Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lariat: Issa's Sunday Service, #191 (& a parenthetical 192)

From one of the best, if not the best, albums of the year (Wig Out at Jagbags), Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks song, Lariat.

It's not everyday Tennyson gets a nod in a rock song (although there is this Hold Steady exception to prove the rule (#192)). Here's a dynamite live performance, followed by the lyrics.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks


Only a chariot could carry it
Across this void

I wouldn’t jerry rig or candy coat your Latin kisses

You’re not what you aren’t
You aren’t what you’re not
You got what you want/You want what you got
People look great when they shave
Don’t they?

We lived on Tennyson and venison and The Grateful Dead
It was Mudhoney summer, Torch of Mystics, Double Bummer

You’re not what you aren’t
You aren’t what you’re not
You got what you want
You want what you got
Feels so great in the shade

A love like oxygen, so foxy then so terrific now
On a jape I’m returning
Bobby spinnin’ out
I was so messed up
You were drunk and high
Just a ramblin’ wreck
Comin’ off the breaks to see what was shaking

We grew up listening to the music from the best decade ever
Talkin’ about the A-D-Ds
We grew up listening to the music from the best decade ever


As my morning reading of Middle Eastern ghazals - Hafiz and Ghalib -, William Stafford, W. S. Merwin, the new Buson, and Haiku in English continues, this Robert Bly poems keep rising to the fore.

Here's a beautiful moment, indeed:

My Father at Forty
I loved him so much. I've said
That before, so don't be surprised.
It was a first love. Go ahead, open
Your hand. Do scissors beat
Paper? Does rock beat scissors?
It's just love and can't be
Explained. Probably it
Happened early. You're looking
At it. The way I found
Of opening a poem I took
From the way he walked into a field  
                                                               Robert Bly

Artwork by Utagawa Kuniyosh

though wrapped in
tissue paper...
a firefly's light
translated by David G. Lanoue


PS  Click to learn how to contribute to Wednesday Haiku.
PPS  Long live Pavement


TC said...


Long live Issa for remembering Pavement.

Funny fact, Steve asked to use an old painting of mine on his last album... who could say no?

Steve Malkmus and the Jicks: Mirror Traffic (cover image by Tom Clark)

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


It's official - the digital age just does us in again and again. I've enjoyed Mirror Image many times, and the great cover art, without knowing it was by you. Hanging my head in shame and fondly remember the days of ripping cellophane off LPs and reading all the notes over and over again.

Thanks, for the note and the art -