posted on December 23, 2009 at 5:12 am

the sky turns swiftly grey
from the sea a lovely soothing breeze emits sultry good times
the palms begin their sway in the wind
like inebriated women
so many things go through your minds
and i feel like rimbaud becalmed in africa
selling guns and coffee when the poetry dried up
and i feel like paul g who went to tahiti
where he painted those half naked belles in the sun
and in the tropical afternoons when the real lovers
tangled inside their world of mists and mysteries
and humphrey christmas on the christmas islands
and long nights stretched out around tables and chinese lanterns
and how christmas has amplified all our lonelinesses
it has not placated the gulf between us
it has not located the deepest emptiness
into which this warm afternoon will soon rush
i live my life like a fool in the mode of passion
aye there are 3 modes of conduct
3 modes of food
3 modes of everything concerning humans
mode of ignorance
mode of passion
mode of goodness
every everything is but an admixture of these 3
you can see it in us all saint all beast all fool
i succumb to passion
i fight and i yell
i become infuriated my fiery nature scorches me…only me
i lay wasted in the ruins of my angers
my lusts fill me with a lustre of dripping sweat
i attack music i attack sex i attack love i attack the words
i swell up in an unbearable flame
typically bursting and then slumbering like a mountain
for years and years
when i drift in some narcotic state and i should know
i have mastered all drugs and they have mastered me
the search for aphrodesia the search for unquenchable desire
the search for the deepest knowledge
in the most sacred and profane places and events
blasted idiots and loyal crew
on my long voyage they fall by the wayside
obviously i have offended some god
fate plays with me in the most obvious manner
stupid things get stupider
i rage and curse n i bluster n i fume
i let it all get to me
luckily my strict observance of yogas rituals
keep my vital humours balanced
else my spleen and bile overpower me
at othertimes
i am zen calm
in the gentle afternoons of summer this year
this year so come n gone
this year over scarcely had it begun
the breeze comes through my window now
it whispers of tahiti it whispers of hawaii
it whispers of other days and other times
when i was young
before my mother n father ever met
and before their mothers n fathers
before i was focussed through a thousand years of englishness
popping out the end of it all some spoilt little brat
never fought in a war
never joined the bloody army
well its true i wouldnt be like this
i might be a bit bloody tougher
i always wish i was tougher
tougher than discipline tougher than hardness….
the gardens around here in jerusalem on the sea are gorgeous
the flowers are every hue that could be made from the sandy soil
they bob in this marvellous breeze now
this is not life writing this
this is a hiatus
real life beckons beyond the threshold
grey warm windy weather
the balcony and the mats call out
my bonzai plant is flourishing because i loved it
the aliens fucked with me n gave me a homing implant
sometime tomorrow you will hear or see the proof of this
it will cross your mind…eh ?… its just like he said…
the city is silent
the vicissitudes of 2009 swirl in undercurrents
a solitary bus heaves n struggles in the distance and is gone
the olde n weary poet
sits shirtless in his untidy dirty seaside shack
he writes as the breeze kisses his back
he writes as the children ebb n flow around him
he writes in the long silences of christmas
that meanlingless hopeless stupid thing christmas
not jeshuas birthday at all
some winter solstice thing
get thee behind me santa
i dont understand it
i have not met one merry person today
ah the red roofs of bondi
ah the green leaves and bobbing flowerheads
ah summer
and ah indeed

25 Responses to “the city’s empty and the crystal burns”

  1. avatar
    cazziem | 23 December 2009 at 7:48 am #

    This one had a swaying rhythm to it Mr K. Even as I read through it it put me in mind of the tide as comes in towards the beach, yet drawing back before it reaches you. Guess the message I felt was, nearly there, but not quite!? Is it Jean Nicholas you refer to ‘becalmed in Africa’? Maybe he was one of your past existences? Very creative writer/poet, born in 1854 as opposed to 1954, but sadly only 37 when he left this world.

    I can understand your remarks regarding Christmas, and absolutely love the line ‘get behind me Santa’. It’s all too commercial, but personally I just get a warm glow myself by giving, rather than receiving gifts and look on it as an opportunity to wish those I care about, and to some degree even those I don't, a better year ahead. Besides which, the calendars in place at the time of Jesus’ birth where not the same as they are now, which realistically would have him born in the month we now call October!!!

  2. avatar
    fantasticandy | 23 December 2009 at 8:29 am #

    there you are..riding on a crest.
    the best year you and the guys have had for yonks.
    indeed in creative terms the greatest decade for any band ever.
    the artworks continue to garner praise, the blog is one of the most widely read and respected of all.
    and to top it all off your'e swirling about in a sea of feminine lovliness for christmas!
    yet where most would be feeling rather smug and loved-up……
    you actually took time out to give
    me , the band, AND the album praise.
    steven…your'e something else altogether!
    it all comes out through the music…the love, care and attention…the lifelong devotion and dedication to creating things of beauty.
    it's no good….i'm gonna go all soppy like davem,
    you are my musical and cultural hero kilbs…..
    that you think my garage based little combo warrants a mention of any kind whatsoever….well i guess
    it feels as though i'm walking on clouds.
    much genuine love to ya big manne!
    and of course all who make this a great place to visit…the list(if i could be arsed to write it out)is quite long!

    i'm humbled 'n gobsmacked steve!

    …may all the gods heap their blessings upon you this solstice
    my mentor and friend…
    seasons greetings,
    andy L.

  3. avatar
    Jasperina | 23 December 2009 at 11:43 am #

    Woke up this morning and felt that the world was full of empty souls. I knew it was all to do with christmas and the big lie that it is. Decided then to spend the day floating in my creative world with needle and thread playing with my drawings. Went to my yoga class deep meditation bliss. The soft sway of Bondi has somehow swept right through my hallway. Gently swaying to your prose.

  4. avatar
    melissa | 23 December 2009 at 11:45 am #

    thankyou sk, very warm, languid and wonderful … always feel better after reading your bloggy. Actually DOES make me more zen-calm 🙂

    'the breeze comes through my window now
    it whispers of tahiti it whispers of hawaii
    it whispers of other days and other times' …..

    love this

    makes me feel like snoozing in the back garden with the gorgeous scent of jasmine …. if it weren't for the fact that I'd be eaten alive by the mozzies!

    have a cool yule everyone 🙂


  5. avatar
    Anakki Mayhem | 23 December 2009 at 12:03 pm #

    i <3 that line 'get thee behind me santa'
    ever noticed that santa is juz satan misspelled? lolz
    that man in red with the white beard used to give me nightmares as a little child! 😉

    merry xmas to u & all ya family!

    ps, pplz juz didn't seem to wanna be merry today but i woz relentlessly merry to all i met anyways… 😉

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  7. avatar
    Andrew | 23 December 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    Hi SK
    I saw and loved your show at the fly by night but was too slow to get Quarry tickets.

    The night I saw you were amazing. I loved the Ancient World, here we go here we go here we go, and need to know how I can hear it again. I got Painkiller but no joy. Where, when , how?

  8. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 December 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    It's a bloody nightmare walking about in the snow and ice, and I still haven't bought even one single solitary gift – even for the wife (gulp). Looks like Xmas eve last-minute for me.

    But here's something that I enjoyed a few weeks ago. Went to see Thea Gilmore (a criminally under-bought artist here in the UK, ring a bell?). She has a kinda winter-themed album out just now called 'Strange Communion', and it was the kind of gig that brought a smile to the face and a warm glow to the heart.

    Check out her 'That'll be Christmas' on YouTube.

    (A girl that comes away with a line like 'my character witness just went down for perjury' is worth a tick, eh-no?)


  9. avatar
    matthew | 23 December 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    Hey Steve, hope the coming days continue to be as kind! My very best wishes to you and your compadres for this whateveritis celebration… take it easy man.


  10. avatar
    Ellen | 23 December 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    True, Jesus was not born in December, probably born sometime in October. "Get thee behind me santa" says it succinctly! It's how I'm feeling these days…

    At this time of year, we're constantly reminded to be "merry and bright" [and of course to SPEND $$$] I'm feeling bah humbug this season as it is not a happy time for me right now, but I'm getting through it with the help of TTB.

    Thanks, Steve.

  11. avatar
    Freddie | 23 December 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Loved yer blog today.
    ….and I'm merry! 🙂

  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 December 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    God you can be so negative. Christmas is what YOU make of it. Get off your pessi-'mystic' ass and spend the day helping someone and see if you feel the same.


  13. avatar
    m.p.k | 23 December 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    well its true i wouldnt be like this
    i might be a bit bloody tougher
    i always wish i was tougher
    tougher than discipline tougher than hardness….

    i solved this energetic problem by becoming a rock climber. i risked my life many times on walls and achieved the same energetic signature, which i believe is obtained by willingness to face the possibility of death willingly.

  14. avatar
    m.p.k | 23 December 2009 at 9:19 pm #

    sk,… I'd recommend being careful calling on the aliens, and if you've been interfered with it might not be positive, and maybe should be fixed if it's interference. In my opinion they (the aliens) aren't all very nice and they don't always have human interests at heart. We already have all the necessary core material built into us as humans. Some of that alien material is at odds with that, plus it's not necessary to have their input. We already have access to whatever planes of existence or bodies of knowledge we need access to with our human core material.

  15. avatar
    davem | 23 December 2009 at 9:20 pm #

    the vicissitudes of 2009 swirl in undercurrents

    Just magnificent, the very essence of sjk. It dances on the screen. Worth the entrance fee for those words alone…and then you make all this wonderful music on top of this daily blog.

    Amazingly it's still snowing here. It feels like summat out of effing Dickens esskay…you ought to be here!!

    Operetta is all wrapped up and ready to be opened just after midnight tomorrow (Just as my imported Remote Luxury was back in '84). BJM touring in May. All is well.

    There's only one Steve Kilbey.


  16. avatar
    Richard | 23 December 2009 at 10:06 pm #

    in recent years I've come to look forward to Good Friday more than any other day of the year

    maybe it's because no one has yet worked out how to sex up and make money out of someone being crucified

    I'm not a christian, so it holds no spiritual meaning for me

    I just like the fact that everything is closed and there's nothing to do

    I was shopping the other day for more stuff my kids don't need and there was this song playing

    something like "I wish that it was christmas every day"

    and I thought "you have GOT to be joking"

    that said, happy christmas to all here and thanks for what you add to this very interesting little part of cyberspace

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 December 2009 at 10:54 pm #

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  18. avatar
    CSTCoach | 23 December 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    great blog today. you've nailed it perfectly: "how christmas has amplified all our lonelinesses"

    I've always found christmas kinda melancholy, with a sad sense of time passing.

    "and i feel like rimbaud becalmed in africa
    selling guns and coffee when the poetry dried up"

    Ever read "Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa 1880-91" by Charles Nicholl?

    lmao @ "get thee behind me santa"

  19. avatar
    linjo | 24 December 2009 at 2:52 am #

    Wonderful blog from an complex but loving man. I dont see you as a pessimist Steve, but a realist. Congratulations on your year of achievement and thank you for your inspiring thoughts.
    The planets will line up in 2012 and will the Aztecs (?) be right about it being the end of the world? We have to live each day the best we can. How come northern Europe is having such incredibly icy weather when there is supposed global warming? I dunno of course, but anyway, more importantly, I am getting really spoilt this xmas, my son has bought me a plunger for the toilet. haha. Anyway Steve and all your dedicated TTB folk, have a wonderfully happy family time. Linda x

  20. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 24 December 2009 at 3:32 am #

    well christmas eve, ay? quick, get your ass down to the local shopping centre to bag yourself a bargain to give to that special someone that you've forgotten about……eurghh….

    love always…..

  21. avatar
    ross b | 24 December 2009 at 12:14 pm #

    What can one do this time of year? To reflect off the sea, nature, loved ones, is always a cherish-able experience. Pre-Christmas and the reel world is just insane, and sometimes i can't help but be swept up in that too…

    Linda, the increasing incidence of icy winters in Europe is generally attributed to the weakening of the Gulf stream. As the the polar regions heat up and ice-caps melt, not only do sea-levels rise, but the currents become diluted. The "machine-belt" current of the gulf stream carries warm tropical water into the waters of western Europe that serves to keep these high latitude regions relatively mild over winter. It's predicted that over time European winters will become increasingly severe. Meanwhile we'll be baking during the summer down under.

    …oh wonderful stuff to look forward to…

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