epidermal macabre by theodore roethke

Image Andres Serrano

Indelicate is he who loathes
The aspect of his fleshy clothes, —
The flying fabric stitched on bone,
The vesture of the skeleton,
The garment neither fur nor hair,
The cloak of evil and despair,
The veil long violated by
Caresses of the hand and eye.
Yet such is my unseemliness:
I hate my epidermal dress,
The savage blood’s obscenity,
The rags of my anatomy,
And willingly would I dispense
With false accouterments of sense,
To sleep immodestly, a most
Incarnadine and carnal ghost.

smog – a river ain’t too much to love

The first two tracks from A River Ain’t Too Much To Love (Domino Records, 2005):

Palimpsest

Winter weather is not my soul
But the biding for spring…

Say Valley Maker

With the grace of a corpse
In a riptide
I let go
And I slide slide slide
Downriver
With an empty case by my side
An empty case
That’s my crime

And I sing
To keep from cursing
Yes I sing
To keep from cursing

River Oh
River End
River Oh
River End
River Go
River Bend

Take me through the sweet valley
Where your heart blooms
Take me through the sweet valley
Where your heart is covered in dew
And when the river dries
Will you bury me in wood?
Where the river dries
Will you bury me in stone?

Oh I never really realized
Death is what it meant
To make it on my own

Because there is no love
Where there is no obstacle
And there is no love
Where there is no bramble
There is no love
On the hacked away plateau
And there is no love
In the unerring
And there is no love
On the one true path

Oh I cantered out here
Now I’m galloping back

So bury me in wood
And I will splinter
Bury me in stone
And I will quake
Bury me in water
And I will geyser
Bury me in fire
And I’m gonna phoenix
I’m gonna phoenix

leonard cohen – avalanche

From Songs Of Love And Hate (1971).

Well I stepped into an avalanche,
It covered up my soul;
When I am not this hunchback that you see,
I sleep beneath the golden hill.
You who wish to conquer pain,
You must learn, learn to serve me well.You strike my side by accident
As you go down for your gold.
The cripple here that you clothe and feed
Is neither starved nor cold;
He does not ask for your company,
Not at the centre, the centre of the world.

When I am on a pedestal,
You did not raise me there.
Your laws do not compel me
To kneel grotesque and bare.
I myself am the pedestal
For this ugly hump at which you stare.

You who wish to conquer pain,
You must learn what makes me kind;
The crumbs of love that you offer me,
They’re the crumbs I’ve left behind.
Your pain is no credential here,
It’s just the shadow, shadow of my wound.

I have begun to long for you,
I who have no greed;
I have begun to ask for you,
I who have no need.
You say you’ve gone away from me,
But I can feel you when you breathe.

Do not dress in those rags for me,
I know you are not poor;
Don’t love me quite so fiercely now
When you know that you are not sure,
It is your turn, beloved,
It is your flesh that I wear.

Avalanche lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC