“The Olde Trip to Jerusalem”: For the Mekons

Yes, of course, it’s all fucked up.

I was buying you a drink, where were you?

You’re cordially invited to join the Deformed Mutant Noisemakers Brigade.

We’re kin that don’t verify bonds with blood.

We’re a shimmering racket, to be sure:

beleaguered & be-lager-ed yelps,

ludic & ludditic lamentations,

jokes too tired to coerce laughs.

We don’t have a platform;

they got trapdoors anyway.

None of that deus ex machina shit, mate.

No saviors. No brooms.

We’re just whimsical shelters,

beautiful & doomed.

Punk’s Secreted Messages

There’s nothing to do in this town.

I’ve lived here my whole life.

Set me on fire with kerosene.

Legalize murder and watch your heroes

come home in boxes. Let’s pose

for John Wayne Gacy while we wear

Gary Gilmore’s eyes. Our faces

are lit by dayglo aborted fetuses.

BBQ Pope is the perfect dish to scarf

while exhuming Lee Harvey Oswald

to see if the Shah’s skeleton is hiding there.

Set me on fire with kerosene.

Mommy, mommy, look at your son.

You might have loved me, but now

I’ve got a gun.  So, mommy, can I go out

and kill tonight? Today your love,

tomorrow the world. I’m a Nazi Shmazi.

We must bleed. We’re just commodity meat.

Set me on fire with kerosene.

Texas is the reason that your husband

is dead. Masturbate me.

No future. No fun.

You’re gonna eat no more hot dogs.

“I’ll Always Be Against”: Yegor Letov’s Legacy

Punk is rarely as dangerous as it believes. Yet Siberian punk-saint Yegor Letov lived a dangerous & precarious existence. Leader of the seminal Grazhdanskaya Oborona (Civil Defense) and later, Yegor and the Fuck-Ups, he was officially declared a “social parasite” by the Soviet regime, institutionalized at various points, and spent years on the run from authorities checking work permits. Old age and the fall of the Soviet Union did not lesson his rage: in his final years, he aligned himself with the maybe ironic/maybe not National Bolshevik Party. Punks and cultural historians often don’t know what to make of his legacy. Letov’s response? “I’ll always be against.”

I’ll Always Be Against

 for Yegor Letov

 

Слушай меня! At 50 below, your body longs for death. Add Omsk’s radioactive rain and you begin to understand that living’s abnormal. In a cityscape filled with portraits of Stalin and his pet moustache, one’s survival becomes a freak accident.

So get freaky as fuck! Блядь! I got more than a frog in my throat. ёбаный в рот!  I got more than phlegm in my gullet. пизде́ц!  I got a childhood of memorized Lenin lessons to spew. су́ка!

My guitar notes scurry into ears like cockroaches upholstered in shag carpeting. Folks thrash their skulls, trying to eject the parasites. All for naught!

Burn all utopias to keep warm! Я срать на все!

 

Russian to English Glossary:

Слушай меня! (slushay myenya!)–> Listen to me!

Блядь! (blyat!)–> Whore!

пизде́ц! (pizdets!)–> Deep shit!

ёбаный в рот! (yobany v rot!)–> Fucked in the mouth!

су́ка! (suka!)–> Little bitch!

Я срать на все! (ya srat na vse!)à I shit on everything!

 

“The Story of the Fall”

The Story of the Fall

for Mark E. Smith

 

  1. From the womb of 1970s Manchester,

 

Smokestack skylines and gristle gnashing

Piss-warm ale and sagging eyes

Paranoid cockroaches and cockroaching paranoia

 

  1. emerged Mark E. Smith

 

An auctioneer having a stroke

A conductor on a subway without stops

A stand-up comic who hates jokes

A preacher who can’t bear to say “Hallelujah!”

 

  1. sneering napalm tunes

 

Stillborn lives sketched in Mancunian soot

Cappuccinos frothed with used vibrators

Scrimshaw carved on rotten teeth

Perfume made from bleach and ammonia

“Portable Siberia”: A Tribute to Yanka Dyagileva

Portable Siberia

for Yanka Dyagileva

 

She sings fleeing snowdrifts

Her voice unpacks larch and moon no matter where I am

Stuck in summertime Hartford’s traffic jams, her cries still frostbite

Wolves clamor in the backseat, partitioning my limbs

 

For more information about this Siberian punk-saint, read Alina Simone’s memoir You Must Go and Win.

If you know Russian, this is an EXCELLENT site devoted to her: http://yanka.lenin.ru/

 

Pedro Pietri’s Wall Art

pedro_pietri_wall

Nuyorican poet and legend Rev. Pedro Pietri also offered his raw, humorous vision in art installations. Even if Pietri was not associated with any particular punk scene, his work remains, quite simply, punk as fuck. A surreal, shambolic aesthetic intimately connected to the NYC streets. If you have not read “Puerto Rican Obituary”  do so now! Below is a beautiful photograph of Pietri preaching his comic yet darkly serious mission:

pedro-final

 

La historia de eskoria

La historia de eskoria

 

For los frikis, those Cuban punks who voluntarily injected themselves with HIV.

 

I’m a scumfuck. My rage keeps breathless time.

My blood is a weapon. Death is a door.

Doctors tell me there’s a parasite in my brain.

I tell them it’s my pet, that I’m nursing it,

that I’m finally performing a social good.

I’m a scumfuck. Bones needle out my skin.

I clutch Christ in my left hand and Cobain in my right.

When I die, drink shots of chispa ‘e tren off my chest.

For a eulogy, just scream and only scream.

Words are a poison fit only for

Castro.

 

For more information about los frikis and the Cuban self-injecting movement, please consult the following:

Radiolab and Radio Ambulante’s collaboration: http://www.radiolab.org/story/los-frikis/

Radio Ambulante’s friki playlist: http://radioambulante.org/en/blog-en/frikis-from-havana-a-playlist

Luis Trelles’s podcast & photographs from a Cuban sanitarium: http://radioambulante.org/en/audio-en/the-survivors