posted on February 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

picking up an insistent distant beat

fuck who am i ?

i incarnate on this cold street

i manifest in some shady hotel

i sit in the lobby reading a newspaper

the dates are all wrong

the pictures are all blurry and vague

out into the empty streets i go

i stand outside a restaurant

hell which town is this

drug deals cops n robbers

i see all good people turn their heads each day so satisfied

im on my way

hey my show sold out i say to someones shadow

yeah which show was that ? asks a big black shape

i dont uh i uh i dont remember i say as i walk away

there is much laughter in the darkness around me

i stand in front of this restaurant

mexican food mission style

i go in only an old man working there

a wonderfully humble descendent of some incan king

what would you like sir he asks and smiles

i get lost in his smile

his accent is thick and my fucking ears are ringing

i’m sorry i stumble about

what would you like sir , some beans and rice ….

is there…..i begin to ask

no meat or lard in black beans sir he says

he look at me

i know who you are he say

i know exactly who you are even if you dont

the man laugh laugh

i know who you are he repeat

who am i i ask who am i then

oh senor you know who you are

oh senor you know me before oh yes

oh senor we go back a long way my friend

suddenly we are interrupted

a woman comes out of the kitchen

this is my daughter but he already know that… says the man

i think the daughter is young

but the closer she gets i see she is almost as old as me

he doesnt remember says the daughter smiling

no he doesnt remember says the man and serves up my dinner

the food is delicious

they close up the shop

they sit down around me

in some weird corner of some dirty northern city

in some obscure cafe

the man pours out some sangria

he lights a cigarette

he sits back looking at me

what is your name now? he asks

i cant fucking think of my name for the life of me

he dont remember that either smiles the daughter

he dont remember much……she concludes

she is youthful but old looking

the combination is quite confusing

what you looking at …? she smirks triumphantly

the man puffs on his cigarette and chuckles

hes looking at you maria

maria long dead glide through this tonite i say

the daughter smiles but shakes her head

the man nods ah yes maybe you do know who you used to be

who i used to be i ask

i’m sitting in their flat somewhere above the cafe

some freaky feeling in the air

i know you had the vine i know you seen the light says someone

i know you partook of that san pedro cactus that showeth man miracles

lemuria ? i say

the man laughs

the daughter pours herself another sangria

lemuria ….  she says

now what have you come for….this….? asks the man

he pours a little mountain of white powder on the table

go on he says you love the stuff

the daughter says no this is what he likes

she lifts up her skirt

no… both!  someone says and they all laugh

it is true i mustve known you  somewhere once i say

yes they say

that is true

i stand up and leave

you know where we are the daughter says

just around the corner from any hotel says the man

the night is cold bitterly cold

a siren blasting the street

desperate transaction in alleyway

guy walking his poodle

crazy person filthy looking like a monster

i see the most hideous   hag

and i see this once handsome lad

they stand whispering in the lamplight at the end of lonely street

i wonder which drug had brought them undone

and then i saw the vodka bottle flash from a pocket and poured into a cup

vodka had undone these wretches

they were like characters youd see at a medieval witch burning

cant find my way home

i hear some whispering going on around me

up to my coldwater room

full of clothes strewn everywhere

i sink on the sagging bed

i blow my nose

i rub my eyes

sleep comes like a merciful angel eventually

in the deepest warmest dreams i wander lonely as a frickin’ cloud

oh sleep always such a friend to me

have i ever been awake in my whole time here?

44 Responses to “americana”

  1. avatar
    Once | 10 February 2011 at 3:35 pm #



    F**king incredible, oh you are SO back!!!!


  2. avatar
    nickfiction | 10 February 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    that’s quite a piece of literature ….. still can’t believe i’m missing their best tour ever….. still complaining Nick FIction

  3. avatar
    Art | 10 February 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    Brilliant. Brillante.

  4. avatar
    Jay | 10 February 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Where do you stay in Seattle? This sounds like you are somewhere in the rough? Hopefully, you did not have to stay in a motel off highway 99. My home is small, but you guys would always be welcome to crash on a air mattress with a lovely view of the sound surrounding you. And even a home cooked veggie meal with a side of hash, if you like.

    The show on Monday night was perhaps the best I have ever seen you. It was about my 8th time since around 1995. I do think the lighting could be better for Priest=Aura. It was too bright on you guys and the background screen was too light. The mood should be a little more dark and smoky. I loved the bridge footage during Destination and there should be more of that kind of vibe. The music was amazing, but the lights could be better.

    I also picked up Remindlessness and Unearthed at the show. They are the only 2 albums I have never heard of yours. I was always put off by the electronic drum talk about the records. Damn! They are Fantastic! I love them and the drum sound works well. I am curious how some of the songs never made it to the Church sessions. What a treat to find so many great songs by you. It’s one of life’s little luxuries.

    Thanks for coming to my town to spread the word. It’s unheard of to be playing at the top of your craft after 30 years, but I heard it on Monday night.


    • avatar
      eekie | 10 February 2011 at 5:22 pm #

      Nooooooo!!! Please don’t encourage them to go stand in the dark again. They’ve finally been convinced to shine a little light on them when they play instead of hiding in the shadows and it’s about fucking time! Nice to finally be able to see them instead of wondering why they’re hiding. I love the band but good god I absolutely abhor the dark, dingy lighting they’ve had for the past several tours. >:(

      (whoever decided on the brighter lighting deserves a cookie! 🙂 )

      • avatar
        lisa k | 11 February 2011 at 2:36 am #

        I agree eekie! And your comment the other day about it being OK for butt-ugly bands to be in the dark was so funny! The Church are way too gorgeous to be in shadow. The video I’ve seen from this tour looks great. Can’t wait to be there live– just 8 more days.

  5. avatar
    jaime r.. | 10 February 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    Ive seen all good people.. so satisfied.. On my way..

  6. avatar
    Emmett Goodman | 10 February 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Mr. Kilbey,

    greetings from a fan in New York. I am set to see the Church perform next week at the Highline Ballroom in New York.

    I just wanted to say that I love these entries of yours, and I love that you quoted a Yes song in there as well.

    Have a good one.

  7. avatar
    Karen | 10 February 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    That was fucking awesome
    and since I still havent listened to any of your music besides the odd old lost hit on the radio…
    Im a fake church fan:O omg !
    well I liked your music just havent updated…
    all Ive got is your words
    & I love em

  8. avatar
    Mr. Argent | 10 February 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ [Traffic] is the perfect soundtrack for such experiences. SF is Neptunia maximus. I love it so.

  9. avatar
    Melissa Geriah | 10 February 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    I think the distant beat is in Malibu 🙂

  10. avatar
    Rene | 10 February 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    God that’s fucking depressing! Life on the road … A different perspective.

  11. avatar
    neptune | 10 February 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    you are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.
    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  12. avatar
    captain mission | 10 February 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    yeah have to agree with these good folks, brilliant writing hombre.

  13. avatar
    verdelay | 10 February 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    Sleep, like the ocean, is layered

    Sleep, like the ocean, has a splashy surface where the light can penetrate

    Sleep, like the ocean, is beset by shoals of hungry beasts

    Sleep, like the ocean, once penetrated begins to exert pressure on the skull

    Sleep, like the ocean, is populated with fantastic, ridiculous monsters

    Sleep, like the ocean, is haunted by masses of floating, gelatinous creatures

    Sleep, like the ocean, brings death and relief in equal measure

    Sleep, like the ocean, has a deep, dark layer where there is nothing much at all

    Sleep, like the ocean, brings pulsing currents from afar where things are carried off or returned

    Sleep, like the ocean, keeps on going, down, down, Mariana Soporifica

    Sleep, like the ocean, contains white worms that eat everything that falls

    Sleep, like the ocean, is littered with the blanched bones of inedible things

    Sleep, like the ocean, eventually ends with a crash upon the waking rocks

    Sleep like the ocean

  14. avatar
    mime | 10 February 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    wonderful words
    and what a great tour it must be
    still jealous though
    so please think of visiting some old continent soon…

  15. avatar
    hellbound heart | 10 February 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    this isn’t a blog, this is a story…..beautiful

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 10 February 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    Thanks for the trip.

  17. avatar
    ASSMIDGET | 10 February 2011 at 7:48 pm #


  18. avatar
    . | 10 February 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    that’s great stuff
    can’t get enough
    wield your sword
    paint that world
    like a tresure
    way beyond measure
    keep it up
    fill your cup
    steve’s world
    just beyond that door…

  19. avatar
    DavidP | 10 February 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    But what is this? I randomly thought of that exact yes lyric either “yes”terday, der, or the day before and then thought of seeing it here on this blog. I wondered whether its philosophy was a modus operandi for some folk. Would seem to be.
    Seeing oneself in darkness and questioning what is going on seems to be a bit of a theme lately. Those are good questions you ask at the beginning and at the end. The questioning, a spark of consciousness, like a small flame flickering in the subconscious night. If these are real dreams you are actually having then I would say there’s a purpose to them.
    Take care, be aware!

  20. avatar
    andy | 11 February 2011 at 1:25 am #

    that one was intense…..
    claustophobic….creepy…too much caffine for sure.
    best little story for ages steve,
    a real treat for those of us unable to catch the band!

  21. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 11 February 2011 at 1:53 am #

    Is Wes your stage manager for this tour? If so, before the show on Friday, I have a small gift for you. It is nothing elaborate, it is a great (and very short) book of poems written in Chicago, around Chicago, about Chicago from an impressive Professor of Lit at NorthWestern University (Reginald Gibbons). I have never read anyone who describes my city with such passion and detail. He even distinguishes street to street level strolls. His book ‘Creatures of a Day’ was a runner-up for ‘book of the year’ in 2008. I hope you enjoy the book, it is a quick and precise read. It may make some of the traveling less taxing on your synapses, and also…could be a great escape during that long flight home.
    See you in 30 hours…

    Darrin K.

  22. avatar
    Cecilia | 11 February 2011 at 2:34 am #

    the man pours out some sangria
    he lights a cigarette
    he sits back looking at me
    what is your name now? he asks
    i cant fucking think of my name for the life of me
    he dont remember that either smiles the daughter
    he dont remember much……she concludes

    el hombre sirve la sangria
    enciende un cigarro
    se recarga mirándome
    y ahora cual es tu nombre? me pregunta
    no puedo, por un chingo, acordarme de mi nombre aunque me salvara la vida
    tampoco recuerda eso sonríe la hija
    no recuerda mucho…concluye

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 11 February 2011 at 4:28 am #

      wow cee i was hoping youd translate a bit of this into spanish
      it was aching for it!

  23. avatar
    Lisa | 11 February 2011 at 2:50 am #

    Try waking up from a dream where Steve and Marty crash at your place overnight…didn’t want that one to end 😉 Grand story & wonderful writing Steve!

  24. avatar
    Ron Bonham | 11 February 2011 at 2:53 am #



  25. avatar
    Martha | 11 February 2011 at 3:07 am #

    what a grabber

    ….ever read “The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World” by Harlan Ellison?

    if not, consider this a recommendation.

  26. avatar
    stealth blue | 11 February 2011 at 8:22 am #

    JESUS CHRIST!! Pretty wicked, Steve-o!! At first I thought, this was really happening…then not too far into it I thought, “Wait a tick! This IS SK writing this!! Hellooo???” You just never know what’s flying around in that beautiful mind of yours, do you , brother?? LOL! My own mind freaks me out sometimes, but you…WOW! You NEVER cease to amaze.

    That was awesome, man!! Ha-ha! It was quite disturbing actually, but really, really well-done in the end.

    Very excited to see you guys here in Chicago! Hope the road/weather are treating you OK. Give yourselves plenty of time to get here. I know you guys are amazing drivers, but PLEASE be careful on these sometimes shitty roads, and MANY, MANY very bad drivers on them. Another thing, unfortunately, due to many “budget-cuts” (aka: more money in assholes’ pockets), MANY roads/streets are highly neglected, and made worse because of the bloody snow plows! They tend to gouge out some pretty mean potholes So, I’m just saying it like is; and the fact that I care deeply for you guys. Also, keep in mind that apparently, there MAY be some “light snow” according to Tom Skilling, the local Weather Guru. Take care, and be safe, Steve & Co.

    See you all SOON!! 🙂


  27. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 February 2011 at 8:56 am #


  28. avatar
    Lara | 11 February 2011 at 8:57 am #

    Seems you’ve had some time to dream.

  29. avatar
    michelle | 11 February 2011 at 9:15 am #

    saw your tribe this morning and wanted to let you know, i saw the light in aurora – she was relaxed and happy and her heart was light and it was really beautiful to witness

    may you let the light wash into and around you too


  30. avatar
    Freddie | 11 February 2011 at 9:44 am #

    A journey into some strange darkness,
    a journey I quite enjoyed reading but would never wish to make.

  31. avatar
    further | 11 February 2011 at 10:48 am #

    not that your writing is off, but I just had to skip that song Somewhere. the song is such a pretty thought to float through… always has been –Beautiful. this posted verison was like a Lou Reed Kafkaesque rewrite of a dream taken down the boulevard (beautiful too) but it will be awhile before the two are not confused

  32. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 11 February 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Today the Chicago Reader had a nice preview article about The Church. Some of the unenlightened masses are becoming illuminated.

  33. avatar
    aisatsu | 11 February 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Reading that entry was like getting slapped and handed a wad of cash and a piece of candy all in the same go. Nice.

  34. avatar
    Therese | 11 February 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    That reminds me I will have to play one of my all time fave songs “Two Places at Once” again.

    Glad you’re well, safe and happy and the tour is rockin and getting rave reviews. Well deserved to you all!!!
    Take care on the icy/snowy roads (hope you’re flying now, not driving).
    Enjoy the rest of the tour.

    Peace & love

  35. avatar
    Wilfred Paradise | 11 February 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    The Miracle Man from Bondi, am not sure about the Lemuria connection. am guessing it had to be Atlantis, had to be Atlantis, had to be Atlantis. Gina says frustration is the mother of creativity, and she’s right, so carry on, and keep creeping East. And if you bring your electrics to Greenville, then you can keep it in the zone, otherwise the acoustic may mess w/ your mind perhaps, but you know better. ah, ah. wilfred paradise

  36. avatar
    Richard | 11 February 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    I gonna stray off topic
    (it’s a coping strategy for not being able to be at one of the US gigs)
    I’ve been suffering disaster fatigue
    The relentless stream of climatic horrors in Australia has got me numb
    And I’ve found it hard to connect
    Well,tonight I felt something soft go through my shield
    There was an interview with a flood victim
    The recovery people had just returned to her a shoebox
    it had been found in a wardrobe miles away
    it had photos of her sister and nephew
    who she had talked to on the phone as their house and their lives got swept away
    and she was talking about how her nephew’s smile lit up his whole body
    “you could see he was smiling from behind” she said
    what a beautiful thing to say

    • avatar
      . | 12 February 2011 at 1:47 am #

      i agree.
      simplicity sings through the tragedy

      • avatar
        DavidP | 12 February 2011 at 1:07 pm #

        that is a really nice description of someone Richard. Imagine actually being like that.
        I have seen something similar before in a book called
        The Flight of the Feathered Serpent by Armando Cosani
        on page 1 at the very start of the book –
        “…soon after dealing with him, one couldn’t help but notice the most extraordinary fact that I have come across in my hectic life:
        he was a smile. He was it from head to toe. He didn’t smile, he didn’t need to smile; he was that smile all over. This impression also reached me in a very strange way and it is difficult to explain. I will only say that smiling seemed to be a natural property of his body and that it emanated even from his way of walking.”
        You can read the first few pages on Amazon using the Look Inside feature.

  37. avatar
    sarah | 13 February 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    beautiful. starts out like a nightmare and ends like a dream. you know there are screen play formats for writing? its just a fucking program you write your lines into and out comes a screenplay. well….I am relying it in an extremely simplified format. but….. HELLO you are a major storyteller! I love your stories.

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