…by making sure they’re too drunk to enforce it. Some months back, the blogger Zoilus compiled the Destroyer Drinking Game, collating typical modes of language and reference in the lyrics of Dan Bejar. For some reason, it occurred to me that the resulting list also constituted a challenge of sorts: could I write a Bejarian lyric that incorporated every last item on the list (excepting the ones purely musical in nature, of course…)? Needless to say, having it make any sort of coherent sense would be irrelevant and untrue to the spirit of the thing.
Here I go, to express my bloated self – crack open a bottle of something:
Post-Minimalist Blues (in G)
They slunk out of a West Coast demimonde
hand in tattered glove with the Bible of the Scene
pocketed close, next to men’s room prophylactics
and the kind of whiskey-scented glamour
born of innocence left for dead and hurled deep
into the fetid, rank waters of a disaffected harbor.
They vowed this night, they’d burn the swollen autumn
and rant like drunken fathers, pissing on the redwoods of Bohemian Grove.
But not you: oh no, you were like sugar left untasted,
a frame left on the floor, a novel more lionized than read.
You wore a Dali brooch, bought some drugs, and watched a band;
your coal heart was carved and inlaid with stones naively gathered
— As if it mattered.
You invoked executive privilege, and left an unpaid bill of rights,
so don’t cancel delivery of your hogshead full of mead
until you destroy the garden gone to seed.
Alyssa, I told you
all men are just as faithful as a snowfall in April.
So when they said, “fuck off, princess” –
it was a debt you’d never settle, an athlete in poor fettle…
Oh Alyssa, if I could hold you
like a clapper rings a bell, like a prison holds a cell…
That’s why they said, your mind no longer can hurt you —
it’s forgotten how to rhyme, and it’s running…
Stuck watching Gainsbourg tapes from 1969,
you jealous Pitchfork-reading kids all wish you’d been there.
She sang, “he’ll set the sheets on fire”
and fantasized about the burning lover
whose very breath made the air shimmy like Venezuelan hips.
And the dust from the rubble in the dingy Paris streets,
as your eminent Alsatian countenance well knows,
will cause the poet to cough and clear his throat before he sings this chorus:
“Alyssa, I told you
all men are just as honest as a bee caught in a bonnet.
So when they said, ‘fuck off, princess’ –
it was a check you’d never cash, someone’s treasure in the trash…
Oh Alyssa, I could have told you,
but you’d send me straight to hell, no indulgences to sell…
That’s why they said, your mind no longer can hurt you—
Broken clocks can’t wait for time, and I’m running out of…”