I’ve been thinking about love. The kind of love that lives on after things get broken. The kind of love that keeps you attached to a person by hope’s silver thread, even when you wanna walk out the door and set yourself free.
The first time I ever saw you was at the Enmore Theatre in 2012 or '13. It felt like catching a butterfly. It was a good show, a great show even. I can’t remember much specific about it.
Then there was The Hollywood Bowl years later, where you supported The Pixies and fucked up all the lyrics to your own songs and a few Nick Cave ones too. And maybe you were drunk. Or maybe you were just terrified. I didn’t care. I loved you.
I loved you political with your popped collar in commie khaki, fiddling with your pinned microphone in a YouTube interview. I thought I saw Lennon’s smirk in the outline of your pigtails.
Love is like that I guess, it fills up the spaces you don’t expect it to go.
You’ve never been some vegas act with all that class and craft and smarmy banter. And you’ve never been one of those Blade Runner artists, churning up the same ice cream flavour for all the kids. You’re a mother to the moment and if we’re lucky we get caramel.
That’s the thing about performing: it’s all energy. And if you’ve got a hint of the sensitivity it takes to make it, that energy can drown you alive. It’s you against the lights and the people and the voice in your head that says run dammit, and it’s you with them too, and it’s so fragile sometimes it’s easier not to feel anything. I don’t wish to glorify it, only to say I think this is a part of what love is too.
And when it’s good it’s real, real good. You’re like misty windscreen wipers crunchin’ on in a beat-up Toyota Corolla. Subtle as a mushroom peaking underground, delicate like a cactus flower in the early morning.
You’re the kind of artist that does itsy-bitsy-spider with her hands when she sings; goes on Letterman barefoot and does the chicken dance. You’re a kid. You’re a woman. You’re nobody's star.
They might love you more, if you could stand to be less difficult. But could you? Would you? Would any of us? I don’t wish that. I love you difficult and dangerous and striving to find yourself in all this mess. That’s real love, far as I can see it.
Sing one for me,