"He believed, like most fools, in the power of the dead and dying things."
It is cold outside, cold and quiet and the rain is just now starting to come down in soft hellos. Quiet, still – only the sounds of passing cars and cat cries in the distance. It is night, a chill night, a lonely night. And so you sit on the sidewalk thinking – always thinking – waiting for the hard of a rain to show itself, or just waiting. And maybe it’s because you’re waiting that you’re sitting there alone, or maybe it’s because you’re waiting that you’re wondering if there’s anything worth waiting for at all. The streetlight flickers. The bushes twitch. And an expecting breeze crosses your face, shakes you from your nonsense.
I remember a time where I would write letters to no one in particular. Letters of hope, letters of longing. Letters written only to mask an inherent desire to be worthwhile, if only someone would be there to read them. They would be written and hidden and covered in this and that, with words only a few would recognize and only a few could conjure any real sense of meaning. There was something about a pen on paper, something about that, that seemed distant yet familiar…hopeful even. Some kind of meaning that would be lost into the nothingness.
And so recall your father and the hands that made beauty from death. A wilted tree fashioned into a smooth heart, a threadbare sweater made new with a needle and love to keep your mother warm on cold nights. On nights like tonight. Some kind of man, he was, always making the best of things when you thought the best of things couldn’t be.
But the rain still lingers and the cement is cold, still, underneath you and the Earth and the dirt and the things that will always be there. Small lines of water finding their ways to other places. A vague sheen across the neighbors yard. Things coming into being, things fading into the night. The rain stalls and so do you. Still waiting for that wash, that something that will turn your death into beauty.
You sit on the porch in the early morning, a soft mist rising from a dirty street. Green fades into the light of a rising sun. It is the weekend, another weekend, made of long and tired things. The weekend wasn’t made for this, you think, and was never this way. But it is now. The fresh and new air is met with scents of dark roast from the cup that is warming your hands. It meets the ice of your skin, aging the tops, making bare the lines you have drawn. The plants are potted, resting on the fence just before you, colored with brown and yellow and shades of green.. Their stems and leaves rise and bend to certain spots. Their lines, like yours, have been drawn. Drawn towards the light or drawn towards the shade, they move where they are fed, where they can be satisfied, if only for a while. It is the morning of the weekend, a cool, fresh day. You are lucky to be alive.
Tiniest Seed by Angel Olsen
"where is your mind? detached at the synapse, not even the words to speak, to write, to will. where is your passion? purged from you like viral cures though not for the benefit of, not this time ’round. a clean slate. a blank chalkboard. a fresh canvas. but the oils aren’t staying. no, not this time. drip and disappear like falling stars. mate, where is your empathy? closed off road map. take to detour. that caved-in cave. what are you feeling, man, if anything at all? even now these are forced fragments that haven’t the mind/manner/fury/love/loss/longing to drive themselves. forced out, man. cold in the snow. in space. walk in the craters of old men and monsters. automated shutdown sequence: initiated. huh, mate? tell me: where is the love?"
“Not today,” he said, pulling the sleeves of the coat down to his wrists. “It’s not quite cold enough.” It was heavy, made of wool, with a argyle-like pattern on one side. The early morning light shone through our window, outlining his thin frame against the far wall.
“It looks to get colder, though,” Mother said. “Shouldn’t you take it anyway, just in case?”
“I’ll be alright. We’ll be in the car most of the time anyhow.”
“Ain’t that the truth,” I said. My bedroom was near the closet, just a few feet away. I turned off the light, closed the door, and joined the conversation.
“It’s ‘isn’t’,” my mother said, her voice carrying a slight disdain.
I walked past the two of them and into the kitchen. The coffee was hot and I filled two traveling mugs for me and Steven. We had a decent drive ahead of us “The meaning still holds, Ma,” I told her. “Doesn’t really make any difference, does it?”
She shrugged, content to not take the conversation to another level. “For someone who wants to write you certainly don’t seem to practice proper grammar.”
“I am who I am,” I said, placing the lids on the coffee. “Who still love me, right?” I walked back to where the two of them were standing and she kissed me on the cheek. I handed a coffee to my brother and adjusted the beanie I was wearing. “We should get going,” I told her. “It should take us about five hours or so, I think.”
“Depending on how fast he drives, of course,” Stevsie said (this is what I call him, my brother: “Stevsie”). I was known to have something of a lead foot, a fact our mother disapproved of. I was never much of a car person though. I just enjoyed the speed, the need to go fast, away from everything, I suppose.
My brother started sleeping in the living room on a brown corduroy sofa that our mother inherited when Granddad passed on. It was the only thing he left her, the only thing she has of his. But it’s more of my brother’s now, I suppose. He started sleeping there about a month ago. “I can’t stay there. I can’t do it anymore,” he’d say of his room, a small spare space tucked away in the corner of our house, no larger than one of those walk-in closets you’d see on the television. The mattress was pushed up against the wall, leaving only a couple feet for his legs to hang of the end. Stacks of clothes outlined the remaining border punctuated by a single window above his shoes. This was his life, the life he was trying to leave behind.
My skin is warm and the lights are bright
And there are
Far too many things making me
More angry than they rightly should.
The crease between my eyes deepens,
Speckled with fine hairs, each one more heavy than the other,
Bearing all the weight of pain
Creases far too long,
Growing longer and deeper
And more pronounced with every feeling that fades into
A waining light.
Like echoes in the night.
Bones grow cold.
And even faster still,
When all that is left,
Is the lonesome, fading night.
In this new rendition of “The Moon Song,” Karen O is joined by Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig. “I wrote the song as a duet,” Karen O explained. “I was really excited at the prospect of getting to record it with a male vocalist. Ezra was super cool and open, he slipped into character like a champ and damn he’s got the goods.”
A special three-song EP of “The Moon Song” arrives this week on iTunes.
(via Rolling Stone)