Year of The Bird (Volume 2)

by Pale Bird

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1.
Passion 04:18
“Passion” - that’s a word you use to beat shame into people You’re "passionate about your brand", you say “Why don’t you love the things you do with An all-consuming passion?” We hear that one-man show each day I don’t want to single out every rudderless person Who has to do a dance inside Just to get out of bed in the morning But we get so far from our actual feelings One day I watched the film American Hustle By David O Russell (David O. Hustle) In its entirety On the screen of the man in front of me On a flight traveling over the Atlantic There were no subtitles, I could not hear the sound Piecing it all together, this is what I found 1. Men really love the 70s, everyone was drunk and they could do what they wanted 2. Amy Adams is a real contender for silent film, forget about the boys - they’re not very memorable 3. The world is so, so, beige 4. I don’t want to live my life at a remove, insulated by money, drugs or booze Or retreat into nostalgic memories And I have passions, but there isn’t just one thing that I’d throw myself down on some altar to possess Is being a human person enough?
“Being’s enough, being is tough” As Jean-Paul Satre said (I think he’s paraphrasing, he didn’t even get his name right) In a dream I was walking with a friend, heading to his house, so we could take some tea (I don’t understand what’s happening now) And we were passing through a forest struck with lightning Beside us as we walked, it didn’t strike us though Yes, we were frightened And before we reached his home, I woke What do you think it means?
2.
Why are you whispering? What’s there to whisper about? The forecast says the rivers are rushing, they want to turn the Windrush around Well fuck those people, fight those people, forget those people, frighten those people But don’t apologise never apologise for those people I passed by an antique shop in Kyoto in Japan When I came across an old bus sign from the town where my youth unfurled Like a familiar flag caught up in a light breeze Clinging to the pole, showing limited flashes of colour Dreaming about leaving and turning into a man And now this bus had followed me half way around the world Hadley and Leegomery, Dawley and Sutton Hill Must have seemed exotic to these antique-brokers From Kyoto and Kanazawa, Tokyo and Osaka Hukei and Hiroshima, Takamatsu and Fukuoka These are places, truth be told, where I may never return The old familiar feelings of fear and death are overpowering Twenty years of absence haven’t made the heart grow fonder The twisted root remains even as the tree is flowering Reminding me of who I am (I don’t want to be told about who I am) I can make up my mind about who I am And if not, I’d rather not know If I look too hard I see a future free of fantasy A different instability And that’s when it’s time to go Why are you whispering? I think I told you before The light at the end of the tunnel looks like a gaping maw
3.
Let’s not get from A to B Let’s tiptoe around the blame We never go out with your friends I’ve never heard you say my name () I’ve been with you for so long I’ve walked with you through hell You barely talk about me It sets off warning bells It’s true, we do spend time with your closest friends But they already knew me Even though they might pretend That you introduced me And why does this sensible list Make me the needy one? It’s just what anybody sane would want Honestly you’d think that you were leading a separate life Stop trying to excise me, you would need a sharper knife Depression, you’re a hungry dog
4.
It seemed unlikely he’d met me before We were close to The Pole of Nothing Is Here His words were burdened with mint leaves and bourbon And Sam Beckett references I couldn’t hear This drunk H G Wells had figured out how To travel one day into his past “Like terrible jet lag with more deja vu” He told me a moment before I had asked He said, “Which day would you change if you could? I tried to change things in a few tiny ways To make my life better, but even that was too hard I pulled on a thread and it unravelled for days” He revealed that we met On the day after yesterday I’d wanted to know his secrets back then And we’d fought and he’d nearly killed me, and so He’d come back to stop it from happening again I told him “Old man, I’ve listened closely That secret is ours now It’s not yours to own" Eyes wide and angry He swung at my wildly The room disappeared and I woke up alone I went back to find him The day after yesterday Unfinished business thick in the air He left little trace, just an untouched mint julep A friendly reminder so I’d know he’d been there We’ve never crossed paths again Though, if we did I’d have no idea What to say I’m so much older now, and I’ve changed my past So many times, a little each day I’m so much older now, and I’ve lived my life So many times, a piece every day
5.
Fragile 02:10
You live in a place that spans a huge temperature range 0 to 300,000,000 degrees And you won’t survive a change Of five degrees from your comfort zone Your proteins unravel, your metabolism slows This isn’t a science bit, don’t you see? Let me make this more concrete: It’s dark, and you’re on a suburban street Standing outside your handsome home There are similar houses next to it Lined up on just one side of the road And every single person in the USA Has a house upon this street You like your neighbours well enough But five doors down here on the right The house is full of death Five doors down there on the left The house is full of death Five doors down there on the right Across the road, there are no houses There is just a darkened cliff This represents lack of oxygen But remember this isn’t a science bit I mean, there are.. ten? People in this country Who don’t want to kill you dead And there’s a chasm waiting for you if you try to run instead And you can dress up pretty tough But you are fragile just like us
6.
Yes I’m always complaining Aren’t you pleased I’ve found something I enjoy? Something I’m good at Always a reason for someone to shut there negative feelings I see your silver person person of pistons I see your silver person person of steel And hey, every robot needs its prime directives The first three make a certain amount of sense, like Don’t punch any children Don’t poison housecoats Be excellent to each other And then there’s the 4th The 4th, you can’t say You know what it is but If you try to speak it It goes for your neck It goes for your nervous system Your motion’s a low vibration Between doing something and doing nothing It’s going to shake you into pieces And at this point in the story You’re on the 25th storey Someone needs to fire that one bad apple Near the top of the hierarchy You’re a useless piece of crap If you’re just rocking forwards and back And if you want your happy ending You’d better get out of this trap
7.
Yes I believe in atoms I believe I’ve seen them with my own eyes Through a silver window when I was just 25 In a darkened basement My friends showed me a device That drills down into the universe And comes back with a prize And everywhere I go The mountains look like Scotland The valleys look like Wales The mountains look like Scotland That was 15 years ago And what I worry about now Is whether people would treat me differently Like I said I’d seen a ghost Like I said I’d seen The shadow of Jesus, the face of Elvis On that silver screen Everywhere I go The mountains look like Scotland The valleys look like Wales The mountains look like Scotland Everywhere I go The mountains look like Scotland The valleys look like Wales The flat bits look England I know the world changes, I’ll never see The same mountain twice Superimposed with the grey ghosts Of the rest of my life
8.
Harp Lie 03:01
I was lying when I said I played the harp I was lying when I said I owned one And that sound in the background That’s not me playing the harp I was lying when I said I wasn’t scared And when you asked if you would speak again If it looked like I was crying And I told you that I wasn’t I was lying Those were literally the darkest days Third week in June 2018 Life can afford to be fucking cliched It’s a dark mofo when it wants to be What a lovely time we’re going through Trying to find a believable lie to tell you
9.
Hezarico! It might not make much sense to you today But save it up and maybe one day you will open up your mouth and hear yourself say Hezarico!
10.
Filters 09:38
This is a formal piece, with the following rules. 1. The speaker will describe their voice and the construction of the music or track. The text should address all of the topics, it should be created by the performer, and it should be truthful. Music can be included 2. Antecedents: Tom Johnson’s “Failing” and Alvin Lucier’s “I Am Sitting in a Room”; and the Neofuturist theatre movement. 3. Topics to be addressed 1. The speaker should talk about their own voice, and factors which influence its sound 2. How the room is affecting the sound 3. How the antecedents in (2) affect the piece 4. The piece should end with the statement: “These are some of the filters affecting how the sound reaching your ears has formed. There are others at your end of the process, but I’m not sure what those are”
11.
Afterthought 03:46
I never want you think that you’re an afterthought There’s hardly a moment you’re not in my mind It can be distracting when I’m completing complex tasks I shouldn’t use heavy machinery at the same time I never want you feel like you’re an afterthought I just always feel that love songs have something to sell Eric and George trading solos over Pattie Boyd Forever in hell Generation X can’t look into the sunset Without seeing the familiar outline of the coca-cola logo They didn’t get conscripted, and that’s a pretty tame brand But it would be nice to just see the sunset, you know Hey, you should be racing for a job that’s gone before you arrive Honking human headline shouting at your back as you go “How’re you going to build a house on eggs and avocado? Eggs and avocado, and artisanal sourdough” I never want you to feel that you’re an afterthought

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released July 1, 2019

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Pale Bird Austwick, UK

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