Watercolor, ink and pencil on paper (11in. x 14in.) Companion to my poem “Suburban Lightsick Lullaby,” which appeared in Locust Review’s third issue.
I cannot remember the accident. It is a hole, a blank spot, an infinitesimal chasm in what was my cognition. The moments leading up are hazy, as if viewing them through layers of gauze. It is the first moment I day most clearly: the day I realized that my only two options were starving or going under these red mountains. No third option. There never is. Everyone wishes there were. In the end you would rather sign away your life than let it wither and crumple in the basement of a salvation center.
If the headlines are to be believed then a new relief bill is going to be passed any day now. Millions of people who have been tossed into poverty since the expiration of the CARES Act five goddamned months ago are going to finally be tossed a paltry lifeline. Whether it’s enough to lift them back out of poverty is an open question, given that the direct relief for working people – $600 stimulus checks, and an added $300 in weekly unemployment benefit supplement payments – is about half what it was back in the spring and summer.
For the past month we’ve come to grips with this strange yet somehow familiar feeling: history happening without our permission. Of course that’s always been how it is. How many of us have ever truly felt we’ve had definitive control over events? Damn few of us, that’s who. But still, in our schedules, our social engagements, our celebrations and obligations and deadlines, we we’ve always been able to cobble together some sense that things move along. That something called a future is, despite everything, still in store. And with that, something called hope.
Depeche Mode have long suffered in the synthpop scene from what I call “godfather syndrome.” They aren’t the only act of massive influence who find themselves in such a position. Nor is it entirely, or even mostly, their fault. The irony of popular culture’s nostalgic time-loop is that it never really lets you see even … Continue reading Synthpop, the Left, and the Future That Refuses to Come