David Thomas is sixty today. Have I ever mentioned that I love Pere Ubu in particular, all Thomas projects in general? Have I ever mentioned that Pere Ubu/Thomas Projects have one of three permanent spots in my Sillyass Deserted Island Five game? Of course I have. Do I play these same four songs on his birthday every year? Of course I do. The song below is this shitty blog's Theme Song Two. High Egoslavian Holy Day.
- Five myths about privacy.
- NSA surveillance program: the brown person in the room.
- Contamination test kit.
- Thousands, not eight.
- Who's responsible.
- We could use more rebels.
- Preparing for civilian protests.
- Work and the politics of refusal.
- The elusive quest for poor peoples' justice.
- 122 things he was not taught about in high school.
- My future hell.
- Dangerous finds from around the web.
- oddly compelling distance...
- BLCKDGRD translated into Korean.
- BLCKDGRD translated into Japanese.
- It'd been a while since I'd seen these, to get those two within ten minutes of each other is delightfully weird.
- 40 Days.
- Almost sixty.
- UPDATE! Never the fuck mind.
- Song's in this post all from the third iteration of Pere Ubu, latest Pere Ubu, my favorite Ubu, though I love early and middle Ubu too, will get to them in the daily Thomas posts for the rest of this month.
- I've told this story before: we went to see David Thomas open for someone (I think it was either Tom Verlaine or Chris Spedding) at the real 930 on F St in the early 80s. He came out and read poetry. No music. Was heckled mercilessly by idiots. Told everyone to fuck off, be damned if he'd ever come back to DC again, the closest he comes is the Mason Dixon line.
SHROUD OF THE GNOME
And what amazes me is that none of our modern inventions
surprise or interest him, even a little. I tell him
it is time he got his booster shots, but then
I realize I have no power over him whatsoever.
He becomes increasingly light-footed until I lose sight
of him downtown between the federal building and
the post office. A registered nurse is taking her
coffee break. I myself needed a break, so I sat down
next to her at the counter. "Don't mind me," I said,
"I'm just a hungry little Gnostic in need of a sandwich."
(This old line of mine had met with great success
on any number of previous occasions.) I thought,
a deaf, dumb, and blind nurse, sounds ideal!
But then I remembered that some of the earliest
Paleolithic office workers also feigned blindness
when approached by nonoffice workers, so I paid my bill
and disappeared down an alley where I composed myself.
Amidst the piles of outcast citizenry and burning barrels
of waste and rot, the plump rats darting freely,
the havoc of blown newspapers, lay the little shroud
of my lost friend: small and gray and threadbare,
windworn by the ages of scurrying hither and thither,
battered by the avalanches and private tornadoes
of just being a gnome, but surely there were good times, too.
And now, rejuvenated by the wind, the shroud moves forward,
hesitates, dances sideways, brushes my foot as if for a kiss,
and flies upward, whistling a little-known ballad
about the pitiful, raw etiquette of the underworld.