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A pastiche*

Posted by Erik on January 28, 2010

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of The Decemberists; I love the storytelling of Colin Meloy and his mad, morbid muse. A part of this song popped into my head the other week, and the rest has been slowly emerging ever since. I debated over posting this since it’s not really in the vein of most of what I put up here, but then I decided that it’s still a part of my work and such deserves at least as much consideration as that weird Ma’at thing :).

Be aware, gentle reader, that what follows is less than cheerful and touches on certain unpleasant facts of life in our modern age; if such things depress you, you may want to give this post a miss. The scansion is somewhat complicated and irregular, but that’s true of many Decemberist songs, particularly the one whose tune I borrowed for this. I hope it captures at least something of the flavor of their work.

Our Literary Romance (after Colin Meloy)
(tune: “On the Bus Mall“)

We met in the library of the state university
In our eighteenth year
You liked Byron and Bauhaus, a little goth field mouse
So full of fear
I read French novels and smoked fake Gauloises
From a pack found in a Dumpster
The time passed so slow as the rain turned to snow
You said you must be going
As you shivered in your ratty little trenchcoat
You asked me to walk you home

We sat in your kitchen and talked about Dickens
Until 2 AM
Then under the covers we acted like lovers
As if the world would end
It wasn’t that thrilling but if Barkis could be willing
Well then so could I
Our literary romance gave us both a half a chance
To get it right
And insulate ourselves against the morning
And the fear of being boring

And sometimes I wonder what you are doing now
And sometimes I don’t care at all
We knew from the start
It was bound to fall apart
So we never risked our hearts
In the bargain
Just our bodies and minds
In the bargain

A couple months later found us in the waiting
Room of the clinic
Where an indifferent doctor did what he had to
And I thought I might be sick
We said goodbye later by the building elevator
I did not come up
I only looked back once and saw you in shadow
As the rain picked up
I hunched my shoulders stuck my hands deep in my pockets
and just kept on walking

And sometimes I wonder what you are doing now
And sometimes I don’t care at all
We knew from the start
It was bound to fall apart
So we never risked our hearts
In the bargain
Just our bodies and minds
In the bargain
Just our bodies and minds
In the bargain
Just our bodies and minds
In the bargain

* pastiche (n) – a literary, artistic, musical, or architectural work that imitates the style of previous work; also : such stylistic imitation

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4 Responses to “A pastiche*”

  1. Nettle said

    Oddly enough, “On the Bus Mall” was my random alarm clock song this morning and I already had the tune in my head – so it was easy to sing along in my head while I read this. Very nice.

  2. executivepagan said

    What are the odds, eh? :) Glad you liked it!

  3. Feral Boy said

    Second time that I’ve thought a writer must have been looking over my shoulder
    at some time in my life … first was “America” by Simon and Garfunkle.

    You’ve got the gift.

    — Feral Boy

  4. executivepagan said

    Wow – it’s always nice to know that something I wrote has actually touched somebody! Thank you, my friend.

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