Friday, February 6, 2009

Life’s Currents Pulling Her Down, or Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth and So On:
Heartless Bastards’ The Mountain

Patti Smith rang in her ears as she climbed up the misty mountain. She could barely hear winter’s leftover birds. She was running, running away. If I could just quit tomorrow and tomorrow and so forth and so on, she thought, I could be so happy. Running over the hills. Out to the sweet hereafter and unknown. Sweet dreams. Concrete, tar, metal, and glass. She left it all. All that noise knocking in her eardrums like some bonehead drummer. The other night she woke up screaming, “I hate this fucking place!” She had had enough. So she ran. Can’t stand still, she thought. I’ll make the midnight train. My mind is a running faucet. We don’t have to agree. We don’t have to agree.

She had dug herself so deep, deep into a hole. Covered in bramble and mud, a bog woman. Leaves in her ears, twigs in her nostrils, soil dropping from her lips. Three chords and the truth. She said it over and over like a mantra. Three chords and the truth. She learned that from Dylan. Hold your head up you silly girl. She learned that from the Beatles. Another rip, another tear. She learned that from P.J. Harvey.

By sunset, she made it to the mountaintop. She saw the sea from there, the ships and sailors. She imagined herself on a ship, a tornado hitting it, and she falling overboard. A whirlpool pulled her under. Sinking, sinking. Hold your head up, she thought. It was cold, cold as the deep, deep sea. She shivered more from the wind blowing on the mountaintop than that cold feeling of drowning. She crossed her arms over her chest and rubbed herself.

The sun fell below the horizon. It glared at her as if to accuse her of some sin. But she wasn’t going to change her mind. She was on her own. Lost and numb. Lost from fear and numb from doubt. She had packed her things, but left them there when she left. Lightning struck her heart when they had fought. Her head rained. Her soul flooded over. She had cried out for peace. But got nothing instead. How come loss is so easy to hold onto?

Sap stuck in her throat, she had watched everything come down, crumble—all fire and smoke. Unwise choices. But along with everything else, her shell cracked. Got to take it all down on the line. Cold winds blow. Take it on down the line. It was the same old song. It was cold on the mountain. She waited there and watched the ocean, waited and waited for warm winds to blow on her face. She would wait for spring, for flowers, for birds playing tag, for music to play on the street, for kids’ silver laughter.

She moaned. She moaned at the moon. She was tired of soul searching, searching all the time, wondering where to go. All those echoes. Waves and waves and waves. She had left everything behind and had to go back, back to pick up the pieces, and to let them all go again.

It took hours to climb back down from the mountain.

With the peaks at her back, she wondered why the further away you got from a mountain the bluer it got.

Label: Fat Possum
Release Date: February 3, 2009

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