Use Your Words [on Two Artists Tuesday]

Kerri calls this photo ‘Dish rack with orange cup.’ “It sounds like the title of a painting!” she exclaimed.

We generally go through our day making fun of the words we paste on our experiences and pull from our conversations. I am forever proclaiming, “That sounds like the name of a band!” Or, “Hey, that sounds like a lyric!” For a guy that can’t hear lyrics in songs – and is famous for singing my-own-made-up lyrics – I’m particularly adept at thinking I hear lyrics in conversations all around me. I know, I know. I am a walking paradox, a living conundrum, a human-thought-puzzle with a few pieces missing from my box.

Lately, our language game has a new and always surprising twist: simple words that refuse to come to mind. For instance, reaching for the word”ravioli” necessitated, “You know, little pasta pillows with stuff inside.” Tell me honestly, doesn’t that description sound like the beginning line of a poem or a silly lyric? Little pasta pillows with stuff inside. 20 drew a little green orb on his shopping list because the word ‘avocado’ refused a timely recall.

I was on the ground howling with laughter when Kerri’s brain refused to pull a word from the abyss. Twisting her wrist back and forth, making a Tin-Man-esque-joint-with-no-oil sound, she begged for my help. “Come on!” she pleaded, “What is it?”

“Arthritis?” I offered, tears rolling down my cheeks.

“YES!” she danced. “ARTHRITIS! That’s it! That’s it!”

Side note: YES was a rock band in the 70’s. The band members most certainly now have arthritis. Their biggest hit was Roundabout. The song lyrics begin with this: I’ll be the roundabout/The words will make you out n’ out…[side note to side note: I’m not making up the lyric. I Googled it to avoid worldwide criticism].

Speaking of roundabouts, we took down Dogga’s roundabout sign in the yard. Actually, the weather did it for us when it snapped the metal support pole. He doesn’t seem to care. He continues to run circles without his sign giving him direction. The sign will soon go up in my office as a reminder that my brain’s movement and Dogga’s running path are one and the same: circular. Each cutting a trail in our own way.

It’s simple really. Arthritis! Dish rack with orange cup. A still life or almost-haiku-line? “What’s the word for…?” Reminders all to take ourselves less seriously. To never invest too much in or believe too heartily in the words used or the stuff we think. It’s all made up poetry, a band name, a lyric, anyway.

read Kerri’s blogpost and BUY THE PRINT!

Delay and Seem! [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

I’m one of those people who doesn’t hear lyrics. When I sing in the car or the shower it is generally gibberish or a rude approximation. Except, when I’m singing along with Kerri. I’ve learned that, with a nanosecond delay, I can sing what she sings and seem like I know the lyrics.

I know there’s trouble when she asks me – me, the man who has the ears of a goat, the man who knows no lyrics, “What does that lyric mean, anyway?” I quickly tap my inner Philistine and respond, “What does any lyric mean?” Artists! Puh! They can’t be trusted. They just make stuff up! What’s the use of asking about meaning when an artist is involved! I am one! I should know!

“Google it.” she says. I married a consummate researcher. Were she not a musician, she’d have been a crack private eye. A world-class investigator. It’s impossible for me to get away with anything! No lyrics cover-up for me!

And then, sweet-Google-relief. We’re both singing gibberish. Something made-up. “Wait!” she exclaims, “You mean I’ve been singing that wrong all my life? Didn’t you think you were singing the right lyric, too?”

I smile. “Yes.” I nod emphatically. “I’ve been singing it wrong my whole life, too!” A strange path to an obvious truth.

The next song begins. I lean in, sounding good with a nanosecond delay.

read Kerri’s blog post about LYRICS

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com