Yes, in college I was aware of their presence in the Alternative Music scene, however, I never bought a CD or cassette tape of their work. I never listened fully to any of their singles. It’s odd looking back—but, a catalyst does exist for their absence in my musical library.
The word “Pixies” alone should have peaked my curiosity. Aside from the heavy folktale influences of their name, the phonetics follow a verbal influence I value: the hard ‘x’ mirroring axe or kick followed by a soft pair of vowels matching the sounds in ease and allow. The vernacular inserted into my poems of the time, words of behavioral cutting, bloody violins, deconstruction, urban-graffiti, deflation, regression.
This all falls down to this morning, when the radio played “Where is My Mind?”— from the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa album, released in 1988. That year was transitional. A period of motioning out into a wider scheme of self. I was living in Minneapolis, exploring non-trending music, feeling a nostalgia for hard-core Mississippi Delta Blues and pornographic, hedonistic Kerouac jazz clubs. That year, on a daily basis I walked across the Mississippi River in the middle of winter to get to work. A self-imposed tolerance to the extreme winds of Minnesota. The cold water knotted in slow rapids below the bridge. That year my then-partner feel into a self-destructive alcoholism which I couldn’t comprehend—we were on again-off again in a cycle of denial in between his bouts of drinking and rebellions against expectations from his family, or from me, as well by society. That year, one night in particular, he drank excessively, even more so than usual, glass after glass of cheap draughts of beer, falling into a coma-like sleep—in just a few hours, the sounds of him choking on his own vomit woke me up—it resounded as an alarming guttural death rattle, a warning sign.
He haunts my work even now, slipping casually into some poems unnoticed at first, in a subtle manner, as one trying on a frayed coat at an outdoor secondhand shop.
Today, when I previewed the material of Surfer Rosa, the tracks proved to be electric-heavy, laden with eclectic and erratic themes of rebellion, pissed off frustration, and on occasion, slight tongue-in-cheek-humor. Although now I appreciate “Where is my Mind?”—back then, in 1988, I was seeking something entirely different musically. Escaping from anger, resentment.
Since the book publication of Variations, items across my social networks have been shifted, updated with new information. The main web site now has a new splash page— and a new promo page for my book. This section in particular contains blurbs and a brief, informal essay defending the style used to construct most of the work. (The essay appeared here already at an earlier date.)
Of course, over time I will document any future particulars regarding the sale of the book, or potential reviews, as updates and changes occur. Using the logic of maintaining archival records, the site has provided a great service since its implementation back in the day.