it's funny, or strange, or funny, how certain songs can root you to certain locales, and certain ones can uproot you and churn you around, and other ones tie you to a sense of home, no matter whether you are in transit, or on the second, fifth, thirteenth floor of a building saying up all night looking at this city. arthur russell's 'keeping up' is one of those; so is laurie anderson's 'let x=x' and 'it tango'. or mazzy star's 'fade into you'.
isn't it funny that it tango is nowhere on the internet? I can't find a youtube link. I would love to link to it and to listen to it on this page. instead it'll be like those art history papers that describe paintings, yet don't have a slide of the painting inserted in the paper itself. the piece itself becomes this strange mirage, described: "notice how the extended arm of the building's frame mimics the woman's outstretched arm", and so on and so forth, an image described in thin air, a secondary overlaid idea of what-that-thing-is being created in front of your eyes, and you read and imagine something, and so as an effect the paper becomes this solipsistic monologue; the author (in effect) creates the piece, and the author analyzes and critiques. there's a certain danger in that, and also a certain charm in that, I think.
and so back to laurie anderson: it tango, and I turn it on right now, nine-thirty on a sunday night, quarter-full studios full of occasional bursts of laughter, but more often than not harried typing sessions, folded papers, drawn diagrams, mouses skittering across desks. and here I am, feeling like I am home.
or rather rather hey hey rather, to be specific, the sensation of home comes from right here, but also on the bike ride home. I'll get off at bergen, probably, bike eastward on dean st, on isolated abandoned streets. it's such a departure from here, this campus, this mammoth monolithic institution, neat neoclassical beaux-arts buildings lining up row-by-row. and over there will be my wonderfully lovely junkyard, its capacity for multivalent usage and anger and clash fully realized, boat on top of wood on top of engine on top of trash, and each time I leave its miasma of broken glass and paint marks and welding burns on the ground I can't help but be thankful for these stark blasts of refreshing difference, how blessed I am, how much I require and will (do) thrive off of this negotiation between these two spaces: columbia and dean st.
and maybe that's why this sense of home comes so strongly in transit between the two, when I'm on the subway reading about claude perrault, or critical regionalism, or tumbling through society of the spectacle, and I am feeling alight with the movement of renegotiation, a re-drawing of lines, re-re-re-.