posted on July 19, 2008 at 9:03 pm

tap tap tap
a man sits at a desk
writing away
combinations of letters
that form words
that become thoughts in your mind
why do you wanna read this mans words?
because once….
what…?
oh never mind…
no, go on now, proceed…
well once he wrote something…it made me feel unalone
it made me feel like someone else…understood..um, something
it made me feel like someone else could…..ah i dunno
…and it somehow made me feel….oh a connection..
really? with his words
yes somehow it made me feel special
like i was wrapped up in this big scheme
or part of a family
or like i was in on this huge secret and….
….and the words were a code for the real thing
yes like i knew him
like i knew him so well
you could almost see him there
typing away in his small room
an ordinary room in an ordinary place
he had cold feet and was hungry
it was early on a sunday
it was a wintery morning
the moon was still an echo in the sky
the city slept
sated in booze and violence and sin
the palm trees nodded but today they were silent
only a few cars still haunted the foggy overpasses
a dog barked and was quiet again
his eyes squint through his glasses
as he chooses his words so carefully
when he gets truly rolling
the words flow to his mind in an unending stream
he doesnt think then he just transcribes
tap tap tap
the letters joined up as words
the words coagulate into sentences
the sentences coalesce in your mind as thoughts
the thoughts fall together to become ideas
and the ideas form desires and pleasures
he writes about himself mainly…
strange that you of all people, shouldn’t mind
what do you care for some else inner life…?
maybe small sleepy children are sitting reading
in that small room where he types out his words
children with straight blonde hair and brown eyes
children with wavy brown hair and blue eyes
children with curly chestnut hair and hazel eyes
the children yawn and turn their pages
in the deep still of winter every thought turns to silence
the animals are motionless in their burrows and hollows
the fish hang in the water hardly moving
the only movement is the mans fingers
which type type type away
the sky is whitish grey like its been sucked of colour
some optimistic streaks of blue smudged in the distance
some birds have begun to wake up
tentatively they call to one another
what are they calling?
here i am all you sparrows…
or
here here we have found some worms!!
or
my starling bride has a lovely beak!
or just tweet tweet tweety tweet
we only understand our own modern english
what hope to know the birds…?
the man writes: it seems all things must come to us
but what does that mean…
that nature must approach man on mans terms?
that the birds must speak english if we are to understand them?
why understand them then…the man is writing..
to understand things brings everything undone
you just let it wash over…thats right….
you just let it all wash over you
all the words and all the birds words too
and the worms too
what would they sing if they could?
a song of earth
a song of fear…fear of birds
a song of blindness and darkness
a song without a sun
the man writes about the birds and the worms
he writes about small stones and little chips of green glass
he writes about some old souvenir from another time
he writes about the warm feelings in the reeds
he writes about the clouds no one wants to see
he writes about the outside
he writes about things we are starting to forget
the man…..he just keeps on and on now
no pause no nothing
the words come from the ether
where once there was nothing
he has built a sturdy idea
with subtle flourishes
put in
as it seems
especially for you
you alone
and no other you
nothing is ever definite really
sometimes the stupid things he writes makes you angry
and only later do you see….
see some humanity behind that or something
sometimes youre bored
and you only linger on the words for courtesy’s sake
but now and then
or eventually
or
sooner rather than later
and who wouldnt rather sooner than later obviously
words flock around events soaking up ambience
you seem to be a sensitive soul
a plane flies over head
a few miles up people reading the sunday paper
fastening and unfastening their seat belts
some of them asleep already
some nervous and anxious like you can be
with some mighty effort the sky is turning blue
the plane must have opened up the clouds
and the blue is seeping through
houses appear on hillsides all blond brick and stucco bestucken
morning is an illusion like everything else
its all in flux its all in flow
anticipate that flow…oh thats it
move with that motion
as you row merrily down the stream
time going everywhichway
there is a flow however
but its so hard to see
panthers and picasso can see it
jeff buckley can see it
johnny lennon and pauly can see it
new people come along and see it
seeing is believing
listen the birds have stopped singing
the day, as such, can begin
the man stops typing
he wonders how he can get warm
he forgets what he’s just written
and life rolls on
you conclude those last few minutes
and youre off
into the future

18 Responses to “naked flame”

  1. avatar
    fantasticandy | 19 July 2008 at 10:46 pm #

    the moving hand writes…….
    and having writ…..
    moves on.

  2. avatar
    kat | 19 July 2008 at 11:03 pm #

    seeing is believing, sk! and listening is important too. 'specially for us music buffs. hey, i am getting the p=a poster and crystalline rush art framed. two weeks i have to wait! i would do it myself but the stuff i've done in the past on my own did not last or look very good. they are going to be awesome when i get them back, but i miss them!

    peace, luv, & r-n-r, everyone

  3. avatar
    lily was here | 19 July 2008 at 11:48 pm #

    If i lost my hearing, I’d have your words and images;

    If I lost my sight, your music and voice would be near

    If I died, my friends and loved ones would remember me and you

    Most times I cannot speak

    xxxxx

    ps deepest sympathy Brien for your recent loss of a friend, and hb to you!

  4. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 20 July 2008 at 1:00 am #

    As I read this blog I was once again awed at how much literary talent and insight SK has. His communion with nature and his sensitivity to mankind’s gradual decimation of everything. I would not want to be such a talented writer, prose poet, painter, vocalist, lyricist, bass player and multi-instrumentalist. I envy the people with limited talent who seem to rule politics, policy and music with their morally, intellectually and spiritually shallow worldviews and pedantic psyches. They dress lovely and know that image is everything because substance ceases to be. Ganhdi was humanity’s last chance and he is only invoked but never emulated. Cheney=Mugabe is today’s reality.

  5. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 20 July 2008 at 2:42 am #

    …and the hands continue typing and from the ether emerges astounding and beautiful poetry…words have such power…
    love always…

  6. avatar
    veleska1970 | 20 July 2008 at 2:50 am #

    all i can say is….lovely.

    “why do you wanna read this mans words?”
    because you are forever intriguing, steve. 😉

    lotza love….

  7. avatar
    veleska1970 | 20 July 2008 at 2:51 am #

    to brien~~my deepest sympathies. hugz.

  8. avatar
    ross b | 20 July 2008 at 6:04 am #

    i must confess
    this mourning has tasted blue
    these are words of yours
    that continue to ring true

    much respect, r.

  9. avatar
    princey | 20 July 2008 at 7:57 am #

    I love connecting with u everyday sk, eventhough its through a screen, but I’m not complaining! Thanks for the beautiful words that mean so much to me…they just do!
    Love Amanda

  10. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 July 2008 at 10:53 am #

    Words hold people together and pull them apart, either way, people can’t get by without them, especially in the stoic Western world…better to have people like you Steven Kilbey continuing to practice the craft then some of the other options.
    Seeing is not believing. Belief is purely a matter of faith and objective evidence. Seeing in a society full of words, is a very negotiable form of belief dependent on individual intent and systemic conditioning.
    It is usually clear what you believe SK, even if not clear to yourself.

  11. avatar
    cupid | 20 July 2008 at 11:10 am #

    Children believe what they see. Adults see what they want to believe, and I just trust the magician will make it happen.

  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 July 2008 at 11:35 am #

    beautiful new music,SK.cant wait for painkiller.:) xo thank you .

  13. avatar
    davem | 20 July 2008 at 11:43 am #

    That was perfect for this Sunday morning.
    I hang on your every word. Really.
    xx

  14. avatar
    kat | 20 July 2008 at 3:10 pm #

    faith keeps me alive. seeing is believing.

  15. avatar
    CSTCoach | 20 July 2008 at 4:02 pm #

    a pensive winter day in Nth Bondi…

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 July 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    We love you sk.
    x

  17. avatar
    iseult | 21 July 2008 at 9:48 am #

    that’s how it is

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 21 July 2008 at 4:29 pm #

    I know I am late on the post here but I couldn’t get to a computer until now and this post was so extremely powerful for me.

    This past weekend, I was camping with my son and a bunch of the adults on the trip had taken to discussing about our progressive loss of our connection with everything nature. And how if our kids don’t know nature then how are they ever going to appreciate it or care if it disappears…

    Well the next morning I wake up to the birds singing and I just lay there listening to all their different calls and wonder what they could be saying to each other. And I was wishing I could understand but it all sounds so beautiful just the same.

    Well then I get the suudden urge to read TTB because I haven’t seen it in a few days and I look it up and see this entry. And it also strikes me the part about your writing making people angry. And your right I was but then I have kept perusing these pages and have discovered a lot of humanity and inspiration and food for thought…

    Now I am really rambling so I will end it here and yes I will subscribe already.

    Thanks,

    Hector


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