Friday, April 6, 2012

Vinyl record

Allen Ginsberg’s Post-It (to Elliott Smith)

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Elliott, as I wonder next to basements on hills, damaged bad at best, and looking at your full moon. In my hungry fatigue, shopping for sound, I went into an ice cream parlor record store, imagining your borrowed guitar and borrowed 4-track. St. Ides aisles full of Charlies, Bunnys, Stevens, and Pauls shopping for escapism while small drum sets - played with faint brushes - whisper percussions. Legal theory next to Flaming Lips! Clemintine with Paul Simon! -- and you, Soren Kierkegaard, what were you doing with Nirvana?

I saw you, Elliott - gaunt faced, California frown, chasing infinity and jumping off cliffs - among the flavors you refuse to taste, eyeing the white van of paranoia. I heard you asking questions: Are you my Angeles? Won’t you be an outlaw for my love? What is the biggest lie? I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of fragrant vinyl, following you. What should we call you tonight, Johnny Panic?  We stroll through tight spaces in our solitary fancy, possessing every frozen amphetamine and tasting clonazepam – dying men in living rooms.

Where are we going, Elliott?  What will the next hourglass hold?  Slow-motion angels in snow?  How do the next lines in your head read? I can’t say the words I am suppose to say and mean it. Yes, I jumped, but let’s talk about something else.
(I touch your sleeve, dream of our odyssey of flat and sharp notes, and feel absurd.)
Will we walk all of this enchanted night?  Trees break falls but they also impale. Will we both be lonely by 5 am, hand cradling hand, rehearsing our line? (It will be okay.) Will we meander, dreaming of lost childhoods and of love at 13 - past red and blue swirling walls yet to be covered with graffiti - home to our Disney cottages? 

Ah, dear friend, Stillwater-Rotter! Lonely whispering confessor! I know of your time of dancing queens and Merle Haggards - Duncanville tattooing your future - a juxtaposition to Ferdinand sitting quietly in his field, smelling flowers - a yellow Post-It of apologies with no hesitation wounds begging for your arbiter’s forgiveness. These shouts leave your peer’s echoing: This loss isn’t good enough for sorrow or inspiration. It’s such a loss for the good guys… A grown man dying of fright… I was even having a good day when I found out we lost you… He wasn’t our son….

I do know this, Elliott: these tiny televised vessels (carefully aware of the brilliant stacks of sound) will tell us when someone reinvents the wheel while I stand, solitary, surviving a million conversations about shit that is not real. Breathing in meaning, digging deep through gasps of anxious air – much like you did until you couldn’t any longer. I hope to see you again - another evening of music, moons, fevers, and fond farewells! It is alright.  Some enchanted night, I will be with you.

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