Hymnility II: Punk Canon (Song
For Jim Carroll)
Too many teeth in this
city are bared.
A brutal wind, a bronze age night.
I want to sleep inside a strange language;
Instead I’m watching Angel Heart on motel TV,
Sitting up on the bed, like an entombed zombie.
Just a couple minutes ago
There was an accident so
Devastating that I barely could stare:
While he talked on his phone,
A motorist ignored the road
& blew a median to crash, burn & tear.
The car was crushed like a can,
& thrown to ground was the man
Just lying still in some tall, tall pain;
But then the Earth swallowed whole
His bleeding body, & so
His shiny golden ride did the same.
There’s no Saint Richard
Hell in ‘98,
There’s no Saint Verlaine,
There’s no Saint Baudelaire or Jarman,
None of Saint Deborah’s fame.
There’s no Saint Elvis Costello,
King Solomon lives no where near,
No Saint Cal Lowell,
No Saint Lindsays or Nowells down here.
(I got a message for you, Rudie:
You can hear it on the border radio:
I’m out of step with this whole world,
So how can I laugh tomorrow?)
ain’t no Saint Anne Sexton in ‘9-8
Or Monsignor Boon;
They won’t be sainting Merton, Mould
Or Wheldon Johnson too soon;
I won’t believe that Balaam’s donkey
Has been butchered for meat
‘Till videotapes prove King James
Don’t walk these N.Y.C. streets.
(Who would question the use of a dog
As an ex-lion tamer’s sweet last caress?
Oh, won’t you tell me when its over,
& this golden shower hit parade’s at rest?)
when Nirvana first came,
We thought them new & untamed,
But there’s some toll booths everybody must pay.
Then Limpie & the Bizkitz came,
We thought, “This here’s a new game”:
Now they drive around this town endless days.
Then next the Minutemen came,
But couldn’t get their pictures framed
“Not enough miracles to saint”, they all say.
& when Sublime had first came,
We thought they’d heal the blind and lame,
But it’s all chasing wind, you never can stay.
& then the Germs next came;
We thought they’d found someone to blame;
But they couldn’t escape the tolls we all pay.
Then Faith No More had next came;
We thought, “No more of the same”:
That just adds vanity to vanity’s fray.
[Hymnility II: Punk Canon (Song For Jim Carroll) written by
Roughly Enforcing Nostalgia, Eric Butkus, Jeffery Hammond, Mark Owen &
Jason Roberts, Why Wont The Durned Thing Play Music ASCAP, 2003;
and contains interpolations of Epiphany & Fear Of
Dreaming from Fear Of Dreaming: The Selected Poems written
by Jim Carroll (1993)]
While no one in rock self-referenced their past songs better than The
Beatles, its proven to be an egomaniacs paradise many songwriters
can't pass up. An alternate universe filled with various versions of
ourselves sharing the same air, this lyric is more summary than song,
a roll call for both people met on this album & those debuting down the line.
Eric The Dark Prince Of Rock Butkus - Keyboards, Bass
Guitar & Rhythm Guitars / Jeffery Hammond - Rhodes & Acoustic
Guitar / Mark Markypoo Owen - Drums / Jason Roberts -
Guitar / Gene & Kathy Brooks - Handclaps
Paul Simon - One Mans Ceiling Is Another Mans Floor
the outskirts of the dream, a rundown section lined with fast food
stands, motels with waterbeds and closed circuit vibrating magic fingers
cablevision, bowling alleys, Polish athletic organizations and used
rickshaw lots, they encountered the first line of resistance from
the Forces of Chaos.
As they stopped for a traffic light, thousands of bat-winged monkey-faced
troops leaped out of alleys and doorways with buckets of water and
sponges, and began washing their windshield.
'Quick, Kaspar!’ Balthazar shouted.
The Oriental king threw open the rear door on the right side and bounded
out into the street, brandishing the chalice of myrrh. ‘Back, back,
scum of the underworld!’ he howled.
The troops of Chaos shrieked in horror and pain and began dropping
what appeared to be dead all over the place, setting up a wailing
and a crying and a screaming that rose over the dream like a smoke.
‘Please, already,’ Melchior shouted. ‘Do we need all this noise? All
this geshrying! We’ll wake the baby!’
Then Balthazar was gunning the motor, Kaspar leaped back into the
rear seat, the door slammed and they were off, through a red light
----- which had, naturally, been rigged to stay red, as are all such
red lights, by the Forces of Chaos.
All that day they lay siege to the dream.
The Automobile Club told them they couldn’t get there from here. The
speed traps were set at nine miles an hour. Sects of religious fanatics
threw themselves under the steel-belteds. But finally they came to
the Manger, a Hyatt establishment, and they found their way inside
with the gifts, all tasteful.”
- Harlan Ellison, “The Outpost Undiscovered By Tourists” (1981)
“Swing low, sweet cherry
Make it awful
It’s your life,
It’s your party, it’s so awful
Let’s start a fire
Let’s have a riot! Yeah it’s awful
It was punk
Yeah, it was perfect, now it’s awful . . .
If the world is so wrong
Yeah you can break them all
With one song
If the world is so wrong
Yeah you can take it all
With one song.”
- Courtney Love, “Awful” (1998)
“We six pile in, the engine churning ink:
We ride into the night.
Past factories, past graveyards
And the broken eyes of windows, we ride
Into the gray-green nigger night . . .
In the nigger night, thick with the smell of cabbages,
Nothing can catch us.
Laughter spills like gin from glasses,
And ‘yeah’ we whisper, ‘yeah’
We croon, ‘yeah.’”
- Rita Dove, “Nigger Song: An Odyssey” (1980)