That quote is from “Theologians”, a Wilco song from the album, “A Ghost Is Born”. Find it here.
Something new: I have some slam poetry for ze blog.
Buddy Wakefield performed at my university’s annual “All Niter” last year with his slam poetry group, “Solomon Sparrows Electric Whale Revival”. Unfortunately, I missed it; I spent that night in DC at an Animal Collective concert. That’s unfortunate, because although I didn’t know it then, I’m now aware of how incredible Buddy Wakefield and his contemporaries are. They are a gift to contemporary slam. Visit their website.
This poem brings tears to my eyes every single time I read it; when I listen to Buddy Wakefield or Sage Francis read it, I lose my shit entirely.
“The Human Death Dance”
On the face of her phone, Wileen programs a message to herself so that when the alarm clock rings, the screen flashes: EVERY DAY IS ONE DAY LESS. EVERY DAY IS ONE DAY LESS. Jordan tattoos the words FORGIVE ME in thick black letters down the inside of his arm, so that when he looks at his wrist he will remember not to hate himself so much. What they both keep forgetting is there is life after survival. After Dave left, Mary started sticking her face between the film projector and the movie screen so that when the credits roll she still gets to be somebody. When Tara’s past comes back she mashes chalk into the sidewalk until her knuckles bleed. She scribbles and scrapes and scribbles and scrapes until the words take shape and this is what they say I wanna die motherfucker die DIE motherfucker. hold tight if I love ya cause it might not last long. Y’all, we’re all gonna die. That’s the exciting part. It’s learning how to live for a living. there’s the tricky stitch. Just ask Denise whose family taught her when she came into this world that Family equals Love so Denise took that seriously, but after a lifetime of craving acceptance from their cruelty she now finds herself jamming Polaroid pictures of these people into a typewriter and pounding out the last letter of the word mercy over and over again. She strikes the key Y. Y? Y? Y? Y? Y?! And the answer? The answer comes in the form of a hand-written letter from the moon. that says: This is brutally beautiful. So are we. This is endless. So are we. We can heal this. Signed, Crater Face P.S. See me for who I am. We’ve got work to do. But my father, he didn’t read moon he didn’t speak moon and he didn’t write moon so there was no note left next to his body when he chose to leave this world on purpose without telling us where he was goin’ or why. There are still days you can catch me tape recording eternal silence and playing it backwards for an empty room just so I can listen to his dying wish. Yes, it’s true, and the apple it doesn’t fall too far from the tree, but thank goodness my family tree was in an orchard on a hill that rolled me to the river and that river ripped me through the rapids and those rapids rushed me into this moment right here right now with you at the mouth This is my church, and if church is a house of healing hallelujah welcome come on in as you are have a look around stay out of my porn. There are massive stacks of bad choices in my backyard. Clearly I have not yet reached enlightenment beyond a few fleeting moments but I’m tryin’ and I found somethin’ here I want ya to have. It ain’t much just a story but it’s all I’ve got so take it. It’s called Dillon. Dillon’s drug of choice was more so he took more and more until the day he woke up babbling in a pool of his own traffic jam realizing he is killing off the best parts of himself and claiming he could read people’s skin. When he looked down at his heart flap it read Boy, go find your spine and ride it outta here. Wileen’s gut said Day 1; Jordan’s arms: FULLY FORGIVEN; Mary’s face: The Endless; Tara’s knuckles: Healing; Denise’s fingertip said C? C.C.C.C.C!; and Dillon said my smile it said, “Fix it” so I came back here to the mouth of the river to look at my own reflection under the moonlight and see what it says for myself where down my whole body it is written P.S. See me for who I am. We’ve got work to do. As for Crater Face, I can’t speak for that guy. His skin is a brutally beautiful handwritten letter from the sun.
Watch it here: