WORDS BY LJ/ DRAWING BY JEN
8. He wrote a song called Woodland Rock, which includes the gorgeously Joycean lyric Ally bally bash bam rockabilly boom. I feel like James Joyce would be very proud of him for figuring out that word-sequence and I feel like Marc Bolan would be very proud of me for feeling as spiritually connected to the woods as he's recently helped me realize I do. I do! I've never given it enough play in my writing, because the sky and the moon and the ocean make stunningly bigger deals out of themselves and I fall hook, line and sinker every time.
I love Woodland Rock because it's a rock and roll song that I imagine takes place in the ravine I grew up a couple blocks away from, there was a stream in that ravine and I'd ask my parents for permission to go for a walk alone and I'd walk down a hilly path made of gravel and hop along the stones deep into where the stream stopped being a stream anymore, I'd lose myself in the woods to scare myself into being lost in the woods and wondering if I'd die or become a feral wolfe childe and nobody'd ever find me. But of course I always found my way.
So that's what Woodland Rock sounds like, Marc Bolan in the middle of the clearing past the stream and all the little animals as his back-up band. Badgers. Marc Bolan and a bunch of felt chipmunks playing electric guitars made out of bark and bear cubs in elf caps scratching pussywillows across cat ribs as xylophones and raccoons plucking leather basses featuring a pine marten on the drums, which are acorns.
9. 75% of T.Rex lyrics are successions of rhyming couplets about What A Given Girl Is Like, and the fictional girl who is always the one thing that rhymes with the other thing is always the cutest coolest-sounding girl I'd ever wish to be, which I guess means that Marc Bolan is the #1 dude I'd ever wish would write songs about me. There's "She's got legs like a railroad, face like a song" (from Woodland Rock), "She lives by the coast, and she's faster than most," from Hot Love, which sounds like the first day of spring, "I'll call you Jag-u-ar, if I may be so bold" from Jeepster and almost all of The Motivator, which I encourage all dudes who have crushes on me to listen to while they're thinking about me. I like the idea of the person you love being called a motivator: one who motivates you to do things. It's a way sexier concept than dull old Muse. Muses are benign; Motivators are alive!
Girls in T.Rex songs are named Baby Boomerang and Baby Strange and they're built like cars. "You're dirty, sweet and you're my girl" from Bang A Gong is the most important. All the best stuff is dirty and sweet at the same time: James Joyce's letters to Nora Barnacle, Scout Finch, Manhattans the drink, wearing pigtails with sneakers, etc.
10. I'm really into traditional gender roles, and Marc Bolan is a man. He's a man the way I want all the men I spend my time with to be. I want them to build motorcycles in their bedrooms and have to sleep with the window open all year round so that the motor oil doesn't asphyxiate them to death. I want them to be preternaturally amazing at climbing trees and catching baseballs, own three-legged and/or David Bowie-eyed mutts named names like Skip or Chip or Champion, have a favorite item on the Taco Bell menu and a second-favorite item on the Taco Bell menu, order bacon on the side and drench that shit in hollandaise-
Sometimes Marc Bolan wears a magenta-sequinned Biba blazer and moons over the moon but at the same time he's so good at being a dirty dude! You can tell he's never done the dishes in his life. Sometimes he writes lyrics like "Baby, I'm crazy about your breasts" (from Raw Ramp) and "I wanna ball you all night long." I wish more dudes in real life would say things like "I wanna ball you all night long" and "Baby, I'm crazy about your breasts," instead of just trying to impress me with their knowledge of T.Rex B-sides or whatever-the-fuck. Marc Bolan would never know the name of a T.Rex B-side. He'd just ball you.
In Rabbit Fighter, Marc sings I saw a dude unscrewed, and I have this great inside joke with myself where every time Marc sings that I say "That's what she said" in my head, and then I say "BOOM" and imagine myself high-fiving Marc Bolan, and he'd laugh all squeaky and scratchy the way his laugh sounds in this scene from Born To Boogie where he and Ringo are fucking up their little "Some people like to rock, and some people like to roll" bit (fast-forward to 2:40):
It's so obvious that Marc Bolan would appreciate a good "That's what she said" joke. I love "That's what she said" jokes; their existence is one of the only things I truly appreciate about being alive in the 21st Century, and out of all the reasons why Marc Bolan's untimely death breaks the fuck out of my heart the fact that he never got to know about "That's what she said" jokes hits closest to home.11. There's a line in the song Baby Boomerang that goes I'm trying to write my novel but all you do is play- it's probably like my tenth or eleventh-favorite T.Rex lyric, but more importantly, has led me toward figuring out exactly what I'm looking for in a man:
I require a dude whose presence will make that lyric "the story of my motherfucking life."
12a) I was standing in the kitchen of my work slotting a butter knife into the negative space between the first and second tines of a fork when I for no reason realized that the number one thing I'd like to be is soulful. I don't hugely care if anything I ever do or am, as an artist or just as the regular Laura most people meet, is loud or soft, positive or negative, pointless or important- I just want to make sure it's soulful. Nobody really knows what that word means but everybody knows exactly what it means. You couldn't define it but you know it when you see it.
Spaceball Ricochet is the most soulful T.Rex song and also my favorite. I spent a huge chunk of my adult life listening to Aloneagainor by Love and feeling like I could be in love with almost everyone was so near to being me but wasn't, and then I heard Spaceball Ricochet and understood exactly why. Because I could be in love with almost anyone was actually Deep in my heart there's a house that can hold almost all of you. That's Toronto, my twenties, (almost) everything about it-
I couldn't be in love with almost everyone, I'm very vinegarious and I've got a lot of hate in my heart, but I could- and do- fall in love with almost everyone I like. I've fallen in love with every dude I ever kissed once five days ago, and I'll love any man forever unless I'm given a reason not to; unfortunately, his not loving me back never seems to fly. I go pretty far out of my way to bomb the ends of relationships I can tell aren't going anywhere and I know it seems needlessly dramatic to everybody watching, but most of the time it's the only way I can save myself from the crazy pain of insanely loving an indifferent stranger until the day I die.
12b) Once, last spring, I was walking to my old gym listening to Life's A Gas on headphones and I heard it, really heard it, and I realized, "I'm a motherfucking poet, and you're just some dude who plays guitar!" and it's pretty silly and rude but I'm silly and rude and I live in a Life's A Gas world, where life's an obvious gas. My capacity for love is infinite and when I love someone I can make all the Life's A Gas things happen to that person, the house on the ocean and love like a planet, not to mention nonstop staggering beauty and extremely nuanced "that's what she said" jokes, cocktails, crow's feet and sentences like sentences from books, real books, stars for hearts and if you're too bored to stop being bored and let me do that, well then Marc Bolan's spot on the money. It doesn't really matter at all.
13. I don't know how much I really love writing anymore. I think it's pretty sad that my ego's so big I can't let myself run away from it but at least I think it's sad my ego's so big instead of thinking it's cool that I'm a writer. I think it'd be pretty cool to get to live again as Laura only instead of spending the billion hours I've spent writing writing I would have spent them doing literally anything else. But that's not a real thing, and I've taken enough psychedelic drugs to understand that the point of my life is to write the fuck out of it, and I've taken enough psychedelic drugs to understand that words are basically corpses if you're not getting at the fullest deepest truth of every point you're trying to make, every time. I want to get at the truth more than any writer has ever gotten at the truth and I don't care if it's not "well-paced." I'm down to be the shittiest so long as I also get to be the truthiest.
When I was little I used to think that being the truthiest writer also meant being the filthiest. I wanted to be "thought-provoking." I wanted to write about subjects such as: shitty moments from my childhood, terrible sexual experiences, the way my bones looked when I had anorexia, all the food I barfed up when I had bulimia, more gross bulimia escapades, vomit, barf, drugs, diarrhea, other anorexia stuff, etc. And it does seem like any time I write about gross sex or my eating disorder, people love it and make a big deal out of how it's powerful, and that's cool I guess, but I don't think that being controversial and disgusting is the point of me, and I don't think it's a very honest way to write. I think it's exploitative and manipulative.
I've started working on a new book and it's the first truly honest thing I've ever written. It's about waking up in the morning and living a day; it's nowhere near as urgent and like lightning as Electric Warrior. if I had to describe it as being "like" anything I guess it's "like" Catcher in the Rye mixed with Ulysses only very, very bored and stoned and pretty dirty but much, much sweeter, written by a sad chill idiot who is obviously quite taken by emotion. But there's one part of it that I stole from Marc Bolan and now that I've got it to you it can be mine now but to me it's always gonna be his.
I thought of it while watching this video.
The most important thing for art to be is BEAUTIFUL. Nobody but Marc Bolan taught me that.