Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Every Single Night


Every single night
I endure the flight
Of little wings of white-flamed
Butterflies in my brain
These ideas of mine
Percolate the mind
Trickle down the spine
Swarm the belly, swelling to a blaze
That's when the pain comes in
Like a second skeleton
Trying to fit beneath the skin
I can't fit the feelings in
Every single night's alight with my brain

What'd I say to her
Why'd I say it to her
What does she think of me
That I'm not what I ought to be
That I'm what I try not to be
It's got to be somebody else's fault
I can't get caught
If what I am is what I am, cause I does what I does
Then brother, get back, cause my breast's gonna bust open
The rib is the shell and the heart is the yolk and
I just made a meal for us both to choke on
Every single night's a fight with my brain

I just want to feel everything

So I'm gonna try to be still now
Gonna renounce the mill a little while and
If we had a double-king-sized bed
We could move in it and I'd soon forget
That what I am is what I am cause I does what I does
And maybe I'd relax, let my breast just bust open
My heart's made of parts of all that surround me
And that's why the devil just can't get around me
Every single night's alright, every single night's a fight
And every single fight's alright with my brain

I just want to feel everything
I just want to feel everything
I just want to feel everything
I just want to feel everything

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Used a Calling Card from the Pay Phone



When I saw Neko Case perform this song, I'd been watching the row of kids lining the edge of the stage, dancing furiously and singing every word--hugging each other fiercely at the lines of the song that go like this:

Singing we'll all be together
Even when we're not together
With our arms around each other
With our facing still each other

Then separating, holding their arms to the air and singing along to the final line:

I've got calling cards
From 20 years ago


And I thought to myself, feeling the energy vibrating all around, looking at the backs of their heads, "You have no idea what's coming, do you? Most of you won't even know each other in 20 years." And, "Do you even know what calling cards are?"

And then I remembered my best friends. Friends I'd called with calling cards. From 20 years ago. They're still here. All over the planet. They've always:

Made me think there was something coming/
Something worth waiting for.


And what more do we need in this life?
How incredibly lucky I am. How lucky.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Calling All Angels


All Saints

It's one day past the Day of the Dead, and this has been
a bad year, six funerals already and not done yet.
But on this blue day of perfect weather, I can't muster
sadness, for the trees are radiant, the air thick as Karo
warmed in a pan. I have my friend's last book spread
on the table and a cup of coffee in a white china mug.
All the leaves are ringing, like the tiny bells of God.
My mother, too, is ready to leave. All she wants now
is sugar: penuche fudge, tapioca pudding, pumpkin roll.
She wants to sit in the sun, pull it around her shoulders
like an Orlon sweater, and listen to the birds
in the far-off trees. I want this sweetness to linger
on her tongue, because the days are growing shorter
now, and night comes on, so quickly.

"All Saints" by Barbara Crooker, from Gold. © Cascade Books, 2013.

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