September 3, 2003

"I'll Just Bleed So the Stars Will Have Something Dark to Shine In"
-- Frank Stanford

"I was riding with the man called Dark
he smelled like alcohol that had been asleep and his smoky clothes
that he hadn't changed for months were like ship wood
when he spoke which was seldom
his voice carried over the fields and the bogs and yet it was not loud
it was deep like a wound or a cool well
when he sang like a blue hole with no bottom the words made no sense
at first but if you looked
out of the corners of your eyes without looking you saw what he was singing
about there might be a night snake choking to death
with a chorus frog
there might be a women with big breasts walking at the turn now
there might be water for the hands spilling
out of a barrel on the back of a blue school bus
it will be many years before I can tell about Dark before I can remember
that low down song
as the sleepy mule swayed back and forth down the road
the dust curling under his wet belly
I was rocked to and fro like a careening boat
the violinist and the juggler thinking about stretches of sea
through their windows where they were born
I saw them in time I saw them going to sleep at their work
I saw them as children before the wars with extra spending money
along a coast in Europe
climbing cliffs and talking about he days to come
the handkerchieves tied around their necks and the sea below
I felt like the wounded man being painted by the drunken artist
in the picture show Odd Man Out
I felt like he did when he remembered the words from the bible
and he stood up amidst that stares of the living paintings
and said his piece
I felt the two words Power and Dominion had been betrayed by lawyers
of property I dreamed that these days the union carpenters
in the suburbs have joined the same houses for the sake of joining them
in the subdivisions
and I dreamed the cathedrals built by the unknown"

lines 7300 through 7327, of The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You the book length poem written by Frank Stanford. The poem, which contains no punctuation throughout the 20,000 lines, was likely written between 1968 and 1971, but was not published until 1978, following Stanford's suicide at age 29.

Sparlkehorse's Mark Linkous has said that the album "It's a Wonderful Life" was inspired by Frank Stanford.


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