Tag Archives: David Bowie

David Bowie, RIP

There’s so much to say.  I wasn’t ready for this death.  I hope I can say more at some point.  In the meantime, I’ll re-run a little poem I wrote when he released “Walking the Dead” a couple of years ago–a song and album for which I was so grateful. I hadn’t even realized how much I’d needed a new one from him.

_____

Bowie’s Voice

starched linen right when
it’s not so stiff

piece of paper twisting
in a breeze

sheet of metal
a thin sheet
its sound waves
emerging at the quiet snap
of bending this way
and then that

Bowie’s voice
in “Where Are We Now”
quavery
elegant
sad

exactly how we ought to speak
to the dead, were we to speak
to the dead, were we dead,
were we out walking the dead.

Bowie’s Voice (“Where Are We Now”)

starched linen right when
it’s not so stiff

piece of paper twisting
in a breeze

sheet of metal
a thin sheet
its sound waves
emerging at the quiet snap
of bending this way
and then that

Bowie’s voice
in “Where Are We Now”
quavery
elegant
sad

exactly how we ought to speak
to the dead, were we to speak
to the dead, were we dead,
were we out walking the dead.

_____

Gracious I love that new album. And, for those of you landing here after Googling “walking he dead meaning” in oh, so many languages–I take it to mean being nostalgic for what is gone, so nostalgic so often that our nostalgia has become banal, and yet heartbreaking and urgent at the same time.

Just Walking the Dead with Bowie (thank you, thank you, thank you)

(Hello there, multiple folks from multiple countries who’ve landed on this blog by Googling “walking the dead” and “meaning” or some such. Let me see if I can answer that question–I took it to be two things: one, a play on words, similar to “walking the dog,” and two, a sense of remembering, being nostalgic, longing for people and places and times that have passed. There may be other things going on as well–for all I know, it’s a translation of some clever saying in German. Thanks for checking out my blog! Please read on, if you would….)

_____

Well, that’s it. David Bowie’s 66.
He’s old. I’m old. We’re old. How much do I care?
I’m happy to report he is still deeply weird.
The video “Where are we now” is sick
(sick meaning not normal, not boring), lovely in
a creepy way–Berlin, mute woman, disembodied heads–
I was born in the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm–
explains a lot–Bowie sings “just out walking the dead”

How close was I to suicide in college?
In high school? Too close. I’m glad I danced away.

And Bowie helped. His weirdness, the vast collage
of his career, still here to help me navigate
the perils of middle age–oh here it comes–
the dancing and the danger and the weirdness–just in time

_____

Why does 47 feel so much like 17?

And why is the self-destructive behavior of my middle-age so banal? I haven’t been suicidal for decades. My risky behavior has nothing to do with drunk driving or needles or strangers. (Not that it ever did. Ahem.)

I just eat too much. And weigh too much. And move too little. And here’s how I tend to handle stress–self-medicate with food, with alcohol (but not enough to actually be interesting about it).

I shuffle things around in my compartmentalized brain, but gracious the clutter’s accumulated.

So. I hadn’t even realized how much I needed a new Bowie album until I saw the video. But I did need it. I do. So thank-you.

(Now I need to hunt for a picture of myself when I used to make my hair look like his.)