From It’ll Never Be Over For Me by Mark Lamoureux

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From It’ll Never Be Over For Me

by

Mark Lamoureux

K-JEE

after The Nite-Liters

 

Slinky

descending

a staircase, yellow,

plastic & full

of air.  Something pale

from the automat,

headlong, sidelong into

the wireless future.

The kiss of a suture,

the cinnamon spark

that eats up

the fuse.  What results

is something

that one saw

coming, from the vantage

above the food court,

where the fountain reached,

deaf & dumb

toward the lacquered ceiling.

They fill it

with pennies.  Pennies

for ice cream, pennies

for the long afterlife.

The mute slot like a weeping

snake-eye.  Multiple sixes

to the nines.

It’s not the end

of the world.

Dance dance dance

under the fireflies, under

the seeking planes, crucifixes

dripping antifreeze,

UFO pips, the stupid translucence

of the inside

of the dice.

 

Lucky SEVENTEEN

Morning, noon & The Nite-Liters.  Nothing light about a band of seventeen whose biggest hit would peak at seventeen, heavy numerology.  Brothers & sisters tattooed by trumpets & guitars, some groovy sans-serif.  Not the only good thing besides Kentucky Fried Chicken to come out of Kentucky, quipped the Channel 13 DJ on November 1, 1972 as he proceeded to bungle the dudes’ names while they killed it onstage in matching baby blue sailor suits to an all-black crowd, PBS still segregating acts in ’72, the real deal not much like Sesame Street ,but it sounded cooler at any rate.  Becoming New Birth to summarily die—they had it & lost it all in the Hollywood Haze, hemorrhaging members across the decade, done by ’79—Nite-Lite(r)s out, enter monsters.

 

EARTHQUAKE

after Bobbi Lynn

Lined up behind the dull chrome of the clouds,

the armies of ruin, prepped to drag premises all along

the neglected ground.  Brown dirt the universal principle

of absence, world opened like an orange.   We perturb

its thin skin only.  What waits for us in the alien core,

geoded bubbles harboring air unblemished by the stain

of our being.  What lies below: iguanas the size of dinosaurs,

three-lidded demons or some abhorrent mycelium,

immortal, uninterested in us.  No shaker of earth,

this God—so who to curdle & still the shifting plates

that sleep below our folly?  Fear always what lies

below, but look always there.  You, named to bury

your dead.  Conjugal bed of mind & universe, the union

so poisonous to skin—that bower that calls to us in low

frequencies, whips up the puddle of the oceans.  This life

a mad dash away from Mother’s arms until we are called

home by the booming voice, inexorable but inexplicable,

but we still too young to answer.

 

THE ELUSIVE BOBBI LYNN

You know in life, some people try to make it, some don’t.  Some keep trying, some give up.  I tried to make it & this is my story.  Well I was born just around the corner, about half a block from Opportunity Street.  I lived 18 years of good memories; I’ve had 27 since, every meal to eat.  I met a boy just around the corner about half a block from Opportunity Street.  He had charms at 20 nearly drove me mad, but he stole my love, took everything I had on Opportunity Street.  It seems to me that I could see there must be another way, but some don’t get another chance & I guess I’ll have to stay.  Now a word to all you people, about half a block from Opportunity Street.  Listen to me, if you lived the life you planned to be, just make about face & take a look at me: Opportunity Street.

 

Statement:  These pieces are from a project called It’ll Never Be Over For Me, which is a meditation on the Northern Soul youth culture in the U.K. in the 70s and beyond, whereby the kids formed this kind of cargo cult around obscure African American soul records from Detroit & elsewhere, among other things.  The book takes the form of lyric glosses on the songs themselves coupled with prose investigations of the (often tragic, sometimes privileged, sometimes unknown) lives of the songwriters.

 

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