… then we were nearing the end of the song.
The sea calmed; each note turned hushed and sublime
and then faded away … I am not strong,
but my strings are tight; full of tears each time
you play me. You have no soul, nothing lies
inside. I’ve seen it drip from your mouth, run
down your chin, melt out of your hollow eyes.
Each time you squeeze me tight these songs summon
mermaids who live in my dark honeyed air.
Each time I sing tales of the sea-gypsies
I find new words for the ocean’s outrage.
My waves are chaos. Sometimes they enter
all your harmonies … they make me vicious,
one day I’ll drown in lascivious rage.
“Well she’d held a bass guitar and/ she was playing in a band.
And she stood just like Bill Wyman,/ now I am her biggest fan …”
—The Smithereens, Behind the Wall of Sleep.