Art, Man + Technology

The Stream

in the black of night
in the crack of dawn
in the dead of time
when moonlight pours through the branches
when mercy is scarce
a stallion appears at the stream
a white horse representing... what?
freedom?
power?
brute speed?
the stallion drinks at the stream and smells the air
the stream with its icy waters
the stream with its blind transparent fish
the stream running over golden sand
the stream with its silent eels
the stream with its broken moonlight
the stream in the leaves' shadows
the stream where the lovers drank
the stream which zigzags through a field
the stream in saxony or thessaly
the stream that feeds a river
a trickle that feeds a deluge
a vein in the earth
a course meandered
the water reflects the stars
the stars so far away
away from the darkened fields of some peasant time
rough days indeed
days of henbane picked by a full moon
days of mandrake and belladonna
days of mayhem and mildew
the stream is untouched by progress
every thorn and bramble remain the same
the stream endures
a witch appears to drink and fill her cup
an old wise woman escaped from the bishop's clutches
a mid-wife and a knower of herbal lore
she skulks in the shadows of its pools
anxiously she darts out into the open
ashamed for a good lady of her years to live in secret here
in the wood between worlds
where none are living yet none yet dead
in a painting, in a poem
in a little strip of music the stream of words flows on
cascading wildly in some mental highland
freshly melted from thin air
the stream of thoughts
the stream of traffic
the stream of life
the stream you sweep
the stream is delicious
the stream is clean and crystal clear
the witch goes back into the midnight blue
she lives in a hut near the stream
they'll never find her here
they'll never burn her
she'll pass away peacefully
and her body will fade into the earth
and the creatures will remember
the woodland things, the fauns, etc.
the stream slips
the stream runs away
the stream enters another country
the stream is yours and mine
but i don't like the night tonight
but i don't like the moon
and i don't like the soft sounds off in the woods
and i don't like the night's one thousand eyes
and i don't like the isolated moments
i don't trust the stream
it does not care about us
it runs on chattering to any who will listen
it mutters to the reeds
it whispers to the wild winter winds
it gurgles in summery fields just before harvest
it rolls down ferny slopes and dew drops plops
the stream in a dream
a stream of consciousness swollen with drugs
pumped up by the windy rain and full of tiny sharks
and holiday memories
the stream
it does seem

 

The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

the night has a thousand eyes
and vishnu has a thousand names
and there's a thousand ways to die at least
and i walk a thousand miles just to see ya
and i'd sing a thousand songs just to reach ya
but we are watched all around
the walls have ears
the night has eyes
the night aches with memory
the endless night
the eternal night
the long night before the sun first arose
the long dark night of the earth's soul
suddenly it's sunshine
suddenly it's peacocks and moths with eyes all over 'em
suddenly it's the eyes of laura mars
everyone's watching
everyone's seeing
she got a tv eye on me
she got a tv eye
and the night keeps sleeping wide awake
eyes tightly open
eyes that see me even when they're closed
eyes that habit
the limpid eyes of the night
the glowing eyes of some nocturnal spook
the pranks of the somnambulist
the leathery wings of an old bat
the eyes are the window to the soul
the eyes turned inward
we dance along the edge of the night
we appear in the darkening twilight shadows
we wait in the blue cracks of midnight
we freeze in the wee small hours
what are they looking at
who films the screen as it peels back the light
who focuses on the distance
who tells the story of the dumb dawn
who exists outside this friendless blackness
who dabbles in my vision
the night with its reasons and alibis
the night with day on either side
the night full of somber slumber
the night with its rat-a-tat-tat
the night with its aches and window panes
the night with its shore leave sailors
the night with its belt of stars
the night with its fresh mint breath
the night with its thousand tongues
the night with its thousand fingers
the night with its thousand wives
the night with every other night all lined up
the black night
the empty night
the calm night
the rainy night
tonight's the night
the night of light
the night has a thousand me's
a thousand you's
and a thousand eyes

 

The Visitor

appearing out of nowhere the visitor materializes within a painting
or blocking your astral exit
or fucking with the zeitgeist in siberia
a bird-headed freak
a dangerous pterodactyl
a nasty beaked creature from some black place
your nemesis arrived out of a bleak and secretive past
a visitor waiting for you in the principal's office
a visitor in the vestibule
a visitor in the foyer
a visitor to see you in jail or in hospital when you're least expecting one
a visitor with its technology
no art
no art on the visitor's world
but lots of technology
lots of things
things that can inflict pain
things that can implement loss
things that can do things from far away
doesn't mean the visitor is evil
doesn't make him bad
doesn't mean anything at all what you or i may think
he...
is it a he?
do they come in hes and shes?
do they come in boys and girls?
do they appear within our universe to hurt us?
he reeks of cosmic fire
he burns cold as a diamond in the earth
he seeks energy
liquid energy
solid energy
gaseous energy
spiritual energy
the visitor visits and moves on
he suddenly flies away home
leaving you bereft of everything
like a terrible addiction
like a seven year losing streak
the visitor is ugly when denied
the visitor moves in adjacent squares
the visitor crashes on our planet in a desert
the visitor gets dismembered by an army quack
the visitor parachutes into the boiling sea
the visitor is eaten by a crocodile
the visitor falls down someone's chimney
outer space is a long way away mister
you gotta be a fool to go there
it's teeming with visitors
worse even than this geezer
asteroids bouncing off meteorites
spaceship traffic jam in andromeda one
vicious source ahead screaming up the via galactica
the visitor, baby
why don't you buy him?
why don't you let him guard your home?
maybe you can be on his side
maybe you can hang him in your room
let him get some fresh air
let him get some space
let him get some room to move and expand
maybe he's only tiny
maybe he's tall as a tree
oh, the visitor, child
what a tripper
what a bastard
what a heartless shell
what a neuter thing
the visitor, yeah
and don't come back
don't come back here again

 

The Lonely City

the lonely city, what a cliché
all those faces looking outta all them windows
all them lonely tears
all them lonely hearts
all them lonely wee small hours
when the darkness goes on forever
finally dawn is stubbed in her side by the sun's sharp light
and the loneliness intensifies to unbearability
you wake up but you never really went to sleep
you get up but you never really lay down
your breakfast is a quick piss and a look around
my name is john lonely
i live in the lonely building in the middle of the lonely city
look out the window, what do you see?
a thousand lonely faces looking back at thee
the lonely city cut off from all other cities
the people cut off from themselves
i jump in a lonely yellow cab and i go nowhere
at my job i speak to no one
i eat jam sandwiches and a weak cup of tea
when i finished it's already dark
signs flash on and off in the darkness
traffic lights change
trams come and go
vomiting out the shadows of men
the ever-present drizzle
the dull ache of construction
the shuddering hit of technology
the myriad indices of success and failure
the lonely city
not a nice place to visit and you wouldn't want to live there either
the lonely city
the one they never put on the map
i arrive home
i enter my apartment
no messages, no mail, no pets or children
no light at the end of any tunnel
i look out the window
the penthouses, the doorways, the thresholds
the limits of human endurance
like being in antarctica
like being in submerged atlantis
like living under the sea six fathoms down
loneliness is a cloak i wear
each place i go only the lonely go
so full of emptiness
i see the faces in the windows
i see them scream but there's nothing i can do
we all came here to make it a thousand years ago
i turn away
i've got my solitaire
i've got my patience
i've got my jigsaw puzzle
i go to bed early
i watch the big blue cross flash from my window
i hear the animals howl in someone's menagerie
i fall asleep to the distant drone of traffic
just like every other night
just like every other lonely night
a snowflake in hell
a mark on a wall
an unread letter
an unseen miracle
an imperfect gift
life in the lonely city
life in the lonely world

 

The Internet

the internet is a naked woman with a tiger's head on fire
standing in a clearing in the jungle
she rubs her tummy waiting for you to arrive
amazon jungle, lemurian jungle, indian jungle
you are a vine, you are a creeper
you're a poisonous flower swallowing wasps
the parrots scream in the canopy
the wise old snakes writhe in the lair
dreaming of a hundred american women who are all saying
"oh yeah baby, gimme everything you got"
the internet is a random redistributer
filling your screen with @ @ @ @ @ @ @'s
and stories in spanish about the insatiable cruelty of hombres
and some little cheeker all alone in the jingling desert winds
and somebody posted it already
and i got a burn
i got a burn off my friend jimmy fire
and the stuff in the pipe bubbled
and marilyn inhales deep
and bobby and john have both had her
and some brutal ape is knocking at her back door
while insignificantly we smuggle albert einstein into the future
and the inevitable black cars cruise up the street and pick us up
and fly us away to some virtual switzerland
and i wonder then, can william tell?
and i sit here punching away on these symbols
somehow someone somewhere interprets all this
and it's catalogued according to its nature
and then i get a burn in berne
the internet soothes me
it coddles me with its curdled milk
and whacks me around the head side with its slow connection
in this very room right now everything battles it out with everything
at the very end of time
before the last second is spent and done
diamonds rub against diamonds
tungsten-fingered machine gives you a good seeing to
saucy milfs predict the weather in houston
and correct your b-grade spelling
i google myself
uh-uh uh-uh
oh that feels good
ooh, fucking google me child
see my pages flow out and out and out
every time someone mentions me i grow another 20 pages
i wax massive on hearsay
yeah, i love all this war and mayhem on here
korea or crimea or whatever war you like
hannibal crosses the alps and blows all the ether ports
i got hannibal's recipe for poached pears
i got hannibal visiting oj in jail
i got hannibal's tips for the big game saturday
i got hannibal pushing kurt under a train
i got hannibal explaining the phat bass sounds on painkiller
i got hannibal on facebook talking about child sacrifice
i got hannibal's virtual tour of italy by elephant
i got hannibal kissing kitten natividad's sweet ass
i got hannibal's blog written in tyrus yesserday
i got hannibal's souvenir bag with the neat daggers
i got hannibal and kenny rogers trading eye-lift tips
i got hannibal jamming with sonic bloom and black azalea
i got hannibal barker's latest lyrics, songs, ideas, pictures, updates, fan clubs
i got hannibal barker's only interview before sardinia
i got hannibal barker's merch tips, guides, specials, and f a q s's
i go to delphi to connect to the internet
i ask the sibyl, why no gmail for my little laptop trash?
why no check from fucking atv?
how long they gonna gamble my dough on the short-term market i ask her
can you book me a cab for friday night?
and can you tell me how many people read my diary?
and send a message to michael
a message to michael
and gabriel to my left
and uriel to my right
and i do the hokey-cokey and i swing it all about
and the cops bowl up to internet cafe
and shoot protesters in cyber-space
and opus dei log on in their secretive cloisters
and donald trump checks some figures in his tower
and karen black deletes a comment from her fan book
and julie meadows invites you to come on down
and everybody typing
and everybody reading
and everybody posting
and everybody up and downloading
hit my payboy
hit my payboy
payboy@payboy.dollars
try a free sample, here it is
kilbey kilbey blah blah blah
hey, i still got the cherry pop in my system
i still got all the sweet green icing flowing down
hey, i still got the vodka and berry v
i still got the t2 pills and the memory of lust
i still imagine but i prefer imagine.com.or
i bought my new teeth on the internet
i found my eyes
and i remembered i'd left my ego
listen to that orchestra
i played all them instruments, virtually
yeah, i smash up trombones and thigh bones and saxophones and iphones
and i bounce a million fiddles into one intro
and i combine no cal drones with so cal blippies
and i summon up the white noise of a million mazda car radios
and i tune in the bitter lemons
and i tune in iron pig
and i tune in the fairy lantini boppers
and i tune in the limit five
and i tune in carl loss [5:19] and the playboys
and i tune in baby grande
and there's stevie in his dog collar and singlet
all skinny and stupid
thrashing away in some queenbian [5:28] garage
and he sing "you stab in the dark, don't stab me in the back"
and he sing "i call you zephyr 'cause you blow"
and he sing "how come you never do the jet fin rock"
and he sing "hey synthetic equivalent"
and he sing "the world below him trembled and cried out in its awe,
the rivers turned to silver, the silver turned to war"
and he sing some enchanted evening you will stranger meet her
and bring on the dancing internets
and internet fields forever
and sgt. peppers internet club band
and withinyou-withoutyou.com
and the internet is a naked woman with a tiger's head on fire
but scarlett says "no, it's a white kitty cat"

 

The Great Machine

[rev. Sept. 13, 2013]

i already tangled with a machine once before
hell, the machine dispenses methadone, punishment, education, taxes, pensions
everything you need
everything comes from and goes back to the machine
the machine works on many levels
the machine exists out there pumping it all out
who made the machine
and if it wasn't necessary why did we invent it
these questions like fish swimming through a sea
pontificating on the nature of water
we are immersed in the machine
we are bits and pieces
we are its cogs and teeth
we are its oil, its spirit
we are its raw material
and we are its end product
masters and slaves
the machine hums on day and night
no one can understand all the machine
no one can fix every part
it seizes up occasionally and that part atrophies
bits get welded on or plugged in
bits get superimposed and modified
parts are used elsewhere
the machine sucks in and blows out
the machine is cold and sanely insane
the machine must never be switched off totally
the machine is not optional
the machine will make any important decisions
the machine is running hot
the machine will survive our individual deaths
the machine looks after itself first
the machine is as fast or as slow as it needs to be
sometimes it gets damaged
sometimes it gets hurt
sometimes it has to repair itself any way it can
sometimes it needs you and me
it already has us but it needs more of us
more time, more money, more commitment
you can dedicate your life to the machine
you can work in its service for a hundred years
look, some parts are pretty
look, some parts are almost human
it sits out there, somewhere
part organic, part mechanical
part electrical, part spiritual
part causal, part mental
part sentient, part beast
part theory, part conspiracy
boys, is there anything that the great machine is not
it encompasses us
it surrounds us
it holds us up and down
the great machine measuring, affecting, removing
making stuff happen
taking stuff away
drains and cables and sewers and pylons and poles
it's all connected
it's chattering to itself all day long
it's got your number
it's got your blood type
it's got your mother's maiden name
it's got a blind spot bigger than siberia
it gets in late
it never does what you want or what you hope
it always decides against you
it always turns away
it never sees what happens to you
it doesn't know how to laugh
it doesn't know how to cry
it doesn't know how to stop itself
it needs some adjustment
it needs some help
but it knows what it needs
and it doesn't need you, common man
not the great machine

 

SK In Lemuria Pink

yeah, whatever baby
oscillating between poetry and anti-war sarcasm
sk, are you being sarcastic to those belligerent warmongers?
sk, are you being rude to those blood-thirsty animal eaters?
sk, did you tell all the aggressive philistines to fuck off?
ooh sk, you're worse than hitler
a storm in a teacup
still the wars rage on
still the prisoners remain bound
and still all the rest
what can you do?
try to make small changes
try being nice
go on, why not
i'm painting and working on music
i dive deeper and find there's constantly more
another plane of color
another unexplained sound wash
be careful, don't rush it
consider, and take it easy
if it ain't easy, it's too hard
see how the masters achieve their effect
they do it with love
dedicated to the hell of it
they get marvelous
try for impossibility
and leave space
and grow up
and remain child-like
focus and detach
let your mind wander as you work
the first things are the best things
and get some distance
and try new things
respect the rules
and then break 'em
expect the best from yourself
and never be too hard on yourself
make the music like a painting
and make the painting like music
follow your train of thought and trust your heart
and listen to your muse
and baby don't blow it
and don't get angry
if it's fucked up don't persevere
start again
pull stuff out of the thin air
pull opposites together
mating [3:12] intellectual and sexy and divine
and nice, so nice
and stay away from dissonance until you know what you're doing
imitate and innovate
see if you can do it properly
before you do it lazily
lazy ain't easy
listen to your friends' say, then ignore 'em
if you know it's brilliant salt [3:55] their criticism
if you know it's baloney then salt [4:00] their praise
yeah, presentation is important
don't be too humble when you're lettin' 'em hear it and see it
don't tell 'em too much about it
be modest and realistic
except if you're a genius
then behave like one
try different things
and when you paint make sure you've got the right music on
and talk about art and music all the time
and think about it
you'll be surprised how answers come to you unbidden
practice every day and love it
and love it
and love it
hence you gotta love it
gotta love it
you gotta love it

 

NK In Lemuria Blue

yeah, that's right, it's my wife
my wife in the twisted jungles of lemuria
in the jungle, the mighty jungle
my wife standing there in the moonlight
my wife standing there in a clearing
my wife waiting for you to arrive
my wife nk a hundred thousand years ago
my wife in my long ago life
in the tangle and the monkeys
in the snakes and in the spiders
in the vine and in the dark and in the bark
and in the flesh and in the blood
yeah, come just a little closer mister
come a little off the beaten track
come and see lemuria
come and see south america
come and see magic realism in action
come and see the armadillos
come and see the big old snakes
yeah, lemuria
a thousand words on lemuria
a lost wife on a lost continent
i paint my wife in lemuria to reconcile 'em
surely with her delicate face
surely with her brown eyes
surely with her pale skin
surely with her elusive smile
maybe she don't remember it the way i do
maybe she don't remember it at all
those temple nights
those days in the markets
those trips down river
those times when we penetrated the mysteries
oh lemuria
oh nk
those were wild times
yeah, just by wishing things could come so true
yeah, by asking for things
like wisdom
like time
like knowledge
lemuria
where is she now?
where does she lie?
where are all her secrets?
where are all her people?
nk in lemurian blue
like a dream, like a vision, like a memory
like a premonition
wonder what she did back there?
wonder if she'd meet me there?
and outside the weather turns coastal
a long way from the jungle
a long way from the mountains
a long way from the jaguars and jesus
a great civilization once flourished there
with viaducts and sewers
assembly points and secret chambers
with its codes and morals and uniforms
with its incessant coming and going
none the less there is nk
surrounded by the blueness of the jungle at night
she seems a little possessed
she seems a little off kilter
she seems a little lost
nk in lemurian blue
wow, my wife in lemuria
there she is, that's so great
that's so cool

 

Leaving Sydney

leaving sydney
leaving home
leaving on a slow boat
that' evie in front of me
she's grimacing into the wind
the wind that blows from far away
the wind that blows us off to avalon
into some magical shmagical mist
in some coracle
in some celtic dreamtime
into some guinevere malarkey
leaving sydneys behind
like its lovely factories
and the quarries with silver water
and the rusting hulks
and the shifting bulks
and the mirror balls decaying
and the ghosts of trains delaying
and some damn tv show about rock and roll
and dad said "it's too loud!"
i said i want to go to sydney and buy a nehru shirt
complete with a pendant
and then we left sydney
i was not so sad at our long descent home
sydney in its model business
its luxurious room
its luxuriant plant light
it's taken for granted
it's turned out ok
it turned out fine
sydney, get thee behind me
the day we embarked for kythira
the day they busted superman
the day they freed the noise
we were there, weren't we brother
leaving sydney at last
leaving pittsburgh
leaving stockholm
leaving montevideo
leaving hamburg
leaving it all behind
can't afford it no more
can't afford the luxury of my life
i can't afford a ford
sydney done killed me
sydney done kicked me out
sydney don't turn your back on me
sydney don't dream it's over
sydney like some new nineveh
sydney with her sandstone and iron
sydney what a pretty city
but today we row away
i wear my shirt like cosmic fire
i fly across the greenish sea
with its frothy patterns
sydney don't forget me
sydney i never want to see you again
sydney in summer
sydney in spring all garlanded in flowers
sydney in autumn with her lovely ways
sydney winter like a crystal morning
sydney nights are warm
people waste away in paradise
people in hippie crash pads smoking the herb
people with dreads and hemp clothing
ah people are hedonistic in sydney
people move away and people act like total strangers
people come up to you and they kiss ya
people do many things
people sit and wait for buses that never come
sydney still a youngish whore down by the harbour
eating her fish that costs and costs
her wharves and her waistline
her towers and her hovels
sydney i worship you
don't make us leave
don't toss us out
don't make me lose it out there
outside of you
inside looking out
sydney don't shut me out

 

[rev. Sept. 13, 2013]

roll up, roll up, roll up
the gallery of past lives
oh if only you could see 'em all stretched out like a river in the sun
as you flow down the stream so merrily rushed
over rapid cities and bombay from the air
you come back and you come back and you come back again
can't even remember who you been
come and visit the gallery of past lives
come and see who you used to be
a tapestry weaving back to the dawn of this earthly earth
you have always been arriving here
destiny draws you on, fate kicks your ass
love swirls around your feet like leaves
you pull on faces
you pull on lives
you pull on the chain
you were a beggar man then king/bigger man than king [1:01]
you had your turn
your turn in the sun
you were the emperor of rome
you were some stupid nero
you were a slave to a slave
and you were a caucasian goat girl
you were everybody else then
and how you lived and died
and how you came back
and how you don't remember
they said buddha could see his past life gallery
they say buddha knew who he was at last
all the criminals and saints
all the jokers and the deuces
all the lives down the drain
all the long lives of toil
all the short lives of joy
all the sad lives of triumph
all the proud lives of despair
come and check it out
who i was
which part of me was them
are we pearls on a string?
i don't want to lose myself again
i'm happy being me
don't wanna be a face in a past life gallery
don't wanna be an ex-owner of this life
how does it all work?
how does it appear thus?
how many more rivers to cross before we come home?
how many thousands of galleries will we each fill?
millions of memories all forgotten over time
all our loved ones fade away into the past
death waits for us in whatever shape you perceive
death and time for a rest
rest a while, it's lovely
it's soothing to rest
it's time to slow down
your old life
your old mansuit
yeah, your old brain's tired of thinking it all through
your old haunts de-haunted
your old hints re-tinted
oh gallery of past lives like a wander through a garden
look at all the faces that were growing there
it all seemed so important at the time
but now you can't bear to look
"was i really him?" you ask
"was it so easy to forget?" he asks
all those dreams
all those hopes of the common man
all those things you had to go through
why?
why not remain unmanifested?
why not remain a part of the sky?
why live and dream and die?
why laugh and why fucking cry?
and why be you and who am i?
anyway, you gotta try
try to get by on your way through the gallery of past lives
future lives
don't get too attached
don't get too detached
and don't listen to any advice
and slow down

 

Finally, A Good Guy

someone who at least looks like a leader
someone who at least acts like a leader
someone with a bit of charisma
and a spot of old school charm
someone fresh
someone cool
someone so really good
what year is this?
the usa has a half-black president
the poles are melting down down down
the illuminati harvest the middle class capital
the man in the street hits the pavement
the bankers call in their favors
washington is a changed town
the giants teeter on edge
somehow we will them to stand but inevitably they shall fall
what can a good guy do finally
not much, not much-sko [0:47]
not many options left
it's gonna hurt
and it's gonna hurt you and me
and it's gonna hurt if the good guy gets hurt
that's gonna hurt everyone playing any game anywhere, yeah
it's end times
no wonder people are crazy
there's no real stability
real life is shifty
real life is like a painting
real life is malleable stuff
real life gives us a good guy finally
real life is good sometimes
ain't this all real?
no baby, this is a painting
this is a recorded voice
this is a little loop of music
all these things represent something real
the good guy got his picture up on my fridge
his crisp white shirt
his blue tie jauntily undone
his smooth athletic lines
finally a good guy
as good as you can hope to get
considering how the rules have been made it's a miracle we got our good guy
it's a miracle they still make them like that
please don't hurt him
please let him do his job
please give him a bit of a chance
you may as well have him if the ship is going down
you may as well have a handsome captain as have a brute
and the good guy's quite kingly in his calmness
quite open with his smile
he represents art, man and technology so smoothly
a holy trinity to always be in balance
you can't leave any one of 'em out
each allows the others
we need technology to create
we need art to create
we need man to create
we need someone to do it
and someone to look at it
and we need good guys more than we need bad guys
we've had a few bad guys
and now it's time for a few good guys
people who feel they have a stake in this world
people not looking down their noses at ya
good guys, finally
a whole run of good guys
good guys all colors and ages
good guys all sizes
give the good guys a chance
wait, maybe there is another way
so give the good guys a chance now
give them some room and time
give them some leeway
give them this day their daily bread
and lead them not into any scandalous temptation or libelous situations
let 'em come clean
and let 'em get inside the system to change it for the ones who can't
finally, a good guy

 

The Appearance Of Life

life first appeared on this planet as we know it
on a tuesday afternoon several hundred years ago
arriving via the post from outer space
life was a brand new product
life was guaranteed to live
life was precious
life was everywhere
life forced itself into strange new shapes and cavorted before the camera
life grew fins and gills
life developed wings and snouts
life grew faster and quicker
life grew hungry and ate other life
life had to figure out a way to outrun itself
life was essentially nasty even in cozy places
life always had another surprise up its sleeve
life could always make even the biggest whale feel real small
life interpenetrated earth, the two were inseparable
life in the ether
life in the air
life in the teeming waters
life in the solid ground
look under a rock and there is life
life was all confused about what it wanted to do
some cells said "let's split up"
some said "no, let's stick together
come on, come on, let's stick together"
some life became fox
some life became rabbit
some life became man
a man appointed himself the observer and the explainer of life
life now had a protégé
and he got busy naming things and sorting it all out
a talking serpent with legs talked someone into eating some fruity fruit
and we got kicked out of the garden
lest we knew everything
man decided to bark up another tree
and we invented biology
the study of life
life was now studying itself via biology
but it couldn't agree on how it had appeared here in the first place
some said god
some said bang
some said primeval pool with no diving boards
some said i think therefore i am
some said i think about you all the time
but that was in a song and has no relevance here
but life exist on many levels
and life appeared on many levels
and life needs to be explained on many levels
and it is a very human thing to do
to look for reasons and beginnings and ends
why should things have a reason or a rhyme
if god won't appear in your test tube does that mean he doesn't exist?
is there life after death on other planets?
is there a life that never dies?
how many lives will i live within life?
i wonder about the slender silver thread that anchors our spirit to our body
i think about the disappearance of life
i think about a world
i think about a world without trees
without rain
without birds
without flowers
without sound
without end
lifeless
abandoned
and then one day accidentally mucking around with a roller and some gouache paint
i did this painting
and i called it
in defiance of those thoughts
the appearance of life

 

Elektra In Lemuria

that's my daughter
that's my girl
she's a twin
got a sister looks just like her
sweet 17 as the crow flies
she's half swedish
she lives in stockholm
she does well at school
she's very popular
she has a part time job
she's west coast and her sister is east coast
she is blue and her sister is red
her sister is miranda
miranda and elektra
two girls with hard bastard daddies
one was a wizard
the other was a king of the greeks
elektra grew from a divided cell
elektra shared the womb
elektra was caesarian birth
elektra was taken out second
elektra was the bigger baby
elektra had slightly straighter hair
they were identical you see
we grasped at their tiny differences
we marveled at their small discrepancies
elektra june jansson-kilbey
she's a real character now
a real beauty
a real teenager
a real person
on the subway going to gamlistan [1:32]
on a plane to berlin
on the bus to newtown
walking alongside the seine
they international kids
they've been all over the shop
they've seen it all
they've seen australia in summer
they've seen sweden in winter
they've seen the good and bad and neutral
elektra knows what she wants
she likes the brady bunch
she likes the spice girls
she likes to collect barbies and teletubbies
not anymore of course
now she's sometimes a little queen
admired by all her drones and workers
she lulls around languidly
not even wondering in her own queenhood
darker sister who is paler watches from the wings cause she's a loner, man
just like patty and billie holiday
man, she's some tragic poetess
but elektra, she'd rather marry a doctor
she'd rather become a lawyer
she likes the finer things ie all the things i ain't got
she's entranced by maya
burning in the passion of youth
she's fierce and vain and brave and lazy
she's intelligent like a machine
she's dopey like her father
she overcomes hurdles
she hates anything maudlin
perfectly fluent in english
distant from her father right now
in many ways distant
distant daughter, distant dad
hope nothing happens
hope we can become close again
hope we can understand each other again
i place her in lemuria
lemuria like a stained glass window
open a window into another world
elektra over-tanned and her hair slightly blonder
elektra with her half smile
god she will break some hearts
elektra go free
run free
experience everything
but be careful
come back to me one day
your father
farther away
open the window into lemuria
it's warm and lush
it's gentle
it's kinda cool in an antediluvian way
oh elektra
oh lemuria
oh my bloodline
oh my constant guitar
oh my exhibition
oh my voice blathering on and on and on and on and on...

 

Beneath The Thin Veneer Of Civilization

do you like my diptych
do you like my fractured image
do you like to see me split up
the christian and the savage
the modern and the primitive
the scientific and the superstitious
underneath
underneath the thin veneer
i am one alkaloid away from my twin, my double man
my double man
the old me, the way i was
in lemuria, in south america
in siberia, in lapland during a fragrant summer day
i am kilbey but i am some other
he moves within me still
in the lovely jungle in the prehistoric night
jesus with his panther
talking snakes
is this eden?
the fruit so tender and throbbing
the vine brewing up as usual
the lovely women preparing the food
aliens walk among us unashamed
kilbey is an alien to my lemurian
kilbey who knows nothing
kilbey who can imagine almost nothing
soft and westernized
kilbey with his dip-fucking-tych
kilbey with his white skin and blue moves
kilbey when nothing means anything
kilbey paints a fractured man
yeah, atlantis too
throw in all the clichés
i sing the booty electric
i sing the song of songs
i sing to end the silence of my realm
i am the good medicine man
dancing in my circle
with my primitive fender bass and my worship of the son the sun
i resort to magic
i resort to chemistry
i resort to wish wish wish wish wishing
i represent art, man and tech-no-logy baby
i'm perfectly past future
and tensile like a spring
i hurdle along a dual man containing both and sometimes neither
sometimes the real me slips in the crack between kilbey and the lemurian
i am not truly either
kilbey is a construct
kilbey exists as a voice
kilbey exists as a painting
kilbey exists as a song
the lemurian exists as a myth, as a fantasy, as a nagging feeling
as a result of intoxication
which would you say is the realer?
i, kilbey, struggled to speak in english
these words are alien on my tongue
just like the space-suited gods who dropped in on lemuria in something bc
yeah, coming down hard right above ya
yeah, them old aliens
yeah, them old strangers
oh, give the earth people some secrets you interstellar wankers
oh, give 'em, ahh, astronomy and, um, geometry and, ummm, medicine
give 'em weapons toad-face, warriors from planet x
give 'em hell
kilbey split down the middle way
half his brain says stop
other half says go
a hunter or gatherer
a killer or a priest
a follower or a leader
a mouse or a man
tricky old lemurian indian guy with his jungly ways
with his dmt fried brain
with his love potions turning you into an anaconda
he co-exists within my skull
within my numb skull
within my dumb cortex
kilbey says this and that
lemurian thinks this and that
no sense at all
no logic
we're just older animals that's all
the lemurians disappear
we disappear
hell, the whole world will disappear
what do you want from the universe?
cohesion?

 

Collide-A-Scope

collide-a-scope
aw, come off it
no no no
good boy, yeah
you are this, he is that
we are good, they are bad
walk, don't walk
stop, don't stop
do, undo
ah, that's better
bang!
watch out
ha ha, don't laugh
grow up, get down
go away, stay here
what did you want?
did it have to be this way?
i see myself coming
in all directions
i put on my glasses
i'm banging up everywhere
i appear changed
i appear rearranged
i aerate the first layer
i hydrate the second
i inflate the third
i am glass
i am beads
i am mirrors
i'm a head-on
i'm a rear collision
i'm a mix-up
i'm a jumble
i'm a face in a painting
i'm a songwriter, so where's my pen?
i'm a wise guy, so where's my wisdom?
i'm a porter, so where's my tip?
i'm a bully, so where's my beef?
i'm on drugs
i'm under them
i'm beyond them
i'm within them
i'm implicated
i'm refused admission
i'm hoisted by my own petard
don't pet too hard, love
don't shatter the pattern
look down the barrel, daryl
pull the trigger and go figure
take a slug, pug, you pulled out my rug
you're such a pain, duane, here i comes again
collide-a-scope
twisty twisty shaky shaky
wakey wakey hands off snakey
ah, too flaky
go collido go

 

Ben Frank

hey benny franklin
got your portrait with some color in it
i don't know what you do
don't you discover electricity with a key or a kite?
i got you mixed up with william penn for a moment
jesus, i don't know
i'm not even english or australian
i just saw you once on this hundred dollar note
and i thought i could paint this geezer
i could put him in my exhibition
can i work him in?
sure i can
you're quite the dandy man
look at that long hair
look at your cravat thing
look at your stripy jacket
i bet you liked to drink and a smoke
i bet you liked them 18th century ladies
i bet you liked a good meal and a soft bed
sad you never heard the beatles
glad you never saw 'em kill the kennedys
sad you never got to jump on the internet
glad you never got to jump on the internet
hey, i once stayed in the franklin plaza suites in la
and i went to school with a kid called billy franklin
but he seemed too wild for me
i wonder now if he's some distant relative of yours
i wonder if you have reincarnated upon this earth again
i wonder how you feel now when you see a hundred bucks
i wonder how you feel about electricity when you see a christmas tree
i wonder how you feel about america when you hear rap music
i wonder how you feel about abe lincoln and lyndon b johnson
something tells me you could have been an ok geezer
hanging around in paris at the court and stuff
whiling away your hours with madame x and madame y
asking the frenchies for a little fucking help
please! it's the english we're talking about here after all!
who was it? napoleon or some other bloke, i don't know
and then you guys got louisiana for a song, too
was that anything to do with you?
can you believe that people are still talking about what you did all these years later?
and here i am mistaking you for billy penn
'cause i thought pittsburgh, pennsylvania
yeah, i could kinda honor him
you know, do a portrait of old penn
that'll get 'em going
those guys in pittsburgh, pa
yeah, yeah, yeah
i've been there a few times
always seemed to be cold and rainy
always seemed to be dark
[voice in another room: "maybe that's 'cause it was night"]
yeah, franklin, penn
sean penn
sean connery
one great man after another
i saw a horror film set in pittsburgh
very modern gothic
very pete murphy and stigmata mata
very blood and barbed wires and roses and things levitatin'
i don't think old bf would have dug it
i don't know if old bf ever hung out in pittsburgh much at all
or if he was a democrat or a gop
or if he even believed in one almighty gawd
he was an american but he was pretty english, too
kinda like a hybrid
gee, he must've looked funny in his tights and buckly shoes
and you thought the '80s was a bad fashion trip, ha!
jesus, franklin, i tried to spruce you up a bit, man
like you're a psychedelic granddad
but, man, you still look pretty straight
i bet you didn't look like that after a few brandies in paris
but that's just gossip
and that's just hearsay
and that's just plain conjecture
so that's all i can say about you, ben frank
you're ok with me

 

Metallic SK

metallic sk
metallic guru
metallic all day
metallic for you
metallic the shop
metallic the sky
metallic we buy
metallic we die

metallic the sun
metallic the rain
metallic the morning
metallic again
metallic in blain [0:34]
metallic in rust
metallic in blue
metallic in bust
metallic in heart
metallic in skin
metallic in thick
metallic within
metallic in paint
metallic in light
metallic in sauce
metallic in white
metallic in love
metallic in rain
metallic in hope
metallic in vain
metallic in dope
metallic in ice
metallic in acid
metallic per slice
metallic in iron
metallic in steel
metallic in touch
metallic in feel

metallic on earth
metallic on tile
metallic on fall
metallic on climb
metallic in blues
metallic in jazz
metallic in devil
metallic in nazz
metallic in turkey
metallic in spain
metallic in sweden
metallic in spain
metallic in memory
metallic in most
metallic in muscle
metallic in ghost
metallic in snigger
metallic in song
metallic in right
metallic in wrong
metallic sk
metallic sk
metallic sk
fool for a day
wander around with your head silver-gray
gold as a coin
a real tenderloin
a wandering child from the back of des moines
metallic sk
metallic sk
metallic sk
just a-walkin' away
metallic sk
gonna be ok
metallic sk
gonna be ok
metallic sk
you're gonna be ok
gonna be ok
just for today
you're gonna be ok
ok

 

Buddha In The City

yeah
down on samsara and vine
down on the middle way
down in the jungle
where the rust is sumptuous
where the tin is rusting
where the day meets the night
old sack of money
old hindu prince
are you the 7th incarnation of vishnu?
are you a buddha or the buddha or just another buddha?
is it a lesser vehicle or the diamond esoterica?
buddha in the city
you see the naked pain
you hear the shots
you smell the tar
you smell the waste
you smell the smell of fear
you see the #9 train go by
you see the faces in the window in the lonely city
in the legless night
with heat and nausea all around
buddha in the city
as the graveyards slowly fill
as the angels vanish upwards
as the morning finds you here under a bridge
under a fly-over
beneath an overpass
a ramp that leads to hell
a ramp that leads to heaven
a ramp that leads to another spin in the ring
a ramp that leads to you
buddha in the city
oh how do you feel now
no one is listening to anything good
they gorge and stuff and wallow in the bad
they chase sweet youth
they run from age
they chase fame everlasting
and they hide from blame and criticism
they chase gold and silver
they seek to escape poverty and her humiliations
buddha in the city with your halo of fire
buddha in the city with your wisdom and ways
who do, who do ya, who do ya meet down here
down here in this sad part of our city
down here with the winos and wasted youth
down here with the needles and condoms
down here with the mud and the road and the weeds
downtown there's a spiritual master
they call him a priest
they call him a father
they call him lord buddha's incarnation in shanty town
they say he's the bodhisattva of the block
they say he's the nazz
they say he's a transcending time in a manipulating space
they say nirvana is blowing out the flame
oh extinguishment
like a fire suddenly raging out
like a point in the distance
oh buddha in the city, don't you see?
this city is a glorious thing
each prince propped up by a thousand paupers
each mansion supported by a million hovels
each tycoon balanced by a horde of unheard clowns
oh buddha in the city, temptation is all around
oh buddha in the city, why don't we crucify you in space
oh buddha in the city, meditating in the barbed wire shadows
oh buddha in the city, your detachment infuriates the ice addict
your marks of your buddhahood like tattoos
your gentle face in the glow of a broken lamp
your holy fire burning and returning
your mantras and your tantras
your deep knowledge of mankind
your penetration of the future
your compassionate ignoring
your sympathetic closed eyes
your superior love
buddha in the city on gasoline alley and skid row
down in the city on a miracle street
buddha in the city go go
go buddha go go go

 

Madonna Viscera

[rev. Sept. 13, 2013]

mother of god
mother of love
mother of worlds
mother of mercies
mother of christ
madonna viscera
madonna ciccone
madonna good on her
madonna, are you myself?

comfort for harlots
shelter for thieves
no one believes it
the wake she leaves
madonna mad as a cut snake

madonna the carpet slut
madonna the stuff that fix you up
the biggest fix
the worst lie
the mercy with her goodness
hand in hand across the sand
virgin madonna
abstract madonna
impressionist madonna
medicine madonna
matriarch madonna
medieval madonna
naive madonna
naked madonna
distorted madonna
belladonna madonna
oh she's a child
oh she's a queen
down by the station early in the morning
all the little saviors standing in a row
mary magnesia
mary the magdaleny
married to joe
and baby jesus
and pontius pilot
and two roman soldiers
in jerusalem, connecticut, right?
in golgotha, the place with the skulls
and terra nova, give me jehovah
and go mars
and go circus
and go tremble
and go resurrect yourself
and go know yourself
and ooh madonna viscera
you're kinda creepy
you're kinda weird
you're kinda out there
you're kinda in there
mother mary comes to me
our lady of the snows
our lady of the eternal burning heart
our lady of mercy and light
science and art, technology and man
frequencies and freaks
buddha in a lesbian bar sipping a black milkshake
madonna viscera in a shadow drinking triple sec
jesus in the forest with his panther
chaotic and hypnotic
wonderful jumbled things go by
i'm in this jungle in the garden of eden
and i'm in this new pearly heaven
i'm in the velvet black night and i breathe gouache paint
i'm in the roller that rolls the color
i'm in the water, in the air
i'm down on the city on a miracle street
i'm a child in a gay bar
i'm a fool on the hill with jack and fucking jill
i'm on pills, i'm searching for 48 thrills
i'm gonna run out of my bills
and i'm gonna drown all my...