“It’s your choice, Scorpio. You could be a creative dynamo who changes the course of local history — or you could be a plain old boring sex maniac. What’ll it be? We here at the Free Will Astrology Libido Management Center encourage you to at least partially sublimate your unruly mojo into beautiful works of art, innovative business solutions, and brilliant strokes of collaboration. You don’t have to stop boinking altogether; just make it the second most important thing you rather than your raison d’etre.”—Scorpio Horoscope for week of May 21, 2009 (http://www.freewillastrology.com)
Wrote this for “Sightings,” a hodgepodge show that Unidentified Artists puts together every other month or so. They bring in a new composer each show to write a few tunes to round out a night of monologues, scenes and dances.
This month’s theme was “Pandemic.” I really enjoyed being a part of the process. They write their show in 48 hours, and still end up with something really strong. It forced me to produce quickly, which was nice to test (I could really improve in this department).
I adapted an older song into our show opener - Disease! (Everybody’s Diseased!) - with verse-writing help from the cast. We closed the show, as they do every show, with a drinking song - a tune I plan to round out and perhaps release on my own later.
Nestled in the middle of the show was this little fun thing. The verse guitar is something I’ve been meaning to use in the Hey! for about a month now. Glad it found a home. Was trying to give the impression of a group of nomads here, roaming, leaving behind everything they know to get away from a pandemic. Ha. Serious vision for such ridiculous and laughable lyrics. On that note: Might get a rewrite. Ah well. Enjoy.
I wish I could claim divine inspiration, or a dream that woke me groping frantically for my pencil in the night.
But honestly, it just seemed like the most logical thing at the time.
I was watching the news, seeing all those masks and the mass grave mess outside of Tempe and I just picked up the phone, maybe before the thought was fully in my head. Someone picked up at News 7 and I just blurted it out.
Call it Porky Pig Fucked Piglet Flu. —My first work. Simple now, yes, but—
That’s cute, she says.
I go, I know, right?
The reaction is almost immediate. Laughter fills the streets. Hot dogs and kid’s dolls burn in effigy, for kicks. Things, generally, improve.
I get a call from the president the next day, thanking me, a call from SNL to clarify the spelling of my name, to credit me with the funniest jokes they’ve written in years.
Porky Pig Fucked Piglet Flu, the intern chuckles. Gold, sir.
Pretty soon I’m getting calls all day long, it seems. My mind begins to feel like an artist’s mind, I think.
What can you do about cancer, they ask?
Silly Funny Tumor Party, I say.
Faggy Funny Poop Sex Needle Pucker Rainbow.
I can hear people cheering over the connection.
Accepting my Nobel Prize for the naming of Silly Kitten Left Side Saggy Face is the proudest day of my life. That reporter asks that now famous question:
Where do your ideas come from? Divine Inspiration? A dream that wakes you groping frantically for your pencil in the night?
Honestly, I say, it just seems like the most American thing to do.
Life just keeps moving. I’m sure I’m not the only one taking this May to reflect on graduation, my graduation, and where I’ve gone these 3 years since.
We start to build lives before we even know, and, to switch metaphors completely, that river starts picking up steam pretty quick (note: it is a very hot river). Meaning, of course, that a large part of who I am now is because of who I was then, who my family is, who I met, what classes I took, where I lived, what I stumbled across in that small grave site hidden in the forest behind my house late one night, who I dated, and what sports my mother signed me up for so I could lose some goddamn weight - a lot of stuff out of my control, or stuff I committed to without much thought for where I’d be now, where I’d want to be. And that builds up a psychology, how I look at the world, what I take as truth as I begin moving faster and faster downstream. Meaning, of course, that there’s a good chance I’m already fucked.
But even as that river picks up steam (for a date? from the dry cleaner?), there are rocks in the way, bends in the riverbed, and sometimes, sure, I’ve got a boat, even an oar or two - and I can change my course. How many of us feel the same from birth to death? I’m not going to deny that there may be other answers to that out there, but I do revel sometimes in our power to create our own destiny, or for life to change us completely.
I was not a very happy person a few years back. I didn’t have a plan, and I expected the world to deliver me to my dreams. I still feel that way, a bit, or, more than a bit, shoot - ok. I haven’t entirely grown from that - but I’m noticing it now, and, hell, that’s something.
And I’ve made changes. And I’ve started, perhaps a little later than some, thinking of who I’d like to be when I grow up. And I’d like to be me. And I’d like to be me, happy. And I’d like to like me content with how I treat other people, and how I treat me. Which is a completely new set of goals for me in a long life of “I wanna be”s (Age 5: Dinosaur, Age 13: Actor, Age 18: Rock Star, Age 25: Rock Star Dinosaur).
So. To switch metaphors again - it’s less like a river when I think of it that way. Life’s pace can get out of hand, it can race by, sure. But, just 3 years out - hell - just 25 years in, I think I can afford to get out of the river for a while. Build a little hut with a front porch, enjoy the sun that’s never going to come around the same way again and sell some music from a drive-through window in the back. Is that a metaphor? It sounds like a business venture to me. Who’s in?
“When Kurt Vonnegut suggested that you stop once in a while to say, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” He was giving you the best mid-makeout move ever.”—A Softer World: http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=428
The only song in New York Neo’s Measure for Measure (http://newyorkneo.org). We went waaaay indie pop on this one. I imagine Katy Perry holding a Barbie Sing-A-Long Tape Player-Recorder Karoake Machine, making poses, bein’ too cool.
On vocals: the lovely Danielle Levanas (http://myspace.com/danibragg), who will be singing TTLA live in the East Village for the three week run of the show that begins this Thursday.
Tickets for said show, by the by, are free if you stop by Neo’s website.