MIXED TAPES: SONGS FOR JANUARY
I carried January into my home like a fat feral cat found in the cold. January is kicking and screaming. January is wanting an endless more.
January’s Mixed Tape holds in its heart anthems that have been burned into ours (This Year by The Mountain Goats, I Wanna Get Better by Bleachers), celebrations of the dying heart still trying (Rejoice by AJJ,Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist by Ramshackle Glory, Ashtray by Matt Pless, Allergies by Sisyfuss, Nausea by Jeff Rosenstock), and sonnets to the blood still beating on bad days (Dread in My Heart by Mother Mother, Cold Love by Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1 by The Mountain Goats).
Everyone has an song or two that means the world to them, a memory that lingers in each note. I’m no exception to this, and have long thought that many of the songs that have spoken to me throughout the years have a certain sort of poetry to them. A few months ago, I hit a momentary wall with traditional work and therefore became very interested in blackout poetry. It was during this experimental phase that mixed tapes was born, a series of blackout poetry from the lyrics of my favorite songs.
mixed tapes is an homage to the small-town artist, to the teenager inside of all of us wanting more and taking it without realizing the consequences. mixed tapes is running through the empty parking lot at midnight, it is smoking behind the barrier of the playground, it is slipping some love songs into your pocket. It is hoping to see you this weekend.
I hope that mixed tapes finds the teenager inside you. I hope it soundtracks your heart home.
I pedal to North Avenue
drunken and punching;
the taste of high maintenance humming,
stuck in hands performing hexes.
Rejoice this shred of bed burning,
this survival, alive in kindness,
this heart fist-fighting,
a twelve gauge under pillow.
This backed-out driveway
is a bullet syncopated in desired wrongs.
Upon the pavement, we were still here;
we hurt differently, equidistant.
We were radio lights in hotel rooms, guilty
revolutions in crystal-ball bong-hits,
naked sleepwalkers in off-white terry cloth sweats,
caught in undertows of faith broken,
parkway-line magic-spells like shells
of land-mines — just stay alive.