Track 8 of Future Ghosts

 

 

london my lovesong

that ever sings itself

 

what are my needs?

 

laptop

sketch pad

wheat field

she curve

 

nothing else a fret for

 

plastic howl of

grave-bright stars

twin trees carve

their velveteen

 

gimme stub and soil

peroxide time

your chic

eighteen hole shriek

 

The music for this is taken from the unreleased Shamania-era Logos track[ / ] (yes, that was the title). It hasn't been released anywhere else in any form, though did appear on the Logos myspace player (and possibly other online music players - I don't recall) for a while. 

 

The text was written on 23 February 2014, on a train from Waterloo to Guildford, after an evening spent with my friend and co-writer Simon Lewis, discussing our book Jack Palmer & The Unspeakable Thing. I was born in London, lived there until ten years ago. I still spend a lot of time in the place and have a great fondness for it, but am glad I no longer live there. The text had no particular inspiration, merely some thoughts after a good evening with a good friend and a few beers as my train slid through the night. 

 

Currently reading: The First Day On The Somme - Martin Middlebrook

Currently listening: Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Track seven of Future Ghosts.

 

 

swept by

fingers sing

my should have been

 

her taut

her stray

her season

 

what wilds her

that's where

i want to be

 

bind moon

sine swift

feral light

 

where was she

when i was

for sale?

 

-

 

that page

that tinct

that nudge me to

 

where's what i know

wide between

nine and what i do

 

-

 

come into

my breath

my name

 

my no

my lieu

my lungs

 

piscis-perfect

grade my light

field my occult vision

 

The music here draws on the Shamania track Tesseract [deepblue2519 reprise] and the Shamania out-take Sunday To Tuesday [No One Calls]. This latter track is otherwise unreleased in any form. As with the rest of Future Ghosts, all three sections of this text first appeared on my Twitter feed on the days they were written. I frequently post new texts and ideas on Twitter, which is a good incentive for you to follow me if you wish. 

 

There's little I'd add by way of comment on the text, other than that it was largely inspired and influenced by Swans' 2014 album To Be Kind, in particular the track She Loves Us! It wasn't until later that I noticed I'd accidentally part-borrowed the latter's line 'come to my lungs'.

 

Currently reading: Richard J Evans - The Third Reich At War

Currently listening: Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited

Track six from Future Ghosts

 

 

night is collected in your room

you breathe its rhythm

 

dead lots

moonsong

 

taste

of your lips

 

these memories

are no longer mine

 

-

 

you window-watch

out there;

trees

brick

lawn

 

so still

 

suburbia foxed

under streetlight

car beams

you blade-dig

for welcome blood

 

-

 

your skin tastes of tears

of could have been

of a life lived

in the passenger seat

 

-

 

when the cosmic joker

fucks with you

he never fails to do so

with style and a sense of irony

 

-

 

you finger-write your love

in a bus window's steam

 

the bus pulls into depot

and all depart

 

only your words remain

until the next rain

 

-

 

that murmur you hear

ever in the air

and which you mistake

for wind;

the sound of the universe

laughing at its own absurdity

 

-

 

'when you're a kid

your world is filled

with magic'

you say

'but as you

grow older

your soul dies

from the inside out'

 

-

 

i have no difficulty

picturing you

on a beach

alone

 

undressing

stepping

into the waves

and never turning back

 

 

Much of this text was initially written as sketches for a supporting character in a future fiction. Most-all of it appeared, piece by piece, on my Twitter feed as it was written. The title is from a mental health assessment of sometime Jack The Ripper suspect Aaron Kosminski: "he declares that he is guided & his movements altogether controlled by an instinct that informs his mind; he says that he knows the movements of all mankind..." My text does not concern the Whitechapel killings; I was more interested in Kosminski's mindset. Do I think he was the killer? Probably not.

 

I cheated a little on this track, breaching my 'Shamania sessions' remit when creating the musical backing, since it draws very heavily from Jason Oliver's remix of the track Bipolar Binary, which you can hear on the Logos remix album Everything Under The Sky, and which was created some time after the Shamania album was finalised. It still counts, I think, since every aspect of that mix is found in the original. I did mess around with Jason's version for Future Ghosts purposes, quite considerably albeit subtly. The coda is taken from the unreleased Shamania-period track Friends.

 

Some comments:-

 

"night is collected in your room / you breathe its rhythm..." This line was likely inspired by the song Kosinski by The Angels Of Light (Everything Is Good Here/Please Come Home album, 2003).

 

"london's dead lots" - See Preludes by T S Eliot: 'And now a gusty shower wraps / The grimy scraps / Of withered leaves about your feet / And newspapers from vacant lots.'

 

"these memories are no longer mine" - see my text Fissure King, from God Thing: "Golden and ghost boy, where are you? Fool; you lived that life as if it were real. I don't recognise you any more. I don't recognise myself any more.'

 

"suburbia foxed / under streetlight / car beams / you blade-dig for welcome blood" - In part a sketch for a new character in a new fiction, as mentioned above, in part an imagined memory of my ex-wife, at her parents' house as a late teen and before I met her.

 

"your skin tastes of tears / of could have been / of a life lived in the passenger seat" - Have I changed at all? Has anything changed? All things are my property, yet never a part of me. This, perhaps, is the crux of the matter. All things my property yet never a part of me. Promise of ever now but nothing I can hold on to. 

 

"when the cosmic joker / fucks with you / he never fails / to do so / with style / and a sense of irony" - I wish I could remember which particular sequence of events inspired this.

 

"you finger-write your love / in a bus window's steam..." This line was indeed written on the bus home from work, drawing my twisted sketches, listening to my iPod, and people-watching. Note to self: a moving vehicle is a poor choice of venue when trying to draw a perfect circle.

 

"...stepping into the waves and never turning back." An imagined other, or autosuggestion? 

 

Currently reading: Under The Black Flag - Sami Moubayed

Currently listening: Hypnotise - System Of A Down

My text God, Love, Money & Other Snares has been published at Bougainvillea Road Lit Mag. Read it here

 

You can also hear me reading this text, with music, here.

 

 

Currently reading: The Rise Of Islamic State - Patrick Cockburn

Currently listening: Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon - Devendra Banhart

Track 5 of Future Ghosts.

 

 

she is 1995

a ribbon

a chime

a dust-cut mirror

silver-lined

as star-tips mine

my glass

in berlin time

 

This was written 25 April 2014, and posted on my Twitter feed that day. Musically, the primary source is the Logos track Hyopgirl from Shamania, though the coda is adopted from the unreleased Logos track Deep Time. I have little desire to elaborate on or clarify either text or title, though part of the title at least will be familiar to readers of Philip K Dick, in particular the book Valis

 

Currently reading: Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

Currently listening: Ministry - Rio Grande Blood

Track 4 of Future Ghosts

 

 

day to day

hour to hour

second second

all i do is circus

 

-

 

in my suffering

who is the sufferer?

 

it happens to me

it afflicts me

 

but i am stood aside;

i look on;

 

where am i

in that?

 

-

 

i want to phone my employer

say 'i can't come in today.

why? don't you realise

this world is a

surreal ontological joke?

a puppet show?'

 

-

 

i move so quickly

from one assumed persona

to the next

i forget

who i was

underneath it all

 

-

 

i play this role

of being real

belong

of place to be

not

don't

isn't

i play this role

 

-

 

the bust silk gnash

the rust black weight

red moon laugh

and blade unfurl

to the shorn singularity

of night

 

not star too far

my teen dream sing

the teeth that speak

my curtain pricked

to the shorn singularity

of night

 

where blood is word

where meat bells grin

where i stitch and pin

pikaia puppet

to the shorn singularity

of night

 

Musically, this draws chiefly on the Logos track Bipolar Binary from Shamania, in particular the lengthy middle section. As with the rest of Future Ghosts, the text was all originally posted - piece by piece and as it was written - on my Twitter feed in autumn 2013 (first three sections) and spring 2014 (remainder). I've mentioned before the influence of Thomas Ligotti on Future Ghosts; the meaning of the title should be clear. A couple of textual comments:

 

'i am stood aside; i look on; where am i in that?' - I've always found this aspect of depression fascinating; externalising oneself, viewing it as an experience one is having rather than a defining factor of one's character. Not that it makes the suffering itself any easier to handle.

 

'i want to phone my employer...' - Coincidentally or not, the day after writing this section on 18 November 2013, I was indeed signed off work by my GP for an extended period on mental health grounds. 

 

'i move so quickly from one assumed persona to the next...' - See also the track Scarecrow from God Thing; 'blink out. one world. one sky. reach for notebook and drop a mass of papers. ten year novels. somme notes. undated rants. crop circle workplans. vic. mutable. inkling. zila dell. df. legal sec. i switch so quickly from persona to persona. i become my own hallucinations.'

 

Currently reading: Soldaten - Sonke Neitzel & Harald Welzer

Currently listening: Breathe Hard, Breathe Deep - Inhale

The third of my track-by-track looks at Future Ghosts. I'll try to post these more frequently, if only to get them all done before my next album - currently in progress - is finished and released. 

 sometimes feel as if i passed out

drunk at century's turn; woke up

to be told through hungover glaze

by a laughing puppet that it's 2015

 

that sudden flick of a switch;

one moment 2000 light years from home

the next pressed against

the wall of a club

 

beer-sodden and cigarette-rolling

and the universe’s central spin

dancing in a frock coat

and with swaying bob before me

 

Musically, this draws on elements of the Logos track deepblue2519, from Shamania. The text is straightforward, I think, and requires little in the way of clarification. The first four lines date from 5 January 2014 and appeared on my Twitter feed that day. The remainder is older; I can't say when exactly - likely c.2008 or earlier - I came across it while leafing through old notebooks in search of something else, and the two texts seemed to fit together. I'd imagine it was inspired by my first falling for the woman who became my ex-wife, in a London goth club in 2001.

 

Some further textual comments. Regarding the first four lines, I once half-jokingly commented that I passed much of the first decade of this century drinking heavily, playing computer games, and making crop circles. I'm still trying to catch up. The title, Wake Up Bad Guy, will of course sound familiar to Halo players. Puppets and puppetry are a recurring motif throughout Future Ghosts, no doubt due to my re-reading Thomas Ligotti at the time of writing much of it.

 

"2000 light years from home" is, as many of you will no doubt be aware, the title of a Rolling Stones song (and one of the few Stones songs I'm a fan of). It is also referenced in my text An Alien Alcoholic In London

 

Currently reading: History Of The SS - G S Graber

Currently listening: Gung Ho - Patti Smith

The second of my track-by-track looks at Future Ghosts

 

 

another twilight

put through the human thresher

 

wine

laughter

 

the peaked meat

of matter

 

how many remain?

how much longer?

 

night pushes open the door

leers and sharpens knives

 

we run from sight

across london fields

 

you're holding your own hand

not mine

 

i down beer

at the speed of starlight

 

sirens but there's ever sirens

epiphanies but there's ever epiphanies

 

 

Musically, this draws on the Logos tracks Anhedoniac and [#], which were created at the time of Shamania and were at one point scheduled to appear on that album. Both were amongst the half-a-dozen or so tracks that I dropped when streamlining Shamania from the 4+ hour epic it at one stage was, and into a more manageable two hours. At one point Ahnedoniac was available as a free download from the Logos website, and no doubt at some point in the future I'll put it up again. [#] remains unreleased in any form, aside from the except included here as coda.

 

Why the title? 4581 Asclepius is an Apollo asteroid and near Earth object; upon its discovery in March 1989, it was noticed that it had just passed through an exact point in space occupied by Earth six hours previously, meaning that our planet was separated from a 600 megaton-equivalent collision by a mere six hours. As a title, it seemed apt; drinking and fretting and fucking while world-killers glide silently about us.

 

As with the rest of Future Ghosts, all the text to this track originally appeared, on the dates it was written, on my Twitter feed, in the late autumn and winter of 2013. I don't think any of it requires explanation, though would make the following comments:

 

"another twilight put through the human thresher" - See The Conspiracy Against The Human Race by Thomas Ligotti.

 

"the peaked meat of matter" - When first written, this was 'the peaked meat of starlight', which I think is a better line, but I changed it due to the repeat of 'starlight' when putting the separate fragments into one text.

 

"i down beer at the speed of starlight" - See my text Belong. The rate at which I could once sink beer, when set to it, was startling. This is not a positive quality. 

 

"sirens but there's ever sirens" - Throughout the 1990s and until 2005, I lived in New Cross in south London. Sirens were an ever aspect of the accustomed to and ignored background din.

 

"epiphanies but there's ever epiphanies" - See Philip K Dick - 'Took drugs. Saw god. BFD.'

 

Currently reading: The Berlin Bunker - James P O'Donnell

Currently listening: Talk Talk Talk - The Psychedelic Furs

While I finish off other projects (both textual and audio) I thought it would be interesting to post a track-by-track look at my last album, Future Ghosts. Here's the first, The Side-Effects Of October.

 

 

the alchemy of skin and broken glass

the soft satisfaction of rain on face

 

husk moon

stray stars

 

content in

their own debris

 

scars so deep

they touch the bone

 

turning leaves

rain-slick streets

 

wood smoke

the side effects of october

 

Followers of Logos may recognise the title of this track, from an unreleased Logos track of the same name which I was working on back in late 2010. That track and its attendant album were never finished, and featured completely different music and text (incidentally much of the music from that unfinished album, Everything We Ever Were - another title I'll likely reuse at some point - was reworked into tracks for the Shamania album or for Future Ghosts).

 

The music for the Future Ghosts version of Side-Effects combines elements of the Logos tracks Anodyne and Bipolar Binary, both from the album Shamania. The text was written on 25 October (first six lines) and 29 October 2013 (remainder) on my Twitter feed, and I don't think it requires much clarification. Eliot was wrong; October is the cruellest month, not April. It has never been kind to me. Though I have many scars from my self-harming days, none 'touch the bone'; I've never cut this deep, though know others who have.

 

Currently reading: Defeat In The West - Milton Shulman

Currently listening: Electric Music For Mind & Body - Country Joe & The Fish

My spoken word-with-music album Future Ghosts is now available for download, and has its own dedicated page on this website here.

 

 

 

Currently reading: Britannia BC - Francis Pryor

Currently listening: Near Earth Orbit - Near Earth Orbit

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