Friday, January 25, 2002

Anchormen, Aweigh! II
I just typed up the lyrics for the eight songs the Anchormen are going to record for "My Pronouns Are Precise" tonight, and here they are:

The Anchormen
"My Pronouns Are Precise" (working title)
UNS-XXX (catalog number yet to be determined)
Recorded on Jan. 25-27, 2002, at the Sound Museum, Boston, by Paul Coleman and Ken Kokubo

Another Gentrification Song
Another storefront boarded up. Another homeless paper cup. Another U-Haul moving truck. Another family gone. Another big box starts to trade. Another student class turned slave. Another million dollars made, not saved. Another gentrification song. Why were we not invited? Why were the developers beknighted? Why was the neighborhood so slighted? When will these wrongs be righted? Another street loses its life. Another sheltered suburbanite. Another man picks up a knife. Another gentrification song.

Audobon Park
Walking down Magazine past the Abstract and Ms. Rae-Ann’s grocery to le block du veterinary. The OK Shoe Shop’s closed up like an oyster. Sitting on the roots of a tree reading a book by a punk-rock nothing, writing a postcard to my family, and listening to the song sung by the pool, swimming. We are going down to Audobon Park. We are house rotten at the Status Palace hanging out after dark because Alisa’s on her mobile phone, and we are going on home. Sitting down at the Kerry. Feet are hurting, toe bone cracked like Vincent Van Gogh. Three pints of Guinness times five minutes. Now we’re late, and who knows where we will go? Going back to 316. Can’t watch a movie because we didn’t pay per view. Call room service, serving dervish. Fill our stomach, still we feel empty.

Celebrate Democracy
In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue and proceeded to kill 3 million Arawaks. Their gold had made him woozy, but because of Amerigo Vespucci, we are not Columbian, we’re American. Celebrate democracy with me. In 1776 we freed ourselves from wily Brits to play out our Declaration of Independence. But despite our Constitution there is still stark class division, and wars are fought by the impoverished not the rich. In 1983 the cover of Time magazine turned its annual man award upon its ear. Instead of a world leader, it gave laud to a binary reader and gave the computer machine of the year.

Finger Lakes
Should I take the train or should I rent a car? I would take an airplane but I don’t need to go that far to see you because we will meet halfway: I want to see you tomorrow; you wanted to see me yesterday. If you could see through my eyes, get a new perspective, and maybe even be surprised. If I were you and you were me. Just think of all the things that we could see. If I were you and your were me, I think that I could be happy. Take me to the edge. Take me to the pier. Tell me all the reasons why you wanted me to come here: to see you, to see the Finger Lakes. I am taking what you’re giving. Now there’s not much more for me to take. I haven’t seen or heard from you in a while. Wish that I could hear your voice, wish that I could see your smile. Smile at me. Smile at the things we say. Then I’d know what you are thinking. Then I’d know what kind of games we’re playing.

You’re spending the weekend in Michigan debiting the balance sheet that our relationship is built on. I urinate in used car lots and then get in a van with poets from New York and without destination. I do not know where we are going. I hope we reap the seeds we’re sowing. Idlewild, you make me feel like I’ve never felt before. Idlewild, is this love real? Are you an open door? You say that I don’t tell you how I feel yet layer after layer of my heart’s defenses you keep peeling. Your self-esteem and self-doubt make me sway. I love you; I’m not in love with you. At least that’s how I feel right now, today.

If you want to make a decision you’ve got to make it with precision. You’ve got to make sure that you’re in the right head. If you want to give an answer you cannot be a second guesser. You’ve got to be correct again. No, I will never let you down.

Peel Away
Down in the basement behind the stairs is where you keep it. Up in the attic in the rafters, where you hide my heart. Around the corner is where you’re lurking. Too far away, too far away, too far. Peel away the layers.

Unsung Heroes
Lucy Parsons. Eugene Debs. Peace Pilgrim. The Mayors of Bronzeville. Ira Steward. William Sylvis. Kate Mullaney. August Spies. If history was written by the winners, then social studies textbooks were compiled by the sinners. Our social ills were not caused by the poor, and labor organizers don’t lead choirs any more. The world was not created by the people who make the news. Society was built by working people: me and you. We’ve got to share our stories, our successes, and our loss if we want to break the iron chains forged by every boss. Unsung heroes are less than zeroes. We cannot afford to forget our past. There’s a new day, a new way about to dawn. Yet we can’t take steps forward without knowing where we’ve gone. We’ve lost ourselves in the language of the Left. We’ve got to learn a new tongue if we want to be heard by the deaf. Unsung heroes are less than zeroes. Without collective memory we won’t last.

More explanatory links to be added later.

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