robert zverina

sample works > writing > Argyle Heir by The Ladybug Transistor





sample works
   -short films



   -day jobs


I'm driving a truckload of cluckers to a Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn when a song I've never heard before comes on the radio. Now, what's unusual about this is that I didn't have the radio turned on, but there all of a sudden is a song that's all flutes and coconuts and seaside hammock daydreams, and automobiles without doors--the kind of tune Syd Barrett and Brian Wilson might have written had they met on a south seas cruise. I've been running live chickens to Brooklyn from Iowa for years and it just occurs to me that I've never seen the ocean. I close my eyes and run a red light--it doesn't matter. The song ends, I open my eyes, I'm on an unfamiliar street: Argyle. How long had I been driving blind? "That was 'Fires on the Ocean' from The Ladybug Transistor's new album Argyle Heir," the DJ says, and he then tells me to take a left on Marlborough.

Who am I to argue? For the first time since we loaded up in Iowa, the chickens are silent. I roll down the window and turn the music up. A feather lands in my hair and I leave it there. There it is: Marlborough Farms. I've never been here before but it looks like the music I've been listening to: A pocket of perfection in an otherwise noisy and crowded place. The Ladybugs are on the porch, sipping lemonade. "I heard your song on the radio." I say, and begin singing. I don't normally sing, but there it is. "But we just finished recording that song a few minutes ago," they say, "You couldn't possibly have heard it on the radio." I borrow a guitar and sing them the rest of what I heard. I don't play guitar, but the notes come and the voice I hear is not my own. I finish and the only sound is ice settling in a glass.

They look at each other and smile. This hasn't happened before, but maybe it is a sign of things to come? They want to know: "Where are you taking these chickens?" "A Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn." Jennifer smiles and shakes her head, "Pull your truck around back..." The backyard is small, grown-over with all manner of garden plants and tall vegetables; it's hard to see in, there could be anything in there. The truck beeps as I reverse the trailer into place, a trailer full of chicken crates. The gate swings open on rusty hinges--fields and trees and rivers as far as the eye can see. We start unloading the chickens. "I'm gonna lose my job for this," I say. The band consults a minute, then presses the master into my hand. This is for you to do with as you please, they tell me. And the chickens run over the hill.

# # #

First published at earpollution.com

[ top ]