From the YouTube Music Video Archives: "Top of the World" by Patty Griffin

I wished I was stronger
I wished I was smarter
I wished I loved Jesus
The way my wife does…


  1. Quin Finnegan says

    Awesome. Thanks for that. In return, I give you Gillian Welch, which is probably old stuff for a young dude like you.

  2. Quin Finnegan says

    And thanks for using the "From the …" title! Does me proud.

  3. Quin Finnegan says

    Matthew, will you be covering this?

  4. Matthew Lickona says

    Oh, hell, no. I wrote about that five years ago, in a little book: "I resent feeling like I can't send my kids to public school, not so much for what they will (or won't) be taught there, but because I don't want to see my eight-year-old daughter at a school talent show someday, thrusting her hips and lip-synching to Shania Twain about what keeps her warm in the middle of the night." (Yes, it's pretentious to quote myself, but it's a blog comment, so I'm hoping the absurdity will cancel the pretension.) Still – awful.

    As for "From the…" I try to be a team player. I didn't start this blog.

    Gillian Welch is great.

  5. Matthew,

    Here – just so you don't feel alone – is my autoquotation, a variant on your theme:

    Theuth Resurrected, or The Pornography Shop

    They cannot move their heads round because of the fetters,
    and they can only look forward, but light comes to them
    from fire burning behind them higher up at a distance.
    – Plato, The Republic

    Barely dressed in a black thong and demi-bra,
    You would’ve liked to have had yourself filmed
    For the modern romance, the coterie of souls
    Thriving in dark rooms, doused in chemicals.
    But even the mirror had just enough of a fix
    To get you through to the smeared mix of
    Reality and make-up applied by diligent hands.

    Neither severe as Titian, nor native as Gauguin,
    You pose, smarmy as Rockwell, fake as Nagel —
    Not a pin-up but a pin-down, there you are
    To open up your own niche in Theatre,
    Getting paid to remain fuckable and breakable.
    For you, disappointment and desire are contracted
    By the studio to a single, lingering scene:

    But there is no dance, no inexorable waiting
    Beneath the bough-heavy lean of moonlight.
    There is only truth and disclosure, grainy
    And captured in celluloid layers.
    “Memories are not enough,” someone said ,
    So film is there to gobble up forgetfulness.
    Theuth is resurrected in Technicolor fashion.

    But film proves content is less than discovery —
    Something flashy slips off, something fleshy slips
    Away. The lights die. The crew wanders from the set.
    Dried up in the moment, you are left alone
    With cold skin and eyes streaked like a clowns’,
    Barely dressed in a black thong and demi-bra
    As the scent of cold cream begins to fill the air.

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