Tag Archives: Grimes

7 day song challenge, day #1: See You On a Dark Night

TW: sexual assault

As a kid I was lucky enough to grow up in a suburb where I always felt safe walking at night. My friends and I used to go on night adventures all the time as teens, haunting school playgrounds and netball courts and the random patches of forest that grew in between houses. We would cast spells, gossip, sometimes drink. Walking home, usually around 2 or 3 in the morning, I would have to split off from the group and head down this long stretch of poorly lit road, and then through the twisting backstreets of suburbia to my parents’ house. And I enjoyed those walks; there were always bats about, and I had space and time to think before the sun came up and day-to-day life began again.

I don’t feel that way anymore.

A year before I moved to Brunswick, which is where I live in now, a woman was killed. She was abducted while walking home from a night out with friends, from a pub I’d spent many nights at during university. She’d only been a couple of twisting backstreets away from where she lived. Backstreets I’d covered many times in between friends’ houses and tram stops, often walking for much longer than I needed to because I was poor, and couldn’t afford money for a taxi, but also because I wanted to. One of the newspapers marked out her route on a map and when I saw it my insides froze up; I’d walked that way before.

I don’t know if I was actually any safer in my old suburb that I am in my new one. Perhaps that tough, glittering, teenage-girl-feeling of untouchability kept me safe somehow, shimmering like a mirage, there but not really. Now, when I’m faced with the possibility of having to walk home alone at night, I don’t look forward to the space and time, to the bats or the lights. I don’t feel free.
I feel trapped.
I weigh up the options.
I could get a taxi (that’s $12 minimum), or an uber (a little less).
I could call and hope that my partner’s awake so that he can come meet me at the tram stop.
I could walk with my keys in between my fingers, and my phone to my ear, making imaginary conversations with myself, hoping it doesn’t ring.
I could, I could, I could…

The night doesn’t belong to me anymore. And I hate that.

I loved this song first for the way it sounds alone. It’s catchy. The vocals are haunting, but playful. I love the way Grimes samples in this track, the sounds she chooses, not quite fitting together, but in a way that makes you listen harder. I’m always surprised at finding new sounds creeping through every time I hear this song. It reminds me of a patch of forest at night.

But when I heard what the song was really about, it became my anthem. What she does with this song is nothing short of genius. She is taking something incredibly painful (her own sexual assault) and turning it around to face the perpetrator. By weaving that pain into something upbeat, something poppy and fun, something that she has since built a career in music on, she is taking all the power away from her attacker.  And I love that

And so on nights when I have to walk with my keys between my fingers, I chant these words in my head. It doesn’t make me feel untouchable, or even safe. But it makes me feel like I am gathering some of that power back.

See you on a dark night
See you on a dark night
See you on a dark night
See you on a dark night.

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[sic] meditation on ancient: a playlist and a poem.

ancient_playlist

Listen and be transported. Ancient

 

ANCIENT
bones
dig up the calcified relics
dust them off and
don’t tell anyone the truth
build them up
sort and stack
rearrange until they appear attractive
the Jurassic era, ferocious
magnificent, wild beasts
pre-human
pre-god
consumed by fire
or ice
the verdict is still out
the jaws hold only echoes
nothing concrete

they live in museums now
some shockingly nude
skeletons in a great hall
overlooking Central Park
guarding three dimensional history lessons
others covered in skins of
their brethren
next to intricately carved replicas of
native people
who still exist
as if extinction is imminent

I want to press you into
clay
carve your memory in earth
mine
all mine
the faeries will stand watch they have been around longer than any of us
zipping about
planting the first seedlings
from ambrosia
sipping sap

I think a faery was the first
vampire
plant syrup was far too sweet
they required
bitter, bitter fruit
and made humans
in their image, then
blurred us all, softened
edges, now we are not so
beautiful
we are all just short of perfection
injected faery dust into our veins
waited for the magic to bewitch
these organs crafted from
slippery fish skins
trout pout hearts
Shakespeare was a mouthpiece
for the fae
the tragedies in particular
those absinthe loving little fuckers crave
bloodshed
(ovulation was just their sick sense of humor at work)

there is a show at the planetarium

simulation of becoming

big bangs

white hot stars sizzle

ancient fae trapped in rocks

this is what i think

there is magic in us now

my guts
viscera
petrified
you keep them in the wooden bowl
by your bed
next to your keys
I retrieved most of them last time I saw you
but I left a blob about the size of a quarter
it’s probably a hard little smear
you tried to scrape off with your thumbnail
but stubbornly it
stays

i’m preserving bittersweet memories
like insects trapped in
amber
they will outlive all of us
we will be dust
and they will still have the capacity to sting.

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