Monday, March 13, 2006

I Did Not Find You In Kips Bay

I did not find you in Murry Hill
So I came back today assuming that I will

I never met your eyes on the busiest street
And I've given that a try every single day this week

We weren't introduced at the civil soure
So I've responded sil vous plais to another one today

I tell you,
These homes of Murry Hill look the same from block to block
I've seen them all twice, but who's counting the clock

And I bet you choose your food well so I took a job on the farm
And if you've been boozin' I've been sippin' the same harm

I smelled the spices on Lex, flipped my quarter entrance to the Met
I read and then I slept
On a bench in Herald Square where there was every sort of person
Why veil yourself from fair?

I hid in my room to catch up on restraint
But when I let it all go I forgot me the Saints

Ditched the city for a cruise down to Port Elizabeth
Where I searched in vain for you in exile skipping bottle caps off slips

I cursed your mother's name slow and low as to make it bleed
I spent my last penny like a gardener picking weed

I vow to love your father after I take him to the ground
And draw a map of mud on his back of all the pavement that I've pound

I walked through Murry Hill on my elbows and my knees
I improvised the Rosary for lack of a better lead

I dessicated coconuts and stuck 'em on the shelf
This way they's stay when we're done with crude rebuts
And dessicated selves

I danced on water in the center of the den
I danced on the seabed when it came to four a.m.
I sat on the steps at the foot of Union Square

Rode my bike through Murry Hill on a Sunday afternoon
To make sure things were still just as quiet as I knew

Took the bus to Kew Gardens and walked from there to Rego Park
This city is too big and it doubles after dark

I hope you're drafting notes as you avoid my deft forays
But please keep in mind
There is a better way

I had a drink at Murphy's thinking that's what people do
But after one more drink at Murphy's I was glad people wasn't you

I tried Brooklyn Heights as aggravate, Sutton Place as gyrovague
Prayers to our progeny, affairs just to get you frayed

I lost my mind and dressed the offspring of an Indian and a hawk
All along thinking worry'd step you in, didn't know you'd just gawk

Carved a name for myself, wore a tie and made the meeting
So from the fifty-ninth floor I could better elocute the Bleeting

Stole a bike, got that stolen, bought another, took a nap
When I woke up I was hungry, in lieu of your pussy I ate a snack

I traced the periphery of Murry Hill so I could pinpoint its center
Where in between the avenues I considered becoming a renter

I walked down Bedford Ave when I knew that you were looking
Was my perfect posture forced as I suffered through the whooping?

fled the city once again to cleanse myself through silence
The first sound I heard when I returned insolently was not your guidance

You can not find me in Murry Hill!
But I really gotta know where you think I'm hiding still.

2 comments:

Isola said...

Last night (now is 11 am Roma)I dream about you, wow it was such a long time it did'nt happen.
Love
E
http://ottavaisola.blogspot.com/

anthropomo said...

So I wrote this about your book after reading it last year, and I thought I'd send it to you now:

It's difficult, at this point, not to be a little cynical about a novel in which one of the chapters is an album. Difficult to neither raise an eyebrow nor to cringe. Especially when the novel is the sort of loosely woven set of tales that you, a literate college student who has read Delilo's White Noise, or Coupland's Generation X or both, have come to recognize as merely the well worn doormat of contemporary fiction -- you've crossed that threshold. And the albumisn't helping because it's this vocals, guitar, bass, and drums routine and we've heard, I should hope, Aloha, Pinback, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists (Chris Leo's brother) and we've heard Bob Dylan's Sprechgesang lyrical delivery. Yes, we're offered non-traditional and rarely repetitive song structures, but we've heard songs without choruses before, right? I mean, keep up, people. So but the point of this is not "Chris Leo's White Pigeons is highly derivative," but rather that we ought to move past talking about the apparent novelty of a CD in a book because this album -- chapter seven of nine -- is probably the least interesting part. We liked this concept better when it was called The Magic Flute -- and that's fine, not a problem for White Pigeons. So where we are left, assuming we've got our heads out of our asses culturally, I mean what exactly does White Pigeons bring us that I'm bothering to write about it for you?
So let's talk content. You'd have to start this section with sex, drugs, and rock & roll because the narrator/protagonist is in a band and consistently chasing/being chased by women and doing copious amounts of drugs. You'd have to start there, but then you'd have to mention that much of the book's action is comprised of Chris' transit to and from said debauchery; I don't think he mentions yo-yoing, but this is a good place to name-drop Thomas Pynchon's V. And this is very much a book about transit, see chapter seven, track 2: "The fruit fell from the tangent/ spurn off the tree of the transience/ and since I bit it I've been condemned/ to lead a life in transit" (137). Chris goes on tour with his band, he goes to Peru, he takes numerous trains around New York City, but he always returns to Newark. This is the Pynchon's yo-yo, the homing pigeon implicit in the title White Pigeons. And about that title: clearly, a white pigeon is a dove, but this title seems to suggest that a dove is just a white pigeon. We're never given a title track type scene in the book, but these two metaphors seem like possible, non-exclusive matches -- the homing pigeon and the pigeon that is dove that is pigeon that is dove, etc.

Mike
langdon8@msu.edu