Artist: Mike Watt
Song: Pluckin’ Pedalin’ and Paddlin’
Album: The Secondman’s Middle Stand (2005)
The storyline for the nine-track album parallel's Watt's real-life January 2000 bout with a near-fatal infection in his perineum with one of his favorite pieces of literature, Dante's The Divine Comedy. The first three tracks of the album represent the Inferno (Watt's illness up until the time the abscess burst); the second three songs represent the Purgatorio (Watt's surgery and subsequent recovery), and the final three (Pluckin’ Pedalin’ is here) represent the Paradisio (Watt's resuming his everyday life and career).
sun in my face, breeze at my back, it's easy to see where heaven's at. to think some think it's a pile of bones or something material like a load of gold. sure, that's fine but in my mind... note for note, each thought a vote: plucked strings singing how much I don't know. stating thus w/this little bass then evaporating in the air w/hardly a trace permanently temporarily... tangents, I imagine kept me confused but being a hellride hostage gave me a clue. complicated thinking can sure wear you out - out at sea paddling or pedaling my route... spinning, simply spinning my wheels 'round. pluckin', pedalin' and paddlin'. pluckin', pedalin' and paddlin'. pluckin', pedalin' and paddlin'. there before the mirror, cross-examinatin' - what use is blaming others and situations? thinkin', linkin' responsibility has helped me open possibilities. still, I find myself hollerin' for help. manifesting watt by learning from others? what a mechanism I've discovered! philosophical a la carte... what works, works: parts is parts. a humbler bumbler, a slow learner... the knowing's in the doing if your sights are such, the hamster wheel turning though drives some folks nuts. but wherever I put myself, there I am - what can you do w/a ridiculous man? put foot to pedal and hand to paddle... man, it's funny how things get organized to make them comprehendible, systematized. a stalag, a gulag or a berlin wall - stuck in the head to strain it all and strangle tight out all the life. structure punctured, hey what gives? here in the sphere of contemplatives. up jacob's ladder, flaming sparks - dancing, glancing - igniting up the dark... a top self-spun, climbing up each rung. cornball ways to express stuff profound, 'pert-near the only thing out my mouth. if I had to relate this experience, a wordless breath would be my closest guess - I think that'd sum it up the best.