This is from Austin’s upcoming collection “Notes to Margaret and Songs for Marguerite”
I have to resurrect dissatisfaction
And peace that comes with the push
Without a crown.
I am looking at the replays but not the game
I am sorting through the budgets but focused on the cash
Even though it has been burned before it was made.
I am restless, not distracted,
Running heavy, used to the heartbeat hard,
Bruised high, no time to heal, no recovery
But a move to break out…one day
Believing the chips I throw will count,
Will still amount to the shift a generation away.
I see it Margaret
I see your gang, color blind
And somewhat kind
But can you all make the moves to de-rig, unwind, re-wire and move the old along?
How will you keep the fever balanced and laugh under duress?
I, I am just coming out of it and will mount the resistance line soon, spring high and be dissatisfied
My troubles may dissolve-or not-
My waiting will be over
My contribution will be sound.
I can see it now and I have some time
When the doubt at city’s dawn has been lifted,
the mist has sifted through the open iron gates and risen
The streets will be cleared for peace in the morning sun
The New Metropolis.
You will be walking in a smart camel overcoat, with no caffeine of course,
Bio: Austin is a songsmith, musician, writer, poet, coach, manager.
A saddle strapped and swallow down the tincture.
Assimilation over these years worth of crashes to curves of corners.
It is much heavier than before
It is much heavier than before
I begin to resemble a caricature of a zombie-
drawn by the superficial you.
Under a slightly warm night sky, barely alive
I was dreaming of you dancing on unbroken bottles.
Then again, they break again, and you're always surprised.
Much heavier than before is the cutting
Much heavier than before is the failing
I watch you fainting out a smile while bleeding away onto the floor.
I watch you believing in which heaven you have restored for this day.
The evolution of the tincture.
What is willing and what is wading
You’ve tried to prove yourself almighty. But
It is much heavier than before
It is much much more heavier than before
Wishing I was inside that mind with you.
Poems about Elliott from Afta GleyUntitled
musician, from your
your oblivion ambition,
may you never, never
October 21, 2022
dear Mr. Smith, twelve
years ago I was too sad
to go to work, but
decided to work
through the depression. there
by the Dumpster: a cat.
who knows? maybe you
guided your namesake to me.
so very grateful
TWO FROM FOUR DAYS AGO
lighting a candle
for 34 minutes, youre
nineteen years ago
I knew everything else
meant nothing to me
Elliott Smith waltzed
with his metaphors, partnered
by no one at all
(C) IM-JESS ON DEVIANTART
SO UGLY BEFORE by Lynn Elliott
A great man once proclaimed
He was damaged bad at best
In my heart of hearts
To know him I feel blessed
There was beauty, truth and honor
In his troubled soul
People clammered just to touch him
and it took it's toll
I see him in the morning
As the sky is turning blue
I feel him in the stillest night
Sometimes as if on cue
I mourn his loss quite often
Celebrate him even more
For bringing out the beauty
In what was so ugly before.
XO. Lynn Elliott
Unknown name poem by Lynn Elliott
It's so easy living in the past
Sleep walking through each day
Living where I saw you last
Pretending I'm okay
XO Lynn Elliott
My Elliott Smith story is a little different
I broke my neck and suffered a traumatic brain injury water skiing. For 5 yrs I was pretty much a zombie. The only thing I could feel was fear. I'm not a fearful person at all but that's how all tbi ppl feel
I was listening to everything's OK by Elliott
and it made me feel safe. It was the beginning of my recovery. I listened to Elliott almost every hour of every day.
It inspired me to start writing songs and poetry, which really sped up my recovery even more. I'll never be like I was before but my injury stimulated my drive to write and share what I write. So I was in my 50s when I started.
I rescue special needs dogs. I did extreme sports most of my life. Surfing, skiing. diving, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, etc. I worked for the airlines so I did a fair amount of traveling. I'm an outdoorsy person. Elliott Smith is more than a great musician to me. He is my safe place.
Ripples by Khadeja Ali
inspired by ‘Everything Means Nothing to Me”
days start and end in blank white and solid black
shapes that will not harmonize rigidly exist in my eyes
when finally touching, the sharp lipped edges cut
and me, wanting so badly for lines blurring, insides blending
But there is no chance of grey. No body electricity to make it work.
was I once a kaleidoscope of magnetic color
shuddering with vibrating life, dancing constantly? I think so
if not singing, was I humming to natural silence?
now is there a piercing screech in my ear, or nothing
No ears-plugging or opening my mouth anymore. Frozen.
lying down is not an option; when did I start standing?
since when can I not move? This is not me. Is it? walking I was
but stiffly erect and standing at once. When started my movement’s death?
my mind’s edges are so sharp, but inside empty as air
Squinting hard. There’s nothing to see.
my energy; drained by a taunting echo of everything
wavering glass below me reflects my iron face
So glorious am I, yet—I’m nothing to me.
“Junkyard Full of False Starts” by Jennifer Patino
'gone too soon'
I'll boast of your intellect
There's a way back to blue
& to you, but we couldn't
remind you in time
& wasn't that you,
that one time, pounding
like a barbarian?
You couldn't speak
without scaring them
I know, I know, I know,
you tore from
your aching shoulders
I know, I know, I know
how terrified you were
of even the vague idea
of growing older
You were only one, ever one,
little inside, unnamed,
but mighty Someone
we'll think of
staring at flames,
hearing your phantom drunken
crooning on repeat,
when we're tired
or just tired
of the taste of the
where your ghost
beneath neon lights
& in the silhouette soul
in a beanie
we happen to meet
I'll say it, I'll pray it,
Little Mr. Socialite by David L O’Nan
We’ve all been strapped to and strapped by the spellbinder
He walks up to you and expects you to drop the ceiling down to become his platform for a show.
Handed the keys, by osmosis you become a local legend.
To the city that continues to decay,
there is only so much here to reel in.
The cocaine socialites keep barking for you to leave their hipster colonies.
Fuck you! Fuck You! Fuck You!
You can’t talk sense to the overconfident.
They want the world, and they want the life.
They want the respect, Rifles and knives.
They want to joke and manifest a spiritual world in which they are absorbed of their behavior.
Hell to the homeless, hell to the mental health
“I don’t care about your personal lives” I care about my termination.
Your words will never get past these windows because I’ll just run out
And bark out orders like a witch in a bad dream.
Blah…blah…blah Fuck You! Fuck You! Fuck You! You can’t talk about our prince and princesses
That push the drugs and sex behind bars and counters that blow up this neighborhood.
You will vanish as soon as you appear.
Hours later you’re in another chessgame. You’re in another straight line socialite walk.
From one blink to the next you’re game changes. Drawn to your fuckin’ pawn.
He is in charge of our children. Teach them well.
Teach that future well.
Afraid of a soured reputation.
Bullying has never left your privileged brain.
And your story will never be told as long as the socialite holds the powder and the power.
Roman Candles by David L O'Nan
I’m feeling tricked in this cold October rain
The entire town are shooting Roman Candles in masses
Hypnotized in another wired dream.
Nauseated and feeling blind, worthless
The rain burns the cuts on the skin.
The friction drowns me with the idiots.
I’ve never felt this tired. I’ve never heard this much screaming.
The Roman Candles, Firecrackers, the Halloween monsters.
The shoes are beginning to sour.
The red just keeps getting darker, yet feeling thinner
The slitting and sitting with the rattle again
Have I ever been real?
The Kill of the Darlings by David L O'Nan
Another abused evening. Copper skied and bloodshot eyes.
The kill of the darlings reads on a flashing screen.
I was introduced to the spilling and polishing of my sweat to the sheets.
It must be raining, raining in my death.
I’ve been waiting, smelly and divided
On a pitch black night with coal mine moons.
I’ve been asked inside to feed the tiger.
The locomotives keep moving slower through the brain, through the cast.
Through the fade, they praise the ugliest ghost after all.
Becoming so angry by medicine and shiver out new fears.
I wait and wait and wait. Just knowing you have his name tattooed in your blood.
I wait for you on the inlay filling of broken sidewalks that have survived the earthquake.
I wait for you to come home with him.
To bust him with this chain or break a bottle over his skull.
Yet, I should realize you’ve the not caring if I ever lived or died.
Adaptation, realization and broken, a crinkled tarot card.
I’ve been calling another busy signal suicide hotline.
Winnemucca by David L O'Nan
Days of being dazed, drugged, and dangerous
Now in Winnemucca waiting for a new train.
To rescue me from the lights of the cities to the deserts to thaw.
Not feeling the jazzy hope that all these horns convey.
I’ve been travelling like it is a system wondering
If the honey was ever laced, were your smiles ever more than pain.
You played beautifully being beautiful and being muddled at the same time.
You played beautifully being heartbroken and wearing a new ring from another lame maniac.
Wafflin’ drunk on something, traintracks shaking.
Winnemucca gives me the eye of some crook.
I’m asking for tickets, asking for wishes, I’m asking for some powerful graveyard dirt.
I’m washing my hands of you since yours are covered in the outlines of sweat from the burns.
You’ve been a cough, to send away the clouds
You’ve been a leap, through the meek and the lack of sound.
You’ve been admired, but admiration wasn’t enough.
You’ve been dashing, dashing straight into the wreck.
And I will fall and eventually so will you.
I may fall sooner, but tomorrow is a full moon.
I could still be in Winnemucca, I could be dead,
or banging on pots in the streets of Chicago.
You could still be married to the errors,
you could be flooded out of house and home.
Digesting more fertile dirt.
Catharsis (collaboration poem K Weber & David L O'Nan)also part of the Empath Dies in the End series
1. (David L O'Nan)
I was in the process of purging the ideas of you
The wrens, the beetles, and the crabs we’ve been energized by
On days of smiles. The parks, the oceans,
the imperfect apartment ceilings.
In the middle of a catharsis
I was fast to the falling down the mountainous zoo.
In the deluge of rain I remember smashing against your dress.
Umbrellas breaking, wind straining, yet in the distance we see a sunset.
Now I’m wondering are you ever really leaving me?
Will we meet again in this organic hex that has been swirling
From the ground to the trees.
To the shearing of my humility, my impulses are pulling with each inhalation.
With palms on head, a robin stares at me from the ground.
Right against my boot it seems not fear my 50 foot shadow.
Just searching for some worms through the puddles we reflect in.
2. (K Weber)
Winged leaves breathe
Between fingers of ashen
Branches where birds’
songs rest. The pulse
of a rain-tapped dusk
counts down the last
snippet of sun. Light
gets drowsy as windows
on one wall yawn
to a close.
Red Ant. Black Ant....The Stars (collaboration poem with Jennifer Patino and David L O'Nan
1. (Jennifer Patino)
They spoke of interior silence.
A way to navigate cacophony
with a smile on your face.
These forced emotions, pulled
to the surface, daisies squeezed out from beneath the grime
One has to die to hear advice better. A portion of the self must be sacrificed to allow change to claim new roots. I think I'll bloom in winter. Switch the expected at the last moment so the patient ones can be satisfied. Those drought souls have waited for a resurrection long enough. They will have their day safe from the blinding sun. They will feel rain on new skin and be quenched.
2. (David L O'Nan)
I’ve been searching for your footprints all over the place.
The joke is only red ants meeting black ants on my shoelaces.
I’m disgusted I can’t past this place. Scared to walk out to new noise.
I’ve feigned happiness and I’ve dreamt up new stars.
I’ve been alone and hid my aches away.
The nightmares absorb in the pillows, as long as I stay hid.
In the shade. I got to my tree.
And I try to remember the invisible me.
I know you’ve been waiting for me to at least show a hello
I can’t keep the creatures inside and the rush becomes a roar
And the hush becomes hypnotic and
my window becomes the source
for the entertaining eye.
So go on, and move on with what you want.
The devil is dancing and waiting for your soul.
You know you want love, but this will just be another gaslighting poem.
The lake, the flowers, the light. Go the distance and find what’s right.
I met you in a trance. I was scrawny and I was a mess.
I thought I was becoming famous. And you thought you’d be the root.
I would grow from you and learn to be a jolly shine under your foot.
It’s a shame I only can understand what is anger, snark and shame.
If I could cure myself, I would try to shave away your pain.
The scene won’t have any of it.
The Dark Aesthetic/Wives in the White Light by Jess Levens and David L O'Nan
1. (Jess Levens)
The sky is quintessential October—
wet without rain; dusk in daylight, blurring
any distant thing. Blurring what is real.
Desaturated evergreens birth out
dead leaves in every citrus shade, plus
plum and pear and red delicious. They
clatter down, loudly in the quiet fog.
The chill bites flirtatiously, without pain.
Outside my window, a lone coywolf in
the farmer’s clearing stares back at me through
this dark aesthetic—howling into my
home; into my head—barking out malice.
2 (David L O'Nan)
So you keep your wives in the White Light
And the mass is enchanted that you bring
The entertainment and the insanity from the mistakes.
Like paper we’ll fly with the crisping leaves.
Some cut just like that paper,
some just itch as the wind bites down on the skin.
The wives you hide in white light
Scurry like a squirrel trying to hide a direct hit.
From grey to brown to orange to green trees-
that squirrels will scurry from the pain.
So slip outside of your skin,
Watch yourself in the mirror with another angry grin.
Revenge glowing in your eye.
And the harm you want is the harm that’ll cause you to die.
There are wires just falling everywhere…the storms are brewing
And the we all become impaired.
Hiding your wives in the white light behind the shed.
Are they in blinking blue and red lights ripe for the restoration.
They are just waiting for you to fall asleep and give up,
in your irate dream.
Continue to pour yourself that drink.
Continue to pour yourself that wolf’s howl.
Continue to transition from the rake to the shave.
Repair is on the way.
But the bedpans and the creatures inside may be the cream,
and your body may just be the trough.
The Wives in white light are just looking for you to break.
The narcissism will eventually implode
And the darkness will be decorous with light as they take you aside.
(c) Dribble from DeviantArt
Bled Out For Liberty (collaboration poem Giulio Magrini & David L O’Nan
In the switchblade of the night
The freezing jewel of barracuda delight
The tempting fate of failing light
The falling rhythm of dismay from this train
Of thought to obey the trunk is hidden in the back of time
The amulet is prised in line
The liberation a dance of swans
Some with beacon some with songs
A marching army of choruses
Bitter winds of self regret
From sands of time the tidal wave
The room of being the bloody knave
The haunting of the bloody cave
From which the nazi hunter gave
The Jew his freedom’s only grave
Atonement splendid in the light of days.
(Written by Prince, sung by Jill Jones)
It wasn't even an A-side.
A simple beat thickened by bass,
a swirling guitar melody,
an alto female voice building towards the third verse
before falling in the final refrain.
The lyrics a generic afterthought
based on long vowels and feminine rhymes
so the lines drift into the melancholy
of a long-lost first love, a first home.
Even the number is expressed as two digits
to avoid the masculine tee in the middle.
News and social media speculate
over the cause of death of the song's writer.
I sit in my car on a frosty street
lined with birches, white bark visible,
sunlight creeping over the rooftops,
about to run my first errand of the day
when the song sneaks unbidden into my head.
A Syncopated Cha Cha2 dancers, one of whom is deaf, dance a cha cha to Prince's "Raspberry Beret"
Raspberry is the colour of the subversive.
She's a glittery, gum-chewing, bohemian mystery
whose easing into character as a brash New Yorker
was helped when a broken hearing aid left
her unable to gauge how loud her voice was.
Her syncopated steps: swivel, check, replace,
side, belie a quiet control under the impression
of casualness: the outfit that took several hours
to throw together, wild waves still governed
by a tide. Some shades of raspberry are blue,
a reminder of their undertone of tartness.
An excellent teacher knows he is a catalyst
cheering from the sidelines as his pupil shines.
Unseen hairpins keep the beret in place.
Some things are practised not until the dancer
gets it right, but until she can't get it wrong.
Purple Lights over the Mediterranean
How many teens can tell a tale
of a rocky relationship with dad,
rebellion tempered by the need
for food, shelter or money?
A tale of a passion for something
misunderstood by someone
who wants you to follow their template?
Of sneakily rehearsing, playing, writing
while pretending to be someone else?
How many teens compare their life
to being in a warzone,
navigating choppy waters,
or desperately bailing out
knowing the flimsy boat will sink?
How many teens have been cast adrift
by parents who want to do their best?
How many, caught somewhere
between childhood and adulthood,
have been pushed out to sink or swim?
Whose stories do we listen to?
The famous man with a guitar-lined basement
or the teen enthusiast drifting
on a prayer in the Mediterranean?
Bio: Emma Lee’s publications include “The Significance of a Dress” (Arachne, 2020) and "Ghosts in the Desert" (IDP, 2015). She co-edited “Over Land, Over Sea,” (Five Leaves, 2015), was Reviews Editor for The Blue Nib, reviews for magazines and blogs at https://emmalee1.wordpress.com.
More From Emma: 3 poems from Emma LeePoem: Tracing a Love Song by Emma Lee
Marissa Nadler has been one of my favorite singer/songwriters since around 2005. As I became more influenced by great songwriters and poets in the early 2000’s when I became a huge Leonard Cohen fan, got into Townes Van Zandt, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Fairport Convention, Tori Amos and then learned more about Tom Watis, Mark Lanegan, Kristin Hersh, Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks and more I found the music of Marissa Nadler. With a hauntingly sweet voice that sung every song into a story and imagine you into the story seeing what she is seeing, expressing what she is expressing, taking cover songs and putting them in her own spinning reality images. Here is a review of some of my favorite songs and video clips of the great Marissa Nadler. Creativity in every endeavor. Music, artwork, videos, performances.
A song preview from Marissa’s youtube page for “Bessie, Did You Make It?”
The first album of Marissa’s I listened to was “Ballads of Living and Dying” (2004-Eclipse Records)
A very important record during a lost, sad, deeply in love with someone who was far away and with another. 2004 (when I was 24) was such a rediscovering year, a year filled with finding my writing style, and reading aloud in poetry coffeehouses. Albums like this one helped encourage me to find my writing style. An often melancholy walk in sadness. Glimpses of hope, and ultimately alone and waiting (during this time) I often call songs from this album classics “Fifty Five Falls” “Undertaker” “Bird Song” “Annabelle Lee” are all just part of a great debut LP.
The Saga of Mayflower May (2005-Eclipse Records) is an underrated in my collection of Marissa’s albums I have. I think because I was still so entrenched in the first album by the time this one came out. Over the years I have listened more and more to this album and love it.
Songs III (Bird on the Water) 2007-Peacefrog Records is my favorite album of Marissa’s earlier work and possibly my most listened to.
“Diamond Heart” “Mexican Summer” “Thinking of You” “Silvia’ “Bird on Your Grave” such a wonderful cover of “Famous Blue Raincoat”
“Little Hells -2009 Kemado Records)
Some sad awesome songs on this one ” Heart Paper Lover” “Mary Come Alive” “Ghosts and Lovers” is just a great album.
Marissa’s self titled LP in 2011 (Box of Cedar) took a great effort to get released.
Songs that I enjoy quite a bit include “In Your Lair, Bear”, “The Sun Always Reminds Me of You” “Alabaster Queen” “Puppet Master”
“July -2014 Sacred Bones Records”
The first album under Sacred Bones brings indie folk & dream pop together wonderfully.
Favorites include “Drive” “Firecrackers” “Dead City Emily” “Was It a Dream”
“Strangers” in 2016 Sacred Bones Records has some songs that I constantly play in my Marissa Nadler folder on my phone. Including “Katie I Know” “Hungry is the Ghost” “Shadow Show Diane” “Strangers”
“For My Crimes” 2018 Sacred Bones Records. My favorite album of Marissa’s in the last half of the decade. Such an artistic vision with this.
“For My Crimes w/Angel Olsen” ” I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore w/Sharon Van Etten”, “Blue Vapor” “Said Goodbye to the Car” (the perfect song for Letting Past People Go)
“Droneflower” is an album Marissa did with former Cave-In member Stephen Brodsky (2019 Sacred Bones Records) a little heavier album at times.
Marissa also has several compilation albums, covers albums, EPs and more to check out. Some covers to check out and get a taste of what is on these comps and cover albums.
I really enjoy this Happy Rhodes cover. Always cool to see artists recognize Happy Rhodes.
I think I’ve written at least 2 poems based on this song.