Lou Reed: Forevermore


Today was the first snowfall of the season. When I awoke, a blue-tailed magpie – our prairie variant of a crow or raven – was perched on the balcony railing. Nevermore. A cold delivery. From now on, we’ll be living with a chill until the next season bumps this one off.

“I do believe, you are what you perceive
What comes is better than what came before”

That’s a hard thing to accept on days like these. Lou Reed dug this kind of stuff out of the trash, he could illuminate the dark spaces of addiction, provide an exit and another reason to keep on living. Or at least a reason to get to the park for a carafe of sangria with friends.

Lou is gone away, but his songs have worn such a deep groove into my heart that there are times when I find myself inhabiting the Reed vernacular as if it were my very own.

“I feel just like Jesus’ son”
“All the poets they studied rules of verse”
“Doo do doo, do doo, doo do doo, doo, do doo
“I am the Water Boy, the real game’s not over here”
“You just know that bitch will never fuck again”
“Here’s to Travis Bickle and here’s to Johnny Boy”
“Somewhere a landlord’s laughing till he wets his pants”
“I was lying in my bed last night, staring at a ceiling full of stars”
“Not exactly the boy next door”

Lou de-popified pop. He always said that if his songs were read like books there wouldn’t be any need to explain why they were stuffed with drugs, sex, and death. If Dylan brought it all back home, Reed took it all downtown where he could wallow in the squalor of fresh neon and live to tell the tale.

Lou proved the greater our power to be affected, the greater our power to act. Artists of his caliber create new ways of seeing and feeling that rely on a beingness that is constantly open and renewed. He will live on, forevermore.


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