laurie anderson’s delusion at bam

just go see it.  a multimedia, swirling production of interwoven myth and politics and space and historicity and new york.  always, the city:  “it was the first time i pictured nyc as a really good place for a pilgrimage.”

i couldn’t help but think back, and i guess it’s safe now the anniversary has once again passed.  laurie anderson and lou reed, the queen and king of the mermaid parade.

never much cared for the man, not that impressed. but after the towers fell, it was his song in the back of the ny times magazine and a piece that ran in the austin chronicle by michael ventura, the only stuff that made sense to me or that i was able to absorb for quite some time.  everything else was smothered by the words of the reporter on the television in those first hours:  “you can see pieces of the building falling.  oh god, no, they’re people jumping.”

what else do i remember?  i remember that there was nowhere to go.  i remember i went to class, then work, and my friend kenneth came and sat with me all day, silent vigil.  we never talked about it.  i don’t know why he came.  i remember my boyfriend wouldn’t turn off cnn and the footage became a nightmarish, lurid soundtrack.  i remember fantasizing about being the fed up woman in the twilight zone episode who yells shut up at the cacophony  and freezes time.

later, then, this.  it became a prayer of sorts.  a meditation:

“laurie sadly listening”, by lou reed, published november 11, 2001

Laurie if you’re sadly listening

The birds are on fire The sky glistening

While I atop my roof stand watching

Staring into the spider’s clypeus

Incinerated flesh repelling

While I am on the rooftop yearning

Thinking of you

Laurie if you’re sadly listening

Selfishly I miss your missing

The boundaries of our world now changing

The air is filled with someone’s sick reasons

And I had thought a beautiful season was

Upon us

Laurie if you’re sadly listening

The phones don’t work

The bird’s afire

The smoke curls black

I’m on the rooftop

Liberty to my right still standing

Laurie evil’s gaunt desire is

Upon we

Laurie if you’re sadly listening

Know one thing above all others

You were all I really thought of

As the TV blared the screaming

The deathlike snowflakes

Sirens screaming

All I wished was you to be holding

Bodies frozen in time jumping

Bird’s afire

One thing me thinking

Laurie if you’re sadly listening

Love you

Laurie if you’re sadly listening

Love you


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