Monday’s Verse 1/19/2016

Dear readers,

Kevin was right to expect some David Bowie ("a vow: I’d be id") last week. Alas, the timing was a bit off because of my debt to Ms. Sullivan. But I’ve held some solo tributes in my living room and done some reading on the matter since last weekend’s sad news. Many people know the story about how, as the result of a childhood fight, his left pupil was permanently dilated. It gave him a unique look (and the appearance that he had irises of 2 different colors), but think about it from the other point of view. One’s pupils dilate as a result of, for example, ingesting LSD. No wonder he saw the world a little differently, huh?

Bowie was a terrific lyricist, for himself and for others. One of the reflections I read last week described the writer’s grade-school experience when everyone was asked to bring in a poem to read to the class. The weird, lonely girl whom no one talked to brought in "Rock ‘n Roll Suicide" and skyrocketed to coolness in the writer’s estimation… and immediately turned her onto to this oddest of pop stars.

This song concludes the 1972 album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars," and also the D.A. Pennebaker documentary "Ziggy Stardust." It makes so much sense as a conclusion. As Bowie said of it years later, "At this point I had a passion for the idea of a rock star as meteor… At that youthful age you cannot believe that you’ll lose the ability to be this enthusiastic and all-knowing about the world, life, and experience. You think you’ve probably discovered all the secrets to life. "Rock ‘n Roll Suicide" was a declaration of the end of the effect of being young."

And yes, I do encourage all of you to share your paeans, eulogies, encomiums, pensees, and general laudates for this most timely of timeless rock ‘n roll stars. ~mjl

ROCK ‘N ROLL SUICIDE

Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth
You pull on your finger, then another finger, then your cigarette
The wall-to-wall is calling, it lingers, then you forget
Ohhh, you’re a rock ‘n’ roll suicide

You’re too old to lose it, too young to choose it

And the clock waits so patiently on your song
You walk past a cafe but you don’t eat when you’ve lived
too long
Oh, no, no, no, you’re a rock ‘n’ roll suciide

Chev brakes are snarling as you stumble across the road

But the day breaks instead so you hurry home
Don’t let the sun blast your shadow
Don’t let the milk float ride your mind
You’re so natural — religiously unkind

Oh no love! you’re not alone
You’re watching yourself but you’re too unfair
You got your head all tangled up but if I could only make you care
Oh no love! you’re not alone
No matter what or who you’ve been
No matter when or where you’ve seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain
You’re not alone

Just turn on with me and you’re not alone
Let’s turn on with me and you’re not alone
Let’s turn on and be not alone
Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful
Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful
Oh gimme your hands.

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