Monday, May 17, 2010

Save the Coast/Love on the Beat (May 8 and sentence a maybe)

If you haven't written up the words, keep a few images. His figure atop the levee, bicycling dandy. Yours, bowing under the branches. "If y'all had my body I'd be heterosexual," Cassidy says. (He'd do it for canary yellow or kelly green.) In the morning, the mottling on the stucco, feather-dappled like Fragonard, and the sheen on the columns.

It's a promise and a dream and the will to hold to it. You've always said you lacked the latter. Darling, dreaming is too easy. You'll be next to him on the bank, light on the refineries shining through thin legs. It won't go to waste and it doesn't matter. Get summer-minded, but remember the fall.

Backdating: April 16

Let your dress sense come back — more than that, cling to it. You're not it, so grow it or make it all up and be glad you still got it. Lend me your headphones, crank the speakers. I can run the radio all night alone, dance behind the control board, turn out the lights and look at all those oranges and greens we'll never touch.

Will we never touch? Will you listen? If I can't make friends, I'll remove myself, and you'll feel only the FM reverberations on your subcutaneous secrets. Hear me from the basement, here now, now I'm leaving. Who's reading?

I wanted you to be more than a check mark, boy, but what can I say now? I wanted to put a song on for you, for you to feel far away, but somebody stole all the Sufjan out the stacks like they all knew that music between us just isn't the same as music out loud, like they knew they could suck a little faith from the air.

My roommate just walked in and told me to turn off the song that was putting these words together for me. What are your demons like, love? Like memories, like medicine, like the Nazgûl? Mine are human form, or the lack of, all of them driving me indoors alone and silent. It's my manifestation of the malaise, the Tulane malaise we live and drink to but can't quite shake. I'd seek help, but we each so live the sickness we've turned opaque.

Sebastian, this is for you to feel which I know you can. Whose blood do you wait for, and how do you know when to give into sunrise? Do you lean on the numbers, but wait for light, image, and colors? Is the world scrubbed bright and awful when you finally step out the darkroom?

What was it like to ride away, to forget the airport décor, to clear out missed calls and go black screen for takeoff? I don't understand, but I do it myself every day. We couldn't very well have talked by then, but I spoke because I know we have something to say to each other, I'm sure we do. Whatever say you, to which I say, "I win you over eventually. It's in the script."

I want to see the photographs we took, you the silent protopro and me racked with the guilt of leaving my SLR untouched all semester. We were sick in bed together, watching films, because I am never going to drink all this tea by myself. We're on your precarious balcony sofa, watching this crazy lightening together, wondering if it's our own signals blinking through the towers on the levee. Drunk bonfire kissing comes later, a mistake between real friends or an extension of everything real friends are supposed to be about. How it could it have happened? You know it hurts to be found out, but not as much as it hurts to get lost.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pick It Up, Pick It Up

Holy speed of the trumpets, I'm happy, too happy to study, too outrageous to memorize. This time last year I was breaking free; this time this year I'm looking to escape. She's got the worst grating voice and plays no part in folk tradition, lazy what-do-I-care, lazy wordless space-waste — piece of paper and I'm gone, headphones onnn-nn-nnn.

Isabel's wasting time too, taking quizzes, finding out her flaw is "hippie". Girl never! I'm gonna remember what you told me, remember that you for one are not glossy and impossible. Youth of today, remember how goddamn good Simon & Garfunkel were, remember to sing with me when I fly between the terminal abbreviations of some air line been traced on paper.

Continue apace — this is the sound, the place, the breakdown when it comes together again. The words are there, but there's never quite the will. I wish I'd spent all day in bed with friends long before now, but as long as time's closing in we'll have to blow the parish. Little girl in the library can book a ticket to anywhere, but can't remember just what social norms used to be, if we're flirting or making friends.

I love Jesse, but sometime tells me two weeks of New Jersey will be enough for now; New York City, I'll love you hard but you've already let me down. New Orleans, maybe one day you'll be good to me, but sh-sh-Chicawwgo you got what I need even if. Call me back Paul, because talking to Illinoisans is good for the soul. The return to to family life and Baptist ministry is gonna make me pray for hell, but come over when God isn't looking and we'll booze and play records and generally tear it up.
Gee but it's great to be back home
Home is where I want to be.
I've been on the road so long my friend,
And if you came along
I know you couldn't disagree.

It's the same old story,
Everywhere I go,
I get slandered! — libeled!,
I hear words I never heard in the Bible
And I'm on step ahead of the shoe shine,
Two steps away from the county line,
Just trying to keep my customers satisfied,

- Simon & Garfunkel, "Keep the Customer Satisfied"