posted on August 27, 2008 at 5:42 am

wasted days
wasted nights
where would i be without my painkiller
the sun fizzles in the morning sky like a coward
the grey comes rolling in
a man playing a fender mustang with black eyes
a black man playing a fender with mustang eyes
the source of all music
the gap in reason from which music haemorrhages
the clown in me does his routine
i live it
i am
i am
i am
the mechanism is complicated
the results are unpredictable
i work down a little hole in the sidewalk
danger : poet at work
i get a job delivering babies
i just put my walkmen on and push em thru the letterboxes
i get a job flying plains
and after that
rolling hills
and i meet some woman who took me to her valley
kissed my eyes open in raw daylight
i was unfazed and unphased and undismayed
the people surrounded me
what are you they said
i said i’m the most in the least
i said i’m white hippy moses show me your red sea
why…he’s an old man spat out some arrogant youth
silence! …ordered their witch-chief..
i will interrogate this fool..
i was pushed into a foetid darkness
the witch-chief was inside waiting
lets see if this white man can sing the blues called the crowd
lets see if this white man can jump.. catcalled others
is it a crime to be an olde white man..? i screamed at them
and then i saw them clearly
the indians
the natives
the aborigines
the islanders
the lapps
the inuits
the aztecs
the inca
the mayans
the zulus
this was my audience
and all of them female
and all of them beautiful young fierce proud
you..! they silently thought
sing us a song then …someone called deep in the auditorium
in my audience of opposites
what could i sing to you …i whispered in the microphone
which version of me is it i ? i thought to myself
but i caught sight of myself in the screens
and it was the olde tired me
whiter than white
older than olde
masculine in everyway
my lined and planed face
my bristling white beard
my thin wispy hair
my frowning eyebrows
my smirking mouth
my chipped olde teeth
my grey blue eyes like a dull afternoon
sing then…someone shouted
i need a guitar i said into the microphone
a roadie with dreadlocks scurried on
she handed me a plectrum
and scampered back off
i stepped up to the microphone
testing testing ha ha
i strummed the guitar
it was beautiful
it was delicate
it was loud
delicious echoes of violins trailed from its starburst
i strummed a few chords…but what to play
what song to play to my audience of opposites
young dark female
i had been young once…but….
i had never regretted being so olde as now
here among the glorious flawless perfection of youth
youth youth that fleeing ungraspable shadow
that brief flash before the long lonely night of death
i searched my heart
for something youthful
but i found only ages strangely numbing contentment
i saw their brown and black and tawny and olive skins
their perfect flesh
not changing with freckles and sunburn and age
not green with envy or pale as a ghost
not redder then a beetroot
i felt bleached
i felt whited out
white through and through
i knew nothing of any others
they frightened me
their unexplained rituals and exuberances shocked me
trapped within my zeitgeist
i ate white bread
i drank white milk
i listened to white music
i had white walls
which had white ants
i loved white chocolate
and white women
my world was a one dimensional blizzard of white
and then thirdly female
but surely
what do i know of childbirth
of the maternal longing rooted deep like brainwashing
monthly courses fucking me up with its malarkey
the brutality of men who save it for women
what do i know of the rapist
the drunken violent father
the murderous husband
the crazy jealous ex-lover
the jeers and whistles and insults
the pressure
the seductions and betrayals
of none of this can i sing
when will you sing demand the young women
he can only sing olde white manly songs they taunted
listen i said
and my voice reverberated around the hall
and i was aware of how olde how male how white it was
just like all the great villains of history
olde white men the lot of em
listen i said into the microphone
in my softest female voice
which was still a croaky thing
listen to me
inside myself
i am not white or olde or male
you are not young or black or woman
they sang in their one thousand languages
i am not guilty i sang
neither are you innocent sang their voices
i had been strumming a kind of g chord
leaving my forth and fifth fingers in place
i dropped the bass note down to an f#
the song felt as if it were sliding away from under us
just like the honeymoon they wait for you to score
i sang
just like the animals they leave outside the door
they girls sang back in all their dialects
just like a welcome mat you lay down on the floor
just like a law for the rich
and a prison for the poor
i was getting thru maybe
i started playing a t rex song
love you oh girl i do love you
it was 1970 on a long winters day
i come home from school and switch on the oil heater
mums gone to england
and dad wont be home from work for ages and ages
and the house seems dark and unfamiliar
i see myself so unsure and hesitant
everything was within me waiting to flower
but look at me here
slim indeed
a chestless bit of a kid
with a prince valiant hairdo
plus nascent side-burns and…
(i am suddenly interrupted)
muse : what about that audience of opposites
the audience of opposites…oh…ah…
… dressed in a flannelette shirt n white cord levis
has left a record here by a group called spirit
the drummer is a real old totally bald guy
like peter garrett forty years ago
there is a song called i got a line on you
what does that mean
i puzzle in the darkness
i got a line on you?

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