Roaring Forties 

 

Sharply Unclear
The Gift of Fire
You Can't want...
A Headlong Stretch
Your Tall Ship


      

Sharply Unclear

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You've never shown a trace of human frailty, No-one could ever catch you on the hop: Each post-modern take on the action would find you already, in principle, totally hot, all self-referential commentary and a marketing man's sense of talk shop. The sharper the image you cut the more you seem unreal; so sharp you could cut yourself, transparently ideal. We all know that hard-boiled look, you cooked it up to face down the stares; I feel like I'm walking on eggshells around you, as though you're already no longer quite there. You acknowledge your trauma, your neurosis is stripped and laid bare. The sharper the image you cut the more you disappear; so sharp you could cut yourself, somehow this transparency's unclear. All the mirrors in your playroom, they twist your psycho-epidermis into shape. No doubt you emerged in your make-up believing quite simply, believing that you'd got it taped but the vacancy you offered is already a Cheshire Cat gape. The sharper the image you cut the more you disappeared; so sharp you could cut yourself - are you still really here? And the sharper the image you cut the more you seemed a fake, so sharp you could cut yourself, transparently opaque.... And the sharper the image you cut the less you seemed alive; so sharp, but this open book's transparently jive. You were so sharp you cut yourself, so sharp you could cut yourself; you were so sharp you made yourself transparent and transparently unclear.

The Gift of Fire

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Like a wind in the wilderness like a swell on the ocean... would the spell be unbroken if it was never phrased? She was always the precious child, she was always a strange one, a derangement runs deep down through her innocent gaze..... The gift of fire and the gift of tongues, the gift to see what Goddess Fortune held in store; pretty soon there were whisperings of witchcraft from the couple next door. She had the gift of talk turkey, the gift of talk turkey. She had no message for the marketplace, she was inflamed by each moment, she had the silver spoon of soothsay for destiny. She was always coming on with the gift of fire and the gift of tongues; family affair, it was a fortune that they'd got - pretty soon they were cooking up a story for the communal pot; on the prime time slot they shot the gift of talk turkey. Oh now she can't stop talking about the way she sees it is and she can't stop talking about her prescience. She can't stop talking, how dangerous that is and she can't stop talking, no, she can't stop talking.... It's the curse of the fire and she's burning up before us in the talk of tongues, flames that lick around the dross; the gift of fire, if she's burning up before us it's our communal loss, the inevitable cost of the gift of talk turkey. What a windfall of wickedness when truth gets warped to perversion; in the official version they'll always make it quite plain what we're really not meant to see. The gift of fire consumes all those who touch it and the gift of tongues is always double-edged; they grew aware that she would take them to the ledge, so pretty soon they were working up a story about the bets they could hedge. The gift of fire and the gift of tongues... they take her name and they grind it in the dust; all at once they've got alibis to cover any possible bust and she's gagged, bound and trussed by the gift of talk turkey. But she can't stop talking, though her audience disappears and she can't stop talking about her prescience. She can't stop talking, though she knows that no-one hears she can't stop talking, she can't stop talking, she can't stop talking - how miraculous this is! She can't stop talking, just like Bernadette. She can't stop talking, how dangerous that is, and she can't stop talking, she can't stop talking, no, she can't stop talking about the way she sees it is, she can't stop talking, just like Joan of Arc. She can't stop talking - man, how dangerous she is, she can't stop talking, she can't stop the gift of talk turkey, the gift of talk turkey. No, she can't stop talking.

You Can't Want What you Always Get (if you haven't got it yet)

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Give it a bit of hard on the rudder hot on the heels of foot to the floor; setting your mind on one thing or the other, do you still find you're always wanting something more? Yes, and the thing you want forever is always the thing you can never have - I want doesn't get. Try out the line of "This is original"; spin out the story: "This is brand new"; give a bit of "I never felt like this before"; cut to the chase: "I only want you". And the one you want forever will always be the one you can never have.... I want doesn't get (Here's a message from the future you don't have time to forget.... Here's a message from the darkside: better live with your regrets.) And the thing you want 's forever, it's always, the thing you can never have.... I want doesn't get. Who was it told you you were the gifted one? Who was it said that yours is the lucky star? Somehow you're always looking to shed your next skin, always too busy to be who and what you are. Still the one you chase forever turns into the one you can never have. I want doesn't get (Here's a message for your present and there isn't any catch: better live the life you're living, no conditions are attached.) t You can't live a life as constant acquisition; you're missing the present, always looking to live in the future tense. You build up your hopes for Corpus Non Delicti.... The crack of temples - who're you going to sue for recompense when the thing you want forever will always be the thing you could have had? I want just means I lack but I don't want to turn the clock back. (Here's a message from the future that you'd better not forget..... Here's a message from the darkside better live with your regrets. Here's a message for the present if you haven't got it yet: better live the life you're living.) I want doesn't get.

A Headlong Stretch

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i. Up Ahead Passage assured on the good ship Goodbye... dare I raise up my eyes to stare into the rigging? (Preparing to go/come home..) All we could have done we're at pains to explain but all our might in the main is only empty promise unfulfilled at last still no-one can be blamed for breaking daily bread, thinking ahead. Blessed with strange grace and reluctant to face ineluctable fate, I say I saw the future I said forget the past but I'll not hear the last of lives I've never led, thinking ahead. ii. Continental Drift We make the beds in which we'll stretch in unconscious pre-planning; tending and hedging our bets thinking we're thinking ahead. Out of the blue comes the given life, out of the window volition. In small miracles, in constant reinvention we make sense of each current position. Every choice that we make, every trick that we turn up appears in its principle sound. Yeh, we're self-made men, masters of our destiny, free and unbound.... In to the heart comes the brave new world where we're slaves to the strength of conviction..... I believe decisions come like continents to conquer like I believe we're no strangers to fiction. Every road that we take means a journey rejected we pretend we can still have it all; every future we dream a virtual reality, only vanity still holds us enthralled when the best laid plans of mice and men all unravel in the judgement call. Pride still make us ride for a fall. Surely we look ripe for a fall, surely we look ripe for a fall; maybe we just ride for the fall. iii. The Twelve The jury's out upon the matter and they can barely bear to admit that all the time that we spend planning in the end will matter not one whit. Though I've certainly considered every vital pro and con I get no scent of an acquittal I lose the drift... the signs are wrong. What's going on? (Twelve signs of the zodiac, twelve hours to face, the twelve disciples all aquiver, twelve arrows strike a twelve-tone case.) Round and round in repetition of the flight from boredom into thrill and all the time we're waiting on the punchline, the hollow laugh within "we will'. What won't we give to take up the turning over of a new leaf? No-one ever reaching future perfect; before we know it, beyond belief we come to grief, we hit the reef. iv. Long Light Signs serial adrift in the air immaterial face up to the phosphor flare. Ghost essence fuels fire in the rig; incandescence let's dance out the mystery jig. Jig, dance the dance of mystery light, dance the dance, jig, dance the dance infernally bright. Dark water dark fire down below... storm quarter time to dance out the mystery - no! The twelve will swing us to completeness right from the cradle to the grave and all our future projection's only second guessing seventh waves.... A break in the connections we thought were built to last here's a change in the weather, Tsunami time - the wave's already rolling in towards us from the past. v. Backwards Man It's only looking backwards that you retrace your hand, it's only in a moment of reversal that you can see where you stand... ease out, come through the film and through the mirror welcome the backwards man. Oh yes, the beach still stirs the ocean, and soon the tide will turn the moon round all is forgiven and all was foreseen - all's as it ever could be. Ends forced motive out of meaning means all even out in the end; retracing steps, in the process you learn to stand, learn to walk again so much gets forgotten, so much is forsworn in retrospect. Did I really do that? Was I ever so young? It's here, looking backwards that you confront your own face it's only in such moments of reversal that you're secure in place. Through the fire backwards again and again return to base. vi. As You Were It's some relief to find the possible in store; beyond belief, in overtime, I'm overboard... uncharted waters, full fathom five, the future's rising, it's just arrived. It's not the same as I imagined it would be but there's no blame if every life's imaginary. And if I get quite what I deserve that'll end the sentence, the time I've served a full stop to the sentence.... When it's all done you willed the person you've become in serious fun it's as you were that you become and so it's done. vii. Or So I Said I saw the future or so I said.... How strange they seem, the lives I've never led, thinking ahead. (I'm ready to come home....) So head on, headlong, headstrong. (I'm ready to go....)

Your Tall Ship

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Far, so far away... surely you remember log book pages frayed that fanned the flames of long ago, guttered in the grate, shadows in the embers.... look away, look for home. Voices on the air, running with the current; wind and tide set fair, ship to shore the message goes, all in love is fair - across the raging torrent, sail away, sail for home; look away, look for home. Land-locked lovers, landlub friends, in procession: all rites of passage have an end. Look away, sail away, sail your tall ship home. We are ocean-borne, far from any harbour, from our moorings torn, ghosts that fly for all we know.... turn to face the storm that's building off to starboard, sail away, sail for home, look away, look for home. Look away in the Roaring Forties. Land-locked lovers, littoral friends, the succession never ends.... the spirit's willing to carry on; all rites of passage make us strong. Sail away, sail away, sail your tall ship home.

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