Thursday, May 15, 2008

Who's Your Coyote, Baby?

Nathaniel Mayweather took me to see the Patti Smith movie recently. Smith herself performed live afterward, accompanied by her son, Jackson, on guitar, singing a song she'd written for her daughter. OK, so a large part of the movie was her visiting cemeteries and remembering the dead, most notably photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, her bestest friend. Thank the goddess for Patti Smith. Her kids seem, blessedly, fine. Sweet. Talented. Doin good. Yet they were exposed to an influence, in the person of her best friend, so pernicious that the good people of Washington DC could not even allow his photographs to be displayed in a museum behind closed doors.

When your kids know they are loved and secure, they are richer for having artists around them. I'm going to keep on saying that until I don't feel guilty about being a human as well as a mother anymore. Check you in the year 2525.

Now my favorite scene in the movie was Smith getting a "guitar lesson" from Sam Shepard. Good god, boyfriend's 64 and he's still smokin hot. She pulled up her pants leg and then turned his wrist to the camera to display the matching tattoos they'd gotten so many years ago. She was still a little giggly. He still looked at her like she was a little piece of dark chocolate. They're so alive.

Speaking of chocolate, I am gulping my way through the book my husband got me, Girls Like Us, about Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and Carole King. Ummmmmm, good reading. My goodness, was that James Taylor a nasty piece of work, from the sound of it. I try to ignore the base urge to pore over the gossip, like: "This song's about this guy, this one's about this situation," but there's one that's too rich to resist:

Mitchell's "Coyote," you know, "He drags me out on the dance floor and we're dancing close and slow...he's got a woman at home, he's got another woman down the hall; he seems to want me anyway...He picks up my scent on his fingers while he's watching the waitress's legs"?

Who was it about? SAM SHEPARD!!!!

"No regrets, Coyote!" Now that's what I'm talking about.


Pam said...

Your third paragraph is one of the best things I've read this year.

Jill Matrix said...

Fantastic. And you're right. Children who are allowed to think for themselves are not scarred by art. I wish I hadn't been so sheltered. Parents provide guidance and perspective on things that are in the world, anyway. Mine would just get embarrassed and change the channel. And yeah, there are limits, like some of the bloodier SM in Mapplethorpe's collection.

I always got the sense that JT was a bastard; I don't know why. Sounds like great summer reading; I need to get me some.


mark said...

You're writing is too crisp, too alive and dynamic, for such a limited audience.

mark said...


Dark chocolate is mediocre at best... get yourself some taste buds, bud!