posted on May 17, 2013 at 7:50 pm
former self

my former self




the fragmenting collisions of our worlds

we are flung far out then out past the mirror

we look inside then inside where the damage is

what tender humility scabbed over with pride

i am adrift then adrift in the quietude before life

in the endless morning of potential where i learn to sing

i learn to sing that song about every other song

in the breathless time of dawn i begin my song

the words are shadows

the drums are the knocks in the plumbing in some distant apartment

the bass is the traffic groaning in avenues of cars

the guitars are the one hundred planes in the sky above

the piano is the ringing in my own ears

the strings are the curtains flailing in the wind

the choir is the hum of great buses spitting out passengers

the sea fog slightly mutes all the notes

i am playing at a bar on the new jersey coast

underground in a blue room i strum my 12 string guitar

i open my mouths and out comes my voices

i open my voices out comes the stories

how the swallowed land recedes from us still

out of our memories out of our earshots

black madonna in a painting by jean paul mozart

study the methods and layers of appearances

understand the subtle lapses in seconds

when your god could rush in

or your devil rush in

or your crooked lines straightened with no delicious painkiller

or your miracle escape from the prisons of heaven

or the time you walked home by the light of a star

or your allegations that live in a swamp called desire

or your shabby excellence in putting it off

or your song about alaska making it hot

deep in these caves the songs reverberating liberating feelings within

i point my guitar at the silence and shoot down a song

it screams for a while and struggles to get up

but you clobber it with the kick and the snare

i got another one ….there……

the song tries to stagger but you step up behind it

the song turns around you catch it and bend it

you rip out its chorus you stretch out its verses

the old parts of the song lie in pieces around you

the new song comes along out of your head all rubbery

assassin in the shrubbery

a work of singular duplicity

of such simple complexity

and enduring brevity

yet ending inconclusively


9 Responses to “charting subterranea”

  1. avatar
    princey | 17 May 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Was thinking to myself the other night while you were on stage, how much I miss your solo shows.
    Would love to hear Providence and all your stuff live one more time, any chance???? xAmanda

  2. avatar
    Kohl Ette | 17 May 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    I woke at some ungodly hour
    blessed that a song had entered my head
    and as I thought or caught
    the flux of the tune
    my heart struck the beat
    and lyrics poured forth like liquid
    I could have, I would have
    risen to the piano and fingered it
    but incidentally…
    after a breve rest
    when I woke
    I remembered the blessed experience
    but alas no memory of the melody
    or words to match
    just vague haunting of emotions
    sunk to ocean’s floor for a long moment
    then lit by filtered eastern
    flittering plunging sunrise
    ha! encore encore
    mutual elusivity

  3. avatar
    the bonhamizer | 18 May 2013 at 3:01 am #

    steve u got any kickdrum triplets in ur new stuff?

  4. avatar
    bernadettekeys | 18 May 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Bravo another good poem. On a roll.

  5. avatar
    rustywilloughby | 19 May 2013 at 5:03 am #

    this is all a bit like a charlie kaufman script. in that not only can i can read about an artist and his music that’ve been such a large part of my life since i was fourteen years old, but it’s written by the artist himself, and in a way that makes the documentary become new art, that one day, hopefully i can read again, and read about again.

    that sentence was far too long. i’ve got the neighbor kids singing chrome injury this weekend. cheers SK and thanks for the invisible beauty.


  6. avatar
    Anonymous | 19 May 2013 at 8:53 am #

    taking forward chaucer and a miller’s tale, keeping light fantastic remembering always (to a whiter shade of pale)… that’s music when the ceiling flies away. and you do it so well.

  7. avatar
    eternallylit | 19 May 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    he and i met at the corner store gotta be 25 years ago but those eyes looked straight into me as if he knew inside- i can never forget and i wonder did you ever see them again. in mansfield you did come and spend some time talking and left for dinner but came back with a giftl of a new church/ kilbey tape for me that i treasure to this day then took me to your studio told me “dont be a stranger” – but i did! I wonder did you ever think of that girl with green eyes that you somehow knex inside

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 20 May 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      i remember you deb of course……..where and how are you?

      • avatar
        eternallylit | 20 May 2013 at 10:00 pm #

        well you do have memory my friend been so many places and faces since those good old bad days alas my path led me back to ‘ol act town and all the things one felt would be just passed me by. but its life aint it. missed you guys when you played here last and only heard about the book shop gig after that passed which would have been a classic from what i read. and time passes on yeah life speeds up.! good catching up and maybe our paths will cross again one day?keep kool mr kilbey

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