Archive for February, 2013

Only Air is Perfect

Posted in My Poetry with tags , on February 28, 2013 by sethdellinger

Only air is perfect.
The blouse is stained, the cat
the hinge that props up the window
has broken
and I dreamed that, at the edge of my bed,
a confused shadow was pulling me,
pulling me to the floor.
How rigid were the threads of my sheets!
And where was she but the bathroom,
the mirror, her lipstick.
Only air is perfect.

My 6th Favorite Song of All-Time

Posted in 100 Favorite Songs with tags on February 22, 2013 by sethdellinger

“White, Discussion” by LIVE

Unlike most of the other songs near the top of this list, “White, Discussion” isn’t an incredibly personal or emotional song for me.  I have just always liked it a whole, whole lot.

I talk of freedom,
you talk of the flag.
I talk of revolution,
you’d much rather brag.
And as the decibels of this disenchanting discourse
continue to dampen the day
the coin flips again and again and again and again
as our sanity walks away.
All this discussion,
though politically correct,
is dead beyond destruction,
though it leaves me quite erect.
And as the final sunset rolls behind the Earth
and the clock is finally dead
I’ll look at you, you’ll look at me, and we’ll cry a lot
but this will be what we say:

Look where all this talking got us, baby.


The Woods Behind My Mother’s House

Posted in Photography with tags , on February 20, 2013 by sethdellinger













My 7th Favorite Song of All-Time

Posted in 100 Favorite Songs with tags , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by sethdellinger


“Rearviewmirror” by Pearl Jam

No song in my life has meant as much to my sobriety—and hence my continued existence—than “Rearviewmirror” (also known as RVM) by Pearl Jam.

RVM is a song with lyrics that are vague, but are about the narrator overcoming an abusive (or at the very least, very shitty) relationship of some kind.  Eddie Vedder’s intention with these lyrics was almost certainly to convey the triumph over abuse by either a parent or a romantic partner, but thousands of people the world over feel a deep connection to the song, as everyone in the world has some bullshit in their past that once sucked, but they feel they have conquered it.

When I was still a drinking man, I already had a connection to the song: the woman who had broken my heart was the focus of the song’s energy.  I didn’t have a good reason for hating her—she just didn’t love me like I loved her, but it sucked a lot, anyway—but I latched onto the song’s air of “fuck you, I’m better off” and broke a lot of shit in my garage while I was wasted and this song blared.

Later, after I got sober, I was listening to this song sometime during the first few weeks of sobriety, when it occurred to me the lyrics worked perfectly if I made the antagonist alcohol (or alcoholism, if you wish, but that’s a thorny differentiation).  It didn’t take long for me to label it my “sobriety anthem” (along with this song, which sadly missed the cut for this list).  I understand that the term “sobriety anthem” could be a turnoff, and strike some as too self-serious, but if so, you’ve probably never had to go from day to day, not knowing if you’d drink, and if you did, if you’d drink until you lost your job, your friends and family, and died.  If you need a fucking anthem to not do that, you get yourself a fucking anthem.

I latched onto this song more than almost anything during my first two years of sobriety.  My first few blogs borrowed their titles from the lyrics (“The Shades Are Raised” was one, “I Gather Speed” was another).  But nothing could ever beat the first time I saw it played live.  I’ve had plenty of crying fits during songs I have emotional connections to in concerts, but my first RVM (at my second-ever Pearl Jam concert, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on July 12th, 2003) was a moment of purest emotional astonishment, surely never to be equaled.

I took a drive today,
time  to emancipate.
I guess it was the beatings made me wise.
But I’m not about to give thanks
or apologize.
I couldn’t breathe,
holdin’ me down.
Hand on my face,
kissin’ the ground.
Enmity gauged,
united by fear,
Supposed to endure
what I could not forgive…

I seem to look away,
wounds in the mirror waved.
It wasn’t my surface most defiled.
Head at your feet.
Fool to your crown.
Fist on my  plate,
swallowed it down.
Enmity  gained,
united by fear.
Tried to endure what I could not forgive.
Saw things clearer
once you were in my

I gather speed from you fucking with me.
Once and for all, I’m far away.
I hardly believe, finally the shades are raised.

Let’s Extinguish the Fire Without Water

Posted in Prose with tags on February 16, 2013 by sethdellinger

Let’s extinguish the fire without water, or sand, let’s ask the wolf
and the rotunda statues to pursue us through yet another summer—
unplant me, shapeshift you, loveflesh the flesh back into us—
roust the moon into some new patterns. Let’s open the museum
inside every letter, every hidden name, and share one chrysalis where
even you and I sleep together to form a different myth.

My 8th Favorite Song of All-Time

Posted in 100 Favorite Songs with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by sethdellinger

“Wake Up” by Arcade Fire

I fell in love with the band Arcade Fire via their debut album Funeral around 2007, a full two years before their song “Wake Up” (from the Funeral album) would be used to much ballyhoo in the trailer for the film “Where the Wild Things Are”, which would be my favorite movie of all-time from 2009-2011.  My point here is, “Wake Up” has been a major force in my life even before that famous trailer (one of two trailers to be able to move me to tears by force of trailer alone…the other one was this one).

“Wake Up”‘s lyrics are, admittedly, a little sophomoric.  They talk about how much it sucks to grow up (which it kinda does), and lyricist Win Butler may approach the subject just a bit too simply, but the emotion-drenched music and delivery transform the simple words into a towering screed of sorrow and triumph.

I have included only the live version, because it is all you need:

Liar, Liar

Posted in Snippet with tags , , on February 14, 2013 by sethdellinger

This is a real article from yesterday’s South Jersey Times.  Every time I read it, I laugh out loud, at almost every paragraph.  The actual event was probably not that funny, but the way the writer chose to word things just kills me.


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