International Musicians of Quarantined Origins Guild

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Yes, I’ve scripted my performance. 

Intro to I’ll Be Your Mirror 

Three of the best and most influential albums ever recorded are The Velvet Underground and Nico by, of course, The Velvet Underground, Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks, and Horses by Patti Smith. 

With HORSES, Patti takes classic, primal, foundational rock’n’roll songs— G-L-O-R-I-A. Land of a Thousand Dances—and layes her own poetry over top of them. Taking the old and making it new. The oral tradition. The folk tradition. 

And The Velvet Underground’s I’ll Be Your Mirror, that’s the mission statement for any artist: "I will be your mirror. I will reflect what you are, in case you don’t know. I will show you the beauty are." 

So in the spirit Patti Smith, I’ve placed my own poetry atop Lou Reed’s I’LL BE YOUR MIRROR, and I’ve held that mirror up to the little village green of Castle Shannon, Pennsylvania, a little coal mining town that worked its way into suburbia. 

I play this song in memory of the Claude Monet of Castle Shannon, the late David Allen Flynn.

I’LL BE YOUR MIRROR 

song lyrics by Lou Reed, additional imagery by Robert Andrew Wagner 

I'll be your mirror, reflect what you are, in case you don't know. 
I'll be the wind, the rain and the sunset,
a light on your door, to show that you're home. 

I'll be the bark of a dog 
at seven a.m. 
as you return home 
from the night shift. 

I'll be a spinster 
who's been on barbiturates 
since 1950. 

I'll be a seventy-two year old woman 
who goes to mass every morning. 

I'll be saying to everyone who asks, 
"Hey, buddy, spare a quarter,” 
”No, man, spare a dime,” 
while paging through the help-wanted section 
of the Pittsburgh Press 
at a newsstand 
on Smithfield Street. 

I'll be your mirror, reflect what you are, in case you don't know. 

I'll be a bent cola can 
rattling down the street. 

I'll be minimum wage 
and unpaid dinner 
to dishwashers 
who still can't get the crust 
off the pots and pans 
no matter how hard they scrub 

I'll be rollers, belts and rails 
that transport slammed 
packages marked FRAGILE 
that rattle all the way 
from Oakland, California. 

I'll be the sweat-dripping bandana, 
on a teamster’s head
facing certain unemployment 
in an airless breathless freight truck in August 

I'll be the daily quota of beer that pacifies the United Parcel Service 

I'll be the broken windshield of a stolen Ford, 
stripped and abandoned in the parking lot. 

I'll be walking home. 

I'll be your mirror, reflect what you are, in case you don't know. 

I'll be drunk over the toilet 
in the women's room 
on the thirteenth floor 
of a college dormitory. 

I'll be spitting off bridges till the day I die. 

I'll be a never ending collection of defective messiahs. 
Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, 
John Lennon, Karl Marx and Bruno Sammartino. 

I'll be the man who stashes empty beer cases 
in his neighbor's trash 
because he's ashamed 
of what the garbage man might think. 

I'll be the fly in the funeral parlor, 
spilled milk in an infant's crib, 
and misspelled graffiti 
on the playground shelter wall. 

I'll be the wind, the rain and the sunset, a light on your door, to show that you're home. 
When you think the night has seen your mind, that inside you're twisted and unkind, 
Let me stand to show that you are blind. 
Please put down your hands. 
'Cause I see you. 

I find it hard to believe that you don't know the beauty you are. 
I find it hard to believe that you don't know the beauty you are. 
I find it hard to believe that you don't know the beauty 

You are three-hundred couples 
of best friends 
in the City Park, 
kicking debris in the river 
on the first sunny day of spring. 

You are a baby chewed apart
by an ill-bred dog
while mother's locked in the hallway
banging on the door
You are all the news that's fit to print. 

You are what I am, 
and I am what I've been through, 
and I've been through hell. 

You are the muddy path behind the school 
where truants smoke tobacco 
and make suicide pacts. 

You are blood-stained sheets and pillowcases 
where high school girls slit their wrists 
and live to regret it. 

You are three bottles 
of half-digested sleeping pills 
puked onto the bathroom floor. 

You are ninety days of observation on the wards of St. Francis, 
Six weeks of recovery in the lock up at St. Johns, 
Forty-two days of withdrawal and contrition in the dorms of Greenbriar. 

Now you're doubling-out, 
three to eleven, 
eleven to seven, 
three times a week 
for minimum wage. 

I find it hard to believe that you don't know the beauty you are. 

You are a broken record of nine-to-five 
that repeats six days a week, 
fifty weeks a year 
for too long now. 

You are three months in America, 
can't speak English, 
and already lost 
your tailoring business 
in Ambridge. 

You are sewing ripped underarms 
hemming pants 
and reattaching buttons 
in a dry cleaning store
under-the-table. 

You are long lines waiting 
for an application 
to J&L Steel. 

You are capitalism, 
May God strike you dead 
if you're not democratic. 

You are in love, Charlie Brown. 

You are a shivering stumble bum 
huddled beneath a pile of rags 
on a warehouse dock. 

You are an empty soap-dispenser 
and soggy paper towels 
in the bus station lavatory. 

You are a truant junky’s blood 
on the Burger King Wall 
Three blocks from Westinghouse High School. 

I find it hard to believe that you don't know the beauty you are. 

Let me be your car radio 
playing feel-good AM pop music 
as you sit in the rush hour traffic. 

Let me be the jelly donut 
drying on the passenger seat 
on the interminable journey home 
from the night shift. 

Let me be the burns on your arms 
from creasing pants 
in a cage of hot steam pipes. 

Let me be the splinters in your hands 
from climbing a wooden fence 
in a neighborhood playground 
on a drunk Spring night. 

Let me be the CIA 
so I can turn half your neighborhood 
into a bunch of mindless junkies. 

Let me be alone—You can be a pain sometimes. 

Let me be the soup cans and brushes on the Warhola grave 
on the hill across from the slag dumps. 

Let me be the unspoken words of friendship 
between a man and a woman 
who will never become lovers. 

Let me be the imprints on your face 
when you wake up on the floor 
in front of the t.v. 
with your jacket as a pillow. 

Let me be the burnt-out bulb on the broken lamp, 
The broken lamp on the crooked coffee-table 
The crooked coffee-table on the dirty throw-rug 
The dirty throw-rug on the spotted on the floor. 
The spot where the blood dried. 
The blood when mom stabbed dad 
He hit her once too often 

Let me be your friend. 

Let me be your eyes, a hand to your darkness, so you won't be afraid. 
When you think the night has seen your mind, that inside you're twisted and unkind, 
let me stand to show that you are blind. Please put down your hands. 
'Cause I see you. 

I'll be your mirror. Reflect what you are. In case you don’t know. 
 

'Cause I find it hard 
To believe you don't know 
The beauty you are.

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