Thursday, August 2, 2012

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and know the place for the first time. ~ T.S. Eliot

Some songs whisper for a long time, while others come screaming. I have learned that when I sit down with lyrics, even half-baked or bad ones, I have to have my digital voice recorder nearby in case a melody reveals itself right away. You can make tiny adjustments until you feel that everything's falling into place, but at some point, the song emerges, wriggling through its afterbirth.

There are those who find it untoward to write negative things about one's family, or to post such things in public places. There are others who, like my favorite fiction writer Lorrie Moore, say to "write something excruciating" in order to reach into the deeper places. And while I am not in the habit of badmouthing people for sport, I side with Moore. There is indeed a cruel volley among my sisters and me, and I am in fact partially responsible for keeping it going.

I strive for transparency in my lyrics, even if it means falling through a glass door.

Venus in Transit (Traveling II)

Years are full of nighttimes, carving different moons
Days are full of mornings, blinding us in noons
And through another lens I see my journey in reverse
I practiced all my manners, but some things you can't rehearse 
I'm in transit, I'm in transit

Oh, Venus, I watch you cross the sun
Oh, Venus, how will they know my work's not done?
I'm in transit, I'm in transit

I'm standing in a room with all my sisters
We snap these little twigs, we break each other's nests
We orchestrate more cruelty, we take each other's tests
Oh, Venus, where will this volley come to rest?
Oh, Venus, how will I know I've done my best?
I'm in transit

I can't arrive before my time, but now I'm finally here
My will is louder than my fear
I can't arrive before my time, but now I'm finally here
My day is longer than my year
I'm in transit, I'm in transit

There are no pictures in my wallet
All the old and known things are worse than the unknown
I pack a few good memories and I walk away alone
Oh, Venus, my year is shorter than my day
Oh, Venus, I don't do anything half-way
I'm in transit

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