didn't take long / aralee strange

"Everyone sees it in a certain way
everyone knows it as only they can know it
and everyone has things that only they can say"1 
                                 Vic Chesnutt

didn't take long
before word got out
it's a small world
bad news travels fast
and loose a suicide
they said

well what of it
none of our damn business
how he chose to die or when
or where or even if

who are we to say a mumbling word
in the face of such a decision

let us chew instead on the
work left in his roiling wake
take us decades to get what he got every
goddamned hard-to-get-through day

talk about being specific
in your observations 

      "we all know a rose is sometimes a rose but
      what fucking color is it?"2 

talk about facing your demons 

      "my last act on this earth 
      will be to chug-a-lug the mixture 
      and hope for the worst"3 

talking Daddy Long Legs bowl
of blackeyed peas side of belly
laugh in the face of such fears

god knows there are demons out there
don't care how many friends you have
how many people know your name
don't care how much grace and heart
you can muster to carry on
luck of the draw a momentary lapse
they're on you like stink on shit
the rest of your short wretched life

talk about the down dirty rock
bottom truth of the matter
talk about being unafraid
can you even imagine
the simplest things
take a deep breath
wash your hands
button your shirt
open a beer
take a piss
take a long walk
down a rough road
on two good legs

or not

talk about pungent dispatches
from beyond the pale 

      "faith is the lies we tell and tell ourselves
      life is the lies we tell everybody else"4 

not like he didn't address those
days a murder of crows tears
a rip in the sky make you want to
slip on through to the other side
think nothing is better than this
think again and then you're watching
dust motes dance in an empty room
recalling a tune no one ever sang
before and before you know it

      "I am weak 
      outlook is bleak 
      and I'm on stage commencing to squeak"5 

that's how he rolled
how many miles
looking for some relief

          (a moment of silence please)

you have to wonder where he went
and is anybody out there listening in?
say here and now's same as it ever was
sans you

say who's going to pay attention to us now
who's going to set the bar for authentic
who's going to pay the bills

but he's not listening to us anymore
he's not speaking to us anymore

talking about far as those crows flew
from safe home a howling spirit roams
a ragged bag of bones in a sparkly cap
thin skinned fine boned fully intact
scratching out notes on a beatup box
for free

      "It may not be pretty my life up to here 
      but something bold and beautiful occurred 
      I'm not injured"6 

that said
when all is said
and done

didn't take long

 from Left To His Own Devices/Vic Chesnutt
1Distortion, 2Distortion, 3My Last Act
4Distortion, 5Squeak, 6Look at Me

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"a murder of crows"? lord, I ain't seen you so light-hearted since you learned to swallow fire, or was that breathe fire?

what an image-- what an image-- "a murder of crows"...

you done yourself some blacksmithing in the dark here, and all that goes with it-- nice--

Ben G