Wednesday, December 03, 2003


i drove home in the time it took two favorite joe henry songs to unwind through my fried brain. "flesh and blood" is just a monster of a tune. solomon burke killed it, but joe (who wrote it) gives it his own stamp. and then "your side of my world," the album's ending and a song that sprawls to a surreal epic conclusion. it's like a post-revolution song, a love song, a song about missing someone but feeling close to them. maybe. but the last parts remind me of the way a new regime rolls over an old one. whether it is the u.s. with mcdonald's and freedom-in-a-box, or drab worker anthems being sung by the factory choir girls (led by the union priest). all the minutiae that add up to a culture, bleeding onto someone else's. like our culture, which is already taking over the world, so how come we have to go killing 'em to convert 'em?

and why do i have to kill my brain cells in order to free my mind? and why do i torment myself with all these pinpricks of delight-turned-pain, all these shadowy imprints of things that can never be? "can you see the smoke rise and curl? all the way from your side of my world." a kind of poetic yearning, is what that song evokes. but i am fascinated by desire, whether it is need or passion. do i create it in myself, just so i can feel it? that seems possibly insane. or do i tell myself i created it so i can feel more in control of it? huh. interesting question.

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