tonight to hear the always amazing wilco. it's the first time i've gotten to see them perform songs from
live, and i was, as expected, blown away. heard favorites "at least that's what you said," "hell is chrome," and "i'm a wheel" (wish they'd had time to play my personal favorite "theologians" and "the late greats," but i'll take what i can get). great show.
what i didn't expect was to be blown away by the second set from bright eyes, who i take to be a ragtag amalgamation of musicians from several bands. i wasn't ready for the first song, "waste of paint," and it's amazing lyrics (from
I have a friend, he is made mostly of pain. He wakes up,
drives to work, and then straight back home again. He once cut one of my
nightmares out of paper. I thought it was beautiful, I put it on a record
cover. And I tried to tell him he had a sense of color and composition so
magnificent. And he said "Thank you, please but your flattery is truly not
becoming me. Your eyes are poor. You are blind. You see, no beauty could
have come from me. I am a waste of breath, of space, of time."
I knew a woman, she was dignified and true. Her love for her man was one of
her many virtues. Until one day, she found out that he had lied and decided
the rest of her life, from that point on would be a lie. But she was
grateful for everything that had happened. And she was anxious for all that
would come next. But then she wept. What did you expect? In that big, old
house with all those cars she kept. "Oh!" and "such is life," she often
said. With one day leading her to the next, you get a little closer to your
death, which was fine with her. She never got upset and with all the days she
may have left, she would never clean another mess or fold his
shirts or look her best. She was free to waste away alone.
Last night, my brother he got drunk and drove. And this cop pulled him off to
the side of the road. And he said, "Officer! Officer! You have got the wrong
man. No, no, I'm a student of medicine, the son of a banker, you don't
understand!"The cop said, "No one got hurt, you should be thankful. And you
carelessness, it is something awful. And no, I can't just let you go. And
though your father's name is known, your decisions are yours alone. You are
nothing but a stepping stone on a path to debt, to loss, to shame."
The last few months I have been living with this couple. Yeah, you know, the
kind that buy everything in doubles. They fit together, like a puzzle.
I love their love and I am thankful that someone actually receives the prize
that was promised by all those fairy tales that drugged us. And they still
do me. I'm sick, lonely, no laurel tree, just green envy. Will my number
come up eventually? Like Love is some kind of lottery, where you can scratch
and see what is underneath. It's "Sorry", just one cherry, "Play Again." Get
So I have been hanging out down by the train's depot. No, I don't ride. I
just sit and watch the people there. They remind me of wind up cars in
motion. The way they spin and turn and jockey for positions. And I
want to scream out that it is all nonsense. And that their lives are one
track, and can't they see how it is all pointless? But then, my knees give
under me. My head feels weak and suddenly it is clear to see that it is not
them but me, who has lost my self-identity. As I hide behind these
books I read, while scribbling my poetry, like art could save a wretch like
me, with some ideal ideology that no one can hope to achieve. And I am never
real; it is just a sketch of me. And everything I have is trite and cheap
and a waste of paint, of tape, of time.
Sometimes I park my car down my the cathedral, where floodlights point up at
the steeples. Choir practice is filling up with people. I hear the sound
escaping as an echo. Sloping off the ceiling at an angle. When voices blend
they sound like angels.I hope there is still some room left in the middle.
But when I lift my voice up now to reach them. The range is too high, way up
in heaven. So I hold my tongue, forget the song, tie my shoe and start
walking off. And try to just keep moving on, with my broken heart and my
absent God and I have no faith but it is all I want, to be loved and believe
in my soul.