Archive for the 'Write About Love' Category

Writing about love

By Patrick on Friday, November 19th, 2010


Just after I graduated from high school, I was deeply in love with a younger classmate and best friend who was straight. We had bonded over hardcore shows, reading books and record collecting, so it was only natural that I tried to lose myself in books and music. One obscure book I happened upon at the time was Lord Dismiss Us by Michael Campbell, a novel of boarding school love. I read it obsessively to the soundtrack of Odessey & Oracle, a mint copy of which on Date I had just bought for the then unheard of price of $20. In 1983 gay kids weren’t out in high school and the only Zombies songs anyone knew were “She’s Not There” and “Time Of The Season,” so the album was a revelation. To my tortured mind the baroque song Changes perfectly caught the autumnal mood of the book. With great difficulty I got my friend to read it, obviously incredibly awkward given the nature of our relationship. His verdict (dad an English professor) was that it was “not very well written.”

All those feelings seem very long ago, and “Changes” just sounds like a great English pop song (if a very strange one). But what defines love for me now is a song by a band who seemed like the Zombies of the ’80s, even though they’re completely forgotten today: Squeeze. Back then love was the most intense emotion, the absolute. Now it’s the day to day companionship, the little things: “You made my bed, the fingerpoints, now is that love? The more you more you more you cool down, the easier love is found – now that is love.” From the Zombies to Squeeze, from infatuation to security: it’s a tenuous emotional thread, but somehow the feeling is the same.

I still collect boarding school romance novels.

…about love

By Robby on Thursday, November 18th, 2010

“Drink, friends — drink, great and small from the bitter cup of love! No special qualifications required. Standing room only. And it is easy to be cruel — one need only not love. Love too understands neither Aramaic or Russian. Love is like the nails used to pierce hands.

The stag uses its antlers in combat, the nightingale does not sing in vain, but our books avail us nothing. This wound will not heal.

All we have is the yellow walls of houses, lit by the sun; we have our books and we have man’s entire civilization, built by us on the way to love.

And the precept to be light-hearted.

But what about all the pain?

Give everything a cosmic dimension, take your heart in your teeth, write a book.”

from ‘Zoo or Letters Not About Love’ Viktor Shklovsky, 1923 (trans. Richard Sheldon)

Writing About Love

By Claire T on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

My turn to Write About Love.

Well, for me, noone sings/cries the word “love” with more power than Van Morrison on “Madame George”. And no album makes me love or weep more than Astral Weeks.

The last time I wept to AW, in fact, was on a plane ride home from this. Apologies to the woman sitting next to me. It cannot be helped when you’re at high altitudes, sleep deprived, quite possibly still drunk and listening to this…“And the love that loves the love that loves the love that loves the love that loves to love the love that loves to love the love that loves.”

I love waking up late on the weekends with my love (hi, Pete); reading the  paper and watching Meet The Press The Soup. I love most old things: books, music, movies, buildings, fashion, John Slattery, etc.

Sometimes I think maybe I’ve stopped loving my first love, Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Then I remember, I never actually cancelled my membership in the JTT Fan Club. So technically speaking that love is still going.

I love my little brothers (see you dudes, Tuesday!) & Mom and Dad and the holidays with all of them. I love anything by or about F. Scott Fitzgerald except for this soon-to-be catastrophe.

I loved the Turner exhibit at  the MET a little while back but really loved the Byron exhibit at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery back in 2003.

And speaking of Scotland; I love Scotland! Love the people, love the accent, love the music. Love the Belle and Sebastian.

Love, Claire

An Australian Writes About Love

By Michaella on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

So, it is my turn.

I was nervous to write about love. I tweeted for advice, skyped my best friend back home, and asked around the office if anyone would switch blog days with me to give myself more time. Unfortunately neither twitter or my best friend had any helpful suggestions, and no one in the office was willing to make the switch. For inspiration, I started listening to And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out by Yo La Tengo. Is that cheesy? Does it get more romantic than “You Can Have It All”? I can’t think of a more romantic song, but please feel free to comment if you disagree – I could be convinced!

Almost four months ago (who’s counting?!) I moved to New York from Sydney, Australia. I moved because I was in love – with the city, with a boy, and with the idea of working for a company I had always admired (what’up Matador!) Things with the boy didn’t work out and this city can be unforgiving at times, and while I don’t regret my decision to move across the world, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about the people I love and the places I love that I left behind when I boarded the Qantas 747.

When I think about what I love, I think of home:

Above is a photograph my mum sent me yesterday of her and my dad’s backyard. The Jacaranda tree in their garden is dropping purple flowers over the grass, which is the first indication that Summer is on the way. There is nothing I love more than sitting in their garden in the sunshine drinking coffee while we listen to music and talk about the world. I am going home to Australia over the Christmas break and plan to do little else aside from sit in that garden for the ten days I am home! My dad and I will drink wine and listen to records, my brother will come around to chill, my mum and I will spend hours cooking and talking, and I can’t fucking wait!

This second photograph comes from best friend, Georgia. She sent this to me last weekend after an early morning swim at Bondi Beach. She and I lived together in Sydney, and we would often wake up on a weekend and grab towels and the newspapers and our housemates and our hangovers and catch the bus to the Beach (unless a friend with a car was coming with – those were the best days!) We’d stay there for hours – talking, swimming. reading, going on coffee runs. Visitors came and went and we just hung out. Some of my most loved and cherished memories are of those days.

While New York is my home, Sydney will always be where my heart is.

Mike V Writes About Love

By Michael on Monday, November 15th, 2010

I spent a good portion of my weekend wondering what I was ever going to post on this. My first inkling was to be funny.
“Make ‘em laugh,” I thought. “Or at least try.”
But then I decided to go to the Giants-Cowboys game and after that embarrassment was in no mood for laughs (or work of any sort for that matter) so I pulled this, an excerpt from something I wrote a very, very long time ago. Dig.

“A Brief Musing On The Effects Of Perceived Love”

It is the oft-referenced darkness before dawn. The blackest part of night when sight becomes blurred due to a harrowing cocktail of lack of sleep, early-morning fog and concealing 4 a.m. shadows. This is the line that is walked only when one dares, but with enough confidence to know that they will not fall to either side. They know you will see their face, but you will have no idea what they look like. They become a sharp-edged silhouette in the rising sun, the waning moon, reminiscent of silent-film villains… boney, hunched, frail, yet daunting and horrible. It is at this moment, along this line, that we pass crevasses created by adjoining buildings a bit faster. We stay close to the walls as to not be tossed into the revealing light. We clasp our hands tight around something, anything… a belt, a purse, a waist and — if you’re lucky — a lover.

It is the instant before your lips touch hers for the first time. You’ve already come down this darkened road that you have never traveled before. You don’t know the buildings around you. You don’t recognize the ground beneath your feet. You can’t run home. It is much further now than it has ever been.

But you are thrust from the wall and you can no longer clutch your belt or your purse or your waist. You are shoved into this new light that the minutes-old sun has splashed upon the still-sleeping world. You feel like you can already recount this instant over and over, in your mind you are already telling this story to others, in great detail, how you grabbed her by the waist, the arms, the cheek and pulled her back into the darkness for one more second. How the sun chased that darkness away and how you knew, if only for an instant, that that instant, though it would soon be gone, could last forever.

She would describe her every thought to you with the edges of her lips, pressed so slightly against yours. And then the sun would wash upon both of your feet, thighs, waists, chests, arms, hands, faces and it would sweep you away into a world that would actually exist.

As you walk away, swaying drunkenly across that formerly terrifying line, you look back, straight into the eyes of that which made you tremble most, that which you found paralyzingly sexy, and you would say to it:

“Fuck you. Fuck you, look at me now. Look at how I am ok.”

And into the sunrise, a Lover’s cowboy, you would walk, heel-to-toe, heel-to-toe, letting the worn leather on the bottoms of your boots spell it out for everyone to hear, “I’m ok. It’s gonna take a lot more than that to get me down, motherfuckers.”


Writing about love.

By Gabe on Friday, November 12th, 2010

I’ve been asked to follow Nils’ awesome post that kicked off the “Matador Employees Write About Love” series yesterday. I thought I would start with the above Pitchfork TV clip from Vegas, cuz I fucking LOVED Battle Of The Bands at Matador 21.

OK. Well, love has actually been a big theme for me this year, so this should be easy right? Um.

I tell you, I love a Belle and Sebastian song called “I Love My Car”. It’s originally from the “I’m Waking Up To Us” EP, and you can own it as part of the unimpeachable Push Barman to Open Old Wounds collection.

Oh you know what I really love? I love my dog. The GOOOOOOOSE! I also love a painting of my dog that my friends Shana and Tim commissioned as a wedding gift. I just got it today:

I love Silkworm.

I love my job. Most of the time.

OK, I loved that too.

I love Twitter. I’m at 99 followers RIGHT NOW. Just saying…

I love the internal debate happening to decide whether or not this is the appropriate forum to discuss how much I love my wife. Maybe set the website public now, Pants.

I love the Mannequin Men Hozac singles club single “Hobby Girl”. Both sides. And I love that Dave Martin was able to get me a copy even though I’m not in the club (thanks Dave and Hozac).

I love that I’ve spent an hour on this post and no one can yell at me about it (thanks Nils!).

I love rock ‘n roll. Put another dime in the jukebox, baby.

I still love this clip (shut up Robby):

I’m all out of love.

Matador employees write about love.

By Nils on Thursday, November 11th, 2010

We employees felt a bit left out, being prohibited from entering the Belle and Sebastian “Write About Love” contest.  After all, we love too. We love hard.  So we thought we’d write about love anyway, one of us per day, to spread the love, and hopefully inspire Mr. Murdoch along the way.

Of love, the great Robert Creeley said: “what is it that/is finally so helpless/different, despairs of its own/statement, wants to/turn away, endlessly/ to turn away.”  How does one even grasp it, let alone put it into words?  Every time I play Kurt Vile, I get flushed and my heart speeds up.  The first time I walked into that Clyfford Still room at the Met, my legs gave out. Last month a fucking PEACH made me tear up (it was a really good peach).  I still love this damn iPhone.  And then there’s that Sam Riley guy that played Ian Curtis… but I digress. Maybe writing about love is like dancing about archi-blah blah.  Creeley’s mentor of sorts, William Carlos Williams, said: “I have learned much in my life from books, and out of them about love.” One review of the Belle album simply said, “well duh.”  But do Mogwai write about love with their heartwrenching instrumentals?  I think yes. What about when you go see Salem, and you’re like, wow, this is so incredibly bad, maybe it’s good?  Maybe I love this hateful rapegaze?  The mind reels.  But maybe you just know it when you feel it.  Late at night, when the lambent moon casts its velvet glow over the Manhattan skyline, the ’96 Bordeaux casts a velvet glow of its own, Belle is on the stereo, and you by my side, I’m reminded of Williams’s mentor of sorts, Ezra Pound:  ”What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee/What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage.”

Nils Bernstein