posted on August 11, 2008 at 9:12 pm

the residue of my long life settling
full of envy full of woe
trying to escape ourself
people hammer on my soft skin
demanding loyalties or royalties
the harbour still treats me as a stranger
the streets mislead me still
the signs ignore me
i run to my old house
i cant find it through my vale of tears
and the tears tore
and inside were globes which contained scenes
in each scene i saw…..oh!
steve what happened to your eyes
steve what happened to your ears
steve what happened to your years
its a long story….
but i will try to
the word never comes
i am pushed into a cell with criminals
what are you in for i say?
and you ….?……they ask
i stared down at my hand
a joker (no one laughing)
king of (night)clubs
jack of (paste) diamonds
7 of (broken) hearts
and a white knight
i looked up at my new friends
self obsession i confessed
they moaned as one
and hid in the corners of the jail
monster screamed the murderer
my father comes to collect me
he still smells of old spice and a faint tobacco tinge
we drive home in silence
the red tail lights go on and on
as we drive past the steelworks
youve bloody shown me up steven …my father says
i squirm in my seat
nothing ever makes me sadder than letting him down
through more tears the black night and red tail lights blur
port kembla goes by and out of memory
my father scrolls through the dial on the radio
dusty springfield sings
i just dont know what to do with myself
a beautiful and melancholic song
the french horns seem to blow from a lovelorn wilderness
the strings seem to weep as they play out their lines
dusty sings
just waiting for you…i dont know what else to do
i can see her there
broken hearted and lonely
in a darkened room
the telephone which never rings
a light flashes in the rain somewhere
unfeeling cars zoom through the wet streets
cars that reached their destination 40 years ago
everything that happens in the singers world is past
love affairs all over
no morning no light
she waits so patiently on your song
we know her lover will never come back
we see it all…
but who is we?
i look around and see no one seems to share my great vantage point
its just me on my own
with my little complex of sub-mes
seeing future present and past
future: too late
past :too early
present: how soon is soon?
everyone gets tired of me and walks away
as they disappear
i remember the important thing i had to say
but by the time i proclaim my new axiom
all out of earshot
are you out of earshot? asked a salesman
offering me a selection of the very finest
i peered down at the tiny jars that stood on the shelves
earshot original recipe
earshot with vanilla wisps
eyeshot blodshot and red
knuckledust with ghost macadamia
treeflesh kosher
elbow grease with velvetesse
song fragments with poignant lyric chips
oil of a lark sky
message from a deadfriend
morning sap
as i was thinking about which i could most seriously use
kathy woke up in the back seat
where are we now dad? she asked
oh ho ho youve been asleep a long way, little girl said
dad is that the thirroul pool ?she asked
dad laughed and changed the dial on the radio
bits and pieces of news and sport and classical go on n off
dad keeps tuning till he finds some proper music
the beatles come on
oh dad listen its the beatles! kathy squeals with delight
theyre as good as beethoven she says
dad smiles and turns it up
gee this is a good song he says
we all feel like part of something new
the beatles have come along
and the whole world is laughing with relief
everyone loves their songs
and then….
trouble brews on their horizon
i dont like that woman though says dad
thats not yet dad says kathy from behind him
shes stroking dads hair which so nicely sits against his neck
dads got side burns and a sea lion mustache
i dont know why they have to be weird he grumbles
mclennon has gone solo
i put a tape of it in the player
titanic gardens spread out in a dream …he sings
…everything for my haze
baby did a sad sad thing
ive been gone for days and days and..
thats a mellotron says kathy
i like that other song better says dad
the one about the sea lion
sealine? i say
no he means
all you ever needed was love
kathy starts to sing
everytime you come and go
whenever you forget you really know
all you ever needed was love..
dad and i whistle the french anthem bit
ha ha ha we all laugh
by now a blue had impinged on the black
day was coming
they dropped me off at home
i walked wearily up the drive
little stones and sandy soil
palm trees and weeds
concrete and an old broken hose
bits of paper and honeysuckle vines
i put my guitar case down
and stumble through the door
its tuesday
the morning has come
my arms ache
my throat is sore
my my
oh my

30 Responses to “titanic gardens”

  1. avatar
    heather | 11 August 2008 at 10:58 pm #

    sobs again

    the kathy stories are beautifully sad

  2. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 August 2008 at 11:14 pm #

    Melon collie, …………..driving down the road from Sydney to Canberra, as the landscape turns into eden monaro, that stretch of poplar trees, approaching lake george, always dry these days, an abandoned farm house, the ruins of a little old stone church, listening to radio station 2xx on a little transistor, a window to the outside world.

  3. avatar
    princey | 11 August 2008 at 11:24 pm #

    I love these stories too sk, and I love that mushy Dusty song too, oh the pain, the pain!

    Great news about Painkiller+t-shirt pack, I’m so excited!! (I jsut hope the t-shirt comes in a smallish size for the vertically challenged like myself, there’s nothing worse than a t-shirt that fits like a huge potato sack dress!) Now when are the tour dates for the cd launch happening???? It’s been too long!
    Take care and love always,

  4. avatar
    cita | 11 August 2008 at 11:25 pm #

    I always like when you write about your Dad.

  5. avatar
    Polydora | 12 August 2008 at 1:07 am #

    Seems like someone or something is always changing the radio dial.

    Good story. Had me feelin’ it.

  6. avatar
    kokky | 12 August 2008 at 1:10 am #

    if i were you, i’d be self-obsessed too.. who else who’d even come close being interesting enough? A bit drunk now.. just been to a Neil Young gig. He played Cortez.. it brought me straight back to when the Crunch played it.. I proved once more for myself, it’s the Crunch that does it for me.

  7. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 12 August 2008 at 1:34 am #

    Blog made me think of Steven Patrick Morrissey’s song ” My Life Is A Sucession Of People Saying Goodbye.”

    What Painkiller T-Shirt ! I know nothing about it. I’m at the fringe of the TTB fading into oblivion. I’m Hated For Loving. I love Morrissey again!

  8. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 August 2008 at 4:19 am #


    Are you on the wonderful Karmic Hit email newsletter list? A tantalizing snippet of info on the Painkiller T-shirt thingy appeared in the latest Karmic Hit missive.

    Love to all
    Olde Amps

  9. avatar
    kat | 12 August 2008 at 6:55 am #

    future: too late

    past: too early

    present: how soon is soon?

    ya, sk…

  10. avatar
    plain black only, please | 12 August 2008 at 8:17 am #

    Thank-you anyway but I do not wear t-shirts with any kind of writing, picture or motif on them.

  11. avatar
    Chris Kan | 12 August 2008 at 10:17 am #

    Steve – You may not want to hear this, But I just spent an hour discussing UTMW as a Spirituality txt for someones PHd ….

  12. avatar
    isolde | 12 August 2008 at 11:32 am #

    eyeshot the sheriff

  13. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 12 August 2008 at 11:47 am #

    the achingly sad and lovely vision of a winter sunset when all that is left is a furnace-red strip along the western horizon while the night sky reveals needle-prick stars…
    the atonal hiss and hush of the surf as it meets its demise against the sand…
    ahh, melancholy…
    love always…

  14. avatar
    JJ | 12 August 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    TTB –

    Once again you’ve managed to reach half a world away, down inside my head and captured my thoughts with great poignancy. The happy times, the moments of joy – they seem so fleeting. Most of my life is already on the take-up reel. The unprojected footage is becoming small.

    Bittersweet read today, but sublimely beautiful in it’s aching glory. Cie la vie, no? But: your accomplishments stand.


  15. avatar
    ross b | 12 August 2008 at 1:47 pm #

    wistful, poignant australiana visions of days long past

    lovely narrative sk

    hope all’s well


  16. avatar
    fantasticandy | 12 August 2008 at 1:58 pm #

    it’s all gone forever.
    only you can take us back there.
    some skill eh?

  17. avatar
    fantasticandy | 12 August 2008 at 2:00 pm #

    oh….and hey!
    i’m on the hit-list….
    john ain’t sent nothin’ ’bout no t-shirt…..

  18. avatar
    sour everything on the walk! | 12 August 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    get Andy on the list before he goes postal – & you know he's in the right job for it, eh! I was a postie for 10 months in 1984 and I wanted to kill people every day! Workmates were great, gaffers were the worst I'd ever (and still have ever) encountered anywhere!

  19. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 12 August 2008 at 2:36 pm #

    For those of you who haven’t noticed, there’s an excellent live clip on YouTube of Steve and Martin Kennedy performing Eyes Ahead. A great hazy, lazy song. Proof what a wonderful singer Steve is. The most addictive vocals in the business.

  20. avatar
    Lian | 12 August 2008 at 3:05 pm #

    Thanks for this. It’s a pleasure to listen to.

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 August 2008 at 6:20 pm #

    Steve – thought you’d get a kick out of this. Australian singer Rick Springfield lists The Blurred Crusade in his “Music You Must Hear” list at So The Church is just one click away from the site’s homepage today. Cool.

  22. avatar
    Jab @ BZT | 12 August 2008 at 8:26 pm #

    May I ask you readers a question?

    Given choice of the two:

    Magician Among the Spirits

    and the re-release,

    Magician Among the Spirits & Some

    Which would you recommend?

  23. avatar
    Jab @ BZT | 12 August 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    I ask because I’m working on filling in some of the blank spots in my collection of Church albums.

  24. avatar
    davem | 12 August 2008 at 9:18 pm #

    That was brilliant. I laughed out loud at the self obsession line even though I could feel the honesty there!!
    MATS and Some….. but you do miss out on a fab version of Ritz. You can pick up copies of both very reasonably and then from the money you save send a paypal payment to TTB & EMC & get ready to buy Painkiller.
    There is only ONE Steve Kilbey. Worth selling your kids for!!

  25. avatar
    Jab @ BZT | 12 August 2008 at 9:25 pm #

    Cool Dave, thanks man.

    Yeah, I’m really looking forward to Painkiller.

  26. avatar
    eek | 13 August 2008 at 12:45 am #

    This is what I mean! A wonderful bit of writing and I didn’t have to lower my expectations to enjoy it!

    jab @ bzt — I have both MATS and MATSAS, but I much prefer MATSAS. I never really liked what was removed from MATS and I also thing MATSAS flows better. 🙂

  27. avatar
    tim | 13 August 2008 at 1:14 am #

    a pleasure to read steve.

    used to enjoy dusty’s voice late at night on the oldies station 20 years or so ago…what a voice..what a life..what a blog..this is why we hit paypal.

  28. avatar
    JJ | 13 August 2008 at 1:20 am #

    MAT without some. I much prefer it. Excellent album, one of many favourites.

  29. avatar
    sorry, fanboys, but | 13 August 2008 at 8:59 am #

    MATS worst fucking misfire you ever did. I view it as Comedown with a load of crap b-sides. Ritz was great on the San Fransisco radio broadcast when it was all-acoustic. The subsequent MATS version was very poor, if not fairly cock. MATSAS was better but still lacked Gypsy Stomp and White Star Line, both of which were better than 80%of the album.

  30. avatar
    lily was here | 13 August 2008 at 12:18 pm #

    Dusty, yeah..almost as good as The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore xxxx

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