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Extra Lyrics To The Peter Hammill Book

Contents

A

FIX ON THE MIX

…………………… ………………………………………………… SONIX ……………………………………………………………………

…………………

1

2

X

MY HEART …………………………………………………………………………………

3

EVERYONE YOU HOLD …………….……………………………………………………….…

6

THIS

……………………………………………………………………………………………. 9

THE APPOINTED HOUR

…………………………………………………………………………

11

NONE OF THE ABOVE

………………………………………………………………………

12

WHAT, NOW?…………

………………………………………………………………………

15

UNSUNG

……………………………………………………………………………………

19

CLUTCH

……………………………………………………………………………………

20

INCOHERENCE

………………………………………………………………………………

22

PRESENT

……………………………………………………………………………………

25

SINGULARITY

………………………………………………………………………………

27

TRISECTOR

………………………………………………………………………………….

30

THIN AIR

……………………………………………………………………………………

32

A

GROUNDING IN NUMBERS……………………………………………………………………

35

CONSEQUENCES………………………………………………………………………………… 38

ALT…………………………….……………………………………………………………………

41

OTHER WORLD……………….……………………………………………………………………

42

…ALL THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.………………………………………………………………

44

DO NOT DUSTURB…………………………………………………………………………………

50

FROM THE TREES / X (TEN)………………………………………………………………………

53

IN AMAZONIA………………………………………………………………………………………

56

INDEX……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….….58

A Fix On The Mix

1

A FIX ON THE MIX

Auto (Wieder Im Wagen)

Wir fahren - was könnte schöner sein - Lichtpunkt in der Brandung. Scheibenwischerrhythmus lädt zum Tanzen ein, Lichterketten der Autobahn, lavaheller Gegenwind. Immer bleibt in der Ferne, was wir sein werden, je gewesen sind.

Wieder im Wagen, nichts was uns hier noch hält, wir haben keine festen Pläne, aber alle Zeit der Welt. Komm, steig ein in den Wagen, egal wohin, mein Kind besser voran mit Zuversicht als zu erreichen was wir sind.

Du enträtselst die Karte ein dunkles Märchen, das von Schwärmern stammt, Passierschein für die Unauffindbarkeit, unsre Fahne in den Fluchtpunkt gerammt. Ewigkeit am Steuer, mir ganz egal, wohin die Reise geht. Ich will soweit fahren, wie das Radio mir Bach in die Ohren weht.

Wieder im Wagen, die Nacht ist ein schwarzes Loch, und siehe wir bewegen uns -- also gibt es uns noch. Steig ein in das Auto, hauch den Rückspiegel blind, besser voran, so hoffen wir, als zu erreichen was wir sind.

Und wir fahr'n für immer und wir fahr'n für immer gib zu, auch Du hast schon dran gedacht, wir fahren weiter, wilder -- in das Nirgendniemandsland der schnellen Bilder.

Wieder im Wagen, Vollgas die ganze Nacht, der Highway wahrt sein Geheimnis, zuviel Zeit im Stand verbracht, also steig ein in den Wagen, hauch den Rückspiegel blind, besser voran mit Zuversicht, als zu erreichen was wir sind. Komm, steig ein in den Wagen, hier versteinern wir doch. Denn wenn wir in Bewegung sind, dann pulsieren wir noch.

Steig ein in den Wagen. Komm, steig ein in den Wagen. Hör ihm zu, lass dich tragen. Steig ein.

I Will Find You

Trapped like a rabbit by the future glare, onrushing headlights that blind you,

a frightened runaway,

at least you know I care,

I will seek, I will search, I will find you.

We are written in the star-crossed sky, the spirit music reminds you you can run and hide, but surely by and by

I will seek, I will search, I will find you.

Far away, in another life you say you're going to find your freedom don't run away to another life.

Don't be afraid, there's no dark unknown, no shadow stalking behind you don't be afraid, when you're lost and most alone

I will seek, I will search, I will find you.

Far away, in another life things might not be so very different don't run away to another life.

Trapped like a rabbit by the future glare, onrushing headlights that blind you,

a frightened runaway,

at least you know I care,

I will seek, I will search, I will find you.

Like A Shot, The Entertainer

Like a shot from the barrel of a smoking gun, he's not; still he aims for adoration.

On the spot where the kettle has been called black by the

pot

he awaits his true vocation. You're so hot, eggs are frying where you walk upon the

street;

what you got is the secret that he'd trade his soul to keep. Like a shot he will tell you all his stories -

is that what entertains the entertainer?

Like a shot of the elixir of youth your trade in stock, both a curse and a protection;

like a shot, in like Flynn, he'll tie his tongue up in a knot to profess his true affection. You're so hot, eggs are frying where you walk upon the

street;

you're so hot that he turns to tango every time you meet.

Like a shot he'll be thrown upon your mercy -

is that what entertains the entertainer?

Entertain the entertainer

Like a shot, like a paparazzo picture gone to pot his decay bears no reversal; on the rocks he will take his medicine straight but this is not, I repeat, not dress rehearsal.

2

Sonix

You're so hot, eggs are frying where you walk upon the street;

X the spot where he hopes he'll always fall upon his feet.

What a shock when he stumbles in the spotlight -

is that what entertains the entertainer?

Let's talk about something else; let's talk about us; let's talk about egocentricity; let's talk about keeping it up.

You're so hot, eggs are frying where you walk upon the street; what you got is the secret that he'd trade his soul to keep. Like a shot he'll regale you with his stories -

is that what entertains the entertainer?

Like a shot he'll be thrown upon your mercy -

is that what entertains the entertainer?

What a shock when he stumbles in the spotlight -

is that what entertains the entertainer?

Let's talk about something else; let's talk about us; let's talk about egocentricity; let's talk about keeping it up.

Favorit

Bleifuss drückt das GTi Cabriolet zu der Villa in der Sonne von Südfrankreich. Halt den Kopf schief, Baby, sing für ihn das alte Lied.

In Ewigkeit bist Du sein,

und Du bist immer sein Favorit.

Schneller Vorlauf auf dem flimmernden Urlaubsfilm:

Du brauchst Farbe, hol Dir Strahlen von der Sonnenbank. Du verwaltest sein Investment auf der Schönheitsfarm.

Halt den Kopf tief, Baby,

und hab nie das letzte Wort.

In Ewigkeit bist Du sein,

und Du bist immer sein Favorit.

Perlenketten fesseln Dich,

zu spät für die Unabhängigkeit.

In Samt und Seide glüht

das Brandmal seiner Herde. Zieh den Kopf ein, Baby, wer hat Dich um Rat gefragt. Mach Dein Haar schön, Baby,

und hab nie das letzte Wort.

In Ewigkeit bist Du sein,

doch bleibst Du immer sein Favorit?

Bleifuss drückt das GTi Cabriolet. Die Neue wirk schon fast wie Deine Tochter. Bleifuss drückt das GTi Cabriolet.

In Ewigkeit bist Du sein,

doch bleibst Du immer sein Favorit?

SONIX

Emmene-Moi Bare Theme

(instrumental)

A Walk In The Dark

(instrumental)

In The Polish House

(instrumental)

Dark Matter

(instrumental)

Hospital Silence

(instrumental)

Four To The Floor

(instrumental)

Exercise For Louis

(instrumental)

Labyrinthine Dreams

There you are, in the air, you start at the stillness and the motion. Where you are, are you scared and far from the source of the secret scene? There you are, on the where of where you've been. There you are, on the square and come full circle. Where you are, do you care that you're part of a higher state unseen? There you are, is that where you are, at the centre. You exit, and you enter labyrinthine dreams.

There you are,

There you are, is that where you are, at the centre. You exit, and you enter Keep your feet on the beam.

There you are, Where you are, There you are, on the where of where you've been, There you are, come full circle,

X My Heart

3

Where you are, There you are, at the centre. You exit, and you enter labyrinthine dreams.

There you are,

(thanks to Manuel Grande! -K.V.-)

Emmene-Moi Full Theme

(instrumental)

X MY HEART

A Better Time (Acapella)

As surely as the countdown begins our time is not our

own

already there's the breath of the wind which bleaches

bare the bones of the deadlines we set, of the jokes we don't get and forgetfulness that furrows the brow no I'll never find a better time to be alive than now.

So I wake up, to remainder the dream of personality and posture and face for nothing can remain as it seems in some perfect state of pure grace all we prize and protect only cause and effect but I suspect the furrow may be guiding the plough and I'll never find a better time to be alive than now.

No better, no worse, much the same, we wait on the why and the when; no question but we'll go as we came with no shift in the shape of the zen and it is as it is and we take as we find always next season's buds on the bough but I'll never find a better time hard though it is to allow I'll never find a better time to be alive than now.

This is the life and we've only time to be alive right now.

Amnesiac

I can't think of anything I did or was doing

I can't seem to get a hold on what's come to pass here with half a mind on something else and half a finger in the glass, since you ask.

I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be going

in the end every journey's only pawing in the ground and I've half a mind just to jack it in, but for this torn-off ticket stub I just found.

Since you ask about the shape I'm in I'll try my best to pull myself around.

Amnesiac if you say it's so amnesiac what happened long ago? Oh, now I just don't know.

I can't think of anyone that I'd rather be with

but I don't know why you should want to stick here with

me

when I can't find what was on my mind for all the holes punched in my memory:

it's a wasteland, and I'm terrified to admit, to let go, to accept I don't know

4

X My Heart

all those blanks won't be filled I'll be found by the chill of the glacier run of what I might have done since you last asked about the state I'm in it seems I've lost all grip on where I'm coming from

(It isn't written, you can take it as read if you dare to believe it the buts stop where the arrow's sped, this is the main chance, take it or leave it.) It isn't written but still I take it as read.

Amnesiac does it so plainly show? Amnesiac as if I didn't know, Amnesiac oh say it isn't so

heard the grass growing under my feet - oh, princess, what might have been? Once your kisses were so bittersweet that I got caught in the in-between.

I

Amnesiac,

amnesiac,

Strange voices came and went

amnesiac,

(It isn't certain, but it's 90%, yeah, you'd better believe it.

black-out, K.O.

The buck stops when the arrow's spent, this is the get-

Ram Origami

Here's the lost boy with the brittle smile, plastered panstick on his face, making himself up; for a little while all the fragments will remain in place. We are only what we manage to retrieve

out of memory (Who do you think you are?)

Inside, it's a hailstorm visibility transformed by outer confidence and charm step up to take responsibility, step down to keep the pieces of identity calm and the moment we believe that we got it all in place is the very moment when the cup overflows

out of memory.

(Who do you think you are? Where did you say you'd been? What did you think you were? How did it seem? How does it seem?)

There goes the who, the what, the why and wherefore all folded up in origami stuff:

people and places we once cared for we remember, but not vividly enough and it's all blank paper when we finally open up with not even watermarks as messages to trace only folds in the floe of the frozen face out of memory.

A Forest Of Pronouns

Yes, questions coming up on the autocue and I'm open to suggestion but can I say the same for you? So lost in the forest of pronouns that I can't see the wood for the trees Got to face up to the showdown between you, me and him, which is we?

Strange language fills my head:

out,

take it or leave it.) If I'm uncertain still I leave it unsaid.

I can't take it, can't leave it.

Yes, questions - though responses remain unsure; still I stay open for suggestions - for this there's no simple cure. And I got lost in the forest of pronouns so I can't see the wood for the trees.

Strange language floods my head (It isn't certain, but it's 90%, yeah, you'd better believe it. The butts stop where the arrow's sped, this is the get-out, take it or leave it.)

It isn't written

do

I take it as read?

I can't take it, can't leave it.

Earthbound

My heart flew in my mouth

the moment that your eyes locked mine.

I blurted something out

along these lines:

We're earthbound but we all long for flight

My heart's worn on my sleeve:

I'd offer all I could contrive if only you'd believe you flood my mind. We're earthbound but you spring my heart alive.

My heart's stopped in its tracks - what train of thought has just arrived while gravity's cruel tax drags me to ground? We're earthbound but you spring my heart to life. We spin around, we're earthbound but you spring me free to flight.

Eathbound,

we're earthbound,

all earthbound

X My Heart

5

but we all long for flight.

Heartbreak the anagram:

(But hero Dan had no brute boar hunted; doubt he ran but heard no burned oath; undo breath, do burn hate, be hard unto

burned oath, undo breath

)

Earthbound.

Narcissus (Bar & Grill)

It's a private club, so exclusive that the membership is one, you can walk right in, can be sure your face is always welcome here. Drink up your fill: this is the Narcissus bar & grill so you can do what you will to reveal who you are.

You can settle down, select your entertainment - on reflection you'll be there in every surface; you can take your time, there's no need to have a reservation here. Drink up your fill in the Narcissus bar & grill. Sweet daffodil, what a fascination you are. Ooh, what a thrill: you can be your own lucky star.

Falling in love with your reflection, I guess you've found your blind spot. (Don't fall in love with your reflection, no heart could handle the rejection:

you're going to dive deep into the well.) You had a name once but it seems that now you've lost it, you had a name but you've forgotten it now.

Classic lessons to be learned, just a word of caution, self-absorption doesn't guarantee respect:

what you'll get you'll earn

this is not what you desire or expect, drowning in the watering-hole and don't imagine that you're one of the elect Pay up your bill: in the Narcissus bar & grill there's time left to kill, better start to see who you are. Think good or ill of the Narcissus bar & grill it's all grist to the mill, it's all kissing that scars. Go on and drink up your fill, do what you will, it won't reveal what you are. Drink up your fill, it's time to pay up your bill.

eye on the main chance,

Falling in love with your reflection, I guess you've found your blind spot:

you're going to dive deep into the well. (Don't fall in love with your reflection, no heart could handle the rejection:

of getting lost in introspection

You had a name once but it seems that you forgot it; you had a name but it seems that now you've lost it; you had a name but, baby, you've not got it now.

)

Material Possession

Every loss a legacy every gain ill-gotten, the golden apples on the tree are all potentially rotten.

Pluck the fruit and bear no mind, so the poison bloom advances - the hand that clasps too tight will never grasp its chances.

All the things that you've got will not be worth a lot if the owning becomes an obsession meaning nothing more than mere material possession.

Broken, lost, the precious thing, does that make your life so empty? stars shine alike upon the ditch and on the land of Plenty. the thing that's gone was always going to be gone, what's left is some remembered pleasure - only their loss confirms the things we ever learned to treasure.

And the things that you claim are only ever yours in name - do you think that they'll leave an impression? Only flesh and bone are the true material possessions.

Your lighter's worth a watch, your watch would buy a car, your car is worth a house with rooms to rattle round in. Try to make the house a home that's yours and yours alone:

you dredge a lake of dreams to fill with tears and drown in. Now the flame will soon be dowsed and time is running out, the wheel will turn full circle, then we'll all be foundlings.

And all the things that we own are never ours alone, no, they just pass through our hands in succession - shake the spirit, shake the blood, shake the flesh and shake the bone shake free from material possession.

Every loss is treasure trove, every gain is faded, every taste and every touch will finally be jaded. When in the end all life is spent, what we bought was mere digression:

the price we pay shaking free from material possession.

Come Clean

There's no getting back to how it started and the next few pages are uncharted, there's no secret passage, no speedy getaway - what do you say now? We could talk about this in a calmer state but if we wait it won't get any easier. So we're damned if we do and damned if we don't, we can't deny what each action means:

come clean.

Everything you've done is carried with you and no-one's ever going to forgive you if you won't come to terms with where and who you've been:

look at the screen now. Stir up the ghosts of your own forgetfulness, don't pack up your troubles in the sleeping bag.

6

Everyone You Hold

Don't ignore what you saw but believe how it seems, you can try to make a brand new start. We can only do our best, with an open heart come clean, wipe the slate clean, come clean.

The slates clean but there's something that you never forget:

though it's hidden in your most secret place it's still written in the memories that you've buried - worse yet

it's restructured in the lines of your face

come clean.

No spooling on to how it's ending and the next few pages are mindbending:

the territory's minefield and the needle's in the red. Let's put it to bed now, cook up a cover story for our given lots, be do or damned, stand by the forget-me-not. there'll be no blame for the stain that a lived-in life leaves, no shame in what might have been. We can only do our best but our lives'll never be pristine - come clean, the slate's clean, come clean.

Maybe what I mean's this is as clean as it ever gets

A Better Time

As surely as the countdown begins our time is not our own already there's the breath of the wind which bleaches bare the bones of the deadlines we set, of the jokes we don't get and forgetfulness that furrows the brow no I'll never find a better time to be alive than now.

So I wake up, to remainder the dream of personality and posture and face for nothing can remain as it seems in some perfect state of pure grace all we prize and protect only cause and effect but I suspect the furrow may be guiding the plough and I'll never find a better time to be alive than now.

No better, no worse, much the same, we wait on the why and the when; no question but we'll go as we came with no shift in the shape of the zen and it is as it is and we take as we find always next season's buds on the bough but I'll never find a better time hard though it is to allow I'll never find a better time to be alive than now.

This is the life and we've only time to be alive right now.

EVERYONE YOU HOLD

Everyone You Hold

Everyone you hold takes a piece of you away; everyone you know pricks the image of the human clay and everybody's laughing - the joke goes mouth to mouth and slips away.

Everyone you hold leaves you something of themself; everyone you told spreads your secret on the warehouse shelf and everybody buys it for everyone's in commerce and in trade.

When every sweet embrace has faded the voices dip, the faces dim and memory drifts away - still you stay in everyone you hold.

Everyone you hold no, they never leave your side; everybody knows there are secrets we can't hope to hide. If everyone is with you then you can never be alone at all and everyone forgives you - accumulated whispers, Chinese walls.

Now everyone you knew with smiles that you've seen through is waving distant semaphore:

we flag, it's true

But you're still in everyone you hold.

Everyone you hold, everyone you hold, everyone you told knows.

Personality

Not the same, we are changed and we are changing still; I've been waiting for the beans to spill. If the truth be told all the plots will unfold:

we've as many lives as we have friends or acquaintances, we're all only fractions of a whole.

Self-belief glues together personality; well-accomplished in all vanity, in a life-long dream the consciousnesses stream through as many lives as this: all the voices in our heads.

My brother's keeper under no lock or key will you always look out for me?

Everyone You Hold

7

I don't remember, I don't remember,

I don't remember the names,

the essential's familiar, the personality's under change

Through your eyes

I can see reflections of my own,

I feel I'm losing sight of all I've known

and I'm spiralling down, in the gene-pool drowned Truth is buried deep and just as well:

we've as many lives as lies we tell, all the seld-taught fragments of fractured personalities.

I don't remember your name.

Nothing Comes

Consternation out of the box as the conversation runs onto the rocks; in full expectation nothing comes as a shock.

It's all plain sailing in the dry dock; it's all downhill from here, in the rubble, taking stock with no sense of feeling nothing comes as a shock.

You remind me of the girlfriend I never had:

never fitted the equation, I was never quite one of the lads. Still I remember that my feelings were always touch and go once I thought I knew all that, now I just don't know.

The wrap's about to happen, the scene is already blocked, black-out's already plotted and the cameras are locked:

when everything's over nothing comes as a shock.

I remember that my feelings were always touch and go

once I thought I knew it all, now I just don't know.

From The Safe House

This is not the final call, and this is not a ghostly guide and these are not the words for which we've waited; still we're glued to the headsets while the world's collapsed outside is it all really over now? It doesn't matter if no-one else will hear. Now you can say what you want, all outspoken. Oh no, it doesn't matter, no-one can get near us now so we can send in clear.

The storm cloud's broken and the old rule's fallen down; the winds of history whip us naked. Nothing's familiar on the streets of the old town and chaos is the currency. It doesn't matter if no-one else can hear us now It's time to send in clear, send in clear. Here in the Safe House, fear in the Safe House

No messages for coding,

no sense in subterfuge

but here we are and here it's ending.

all hope's in flight,

Last secrets to be whispered and the dying of the light are all that we have left now.

It doesn't matter if no-one else can hear,

now we can say what we want, all is open. At least it doesn't matter, no-one can get near us now It's time to send in clear. Here in the Safe House all clear And they're coming for you now, if you're ready or you're not and they're coming for you now - are you ready? No, you're not and they're here.

Phosphorescence

Across the ocean of the night you turn and look into my eyes, burn into my life. Now the moment's magical but we keep our silence

You could tell me anything you want, you could tell me all your secret wishes; only in our eyes, only in our eyes we made the soul kiss and we will never pass this way again we will never know each other better; ships pass in the night and in their wake they leave just phosphorescence.

You could tell me any lies you want,

it wouldn't change the way I feel about this;

only in our eyes, only in our eyes we made the soul kiss and we will never pass this way again but we'll always feel each other's presence ships pass in the night and when we wake we're left with phosphorescence

Falling Open

I see

what isn't there and what might be:

all the pages falling open.

Out of my grasp the future floods my fingers:

the blood that binds the bone for us a given, unforgiving known. All I've known unknowing

Although I'm stumbling onward on the words The script is always clasped within my hand, encrypted. now I see

A loosening grip,

a palm asweat from clenching

the binding's ripped, leaves fluttering to the floor.

The book slips through my fingers, all the pages falling open.

8

Everyone You Hold

Bubble

Let's begin at the top:

there's no reason to think that this will ever stop, so let's go back and start again; in this finite uncertainty we'll circle round and then sail a craft of self-conviction across tomorrow-never-knows where the surface stays unruffled while the coral clusters quietly down below.

Cutting figures of pride and will like Leonardo cartoons we go flying formation in our hot-air speech balloons.

Can't go back, can't reverse no-one here really quite believes the bubble's going to, the bubble's going to, the bubble's going to burst.

I fell off the raft of self-assurance

into undertow that sucked me dry and deep; bent double by thought bubbles flooding through my blood

I surfaced from a lifetime's worth of sleep.

I remember once I gave myself the lecture,

swore on life as both a blessing and a curse but all solid faith seems nothing but conjecture

now the bubble's going to, bubble's going to, bubble's going to, bubble's going to burst.

And our bones become the coral of the future and we slake the life-long thirst; with a pin-prick, on a reef like a razor, the bubble's going to burst.

The bubble's sure to burst.

Can Do

When you're fingered by self-doubt, my dear, no-one is innocent or guilty. Chained, your reaction when you're on the spot:

the flower of faith is wilting. But if there's something that you've left behind there'll be something else upcoming make what you will, the future happens; now this is something that you just won't find till later.

No disillusion or despair will be defeat, no simple disappointment should stay you get up upon your feet, stand up: life is sweet with will we'll all shine through Don't you ever give up on me I will never give up on you Don't you ever say "Can't", till you try you don't know quite what you Can do

can do,

can do.

When the long wave of the future breaks we're all transmitters and receivers, babes, and we're swaddled in the changeling room. If this is nothing less than mystic

and yet something more than strange still there's nothing worth remembering for tomorrow you could ever change

I think you got it,

I think you got it,

it's in the pocket.

You know your place, you know your name, you got your slot,

you got the strength to be exactly what you want to. With faith in faith intact, time to test the given facts:

when we wake we'll be made brand new and I'll be there right beside you.

I believe in time we'll all shine through Don't you ever give up on me I will never give up on you Don't you ever say "Can't", if you know that's

not true

Don't you ever say "Won't", when you know you'll pull through Don't you ever say "Can't", till you try you don't know what you Can do.

Can do, can do. Don't you say you can't do it; till you try you don't know what you can do. You say you can't do it - says who?

Tenderness

Nothing I can say, but this much I can do:

if you want I'll stay and be with you. Just let the tears flood down and, yes,

I can offer you tenderness.

What is gone is gone, it can be no more, so we must move along and close the door. I'm not his match, this I confess - but still I offer you tenderness. No more, no less:

I can offer you tenderness.

He'll stay with you, I know now's the time to remember and let go.

Life will turn around though now it's growing dim, although you feel the light's gone out with him. Cry out all your tears, you loved him best - still I offer you tenderness, no more, no less; deep in your distress I'm here to offer some tenderness. I'm here to offer you tenderness. All I can offer's tenderness.

Remember and let go.

This

9

THIS

Frozen In Place

(fragment)

Unrehearsed

I can't be your protector,

can't keep you under my wing. This is not a rehearsal,

this is the real thing this is the real thing. This is for real.

Stupid

 

I'm

Time for the unrehearsed entrance. show show a leg you can break, down the cocktail while it's laughing at you for heaven's sake

(so stupid)

Along this pilgrim's accidental progress I'd bump into the walls as like as not;

can't be your protector from these deliberate mistakes.

I

It's no surprise I didn't notice when I lost the plot.

Between the "can't" and the "maybe"

went and did something (so stupid, so dumb)

I

a lifetime's hovering in the wings:

grasp the nettle, bite the bullet push your own buttons and pull your own strings. Name your poison while you've got the power, 100 proof.

I can't be your protector from self-neglect or abuse. This is not a rehearsal and fear is not an excuse.

And if you won't step out on the boards you'll find your place already on the shelf - you can only find the sum of your parts yourself.

Unprepared and unready, is that an excuse or point of view? You can block out the words in anagrammatical sword play but it's your own life you'll be running though. Time to drink a cocktail of your own invention for pity's sake.

I can't be your protector,

I won't be there when you wake

to honour all the hidden intentions in your deliberate mistakes, behind your deliberate mistakes.

Deliberation could be mistaken for coldness of the heart; Procrastination won't get you anywhere except aloof and apart; what's the golden opportunity on here for - isn't it just this? Go! Start!

Unrehearsed and unready that's what we are, what we've all been cast into It's not four square, the beat's unsteady but this is this and making something of it's up to you.

An unexpected exit's always waiting although you think it's something you'll bluff your way through. Spit that wooden spoon out of your mouth and eat up - the moment's long overdue. Take your medicine and face whatever the future brings

Error-message ever more intensive, red lights were burning on the air - no I can't say that I was consequentially unaware

when I did something

(so stupid, so dumb)

I saw it coming

(so stupid) now all I want to know is how come (how come?) we're all fingers and thumbs?

Confused but not entirely aimless, though you might find comfort here is faint; if we lived lives that were quite blameless then we'd all be saints;

I don't think so.

Get a life:

you've got to do something (so stupid) we all do something (so dumb) self-seed our own destruction

nobody understands it, how come we're all fingers and

thumbs?

Since The Kids

It was simple, we were man and wife; something happened to change everything in life and made us fell small but we were giants nonetheless and here we are all in the family portrait.

I've been sliding in a 2, 4-wheel skid:

something happened to me and since the kids all time's gone awry, direction's askew

I never thought that I

would ever feel so used up.

The sense of wonder, the note of panic, demands you just can't ignore nothing prepares you to be a parent, looking to join the strands of the broken chord.

10

This

What you wanted, what I couldn't give something happened to us - oh, but since the kids inherit the earth we had to plough and drill the field, nurture the shoots with our hopes and fears, never wonder about the future yield.

(Never wonder, never wonder, this is real)

I've been thinking about all we did, much mistaken but anyway, since the kids are now almost grow with the future in their own hands what's done is done - there'll be no unmaking our half-baked plans.

Here comes the gold watch, I'll take the pension, I want the lifetime award; all for the best, with the best of intentions, the children are their own reward

mend the broken chord.

Nightman

At the dead of night, I woke with the sense that my dreams were escaping, all uncannily unspoken like words at the tip of a foreign tongue

As for language, I have none to express quite what strangeness overwhelms me:

something's changed and something tells me to be still in the roar of the distant stars. The night's full of fire, ice and water; by day I'll have clay in my hands.

The book is open at a well-thumbed mark the odds are stacked that I'm facing. Eyes grown accustomed to light and dark can't catch the shadows they're chasing. Open, my heart, to the vital spark - a disordered rhythm is racing, it's a dance macabre I'm tracing.

As the fire feeds the flame, as the tongue finds expression in its flickering, does each breath inform a name to be dispersed just a soon as it's exhaled?

Was it to myself I came or to some other strange and parallel existence? Will I ever see tomorrow, to wake and begin it again?

Open, the book at a well-read page, hope triumphs over expectation; open, the secrets of seer and sage in awe-inspired anticipation

Open, my mind in the body's cage, unchained in consecration; open, my eyes, to the wider stage the firestorm of liberation -

the night in conflagration.

With a shiver down my spine

I come back to the place where I started; the sea of consciousness has parted but stranded is all that I feel for sure. As nightsight declines into darkness by day there'll be clay in my hands.

I may feel the clay in my hands.

Fallen (The City Of Night)

Streets half-familiar that I once called home the breath of phantoms now fogs the light; the skin I shuffled strangely outgrown. Fallen, the city of night.

Lost geographics of mortar and lime formed the arena for fight or flight; all's buried under the leafstorm of time, fallen in the city of night, fallen the city of night.

All of the fences overblown, all of the gardens overgrown, all of the towers overthrown; all that I knew shall be over, become unknown in the city of night.

I know that I've been here before,

I know that I've been here before,

but that was in another lifetime.

What once seemed blessed now feels accursed with words the spendthrift burned by candlelight but now this miser's mouth is pursed:

fallen, the city of night.

I know that I've been here before

but that was in another lifetime.

Unready

(fragment)

Always Is Next

(fragment)

Unsteady

(fragment)

The Light Continent

All the fields that you overflown are frozen, they flow like glass down the frame in formlessness. Only the fragile fluttering of you heart still marks you chosen,

The Appointed Hour

11

chosen to dare, your face defiant of the featureless.

Your face defies the featureless, You're facing the featureless.

A

horizon of light blurs the boundaries of whiteness

as

the distance is shimmered into timeless brightness now.

And the slow flooding tide is begun as it's ended - the barometer dropping and the fog descended down, down.

In the endless day, at this hour long-appointed,

subterranean humming and the compass unpointed,

the compass disjointed, the compass down.

Deep in the core the heart of ice forms,

a tempo of life like that of stalagmites,

a flood of the frozen, the flux of the blood aflame in Antarctic white.

Any marks that you made only scratched at the surface only retinal image ties you into the circuit now.

In this empty expanse every shadow is shining

the indifference of nature: your significance tiny now. Dive down.

All the fields &c.

Timeless the day, absorbing every wavelength of the light. Frozen in place, our footfall on the ice. What have our shadows meant

in the light continent?

THE APPOINTED HOUR

Up

(instrumental)

Are They

(instrumental)

Your Heart

(instrumental)

And Let This

(instrumental)

Wise Men

(instrumental)

So How

(instrumental)

To Know

(instrumental)

Fools

(instrumental)

In

(instrumental)

Where

(instrumental)

To Tread

(instrumental)

Fool Rush

(instrumental)

12

None Of The Above

Fear

(instrumental)

Open

(instrumental)

Never

(instrumental)

Rush In

(instrumental)

But

(instrumental)

In Love

(instrumental)

Angels

(instrumental)

Fall

(instrumental)

NONE OF THE ABOVE

Touch And Go

Between the light and the shadow, out of the corner of my eye

I saw your feathers all ruffled,

anticipating the sky You've got no reason to stay, day by day your impatience has grown. I'm caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, I know. I'm reaching out but we are touch and go.

Making a meal of the moment

I might cook up a story or two,

but the dish of the day's getting colder

and I know that, pretty soon, you'll pick up your bed and walk, open your wings and fly away from me across the leaden, hammer-headed sky while I can't breathe a word, no matter how I try.

So scared it shows that we are touch and go.

I never brought myself to tell you

how you kept all my demons at bay but my silence came out as indifference and now my diffidence has driven you away. You'll be the one with the wings, I'm going down in flames, still mouthing out the mystery, my angel, of your name. How touch and go our tenderness became.

(So scared to show

I know we're touch and go)

So touch and go, so much I can't explain.

(So much is unexplained.)

Naming The Rose

He had worked on this for years since they know they'd be childless:

to hybridise a thornless and deep-scented damask rose. She was always by his side in the lengthening shadows this case is closed.

Ena Harkness, Constance Spry, Emily Grey, Margaret Merrill, Zepherine Drouhin, Aimee Vibert and Blanche Moreau -

all these spirits still survive in the act of the grower

(in peace and compassion he's naming the rose,

)

None Of The Above

13

naming the rose in the memory of sweetness.

Dedication to the call and he offers up the hope that love conquers all.

It's not easy to explain how he felt at her passing the very day on which the most perfect bloom was full-blown; tender cruelty that she'd never share in this moment, naming the rose.

He takes her ashes to the seed-bed and works them in gently

so

that her soul will rise like sap

in

the plants as they grow

and then whispering her name writes it out on the label, naming the rose, naming the rose for the sake of her sweetness.

Naming the rose

in the memory of sweetness.

How Far I Fell

(Here's the old man and his not-so-childlike bride; here's the humbling of us all, delusion never dies; here's the story: anyone can fall at any time at all. We're born to be fools in life.)

I was the king of the mountain,

I had everything that money couldn't buy:

at the summit of ambition I was ready for the sky.

I viewed the world from this, my citadel

oh, how I fell.

Silent and sleeping, the volcano,

so I thought that I stood square upon my feet.

I ignored the warning tremors in my hubris, I repeat -

I never saw you coming, Jezebel oh, how I fell.

As I look back now on the tears I was to cry

I am holding on to the vestiges of pride,

I am holding on, but I will never be the one to tell how far I fell.

(Here's the old man and his not-so-childlike bride; here's the humbling of us all, delusion never dies; here's the story: anyone can fall at any time at all. We're born to be fools in life.)

A fool and his money are soon parted

and there's nothing like an old fool, so they say:

once the plastic had been melted quickly you were on your way, leaving me drowning in the wishing-well - oh, how I fell.

You'll never know how deep you cut me, although anyone can see the state I'm in.

So I pay the price of such unoriginal sin but I will never bring myself to tell how far I fell.

Somebody Bad Enough

I keep your picture in the back of the book as index to my hidden pages;

a secret life

is where we meet and I'll not let you go.

I know you think that I'm a bit of a creep

but I will grow on you in stages until you recognise that we're both in so deep that it's contagious.

And if you love somebody bad enough

I believe in the end they will offer you in their lives.

I keep the website stocked with pictures of you;

I love to scan your shocked expression.

I know that you're the only one who really understands all about possession.

And if you love somebody bad enough

you will follow their footsteps wherever they're going in

life;

and if you love somebody bad enough

I believe in the end they let you in their lives.

And if you love somebody bad enough

you will follow their footsteps wherever they lead you in

life;

and, yes, I love somebody bad enough

I believe in the end you will let me in your life.

Tango for One

And every time you call me

I wait to hear what favour you require of me this time The object of your own desire, not everything's about you, I'm not exactly hanging on your words, this audience is restive, perhaps you've not observed because it's me, me, me with you and what I feel means not a lot. No, I don't need this, you're welcome to what you've got.

Not everything's about you, my world does not revolve around whatever problem you want solved; perhaps you might do better with a fresh resolve. But it's always me, me, me with you and I have had it up to here; no, I don't need this - you're welcome to yourself, my dear.

You're welcome to the party, so glad your guests have all arrived.

14

None Of The Above

They're all reflecting your brilliance in their adoring eyes. You're welcome to this moment, everybody's here for you but you'll be dancing by yourself before the night is through.

Not everything's about you, not everything's about you, not everything about you's true.

And every time you call me your self-obsession grows:

you'll stew in your own juices, I suppose. I've had enough of listening, there's nobody at home; not everything's about you, everybody knows that everything about you's emperor's new clothes.

You're welcome to the party, so glad that everybody came; oh, how they admire you as your worth is self-proclaimed! The spittoons fill up with vitriol while you're puffing up your name. Yes, you're welcome to this moment you perceive as your righteous fame; and if exhausting our patience has long been your chosen game you're a winner, you're a champion in your own eyes you're a saint. Is that what you've become?

Yes, you're welcome to yourself but when this one-off race is run not everything's about you. Not everything's about you, and getting on without you won't be hard, if of comfort that's a crumb.

It's always me, me, me with you; surely it can't be so much fun to find you're dancing a tango for one?

Like Veronica

Wear your hair like Veronica Lake and he says you look ever so pretty as he brushes the tear from your cheek almost tenderly soon he'll be home.

Falling in love was your first mistake, with a heart that held no trace of pity. As you look in the mirror you wonder what face you will see when he comes home.

Soon he'll be in through the door in a cloud of rage and impotence; calling you whore, his greeting is a Glasgow Kiss; down on the floor you raise your arms but there is no defence he's only in love with his fists.

Wear your hair like Veronica Lake and the bruises won't show where he hits you; safe behind the curtain, in private, in secret nobody will see how he comes home.

Soon he'll be

into your face in a spittle-stream of vitriol and abuse, filling the place with the stench of alcohol and piss; no saving grace, no comfort, no escape and no excuse:

he's only in love with his fists.

If this is all that there is isn't there somewhere to run to? Or do you think in the future he'll change his ways? Is that why you stay?

He is not your heaven-sent protector, he is not an angel from above, he is not the man that you once married: now his fists are all he loves. He is just a weakling and a bully, he is not the devil in disguise; he is not the man that you once married, he only wants to see you cry. He only wants to hear you beg, he only wants to see you hurt, he only wants to see you bleed, he only want to make you cry. He is not your heaven-sent protector, he is not an angel from above, he is not the man that you once married: now his fists are all he loves.

Oh, darling, darling, is that why you stay?

His fists are all he loves.

In a Bottle

With the sense of anticipation burning on his skin and the train of consequences running at full throttle, before the touch, before the kiss, this moment just before their history begins, he'd give anything to put this in a bottle.

No sense of time, no sense of place, in case of senselessness he'll swear to her alone, (He'll swear to her alone.) though he knows tomorrow this will be another face he's forgotten (No memory's quite his own) before the fire, before the fall, all this is magical, the future so unknown, he'd pay anything to get this in a bottle, (as if that's a thing he could ever own) he'd pay anything to get this in a bottle.

Don Juan had been so careful but he let it slip that the elixir he craved was moist upon her faithless lips and in the hint of her perfume that lingered on his fingertips distillation.

Overstrength, this eau-de-vie.

(What a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip finally He got the bottle, he knocked back the eau-de-vie.)

He's stripped of recollection, he's left with no protection, this won't come again,

What, Now?

15

although he always knew that he'd foresee much more than he'd ever remember. (This won't come again.) Losing the thread, losing the plot,

it wasn't/not possible to stay on fire as he was then, he'd do anything to breathe life in these embers.

(But the secret stays untold

He'd give anything to get life from these embers. (and the fire has grown cold, cold, cold.)

)

Between the present and the past, his mouth agape and the elixir he drained has twisted essence out of shape; and with dark perfume he is wraithed now that the genie has escaped from the bottle.

Sangrial, the eau-d-vie.

(What a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip finally eau-de-vie, eau-de-vie. Don Juan had been so careful but he let it slip. Don Juan had been so careful. Eau-de-vie )

Astart

Always we're too young to understand that life is neither cruel nor fair, at random or well-planned. So we stride along the shoreline while our footprints in the sand are washed away and then say "Can I begin again?"

But where you come from's who you've been and try as you may your debts all stay unredeemed (maybe that's why they seem) when all history's as distant as your dreams you close your eyes and count to ten, say "Can I begin again?"

Every action, every passion, every rational retraction, every breath a start

Always we're too young to comprehend, nobody here will ever know the whole story, how it ends. (Our lovers and our friends

Holding them closely in the noblest of pretence - life's just got started when you find you can't begin again.

)

(Every action, every passion, forms a little chain reaction, every breath astart. Every moment, lost or stolen forms the story, base or golden: go from where we are.)

Always we're too young to understand

(Every action, every passion, forms a little chain reaction, every breath astart.)

WHAT, NOW?

Here Come the Talkies

Hair in the gate, let's take a minute to find out where this character's lost his way unless I'm much mistaken I'm at the limit of what I can and can't say.

Something untoward seems to be occurring, the best that I can do is play along for much as I deplore it the camera's still turning you don't have to be bad to be in the wrong, you don't have to be bad to get it all wrong.

Fighting the light, there's not much time What future bright is mine?

In the course of that scene you looked right through me, though I was holding your attention as best I could. I feel I'm dropping down the credits of my own movie Even when you're in the right you could be gone for good; take a look at these shoes where the understudy stood.

Fighting the light, there's not much time What future bright is mine?

With uncertainty as a constant companion yeah you'll never be alone if you're open to your own self-doubt better let it out.

This is no time for you to stutter in dismay as frame by frame all your references unlock; wired up as anything, the future's on its way like electricity, you judder with the shock. You judder with the shock, until you're utterly unblocked; yeh, you judder with the shock.

Time to get a grip, we're all mummers in a freak show, come on, read my lips and then maybe you'll acquire a different taste. Take another tip, find a method in the madness when everything is stripped I see no fortune in your face. Oh, look out!

Walking on the coals your star was never brighter, good as solid gold, but that standard's not so relevant today - typecast in the role, is your strength all in your silence?

Here come the talkies - what's that you say?

Fashion what you make from the clay of your experience; you might deserve a break but the longer you go on the less it's fair; you be sure to claim your stake, but the ground below you's shifted.

16

What, Now?

Just like Rudy as the Sheikh do you feel there's something alien in the air?

Here come the talkies, obsolescence guaranteed; here come the talkies, don't you see?

And you never thought you'd feel so absurd, but now you're fluffing your famous last words

Thank you and goodnight.

Fighting the light, there's always time to stand and fight your decline

Hair in the gate, that Klieg light, dim it. Let's find out how this character acts at bay:

If he's strong in his belief there'll be no limit to what he can and can't say, to what he can and can't

Fighting the light, in tune with time what future bright will be mine?

Will, be mine.

Far-flung (across the sky)

Alone beneath a foreign sky I wonder could I be any further flung than this?

Against the winds which cast me to this distant shoreline

I can still blow a kiss

to fly off in migration, heading homeward with all my thoughts upon the wing to you. Though all our dreams and wishes seem so distant this much we can always do

If we just raise our eyes we'll share the sky.

The evening sun upon my cheeks already the glimmer of a dawn approaching you; across the curvature of earth invisible connections bind us true.

If we just close our eyes we'll be together in a little time if we just raise our eyes we'll share the sky.

The American Girl

She doesn't eat, she doesn't sleep for if she slept then she would dream about this:

a place where she'd be treated with respect and sympathy. The American girl set her sights on the old world, thinking in the old world she'd find honesty.

And so she blew in like a breath of fresh air,

captivating all around her; and as she passed she left a trail of heartbreak in her wake. The American girl cut her teeth on the old world, all at once the old world hers upon a plate and fascinated by her face the old world sealed her fate.

She felt she'd come home across the sea, this was where she was meant to be.

She didn't understand the potency of envy so ingrained in the culture and soon she found contempt had grown from her familiarity. She doesn't eat, she doesn't sleep, she lies awake and wonders how this happened. The American girl stubbed her toe on the old world and the old world's unforgiving rigidity.

Well times got hard and talk came cheap; she found that finally something wasn't right across the sea now she's stateless in all but her memory.

Wendy and the Lost Boy

Dear Wendy, I still believe the promises we swore upon when we were magic. This came to me as in a dream:

my heart was in your hands. Wendy, do you believe in promises? The problem is the boy became a man.

Wendy - mother, child, lover - everything you meant to me lives on in memory; to think of how we broke each other's hearts is more than I can stand. Wendy, were we in love eternally or were we just in never-never land?

Sometimes the boy denies the man, sometimes the boy defies the man, flying in the shade of Peter Pan

Oh, Wendy, maybe you still remember this:

a touch, a kiss that lasts forever but time and tide rush in conspiracy:

all love is damned. Wendy, I still believe the promise is the boy's alive, the boy is in the man.

Lunatic in Knots

Unchain me from this lunatic before he drags me to my knees; I'd have to be some kind of Houdini to unpick knots like these.

What, Now?

17

While I was sleeping half a lifetime away someone moved the scenery, all my blocks went astray. So I awoke uneasy and, as I spoke, grew queasy

I don't remember much about last night

but I suspect I went too far, became just a passenger in my actions, asleep at the wheel of the car.

While I was sleeping someone stole in my room, rearranged the pictures and threw my bookmarks away. The shadow's swiftly deepening in the tidepull of the moon while the lunatic does his party tricks but what makes him tick he's still most reluctant to say.

Before the facts there's no pat explanation only this Other implies whatever I did was Not I.

While I was sleeping off the wake of the wake

I was less at home in my dreams than in my mistakes. The lunatic's been creeping settling and setting on my face and we're bound together we're tied and tethered

I don't know whether

the bond is one I can break.

After the act there's no hidden intention, just fumbling around for the plot, tying myself up tighter and tighter in knots.

So many angels, however many can there by, ghosts and djinns dancing on the head of a pin? How many questions are left unresolved? Exactly where do I begin now that the walls are closing in? Who's the lunatic

and who's the sensible soul deep within the skin,

hanging on and listening in

?

Unchain me from this lunatic restrain him in his cage keep him away from me keep him away from the stage.

Unchain me from this lunatic whose every action shouts me down; keep him away from me, keep me away from this clown.

Unchain me from this lunatic restrain him in his cage keep him away from me keep him away from me keep me away from his rage

While I was sleeping the lunatic stirred. I've no alibi for his beady eye. Oh, I talk my head off he's a man of few words.

Edge of the Road

The lady was in waiting for whatever story might unfold

anticipating that somehow base metal would turn into gold yeh, she was always looking for a brighter spot, eager to tap into the motherlode

at the edge of the road.

A world of separation,

treasuring each pleasure and each pain distance is arching between them,

a rainbow, no gold in the frame until the boy with a smile like forget-me-nots will finally come in from the rain. But he's out there still:

in the hourglass a sandstorm has stripped his sails,

only wanting to fill up his pockets with the dust of all the bygone trails. Someday he'll make his way home.

But will the man of the moment finally make himself known and lay down his load

at the edge of the road?

The woman was in waiting less in expectation than in hope;

maybe he'd come to his senses in a little while

if she just paid out plaits of flaxen rope.

But he never will,

in his heart there's the murmur of an alien disease,

waking up to the chill of the knowledge

that his travel's brought him to his knees. Nowhere is safe from all harm;

so will the man of her memory fall finally into her arms (will the man of her memory be charmed?) before he explodes

at the edge of the road?

All is suddenly abandon, all his planned accommodation failed, all his actions and reactions are random, hot on the scent of a stone-cold trail. And though she burns a candle to his memory all of her patience was bound to fail for he's out there still with a thousand-mile stare falling on his face,

chasing after a thrill that'll take him out beyond all sense of time and place. Head on into the unknown, here's the man chasing mystery finally missing his own. But that's how it goes

at the edge of the road.

There's a cutting edge to the road

at the end of the road,

18

What, Now?

at the edge of the road.

Fed to the Wolves

And they said "They shall all be fed, all the weak and powerless shall be comforted

The Church's arms are open to embrace its orphans but this unholy priest's an earthly sod with his cock thrust casually through his vestments behind the screen of the confessional.

".

Father's fumbling in the vestry, lip-service to the sermon even while his fingers fiddle; blind-eyed nuns ignore the soiled habits For the innocents there's no escape - what hell on earth (in the name of Christ) was this they'd entered?

Oh, they said "They shall be fed" and meant that this young flesh should be devoured. The lambs were to be led to be fed to the wolves, fed to the wolves.

(They should be safe in God's House. Does it get any worse than this? The children are in their power and power is naked.

They should be safe in God's House but here's no mercy, just abuse. And the damage that is done is worse than unholy.)

They said "They shall be fed" but they're abused rather than comforted by the very ones who pose as their protectors and to complain would only bring a beating down upon their backs for their own imagined wickedness. No escape from such unholy earthly powers:

the lambs shall be devoured, the lambs shall all be fed to the wolves. They shall be fed to the wolves.

Pray for the prey, fed to the wolves.

(And the damage that is done is worse than unholy.)

Enough

To live, to be alive and to consider the plane that shapes the smooth out of the rough when every expectation is delivered will that be enough? This alone will have to be enough.

Not that but this, not why but how, not if but when, not soon but now.

To wait, to be elated and awoken when every love's less tender than it's tough and all the flood defence is finally broken will this be enough? This alone will never be enough.

Not that but this, not why but how, not if but when, not soon but now.

Not that, not this. Oh, why? Oh, how? What if, what then? Not soon, not now.

Not that, not this. But why, but how? What if, what then? Too soon, not now.

So soon

what

now?

Unsung

19

UNSUNG

gated

(instrumental)

west pole

(instrumental)

delinquent

(instrumental)

handsfree

(instrumental)

eyebrows

(instrumental)

delighted

(instrumental)

861 and counting

(instrumental)

exp

(instrumental)

the printer port

(instrumental)

east pole

(instrumental)

exeunt

(instrumental)

1 meg loop

(instrumental)

gateless

(instrumental)

deliberate

(instrumental)

20

Clutch

CLUTCH

We are Written

"It was always going to be like this, whatever you bring yourself to say. Why don't you point that thing the other way and

telescope

this tangled story? You've got the whole thing at your fingertips, already scripted in an alien Braille, snagged up under your

fingernails." Oh, so blissful, in ignorance we pin the tail, with smudgy marks we scratch the surface. We are what we were born to be, we are

what

we become over time, under our own thumbs. We are written in

our

fingerprints, in everything we do and see; we are written in our fingerprints, so very singular the marks of our destiny. So open the hands: this is a lifespan.

I found the future in my grasp, the line of least resistance,

naturally; joined up the dots and never thought to ask could I

somehow do this differently? In the heat of the moment it's

impressed

on me what's done is done in understanding. And if I had a

choice to

make I ignored it as such. So our lifelines accumulate like the

dust

on the things we've touched. We are written in our fingerprints,

all

of our virtues, all our vice. We are written in our fingerprints.

Once upon a time the story: we won't go through these motions twice.

We are written in our fingerprints. We don't get to do this thing

twice,

so let's play out the hand, unconsciously pre-planned.

Crossed Wires

"I don't know, somehow our wires got crossed: you've been

mistaking me for someone who never gave a toss. Life's too short for me to

rewrite

this page out of pig ignorance into all the useless wisdom of age. Something I said off the cuff, without thinking, has driven us apart.

Oh, you took it so much to heart. To get this straight we need to

find

some common ground, some understanding

unfound. It's ancient history, feels like it happened so long ago; of

insignificance

I've forgotten more than you'll ever know. Say what you like, I

found the

debate absurd; if we settled all our differences we'd never get

back

where we once were. Let's get it straight without a shadow of a

doubt. Sooner or later the naked truth will out - incomprehension is what it's

all about."

I was only speaking my mind: over my tongue I tripped. I put my foot in

it the moment that the words left my lips. The moment that the

but that remains

words left

my lips I knew that language had eluded my grip. I know what I meant but

perhaps in the telling the wheels fell off the cart you took it so much to heart.

"Getting it straight our smiles are just like Cheshire Cats', half of the

time we're both talking through our hats

never meant to tell you that I got it straight, I put the whole damn thing to bed. Sooner or later we're going to lose our heads, sooner or later the lines'll all go dead. Getting it straight I don't take back a word I said:

sooner or later the lines'll all go dead." Sooner or later the line goes dead.

oh, but

I tell you this I

Driven

"I know you haven't got the thread of the story so far. Just throw your luggage into the back of the car. We'll drive around until you think I've gone too far but you can't go home, no, there's no way home. You haven't lost the plot but there's detail you lack. This is a one-way trip and there's no turning back. No protestation can divert us from the track we're set upon. Soon it's done and dusted and we're gone. No-one ever knows the road they're on." I'm driven by my younger self into a corner. I remember dreaming the open road. I liked to think I had control but my hands on the wheel were guided by some outside force as my future revealed. I slalomed through life's obstacles more on instinct than feel. I picked myself up as a hitcher and it's really quite a deal to see this lifelong journey through his eyes. Just as we got going we've arrived. We're driven by our older selves into what we become and all our careful planning turns out strictly rule of thumb. We're driven by ourselves but dream we're free, on the open road. Free, on the open road.

Once you called me

I wish that I remembered better. You've grown so fast

before my very eyes. The woman that you're now becoming suddenly takes me by surprise.

I thought that there'd be time and tide a-plenty to grow into a proper fatherhood but underneath our feet the sands were shifting. You spread your wings, soon you'll be gone from me for good. And

Clutch

21

when I tucked you

in at night and swore I'd always love you madly I'd wonder

would this

be the last time that you'd ever call me "Daddy"?

A bittersweetnes runs through every memory: a daughter's father

wants to be so strong, then suddenly he's just an ancient relic. You spread your wings, you weren't a little girl for very long. And if trouble's on its way you know I'd lay my life down for you gladly. I only wish that I could still remember the last time that you called me "Daddy". Once you called me "Daddy". Oh, my precious girl.

The Ice Hotel

Mercury's down to zero, absolute time will tell we're only over- wintering

as guests in the Ice Hotel. All that we build will crumble, every

empire fades; humbled, we should admit impermanence marks the man- made. Under the Ice Hotel the permafrost is stacked but down along the walls the first melt starts to track. The wind's whipped voices up and swept them down the years but in the Ice Hotel the guests all have cloth ears. Are we all so cloth-eared? We're only here a season, paupers and presidents. Reason allows us only a

temporary residence. Inside the Ice Hotel the mirror ball revolves while

in the cinema the screen goes to dissolve. Over and over what's

destroyed will be remade and in the Ice Hotel we're only passing trade. The walls are sweating as the Celsius starts to climb. Of all our works this

is the

transient paradigm. Each year another team will build it up anew,

for in the Ice Hotel we're all just passing through, we're just passing through.

This is the Fall

All humans are siblings, this is a truth that I've assumed; all fighting over the legacy of a lifelong and timeless family feud in the

name of I don't know what. I don't believe in God but if I did I'd surely say there

is only one Power up above us, one face refracted in each

different Faith.

But for every holy confessor there's a priest of self-worth trading

in the

eternal for power on earth. Soaked, the blood of believers in the ground where prophets trod. How in

God's name did religion get so far away from God? Oh, mercy, mercy, mercy now! Oh, mercy, mercy, mercy! I don't believe in God but, with

all respect to those who do, surely no purpose could be served under heaven if there's no mercy in this place we're passing through? Oh, now

for every sainted ascetic drawing heavenly breath there's a literal fanatic in love with death. Soaked, the blood in the pages pored with all-too-human

pride

of what religion is the blood-lust sanctified? In the name of creation, for whatever that is worth, why in God's name is religion bound so mortally to earth? Soaked, the blood of believers in the ground where prophets trod. How in God's name did religion fall so far away from God? This is the Fall from God.

in

what book

Just a Child

This is more than merely wrong, as sin on sin's grotesquely piled. Don't look so surprised when you find yourself reviled. Don't

look to me for comfort in your trial - the girl was just a child. Uttering remorse with

weasel words and shameless guile

no, paedophilia's "not your style"; all's undercut by your crookedness of smile - the girl was just a child. Close to being grown up, occasionally wild, but the girl was just a child, the girl was just a child.

it was "a mistake",

Now here come the limp excuses with a euphemistic turn of phrase. The fact is sexual abuse undoes its victims, down through all their days. Darkness clouds her face, no longer fresh and juvenile. Home's no longer safe, her innocence is lost, with rising bile. This is not a hurt that will ease after a while - the girl was just a child. Offer your contrition, in remorse you're meek and mild but the girl was just a child and you can't restore the treasure, the flower you defiled - the girl was just a child. More than merely wrong, this is simply vile - the girl was just a child.

Skinny

Nobody knows what she sees, no-one can get behind that warped reflection. What glossy varnish strips away protection from young girls like these? No-one admits what it means, no-one permits a gesture of contrition; how carelessly they stacked the ammunition in the magazines. Like a gun to her head, skinny model

22

Incoherence

fantasy. No, she just can't bear to live with this body image. Who knows what she sees? Who knows what she sees in body image? Nobody knows what she sees, no-one can guess the depth of her self-rejection. Seen through the eyes of the disease her unblemished

skin's all pock-marked with imperfection. Somebody messed up all her young dreams; pretending that this is all of her own volition how carelessly they stacked up the ammunition in the magazines. Like a gun to her head, every glossy fashion shot that reminds her

of all the pretty girls she's not in body image. Like a gun to her

head skinny model fantasy; no she just can't bear to live with this body image. Like a gun to her head, every glossy fashion shot reminds her of all the pretty girls she's not in body image. Like a gun to her head, every image that she sees. No, she just can't bear to live with this body image, body image, body image.

Bareknuckle Trade

And when you feel you can't go on what kind of laurels do you look to? Sometimes we get what we want, sometimes we take

a good hook too. Once you thought you were so strong

young pretender came and shook you. Now there's a lesson to be learned: we must respect what is gone and still expect there'll be something more, but there's a tab left to pay for the experience we're gaining day after day as our knuckles

are grazed by the marks that we made with the tools of the trade.

A telegraph is on its way that might explain my every action.

Sometimes we get what we want and then forget what we came here for. From fitness to decay we trade in opposite attractions. There are still lessons to be learned and when we get what we want we find

it less than we might deserve. Now I'm a little bit lost, not for

the first time I'm here in some disarray and returning in spades are the hands that I've played with the tools of the trade.

If I learned my lesson well I've got time to buy and sell with the

tools of the trade. "What do you want? What do you get? What do you want? What do you

expect?" What you want, what you want's not what you get. The tools

of the trade, look what you made with the tools of the trade. But

what price has been paid for the tools of the trade? And here's a message in my hands, though I'm not sure I can decode it. Sometimes we get what we want and yet still don't know quite what that is. Timidity be damned - hang on to that towel, never throw it. Still there are lessons to be learned: if we don't get what we want at least we get to request the bill, carrying on until the last one is standing still in the game. With quick breath we all pay for the fists that we made: these, the tools of the trade.

some

INCOHERENCE

(When Language Corrodes)

And when language corrodes all our faculties falter and blur. Nobody knows how our tongues got so swollen and furred. What truths are there left to be told when we're all lost for words?

(Babel)

Words upon words stack the tower of Babel brick on brick on straw on clay but a whispering stirs and the structure's unstable when all the scaffold's stripped away. We're ever quick to aver that we are ready and able but we can't say what's coming, come what may.

By definition self-obsessed we strive to make ourselves plain with words that pass the acid test with passive thought in train.

Words upon words, fiction, folly and fable, each pregnant pause a dead giveaway ploughing on undeterred as the sell-bys expire on our labels though at length we'll have little or nothing to say it would be too absurd to spend life all agaze at our navels - oh, we've got such limited time to go on and explain.

So, running off at the mouth, we all get carried away uncertain when it all goes south if we mean what we say.

If we mean what we say

(Logodaedalus)

Logorrhea independent of the brain not a moment to reflect only time to wick up the gain what was he thinking of and why did he dream he could convey a bright idea? While his tongue was wagging he forgot to use the space between his ears.

Logodaedalus with the cunning of a fox paint him devious in the corner of the room, pop Pandora out of her box.

Incoherence

23

What is he on about and why are his arguments so needlessly arcane in their brilliance?

He's close to appearing more than slightly inane with his crooked logic and his dog-eared dictionary close to hand

I don't think he's got it

but he's insistent that we're going to understand his complete precision; in the end he's certain that we'll all agree with his definition an obsolescent word from 1663.

That says it all for me.

(Like perfume)

Once spoken, words perfume the air like woodsmoke, like a breath of self that's no longer there. Such confidence, such half-baked truth the sound of distant voices mocks the hubris of youth.

(Your word)

Burnt the bridges, burnt the tread; the sodden syllables are turned. You can't take back what you said when you give your word.

(Always and a day)

Always and a day we swore in common vow that tomorrow we would stay the same as now, the same as now.

In every future verb we deny our own "Until"; this the promise that we serve - we have time to kill:

I will, I will,

I will, I will,

I will, I will

always and a day.

(Cretans always lie)

It's impossible to trace these words in carbon paper trail for just as Zeno's arrow flies the snake is eating its tail.

And in contradictory style the soldier and the steer attend around the mark of the five hundred all in charge of a friend.

"The Cretans always lie"

claims the Cretan. The Cretans always lie.

A kiss the gift from hell light, the poison pillow, dear and as we gag on it translation smacks of something like

"Cretans always lie" claims the Cretan; "Of Cretan stock am I, am I Cretan?"

Why don't we hook this old short circuit to the value of Pi?

"Cretans always lie" claims the Cretan; "Of Cretan stock am I, (so) am I Cretan?" And Zeno's arrow flies, through the ether.

Come on

let's

see how the paradox flies.

(All Greek)

Fried up the brain with rhetorical questions dictionary games and conundrums ear to ear. When we say what we think do we think what we're saying's missing a link, inconsistent in idea? (in internal stage whispers

wordless the script getting lost in contradictory talk Losing the thread (in a set of stage whispers)

)

"It's nothing"

If I meant that it would say it all. (Spoken, the lines are misshapen speaking my mind but the mind that thinks out loud's not thinking straight at all.

(he said)

)

All my ideas formed entirely without words speechlessly, you get the picture?

ne, oxi, oxi, endax' hai, iie, iie, redact

All greek to me, all in double dutch phrases, cacophony of linguistic dismay, orotund talk and the sound of my voice is fractured and forced; I can't get out what I mean to say, parroted lines all misshapen speaking my mind but the mind that thinks out loud is close to blown away.

And when ideas come entirely without words their purity is unalloyed even to ourselves unspoken is unheard

24

Incoherence

and so we try to give them voice but languages have all evolved to meet the needs of every individual culture so with every syntax that we press them to we see their essences adulterated

ne, oxi, oxi, endax' hai, iie, iie, redact

(Call that a Conversation?)

Oh, spit it out, there's no way we'll see eye to eye - my simple truth is your warped confusion; as off different planets we spin eccentric jive.

I don't remember what I said

I don't think you do either.

Slippery of tongue though you claim my speech may be all of the words you've been putting in my mouth just flatter to deceive.

I never said the half of that you're utterly mistaken call that a conversation?

Yeah, you said it, all my meaning, quite misread it this conversation let's forget it now.

I can't believe what you just said call this a conversation?

Let's call it quits, let's just say it's

a measure of the distance between our worlds.

I don't remember what I said,

I don't think you do either;

you make what you will of meaning - call that a conversation?

More likely just the space between words when the meanings have all changed.

(The Meanings Changed)

From the first word that I said to the last some strange echo remains imprinted in the walls recorded in the vaults we talked and tunneled through but the meanings have all changed.

Because of all I said

you began to regard me as strange until with some relief you suspended disbelief

I tried to tell the truth

but my meaning was all changed.

I saved one final word

to pay off this long sentence in spades

but what I thought I said was patently misread. The spoken word is broken here and in between the two of us the meaning is all changed.

(Converse)

(instrumental)

(Gone ahead)

We bite off our tongues while chewing the fat; though the fire in our lungs is celestial our delivery falls flat. Would a time come to be silent? Oh, we never spoke of that.

We talked out of turn in the school of hard knocks; although willing to learn from experience it still comes as a shock when the time comes to be silent one by one the jaws all drop.

The voice is still clear in my head; it's the last word in monologue close-up, interior, night.

mmm

The voices alive in my head are all tongue-tied to silence now.

It's the darkest of moods, it's the cruellest of jokes that this facility I used, once so fluent, is cut out at a stroke. And the time came to be silent as the core connection broke absurd ineloquence, my own words on which I choke.

Swallowing deep on the thread, so much I'm losing now, so many things left unsaid and the voice I've been using is gone ahead.

(Power of Speech)

Always we shout to be heard as though our voices could express the sense of sentences deferred and of lessons learned, of storylines unfolding, of the truths of our innocence and shame, of life, the very breath that we are holding, of our very names.

Present

25

We shoot our mouths off in adventure, we ram the ammunition in the breach, blow up the flowering of sense with the power of speech.

(If Language Explodes)

And if language explodes in our faces like shrapnel all self-defence is blown away.

In the end this reasoning's sound:

how can we be found if we're lost for words?

Oh, still in the search for the words

I've said my piece, I'll take my leave now, breathe not a word of my disarray.

Ssh.

All of the words have flown away

PRESENT

Every Bloody Emperor

By this we are all sustained: a belief in human nature

and in justice and parity on.

all

we have is the faith to carry

Imperceptible the change as our votes become mere gestures and our lords and masters determine to cast us in the roles of serfs and slaves in the new empire's name.

Yes and every bloody emperor claims that freedom is his cause as he buffs up on his common touch as a get-out clause.

Unto nations nations speak in the language of the gutter; trading primetime insults the imperial impulse extends across the screen. Truth's been beaten to its knees; the lies embed ad infinitum till their repetition becomes a dictum we're traitors to disbelieve. With what impotence we grieve for the democratic process as our glorious leaders conspire to feed us the last dregs of imperious disdain in the new empire's name.

Yes and every bloody emperor's got his hands up history's skirt as he poses for posterity over the fresh-dug dirt. Yes and every bloody emperor with his sickly rictus grin talks his way out of nearly anything but the lie within because every bloody emperor thinks his right to rule divine so he'll go spinning and spinning and spinning into his own decline.

Imperceptible the change as one by one our voices falter and the double standards of propaganda still all our righteous rage.

By this we are all sustained: our belief in human nature. But our faith diminishes - close to the finish, we're only serfs and slaves as the empire decays.

Boleas Panic

(instrumental)

Nutter Alert

It might come in a letter, darkness falls in a telephone call; I await the unexpected with one ear to the party wall. Is it the pricking of the conscience,

26

Present

is it the itching of hair shirt, is it the dictionary definition of a precipice to skirt? It's the nutter alert.

Though this face is familiar something in it has bred contempt;

I never asked for your opinion

or your back-handed compliments. Oh, but here comes that special nonsense

all the words out in a spurt, the unhinging of the trolley as the mouth begins to blurt it's the nutter alert

I can see we're in trouble

from that glint in the eye you've got; there's no sense to the story, comprehensively lost, the plot. And how contorted is that logic you so forcefully exert:

you're a car crash in the making, head-on, that's a racing cert. It's the nutter alert, this is the nutter alert.

Abandon Ship!

Oh, the heptagenarians got behind the decks while the skeleton crew went through the motions. It was only the medication that was keeping them erect. Yeh, the devil got the best tunes so god knows what comes next.

And it's difficult to think of anything less magic than the aged in pursuit of the hip. At the lifeboat station there's a mounting panic they're going overboard for this one - abandon ship!

Oh, the humanitarians took themselves below while they tried to debate the latest motion; meanwhile only the medication served to keep them on the go. So it's devil take the hindmost:

we sail on the sloop John Doe.

And it's difficult to think of anything that's factual now we find ourselves in Alzheimer's grip; so at disembarkation it's no names, no pack-drill, we're all anonymous on this one - abandon ship!

In Babelsberg

The city's spread beneath my feet, but not the one that I was after

while I've been pounding out this beat the length of the Kudamm. Street legends on the tourist map,

a fading script in Gothic,

out in the studio they're rehearsing in drag for a lark. Come on, let's get lost in the dark.

Tale another step, another move, another pace, what isn't written in the manuscript is a note to play with

grace

and if I exit from this story in a way I might retrace

it will have fallen through the cracks when I come back

in any case another time's another place.

The city's spread beneath my feet from the top of the Mercedes tower and I can see the darkness closing in hour by hour.

But I can't take another step, no filling in, no cut and

paste,

a bankrupt process for the memory, this terrain is laid to waste.

No, nothing's written in the history books that doesn't leave a nasty taste; so should I start to tell the story will you put me in my place? 'Cause it'll all be crash and burn

when I return

another time's another place.

in

any case

Just when did this get broken?

I don't know where to begin -

I got a Ubahn ticket and a Flohmarkt token I'm in trouble in the rubble of Berlin

The light is getting dimmer, the walls of history close in. In Babelsberg they're hunting for a different Stimmung that predates the war.

That was before, that was before, that was a different Berlin, that was another Berlin, that was before in Berlin.

On the Beach

If we had all the time in the world we might talk about how it used to be. We could have thrown in our cards when the going got hard but evidently we went on interminably.

Right now I want to walk towards the sea, hoping you're still in step with me. All joking apart let's play it from the heart because at last even the Silver Surfer agrees:

the wave you brave rides on a deeper complexity.

Ah, come on: surf's up!

Even the Silver Surfer agrees.

Singularity

27

Vulcan Meld

(instrumental)

Double Bass

(instrumental)

Slo Moves

(instrumental)

Architectural Hair

(instrumental)

Spanner

(instrumental)

Crux

(instrumental)

Manuelle

(instrumental)

'Eavy Mate

(instrumental)

Homage to Teo

(instrumental)

The Price of Admission

(instrumental)

SINGULARITY

Our Eyes Give it Shape

I'm getting the idea, I haven't got a clue. As my fabulous career ends up dead in the gutter

the stars are shining down right on cue. It's not much of a shock, it comes as no surprise that changing all the locks when the horses have bolted

is a useless exercise.

And play it how I will and say it as I may

I won't pick that poison pill as a effortless exit from the Mystery Play.

I'm so glad I'm still here to see this, the break of day at the end of the long dark night

All's not as it appears, this tale has many twists - but if I wasn't here documenting the story would that mean that the plot did not exist?

Oh, would it not be absurd if there was no objective

state?

What if the unobserved always waits, insubstantial,

till our eyes give it shape?

I'm so glad that I'm still here to see this, the whole story is unfolding before my eyes; I'm so happy I can barely believe it this simple pleasure is the mystery spice of life.

And I am happy just to breathe in the quality of the light.

I'm getting the idea, I'm seeing things anew, it's all becoming clear at this delicate juncture there can be no false nor true.

I want to have it all, I want to see the whole thing through It's a fifty fifty call: maybe Schrödinger's cat could be the Cheshire one too?

I'm so glad that we're both here to see this:

the chink of light in the tunnel of love's embrace. I'm so happy I can barely believe it

A simple pleasure in the simple things makes life great.

Event Horizon

Flat on my back, I can feel myself falling into a singular state of mind;

as if through a fog, I can hear someone calling.

I know I'm cutting it fine,

thinking that maybe it's time to cross the line.

The last thing I need's any outside assistance; whatever I do will be what has been done and if force is applied, let it be from a distance. Right now I'm biding my time; hold on, I'm biting my tongue, hoping I'm timing my run across the line.

It's all gone so quiet and scary,

I can feel the bloodrush in my ears.

28

Singularity

If only I could keep my head, if only I could keep my head from spinning, if only I could keep my head I'd cross the line.

Is that the finish in sight or a mist that's descending? The geometry's blurred at the edge of the scene. At the vanishing point there'll be no perfect ending, no final dotting of "i"s, no chance of crossing the "t"s - at last, unpicked at the seams, I'll cross the line.

Famous Last Words

"If I close my eyes I can pretend the best is still before me, the worst is at an end. Time for goodbyes to the audiences that adored me; they never realised just how much I came to despise all their eagerness."

Famous last words, made in jest, overheard, is that your best testament? Or are you coining a phrase just to see how it plays when you're at your wits' end. Famous last words, to the last you'll self-serve, what a waste of your breath.

When you close your eyes will you pretend that nothing bad has happened, that we are still close friends? So many lies, after all the illusions are shattered still at all costs you must hide the emptiness where your true feelings used to reside.

Famous last words, they're so over-rehearsed - they just sound like pretence. You'll go out in style, to the last in denial of what anything's meant. Famous last words, to the last you'll self-serve, what a waste of all that breath.

(It's a little too late for sorry in a race against the clock now you hit that mental block time to take that poison cup now your time is all used up.)

Naked to the Flame

She was waxed up to face the camera like butter wouldn't melt in the back room Agencies hammered out a deal: points on the pelt. In the airlessly frenzied atmosphere she was the mistress of misrule, seeming careless of everything except her look, cooler than cool. And she's singing for her supper and she's dancing in the dark and she's running for her life if she but knew it. And though her heart is hard as stone that's still the flint from which she'll spark

Like a moth to the flame she was so eager to make it her ambition became naked.

How iconically arched the eyebrow pluck, how vaselined the lens. Now ironically even highbrow critics rush to her defence And she's spinning in the spotlight, but increasingly confused about the context that she finds herself wrapped up in. Is it in this skin she's living or in the last one she abused? Nothing quite like a dame, was she the broken or the breaking? The girl, the woman became naked.

I preferred her in anonymity, but now that cover's blown and, absurdly, she stars, eponymously cast: it's Salome's show. Oh, be careful what you wish for as your own head might get turned you might find the biter bit before you know it; though ever eager for the spotlight she was never quite ready to be burned. At the end of the game the signature dish will get plated. She'll go out as she came, written in light as her fate is.

The moth discovers the flame's naked.

Meanwhile my Mother

Meanwhile, my mother, waiting for what? I don't know The recall of a favourite memory, or perhaps for a painful one to go? She doesn't let that much show.

Meanwhile, above her head all my monologues flows. "What's that you're saying, dear?" Wading through time like it's treacle, her eyes looking into mine although she won't even notice me go.

In the meantime I pack her things up and get them ready to store; in between times I take a good look around, for we'll not be visiting here much more.

Meanwhile, my mother, distance encamped in her eyes, not quite oblivious but close to a state of inertia in which she won't even realise how everything's passing her by.

Meanwhile, my mother, lost in a world of her own, turns to look out of the window down to the verdant earth below. Some journeys we make alone

Singularity

29

somehow we'll leave all we've known.

Meanwhile, my mother, waiting for what? Time to go.

Vainglorious Boy

I said steady up, settle down, make way for the Idiot Boy.

He's here to sell you some kind of a story; like a stuck-up sore thumb he'll be coming on bashful and coy, all of the while pumping up his vainglory.

I said give it up, slap it down, idolise the Idiot Boy; love's what he wants, or at least some attention and he believes all the hype like an archetypal Geijin-cum-goy he plays up the Alien Genius Pretension.

He'd fake his own confession to get you on his side.

Oh, I say lighten up, calm it down, time out for His Idiocy now. What's going to happen when the audience dwindles? The tide's out, the ride's up, the world's got no comfort

somehowö

truth to tell, it'll be himself that he's swindled in a broken-down profession of over-weaning pride.

Nowhere to hide

Heaven sent compliments that were meant sincerely fall flat and the bitterest pill is the one he can't swallow.

The idiotic thing is what we have always known:

however great success is, however far you've flown you'll come to face this audience:

yourself, yourself alone.

You'll come to face yourself alone, you idiot, idiot boy!

Of Wire, of Wood

(instrumental)

Friday Afternoon

Why wait for life to happen,

when right before our eyes blind fate unwraps its patterns?

I just said "See you soon".

My piano was in tune when you walked out of the room. It felt like any normal Friday.

At concert pitch, 440 the pressure's many tons;

the weight of life befalls me.

I wish I could pretend

my piano's on the mend. You treated it like a friend, left it to settle down over the weekend.

You've got a ticket on the terraces for the game on

Saturday

and afterwards you might go for a beer. On Sunday afternoon you'll take the family to the park and later, when it's getting dark you'll say "We've still got that old spark", you'll say "Oh, aren't we just so lucky to be here

"

So stupid and so senseless Sometimes we're pulled up short, quite shockingly defenceless. I don't know what to do: my piano's out of tune it's not as if I can assume that it's ever going to get any better now.

A liquid lunch appointment when the working week is

done,

there's time for one more just before he goes.

A quick glance at the watch and now it's time to head for

home. And so it's goodbye to the ladies, grabs the keys to his Mercedes, thinking "Maybe I should get a cab But no.

".

Blind drunk, he met you head on. On a normal Friday afternoon.

White Dot

Nothing is like anything else, everything's the same, our progress punctuated by a series of coincidence

to form a logical chain.

Nothing is like everything else, like anything you name. Pomposity unpunctured, we're approaching a velocity

of escape from our mortal frames.

So nothing is like anything else,

so everything's designed.

We're utterly dependent on our self-deluding sense of what we've done

and what we'll do if we have time with nothing else in mind.

A time to think is now at a premium.

You show bare inkling of a vital sign.

Though in the pink

in every outward appearance

inside it's white dot time.

Oh, nothing comes to mind. So nothing comes to mind. Does nothing come to mind when you're finally mindful of nothing?

30

Trisector

TRISECTOR

The Hurlyburly

(instrumental)

Interference Patterns

All that we see illusory every assumption based on blind faith alone On with the motley, bring it home!

Everything's formed from particles, all that you see is a construction of waves. Hold onto both thoughts, under general relativity the cradle connected to the grave.

Luminous Aether dissipates, Michelson-Morley with a point to disprove, Millikan oil drops and the cargo-cult science evaporates, improbable physics on the move.

Nearer and nearer, it's clear that in interference what happens when matter shatters is wantonly quantum and nature's got some surprises in store right now.

All that we are illusory, every observance based on physical law. Only a fool would think us ready to face with certainty all that our future's heading for.

Nearer and nearer, it's clearer, we're only here for an eye-blink, a psychic mind-trick. The proofs that we use are at best projections but let's hope they'll see us through.

The interference patterns help us to know the gap between a simple "yes" and a "no", the heart-felt beat that gets us ready to go and, as above, we'll find out what is below the interference patterns.

The Final Reel

Jack and Gillian, facing their decline, take to the dance floor for one final time. Who'd deny them this last shot? Taking a twirl, are they in the final reel - or not?

Jack and Gillian, walking hand in hand, disappearing along the shining strand. Who'd deny them this state of grace? So we find them with not a single hair out of place, picture-perfect, matching pace for pace,

her head on his shoulder, his arm around her waist. But if you put them on the spot what would they say? Are they in the final reel or what?

Sayonara, tschuss, adieu, farewell. Will we meet again? No-one can tell, not the manner, not the time. No-one can hide, no-one leaves the final reel behind.

Jack turns to Gillian, misty-eyed, and presses the pills in her hand.

All they've got left is the downhill slide

so they'd better act while they can.

This much they know, they're not in the final reel alone. This much they know, they'll not leave the final reel alone. They take the dive, no-one leaves the final reel alive.

Lifetime

I can remember it so well,

the bed of roses where we lay, the crown of thorns I was so keen to give away. All the warning signs ignored, the passion's played.

I could foresee what was to come,

I had a sense of what might happen. The river runs and very rapidly becomes a torrent, sweeping us towards our ricochet.

It takes a lifetime to unravel all the threads

that have tied us in our webs of tourniquet.

I stake no claim on memory.

I stand on ceremonial quicksand.

I look for something with solidity

to hold:

something lasting, something pristine, with no sense of decay.

Can you remember how that was? Can you remember?

It

takes a lifetime's understanding of the flow

to

surrender, let the current sweep you away.

What if I'd told you I would never let you go,

I would hold you every step along the way.

It

takes a lifetime to unlearn all that you know

to

return the things you borrowed for a day.

Drop Dead

A charmed circle on the dance floor,

a spell-binding display

it's rather more than he bargained for, Snow White or Morgan le Fay.

"Drop dead", she said.

Trisector

31

Hey, big man, let testosterone flow, flex the muscles like a monkey. The male plumage is all puffed up in show but the girls know how to debunk it.

"Drop dead", she said.

In a sense some men are always caught in adolescence, trying to crack the mystery girl cocoon. It doesn't take a wicked witch to point out obsolescence is a state they might wake up to pretty soon. Is it any wonder when they hone that perfect put-down to deflate the macho tough guy male buffoon?

"Drop dead", she said.

Only in a Whisper

Dive in to the Motion of the Avatar, sign up to the Army of the Phantom. No-one's really who they say they are, they're all imposters on the stand in witness.

Welcome to the Power of Self-deception, head high in the grip of Holy Deadlock. Don't count on the way your days are numbered, listen to the wind which whips your every word away.

Word-drunk, has the Inquisition found you? Weight falls on your shoulders, under pressure. Black dog in the desert heat will hound you - hang on, only Faith is holding us together.

Dust clouds building up on the horizon, make way for the onslaught of the Visigoths. Joined up, all the Automatic Writing - some thoughts should be spoken only in a whisper.

Take aim on the Summit of Experience, don't say we're just making up the numbers, lay waste to the idea of an Afterlife. Some thoughts should be spoken only in a whisper.

Listen to the wind which'll whip your words away, listen to the wind that whips your every word away, scattered as your atoms all will be one day Some thoughts should be uttered only in a whisper.

All That Before

I don't know if I'm cracking up or just getting careless is this room quite airless? Just a minute - listen, did you hear that knock on the door?

I'm going to have to write things down before I forget them.

I can't find my glasses, I don't know where I left them

so I can't expect to get much on the visionary score,

or did I say all that before?

Oh, stop me if you've heard this one before I get started.

I can't find my mobile and I didn't charge it,

it's a phantom target, if I call myself I'll only get my Voicemail once more.

I wish that I could pin things down before they escaped me.

I can't find my car keys and it seems that lately

I have trouble even fitting them into the front door or did I say all that before? Oh, stop me if I'm banging on trying to grab your attention.

I forget to mention I can't find my glasses

but I think I bent them when I dropped them as I scrabbled for my phone on the floor.

It seems I can't, I can't remember,

I can't remember what I'm doing.

Although I flash that foolish grin that seemed so winning when I came in I'm beginning to see everyhting we've been is going to be forgotten.

It's not a joke, or did I say that all before I spoke? It's not a joke, or did I say all that before I spoke?

I can't find myself, what I'm looking for, and I've lost the thread of what I said before.

Over the Hill

Let's recount our history, our tale of boom and bust. We could talk a good fight on our day but when we got a hand to play we bit the dust. Now in our threadbare suits we do our duty, still sold on the pursuit of a common cause.

Now let us call to memory such witness as we dare. We built our bridges, burned them down as well, maybe all we have to tell is off the square. We tried our instant remedies - they didn't clear the air. Who could foresee how it was bound to end, in a break or in a bend? We intended well enough Oh, but the clock was always counting, the envelope was sealed and as the pressure's mounting still precious little is revealed.

Still, let us speak of comradeship, of how we stood as

one,

shoulder to shoulder through the thick and thin while the roof was caving in; although everything begins in good faith, for all our sins we'll all end up being skinned and now there's nowhere left to run to, there's nowhere left to hide, we're strapped in and we're gunning for the roller-coaster ride.

32

Thin Air

If we're living our lives as though God's at our shoulders, if we're giving of our best, by an effort of will, then we'll be up for the test, we'll never know when we're over the hill.

Here comes then bit where we decide no passengers come on this ride - civilians, the broken-hearted, need not apply.

I count to a thousand and ten, I keep my eyes tight shut and then unsteadily count the numbers back down again.

Head on into the wind, on a heavenly mission, try to play with the spin while we burn in our hearts; although we know we'll never win we're still learning our lessons in the dark.

There's no choice here to make, there's no easier decision than to stand up, stand straight and to give it a try and there's no time for hesitation as the stations of our lives are passing by. Heads up and face front as brother to brother, time to come to the call if we're true to how we were because at last and after all we've given each other our words. If we live out our lives as though God's sat at our shoulders, if we give of our best and then give some more still, press on, with no pause for breath, then we'll see each other over the hill.

Now if we speak of distances we're only covering old ground:

what's done is done and if we have become of worth at all we'll hope to see things in the round. Let's close the book on history and keep it safe and sound. While we've been moving forward to our goals we have done as we have told, so the story's closed behind us and the countdown comes in backwards, that much was always clear, so when it reaches zero our heroes disappear.

(We are) Not Here

I dreamed you here beside me,

radiant, impulsively strong. Light streaming through us blindly,

we are not here for long.

I dreamed us from the ether,

bursting through the neural stem, vibration without meter

we are not here again.

We are not here again. (No way to know that when) We are not here again. (there is no now in then)

We are not here again.

(We are not there and then we are. Henceforth we are not here again.)

THIN AIR

The Mercy

What I once thought was everlasting all of a sudden been and gone. It is finished, it is finished but mercy’s moving us along. What can you carry for your brother when you can’t stand up on your own? It’s hard to keep up, it’s hard to keep up, this part you have to do alone.

Each time you make a resolution who knows what lies in your intent.

There goes the story, there goes the story

here comes the circular descent.

(I get no sense of what you meant to say

by way of a defence.)

If I say “good night and god bless”

I might yet confess I’m hoping to see that when daylight breaks

I will face a fait accompli.

When the time comes I hope I’ll say this is the moment I must stay my hand in mercy.

I don’t intend to let you go,

I never meant to leave you lonely. This is the moment I must show my hand in mercy.

What I perceived as everlasting now I just see as overlong.

Beyond endurance, beyond endurance, beyond this point you can’t carry on. But I believe what someone told me:

when we are pushed right to the edge, right to the limit, when it is finished it is the mercy.

(I might be wrong

you still belong among those

hungry to press on.)

So I say “Good night and god bless, sleep tight”. Counting sheep and closing my eyes

I will drift away from the livelong day, up the wooden hill slowly climb.

So I say “Good night and god bless, sleep tight”.

I must go outside and I might be some time.

Your Face on the Street

I’d see your face on the street often times as I went on my day to day. We were never to meet but a nodding acquaintance had come our way.

I never paid it much mind,

always assumed I’d continue to see you there.

But of the mysteries behind, all the shadows before us we’re unaware.

Don’t swim out too far, for Christ’s sake don’t go in the bar, for Christ’s sake don’t get in the car

Thin Air

33

My heart skipped a beat

when I chanced on a headline that featured you. don’t swim out too far,

And here’s your face on the street, on a poster appealing for any clue

Don’t let down your guard,

don’t go in the bar, don’t get in the car

You let down your guard for Christ’s sake, You went in the bar for Christ’s sake, You got in the car for Christ’s sake.

What happened? Where’d it go wrong? You’re there one moment, the next you’re gone.

You swam out too far for Christ’s sake, you went in the bar for Christ’s sake, you got in the car

I see your face on the street now as a ghost apparition, you’ll not come home. So much in life’s incomplete - somehow in your disappearance I felt my own.

You swam out too far for comfort you let down your guard forever, you went in the bar, for Christ’s sake, you got in the car for Christ’s sake, you let down your guard forever, you let down your guard.

What happened? Where’d it go wrong? You’re there one moment and there you’re gone,

gone forever just like that and all the future’s fallen flat.

Stumbled

Wash your hands clean, don’t let anybody see the dirty work. Keep those secrets locked away from sight forever, hidden safely where your darker side still runs berserk.

So much stored-up resentment, all that background fallout from so long ago, it’s still here to haunt you. In a trunk locked in the attic are the clothes that dressed the actions you discarded but you can’t outgrow. There’s a false wall in the basement where you hide away the history you dare not put on show.

And when the hammer hits the nail upon the thumb then the unvarnished truth is what you stumble on.

On your best behaviour, keep on playing out the lily-white, but you’ll always be stuck there, going round and round in circles, the mistakes which you repeat form up the framework which defines your life.

You couldn’t quantify the depths you’d have to plumb or the damage you’ve collaterally done still your own footprints are the tracks you stumble on.

And it’s less by design than by random occurrence that you filled up your timer, that you built up the current to spark the life you’ve led, the person you’ve become. With the end in sight the excuses are all gone.

The truth is, this conclusion’s what you’ve stumbled on:

behind you lies the wreckage that you’ve stumbled from.

Wrong Way Round

(instrumental)

Ghosts of Planes

The air is thin, the air is thin, the Top of the World Club’s what we’re in. How thin the air, how thin the air, the Top of the World Club isn’t there.

With easy grace they crawl across the shadow-shifting city sky, an aerial flotilla, the ghosts of planes pass by.

Their gravid bellies bursting, gravity distended out of shape; from the consequence of action history offers no escape.

Arrival and departure, all points in between now coincide. Here’s a ticket to oblivion. Onward passage is denied.

The air is thin, the air is thin, the Top of the World Club’s what we’re in. How thin the air, how thin the air, the Top of the World Club isn’t there any more.

If We Must Part Like This

Already there’s no case for special pleading, no points to score, no blow by blow.

I look around the room that we’ll be leaving.

Even while you’re here beside me I already know

I miss you so.

How soon we make our move towards hereafter where we will reap what has been sown. A shadow chills the music, stills the laughter. Promise that you’ll stay forever, say you’ll never go.

I miss you so.

I turn my eyes, stare into the distance,

the light that dies, the door that’s closed. No last goodbye, if we must part like this

I miss you so.

I feel so strange and restless, dislocated,

I’m homesick even though I’m here at home. Nostalgic for the future, I have waited my shaking hands, the lump that’s in my throat. Even while I’m here beside you

I still miss you so.

34

Thin Air

And it’s too late to make it any different; the wave that breaks, the tide that flows outrageous fate is tearing us apart -

I miss you so.

I turn my eyes, stare into the distance.

The light that dies, the door that’s closed.

No last goodbye, if we must part like this

I miss you so, so much.

It won’t make any difference to say how much it hurts, I know.

No last goodbye, if we must part like this,

I miss you so,

I miss you so,

I miss you so.

Undone

I mark the high days and the holidays red-letter on the page; fast-forward into memory, prepare to be upstaged. The envelopes I push against so rapidly become

a wrap to keep me safe and warm

but soon enough I’ll be undone.

And if, for instance, I had spent a lifetime in the service of cleanliness and godliness I’d still be washed up now.

My history doesn’t make much sense, no corner has been turned. The future's brooding and immense and everything I’ve learned seems tiny in the scheme of things, the reckoning’s begun -

I hold together what I can,

the stitches bound to come undone.

And, for example, if I’d spent a lifetime in pursuit of miraculously common sense I’d still feel stupid now. I’m waiting on a final clue,

a final validation

of what I did,of what I hid, of all I called my own.

Our high days and our holidays are numbered, every one. So quick the hours rush away and everything we’ve left’s undone.

Diminished

Was it only my imagination or were we once agreed, in full accord, that we would meet in time for reconciliation, for the scratching of old debts and the settling of old scores?

Once upon a time you think you’ll live forever - only goes to show, in truth, that you don’t even know you’re born.

Round and round we trod our drilled, diminished circles, measured out our days in pleasantries -

what treasures we forswore.

It was only my imagination, I thought I’d got away with what I’d done before.

I’m unprepared for this investigation.

I’m so scared of what’s in store.

The Top of the World Club

And the future spread before us like a feast, we saw clearly to the curve of the horizon, felt like everything we’d wanted was in reach, all we so eagerly awaited And the perfume on the air, oh, I could taste it

(Decline and fall, decline and fall is coming to us

And when the fall comes it will hit you pretty hard when the fortified castle proves a house of cards and the sweet cup of plenty’s shattered into a million shards.

Your Weltanschauung is now cut down at the core and your self-estimation’s falling through the floor now there’s not much still standing of the edifice by which you once swore and which you used to adore.)

The air is thin, the air is thin, the top of the world club’s what we’re in; how thin the air, how thin the air, the top of the world club isn’t there any more. My crawling skin, my crawling skin,