Pink Floyd

he’s read all the books

listened to the early work

is in love with Syd Barrett

the mythos of the man anyway

& we’re almost on the same page

though he can’t help himself

reading from notes in the margin

written by some obsessive

late on a long spliff’d night

& I tell him the bits I know

the rifts between Roger & David

the sacking of Richard

the rhythm of Dave M thudding

keeping the thing on track

but he’s hearing with 21st century ears

sensibilities politics & fears

& the music he hears

is not what it was

in those years

the switch from mono to stereo

how that all shifted the mix

when this first came out of the radio

the dansette sat on the floor

we had to listen tight

over & over

see if we could get it

understand what the band were doing

proto anthropology students

on the trail of space alien spoor

trying to fit what we got now

with what had existed before

& it didn’t

there was a jar

between then & the new work

which created the excitement

this was new this was new

& we had to move

progress with it

or get out the way through the door

where what he hears

fits into patterns

created back then


his here & now


neither mature nor clever

the guy upstairs

had a great music set up

I knew it

the neighbourhood knew it

& we talked to him

over & over

to no avail

so one Saturday night

I held a party

invited the most offended

& as he cranked up the noise

we hit the on switch for the DJ console

fella had a K+ of sound

turned up to eleven

we left it that way until ten

when we switched the whole thing off

at ten as every Saturday night

overhead the springs began to sing

squeak squeak

squeak squeak squeak squeak

rising in tempo with a climax (forgive me)

for 3 minutes 15 seconds

at which

everybody gathered there

erupted into wild applause



in the silence

as she padded to the bathroom

he moved out

very soon after that

Dumb kid

I travelled over the ocean

sitting in the farts of others

rebreathing 30% dead air

not just to come & see you

took those needed detours first

had some time in the desert

reminded myself at graves there

just how it was back then for us

you chose the music I chose the line

touching places your mumma loved

letting the wind fly the sand the earth

right out the palm of my hand

& when I got to where you were

I left messages we were in town

& a couple of days later

after you were sure we were gone

made dipshit excuses of neglecting your phone

like I’d come to see you with no reason

had something or nothing to convey

or did you think my hands were open empty?

well now I guess your mummas dead

you get to feel really be free

though one of us is just a dumb kid

for putting in no effort

& one needs now

to just let it be


it ain’t like the movies

when they put caw caw sounds in

to let you know

this is the scary bit

or skree skreee of buzzards & kites

so’s you understand this is country

& y’aint in Kansas now Toto

or sombre scary music

to let you know hard

this is the bit where

best you pay attention


life unfortunately

has got none of that

us & the mojo man

nights listening to Jim

us & the mojo man

nothing but cigarettes

to get us through ‘til dawn

& I wanted to be your lover man

hold you close against the cold

with everything I had

which could never be enough

& I loved you best as I could

as you held me closer still

sex was enough in those nights

to get us through poor times

& if I think of you now

your dark beauty registers

that & a sweet wide smile

what we talked of

thought about cared for

argued about

is all gone

back behind

lost in the miles gone by


I have no idea

how a musician feels a piece of music

they can play

or can’t play

though I have been known to struggle

to pick out a bass lick

how an artist understands the landscape

prepares to render their subject

though I have set to with hammer & chisels

on a wood block to create a head

same with clay & plastics

how a politician can play the crowd

speak in truths half truths outright lies

wondering if it is contempt

of the crowd allows this

though I have taught large groups

& found them unreceptive to truth

different skills different ways

art forms struggling to be born

though I can always spot the whiff

feel writhing in my bones

bullshit in all its myriad forms

Industrial Shaman III

I had no definitive dream to offer that day

but knew they looked always outwards

for lacking needed wanted words

to help them pierce their vision

& I played them music as a guide instead

songs of fathers mothers sisters brothers

all of the family in the round

conflicts promises love warmth

from the dark dirty ground

water air & fire

the very rituals we use to begin

& our ends of our lives

they took this well

sitting & listening politely

& at the end

I thanked them for being there

along with me on this journey

as they filed out away

some with faces wondering


what the fuck was that all about?