Monday, April 6, 2020

The Poetry of Rock n' Roll: "Among The Leaves"

To observe National Poetry Month, once a week I am featuring lyrics of rock n' roll or pop songs that also double as exquisite poetry.

For our first installment of The Poetry of Rock n' Roll, let's examine a gorgeous, tender song by Sun Kil Moon (the nom de musique of musician and singer/songwriter Mark Kozelek) called "Among The Leaves" about two people who have a deep impact on each other's lives without ever seeing one another.

Among The Leaves
by Sun Kil Moon (Mark Kozelek)

A pillow lays on cold cement
A sleeping bag, a broken vent
She's there a while
And then she's gone

I'm away for weeks
Arrive at night
She hears my steps
Turns off the light and runs

It's no mind at all, more space than I need
It's just me among the weeds
Among the ghosts
Among the leaves

We've never met but it's a girl
Romance paper books
The floor is covered
In long blonde curls

On afternoons I walk the graves
The rusted cars, the mine shaft caves
See a girl sadly unkempt
A child of neglect

Under moons I pass the tombs
Cross the highways, smell the fumes
See a girl frighteningly gaunt
Somebody didn't want
How do I tell her I don't care
If she sleeps downstairs?

I see her on my errand runs
Looking nervous like a young Mia Farrow

Walk along the gas stops
Window browsing, pawn shops
Guns, bows and arrows

Up on past the Halfway house
Past the signs 80 south
Buttercup and Carrows

Deep inside the county line,
At the churches and the pines,
Sleeping with the sparrows

When evening comes I play guitar
To the planets and the stars
I leave the porch light on
Like I do when I'm gone

Winter, spring, summer, fall
Basement's yours, have a ball
There's always room for you there
Really baby, I don't care

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