from the Her soundtrack scored by Arcade Fire


So it goes…

I’ve been working on a playlist series.  It’s done now.

Part One: Crush

  1. Beach House – Astronaut
  2. Broken Social Scene – Sweetest Kill
  3. The National – Slow Show
  4. Animal Collective – Summertime Clothes
  5. Little Dragon – Feather
  6. The Microphones – Between Your Ear and the Other Ear
  7. Clarence Carter – Slip Away
  8. Sharon Van Etten – I Wish I Knew
  9. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey
  10. St. Vincent – Landmines

Part Two: Contact

  1. Entrance – I’m So Glad
  2. Jolie Holland – The Littlest Birds
  3. The Mountain Goats – Going to Georgia
  4. The Magnetic Fields – Absolutely Cuckoo
  5. CITIZENS! – True Romance
  6. Dntel – Rock My Boat (featuring Mia Doi Todd)
  7. Beyonce – XO
  8. Stars – Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It
  9. The National – Apartment Story
  10. Majical Cloudz – Downtown
  11. Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams
  12. Music from the Major Motion Picture, Her – Photograph
  13. Cigarettes After Sex – Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby

Part Three: Cut

  1. Hayden – Damn This Feeling
  2. The Beatles – For No One
  3. Colin Hay – I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You
  4. The Black Keys – Meet Me In The City
  5. Electrelane – Cut and Run
  6. LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great
  7. The Echo Friendly – Same Mistakes
  8. The Microphones – Headless Horseman
  9. The National – I Need My Girl
  10. Music from the Major Motion Picture, Her – On The Beach
  11. The Mountain Goats – No Children

Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith

One of the women greeted me.
I love you, she said. She didn’t
Know me, but I believed her,
And a terrible new ache
Rolled over in my chest,
Like in a room where the drapes
Have been swept back. I love you,
I love you, as she continued
Down the hall past other strangers,
Each feeling pierced suddenly
By pillars of heavy light.
I love you, throughout
The performance, in every
Handclap, every stomp.
I love you in the rusted iron
Chains someone was made
To drag until love let them be
Unclasped and left empty
In the center of the ring.
I love you in the water
Where they pretended to wade,
Singing that old blood-deep song
That dragged us to those banks
And cast us in. I love you,
The angles of it scraping at
Each throat, shouldering past
The swirling dust motes
In those beams of light
That whatever we now knew
We could let ourselves feel, knew
To climb. O Woods—O Dogs—
O Tree—O Gun—O Girl, run
O Miraculous Many Gone—
O Lord—O Lord—O Lord—
Is this love the trouble you promised?


What use is knowing anything if no one is around by Kaveh Akbar

What use is knowing anything if no one is around
to watch you know it? Plants reinvent sugar daily
and hardly anyone applauds. Once as a boy I sat
in a corner covering my ears, singing Quranic verse

after Quranic verse. Each syllable was perfect, but only
the lonely rumble in my head gave praise. This is why
we put mirrors in birdcages, why we turn on lamps

to double our shadows. I love my body more
than other bodies. When I sleep next to a man, he becomes
an extension of my own brilliance. Or rather, he becomes
an echo of my own anticlimax. I was delivered

from dying like a gift card sent in lieu of a pound
of flesh. My escape was mundane, voidable. Now
I feed faith to faith, suffer human noise, complain
about this or that heartache. The spirit lives in between

the parts of a name. It is vulnerable only to silence
and forgetting. I am vulnerable to hammers, fire,
and any number of poisons. The dream, then: to erupt
into a sturdier form, like a wild lotus bursting into

its tantrum of blades. There has always been a swarm
of hungry ghosts orbiting my body–even now,
I can feel them plotting in their luminous diamonds

of fog, each eyeing a rib or a thighbone. They are
arranging their plans like worms preparing
to rise through the soil. They are ready to die
with their kind, dry and stiff above the wet earth.


Guilty Party by The National

 You’re sleeping night and day
How’d you do it
Me I am wide awake
Feeling defeated

I say your name
I say I’m sorry
I know it’s not working
I’m no holiday
It’s nobody’s fault
No guilty party
We just got nothing
Nothing left to say

Another year gets away
Another summer of love
I don’t know why I care
We miss it every summer

I say your name
I say I’m sorry
I’m the one doing this
There’s no other way
It’s nobody’s fault
No guilty party
I just got nothing, nothing left to say

It all, all catches up to me
It all, all catches up to me all the time

I say your name
I say I’m sorry
I know it’s not working, I’m no holiday
It’s nobody’s fault
No guilty party
We just got nothing, nothing left to say

I say your name
I say I’m sorry
I’m the one doing this, there’s no other way
It’s nobody’s fault
No guilty party
I just got nothing, nothing left to say

It all, all just catches up to me
It all, all catches up to me all the time

Aubade by Guia Nocon

I see you now more clearly than when you were alive.
I want your ghost to haunt me so I know you’re dead.

Desperately, I want you to know,
while your body struggled through the current,
limbs tumbling into greater darkness,
tangled in something you immediately without shock
but probably with no small amount of regret,
knew you couldn’t get out of,
I want you to know,

I never thought you’d actually go away.

I certainly didn’t know I could miss you.

And now — God forgive me (but maybe let’s leave him out of this) –
I grieve for your violence, everlasting stain. You are dead and I
am so relieved I am fucking crying.
The joy almost stifled by shame
except how could a child not love the death of its monster?
How can you ask a child to mourn the absence of terror?

I see you now, floating in panic, wishing
for a familiar face in the weeds
as the rock came to kiss you.

Did you see my face?
Was it me you clung to?

Now I wish I could reach out after all these years
and hold you. Hold you then let you go
into that deepest dark where the water embraced you,
contained your malice, while the birds circled overhead.

Can you hear me?
I whisper into the darkest place.
Can you hear me?
I’m shouting now.
To you, my forever lost.
Can you hear me?
I hear the birds and I panic.

Thought Problem by Vijay Seshadri

How strange would it be if you met yourself on the street?
How strange if you liked yourself,
took yourself in your arms, married your own self,
propagated by techniques known only to you,
and then populated the world? Replicas of you are everywhere.
Some are Arabs. Some are Jews. Some live in yurts. It is
an abomination, but better that your
sweet and scrupulously neat self
emerges at many points on the earth to watch the horned moon rise
than all those dolts out there,
turning into pillars of salt wherever we look.
If we have to have people, let them be you,
spritzing your geraniums, driving yourself to the haberdashery,
killing your supper with a blowgun.
Yes, only in the forest do you feel at peace,
up in the branches and down in the terrific gorges,
but you’ve seen through everything else.
You’ve fled in terror across the frozen lake,
you’ve found yourself in the sand, the palace,
the prison, the dockside stews;
and long ago, on this same planet, you came home
to an empty house, poured a Scotch-and-soda,
and sat in a recliner in the unlit rumpus room,
puzzled at what became of you.