Playlist: January 2018

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This is a month of 144 songs.

Already they are flogging chocolates in Tesco’s. I am ill-prepared for the purples and yellows, the curved edges of mass chocolate which we were taught as best for exam preparation. Reading old Moodle documents where we were wished a good Easter with lots of curved chocolate. The world curves as it splits. No really. Is this just trick synecdoche? The gaussian, milky worlds. I dwell in the sugary absent weakness. Bedtime cocoa. Night after night dissolves into day. Clung to all these ornamentals, my fragile sinuses burning well. I’ll go all the way through the night for this, the not-knowing and the implicit—which is it it it. 

You see there are several photographs in which it is shown that we have a thing that makes sense, or doesn’t. My fingers reach for the delicate foil, but I am frightened to unwrap what might perish in the light.

I’ll talk to you about fast food for hours if you like. No, there is an art to dwelling in front of elevators to avoid going up or down. We part in limbo again, the ice still clung but I’m not slipping this time. There’s a sense in which the sky is a tease. How could that blue come out of the grey? It is like watching some sick person acquire their first blush for months—so you might pull on that, luring them from their introversion. O blue sky, O blue day. Today I will wear pale blue and twirl. We debate the sentience of ferns because I am sick of rolling dice for you. Rolling leaves, tobacco and steam. Everything around is still dead and grey. The ice in our drinks is the precise kind, expensive. Like some character in a song by Belle & Sebastian, I killed you on the sabbath. New moon burning a hole in my books, so I would scoop wisdom from the alcoholic silt and taste it. There are so many words we struggle to assemble. Like hairspray your loquaciousness sticks and I find it in the morning, crusted all over my skin. Slit. 

It’s taken too long for me to discover ‘Farewell Transmission’ and now it might well be my favourite song.

Doubling back out of habit, platitude. My phone battery externalises the melt of my soul. My god however is it six in the morning again and leaning out a balcony I pretend it’s still night. Which of us picks up a cigarette? Drawn from the navy, thickness of velvet. So many thin white bars whose measured smoulder effects inverse to the light. The duration of intimacy with dangerous presence.

Dreamt I was in England and being shown around myriad ancient houses. The verdurous remains of a Fleet Foxes song, green apples and glittering fountains. Here you are as I was in my corduroy. There is a hypothetical coach journey that draws me to you. In her many cubicles, the rich lady assembles a wealth of dresses. I wear sequins to gigs so they can pick up my trail. Funny how it all lies down, like snow. In the darkness you can know everyone, share in their sweat and heat. The bass beats a death inside of me.

Lovely, lovely, lovely.

The truth is a valley in which I dip occasionally. Best not to linger.

What is it with our renewed desire for psychedelia? Smell of dying pines? I long for the back of a van, a Nebraskan sunrise. Languid, shimmery notes which twang through the desert, tuning to all that mescaline seeping inside the cacti. Sleeping through the mad afternoons. There is a note on the fridge: William Carlos Williams dropping plums one by one through my Twitter feed. No really, it says will you take out the mouldy fruit; I could not bear to. All of our narratives resign with sincerity.

January blackens; it fills milk spores in the holes of my speakers. Drips straight into ear canals, oozes and congeals its murky secrets. The milk goes black, an aperture. It is fear or soot or the ink from a printer. How much have you spent on weighing up happiness? There is his to consider, then hers. A balance. We talk a bit about the problem of rhythm, but we are paralysed on the boat of my sofa.

Look back for old flake paint, for the topaz and green. Flash of light!

There are so many sunflower connections. Her new album (I’m picturing Oregon from a tenement window), his intentional outfit, my disposable developed (what sad and faded sunflowers they were!), a proliferation of emoji, paling bedsheets, yellow bows and cookie-huge pupils, rediscovering a hairband, that video with its dead assembly of meadows. A nice young man stares mournfully at the wilting array. The one plucked flower I held in the photo-booth, smile all red and sideways drooping. Petals of buttery yellow. Longing for symmetrical features is futile when you think of it. The Psychology of Attraction might be a good record title. Or is it akin to her perfect button nose, infinitely terrible? Undone like a blouse the clouds forget the order of day. Very photogenic. My god like why does he drink pint after sideways pint? I prefer those features slightly awry, striking, crooked. Look into abysses, the romantic state of traffic at five in the morning.

A good quick coconut shower, rinse and repeat. We keep on growing. She knows.

To live nocturnal is to cheat the impositions of ordinary living. As if I were ever going to be a glowing contributor! You know, when they used to ask, over breakfast or whatever, about my future career I’d say—I’ll learn how to blow smoke-rings, I’ll sit up in attics watching telly every day. How far from that is the present in question? THE QUESTION. Tiny daisies studded the front lawn, friends came to paint colourful ads on the walls. I’m starlit, trying to close folders to forget it.

What I am struck by is his absolute gratitude. The blueness cools, then emanates. Googling ‘good and bad feng shui’.

I properly have the chills, then I don’t. Sunshine comes out, dashes the opposite window and drips fucking genuine gold on my hip flask, glasses, sequin dress. What a marvel! We buy cups of tea and I drift along Kelvin Way lingering in the sparkly feeling. Later, as in normal days, I brush my teeth while simultaneously reading James Schuyler and occasionally catching my ridiculousness in the mirror. Folding red book betwixt fingers. It’s like forgetting to spell, that brief glitch where you see yourself wrongly. But he writes so well about sunlight and flowers and waking up to the sense of everything being around you. How could I resist that, melting into this clean teeth feeling. I fill myself with words, waiting for the kettle to boil.

So a wee mention in Dazed and Confused, eh? I did cartwheels in the restaurant and bounced my way home.

A good friend helps you figure out your feelings. It’s not as simple as taking a box of pick’n’mix and sorting it all by colour. Remember the last day of school, second year, talking to your crush about orange skittles? We agreed on a favourite and that was the first time I lied to impress or get close to a boy. It meant nothing then. I mean anyway, oranges became my favourites—everything before was soon forgotten.

Sometimes though, I still dream of red. He’d clack the streets on his skateboard home.

When doing the morning rounds, laying out cutlery, I feel so lucky. Where has this feeling come from? I don’t deserve the good rush from coffee, or the way my hair sits right the first day after washing. Is this a temporary clawing out of the void? An American asks, is that your natural hair colour, or do you ENHANCE it? My darling, everything must be a certain enhancing. She does not tip. She leaves her glasses, wiry black frames, but we cannot find them.

My mother’s SAD lamp does wonders for everything.

We are all in our bodies, separate but not. It is his flat and he is drifting. I catch him saying, to no-one: I love falling asleep in a room full of friends, you feel so safe. This is a truism I have carried and nourished since childhood sleepovers, though it’s been so long. In lieu of sleeping bags, we wrap ourselves now in serotonin enhancements. Sparkle and chat and videos.

The time is out of joint, or maybe no longer matters. They are selling Easter chocolates already in Tesco’s. No room for January discount vegetables, or the mad dieting schemes of the rich and useless. I take miles into distance, darkness after work. Every half hour another album. They closed the bar early. Do we talk about ‘our generation’ too much? How he hates the word ‘epoch’. 

There are these messages I receive in the dead of night. Friends from abroad or away. The beautiful and ever unexpected. 

Did you know there are poets who actually write about happiness? I am very glad. Jack Underwood in love and lifting his snail to safety.

Sometimes I miss you like I miss the sea in The Wind Waker. You’re there and you’re everywhere but are you really? There is all this cell-shaded feeling and the sense of whirlpools ahead. Maybe that in itself is the dream, the journey and stirring and searching for clues. There are two, the green and the blue. Tactics: look above, be only shallow.

It is not the same green as a bottle of Gordon’s. It is fake plastic green, these intimations of asphalt. Where you have crossed and skinned and promised.

A kind of lamentable, pore-torn love; looking up football puns in crumpled papers. When I look up from the pile of folded napkins and we clock eyes. Let’s talk dissertations. Let’s talk the lightning tree on the cover which you haven’t yet opened. I found another path through a wayward January. How anyone ever did this dry I don’t know. I used to be pure and decorous really.

Now there is a mist and madness to everything. The new year beginning with vapours. Dwell in etcetera and don’t pause for effect.

Those purple foils fill up the trash. How many of us deep down can help it?

*

Ride – Lateral Alice

Moon Duo – New Dawn

Oneohtrix Point Never – Chrome Country

James Blake – If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead

Mogwai – Party in the Dark

A Perfect Circle – Disillusioned

Anna Meredith – Calion

Hannah Peel – Sunrise Through the Dusty Nebula

GoGo Penguin – Bardo

LYLO – You Have Your Father’s Eyes

Beach Fossils – Saint Ivy

Hookworms – On Leaving

Anna Burch – Asking 4 a Friend

(Sandy) Alex G – Bobby

Spinning Coin – Metronome River

Loma – Joy

Public Service Broadcasting – Turn No More

Red House Painters – Katy Song

Haley Heynderickx – Untitled God Song

Tom Petty – Wildflowers

Songs: Ohia – Farewell Transmission

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