04 February 2015

Rented Pain and Borrowed Poverty


I
 feel sick. There is no future. We have blown it all on partying like there’s no tomorrow—and damned if there isn’t.
Tomorrow is a state of mind, anyway. It never comes, as the old song has it. Or is it a proverb? I can’t be bothered to check. Life continues—today turns into tomorrow as inevitably as the Jurassic turns into the Cretaceous, or lime turns into chalk.
Tag ends of old commercials run through my mind—the result of being immersed in radio and television during my formative years. They don’t even make the products any more, but I still know the words to the Ipana jingle. The Great American Soup. The multituburculates of my mind. Long extinct critters that only exist as shadows.
Coherence is a chimera. Cimmerian darkness? Generations of critters that lived their tiny lives leaving nothing behind. Gondwanaland rafting towards oblivion, like those monotremes and flightless birds whose ancestors chose to settle on the future site of Antarctica. Might as well buy waterfront property at Spirit Lake or a condo in pre-war Nagasaki.
Prosperity is just around the corner? Don’t give me that. I live too close to the razor’s edge.

2 comments:

Lee Coursey said...

Back around 1979-1980, I was on a long bus ride with my high school band from Atlanta to Valdosta, Georgia. Along the way, a friend taught me a cool song. I have never forgotten its lyrics and melody. When the World Wide Web took off, I hoped I could find the name of the song and its creator. Over the years, no amount of Google-fu has proven fruitful. Perhaps one of you can figure it out?

Here are the lyrics:

MYSTERY SONG
You know it ain't as easy as it looks, my love
To make it hard and keep it poetry.
I'm an orphan up for auction
After using up all my options
On rented pain and borrowed poverty.
The city’s full of gardens filled with virgins
All waiting there to see my angel trick.
Every time I eat a vegetable,
I feel more like a cannibal,
And my good health is enough to make me sick.
[CHORUS]
I'm a picture on your mirror,
I'm a record on your spindle,
I'm the frozen poetry of your naked shell.
I'm an madman for asylum,
I'm a junkie for your lovin'
I'm a perfect imitation of myself.
I've made my last withdrawal from the blood bank
To paint into the corner of my smile.
And my suitcase full of parachutes,
Lace valentines and hero suits,
Got lost or stolen down the road a mile.
I'm a picture on your mirror,
I'm a record on your spindle,
I'm the frozen poetry of your naked shell.
I'm an madman for asylum,
I'm a junkie for your lovin'
I'm a perfect imitation of myself.

sbh said...

The phrase "rented pain and borrowed poverty" comes from "St. Leonard's Song," written by Sean Kelly and Tony Scheuren, and performed by Tony Scheuren. It is a parody of Leonard Cohen and was played on the National Lampoon Radio Hour in 1974. It has never been properly released on vinyl or CD but copies have circulated on tape and in mp3 for years. The words and music were published in the National Lampoon Songbook (or some such title).

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