as confidence is speaking to me / i loosen my grip from my palm

Last night in the warm spring air while I was
blazing my tirade against someone who doesn’t
          me, it was my love for you that set me

This land is my birthright.  Its curves, and my dog, and my books — these were company for an only child.  That dead gold grass guarded me as I became adult; its rustling masked my hymns; its vistas served as my embankments.  From that abandoned stretch of Augusta Drive I lied on my belly, foxholing over the edges, waiting my turn.

But I never understood what he saw in the gold.  To me, this was drought, and heat, and wildfire, and wild, and danger.  It was the tinder that would bellow through our fragile existence; it was scratchy, and left burrs in the dog’s coat, and impaled my bare feet.

To him, though, it was that Californian dream.  It is the gold, of the blue and gold, of our institutions.  The gold is remarkable to anyone east of the Sierras — that summer can both be lush, and desert.  That promise glitters, beckons the spongy Easterners, who mistakenly believe they’re just molding.  But to a girl who loved New Zealand and feared disaster, that gold was just a screaming reminder of death and catastrophe.

Southern Ethiopia called like home.  Its dry warmth comforts without forcing you to confront your mortality; its jacaranda, bougainvillea, wisteria, and rhododendron insist upon themselves.  Eight thousand feet higher than your own, its temperate rainforest joys inspire you to move forward, through the dirt, and the brush, and the stench, to tumble down into something surprising.  Adventure demands; and you are alive.

                        for in rooms full of
strangers my most tender feelings

                                                 writhe and
bear the fruit of screaming. 

Wild Flag is fucking for the sake of fucking.  It is to commune for community; it is to look to the moon, past the crowd, into your eyes, because I can’t be bothered — I’m too busy fucking shredding.  It is musicians creating together because they’re inspired, because they can, because they’re lucky, and because it is music for the sake of fucking music.  They might have bangs, but there is no brooding; there is a sticky gratefulness that imbues every breath with perfection.

This is music for musicians; which means, of course, that it is music for humans.  Here are four experts, who embody that for which we all strive: technical perfection, facilitating ultimate expressions of sheer humanity.  This is not Pitchfork’s “post-rock” bullshit: this is rock and roll, and everything it should be.  Crisp three-chord progressions provide the framework for infinite play.  Four fortysomething women windmilling, cooing, coaxing, playing, slamming, thrusting, pulsing, pulling themselves, and you, into the ecstatic joy of living.

Music like this is muscular, assertive, precise — and manifests that skill is, and always has been, what allows us to be sublime.  Carrie Brownstein’s strut; Mary Timony’s lope; Rebecca Cole’s spine; and Janet Weiss’s wisdom: these women created music as joy as I have not experienced since being with Elvin Jones, harking “Afro Blue” to the mountaintop.  Wild Flag is fucking for the sake of fucking. It is uniting with another out of pure joy, to experience life at its pinnacle, to egg him on and do your best and pull each other to the greatest heights, because you fucking can, and because it’s fucking fun as hell.  Wild Flag is the sexiest grin in four / four time.

            And someone you love enters the room
and says wouldn’t
                           you like the eggs a little
different today?
                       And when they arrive they are
just plain scrambled eggs and the warm weather
is holding. 


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