“I have a friend I’ve never seen. He hides his head inside a dream”

Cover love: this is the Indonesian cover of Fire, published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama. This one is a great example of how a cover doesn’t have to be particularly accurate to feel right. I’m pretty sure Fire never wears skintight sleeveless footie pajamas, but I LOVE this cover – I love the simplicity of lines and color; I love that her hair has a range of colors and tones, creating depth; I love that there’s a bit of her hair from the picture on the back cover sneaking across the top left, looking just like fire; I love that the image on the cover is raised (you can’t tell this from the picture); and I love that she looks like she’s about to shoot you! (I also love that each book comes with a matching bookmark tucked inside.) Thank you to my Indonesian designers.

About my subject line – I’m listening to an album of Neil Young covers by women artists, called Cinnamon Girl – Women Artists Cover Neil Young for Charity.  (The charity, called Casting for Recovery, supports people with breast cancer and breast cancer survivors.) My subject line is from “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” covered by Amilia K. Spicer. Love this album. It’s a great way to revisit Neil Young’s melodies and poetry, and it’s always interesting to hear a woman sing a man’s lyrics (and vice versa). Some become infantilizing and positively creepy (like “I Am a Child,” which contains the lyrics, “I am a child.… You are a man… You make the rules. You say what’s fair. It’s lots of fun to have you there….”) (otherwise a beautiful cover, by Britta Phillips). Others are just interesting. In Dala’s cover of “A Man Needs a Maid,” they change the pronouns, so that the song becomes about a man again, which kind of disappointed me, though the cover is beautiful. I’ll have to look for a female cover that owns the action. A favorite on the album: Jill Sobule’s “Down by the River.” Also: Lori McKenna’s “The Needle and the Damage Done.”