THE SKY COMES DOWN TO THE GROUND:
There’s a gathering to say goodbye – a friend,
a ship on the shores of Never-Never Land.
There’s an energy left behind by his moving on
you can taste & it’s sweet. Everybody got some
when he drove into town, every room with him
in it was the place to be. A relentlessly gentle
man who shook your hand & made you believe he
was pleased you came. Never raised my voice
around him, never show-boated or swore.
Like it’s says “talk low”, that’s what he did
& it spread to everyone around him. Athletic
& struck down, did the right thing & struck down,
helped anyone in trouble & struck down, but I’m
done with complaining about the big plan. This
was a man who lived the years I knew him as the
best man he could be on any given day & that
transmitted good energy. He didn’t die a looser
& he didn’t die sad, he didn’t die at all.
ACROSS THE ZEBRA:
In the sun between the flats, a row of perky shops
re-enforced with steel shutters. Vans parked up with
dusty boots for the best cafe. Shave my head & hood me,
give me something hot & sweet, and something Big &
“Do you want it in or out?”
Leave your money on the counter, tips in a glass
under the till. Radio playing in a back room, tabloid
on every table. Telephone is ringing, pick up & do a deal.
The original sauce on thick crusty white, Red & Brown
in plastic. The news is Sex, Money, Bad or Sport in this
collectors Historic Edition.
OXFORD STREET SURFING:
I see a man talking to a picture of himself on his
phone camera, walking down the street, arm outstretched
for the full effect. A busker boy shreds in a doorway with
a priceless guitar as the smiles of bicycle bell ringers
float past like clouds of night flies, blown on a warm breeze
between luminous elephant buses. All the lights are blazing
on the street tonight, everybody hungry for what’s inside.
Up a quiet side street a travel agent taps the keys after hours,
dressed in an England shirt, grinning to himself, alone in the
glow of the screen. As the crowd closes in around me a woman
I never met comes close & says,
in my ear, then slips away as I descend into the underground.
There’s a feeding frenzy at the free paper stand as we all
plunge into the world below. Everyone grabbing the evening news
to sweeten the journey home.
listening to ‘Inner Earth’ by Møster! today
They’re selling Violence & Fear at the multiplex,
Violence & Fear on the radio news, the first click
of the day delivers me into ‘Bad’, pulls me
Down, keeps me looking over my shoulder. Does art
imitate life or the other way round, is it only
about what sells? If the lean towards dark side
obsession wasn’t so dark it would be comical.
OUTSIDER ART FOR THE CAR PARK:
Three men paint white lines in the carpark on a fresh piece
of tarmac. No one went to art school, but the lines are just
as beautiful, powerful, resonant. One stands watching with
his fists in hooded pockets. The other two on their knees,
but only one is painting, stroking the fresh black canvas
with the stub of a brush caked glutinous in white, a scrap of
board pressed beneath split knuckles as a straight line.
The third is an alter boy, on his knees, reverently watching,
silent. The first, the hoody with the fists, rolls back on
boots, looks down dispensing wisdom from a wide slit of a mouth
relentlessly cracking beneath a close shaved dome. The second,
the painter, strokes the road, replies with incantations, never
drops a beat. The second, the alter boy, fingers spread on legs
points down towards his knees, sits back on heels in prayer,
watching the master, serene.
The white line oozes from the tip of the brush, the canvas smells
of tar, the first keeps rocking on his heels spilling poetry on
the head of the painter as the alter boy’s turns to alabaster.
A rusted triangle, a theatre sign, an invitation to an
exhibition, ‘Men At Work’, erected to inform the passing of
shoppers glaze, oblivious to the art that’s being made for them
if they were bothered in the carpark.
I don’t know what to say to you today.
SO, FRIDAY, WHAT?:
Yeah, too busy rattling around in this head to notice
Friday slipping away. I woke up with that familiar
noise between the ears & a pressure I recognised as
frustration with myself. So I drove, parked, took a
walk, breathed & looked around. I let my eyes & my feet
drift & didn’t question time or direction & slowly
this tension slid off me, focus returned & the feet
brought me back to the studio. You would’ve laughed
at how every machine did it’s own thing, nothing worked
the way I wanted, but I chuckled, slowed down
& nudged forward inch by inch. By the end of the day
I’d amassed recordings that hadn’t existed at breakfast
& no matter if they get used for this record or the next,
they no longer only live inside my head, rattling around,
making that familiar mocking sound.
That’s how come I forgot to write to you & though I’m
sorry to have neglected our packed, it turned out
nice in the end…