- We are Written
- Crossed Wires
- Once You Called Me
- The Ice Hotel
- This is the Fall
- Just a Child
- Bareknuckle Trade
We are Written
"It was always going to be like this, whatever you bring yourself
to say. Why don't you point that thing the other way and telescope
this tangled story? You've got the whole thing at your fingertips,
already scripted in an alien Braille, snagged up under your
Oh, so blissful, in ignorance we pin the tail, with smudgy marks
we scratch the surface. We are what we were born to be, we are what
we become over time, under our own thumbs. We are written in our
fingerprints, in everything we do and see; we are written in our
fingerprints, so very singular the marks of our destiny. So open
the hands: this is a lifespan.
I found the future in my grasp, the line of least resistance,
naturally; joined up the dots and never thought to ask could I
somehow do this differently? In the heat of the moment it's impressed
on me what's done is done in understanding. And if I had a choice to
make I ignored it as such. So our lifelines accumulate like the dust
on the things we've touched. We are written in our fingerprints, all
of our virtues, all our vice. We are written in our fingerprints.
Once upon a time the story: we won't go through these motions twice.
We are written in our fingerprints. We don't get to do this thing twice,
so let's play out the hand, unconsciously pre-planned.
"I don't know, somehow our wires got crossed: you've been mistaking me
for someone who never gave a toss. Life's too short for me to rewrite
this page out of pig ignorance into all the useless wisdom of age.
Something I said off the cuff, without thinking, has driven us apart.
Oh, you took it so much to heart. To get this straight we need to find
some common ground, some understanding ...but that remains unfound.
It's ancient history, feels like it happened so long ago; of insignificance
I've forgotten more than you'll ever know. Say what you like, I found the
debate absurd; if we settled all our differences we'd never get back
where we once were. Let's get it straight without a shadow of a doubt.
Sooner or later the naked truth will out - incomprehension is what it's
I was only speaking my mind: over my tongue I tripped. I put my foot in
it the moment that the words left my lips. The moment that the words left
my lips I knew that language had eluded my grip. I know what I meant but
perhaps in the telling the wheels fell off the cart...oh, but you took it
so much to heart.
"Getting it straight our smiles are just like Cheshire Cats', half of the
time we're both talking through our hats...I tell you this I never meant
to tell you that I got it straight, I put the whole damn thing to bed.
Sooner or later we're going to lose our heads, sooner or later the
lines'll all go dead. Getting it straight I don't take back a word I said:
sooner or later the lines'll all go dead."
Sooner or later the line goes dead.
"I know you haven't got the thread of the story so far. Just throw your
luggage into the back of the car. We'll drive around until you think I've
gone too far but you can't go home, no, there's no way home. You haven't
lost the plot but there's detail you lack. This is a one-way trip and
there's no turning back. No protestation can divert us from the track
we're set upon. Soon it's done and dusted and we're gone. No-one ever
knows the road they're on."
I'm driven by my younger self into a corner. I remember dreaming the
open road. I liked to think I had control but my hands on the wheel
were guided by some outside force as my future revealed. I slalomed
through life's obstacles more on instinct than feel. I picked myself
up as a hitcher and it's really quite a deal to see this lifelong journey
through his eyes. Just as we got going we've arrived. We're driven by
our older selves into what we become and all our careful planning turns
out strictly rule of thumb. We're driven by ourselves but dream we're
free, on the open road. Free, on the open road.
Once you called me
I wish that I remembered better. You've grown so fast before my very
eyes. The woman that you're now becoming suddenly takes me by surprise.
I thought that there'd be time and tide a-plenty to grow into a proper
fatherhood but underneath our feet the sands were shifting. You spread
your wings, soon you'll be gone from me for good. And when I tucked you
in at night and swore I'd always love you madly I'd wonder would this
be the last time that you'd ever call me "Daddy"?
A bittersweetnes runs through every memory: a daughter's father wants to
be so strong, then suddenly he's just an ancient relic. You spread your
wings, you weren't a little girl for very long. And if trouble's on its
way you know I'd lay my life down for you gladly. I only wish that I
could still remember the last time that you called me "Daddy". Once you
called me "Daddy". Oh, my precious girl.
The Ice Hotel
Mercury's down to zero, absolute time will tell we're only over-wintering
as guests in the Ice Hotel. All that we build will crumble, every empire
fades; humbled, we should admit impermanence marks the man-made. Under the
Ice Hotel the permafrost is stacked but down along the walls the first melt
starts to track. The wind's whipped voices up and swept them down the years
but in the Ice Hotel the guests all have cloth ears. Are we all so
We're only here a season, paupers and presidents. Reason allows us only a
temporary residence. Inside the Ice Hotel the mirror ball revolves while
in the cinema the screen goes to dissolve. Over and over what's destroyed
will be remade and in the Ice Hotel we're only passing trade. The walls
are sweating as the Celsius starts to climb. Of all our works this is the
transient paradigm. Each year another team will build it up anew, for in
the Ice Hotel we're all just passing through, we're just passing through.
This is the Fall
All humans are siblings, this is a truth that I've assumed; all fighting
over the legacy of a lifelong and timeless family feud in the name of I
don't know what. I don't believe in God but if I did I'd surely say there
is only one Power up above us, one face refracted in each different Faith.
But for every holy confessor there's a priest of self-worth trading in the
eternal for power on earth.
Soaked, the blood of believers in the ground where prophets trod. How in
God's name did religion get so far away from God? Oh, mercy, mercy, mercy
now! Oh, mercy, mercy, mercy! I don't believe in God but, with all respect
to those who do, surely no purpose could be served under heaven if there's
no mercy in this place we're passing through? Oh, now for every sainted
ascetic drawing heavenly breath there's a literal fanatic in love with death.
Soaked, the blood in the pages pored with all-too-human pride...in what book
of what religion is the blood-lust sanctified? In the name of creation, for
whatever that is worth, why in God's name is religion bound so mortally to
earth? Soaked, the blood of believers in the ground where prophets trod.
How in God's name did religion fall so far away from God? This is the Fall
Just a Child
This is more than merely wrong, as sin on sin's grotesquely piled. Don't
look so surprised when you find yourself reviled. Don't look to me for
comfort in your trial - the girl was just a child. Uttering remorse with
weasel words and shameless guile... it was "a mistake", no, paedophilia's
"not your style"; all's undercut by your crookedness of smile - the girl
was just a child. Close to being grown up, occasionally wild, but the girl
was just a child, the girl was just a child.
Now here come the limp excuses with a euphemistic turn of phrase. The fact
is sexual abuse undoes its victims, down through all their days. Darkness
clouds her face, no longer fresh and juvenile. Home's no longer safe, her
innocence is lost, with rising bile. This is not a hurt that will ease
after a while - the girl was just a child. Offer your contrition, in remorse
you're meek and mild but the girl was just a child and you can't restore
the treasure, the flower you defiled - the girl was just a child. More
than merely wrong, this is simply vile - the girl was just a child.
Nobody knows what she sees, no-one can get behind that warped
reflection. What glossy varnish strips away protection from young
girls like these? No-one admits what it means, no-one permits a
gesture of contrition; how carelessly they stacked the ammunition
in the magazines. Like a gun to her head, skinny model fantasy.
No, she just can't bear to live with this body image.
Who knows what she sees? Who knows what she sees in body image?
Nobody knows what she sees, no-one can guess the depth of her
self-rejection. Seen through the eyes of the disease her unblemished
skin's all pock-marked with imperfection. Somebody messed up all
her young dreams; pretending that this is all of her own volition
how carelessly they stacked up the ammunition in the magazines.
Like a gun to her head, every glossy fashion shot that reminds her
of all the pretty girls she's not in body image. Like a gun to her
head skinny model fantasy; no she just can't bear to live with this
body image. Like a gun to her head, every glossy fashion shot reminds
her of all the pretty girls she's not in body image. Like a gun to
her head, every image that she sees. No, she just can't bear to live
with this body image, body image, body image.
And when you feel you can't go on what kind of laurels do you
look to? Sometimes we get what we want, sometimes we take
a good hook too. Once you thought you were so strong...some
young pretender came and shook you. Now there's a lesson to
be learned: we must respect what is gone and still expect
there'll be something more, but there's a tab left to pay
for the experience we're gaining day after day as our knuckles
are grazed by the marks that we made with the tools of the trade.
A telegraph is on its way that might explain my every action.
Sometimes we get what we want and then forget what we came here for.
From fitness to decay we trade in opposite attractions. There are
still lessons to be learned and when we get what we want we find
it less than we might deserve. Now I'm a little bit lost, not for
the first time I'm here in some disarray and returning in spades
are the hands that I've played with the tools of the trade.
If I learned my lesson well I've got time to buy and sell with the
tools of the trade.
"What do you want? What do you get? What do you want? What do you
expect?" What you want, what you want's not what you get. The tools
of the trade, look what you made with the tools of the trade. But
what price has been paid for the tools of the trade? And here's a
message in my hands, though I'm not sure I can decode it. Sometimes
we get what we want and yet still don't know quite what that is.
Timidity be damned - hang on to that towel, never throw it. Still
there are lessons to be learned: if we don't get what we want at
least we get to request the bill, carrying on until the last one is
standing still in the game. With quick breath we all pay for the
fists that we made: these, the tools of the trade.