Day 4~Nick Cave
Today’s poet of my choosing isn’t a traditional poet, as in academia may not instantly think of this man as a poet, but I do. I completely do! It is the Australian rocker, Nick Cave. I first heard him baritone voice singing about a “Red Right Hand” at a nightclub in Hollywood that catered to those who like wearing black clothes too much. I was one of those, but I would like to point out gothic, emo, poet, all pretty much have the same dress code. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the musicality of the piece, but it was the fact that I didn’t really find myself as fascinated with the musicality as I did the words. Perhaps that is a poets hazard, words take over tone, and actions because they do become all we care about. I went out and bought every album he had released up to that point. A healthy list that consist of everything from the 2001 No More Shall We Part to the 1984 From Her to Eternity. What I found was a man who loves words. Here is the opening stanza from Red Right Hand, and just reading it you hear the attention to cadence:
Take a little walk to the edge of town
and go across the tracks
Where the viaduct looms,
like a bird of doom
As it shifts and cracks
Where secrets lie in the border fires,
in the humming wires
Should you not have ever heard of Nick Cave, May I suggest starting with Tender Prey, that features Mercy Seat, Up Jumped the Devil, and Deanna. The Murder Ballads are also pretty mind-blowing (plus there are fabulous duets with the likes of PJ Harvey on that album)
In case that is not enough, Nick Cave has scored soundtracks, written movies, books, and had a documentary about him and the band. So I do implore you to look into this man’s work. He has never seen the type of fame in the United States that many other countries have bestowed upon him, and I’m blaming that on the fact that poetry, even when in musical form, needs to be more wildly celebrated.
Today I give you two videos from YouTube, instead of poems.
First “Nobody’s Baby Now”, which I am convinced is an Elegy, but have no proof other than my gut. It is from the album, Let Love In.
From Tender Prey the song, which is really a ballad, “Mercy Seat” about a death row inmate.