DREAM GIRL is happy in the arms of a skinny boy with beautiful hands and I am reading poetry about her new boyfriend as a reality check.
It has me listing off the things that will never happen because of distance and bad timing: her palm soft on the side of my face, glasses clicking together when we try to kiss, a life spread out full of little complications because we’re both writing about the mouths of other people, trying to explain to my mother that I went and fell for a poet from Texas with a heart like a rose at the center of a sticker bush. I have to hold hands with every could-have-been before I let it go.
So DREAM GIRL is happy and I am something else.
I am sleeping alone. Trying to be pragmatic. Writing down the things I want to say to her and putting them in poems or throwing them away. I am packing my books into moving boxes. Daydreaming about what to hang on new walls. I am fine, working on better. I am trying so hard to treat my heart like a door propped open.
another wet May leads into a cloudy June. another leak, and two more, constantly dripping from the ceiling at work. they said they were done fixing everything, but what more can they do except come back and try again? childhood summers never had this much water to them. remember when the local filthy lake was thirteen feet below conservation level and you asked the physician’s secretary if she thought we’d break the drought and she said no, but we did, we broke it and shattered it and bashed it over the head and now you can’t drive the beautiful way home, past the green wood orchards, down the winding cracked roads where they found those torn up wild boar corpses and it’s been years now you’ve been wondering what could’ve taken out so many things as big as your cousin’s motorcycle. another slogging three months of warm and you couldn’t remember what dry heat feels like if it would save you from hell. it’s been too long since you’ve so much as left the region, since you’ve had anything but the gulf’s barely thinned out fog to breathe. when you were young you learned it was possible to drown on dry land and now you know why you weren’t so surprised. another night spent drowning and still your lungs expand when the sun comes up. another day, business as usual. what more can we do except come back and try again?
This is a piece of video poetry by experimental and multimedia poet, Jovial Jellyfish. Personally, I appreciate the fast and awkwardly forward editing style, but this piece also brings up such a fascinating and hilarious point about the egalitarian nature of expression in the information age. I find the concept of fitting every conceivable reaction to this song within the frame of the song’s own time length to be cleverly comedic. But it also touches on the fact that each of these statements come in such immediate and rapid succession after one another. Every thought is subsequently pushed to the side by the other, with little (and sometime negative) chronological space in between them. Superficially speaking, it seems that we are watching a jokey spoof on the people that find music through such banal channels as top 40 radio, but after a while it becomes apparent that this video is a broader statement than a tongue-in-cheek sentiment. The selection of Pumped Up Kicks for this concept also speaks to the massive shift in the way music has changed over the past decade - just a few months ago, Foster the People were nobodies. Vendors promoting FTP have used this as a means of representing them as some sort of ‘indie’ act, when the reality is that they’re just one more victim of the one-hit-wonder machine. Pumped Up Kicks is weird in that it became an overnight sensation, marketed to the awkward ‘dad rock’ crowd instead of the general tween masses, which never would have happened ten years ago. The extremely malleable dynamics of what is ‘cool’ have evolved in progressively stranger ways, and now our grandparents can tweet about it. Thousands of struggling artists vie for the attention of commercial representation every year, and after that consumers struggle for the attention of each other when expressing our feelings about what we’ve just been sold. Where does the competing end and the spectating begin? Do we understand our relationship to each other as producers and consumers?