I listen to ambient music, he says. I listen to the sounds around me, he retorts.
I listen to whatever God tells me, he says. I listen to the fact of the matter, he snorts.
I listen to the wind and the winding, he says, the wingdings and things. I continue to listen, continue and hope, and sign and drop my shoulders, and weep a little, he exhorts.
Color your lights in he says to me and it is not as if but maybe yes it is as if but not as if. The skin all around us breaks our falls. I cannot grasp this at all. But I do know this.
I know this.
When you speak directly to the heart of a truly insurmountain of a man, his immediate response never quite agrees.
It is not so easy to hit both “this sounds like” and “nothiing else before or since.” You can sing songs about Geddy Le and IKEA and wink wink your way into the hearts of hundreds. There are the songs that are a time for you and sometimes they are the song that told you as a kid to cut your hair and there is the one that told you as an older kid that sure, go ahead and steal that album. On band cannot brighten every corner and one man cannot lighten every hoarder, the singer might sing. Spiral stairs where you lease expect them. Everywhere, everywhere, there and there.
It is the song of bouncing to the beat you know is true. It is the sound of cool as it schoooools over your mind’s fingertips, the stitter sitter stutter tutter of beats made words and words made bone and words bourne. It is the end of product, the end product, the mind blown. It is the right thing at the right time. It is right.
The belief in all things easy to remember.
The understanding that comes with age, or a pint.
I wonder if the reason why this all matters has to do with a complete disregard for others.
You told me once that there was no more room for you.
Bring forth another sort of tempest.
Gauzy and just barely out of reach.
It’s not enough to pig’s lipstick a slapdash lyric or poem or rhythm or essay.
Speak out sometimes, but try to win.
And then the power went out on the laptop and then the lightning bugs made me wish they were spelled lightening bugs and then the feel of summer—all of the good, none of the humidawfulseat of the 90 degree 90 percent days—it all came back.
Grab a High Life and hold on to your whole life. Hold on to whatever you can, really. Your eyes are burning but I’m not scared, he says, and supposes you can’t fear when you’re the one leaving, right? Never forget the day when it all came back.
How do you become his star? What can you make of all of the words and the background that just tells you so much? I want to drive in a dusty road pickup and wear hats and be surrounded by all of the important people. They all came back.
There’s just so much heartache, the kind that gets you with its earnestness, that makes you overlook clunker lines because you’re like, “yeah man, yeah, it’s gonna be okay, you play that piano for REAL.”
I can remember you on stage and I can remember singing along and I can remember feeling good about just thinking that you all fucking rocked. Such a bonus, going for the headliner and being rocked by the opener. This happens in Portland, this thing where the band no one knows shows up at the Doug Fir, knows their shit, and just wins over the entire room.
We tripped over ourselves to wonder if you could really be that old. We said, yeah, yeah, it totally makes sense that your music be paired up with theirs. We watched your bassist fuckin rule that 70’s weirdoslap bassline and make it her own.
We ponied up, we did.
I legitimately thought that you were getting off at Van Buren so I retreated to another seat, only to awkwardly realize that you weren’t leaving the train yet and so I was the guy who got shy when you said “is that that Chromebook? and then mumbled “yeah…it’s pretty cool…” and then retreated to the seat across the aisle and the window and then tried to say to you, “Oh I thought you were getting off at that stop” when I wanted to say, “I’m not afraid of you and actually the CR-48 really is like a prototype sometimes but then I remember they sent me a fully functional kinda-revolutionary computer for free but still, I hope that the commercially available chromebooks are much better than this one because honestly living in the cloud sometimes makes you feel like a dbag,’hey can i have your wireless password?’ when all you really need to do is check to see when the bus is coming but you don’t want to use some of the free monthly 100mb so you have to ask. It’s quite nice and loads up faster than my phone but still, I’m glad I paid zero dollars for it, because it’s nice to have a computer that you can bang around with and look at us in our safe world where we can spot a CR-48, the most unspottable CIA-looking nondescript computer in the world, because we have time to read tech blogs and blather on about things and call it prose poetry.”
My hoodie suggests a man younger than me. Portland breeds a feeling of younger-than-you-are, which creates crippling doubt and worry in the instance when you then move away. I say crippling because that’s the word that goes with doubt, but niggling or maybe ambushing would make more sense. I miss my old town. This is not a poem.
She sings like the fire in her gut has spread to her balls. She begins to creak like a door that needs WD-40. She finds herself wondering what the fuck it all means. She can’t find another route to the grocery store. No matter how many roads she takes through the subdivision she ends up on Route 59. As it were. Don’t mistake calm for sanity. Sometimes freaking the fuck out makes the most sense of all. It was brilliant to pair her with the National except for the fact that she blew them outta the water. Never underestimate the power of a crunchy Harmony or is it a Jazzmaster blaring across the room. When you back your fantastic stage light show with what you’re playing, there’s no one that can stop you.