September 14, 2017
This recording is from my feature on Aug 14th at the Van Slam. The music is by Explosions in the Sky and the song is “Postcards from 1952.” It’s a bit rough and tumble as it was the first time performing it and the lights were low so I had trouble reading it but I think it works. I’ve included the text and the audio. Have fun. Recorded by Kaelyn Elfert
Follow your dreams. Even if they seem ridiculous. Even if it means riding in a van driven by Alec Baldwin and he’s dressed up as Donald Trump. You don’t know where you’re going but you’re getting there in a hurry, you’re breaking the speed limit and you want to say to him “you’re Alec Baldwin, you can do anything right?” Just then you see large pink truck with the word Gorilla written in big block letters above the windshield heading towards you and as you make a left turn the truck hits you head on slicing the van in half. You survive without a scratch but Alec Baldwin is dead. The energy inside you is vibrating so wildly you are floating outside of your skin. You’re unsure of what just happened. Someone yells “It was an assassination attempt”
Follow your dreams. Even if they seem nonsensical. Even if you’re a goalie and your teammates are watching TV, watching people pray to Jesus for cures and kisses and secret ways to win the game. And with each prayer request you laugh at the faith filled and your teammates give you shit for mocking them and so you say “try and score a goal on me to prove me wrong” and nobody can. Afterwards you end up on the dressing room floor still wearing goalie pads and no one is willing to help you get up.
Follow your dreams. Even if they seem unrealistic. Even if you’re having dinner with your father and he looks younger and healthier than he has in years. Even if you tell him that you’re now a vegan and he becomes infuriated and starts yelling “You grew up on a farm, we slaughtered animals how can, you turn your back on your family?” And you ask him if you can just talk about it, you’re terrified of food and what it does to your body, you don’t want to die from a heart attack like he did, you don’t want to get sick. This calms him down and he stares at you and says “The only cure for cancer is death.”
Follow your dreams. Even if they seem farfetched. Even if you’re a soldier taking a knee in battle because you’ve had enough death and you can’t bring anyone back and you realize you’re carrying the grief of several lifetimes inside you and so you weep tears the size of mangoes and someone puts their hand on your shoulder and you cry even harder until your tears fill a lake that you stand on the edge of but are too frightened to swim in.
Follow your dreams. Even if they seem unattainable. Even if you’re on a party bus with Madonna and she takes you to a back room because she wants to seduce you and you go with her and as she crawls on top of you she puts a penis shaped piece of gum in your mouth and you stop her and she says “what’s wrong?” and you say “I don’t want to be thought of as gay.” And Madonna says “Gay?
You’re worried about gay? Now? At this point in time in the 21st century? Gay doesn’t matter.” And so Mark Hammill joins you and Madonna in a threesome and everyone’s sweating and groaning and you’re humping Mark Hammill’s leg like a Daschund. Then Mark rolls off you and Madonna’s getting dressed and you’re sad because you said “I love you” to both of them and neither of them responded. You return to the front of the bus but it’s now public transit and strewn about the place is Verses Festival and Van Slam paraphernalia. It’s a mess. The driver tells you to clean it all up and you shout “It’s not my responsibility.” The bus driver doesn’t care. They sarcastically thank you for “the show” and then add “the improvised poem about having sex with the moon went over really well with my supervisor.”
Follow your dreams. Even if they seem unreachable. Even if you’re standing on the top of a mountain and from there you can see everything, the entire landscape of creation, the world laid out before you, eternity in high definition, from this place you have depth perception, and you ask yourself, “What do you know now that you never knew before?
Follow your dreams. Even if they seem unavoidable. Even if they’re a recurring nightmare of a moose coming to kill you, hooves pounding in your head like war drums. It’s your earliest memory and informs everything that happens afterwards. Until nearly 50 years later when a random, drunken google search reveals, the thing you thought was out to kill you was actually coming to protect you, to take you into the underworld of your subconscious, far away from the rough and ugly country where children are molested. But the moose hid you so well you forgot who you are, and so the lies of the goblin hearted stuck to you. And their lies made you sick in your soul and you tried to kill your true self in every way that was offered. But somehow the echo of who you are kept calling and you reluctantly listened even if every note of their song felt like a coat hanger being stabbed in your ears because you couldn’t believe something so beautiful would want to speak to you. But you listened to their song anyway because the strength of their truth was more powerful than the lies and one day a space opened up inside you to begin letting their symphony in. And maybe that crowbar is actually a sunflower. And now you are part moose. And maybe that dragon has become a love letter. And now you are your own medicine. And maybe the thing you feared the most will actually save you. And now you are your own redemption. Maybe the question is no longer “what do they want” but “what do they have to offer?”
It’s time to wake and follow your dreams.