If only I'd known you back then,
That would have been a good night
We would have had a good night.
I would not have been drunk..
Sat here now
The outside has never felt so small
At the same time
I am inches from you jagged smile
And your golden frown
I am watching
Throw your future
Down a bottomless well
Because what else was it for?
Being with you here
Is like staring out to sea
At the dead of night
You cannot see it
But you can feel the deep staring back at you
You are blind for now
The moonlight will not hold your hand
Back here again, on this night
You turn and think
Of something other than this
But with one swift glance back
Complete with smile
Keeping the sweetened moment
Thinking on your feet
Am I suffocating?
And even if I am
Does it actually get any better anyway?
But here, with me
I can see your live
Raw and volcanic
And I embrace it all
But I also see
The dead tree of your
Brittle, and twisted shapeless
And you make sure I
Don't see if for long
Your fingers clasp mine
And you manipulate
Like only those can
Who have been manipulated also
It is because of you that I am here
And seeing what I am seeing
The diamonds of fire in the sky above
watched over by animals of pure beauty
Blind and charging
And more colour than flesh
There is glass between us now
making temptation a presence in the room
Damaging, and all knowing
Are you here now
Hiding behind the seats
Playing with your black hair
And with a look on your face like
A solar system grieving the death of its sun
Ripped my jacket on
That sharp tongue of yours
Get a crowbar to prize
that mouth open wide
Count the awards and wipe the brow
Stay in open spaces to protect your
Narrow nerves for eyes
That have got it all perfect
And figured over and out
I want to talk about two things - distraction, and occupation.
There is a difference between being distracted and being occupied. Distraction is temporary, pressure-free, a way of stepping out of everything. To be occupied, however, is to be immersed in something, involved in it. And yet both terms are used when discussing a means of self-removal from something, when that thing begins to get heavy and a break is needed.
In order to occupy oneself, any individual must prepare for the small amount of discipline that it will involve. To stay put and get on with something, even for the sake of leisure, being occupied with it means to make sure you stick at it.
But in order to be distracted, no amount of effort is required. Distraction is everywhere, in what we hear, see, taste and touch. And for a lot of us, distraction is our chief form of occupation when escaping from the everyday tasks life presents us.
To say that one is bored and cannot focus on one thing may be true with regards to anything that is more substantial than a television commercial or a song on the radio; but to be actually, and continually, distracted, our minds sent wandering in many different directions at once (sometimes without us even detecting the changes in direction), it is safe to say that we are occupied with distraction all our waking moments, and perhaps even in our sleep.
Distraction is in the bottle, the cigarette box, and whatever can be purchased with that credit card a few inches from your hand. It is the constantly pressed Refresh button, the endless chapter ones, never allowing anything to get too serious (or, even worse, boring).
But occupation, even if it something that you enjoy (or think that you did enjoy but no longer enjoy because you have forgotten the rewarding pleasure it brings) really can sound like work (and nobody likes that word anymore). But what's wrong with picking up the paint brush, instead of the television remote control? What's wrong with dusting off some long forgotten musical instrument instead of spending another night in an over-priced bar? Is it really so difficult to open a book and enter its world, compared to finding the most uninspiring thing to read in some colorful magazine?
It is too easy for us to lose our way in a world of relentless distraction, and it could take a will of iron to demand anything else. This could take effort, for sure, but we need to take back our interest in what interests us. This are dim times for the life of the mind. Let us take back our passion for what makes us feel alive.
I long for you now
Cold and tropical
And should be
I know our hours
Are the same length
Not even time
Has the same old placebo effect anymore
It's just hunger
Hours of hunger
Hunger of hours
We have both seen
The life of the eye
We have commented, unshamedly
On what can turn fire to life
We spoke of it
And I think this is all we need
I think this is what it adds up to
Stripped to the ribcage
Exposure of hunger
Surviving on what we need
darkness for eyes
Piercing yet empty and silent
Your hair looks smaller
If that's possible
When you wear it up
But when you let it cascade
Down your neck
I am stunned and muted
The moment of your boredom
My secret weapon
That I cleary have no control over
And can fire any time
The boredom enters you
And the distance
Becomes instant and terrible miles
At the speed of nothing
With precision, this time
Monstrous, meticulous, and blind.
I see in numbers,
Think in equations,
And sometimes walk in straight lines.
Work within the parameters,
Clear it all of germs, of contamination,
Of all outside bodies.
The filth on your fingers,
You push it into my eyes,
And rub it into my lips.
And I just gently stroke your hair.
The dirt from your hands,
And make it worse.
I just watch
Whilst you become more filthy,
Shifting away from this antiseptic moment.
Calm, like something being forgiven,
The rhythm takes away everything else,
Or at least adapts it,
Making it all become as one.
Moving to the same pattern.
Surfacing what was less,
Making it the same as what is more.
And what is more,
This will all last for the duration.
Time, and the rhythm of the rails,
Consuming, gentle and parental.
This is the time for moving away,
To let go and go forth,
Battle on, towards peace of process.
Sunbeams through the clouds.
Their journey is now completed,
At the back of your eye,
And in the blood,
To be embraced, processed,
And sapped of wonder.
The sun is sometimes there on the journey,
But always there at the destination.
Home or not home,
The sun is waiting.
Sometimes above the ether,
Sometimes in a room.
Other times in the excitement
Of the mind, it finds a home and makes use.
The noise is causal.
The noise of the people around, sitting and staring,
But the rails are the chariot to the new.
They have taken this journey so many times,
Trust is not wasted on them.
They know the outcome,
They know the need that drives people to them.
And conversely they understand the dullness that represents their
Use for a return.
And they swap their now-dead neon
For another voice.
They are ignored.
Over the rhythm and pace,
They let be heard;
Come back not
To the discipline, the pillars of learning.
Come back not
To these brutes, and their amber-lit numbness.
Come back not
To the hope of a place, a position on a map.
Come back to me.
Staring up and watching the movies is less exhausting than thinking of back then.
I do not miss the shadows when no more thoughts come through.
Running in circles,
Trading fists with silence,
I can’t rest at this point.
Someone stick a movie on in front of me.
I’d like to count out these minutes, frame by frame.
I’ve got less people to thank, and so many more to blame.
Look back at your performance,
You should be so proud.
Word perfect. We almost fell for it.
Credits roll, we descend into the outdoors.
Seats are vacated and everyone feels homeless.
You’re the sand that won’t wash out, the missing piece of this fear.
I’d like to take myself to the edge, just to see if the water is near.
I would have been around seven when we found it. Charlie would have been twelve, or maybe thirteen. We were always off on adventures, especially during the summer months.
It's funny though, when we walked into that old church. You could feel how long it had been abandoned for. Decades, absolute decades. And we slowly made our way around it that one July morning, taking in the light through the long-since shattered stained glass, the first sets of eyes to do so in so long.
And what would god have thought? Would He have minded that we were non-believers, and yet we - two young brothers - wanted to be here, to see His house. To take it in for the crumbled relic that it was? I'd like to think that He would have taken some pleasure from that.
Cain and Abel returning to the house of The Father, so many years after everyone else had fled the roost. Ha!
But what we found there that day. It was something neither of us ever forgot.
The organ was dead. Pipes probably blocked up with dust, or something. The pews were rotten and fragile to the touch. A few Bibles had survived the years, but most of the pages were too thin to turn without tearing them.
We found a few items which we could quickly slip into our pockets for examination in the future; glasses, coins. We even found a wallet with quite a bit of money in it - old money of course, couldn't be spent - and a photograph of a baby. I always remember that baby looking concerned, right to the camera. As if it had something much more important to be doing than posing.
But it was the piano we found, at the back, near the main doors.
That was the real find of the day.
Covered in filth and leaves, and the white keys had faded to the color of stained dentures. We opened the lid, and a thin layer of dust covered the strings, almost giving it some kind of skin.
Charlie pressed down a key.
The dust within the piano's body moved. Particles taking flight, reaching out into existence again. But it was totally silent.
We both hit more keys, using both hands, but still silence. Not even the wheezing of the old strings shifting within its belly, just nothing. A silence that you could feel in your throat, a silence that watched you, daring you to break it.
But we couldn't.
There was just no sound.
A void where sound should be - even the weak, choking sound of that piano.
We both stood at the piano and looked out at the rows of pews.
We both though it, but didn't voice it until afterwards, but what if there were notes coming from the piano, but that we couldn't hear them?
And what if there was a congregation sitting there, watching us play, but we couldn't see them?
They had been waiting so long for us to come.
The old order, the ones who had built the church, had moved on long ago.
Now this congregation was here instead, sitting, waiting for us to one day come, and say the name of their god with our fingers.
We kept hitting the keys, hearing only our own breath as we raced our hands over them.
But for all we knew, our congregation were singing along, opening their mouths and silently singing to their Creator.
Their timeworn eyes facing the crumbled roof and drying beneath the rays of the sun.