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that smell (Moscow)

The old elevator rattles and the doors lurch open. Inside our apartment I somehow feel taller. There is a smell of formaldehyde, like cutting those frogs open in tenth grade Biology class. The rooms feel dead, not like a tender museum of our things but empty, as if the only life in these rooms is born from us and in our absence they simply did not exist. I yank the door to the balcony open, thinking that smell will go away but it lingers deep in the pillows on the couch and the drapes. Sour, sad and chemical.

I think of random conversations I had in Ureki, mostly with taxi drivers who asked where I was from. I spoke to them in broken Russian, and they all said the same thing - Moscow, a cold place with cold people. Nothing seems to happen here, or change here. Sure, there may be a new sidewalk, a new supermarket, a fresh coat of paint on a crooked fence but the sense that this entire place is dead as well, a sort of sprawling, residential graveyard is hard to shake off. There is a sl…

i'm just learning how to crawl

Another Sunday night concert has come and gone, this one punctuated by the cry of an infant. The song was new, a mess of good intentions - about an Appaloosa with no name, about E's drawings that hang on the fridge, about everything. Playing live music is a sort of roller-coaster ride/balancing act that I am deeply attracted to. Sometimes the plates all crash to the floor, sometimes there is an exhilarating near miss. Sometimes you come up with the brass ring and wonder how they hell you had the impulse to grab it.

I'll leave it to you decide what may have happened.

Watching these videos the next day I see the train wreck, the naked ideas. I also see the will to continue, when things go wrong. In truth, this is me learning to crawl.

N is there in the darkness of the audience, her face like a moon, someone to focus on, someone to sing to. Someone to sing about. China to Arkansas is for her.


Playing solitaire on a hotel bed
Some shitty coffee
and some room service eggs.
It ain’t living.
It's just making do.
And I’m on the next train to you.
And I’m coming on the next train to you. 

when she comes through the door.
leaves all her things on the floor.
brown eyes so big.
in her dirt you dig.
all the way to china
and arkansas

china to arkansas from marco North on Vimeo.
">china to arkansas from marco North on Vimeo.



And this song - Black on Black - is about my past. 

Comments

Annie said…
Marco, my computer won't let the song play smoothly enough for me to get the words. Could you put the Black on Black lyrics in?
Rabbit blogger said…
here you go, annie -

BLACK ON BLACK

lay your bones down johnny
lay your bones down
kiss that black on black heart girl johnny
kiss that black on black heart girl
ain't no pirates up in heaven
ain;t no pirates in this world

lay me down
lay me down
lay me down

you can;t cross the ocean
standing on dry land
if you drink this potion
do you think you'll understand?
these are your stars
there was no plan
lay me down
lay me down
lay me down

betty, veronica, eve, sasha, sarah and sarah
(more names)
You black on black heart girls
do you think I understand?
these are your stars
there was no plan
lay me down
lay me down
lay me down
Annie said…
Thanks! Sure seems like you are living the life you are meant to live. I envy you having the chance to exercise your creativity in so many ways.

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