Song of the Week: “Because the Night” by Patti Smith

As Patti Smith waited for her boyfriend to call[1] she lost her own hands with anticipation: “Have I doubt when I’m alone / Love is a ring, the telephone.” Later, she sings[2] “Take me now/take me now/take me now” in impassioned plea. It is desperate in that way humans love to feel. This lack of control is preferable to the feelings of business-suit-below-14th-street or the curtailed animal longing of one’s own mirror image. The line: “Because the night there are two lovers” calls to mind those first months of a relationship during which no one else in the world exists. Time stands still. It’s before tattoo ink becomes permanent or is even a glimmer in the head of a needle. It exists before the possibility of decay and before the loneliness of standing next to one’s partner facing the world together. It’s before one has either a past or a future to look toward. If I were a glacier, I would carry myself over this purity to preserve us right here in suspended perfection. Look at me and say cheese.

[1] This song was co-written with The Boss.

[2] Songs recorded years ago still reside in the present tense each time we listen to them.

-Amy Lawless

Amy Lawless is the author of Noctis Licentia (Black Maze Books 2008) and a four poem pamphlet from Greying Ghost Press (2011). Her poems have been recently published or are forthcoming in No, Dear, Leveler, Catch Up Louisville, and Hail Satan! Contemporary Writing and Images from Hell. She has been named a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts fellow.  She was born and raised in Boston but lives in Brooklyn.

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?  Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

see all songs of the week here.