Life is Burritoful

IMG_2851 2the hell it is

Decided to be sociable the other night with some of my work folks and attend a fundraiser for my library at Chipotle, that smug bastion of fast food Tex-Mex for young urban hipsters.  Well, that was a huge fucking mistake.  I’d wager a bet that those folks who’ve contracted E.coli whilst eating their overpriced burritos fared better than I did that night, all things considered.  I’d have gladly traded gastro-intestinal distress for the psychological distress I suffered that evening.  There’s a reason I don’t go out in public anymore– too many painful reminders as to how my social inadequacies have ruined damn near every opportunity I’ve ever had for true happiness.  And that kind of failure is unabashedly soul crushing.

P.S.- Two dollars for a ketchup-sized cup of guacamole?  And since when is Dos Equis a “Premium Beer?”  Fuck you, Chipotle.

Reason to Believe

Revisited this ol’ ditty tonight for reasons unknown to anyone (including myself) and must’ve listened to it seven or eight times before I realized that it’s way past my bed time.  Such a sad, sad song, but so sweet and sincere, too.   Arguably one of the best songs ever written, by Mr. Tim Hardin, but recorded and re-recorded by so many others.  The version I’m highlighting in this post is Johnny Cash’s rendition of the tune circa 1975.

Reason to Believe

If I listened long enough to you,
I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true.
Knowing that you lied straight-faced while I cried–
Still I look to find a reason to believe…

Someone like you makes it hard to live without
Somebody else.
Someone like you makes it easy to give,
Never thinkin’ of myself…

If I gave you time to change my mind,
I’d find a way to leave the past behind.
Knowing that you lied straight-faced while I cried–
Still I look to find a reason to believe…

If I listened long enough to you,
I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true.
Knowing that you lied straight-faced while I cried–
Still I look to find a reason to believe…

-Tim Hardin

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Boy Crying With Ice Cream Cone

Just felt like sharing a poem.  No particular reason.

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The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal.
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

-Wallace Stevens

 

Storming the Bastille

LibertyEqualityorDeath

Happy Bastille Day to all the Francophiles and other freedom lovers out there.  Bastille Day 2016 marked a banner day for the Closser clan.  I am wallowing in my own misery, per usual, while damn near everyone I love is going through something terrible.  My mother is lying in bed in a nursing home with pneumonia.  My brother’s life “got flipped turned upside down,” as the Fresh Prince would say.  And my father had to put down his dog of nearly sixteen years, a black Dachshund named “Nietzsche” who was in such poor health that there was really no other course of action but to put him to sleep.

It’s always a sad affair when one loses an animal, but as the poet Mark Doty once noted, to have a pet is to make a “pact with grief.”  Unless you own a tortoise, odds are that you will inevitably outlive the creature you’ve agreed to love and nurture, and one day you will have to deal with the grief that comes with its loss.

It’s not a Mark Doty poem I’m choosing to share below, but rather it’s a poem from Billy Collins.  I had forgotten about this particular poem, but my father mentioned it in our phone conversation this afternoon, and now I feel the need to share it.  (Apologies to Billy Collins.)

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The Revenant

I am the dog you put to sleep,
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you–not one bit.

When I licked your face,
I thought of biting off your nose.
When I watched you toweling yourself dry,
I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.

I resented the way you moved,
your lack of animal grace,
the way you would sit in a chair to eat,
a napkin on your lap, knife in your hand.

I would have run away,
but I was too weak, a trick you taught me
while I was learning to sit and heel,
and–greatest of insults–shake hands without a hand.

I admit the sight of the leash
would excite me
but only because it meant I was about
to smell things you had never touched.

You do not want to believe this,
but I have no reason to lie.
I hated the car, the rubber toys,
disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives.

The jingling of my tags drove me mad.
You always scratched me in the wrong place.
All I ever wanted from you
was food and fresh water in my metal bowls.

While you slept, I watched you breathe
as the moon rose in the sky.
It took all of my strength
not to raise my head and howl.

Now I am free of the collar,
the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater,
the absurdity of your lawn,
and that is all you need to know about this place

except what you already supposed
and are glad it did not happen sooner–
that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry, the cats and the others in prose.

-Billy Collins

 

Seasons (Waiting on You)

I’m almost ashamed to admit that it was my 70-year-old father who told me about this band.  Usually when he tells me about a band, it’s someone he heard on NPR, and let’s face it– NPR is not (nor should it ever be) the arbiter of good taste in music, especially new music.  Anyway, my father saw these guys on Letterman and told me to check ’em out.  So I did, and this single (from their appropriately titled album “Singles”) quickly became my new favorite song.  The music and lyrics are hauntingly beautiful, and the video is just as captivating as the music (maybe more so for me, as the scenery is reminiscent of the rural moments of my childhood).  When I watch the video, I am just as homesick for those lost years of my youth as I am envious of the love shared between the country couple featured.

After watching the official music video below, feel free to check out the live Letterman performance here, but be warned that the lead singer’s growling Marlon Brando-esque performance is pretty intense and might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Seasons change,
and I tried hard just to soften you.
Seasons change,
but I’ve grown tired of trying to change for you.

‘Cause I’ve been waiting on you…
I’ve been waiting on you.
‘Cause I’ve been waiting on you…
I’ve been waiting on you.

As it breaks, the summer will wake,
but the winter will wash what is left of the taste.
As it breaks, the summer will warm,
but the winter will crave what is gone…
will crave what has all… gone away.

People change, you know,
but some people never do.

You know when people change,
they gain a piece, but they lose one, too.

‘Cause I’ve been hanging on you–
I’ve been waiting on you.
‘Cause I’ve been waiting on you–
I’ve been hanging on you.

As it breaks, the summer will wake,
but the winter will wash what is left of the taste.
As it breaks, the summer will warm,
but the winter will crave what is gone…
will crave what is gone…
will crave what has all… gone away… 

‘Cause I’ve been waiting on you.

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Stephen Stills wrote this tune for sweet blue-eyed Judy Collins as their relationship was falling apart, and it remains one of the most tender and heartbreakingly beautiful songs ever recorded.

Had this ditty stuck in my head and just felt like sharin’.

It’s getting to the point where I’m no fun anymore
(I am sorry)
Sometimes it hurts so badly I must cry out loud
(I am lonely)
I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are
You make it hard
Remember what we’ve said and done and felt about each other
(Oh, babe have mercy)
Don’t let the past remind us of what we are not now
(I am not dreaming)
I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are
You make it hard

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Tearing yourself away from me now you are free
And I am crying
This does not mean I don’t love you I do that’s forever
Yes and for always
I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are
You make it hard
Something inside is telling me that I’ve got your secret
Are you still listening?
Fear is the lock and laughter the key to your heart
And I love you
I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are
You make it hard
And you make it hard
And you make it hard
And you make it hard

Friday evening
Sunday in the afternoon
What have you got to lose?
Tuesday morning
Please be gone I’m tired of you
What have you got to lose?
Can I tell it like it is? (Help me I’m sufferin’)
Listen to me baby
It’s my heart that’s a sufferin’ it’s a dyin’ (Help me I’m dyin’)
And that’s what I have to lose (To lose)
I’ve got an answer
I’m going to fly away
What have I got to lose?
Will you come see me
Thursdays and Saturdays?
What have you got to lose?

Chestnut brown canary
Ruby throated sparrow
Sing a song, don’t be long
Thrill me to the marrow

Voices of the angels
Ring around the moonlight
Asking me said she so free
How can you catch the sparrow?

Lacy lilting leery
Losing love lamenting
Change my life, make it right
Be my lady