posted on February 20, 2010 at 10:32 am

saturday night i sit by the open window
the banished poet at summers long end
lights of the city say twinkle twinkle
its quiet tonight
somewhere out there may rage wild festivities
but not up this street
the wind blows lonely
it whispers wickedly of winter
it implies some sad finality without saying a thing
doors rattle n bang in its wake
the curtains are blind
the windows see nothing
the palms nod out in the orange crescent moon
the clock becomes loud
oh god my pulse is racing away
i feel cold despite the balminess
my head feels heavy
anxiety and anger fuck with me
i have exacerbated my fieriness
i have energy yes
but sometimes it whips me on before it
today i sat for my portrait for the archibald prize
australias big portrait prize
andrew h is doing this 2 metres high painting of moi
i try to pick his brains about art
i ask him many complicated questions
i must have been distracting him
he is a truly lovely man
a gentleman in the real sense of the word
a proper artist who sells paintings in galleries
6 years of art school
but today he couldnt get me
he couldnt nail me in that painting
im going back next week
i believe in this man
i believe he will paint a marvellous picture of me
i know my face so well
because i have done so many self portraits
and because i’m a narcissistic fool
i can see where andrews going wrong
and then i do what i joked early i would never do
i offered suggestions
my nose isnt that long etc
i’m supposed to keep shut up
but i talked the whole fucking time
i realized today that picasso was the only major painter
who switched genres or created new genres all the time
i mean most guys from rembrandt down to rousseau
they get their trip n then spend their lives improving on it
but picasso was like the beatles
he invent a thing
play around with it for a little while
then get a new trip
leaving all the second tier guys to forever remain
in that one new thing he’d figured out
eg career cubists….
wow i really like andrew
softly spoken and humble to a tee
i ask him curly questions as hes trying to grok
the proportions of my face
dragging him out of the spatial n into the verbal
finally i say to him
do you ever think youre a genius ?
and he finally laughs n shakes his head
its a release for us both
i point out to him the idiosyncrasies of my face
he keeps saying
youre very chiselled
now that i’ve been a vegan
my face has become angular again
andrew said
is it that you look young
or are all the people your age looking old?
yes the latter it is
i do not look young
i have the wear n tear of 55 years on my old dial
but guess what
i finally feel happy with my face
i feel at home in it
what you see is what you get
you can have a look at me n see the kinda geezer i am
i’m quick
i ‘m sharp
i’m a bit proud n cruel
but i’m a bit sympathetic and naive too
i am an old boy
you see the discipline of yoga has somehow
done something to my face
time and drugs have fucked it up in one way
and yoga n veganism n swimming
have altered it another
sometimes i am surprised to see myself
sometimes i look so goddamn old
its ok fuck i’m coming on 56
i become old with a naive wonder
and if i continue to grow old like this well i dont mind
i put a lot into yoga and i reap the rewards of long hours
when other people are watching tv or sleeping in
or down the bloody pub
i’m on my balcony whether its hot or cold
i’m out there doing my practice
and if you did something as much as i do yoga
youd expect some results wouldnt you
its a fucking ongoing experiment to see where it could take me
its a miraculous process
it is a type of magic
the transformation of the regular old geezer
into something a bit more souped up
so now i really contain visual contradictions
someone wrote of one our shows
that i oscillate onstage between ancient and youthful
i reckon i got a bit of female mojo in me too
i aint no fucking clown drinking beer n watching tv
i’m the sensitive bloke
i got 5 daughters remember
so there you go
you paint me
you gotta get the young n the old
the masculine n the feminine
the genius n the fool
the rockstar n the nobody
the saint n the sinner
the ascetic n the hedonist
yeah i fucking fascinate myself dont i?
its understandable but its unforgivable
believe me i have more contempt than admiration
i been lucky
n most of my wounds have been self inflicted
if i ever suffered it was me who did it to me
i never been abused
i never been abandoned
i never been really sick
i been undeservedly lucky
especially in the last year
3 good men who are good at what they do
have stepped in n helped me out
i guess they like my music enough
to understand me n see
that i could certainly use some guidance
that when it comes to business n stuff
i am a bit hopeless
i want those gentlemen to know
i am very very grateful
and a fourth gentleman too
whose been helping the cause a long long time
i cant believe that our fans are often
doctors pilots scientists lawyers teachers professors
i’m glad that at the end of a long day
they can lose their brilliant minds in my work
i put a lot of secret compartments in my songs
and these guys enjoy finding them
i try my hardest to avoid cliche
i write songs for clever people
if you really like my music you must be pretty clever
otherwise you wouldnt dig it
thats why i can never be hugely popular
i yearn for great popularity n money
but in truth i knew that by doing what i do
by having my ridiculous ideals
by working with the other guys in the church
who can be scathing with criticism if i fuck up
so i….. yeah…. yeah….
more about kilbey by kilbey
nebulous flimsy
nonsense n whimsy
simultaneously important n utterly irrelevant
my songs will not change your life
they will enhance it
i have some good records waiting in the wings
i got an angular face
i’m getting some new teeth
i got some good friends
with whom i get by with a little help
i got a beautiful bass
i can speak a bit of swedish
i got tv appearances lined up
i get in the newspaper
i made over 50 records
i written a million songs
i did a million gigs
i been everywhere
i tried every drug
i been rich n poor
fuck it
i still aint happy though……
go n fuckin’ figure….

32 Responses to “nebulous flimsy”

  1. avatar
    princey | 20 February 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Keep on rockin' kilbs!

  2. avatar
    FallingWordTrail | 20 February 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Can you comment on the making of the Starfish album?

  3. avatar
    linjo | 20 February 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    omg pulses racing, like is that a hairy chest you have there Steve?
    Hey just chill out and listen to 'The Bends' while sitting.

  4. avatar
    davem | 20 February 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    It is amazing to see the results of your change in lifestyle.
    You look so much better than 10-12 years ago.
    I admit I can never get enough Kilbey in my life!

  5. avatar
    Richard | 20 February 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    don't be too hard on yourself about your self-fascination

    I see it in a lot of people…

  6. avatar
    John Garratt | 20 February 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Is anyone entirely happy? Does contentment strike anyone in its 100% form? I think I felt it once. Maybe. I don't know.

    Friday night in April, in Cleveland. You know, I just might be able to make that one. Eek, road trip?

    John Garratt

  7. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 20 February 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    I have nothing particularly clever to say (as usual :-), but I would just like to add that I loved today's blog. It's insightful, very honest and so true. It resonated with me on a personal level.
    And at the risk of coming off all self aggrandizing, I think you're right in assuming that Church fans must be fairly clever. Coincidence isn't a part of the equation, when it comes to reasons for being drawn to the otherworldly music of The Church.

  8. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 February 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    drinking my coffee
    everyone's still asleep
    quiet house
    lovely to read
    your thoughts sk
    magical moments
    before i go
    off to work

    good morning from Boulder…

  9. avatar
    landru | 20 February 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    Being "Happy" is like change, it keeps moving. But, that keeps you moving. You count your blessings and we count you as one. Best blog in a long time.

  10. avatar
    persephone2u | 20 February 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    Picasso was a genius, but don't forget about Dali! And while all the people your age probably do look old, I think you're wrong and you do look young. I doubt anybody could look at the photo you posted and guess your age correctly if you didn't tell them how old you were beforehand. Be happy!

  11. avatar
    cazziem | 20 February 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    The man of few words who wouldn’t shut up eh? I should imagine you’d find it pretty difficult to sit completely still for any length of time, expect where there’s a threat of pain, so I think you’ll be ok at the orthodontist, haha! Besides which what other opportunity is there for you to really pick Andrew’s brain to see what makes him tick? Just hope we get to see a glimpse of the finished master-piece; and whilst I don’t want to sound contradictory you must bear in mind that whilst you may know every angle, line and contour of you own face, what you see is very rarely what others do!

  12. avatar
    Freddie | 20 February 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    Angular, old, young, with all its many contradictions…I love your face m’lord.

  13. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 February 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    much I agree yet I must point out that Max Ernst was just as diverse, innovative and prolific as Picasso, if not more – though he didn't have the command of the brush like the Spaniard

  14. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 20 February 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    Vishnu would be proud of your veganism, Yoga and excellent exercise ritual.

  15. avatar
    the dean | 20 February 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    as part of your on-going exploration try practicing happiness. some things don't come natural.

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 February 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    Steve –
    Very exciting! Bought my ticket (online this morning)for PDX show. By happenstance I was listening to iPod at same time, and UTMW started playing as I was ordering the ticket.** Clearly a sign of some sort… and I am still floored that we get to see you twice in less than 1 year. Good on you & cheers!


    ** And sorry, it's not stuffed with multiple UTMW files either (got some Halogen, Lloyd Cole, Aimee Mann & Siouxsie in rotation at present).

  17. avatar
    Jasperina | 20 February 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Some days your blog has everything and then so much more sigh. I laughed when you wrote if you listen to my songs you must be very clever. Hey what a wonderful compliment.

    The female element is something quite palpable in all that you do. The band too has a feminine mystique. It's one of the many many layers that make the complex whole. For me it is the aspect that I find most enticing and fascinating.

    I have been exploring the idea of the face in my own drawings. Not so much self portraits, although they are in a way, just imaginary doodlings. The faces are all sleeping. It's a fathomless subject to play with.

    Not happy, yeah its an unending struggle with the self. Yoga at least gives us the opportunity to detach from ourselves…sweet relief.

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 February 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    My my
    slap me with a slippery salmon

    Giving away free Cd's to the US fanbase with tix for the latest tour

    Wot, so they can flog them on ebay for vastly inflated prices just like that dude tried to do with the signed CD's after the Chicago gig last year?

    Whereas I'll have to fork out for extra postage on a CD that will take weeks to arrive.

    Must be something that can be sorted out for the UK

    For example, the Boxer Rebellion were able to get their Union album available to the masses via HMV. Anybody at Church management looked into these kinds of options?

    =====However would also be interested in some kind of DVD thingy, of OK quality (ie. not like the Enmore) of the 'intimate space' tour.

    C'mon, we know it's never gonna be perfect, but you're just shooting yourself in the foot if you keep on putting it off forever

  19. avatar
    David T | 20 February 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    Apparently the answer to life and all its mysteries is the number 42.

  20. avatar
    ross b | 20 February 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    your songs have enhanced my life, but i'd suggest they changed it too. The music of artists I love (there aren't that many) seep into the core of my being. Music has been so good to me, it gives me a sense of confidence and self-assuredness that I sometimes find lacking in people who aren't into music. Music has given me much to be thankful for.

    i like that line about whispering wickedly of winter – there was an autumnal feeling in the air yesterday. Thankfully!

  21. avatar
    LF | 20 February 2010 at 11:36 pm #

    So you're the reason I became a professor! You have a lot to answer for, Kilbey. 😉

  22. avatar
    Anonymous | 21 February 2010 at 12:09 am #

    Do some people
    Feel the need
    For speed
    And to copy the Beings blogging
    Style it's called
    And you wouldna understan'

  23. avatar
    Steven Krut | 21 February 2010 at 2:03 am #

    At least after taking a giant hit off the narcissist pipe you pass it around. You're a fucking genius, but I get to be one too for digging your work. Groovy! 🙂

  24. avatar
    Rocky Star | 21 February 2010 at 2:03 am #

    So, here comes the acoustic tour of the US, sweet! Don't worry, be happy.

  25. avatar
    Steven Krut | 21 February 2010 at 2:18 am #

    Wowee zowee!! I just saw that you and the band are coming to Atlanta! I'm beyond excited! Tried to buy tickets already, but apparently it's too soon. Wow! I'm so thrilled that you're coming!

  26. avatar
    WantonMyth | 21 February 2010 at 5:16 am #

    For the Time Being is seems all's well in England – good stuff.

  27. avatar
    Warpedjohn | 21 February 2010 at 7:06 am #


    re; your question re the Starfish album.

    you could visit the hotelwomb site and go to the section where us fans discuss all the Church recordings. The is a thread on each of them incl. SF.

    i HAVE A PRINT COPY OF A LATE 80'S Austn. rolling stone mag in which the band discuss recording and living in LA making SF. MAYBE THE ARTICLE IS ONLINE SOMEWHERE (?)

    SK periodically goes back in time on this blog and brings up memories of that time. If you have time to scroll back thru the months of TTB you will find them. Last time I recall was mid 2009 (?) approx. very approx. when SK entertained with impressions of LA music people , managers , producers etc. which he mixed with around the time of SF/GAF / SA recordings.

  28. avatar
    Anonymous | 21 February 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    the portrait of 55 year old dorian gray?

    gonna strike bargain w/ the devil?

    Wilfred P

  29. avatar
    Ady | 21 February 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    I'd imagine that sitting for a portrait is a very intimate, exposing experience, requiring you to be really closely scrutinised & SEEN on all levels. Kind of an imbibing of your aura….

    You're questioning of Andrew H. reminds me of people who animatedly talk & query the first time they get a massage or Reiki session….is it curiosity, nervousness, inability to relax, or a natural defence to a stranger coming into one's energy field? Eventually they talk it out & come to a peaceful stillpoint. I find people often do this also when I initially photograph or film them. I guess experienced actors & models have learnt to distance themselves in a way that doesn't interfere with the process.

    I'm sure your questions revealed a lot about you to the artist that will infuse his portrait when he finally 'captures' you in paint……today's sit obviously sparked deeper self-awareness in you. How exciting, can't wait to see it…….imagine if his portrait wins!

    An interesting (& very lengthy) film that captures the intimate relationship that develops between an artist & his beautiful subject is 'La Belle Noisseuse' (sic?). I found myself captivated by it despite it being nearly 3hrs long…..very thought provoking & highly recommended.

  30. avatar
    gavgams | 22 February 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Of course I'm fucking clever… or I wouldn't be reading this.

    That said, SK, I admire your guts to put on record just some of those "secret compartments"… Is that An Interlude? oh no.. that's compartments of my dread… By the way : I love still that "spacious floors, bejewelled and .. tiled" .

    Thanks heaps again for the great bloggys.. from one of your loyal ploogs.. I mean droogs.

  31. avatar
    Mary | 23 February 2010 at 6:55 am #

    its funny, you might be 55 but you sure dont look it, you still look as hot as you were in your early
    30s, especially with all those drugs you have dont, you sure did take care of yourself well, you will always rock in my book!
    love ya

  32. avatar
    bc | 24 February 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    I wish you happiness brother.

    usa april…sweeet!!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.