Wednesday, August 26, 2009

All This Useless Beauty

Shaky cam start, silly cheer because they say North Carolina at a show in North Carolina, nothing can stop the wonder of Magnetic Fields' "All My Little Words." At least I'm assuming it's not just because I'm a poet who gave up writing poetry because you can only write the "language is a tool that fails us" poem so often before you have to at least convince yourself. But the song certainly has enough heartbreak to stock the shelves for the losers in love Costcos across the country. Not the anything seems off the shelf, for even the "if I could sing like a bird," which points back to the Troubadours at least, gets sung so sweetly--what a melody!--that you have to wonder what bird could match Claudia Gonson's croon (let alone with Shirley Simms soaring her harmony alongside). And then the chorus has the "Not for all North Carolina" line, which is a stunner in any state and conveniently rhymes with China. That's where rhymes get you, and songs--even further down the road you didn't want to travel but find oddly compelling anyway.

Of course we haven't discussed the cello yet, but if we could discuss it, we wouldn't need cello, now would we? It's such a primal sound, like wood that could have been a coffin got a reprieve but still has to attest to dark secrets. If someone needed a definition of beauty, I might point to that, but it's sound, so pointing doesn't quite work. Here and gone. Only more beautiful, then.

You don't have to tell me, by the way, that the song is as melodramatic as a troubled teen on the bad side of a Friday night. That only makes it more wonderful, its relishing slosh in wallow. For if you can't have your lover, you can have your pain. If you can have your pain in the sweetest song you've ever heard, you just feel it more. Perhaps even now somewhere the object of your affection, for just a moment, a flash, doesn't see the world quite as brightly even as he or she moves further and further away into something you only can assume is happiness.

(6 of 31 in the drive to 2500)

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Anonymous Jeff said...

a beautiful song, from a release (3 discs does not exactly deserve the old word, record) that absolutely defines two years of my life. thanks for finding this --

6:34 PM  
Blogger E-6 said...

Wonderful stuff.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

ahhhh, so just yes... i hope my own viola and violin playing takes something of this. also thanks to seeing/hearing it i am now returning to my magnetic fields binge of earlier this year.

2:38 PM  

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