posted on July 4, 2007 at 7:19 am

yes of course
i should have known it would be you….
playing that music
behind the door
a man about the killers own age sat there
the room had nail- on woodpanels
and green curtains
the man was playing an upright piano
hi dad……
remember this one slim?
he started playing one thing but halfway thru
it slowly changed into some other songs
dad its half a dozen songs in one … killer said
oh yeah youre right dad said and laughed
whats going on here dad? he asked
im just playing the bloody joanna, slim said dad
too many flourishes ,dad he said
you leave me alone…i dont tell you how to play…
dad started to play some enchanted evening
the killer crooned a long
yer singings a bit better now said dad
where are the boys, dad ? he asked
out the back with the dog
wheres mum?
shes in the kitchen getting dinner ready
why am i here ? he asked
why do you bloody think ? dad said
well i dont know he said
dad shrugged and improvised on some old music hall thing
he looked up
go and get your bass guitar son
but dad… he said
go on get your bass and your amplifier
we can play some music together he said
go on slim ! get your bloody bass!
the thought of the corridor of slowness filled him with dread
but how could he deny his father this simple request…?
watcha waiting for ? said dad
he turned back and opened the door
and stepped on thru
instead of the hallway he had expected
he stood in a room
a hotel room
oh art deco all mod cons
hes just been travelling for ages
all over the place
man i feel tired
man i feel fatigued
i’ll just sit down on this bed he thinks
maybe i’ll meditate and fall asleep he thinks
he sits there saying his mantra for half a minute
and a hole opens up in his head
and the afternoon pours in
this is not a metaphor in fact
this happens
imagine it
you are endless
you are not expecting this
being so exhausted
you are not courting this at all
nonethe less you have opened up
and the gate was open for everything
its not pretty and you panic
its all happening on a huge screen
every word you say reverberates
every fear you have exaggerates
youre sitting back watching in the good seats
watching yourself up on the screen
simultaneity druid…..aint it something?
incredulously, you perceive the whole shebang as a wobbly projection
the solid reality upon which you stand has been undermined
the facades and veneers crack and peel back
voices whisper in hisses and screams
and you understand them all
this is the real abyss
not death
but madness
or enlightenment
but dark enlightenment
finding out everything is fucked!
shudder and shiver this is a terrible place to be
the abyss abyssmally hypnotic
in you go into that horror
its whirling baybee
its whirling you and everything around
its warping and oozing and spinning
and youre upside down inside out
every cell rails against this inversion
sucked off into his mind
the raw stuff of existence
its chaos!
locked in your mind
it is as big as the universe
inside your mind you dream up huge floating planets
crashing around in a sick solar system
you have to stop it somehow
how can you?
there are so many …and only one you
and look now youre so big yourself
youre a thousand storeys high
youre a skyscraping monster
and you feel so seasick just considering anything
and the planets go on bouncing and making this awful sound
and you have to stop them because youre all alone in here
and being alone frightens you too
as you suddenly realise how utterly you are
are alone
inside your head
with everything going wrong
cos you pushed it too far
and it wont snap back
still in an art deco hotel room on a bed
just with closed eyes
whimpering a little maybe
obvlivious to all that now
have i gone crazy ? he asks
and theres a knock at the door
come in he says eventually
the door opens and its dad
oh good olde bloody dad
nothing could ever be too bad then
dad established normality
dad grabbed that afternoon and pulled it out of his head
no no he groaned
cmon boy dad said and suddenly it was over
dad and him were driving along somewhere
im gonna drop you off just up here slim…ok? dad said
numbly he climbed out of dads car
dad beep beeped as he drove off
he was in a city
it was snowing
he was cold
intuition said nothing
nothing he could hear
he just stood there
until a bus pulled up….



45 Responses to “my fathers piano dreams of this song”

  1. avatar
    isolde | 4 July 2007 at 8:54 am #

    amazing you made me cry then

  2. avatar
    sharka | 4 July 2007 at 9:21 am #

    Remindlessness has gone digital…

    and things are happening!

  3. avatar
    mtv | 4 July 2007 at 9:21 am #

    once you’ve seen that abyss life seems rather pointless doesn’t it. dark enlightenment.. well put.

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 July 2007 at 9:32 am #

    you amaze me (yet again) with the depth and complexity of your imagination…when you’re older and you realise that your mum and dad aren’t going to be around forever it’s such a bittersweet thing being with them, isn’t it…
    fuck i wish i was a gifted as you…
    -The Hellbound Heart

  5. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 July 2007 at 9:34 am #

    shit…typo again…damn that letter s
    -The HBH

  6. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 July 2007 at 9:48 am #

    I always get a warm and fuzzy feeling when you write about your dad sk, he’d be so happy that you included him in this adventure alongside all the other people you love and admire.
    Until tomorrow….
    Love & hugs,

  7. avatar
    adrift | 4 July 2007 at 9:56 am #

    “a hole opens up in his head
    and the afternoon pours in”

    and just like a dad to save the day then back off… they’re pretty humble, dads. do it for the love…

    love the imagery. goddamn you can turn a phrase, sk. please keep it up.

    love jane xx

  8. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 July 2007 at 9:56 am #

    where did you come from?…you immaculate creature…i have tears of sorrow,and regret,and then again,i marvel at your writing and your exceptional heart…..i used to lie underneath my mums concert grand steinway,and draw whilst she was playing/practicing ….when i visit her in melbourne,she plays for me…every time she plays “moonlight sonata” i well up in tears…she says that when she leaves this world,the piano is mine…..I KINDA DONT WANT IT UNLESS SHES PLAYING IT………then again,it does make me laugh,to listen to recordings of the music,on the radio… doesnt seem to have the same charismatic cursing of”oh,poop!”,atintermittent intervals….one day,when and if you have time,i would like for you to meditate with me…there is something id like to show you….take care,sweet dreams…love,as always,genx xxx

  9. avatar
    restaurant mark | 4 July 2007 at 11:44 am #

    great story going…want it to be like tv though, wanna watch the previews of the next episode at the end. well at least we don’t have to wait till next week. take care man.

  10. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 July 2007 at 12:09 pm #

    Steve, didn’t you tell us years ago that we’re “always on the bus” ?!

  11. avatar
    fantasticandy | 4 July 2007 at 12:10 pm #

    i lost my dad same age as you,
    i miss him the same way.
    we were robbed.
    luv, andy L.

  12. avatar
    melquiades | 4 July 2007 at 12:16 pm #

    mmmm…..very nice.

  13. avatar
    CSTCoach | 4 July 2007 at 2:28 pm #

    really great imagery (says the disciple to the master). wonderful observations. and the image of your dad was really nice. its what we see when we go inside, isn’t it? made me think of my dad, who died just over two years ago, a week before i “became successful” after years of struggle. i relive those times with him often now. but the only time we meet is in dreams.

    really fucking enjoying these installments, being. it’s a hell of a yarn!


  14. avatar
    John | 4 July 2007 at 2:36 pm #

    Simply beautiful prose.

    There is not a day that goes by I don’t think of my Dad at least once. My Dad was the real-life embodiment of Bob Hartley, if you can imagine that. He was a chemical engineer, a brilliant man in all respects with an infrequent but infectious laugh that could always bring a smile to your face. When he was just over 70, he developed a rare form of dimentia, like Alzheimer’s, but compacted into 2 years, with Parkinson’s as a side. He went from brilliance to a mushy minded baby in just 1 year. In his last year of life I watched him sit and call out in a drugged induced daze, like some alien had taken over his mind and body.

    On rare occasions though, if I was lucky enough to witness the actual moment, perhaps when he was receiving a long hug from my girls, or the moment he was wheeled out of doors and he sensed the sunlight and the breeze, I could see a tiny smile creep out the corners of his mouth from behind that alien facade, and knew somewhere deep inside my Dad was still lurking about, held down by the drugs and disease. I was both blessed and cursed when he died. I miss him terribly.

    We all have faced or will face the same pain and agony seeing those we love suffer in one way or another, not just those that go, but those that are left behind. It’s something we all share, worse perhaps than our own death itself, which is why I don’t understand why we are so very cruel to each other.

    Every face you see today has, is, or will one day suffer terribly. I try to keep that in mind when I come across the most obnoxious of people. I try to see my Dad in them.


  15. avatar
    Jen Jewel Brown | 4 July 2007 at 3:03 pm #

    Dad’s day approaches. My Dad turned 84 yesterday. Luv ya Dad.

    Some interesting stuff in The Age about meat and greenhouse/environmental impact…

    So those Dad’s can keep on keepin’ on.

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 July 2007 at 3:12 pm #

    Steve Kilbey mention in Point Break 2 audition video.

  17. avatar
    nickF | 4 July 2007 at 3:29 pm #

    i bought the mimesis cd, can’t wait to hear it !!!! god it’s f@*kin’ hot here in Ohio/ not to mention boring!

  18. avatar
    gabor | 4 July 2007 at 4:12 pm #

    Someone once asked me how I thought I’d have been different if I’d actually had a ‘real’ father instead of the worthless, perpetually pissed-up, physically, mentally and emotionally abusive arsehole that I did have.
    I couldn’t answer.
    The thought of having a ‘normal’ father is so far outside my experience I can’t even conceive of what it must be like.
    This is just one of the reasons I’m always touched by the genuine warmth and affection whenever you write about your dad, Steve. I’m glad you remember him like this and wish you’d had him for a lot longer than you did. Thanks for today, Killa.

  19. avatar
    Diskrunner | 4 July 2007 at 5:15 pm #

    When my father died, I was hanging in the sky, on a flight from London to Melbourne. My sister and brother met me at the airport and told me what had happened. He’d been sick for quite a while. I never really knew him, and was almost surprised when the grief welled up and poured from me. They led me back to the car, holding my wrists and hugging me. We skate along the surface of the ocean most of the time, emotion and dreams remind us there’s something in there, much deeper. David Lynch reckons the world would be a happier place if we all meditated. Maybe he’s right. There’s an amazing scene in his ‘Inland Empire’ where the central character steps into a cinema, and on the screen is footage, from a different angle, of her watching herself on screen at that exact moment. Maybe it’s just ‘projections’ that we see most of the time.

  20. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 July 2007 at 5:27 pm #

    i wanna sing to you..from the rooftop of a bali skyscraper…xo

  21. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 4 July 2007 at 5:28 pm #

    Such a compelling, visionary and articulate blog forces me to cling onto the hopes that there is an afterlife and/or spirit world. Today is Independence Day in America. Our Couuntry is in a quagmire because of the Iraq war. The celebrations are mostly all style and little substance. Millions of people will be gorging on beef, pork, lamb, poultry and fish. I am also a fat glutten. Meatless dishes are exorbitantly delicious and addictive. Time for to play tennis and get my assed kicked again. After Everthing Now That !

  22. avatar
    matthew | 4 July 2007 at 5:33 pm #

    Steve, this is just the best stuff man, thanks so much.

  23. avatar
    davem | 4 July 2007 at 6:01 pm #

    You’re on a roll at the mo SK.
    Brill stuff.
    Lost Mum years ago but my old man’s still going strong. You choked me up today. Powerful stuff.
    I love the way you can bounce from words to music to easel so….seemingly…effortlessly.
    Strains of FY in my kitchen tonight. Veggie treats being cooked up in honour of you!

    Love to all.


  24. avatar
    CSTCoach | 4 July 2007 at 6:27 pm #

    john at 12:36 – that was really well said. thank you for posting it.


  25. avatar
    ben | 4 July 2007 at 6:55 pm #

    as the sun goes down the mind plagues you telling you all the things you must do. the dawning sun brings it back around again. you must hide in the fathers bosom and follow the light of the son.

  26. avatar
    Tony Pucci | 4 July 2007 at 8:36 pm #

    “my father’s piano dreams of this song”…always was a fave of mine, one of your most brilliant lines, sk…so much tenderness, thought, love, and melancholy in those 7 seemingly simple words, strung together in your mind then and now a narration to something almost tangible within you, i expect…i miss and think about my dad a lot too. the world doesn’t seem right anymore with him gone…peace sk…puccifish

  27. avatar
    JUNIOR PAINKILLER | 4 July 2007 at 8:53 pm #

    weird how me felt that bloggie inside me own mind…
    Dark Enlightenment

  28. avatar
    kat | 4 July 2007 at 9:00 pm #

    aw, sk, such memories.. to write about your dad.

    for me it was my mom who played piano, not my dad. he played some kinda’ variation of a musette for the shriners oriental band.. so long ago.

    every word you say reverberates~ great as usual..

  29. avatar
    restaurant mark | 4 July 2007 at 9:45 pm #

    good post john…very heartfelt and true. one of my grandfathers battled ms forever it seemed. at the end he was just a shell mostly. the pain got to be so much they had him all drugged up and his mind finally let go too. it had been sharp as a nail the whole time up until the end. but that was even more sad at times, he wasn’t there just blissfully unaware, which i thought would’ve been better. i’m sure i’m wrong, but it’s how i felt then. but anyway, all of his thought processes and his wonderfully dry humor were totally intact, but he couldn’t do anything really. i was actually amazed at how he kept the humor through it all. strength i guess. but even the last few days of his life…didn’t talk or recognize anyone as far as we could tell. but when the nurse would come in and do something for him on her way out he’d say thanks honey. it was kind of weird, but amazing…and he was still polite! anyway just wanted to say that your comment and some others got me thinking about my grandfather…his name was keith england by the way. thanks.
    take care

  30. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 July 2007 at 9:54 pm #

    chrissie hynde is opening a veg restaurant in akron ohio, her hometown. there’s one more reason to tour the states. a free meal maybe.

  31. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 July 2007 at 10:21 pm #

    in October 2004 I too was on a sky tube making my way south to my ailing Dad. As I watched gold sunlight arc across the turning plane, I asked him to wait for me please, wait til I get there Dad; he said I can’t, it hurts too much, let me go……i sat like a weeping rock until landing; then when they took me to him, cooling, I put my hand on his heart and it was warm and golden. Just like the man.
    I miss him all the time but I know he would have hated being infirm. I see him now, in birds.

    Last night I went to the movies and saw Transformers. We sat up front, close to the screen. I kept thinking how good ttb/erskine/stories would look there.

    Love to all the father-missers, especially gabor xxx

  32. avatar
    Thelonious | 4 July 2007 at 10:28 pm #

    Steve, best ever. Thank you.

  33. avatar
    Tim | 4 July 2007 at 11:47 pm #


    puts a whole new meaning to
    “theatre of the mind”

    who would be your choice to direct this movie?

    David Cronenberg?
    David Lynch?
    Steve Kilbey?

    I enjoyed it very much…keeps me coming back..thanks killa!


  34. avatar
    Celticat | 5 July 2007 at 12:53 am #

    That made me weep, joyously tears run gold.


  35. avatar
    freddy mercurial | 5 July 2007 at 2:14 am #

    I always enjoying getting to know your dad through your words.

    Strange concept, isn’t it? Here I am, sitting in front of a computer screen on the other side of the globe, and I’m treated to a small insight (glimpse) into who you dad was, all via your writing.

    I suppose, in some way, that every son has their own father live though them in one way or another.

    Hope you are well.

    Freddy Merc

    p.s. I’ve always thought the ole’ Warm Spell was quite a good melody and lyric. Still got that bloody flexi lying around somewhere…

  36. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 July 2007 at 2:59 am #

    under the milky way cassette single was the first worthwhile present my brother ever bought me… worthwhile meaning thoughtful… I still listen to it from time to time… warm spell was a song that for some reason sparked the sounds and feel of summer in maryland, where I live… I don’t know why… “nestled in our blankets” or “our house was never empty” are great lines… or even “I must admit I don’t, know you very well.” almost like the speaker is speaking to himself…

    these lines from the blog remind me of the end of e.e. cummings’ poem, “Milly, Molly, Maggie, and May”

    “it is as big as the universe
    inside your mind you dream up huge floating planets
    crashing around in a sick solar system
    you have to stop it somehow
    how can you?”

    maggie and milly and molly and may
    went down to the beach(to play one day)

    and maggie discovered a shell that sang
    so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

    milly befriended a stranded star
    whose rays five languid fingers were;

    and molly was chased by a horrible thing
    which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

    may came home with a smooth round stone
    as small as a world and as large as alone.

    For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
    it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

    thanks for reminding me about summertime and my brother.


  37. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 July 2007 at 3:17 am #

    i like the fire in yer voice,in “Bordhello”

  38. avatar
    JJ | 5 July 2007 at 3:41 am #

    “As tall as a skyscraper”….I have felt this way, it started when I was a kid, lying on the floor, aimlessly watching TV, not really paying attention, and I would drift into this nether state between consciousness and sleep, a semi-dream state, and my body would seem to enlarge and fill the room, floating above, huge hands, all so strange……my girlfriend says I was achieving a meditational state, but it was almost bliss. It would later happen as I would lie down listening to music through headphones, drifting away again….

    Your rememberances of your father are very poignant, though I never really had a close relationship with my own. It’s very hard to see his physical decline recently, though mentally he’s as sharp as ever; but given to uncharacteristic bouts of irrationality. He was an aerospace engineer, all science and rationality, but….he told me he sees the future. I was shocked, don’t know what to make of it.

  39. avatar
    JJ | 5 July 2007 at 3:47 am #

    TB – “you have potential, you have the gift”

    These recent entries have been excellent.

  40. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 July 2007 at 4:56 am #

    Very touching….made me get up and go speak with my dad. I’m so grateful I still can…..

    Mike in Canada

  41. avatar
    calling down baal and zeus | 5 July 2007 at 4:58 am #

    tonight i tackled a giant..
    my nephew crhistopher is not his fathers son ,… in fact i used to hang out with his father,… my sisters husband is not my nephews father,… here you see the conundrum ,. for me i have had these feelings of late,..i know of a recent pushing , of his real fathers , father as of late to see his grandson ,.. and of the vehement denial of his now parents,.. too hard to follow ,.. hang i n there .. anyway cause of this whole family unexpectedness of the push by the paternal grandfather i thought my nephew chris might like to know what his dad was like ,… saavy? ,.. so long story short i told him ,.. tonight .. hes twenty one years old (i asked him before i started)
    i told him his father was a dreamer ,.. but more than that , cause 9 out of the ten dreams he had ,.. he tried to friuate,.. a good guy ,. with a heart ,.. a \nd a presence ,.. i told him the ladies lined up , which is true
    for weeks ive procrastinated ,.. in the end ,.. all in all ,. this gem of a twenty one year old was sublimely gratefull .. thankfull,.. you see he ,,, had wondered .. we fell into ranks and descended to the 4rth party ,.. new understanding ,.. jus between us ,…. maybe these boys gonna do some talkin…life continues to kick my ass …
    thanks for the cockroach king ,.. makes my day … we love you steven ,,…thats it.

  42. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 July 2007 at 5:50 am #

    what happened to the loveliest panther?and the horriblest piggy?…………….. goodnight!

  43. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 July 2007 at 5:53 am #

    the piggy is sleeping. you son of piggy.

  44. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 July 2007 at 6:50 am #

    sweat dreams piggy…..

  45. avatar
    logiclust | 7 July 2007 at 6:12 am #

    reminds me of salvia.

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