oldest seem to make a comment about living and dying once a day, as if neither were really that remarkable, just humdrum sorts of things - especially the death thing. It's almost romantic in their minds because great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers have already experienced it.
On this day, the child asks if she'll get dirt in her eyes when she's put into the ground. It's kind of effed up to have to answer such a morbid question from someone so alive, so I deflect it, but mom answers it honestly, explaining about caskets and decomposition. The answers are taken at face value and the day proceeds without so much as another peep about death, but every time the subject is brought up by my young ones, it simply makes me thankful that they're so young and it makes me hopeful that I'll age as slowly as possible so that we'll all be well enough old when I'm lowered into a cold, dark hole in the ground.
Cincinnati, Ohio, band Pomegranates has returned with a new record, "Heaven," where they are - on many instances - thinking about death to feel more alive. Joey Cook and Isaac Karns again balance the sentiments between the more bloody and raw stylings and those of a more refined and contemplated nature. With this record, however, there's a more subtle difference between each writer's structures, with Cook taking on more of the raw-nerved nakedness that Karns has been typically known to give more frequently. Cook sounds banged up emotionally on the album's title track, trying like people do, "just to get to you," reaching for his deceased loved ones, needing their embraces to make it through a particularly tough night, maybe when the finality of our fraudulent days takes a hard knock, a toll that can't be un-rung or unpaid. Living, dying - it all hurts, or maybe none of it does - maybe that's the point. Or no point at all.