speaking of which...

so the last post was rather exclusive. sorry about that, o faithful readers. once upon a time, a friend sent me a snippet of joanna newsom's lyrics. they were beautiful, and i wanted them to have been mine - meanwhile, roommates laughed at them, killing the mood. they might not have laughed had it not seemed exclusive. most of you probably won't like her music (i've found maybe two people who do), but apart from that, she's a poet. here's from my second favorite song in all of creation - second only to sufjan's 'seven swans'. it's called 'only skin', and this is just a small fraction of the nearly fifteen-minute whole:

Last week, our picture window
Produced a half-word,
Heavy and hollow,
Hit by a brown bird.

We stood and watched her gape like a rattlesnake
And pant and labor over every intake.

I said a sort of prayer for some rare grace,
Then thought i ought to take her to a higher place.
Said, “dog nor vulture nor cat shall toy with you,
And though you die, bird, you will have a fine view.”

Then in my hot hand, she slumped her sick weight.
We tramped through the poison oak, heartbroke and inchoate.
The dogs were snapping, so you cuffed their collars
While i climbed the tree-house. Then how i hollered!

Cause she’d lain, as still as a stone, in my palm, for a lifetime or two;
Then saw the treetops, cocked her head, and up and flew.
(while back in the world that moves, often, according to
The hoarding of these clues,
Dogs still run roughly around
Little tufts of finch-down.)

The cities we passed were a flickering wasteland,
But his hand, in my hand, made them hale and harmless.

While down in the lowlands, the crops are all coming;
We have everything.

Life is thundering blissful towards death

In a stampede
Of his fumbling green gentleness.


  1. I like the image of fighter jets being "hairless and blind cavalry."


  2. Me too. I first listened to this song while reading McEwan's novel Atonement - which has this whole section in which James, i mean 'Robbie' wanders around under some fighter planes in western France. The first part of the song is now permanently illustrated in my mind by those scenes.

  3. Now all you have to do is listen to Coldplay's Viva la Vida after (or while) reading Les Miserables. And I hope I am one of your two Joanna fans. (Except for that song where she uses the harpsichord...I don't really like it under any circumstances)

  4. peach plum pear! i like it because of the title and because it's about meeting someone you used to like in the produce aisle. it's so awkward and human. but yes, it's also quite discordant. and yes, you are one of my two joanna fans, though i feel like you are a fan more from my insistence than by natural taste. i hope you don't mind. :)


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