Michael’s Song

Michael

In the morning we skated in the parking lot

We soaped up our shoes and went sliding on rails

Making our movies and making up stories

I’m cleaning your room and I’m biting your nails

.

Reading your books and watching your movies

We would eat cookie dough right from the can

Running my fingers across the hair on your legs

We are falling asleep touching hands

.

Your dad, my mother

We’ll be a family and you’ll be my brother

You do not love me the way that I love you

But I am your friend and you are my lover

.

You left your watch behind the day that we met

I kept it under my pillow for weeks

I wrote your name down and said it out loud

And tasted the sound on my lips and my teeth

.

It was my birthday, we were riding in the back seat

You gave me your knee and I rested my head

I was so excited to see you again that I

Left the door open and ran to your bed

.

That first night I was sleepless

Laying my head on your chest

You were so peaceful and I was so lonesome

Holding your hand between your legs while you slept

.

Your sister, my brother

We’ll be a family and love one another

You do not love me the way that I love you

But I am your friend and you are my lover

.

Here we are, there are jets and they’re warm

Here we are taking a shower together

Here we are finding your dad’s hidden porn

Here we are touching ourselves together

Here we are fighting you pushed me onto the bed

Here we are shouting again

Here I am crying with you at the door and it’s locked

Here I am losing my friend

.

I changed my name at school

People believe you’re my brother

You do not love me the way that I love you

But I am your friend and you are my friend and

You are my friend and you are my friend and

.

Still I remember the days we spent in our world

I remember when I was alive

Walking the sidewalks with you I am happy

And I’ve not been happy since 2005

No one can break us the boys that we were

The way that your skin smells all over my face

The way you were crying and wrapped in a towel

The way that you trusted me when we embraced

I got you suspended but I was just mad

You shouldn’t love her, I’ve been here all this time

You called me and asked “what of us now?” I don’t know

But I would still love you if you were not mine

.

My friend, my brother

We’ll be a family and love one another

You do not love me but I’ll always love you

I was your friend and you were my lover

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Some Poems I Wrote This Year

So a lot of the poetry I’ve posted this year has been called untitled with a number afterward. That’s because I constantly write down scraps of poetry or short poems and don’t give them titles because they’re intended to be kind of sewn together into lyrics for songs later. Some of these stand on their own, some of them are kind of waiting to be paired up with others. I used to just separate all of these poetry fragments with a little asterisk, but when I cleaned out my notes on my phone and transferred all my old poetry fragments to my computer, rather than using asterisks I tried using numbers. I kind of liked the way that worked because it gave everyone of those poems a designation of some kind to reference later, and so when I started a new poetry notepad on my phone, I just continued using a number system, although I restarted from one. So everything you’ve seen posted this year with numbers in the title is the number that I gave it in my notes. I recognize this is all way too complicated, but organizing things is kind of like, my hobby.

That being said, I’m going to post some of the best stuff I feel I’ve written this year. Some of these will be repeats from earlier posts, although the majority of these (especially from 33 onward) are new and haven’t been seen before. I was really doing this just as a way to have these all collected here at the end of the year, but to tell the truth I discovered I’m actually REALLY proud of some of the things I’ve written, and I think that I’m really growing and that one day my lyrics will reflect this. Anyway, if you’ve enjoyed my poetry before, I hope you enjoy these. Happy new year and all that, everyone.

1 – Home (for Jacob)

And I want to go home but you’re not there
And without you it’s just a house
And I want to get in bed but it makes me remember
The person I’m sleeping without
And if I squint real hard in the morning light
Before I remember that I’m alone
I can think that you’re still here beside me
And suddenly this house has become a home

And even if you only love me a little
A little is enough for me
And I don’t care if I’m wrong and you break my heart
I just need you to come home to me

And I’m making mix CDs for you
And I listen to them by myself
Cause I’d rather share them with no one at all
Than to show them to someone else
And the dogs look around like they still don’t get
That you’re not coming home for a while
But if you told me tomorrow that you were ready
I’d sell everything and drive three-hundred miles

And even if you only love me a little
A little is enough for me
And I don’t care if I’m wrong and you break my heart
I just need you to come home to me

When I lay in bed I pretend you’re there
And I cry because you’re not
And I don’t answer when other friends call
Because I’d rather you be missed than you be forgot
And even if you only love me a little
I’d give you anything you want
And I’m not even dead but I feel like a ghost
Cause I’m living in this house you haunt

And even if you only love me a little
A little is enough for me
And I don’t care if you break my heart
Because it’s broken already
Come home

5 – Delirium

Oh Delirium you taught me how to love desire
And you took me in the dark and you gave me a little fire
I held it close against my chest and walked into the rain
I learned that I can be happy and still in constant pain

Delirium you taught me how to love despair
And when I look inside and I can’t see myself I see you there
And when my voice is broken and you begin to sing
I think that it’s possible that I can say anything

Oh Delirium walking with me in the morning
They can’t hear what you’re painting but I see it all
And I was in my room wrapped in chains when you found me
And you whispered “Aren’t you sick of being tied to the wall?”

I don’t understand a word you’re saying
But I know exactly what you mean
And I thought I had to be quiet until you showed me
That I have the power to scream

And the water was warm as I sank to the bottom
Singing your songs for the hundredth time
And when I reached the floor I dug my nails in till they were bleeding
And I had no lipstick, I had no shoes
But the horses came for me anyway
And my muddy clothes were dripping
And the grey sky looked down
And I crawled from the river
Said I crawled from the river

When I was lonely I rested in you
When I knew I was unknowable I believed that you were too
And if the echoes of you bleeding could reach me through the years
I knew that there was merit in my tears
I knew that I could love my deepest fears

And being human is so dirty but I’m happy just to try
I believe the effort’s worth it when I’m sad enough to die
And I don’t fear the devil anymore because of you
You taught me how to love myself like God refused to do

Oh Delirium you taught me Destruction is alright
You gave me a lantern to keep me warm at night
You barked at the cats and they scattered to the wind
You growled when they tried to let those preachers in
You taught me to love what I thought would make me die
You taught me to look their god right in the eye
And I don’t fear the devil anymore because of you
You taught me how to love myself like God refused to do

7

At night I say goodbye and get into my car
Drive home and unlock the door
Go into my room and close it behind me
Sink to the floor in exhaustion
I pull of my clothes while I lay on my side
Until I’m naked and the air is cool against my skin
Chills run down me and something leaves my heart
And comes up through my eyes and out my mouth
There are such depths within me that I cannot express
It hurts to know that one can see this dark place
If only someone knew me I could feel safe
And always my call at night goes unanswered
Laying on the floor until I’m done thinking
Rocking back and forth
It isn’t time for school
I’ve wasted so much of my life
In this quiet chamber where sadness is an echo
And the sea beneath me is warm


*apparently I messed up the numbering for these next three, so just go with it

8

My love flashes so bright that it blinds before it fades
My love is a deep well that drains so fast
And leave my dry and thirsty
My love is cruel because it does not hold to me
My love is fickle and callous, flitting in the wind
And my heart is always broken and infatuated
These cruel opposing hands make me so dizzy

7

Possess me, possess me
I’ve denied it for so long
Come isnide and stay within my body
Give my bones a ringing song
Lie within these corridors
My echoed halls that scream your name
Raise my voice inside of yours
Break apart this fragile frame

8

I’m dying and it feels so wonderful
It feels so wonderful to die
I’m coming and the heat is intense
Between these many bodies gathered
And all there is is this
His and his and his and his and his and his and his
Sweet delirious fucking
Hair and teeth and skin
Tighten these grilling fingers around my throat
And let me die like this

9

I’ll look after you
I’ll take care of you
Will you look after me
When I am there with you

10

He comes to me quietly
My old friend who understands
He hears what I forgot I said
Lonely and quiet
Sad and at peace
I do not have to say a thing
He already knows
These chills are a blanket
His fingers are warm
Hold me close I cannot hear them
He wraps his arms around me
He takes me home

14

I stopped growing when I was fourteen
I was raised by a television screen
I skipped the bus and stayed at home
Grinding my body into a black hole

15

And you can blame me if it helps you feel better
We all get scared sometimes
And I know you smile when they ask how you’re feeling
It’s okay to tell those lies
When you come to me alone in the dark
I’ll be your silent friend
You’ve been alone for so long
You’re trying to be strong
You just want this pain to end
We both have wounds we cannot tend

You’re trying to tell me what you’re thinking
Saying words that don’t make sense
You say you’d rather cry than be quiet
That sadness is better than indifference
But you can cry for me if it helps you feel better
We all get scared sometimes
And you can gather your thoughts and put them in a letter
Writing words that never rhyme
But no one reads those lines

And it’s okay to be angry cause the world deserves it
And I’m shouting with you and I don’t care if it’s worth ti
When we finally reach the top of this rock we climb
We may not get an answer but at least we tried
And if you promise not to lie to me I’ll promise you
That I’m hurting when you’re hurting and I’m angry too
I may not know the reason but I know this much
It’s that I love you and I know
It’s so hard to live without touch

16 (For Kesha)

And you dance while you’re dying
Every day you’re trying
But the other side of the rainbow doesn’t come today
Just dance while you’re dying
They’re hearing but they’re not listening
No can hear you crying
Over the sound your singing

18

And these nights are rubbing me raw
My skin is itching for touch
And I’m asking and no one answers
I just want to feel so much
I’m thirst, I’m hunger
Contact is my deepest need
I’m breathless and hardened
I want to make a garden
But I have no seed

20

And I’ll learn to live with it if I have to
Because I have no other choice
But it’s such a shame to live like this
Singing to strangers in someone else’s voice

23

We’re playing God and God isn’t playing fair
(I’m coming in to burn you all)
My skin begins itching soon, try to contain the fire
(No weight can hold me back)
Tell them to run while they can
(I will live forever and the sun will die before my fire is quenched)
Don’t breathe, just run
(Feed me with life
Until I am everything)

24

Running through the veins of love
Come on let the sunshine in
It’s finally gonna happen
You can’t even guess at how it feels
And when you hear them singing
You know they’re only trying
To say something that can’t be said

Come out of the catacombs baby
Everyone’s been waiting
And in the middle of the circle stands
The fruit you eat daily
The water you drink
The heat that keeps your heart beating
Freedom will not wait for you to catch her

25

A whisper is inside me
Begging to slip out
I’m afraid to say it
These sweet words hiding in my mouth
Where your tongue slipped in

26

I only know how to be alone
But I’m hoping that you’ll teach me
How do I ask you
To make a new heart for me
Replace the old one that was taken
And we’re meant to touch
I’ll be Jonathan, you be David

27

And my wicked little heart is trembling in your hands
You climbed into my chest and found it beating
And if you want to keep me all you have to do is ask
Will you love me even with my constant needing

32

On this autumn hill
The kingdom of an ancient time
When the birds spoke in verse
When the people of the forest listened
Comes to me at sunrirse

The horses can still smell
The air we’ve gotten used to
Our noses were full of cotton
Flares on a coole vening breeze
Asking me to hear secrets I’ve been keeping

Blue, blue
Soft nocturne like a lullaby
I’m asking the ghosts if they can spare a mother for me
I need to be held against her breasts
I hold an empty cup in my hands

The empty king wears a birds head
He looks down on a cold chasm
I have come to ask compassion
Come with my twisted knots of glesh
Tangled nerves that thirst for something fresh
And pools of blood beneath my skin
Where my heart was beaten

I cross this angry bridge
While you look on silently
With nothing behind me
And a cup of blood in my hands

33

We’re swimming in the clouds
We’re floating in the fog
We’re dancing through the grass
We’re coming
We don’t believe those lies
We bring your secrets with us

34

I tried to learn to love you
But the chances were so slim
I split myself in pieces
Hoping one of them could be him

I put my mask on to go to sleep
But I can’t tell a lie while I’m dreaming
So I taper my mouth shut
I can’t tell you the secret I’m keeping

I’m sifting through the trash
To find the music I was reading
I’m walking on razorblades
And wondering why I’m bleeding

I’m chasing you beneath the moon
I’m standing far behind myself
I’m walking on razors
And I don’t know why I’m bleeding

35

The soldiers stop by and kiss the pin-up boy
On their way to work
On their way to the field
On their way to eat
And especially
On their way to sleep

36

I’ve been having nightmares
Worms beneath the ocean
Ancient and forgotten things
In a submarine inside the belly of the beast
A mouth with many teeth
The clamp and strangle

I saw so many faces
Turning into masks
Their loves one changing right before their eyes
I saw beast that stood beside my bed
No eyes and scales across it’s awful head
I screamed like a siren
Calling for a dog to save me

38

Twin without a twin
Brother without a brother
Here I am again
In love without a lover

39

I want to feel safe
Not lost in an ocean of kisses without love
I want to be warm
Not shielded from a cold wind of loneliness
Blowing down the hill
I want to be loved
As much as I love the world around me
And the hope of changing
I’m tired of feeling vertigo in my cracked heart

And I’m giving up on trying to find
Someone whose scent I cannot track
I’m just trying my best to lose
This heavy weight that bears down on my chest
And I’ll still feel those tears when
I crawl in bed and think of him
I wish the world weren’t so cruel
But wishes are just prayers that go unanswered

42

These lullabies are so familiar
But the footprints are still mine
It could be early in the morning
Standing in the sea when we haven’t slept
The sea is full of jewels
And I think I’ll fall into the sky
I wish you were with me
In the still glass
In the quiet morning sea
Everything sleeps eventually

I don’t want to go to sleep on my own
It would be so warm to lie in you
It would be so good to let me go
So much fear that I’ll always have broken feet
I hope I’m still worth walking

How can so many voices call
In such a small place
I’m so afraid
And I’m trying so hard to be strong
Hold me
I’m so tired from standing

43

The sky is an ocean
And I want to fall high and into it
Where they swim in oxygen
They laugh
And I’m sinking into the air
And it smells like the cold
The snow is in my veins
I’m freezing, I’m a crystal
(Don’t break!)
(Don’t move!)
(Just drink!)
Drink the air
The fish can fly

44

I remember a childhood that isn’t mine
A winter without Elvis in my room
A grandmother that was not mine
There was no smoke in the walls there
My mother was a housewife
My brothers were my friends
My father was a good man
I was not alone when I learned to love
I kept secrets that did not break me
My family called and asked me to come home
They were all so worried
I felt sorry for the boy whose mom had kicked him out
We let him stay with us for a little while
My mother couldn’t imagine that
I wished I could help him
So we took off all our clothes and lit a candle
I said goodbye to my brothers while they slept
He kissed me
I hugged my father
He held me
I whispered to my sleeping mother
I kissed him deep
I promised I”d take her with me wherever I go
He took me in and the green sky swallowed my heart

I was a crying baby then
Taken into the arms of a woman who was not mine
One day he’ll find me and throw his arms around me
And I’ll see my brothers again
And my father will be so proud
My mother will forgive me for running away
She’s proud of both her sons
She still loves us all
She’ll tell me I’m so brave

My friend will take my hand and lead me to bed
Give me a kiss and tell me I saved him
It will be worth it
My car is cold right now
But my bed is warm
He’s patting the space beside him
Come on, Jesse
I believe in you
Come home
The Bed is warm
Find me, follow my candle
Keep driving

 

46

Put you on the drugs then we take them back from you
Now you can’t live without it, now you need it
Now you want the water cause you’re
Thirsty, needing, now your eyes are bleeding
Take a little all you get is what we say you need
So we push this
Take this back from you
But you’re not covered cause you have no clothes
So we’ll take a piece of your brain
Until you pay us back
Wish you’d just break my legs
Instead of cracking each bone to collect

48

I have so little of the joy you weave
My life has been a march of pain
But I still hope I can see the beauty
The blood beneath the vein

49

And what joy, and what pain
To know I found the one and he didn’t love me

50

The sky is a reflection of the sea
My reflection is an imitation of me
Where my eyes end and the world begins
A fog so thick that no one can see in
And I’m reaching into that fearful expanse
Hoping you’ll see and break

52

The orchestra players are not just instruments
Not just breath and tone
I see your eyes and the music within
Body, blood and bone

I know my lover’s staggered breath
I know his gentle moan
The music in his gentleness
The softness in the stone

And I know when he plays for me
His secrets I have known
I hear him talking in his sleep

54

I’ll wake up and wander through the house
Very quiet and the dogs are still asleep
If I open up your bedroom door
Will you let me slide beneath the sheets

57

No one dies alone
The lights in the sky are sleeping

62

Hey there Lucifer
I heard you were the one to talk to
I can’t stop thinking about the hearts beneath the floor
I can’t stop seeing the faces of the victims
And I’ve not lost sleep but I’ve lost waking

Hey Lucifer I know you’ve seen it all
I keep saying I’m not the worst
But I really don’t believe it
I tried to ask your father but he never called me back
I tried to ask his son but he really never spoke
And I wonder if ghosts are even real
But if any god is real I hope it’s you
If I open up, will you have compassion?
Scoop out the thing that makes me black
Leave some hope where it was

I’m trying my best to stare down the fire
But it won’t stop melting my resolve
Would you take my hand and lead me through?

Hey Lucifer I’m afraid
And I want to throw it all up
It hasn’t left me yet
Please god get it out

Hey Lucifer I’m ready
I’m ready to lay it down
Help me to forgive myself
Because it’s eating me alive
And I can’t keep secrets
When I have so much to give

Hey Lucifer do you think
I can wrap my soul around the one I love
When I die
And will I have to lose myself again just to live
I’m calling back the music
I’m trying to command
But I am not a witch
And I don’t have the power

Teach me how to love
Before I start to hate
A part of me wants to destroy everything
But help me to live him and show him compassion
Help me when the world won’t
Help me when God doesn’t answer
People only come to you when no one else picks up
I’m sorry that the world has heaped it’s shit on you

Hey Lucifer
I love you
Hold my hand and lead me out
And cleanse my blood
With sunlight

69

Our sorrow is still enough
And better than a lonely morning
With my wet feet in the grass by themselves
And hoping you’ll come home across the ocean
Though it breaks my heart
It’s worth holding

 

70

I don’t want a wedding ring
I’m not looking for forever
I just want tonight to be better than this morning
And maybe three years is enough
I hope you thought it’s worth it
Love dropped by and spent the night
And left me in the morning

The Best Songs I Discovered This Year

Before we begin, here’s a random picture of Jeremy Sumpter playing Peter Pan in 2003. To this day 
I’ve never seen this live-action film version of the story, but when I first saw him on the movie cover,
my twelve-year-old heart went pitter patter.

Doing year end wrap-up style blogs is fun, but honestly, if I were to do a blog post about “the top songs of 2015,” I’d be pretty sorely disappointed, but frankly, the last few years haven’t been great years for music, particularly popular music. But then again, that’s just my opinion, and it doesn’t even matter anyway because this post is about my favorite songs that I DISCOVERED this year. So songs in this list are not necessarily new (in fact I don’t think a single song in this list is from this year), but they are songs that I discovered this year and spent a lot of time listening to. Frankly, this list was a lot longer because it was originally “the songs I listened to the most this year,” but I decided it was more fun to go with songs I discovered this year. That’s the rule that I mostly stick to, though some of them are songs I discovered before this year but listened to obsessively this year.

Also this rambling introductory paragraph is a good excuse why you shouldn’t listen to really fast Ben Folds music rambling into your ears because it makes it damn difficult to concentrate. One final thing I want to mention is that unlike most of my other fun little lists, these aren’t in any particular order.

Say Something
A Great Big World

I first heard this song around Christmas 2013 when it became a big hit, and the lyrics really hit me like a brick. 2015 has been a year which, for me, has been primarily defined by crushing depression, loneliness, fear, and a desperate struggle to get over a relationship that lasted three years and ended just before Christmas of 2014. My relationship was strained from the beginning, but when I first heard the words, “Say something I’m giving up on you,” it so perfectly described how I felt in my relationship that seemed completely stuck and moving nowhere. In the silence between us was a sadness and a void, and though I wasn’t ready to say it out loud yet, this song said it for me.

I spent considerable time this year curled up in bed crying and listening to this song, much like I did with Kesha’s “The Harold Song” back when I experienced another traumatic breakup a few years ago. I also want to mention that I usually listen to the original version of the song, though I enjoy the version with Christina Aguilera as well (in fact I was shocked to learn that the girl in the song was Christina because she doesn’t over-sing like usual, and manages to be soft and heartfelt; well done Christina).

Bigger On The Inside
Amanda Palmer

Oh god I think my heart is breaking already. I read Amanda’s book The Art of Asking earlier this year, and by read I mean I listened to the audiobook, and it was nice to hear Amanda’s voice telling the story. Not only that, but the audiobook actually featured ten songs from throughout her career, including the original version of Bigger On The Inside, which was talked about near the end of the book and played before the final chapter of the audiobook. The version of the song featured in the audiobook is simply Amanda, vocal and ukulele, and this song is about trying to deal with her best friend and mentor dying of cancer, as well as the communal heartbreak we all feel all the time; she even references a fan who sent her a letter about being raped, who said that they were scared and wanted to know how to keep fighting. You pretty much can’t listen to this song without your heart completely breaking. It’s gorgeous. When I first heard it I was driving with tears in my eyes.

Love Me Or Leave Me
Kerli

Okay, so I’m suddenly noticing that the majority of the songs I’ve listened to this year are sad, but hey, it’s been an upsetting year. This one I haven’t listened to nearly as much as the others, but I got into a relationship this year that unfortunately only lasted a few months, but early on, he showed me this song, and I loved it both because it reminded me of being with him and because it’s so beautiful. I first heard it while watching Kerli’s performance of various songs from Utopia in Estonia.

Nothing Really Matters
Madonna

I had a BIG Madonna phase this year. There were a few months where I listened to just about nothing but Madonna. I could have chosen quite a few songs here (Angel, Ray of Light, Falling Free, Easy Ride, Erotica, Deeper and Deeper, Vogue, Survival, Runaway Lover, Secret Garden, Human Nature, Music Inferno…. the list goes on and on), but ironically I chose the one Madonna song I discovered AFTER my two-month Madonna binge was completed. I was trying to show off Madonna’s flexibility and the huge amount of ground she’s covered in career to a boyfriend (mentioned earlier) and I remember that the Nothing Really Matters video had seemed kind of cool and creepy, and I found that I accidentally really loved both the video and the song, so I spent a while binge-listening.

Spinning Around
Kylie Minogue

I accidentally found this song a while back when listening to Kylie’s Aphrodite tour, because it was done right after Get Outta My Way, and I can see why because the songs have very similar choruses, so earlier this year I went through a short Kylie phase, and I started exploring some of her older music, and discovered that I really like Spinning Around. I listened to the live version from the Aphrodite tour, and found myself insatiably hungry for the studio version, and once I heard it I pretty much didn’t listen to much else for days on end.

Swallow
Emilie Autumn

I was only vaguely aware of Emilie Autumn before this year, and Fight Like A Girl is actually the only song of hers that I’d ever heard, but only once, when a friend shared the music video upon it’s release. My short-term boyfriend from earlier this year is a huge Emilie Autumn fan, and successfully converted me over to Emilie’s team by showing me her music, her poetry, her writing, and her story of mental illness and her struggle with it. I was very impressed with Emilie upon listening to her Opheliac Companion (which was about eight hours plus), where she talks about how she’s dealt with mental illness, rape, abuse, and expresses her creativity. It was very inspiring. Though Fight Like A Girl remains one of my favorite Emilie songs (it’s a freaking earworm, and it’s a fantastic battle anthem), the song that really one me over was Swallow, which is a six-minute long journey through something that might be underwater and might be floating through the air, and describes the struggle of taking antidepressants and accepting all that comes along with it, because it’s the only way to survive when you’re about to drown.

By the way, I had a very difficult time choosing one Emilie Autumn song because there have been three that I’ve listened to absolutely obsessively: Swallow, Fight Like A Girl, and Opheliac. I highly recommend all three of these, especially Opheliac since I didn’t talk much about it here.

Tusk
Fleetwood Mac

I went through a Fleetwood Mac / Stevie Nicks phase earlier in the year, also influenced by the aforementioned short-term boyfriend, whose favorite music is Stevie. I discovered a lot of songs I didn’t know, or songs I’d heard before but hadn’t given much time to, but I’d absolutely never heard Tusk before and I was shocked that I hadn’t, because it’s such a great uptempo rock song, with something of the feeling of dancing around a campfire mixed with marching band brass. I was pretty surprised that I’d never actually listened to a song that is apparently one of Fleetwood Mac’s hits, but then, they have so many hits that it’s difficult to know when you’ve heard them all.

Lost
Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra

I’ve had Amanda’s album Theatre Is Evil for a while, and even binge-listened to a few of the songs in the past few years, but I had never actually listened to Lost until I heard it on the audiobook of The Art of Asking. Funnily enough I actually didn’t finish listening to it when I heard it on the audiobook, but I came back to it later and found that it reduced me to a blubbering mess in the midst of all my heartbreak. “No one’s ever lost forever, they are caught inside your heart, if you garden them and water them they make you what you are.” I found myself driving down the road in the middle of the night and crying loudly just listening to this song on repeat (along with Want It Back, another song that’s happy, but heartbreaking).

Rather Be
Clean Bandit

I fell in love with this song the moment I first heard it on the radio back in 2014. Clean Bandit is one of those bands like Freemasons that just gets House music right, and I have a real love for House music. I can’t tell you why exactly, I just love how it seems to have this kind of depth, if that makes sense, and I’m talking about the way it sounds, it sounds deep. Like, physically deep. I know, describing music is something that doesn’t really make sense but there you have it. Anyhow, earlier this year I found myself listening to Rather Be on an infinite loop, and screaming with joy when I heard it. It’s one of the happiest songs I’ve ever heard, and it’s difficult to wear this one out (though I’ve moved on to some other Clean Bandit songs now, I recommend Stronger).

I Just Wanna Dance
Alison Jiear

Now, this song has apparently been kind of a gay party anthem for a few years, thanks to a dance remix, but even though I really enjoy the dance remix, it’s the original version of the song from Jerry Springer: The Opera that I adore. It’s funny, because Jerry Springer: The Opera is as silly and tongue-in-cheek as it sounds, but this song manages to be so incredibly expressive and beautiful, and what begins as the story of a white-trash poledancer turns into a gorgeous song about longing, the desire to cast aside all worry and a deep need to experience life. I found myself crying to this song more than once, and it was my go-to song right after my breakup.


Bernadette
IAMX

This one is a recent find. I’ve known about IAMX for a while, and always enjoyed the song Spit It Out (particularly it’s re-released single version and Imogen Heap’s remix), but I hadn’t really listened to his music in a while, because even though I liked a few of Chris Corner’s songs, and bought Kingdom of Welcome Addiction, nothing really stuck with me much. Earlier this year I decided to watch How To Get Away With Murder, and I was amazed at how great of a show it was, and at the end of the first episode I could hear a song called I Come With Knives, and though I’d never heard the song I immediately recognized Chris’ voice, and it turns out that IAMX is featured in almost every episode of the show, which adds an incredible depth to both the show and the music, because I find certain IAMX songs a lot more meaningful, having memories of the show attached to them.

Bernadette, however, is not featured in How To Get Away With Murder, and I think I must have found it just by seeing it in a related links bar on Youtube while watching other IAMX songs, and the moment I heard it I was addicted. Interestingly, I’ve gotten my little sister addicted to the song too. It’s this carnival cabaret song with toy pianos and strings and a theremin, and falls somewhere between Pink Floyd’s The Trial and some kind of creepy carnival dance. It’s entrancing.

~

There were a lot more than eleven, but I decided to narrow the list a bit. I didn’t include any of Ben Folds’ music, because I went through a phase earlier this year listening to his album Way To Normal, and also had a huge Dresden Dolls bender as well, but these are pretty much the big highlights of the songs that kept me company this year.

And now, here’s another sexy picture of Dylan O’Brien. I may need to make this a regular feature of blog posts.

The Top Ten Worst Tori Amos Songs

Grrrrrrrrrrrrl

With any good artist, there are experiments. Sometimes these experiments are great, and sometimes they suck. Tori Amos has been experimenting her whole career. This worked very much in her favor for her first few albums. However, as she progressed, she got more and more experimental, and in my opinion, she left the area she was talented in (singer-songwriter music, with a lot of amazing piano and minimal production) and moved into an area in which she is absolutely horrible (electro darkwave techno with ridiculous lyrics that are entirely indiscernible and probably mean nothing). Tori is one of my favorite musicians in history, and definitely one of the most talented human beings to ever express themselves musically. However, over time, her music just became bland, uninteresting, and had less and less substance. Her first four albums are goldmines of meaning and passion. I don’t mind crazy lyrics or screeching, because my favorite album is Boys For Pele, where she did plenty of that. But beginning with her fifth album, every single record she’s put out has been about 12 to 13 tracks of total drivel with 3 or 4 moments of complete genius thrown in.

As such, there are technically a lot more terrible Tori songs than great, but the great ones more than make up for how atrocious the bad songs are. I think the most puzzling thing about Tori’s path in music is that she began to adopt this freaky singing accent that she never had before, and now she just seems to “ooh” and “aahh” every single word in a creepy warble that is neither appealing to the ears or touching to the spirit, the way her first few albums were. I love Tori to death, but after album four, her career just began a downhill slide into absolute madness, with, as I said, moments of genius thrown in here and there. In my opinion the last good record she produced was American Doll Posse, which was itself kind of an assault on the senses and began her trend of over-producing her music to the point that it’s barely music anymore and more of a cloud of nonsense noises amongst ridiculous lyrics that cannot have any real possible meaning. I hate the songs I hate as much as I love the songs I love, and here at the ten Tori Amos songs I hate the worst. Though I could list some obvious choices that fans are known to hate, like Ireland, Cars with Guitars, or maybe the rest of the Beekeeper but for a few tracks, I’m including songs I’ve actually listened to enough to hate. For instance, I’ve listened to the song The Bekeeper twice, and I hated it both times, but that’s not enough listens to really merit me hating it. These are the songs I’ve suffered through for no clear reason, hoping to find some good in, but ultimately coming up completely flat.

Tori Amos - Librarian

10. Angels
“They’re Trapping Angels by the Potomac, but it’s not how you think you’d be surprised. They Liberate
your Dreamscape…”

My first Tori Amos album was Tales of a Librarian. It seemed like a career retrsospective would be a good place to start. I didn’t know at the time, however, that not only were the song choices pretty bad, but the remasters butchered the original versions of the songs. However she threw in a couple of new tracks that were so terrible it made this mess of a “Greatest Hits” album even worse. Angels is the first of these. The album starts strong enough with Precious Things, but then dives face first into Angels, a boring track with a lot of good intention and well-meant lyrics about the destruction of the Native American peoples land and culture. However, it’s just a boring song that goes nowhere.

Tori Amos - Tales Of A Librarian

9. Snow Cherries From France
“All that summer we traveled the world never leaving his own back garden. Girls I didn’t know just what it could be, oh but he let me go sailing.”

The other new track included on Tales of a Librarian was equally as dull as Angels. I think this is some kind of song about liking a boy as a kid, or something? Something about a bike, and pretending sailing around a back yard? It’s just a snooze fest, and a really atrocious way to end a badly made retrospective. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry, it’s that dull.

Tori Amos - Photos23

8. Tear In Your Hand
“All the world is, all I am, the black of the blackest ocean, and that tear in your hand, all the world is danglin’ … danglin’…danglin for me darlin.”

I just don’t get this song. I know, she mentioned Neil Gaiman for the first time, I know it’s from that holy grail of Tori albums, the great Little Earthquakes. But I just don’t get this song. Nothing happens in it. The whole acoustic guitar thing, coupled with the whole major key thing, along with the whole this-song-has-meaningful-lyrics-that-are-lost-in-the-lackluster-presentation thing, just kill this for me. It’s one of the only bad spots on her first album.

China+Tori+Amos

7. China
“China, all the way to New York, maybe you got lost in Mexico.”

And here’s the other one. I can’t believe this was ever released as a single. This song is overly long, goes nowhere, and is a painfully slow, monotonous ballad about silverware and traveling the world and something about feeling distant and blah blah blah. It’s like Tori tried to write a pop song, and as we know, she is not good at writing pop songs. It feels boring and inauthentic.

Tori Amos - Photos14

6. Sweet Dreams
“Land land of liberty we’re run by a constipated man. When you live in the past you refuse to see when your daughter comes home 9 months pregnant…”

She just can’t do major keys. It’s like she tried to do a strong folk-ballad and out came… this. It’s a song about political corruption, but it’s just stupid. The president is constipated, and how can he have sweet dreams when he sucks at running the country? I get it Tori, but could you maybe make this song less boring? It’s a happy diddy, so why I do feel like stabbing forks into my ears?

Tori Amos - Photos15

5. Bliss
“Steady, as, it, comes, right, down, to, you, I’ve said it all…”

This one just gets to me. It’s like, one of her more popular songs. And I don’t understand why. It’s at this point that Tori began experimenting with, shall we say, shitty musical choices that did not suit her whatsoever. Also, the lyrics that were already cryptic just began to become outrageously stupid, to the point that I don’t even want to try and interpret them. She killed a monkey, or something. Also, the word is bliss. Not “blee-hees.” This is also when she began to sing with a freaky nonexistant accent and enunciate everything incorrectly. I’m all for creative freedom, but could the record company please have said to her, “Tori, redo these vocals so they don’t sound like a dying chicken.” It would have helped.

Tori Amos - Photos20

AND NOW, AN INTERMISSION

How to pronounce words the way Tori Amos does

A Normal Person: “Apple.”
Tori Amos: “Aye-pu-hull.”

A normal person: “Disgrace.”
Tori Amos: “Dee-hee-hee-ssss. Guh-ray-hee-sss-uh.”

A normal person: “Antidisestablishmentarianism.”
Tori Amos: “Cats… ice cream… Jesus cones…”

A normal person: “Zebra.”
Tori Amos: “Zee-hee-buh-ruh.”

A normal person: “Girl.”
Tori Amos: “Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrllllllllllllllllllll-HAH!”

A normal person: “Seventeen.”
Tori Amos: “Sey-hey-hey-hey-ven-tee-hee-heeeeeen.”

Etc. etc. etc. ad nasuem.

WE NOW RETURN TO YOUR PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED COUNTDOWN

Tori Amos - A Piano (D)

4. Ode To My Clothes
“Somewhere in the hills of Ireland, there’s a Prada bag. And somewhere down the lane, there’s a dog in Gucci lace.”

Ah, we’re getting into the real shitty shit now. Some songs are just pointless exercises in pointlessness. Tori got bored and wrote a song about prada bags and her favorite shoes. That’s it. No hidden meaning. No representation of materialism versus spirituality. Just… prada bags, shoes, and clothes. That’s it. Nothing else to see here.

02l

3. Battle of Trees
“I’ve dodged bullets, and even poisoned arrows, only to be felled by the blade of a vowel.”

Beginning with The Beekeeper, every Tori album has become excruciating to listen to from beginning to end (they tend to be something like 45 tracks apiece, each with about 12 extraneous 1 minute songs about how excited she is to sing the next song, in the voice of some character or another). This one really kills the already slow and monotonous pace of Night of Hunters. It’s like… about speaking to trees, or something? And it goes on for nine fucking minutes. And she says the words “battle of trees” in there somewhere. It’s just… ugh.

Tori Amos - American Doll Posse (2)

2. Posse Bonus
“This is your posse bonus, this is your extra, this is your posse bonus, ’cause I like you. Because I like you, ’cause I like you, porcupine…”

This song almost get number one. This is literally a song that is informing you that the next three tracks are bonus tracks included on the album. That’s actually what this song is about. “This is your posse bonus, ’cause I like you.” It’s just a song about how you got some bonus tracks. It’s a waste of time and it hurts my soul to hear it. You may also free to include the stupid transitional songs like Devils and God, Programmable Soda, etc. in here. I do, however, enjoy Fat Slut. I don’t know why.

And finally, number one…

ANY SONG FEATURING NATASHYA HAWLEY, a.k.a. TASH AMOS, a.k.a. TORI’S DAUGHTER

INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO…

03

1. Cactus Practice, The Chase, Promise, Holly Ivy and Rose, Job’s Coffin, etc. etc.
“Watch me change to a grain of corn
A grain of corn?
Hear the alarm in your head
I’m the hen, black and red
And you’re in my barn
They would have won
Use your head or you’ll be dead.”

or my personal favorite pretentious lyric to hear come out of a ten year old’s mouth:

“There is a grid of disempowerment.”

Let me explain why these songs are so bad. The first reason is that they’re cheap shots. Rather than invest time and effort into composing your own song, you use the fact that your whole fan base knows you tried for years to unsuccessfully have a baby, suffered miscarriages and tremendous loss and heartache, and milk that sympathy by putting your very talented daughter (who unfortunately mimicks her mother’s horrendous new singing accent) into a song that is probably meandering and going nowhere, so that all your fans will like it and say “Wow, she’s come so FAR from those Choirgirl days!” We get it. Tori has suffered a lot. That’s why we LIKE her, guys. But you can’t defend every terrible album just by saying “Well she’s been through so much and I’m happy that she’s happy now!” I am too! That doesn’t make her shitty new music less shitty!

But I digress. Tash is actually a very talented vocalist. This clashes greatly with Tori, who is not only mostly untalented vocally at this point, but who also autotunes the shit out of her voice. Everything that escapes Tori’s lips is layered ten times, with her screechy harmonies in the background, while Tash’s voice is raspy, pure, and unedited, and quite beautiful. Tash being in the song just serves to point out how bad Tori has become. In Holly, Ivy, and Rose, Tash, who I believe was something like ten years old, sounds better than her mother. Then there’s the whole Night of Hunters album, where Tash, among other people, outshine Tori at every ocassion. The most pretentious of these songs are The Chase and Cactus Practice, which might actually be interesting songs if not for Tori’s horrible screechy cat-lady voice. Tori, just write music for Tash and let her sing it, or don’t invite her in, because she outshines you.

Tori Amos - Photos21

And in summation…

As far as I’m concerned the fiery-haired goddess is gone. She has been replaced by an insipid shell of her former self who seems to be genuinely happy in her life, but has her head so far up her own ass that she has lost all meaning. She butchers her old songs (the whole Gold Dust album was awful, despite the fact that the orchestrations were beautiful), writes horrifying new music, and puts out whole albums that are such an assault on the eardrums that they’re quite genuinely unlistenable. To this day I’ve never heard half of the tracks on Scarlet’s Walk, The Beekeeper, Abnormally Attracted To Sin, Strange Little Girls, To Venus and Back, Night of Hunters, Midwinter Graces, and especially not her new album Unrepentant Geraldines (those most pretentious album title EVER).

Tori once delved into deep spiritual worlds, pulled out the darkness and bled to death on stage for all to see, pouring out her soul and her pain and offering shelter and comfort to the listeners who needed it, me being among them. But now, her music has become a sad, sad tribute to what she used to be. She needs to just start making instrumental albums, because her talent for lyric-writing and singing have disappeared, but her fingers still press the keys of the piano perfectly. I stopped wishing for a good comeback a long time ago.

I know that’s kind of a sad note to end on, but it’s how I feel. I still love Tori’s music, it will always have a special place in my heart, but it seems that the raging inferno of talent has cooled to a still lake of boredom and monotony. Oh well, at least Kate Bush is still making good music.