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ani difranco + Patti Smith

•→ ‘Woe be gone’ ⇐[“Allergic to water”_ 2014]

♦  ‘See See See See’  ⇓ (live)

… Baby if you like
What you see see see see
Then make me feel nice
And baby tell me, tell me
Tell me with your eyes
Tell me in the glance of a hand
Let me know I still can
Make you feel like a man
Wipe away my worries
My list of things to do
There’s flies in the kitchen
And I’m still in love with you
Yes I’m still in love with you

Tell me some more
Of who you were before we met
Tell me a dream
That you may or may have not had yet
For understanding I will wait patiently
And if I can’t unchain you
I’ll hold you till you’re free
Cuz I’m still in love with you

◊  “What How When Where (Why Who)” ↓

 

what what what what what did you think you were doing?
how how how how did you think this would go?WH_
when when when when you showed up on my radar
where where  where did you think you would show?
what what what what what do you make of this station
how how how how it pulls away from the train?
when when when when if at all will you realize
where where where where do and done are the same?
what what what what what now you’re out in the open
how how how how do you think you can hide?
when when when when will you find some nice soft sand
where where where where you can bury your pride?
what what what what what do you want from this lifetime?
how how how how does your story line flow?
when when when when you gonna get to the punch line 
where where where where will the applause sign go?
and why why why why why don’t you just take your bow cuz who’s gonna love you now?

 

•→‘Willing to Fight’⇐

“…you’ve got your whole life to do something and that’s not very long…”

←Swing 

Are you weary as water  in a faucet left dripping
With an incessant sadness like a sad record skipping
And an ugly and ornery – And shadowy dread
Lurking like a troll under the bridge – Between your heart and your head

She came to and her – Whole life was how she remembered it
She had a mouth full of fur – And she was laughing
She parked her hearse  across three spaces posted for motorcycles only
And jumped out, shouting “What the cus could make a nice girl like us feel so lonely?”
. . .
Please dumb blind kind sir – Lend little miss listless a bit of Christmas
She’s been a real good girl – But now she’s stuck here
The world is so little and still – Mysterious and ominous as ever before
Like an unmarked bottle full of pills on the shelf right next to the ting – You were reaching for
. . .
Swing the groove ‘round here where I can reach it
When I get my ass back on track I’m gonna need it
Swing shift ‘til I get the money to buy me and my baby a moon full of honey
Then I’m gonna turn the nagging voices inside my head

Are you weary as water  in a faucet left dripping
With an incessant sadness like a sad record skipping . . .

[ . . .  Corey Parker raps . . .]

← Shy 

the heat is so great it plays tricks with the eye
it turns the road to water and then from water to sky
and there’s a crack in the concrete floor and it starts at the sink
there’s a bathroom in a gas station and i’ve locked myself in it to think
 
and back in the city the sun bakes the trash on the curb
the men are pissing in doorways and the rats run in herds
i’ve got a dream of your face that scares me awake
i put too much on my table and now i got too much a stake
 
and i might let you off easy – yeah i might lead you on
i might wait for you to look for me and then i might be gone
that’s where i come from and where i’m going and i’m lost in between
i might go up to that phone booth and leave a veiled invitation on you machine
 
and you’ll stop me, won’t you if you’ve heard this one before
the one where i surprise you by showing up at your front door
saying ‘let’s not ask what’s next, or how, or why’
i am leaving in the morning so let’s not be shy …
 
the door opens, the room winces – the housekeeper comes in without a warning
and i squint at the muscular motel lady and say ‘hi good morning’
and as she jumps, her keys jingle and she leaves as quick as she came in
and i roll over and taste the pillow with my grin
well, the sheets are twisted and tangled and the heat is so great
and i swear i can feel the mattress sinking underneath your weight
oh sleep is like a fever and I’m glad when it ends
and the road flows like a river and pulls me around every bend
 
and you’ll stop me, won’t you…
the heat is so great it plays tricks with the eye
it turns the road to water and then from water to sky
and there’s a crack in the concrete floor and it starts at the sink
there’s a bathroom in a gas station and i’ve locked myself in it to think
and you’ll stop me, won’t you…
♦  anticipate  ↓  [2011]

You are subtle as a window pane standing in my view
but I will wait for it to rain so that I can see you
you call me up at night when there’s no light passing through
and you think that I don’t understand
but I do
 
Yeah, we don’t say everything that we could
so that we can say later – oh, you misunderstood
I hold my cards up close to my chest
I say what I have to and I hold back the rest
 
Someone you don’t know  is someone you don’t know – get a firm grip before you let go
for every hand extended another lies in wait – keep your eye on that one
anticipate
 
Dress down get out there – pick a fight with the police
we will get it all on film for the new release
It seems like everyone’s an actor or an actor’s best friend
I wonder what was wrong to begin with that they should all have to pretend
we lost sight of everything when we have to keep checking our backs
I think we should all just smile
come clean and relax
 
Someone you don’t know  is someone you don’t know – get a firm grip before you let go
for every hand extended another lies in wait – keep your eye on that one
anticipate
 
If there’s anything I’ve learned all these years on my own
is that I have to find my own way there and I have to find my own way back home 

•→‘My IQ’   difrancoIQ4

⇓   poems  .  .  .

•  Tiptoe  ↑

tiptoeing through the used condoms
strewn on the piers off the west side highway
sunset behind the skyline of jersey
walking towards the water
with a fetus holding court in my gut
my body highjacked
my tits swollen
I’m sore
the river has more colors at sunset than my sock drawer ever dreamed of
I could wake up screaming sometimes
but I don’t
I could step off the end of this pier
but I’ve got shit to do
and I’ve an appointment on tuesday
to shed uninvited blood and tissue
I’ll miss you I say to the river  to the water
to the son or daughter I thought better of
I could fall in love with jersey at sunset
but I leave   the view   to the rats
and tiptoe back

⇓  ‘Coming Up’ ⇐

our father who art in a penthouse sits in his 37th floor suite
and swivels to gaze down at the city he made me in
he allows me to stand and sollicit graffiti until he needs the land I stand on
and I in my darkened threshold am pawing through my pockets
the receipts, the bus schedules
 the urgent napkin poems, the matchbook phone numbers,
all of which laundering has rendered pulpy and strange
loose change and a key
ask me
go ahead, ask me if I care
I got the answer here – I wrote it down somewhere
I just gotta find it …
 
somebody and their spraypaint got too close
somebody came on too heavy
now look at me made ugly by the drooling letters
I was better off alone – ain’t that the way it is
they don’t know the first thing
but you don’t know that until they take the first swing
my fingers are red and swollen from the cold
I’m getting bold in my old age
so go ahead, try the door – it doesn’t matter anymore
I know the weakhearted are strongwilled
and we are being kept alive until we’re killed
he’s up there the ice is clinking in his glass
he sends these little pieces of paper
I don’t ask
I just empty my pockets and wait
it’s not fate – it’s just circumstance
I don’t fool myself with a romance
I just live
phone number to phone number
dusting them against my thighs
in the warmth of my pockets
which whisper history incessantly
asking me
where were you
 
I lower my eyes
wishing I could cry more
and care less,
yes it’s true,
I was trying to love someone again,
I was caught caring, bearing weight
but I love this city, this state
this country is too large
and whoever’s in charge up there
had better take the elevator down
and put more than change in our cup
or else we
are coming
up

◊→ “The True Story Of What Was”  ↓

◊→ “Self Evident”  [poem]

difranco                         PattiS

¤ Patti Smith doing a cover of  ↓ Tears For Fears’ _“Everybody wants to rule the world”

(an overwhelming demonstration of how a crummy song may turn into a masterpiece when handled by a sensitive kind)

Welcome to your life – There’s no turning back
Even while we sleep – We will find you
Acting on your best behaviour – Turn your back on mother nature
Everybody wants to rule the world
It’s my own design – It’s my own remorse
Help me to decide – Help me make the most
Of freedom and of pleasure – Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world
There’s a room where the light won’t find you
holding hands while the walls come tumbling down
When they do i’ll be right behind you
So glad we’ve almost made it – So sad they had to fade it
Everybody wants to rule the world
I can’t stand this indecision – Married with a lack of vision
Everybody wants to rule the world
Say that you’ll never never never never need it – One headline  why believe it ?
Everybody wants to rule the world
All for freedom and for pleasure – Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world

⇓  ‘My Blakean Years

◊  ‘Because The Night’  ↓

Take me now, baby, here as i am – hold me close, try to understand
desire is hunger is the fire i breathe – love is a banquet on which we feed
come on now, try and understand the way i feel when i’m in your hands
take my hand, come under cover
can’t hurt you now  .  .  .  (3x)
because the night belongs to lovers – because the night belongs to lust
because the night belongs to lovers – because the night belongs to us

have i doubt when i’m all alone – love is a ring on the telephone
love is an angel, disguised as lust – here in our bed til the morning comes
with love we sleep, with doubt the vicious circle – turns, and turns
without you, i cannot live, forgive the yearning burningScross
i believe in love
too real to feel, touch me now, touch me now

•→ ‘Beneath The Southern Cross‘⇔

•  ‘Mother Rose’  ↑
Mother Rose every little morn’  tend to me
There she stood, waiting by the door selflessly
Took my hand took it with a smile tenderly
Mother rose every little morn’ tend to me
Now’s the time to turn the view – Now that I have you
And I’ll rise every little morn’  tend to thee
When you rise, wake up with the dawn – There I’ll be
Come my one, come and take my hand  [. . . ?] with me
When you rise, wake up with the dawn – There I’ll be
Now’s the time to turn the view – Now that I have you
 
Now’s the time to turn the view – Now that I have you
Roses growing up by my door, climbing up the vine
All the lights  [ . . . ?], roses shall divine
Where we feel no pain and the love inside
Where roses climb, roses shall divine
Roses shall divine, I feel the pain when the roses die
Roses shall divine holy mother – Mother of gold, mother with stories
Told and retold, she felt our tears
She heard our sighs and turned to gold  before our eyes

She rose into the light . . .  She rose into the light

♦  ‘People Have The Power’  ↓

I was dreaming in my dreaming of an aspect bright and fair
And my sleeping it was broken but my dream it lingered near
In the form of shining valleys where the pure air recognized
And my senses newly opened I awakened to cry –
That the people have the power to redeem the works of fools
Upon the meek the graces shower it’s decreed the people rule.
The people have the power . . .  The people have the power – the people have the power.
 
Vengeful aspects became suspect and bending low as if to hear
And the armies ceased advancing because the people had their ear.
And the shepherds and the soldiers lay beneath the stars
Exchanging visions and laying arms to waste in the dust
In the form of shining valleys where the pure air recognized
And my senses newly opened – I awakened to the cry –
The people have the power  . . . The people have the power – the people have the power.
 
The power to dream – to rule to wrestle the world from fools
It’s decreed – the people rule it’s decreed – the people rule.
Listen: I believe everything we dream can come to pass through our union
We can tun the world around – we can turn the earths revolution.
 
We have the power  . . .  The people have the power – the people have the power.
The power to dream to rule to wrestle us from fools
It’s decreed – the people rule.
We have the power – we have the power
The people have the power – we have the power.
•→Auguries of Inocence ←[poems]

¤→ JUST KIDS  ↓

In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

“Just Kids” begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists’ ascent, a prelude to fame.”

          •  Read foreword

Patti Smith discussed her National Book Award-winning memoir “Just Kids”  at the National Portrait Gallery on December 11, 2010. Click pic for the interview→

♦  ♦  Patti Smith reading from ‘Just Kids’ ↓ performing ‘Because The Night’

One late afternoon, Robert and I were walking down 8th Street. We heard ‘Because The Night’ blasting from one store front after another. It was my collaboration with Bruce Sprinsteen, the single from the album “Easter”. Robert was our first listener after we had recorded the song. I had a reason for that: it was what he always wanted from me. In the summer of 1978, it rose to number 13 on the Top_Forty Chart. It’s the only rapport dream that I would one day have a hit record.

Robert was smiling and walking in rhythm with the song. He took out a cigarette and lit it. We had been through a lot since we had first met and Robert was unabashedly proud of my success. What he wanted for himself, he wanted for us both. He exhaled the perfect extreme at smoke and spoke in a tongue he only used with me. It’d be mused scolding, admiration, without envy. Our brother-sister language: “Patti,” he drawled,  “you got famous before me…”

It snowed on Christmas night. We walked to Times Square to see the white billboard proclaiming “War’s Over If You Want It_Happy Xmas from John and Yoko”. It hang above the bookstore where Robert bought most of his men’s magazines, between Child’s & Benedits to all-night diners. Looking up, we were struck by the ingenuous humanity of this New York City tableau. Robert took my hand, and as the snow swirled around us, I glanced at his face. He narrowed his eyes and nodded in affirmation, impressed to see artists take on 42nd Street; for me it was the message, for Robert the medium.

[ . . . ? ] we walked back to our 23rd street loft. We stood at the window and looked at the snow falling beyond the fluorescent oasis sign with its squiggly plum tree. “Look,” he said, “It’s snowing in the desert.” I thought about the scene and Howard Hawks’ movie ‘Scarface’, with Paul Muni and his girlfriend are looking out the window, with a neon sign that said, “THE WORLD IS YOURS”. Robert squeezed my hand. The 60s were coming to an end. Robert and I celebrated our birthdays. Robert turned 23, then I turned 23, the perfect prime number. Robert made me a tie rag with the image of the Virgin Mary. I gave him seven silver skulls on a length of leather. He wear the skulls, I wear a tie. We felt ready for the 70s. “It’s our decade,” he said.

♦  The first time Patti Smith performed on a stage she read the poem “Fire of Unknown Origin”, set to music by Lenny Kaye. Watch their performance of the poem again 41 years later at the Louisiana Literature festival ↓ [2012]

A fire of unknown origin took my baby away. 
Fire of unknown origin took my baby away. 
Swept her up and off my wavelength. 
Swallowed her up like the ocean in a fire thick and gray. 
Death comes sweeping thru the hallway like a ladies’ dress. 
Death comes riding down the hallway in it’s sunday best. 
Death comes driving; death comes creeping; death comes I can’t do nothing. 
Death goes, there must be something that remains. 
Death, it made me sick and crazy ‘cause that fire took my baby away.

¤  Robert Mapplethorpe ⇐[1946-1989]

◊  Until he met Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe was called Bob–she tells Paul Holdengraber, director of LIVE from the NYPL, how Mapplethorpe became Robert… ↓ Backstage at LIVE from the NYPL, April 29, 2010.

Ladies & gentlemen, Patti Smith!

I woke early and as I descended the stairs I knew that he was dead; all was still safe the sound of the television that had been left on in the night. And Arts Channel was on and opera was played. I was drawn to the screen as the task which declared with power and sorrow her passion with the painter of  […?]. Such beautiful words, specially by Maria Callas, I have lived for love for art. I have never hurt a single soul so why mst I suffer? Providence had… er… had, er, decided […?] what I would be listening to at that moment, and it was that aria: “I have lived for love for art. ”  

The reason I called the book ‘Just Kids’ was because we were.

Interviewer: It is a book obviously about… about him and your relationship with him, but it’s also a lyrical poem in some way to a bygone New York…

When I came to New York City, you could walk everywhere; it seemed too safe. The Empire State Building, which is… was to me like… you know, was like God’s hypodermic needle, you know, it’s just like… so beautiful  I just… I just felt possibilities.

I was living in the bathroom of the bookstore . . .

So, anyway, there is this guy lurking around. He wanted to take me out for dinner, but I was so hungry I decided to accept his invitation. So we went to Tompkins Square Park and, er, I was getting really petrified that I thought, ‘cause I know where to go – I didn’t live anywhere, you know, I was so scared. And then he said, “You know, I live right up there.” I was like terrified, and I’m thinking, ‘How do I get out of the situation?’ and just as I was sitting there trying to figure it out, as if the angels had opened a portal, here I look and here is this boy, who I already met once or twice but didn’t even know his name, coming up toward me. And I ran up to him and I said, “Uh, do you remember me?” He said, “Yeah.”, I said, “Would you pretend you’re my boyfriend?” And he said, “Sure.” So I bring him over the Science Fiction writer and I said, “Uh, this is my boyfriend. He’s really mad… He’s really mad, er, because you know I went to dinner with you and he wants me to go home now.” And the guy is looking at me, and I said… er, to the boy, “Run!” So he grabbed my hand and we ran, we ran right across the  Tompkins Square Park and the  we found a stoop and we sat on the stoop and I said, “Thank you, you saved my life.” Then I said… “My name is Patti.” “Oh, my name’s Bob.” And I looked at him… I said, “You don’t seem like a Bob to me. Is it OK if I call you Robert?”

And forever after he was Robert . . .

⇒ Robert Mapplethorpe & Patti Smith ⇐

•  ‘Chelsea Girls’  ↑  (Nico)

Here’s Room five four six – it’s enough to make you sick
Bridget’s all wrapped up in foil – you wonder if she can uncoil
Here they come now – see them run now … Here they come now – Chelsea Girls
Here’s Room One fifteen, filled with SM queens
Magic marker row – you wonder just how high they go
Here they come now – see them run now … Here they come now – Chelsea Girls
Here’s Pope dear Ondine – Rona’s treated him so mean
She wants another scene – she wants to be a human being
Here they come now – see them run now … Here they come now – Chelsea Girls
Pepper she’s having fun – she thinks she’s some men’s son
Her perfect loves don’t last – her future died in someone’s past
Here they come now – see them run now … Here they come now – Chelsea Girls
Dear Ingrid’s found her lick – she’s turned another trick
Her treats and times revolves – she’s got problems to be solved
Here they come now – see them run now … Here they come now – Chelsea Girls
Poor Mary, she’s uptight – she can’t turn out her light
She rolled Susan in a ball and now she can’t see her at all
Here they come now – see them run now … Here they come now – Chelsea Girls
Drop out, she’s in a fix – amphetamine has made her sick
White powder in the air – she’s got no bones and can’t be scared
Here they come now – see them run now … Here they come now – Chelsea Girls
Here comes Johnny Bore – he collapsed on the floor
They shut him up with milk and when he died, sold him for silk
Here they come now – see them run now … Here they come now – Chelsea Girls

∇  Patti Smith’s letter to Robert M   ↓

Shortly before Robert Mapplethorpe passed away, I wrote him a letter and… hum, but it’s… He died before he could read it so I shall read it to you …

Dear Robert,
 kid
Often as I lie awake I wonder if you are also lying awake. Are you in pain or feeling alone? You drew me from the darkest period of my young life, sharing with me the sacred mystery of what it is to be an artist. I learned to see through you and never compose a line or draw a curve that does not come from the knowledge I derived in our precious time together. Your work, coming from a fluid source, can be traced to the naked song of your youth. You spoke then of holding hands with God. Remember, through everything, you have always held that hand, grip it hard, Robert, and don’t let it go.
 
The other afternoon, when you fell asleep on my shoulder, I drifted off, too. But before I did, it occurred to me looking around at all of your things and your work and going through years of your work in my mind, that of all your work, you are still your most beautiful. The most beautiful work of all.
 
Patti
◊  From the movie “NOAH” ↓ “Mercy Is” by P S & The Kronos Quartet

•→ ‘Amerigo‘ ⇐[“Banga” ↓ 2012]⇒‘This is the Girl’←•

∇  ‘Seneca’  ⇓

m_train . . .  excerpt  [01] [02] ⇔ [03] ⇐

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