Richmond. We were popular here. I love this place like I’d love a lounging skeleton at my birthday dinner wearing a paper crown, rakishly smoking a non-filtered Camel, and dressed in my momma’s mu-mu. Richmond is quite like a facinorous corybantic Ipse Dixit impaled by laudanum. A morbidly jolly municipality. Like a traffic accident I can’t make myself look away from. Richmond smells like a mix of pine needles, clabber biscuits and fifty- four thousand pork cigarettes burning in church. The reechy old buildings still stand. They look antiqued and sepia toned, even on the brightest of sunny days. The new buildings of the vibrant capital of Virginia stand tall and impressive above the antiques- a nitid testimony to the new progressive South: but still the contrast is strangely steeped in paralysis -in Faulknerian terms resembling a suit bought on credit for a bankrupted tobacco farmer attending a funeral for a roué uncle buried on the cheap with a second-hand casket with flowers stolen from the garden of the Museum of The Confederacy. There is always smoked ham at the reception. And very sweet tea, baby.
No wonder Punk Rock is popular here. Richmond is a clochard at an obsequy. Naked Shock used to sell-out every venue we played here. Richmond was a sort-of frenemy to the new-South resurgence- if Richmond was magically transmogrified into human form, it would manifest as a poetry slam full of moth mauled ante-poetic superlatives wearing confederate red suspenders. This is a city that has broadcast its white vibrant shimmering quim upon the southern imagination and festooned its precious antebellum ovarian eggs upon history and now as a city stands like a be-spectacled pock-marked pilgrim caught with his pants down after midnight in a bus stop enclosure smelling of retromingent whiskey pee, holding a semi-flaccid digit in his hands after dreaming drunk about an immaculate dry-hump, with a cheap slut named Destiny, who wears a stained hoop skirt. A city where re-enactors like to dress up like dead people to feel like heroes. Perfect.
There is optimism in this image for those who choose to see it.