Top Five Tuesday :: PJ Harvey

I had a dream last night that Polly Jean and I were lovers. We lived in an airstream trailer that we pulled behind a 1973 Winnebago, going from town to town, with no set destination. We would stop in places along the way, she would sing and I would write. Sometimes we would use fake names, and sometimes we would trade ambitions, she would play the writer and I the chanteuse. It was all very vivid and full of color, light and shadow, and of course, song. In the spirit of the dreamscape, PJ Harvey is this week’s Top Five Tuesday, accompanied with my three-sentence reflections.

5. This Is Love

I can’t believe life’s so complex,
when I just wanna’ sit here,
and watch you undress
.”

The blurred line of love and lust, the bridge collapsing in-between, as each side pulls and tugs the other for precedence and dominance. Paint it how you want to, stain the edges in blood and promise and desire, and hope against all else that we can be somewhere in the middle. Sometimes I have had a hard time deciphering which is which, and who is who, in love.

4. Angelene

My first name Angelene,
prettiest mess you’ve ever seen
.”

I wrote a character in a story based on the Angelene in this song, she was pieces of the lyrics and a part of a character from a movie I used to watch when I was a teenager called Flesh and Blood. She was broken and beautiful, immune to shame, but not to sorrow. She appeared later in a poem, this time more Angelene then the film character, more streetwise and more parts of someone from my own life; we writers are often just theives of those beings the closest to us.

3. Down by the Water

Little fish, big fish,
swimming in the water.
Come back here, man,
gimme my daughter
.”

We left together, taking what I could carry, she tucked in asleep and unawares that there were endings and breakings going on. Later that night I slept close to her side, tears falling uncontrollably, as I whispered “I’m sorry” over and over and over. I was drowning in the guilt of failing some kind of perfect family I had so desperately wanted for our baby girl.

2. Rid of Me

I’ll make you lick my injuries.”

Survivor is the label they affix to your skin to make you feel stronger, or to ease their guilt so that they do not have to do anymore to help you. It becomes a scar across your innocence, your trust, the way you breathe. It really should be a tattoo, big and bold, like some kind of a warning sign.

1. You Said Something

“We lean against railings,
describing the colours,
and the smells of our homelands.
Acting like lovers.
How did we get here?
To this point of living?
I held my breath,
and you said something
.”

It was not in Brooklyn, but another city alltogether, far, far from New York, but regardless, I still feel this song could be about you and I. It was the middle of the night in the middle of Summer, and there were words said that I still repeat in my head all these years later. There are names for this, for this kind of never forgetting, but I would rather keep that to myself, too.

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