Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I wrote an epic poem of staggering brilliance. I guess. It's actually just an email I made combined with a conversation I had, but it is stunning the ever-living shit out of people who hear or read it.

It's called blue blue water baby. It wasn't that hard to write, actually, which is why I'm unsure of how to deal with the fact that people love it. I mean, yeah ... it's good. Really good. But it took so little effort to write, it was almost conversational. Which makes me feel like a con-woman.

blue blue water baby, as I just mentioned, was originally an email, and I suppose it was in fact a difficult one to compose. But not out of technical problems, just because I had so much raw material to sort through and it was hard to choose.
Would I write about the time I saw Bigfoot from horseback? The snowstorm and its effects on the social climate in Brooklyn?
Dead Civil War soldiers? General Sherman? My upcoming album about General Sherman? People's responses to my album about General Sherman? Libertarian hippie militias?
The time I scared up a hundred wild turkeys during a solo trail ride? Hanging out in treestands getting high? Hopping trains? The Deep South, the Appalachian Mtns, punk-rock girls, Northern Gothic, the fact that I tried compulsively and repeatedly to drown myself as a child?
The way that I listen to and relate to music, and why that might be so?

While I was debating this, and
reviewing the stream of my consciousness as it flowed by with all of those pretty, crazy ideas in it like flecks of gold I was panning for, I actually experienced so much stressure and press that I saw shit move that wasn't even supposed to move, much less in a way that it would be expected to move.
I was awaiting the G train in the Metropolitan-Lorimer station, and the PA system broke. An announcement about service changes turned into, ''Attention Passengers -- the Church Avenue-bound G train will be nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.''
The sound was a combination of feedback and drone. It was a much lower frequency than any feedback I'd ever heard, but higher than a drone. It didn't so much hurt my ears as make my head feel like a wad of cotton and a fishbowl. nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, and suddenly the tiles -- the yellow tiles with the bumpy grip-tread -- started to move laterally and slide around each other, back and forth. It was very interesting. It lasted for as long as the sound, and then it stopped. Otherwise it would have perhaps been a matter of concern, and I would have had to seek help.

But ultimately, it was a very easy story to write. It ran out of me like water, and then that was that. See, it's that aquatic fixation again. Perhaps I ought to start expanding my horizon, writing about birds or something.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Yesterday was my birthday. I spent it alone, completely alone. Today too, although a package came and someone brought me flowers as well. It was a little strange, a little funny. My weird roommate, the one who traps me in rooms when I can't hear him coming until it's too late, the one I catch watching me sometimes and who goes through my closet, beat me to the door but the flower man would only sign them over to me. Thank heavens for small pleasures.
I don't even like to get flowers.

I am sitting on the edge of my bed, a mattress slung atop another mattress thrown on the floor in a room which is cold and where the walls I painted purple. I'm smoking cigarettes, clove cigarettes, lighting them off of each other to save matches because my lighter is on its way out.

They're the best when you light them with matches,
my lover once said, half-concentrating, as he pressed a match against the flint strip with his thumb, held the flame to the end of his cigarette, his face and his hair lit up in the dark from the fire inside his cupped hands
-- you get that sulphur taste too.

It's funny, but I don't miss him. I don't miss any of them, not really. Not now. Not for some time. I miss the people I don't know, the people I've met once but feel like I know. Like I could know. I miss them. But there isn't a lot of room for missing people. Not a lot of use in it.

There is a Remington shotgun in my room. It's a prop for the Sherman album, for the cover art, and besides I kind of enjoy having a shotgun around. There are times when I consider fitting the barrel beneath my chin, working my toe around the trigger and making like Kurt Cobain -- for that matter, like Sherman, the banks of a river in Kentucky, 1861.
But like Sherman, I don't do it. For one thing, my gun's empty, and I had Joe Crow take the flint out anyway. And for another, now that I'm a mere 364 days away from my quarter-century, sometimes I think about making it to 30. I just might could, if I keep this up.
You know, Conor Oberst did, the other day, and although our troubles have been different -- I've always felt that if he can do it, I ought to give it a good try.