Friday, September 28, 2012


I haven’t done a lot of things.

For example I’ve never built a boat out of balsa wood or any other material. I’ve never broken into an armory. I’ve never spoken to God on the phone, been buried in the desert, or been cut in the kitchen by the knife of my lover.
But these are all things I’ve claimed experiencing in songs I’ve written.

The best thing about writing songs is telling the truth with a series of carefully constructed lies.

I wrote a song called Scorched Earth Policy (from my 2008 album Love Songs For The Apocalypse) wherein the narrator is separated from the one he loves by a thousand miles. They are the only survivors of a nuclear holocaust. His last words are a promise that he will haunt her should he die first.

This is fiction, obviously. (There hasn’t been a nuclear war, you see.)

It doesn’t matter who I wrote that song about, but rather who I’m singing it to when I perform it now.
The distance between us is not 1000 miles. It is considerably less, in fact. And the ground between us isn’t burned beyond use.
It sure feels that way, though. Like we’ve not just scorched the earth but salted it to be sure it’ll stay ruined. Like we’ve built an emotional gap between us that’s harder to cross than a thousand miles.
And dead or not, I’m certain that I will haunt her. As she will haunt me.

That’s the clever part about songwriting.
You may hear a kinda-funny song about being sewn together like Frankenstein’s monster, but I’m singing a song about being manipulated into changing my character.
You may hear a song about being a zombie hungry for human flesh, but I know I’m singing about control and desire.
You may hear a song about intense psychic and emotional pain accompanying the loss of relationship with the most significant love of one’s life…
Well, they can’t all be metaphors.

1 comment:

  1. I decided I'm going to comment on every blog entry. That's right... I'm going to be THAT girl. Anyway. This post is just beautiful. & if this isn't a weird thing to say (or even if it is... I'm typing it regardless), I'd really like to get to know you better. I miss you & stuff.