In the current process of eliminating all attachment, emotional vulnerability, and mental insecurity. Thank heaven for realization..
I want you to bite my lip until I can no longer speak
And then suck my ex girlfriend’s name out of my mouth just to make sure she never comes up in our conversations.
I’m going to be honest, I’m not really a love poet
In fact, every time I try to write about love my hands cramp… just to show me how painful love can be.
And sometimes my pencils break, just to prove to me that every now and then love takes a little more work than you planned
See I heard that love is blind so, I write all my poems in Braille
And my poems are never actually finished because true love is endless.
I always believed that real love is kind of like a super model before she’s air brushed;
It’s pure and imperfect, just the way that God intended.
See I’m going to be honest, I’m not a love poet
But if I was to wake up tomorrow morning and decide that I really wanted to write about love I swear that my first poem…
It would be about you.
About how I loved you the same way that I learned how to ride a bike: Scared
But reckless with no training wheels or elbow pads so my scars can tell the story of how I fell for you.
You see, I’m not really a love poet
But if I was I’d write about how I see your face in every cloud and your reflection in every window
You see I’ve written like a million poems hoping that somehow maybe someway you’ll jump out of the page and be closer to me
Because if you were here, right now
I would massage your back until your skin sings songs that your lips don’t even know the words to.
Until your heartbeat sounds like my last name and you smile like the Pacific ocean
I want to drink the sunlight in your skin.
If I was a love poet
I’d write about how you have the audacity to be beautiful
Even on days when everything around you is ugly
You see I’d write about your eyelashes and how they are like violin strings that play symphonies every time you blink.
If I was a love poet
I’d write about how I melt in front of you like an ice sculpture
Every time I hear the vibration in your voice so whenever I see your name on the caller ID my heart
It plays hop scotch inside of my chest.
Yo it climbs on to my ribs like monkey bars and I feel like a child all over again.
I know this sounds strange but every now and then I pray that God somehow turns you back into one of my ribs…
Just so that I would never have to spend an entire day without you.
I swear, I’m not a love poet
But if I was to wake up tomorrow morning and decide that I really wanted to write about love
My first poem it would be about you
And after all of that she was like, so how do you feel about me?
And I said, put it like this:
I want to be your ex boyfriend’s stunt man. I want to do everything that he never had the courage to do like… trust you.
I swear that when our lips touch I can taste the next sixty years of my life.
And some days I want to swallow stacks of your pictures just so you can be a part of me for a little bit longer.
If I could I would sample your smile and then I would let my heart beat
Do the bass line, we would create the greatest love song of all time
Whenever, we stand next to each other, love I was the only one made for you and you can be at last my Etta James
I’ll be oh child when you’re in pain or you could be candy coated drops of rain
Even though it never rains in Southern California
And together, we could be music.
And when my friends ask if you’re my girlfriend
I’ll say no.
She is my musician
And me… I’m her favorite song.
He called me “loveless princess”, and I yawned myself to sleep.
“Cupid De Locke” Disc One, Track Ten.
Finally, thankfully, blessedly, there is a rest.
The sonic audacity of “Love” prepares us for this song. But thematically, lyrically, we couldn’t be further away. Which is perfect. Rests and caesuras are the key to successful sequencing, and part of my overarching theme is that Mellon Collie’s ultimate success comes down to its masterful sense of movement.
But that’s a cold way of looking at this, isn’t it? We’ve gone from sexual desolation to rainbow-cloud-unicorns, and I’m talking about something so mundane as sequencing? Look, this is another first. Another song that’s never quite happened before. Another voyage into the unknown.
A whimsical, psychedelic dandy doffs his top hat and bows deeply, reaching into his voluminous coat pocket to procure the most extravagant of bouquets. As he does, harp-bearing cherubs descend, the rope-harnesses nearly invisible. He straightens, offering you the flowers, fluttering his eyes. You pause, unsure. He flinches imperceptibly, but recovers, smiling even brighter (a single silver tooth catches the light). He tosses the bouquet in the air— the flowers explode, revealing themselves to’ve been paper all along. You’re so surprised by the trick, you don’t notice him reaching back into his coat. You shudder, suddenly. A weight slams against your breast. You look back to him, and wonder in his smile— confident, but more than a little wolfish. You wonder at the bow in his arms, then look down to see an arrow stuck through your chest, little daubs of blood just beginning to seep through your blouse. You collapse, but he’s there to catch you. Your eyes close.
Of course, for all the harps and whimsy and beauty (and “doths” “haths” and “narys”), we aren’t content to leave it at ‘love.’ There’s a darkness in this. Billy Corgan knows that harps conjure the image of heaven. But the image of heaven requires death. The idea of Cupid, too, fits in with this. He’s a terrifying murderous baby. I mean, sure, his bows are magic. But the act of shooting an arrow into the heart of one you desire is kind of a violent metaphor.
But violent metaphors are the name of the game at this point. “Cupid De Locke” might sound cheerful and built for slideshows of your boyfriend. But it’s not. We should know better. We’re fooled by the sound, but we’re not out of the woods yet. This is the cruel joke, the times you plaster on a smile and say you’re okay, yes everything is fine. I’ve got love— I’m in heaven.
Yet attractive as the idea of heaven as the ultimate reward, you still have to die to achieve it. Which is much the same as Billy’s notions of “love” that he’s putting forth on Mellon Collie.
Never been in love, to speak of. I was in love once, maybe, and it was an awful experience. It rotted me, drained me, and it was a disease. Hateful thing, it was. Being in love is something that breeds brute anger and jealousy, everything but love, it seems.
Billy Corgan (and myself, for what it’s worth [nothing]) shared the same views. “Cupid De Locke,” then, is Billy’s “Ring Around The Rosie.” It’s a nursery rhyme, a dance for children, making extreme light of the rotting death held within. “Ring Around The Rosie“‘s (apparently apocryphal) death is the plague. “Cupid De Locke’s” is love. Sweet, bitter, love. Impaled by an arrow.
Bleeding through the heart.
In keeping with the whimsy, Billy amends to the song the most audacious moment to yet grace a Smashing Pumpkins song. A spoken-word verse over the song’s coda:
And in the land of star crossed lovers
and barren hearted wanderers
Forever lost in forsaken missives and satan’s pull
We seek the unseekable,
and we speak the unspeakable
Our hopes dead, gathering dust to dust,
in faith, in compassion, and in love.
What sort of land is this? Even spoken, hushed, over the twinkling landscape of the instrumentation, it’s still so unwelcoming. Love seems a desert, full of the blind. Pulled by unseen hands, unknowing of the presence of the rest. The goal is still ostensibly to find “another,” whatever who or what that might be. The blind wander the desert, speaking in tongues, following the red demon of the heart.
And all hopes of escape are scorched, burned away, cast over the blackened cracked sand. Sticking out amongst the bones is faith long since decimated (what is there to believe in?), and compassion turned to crude oil (love is secretly the most selfish of emotions). And ashes, ashes, ashes, ashes, ashes.
All fall down.