I had a visitor tonight. One, a bird, of ill omen. Actually, there seemed to be many flying around the house. He was bit frenetic.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
“What is this, middle school?” I thought. “Why is the Raven here? I have no pallid bust of Athena, or anything close.” Of course, he just sat there for a bit and flew off. No prophecy needed. I already know what’s wrong and that future may be bleak dystopia of the kind in which I dreamt of finding myself in as a hero in seventh grade. Truthfully, I prefer my crows just a little more modern.
There’s a black bird perched outside my window
I hear him calling
I hear him sing
He burns me with his eyes of gold to embers
He sees all my sins
He reads my soul
Any such black bird reading my soul these days would find a very long book of unanswered questions. I knew more in middle school. In high school I knew everything. It was glorious. Moving through the world immortal, full of piss and vinegar, certain in my knowledge of how the world worked. I was in love. A lot. You might say I was in love over and over again. How could it be wrong? Each time was pure. Regardless of the car.
But baby I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
You know, I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Well there was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show that to me do ya
But remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah
Well, maybe things weren’t really so hallelujah, but the memories can be arranged that way. Forget the bad. Think only of the good. Or the glorious. Revel in the excitement, or the constant loops of Main Street searching for excitement when gas was 51 cents a gallon. But all such glories of youth end. We get jobs, we struggle, and look for love, or the best facsimile we can find.
Workin’ like a dog fo de boss man (oh)
Workin’ for de company (oh yeah)
I’m bettin’ on the dice I’m tossin’ (oh)
I’m gonna have a fantasy (oh yeah)
But where am I gonna look?
They tell me that love is blind
I really need a girl like an open book
To read between the lines
Love in an elevator
Livin’ it up when I’m goin’ down
Love in an elevator
Lovin’ it up ’til I hit the ground
But it’s time for bed. We get older. We get tired earlier.
Now the dogs are barking
And the taxicabs parking
A lot they can do for me
I begged you to stab me
You tore my shirt open
And I’m down on my knees tonight
Old Bushmills I staggered
You buried the dagger in
Your silhouette window light
To go waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda, you’ll go waltzing Matilda with me
Acknowledgements: Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven; The White Buffalo, Come Join the Murder; Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah; Aerosmith, Elevator; and Tom Waits, Tom Traubert’s Blues.