The Biggest Lie

The Biggest Lie

She said, “It’s ok – you’ll feel better every day
And all memory of this will fade away”
And that’s the biggest lie and I just wonder why
When love dissolves we don’t all just die

I sat by the lake when everyone had gone home
Nothing on my body but the sadness I had on
I felt death’s elbow nudging at my ribs, telling me to let go –
I don’t deserve to live

She said, “It’s ok – you’ll feel better every day
And all memory of this will fade away”
And that’s the biggest lie and I just wonder why
When love dissolves we don’t all just die

Liar

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The Blue Hour

The Blue Hour

The clouds, they go their way
With indifference to us
A melancholy light
The ghost of summer past
The moon relieves the sun
Across the evening sky
And here we come undone
And here we say goodbye

The whispers in the bough
Are but rumours on the wind
This love was never ours
And yet we took it in
The headstones mark the lost
Erased by time and tide
Ashes cast to sea
Blow back as memories

Take the last kiss from my lips
Take the last look at my face
And then surrender all we have
Or I will never walk away

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The Canadian Brought Us Snow

The Canadian Brought Us Snow

The Canadian brought us snow
And Lucky Strikes for John to smoke
A Thursday night with powercuts
In mountain socks, burning books

We watched the Jetsons for too long –
Saw robots in our sleep
Naval lights from Amsterdam through the kettle steam

The Jesus glow of Calor Gas illuminates the frosted glass
The windowsill, a battle scene
Of Airfix kits and Disney Queens

Born too early, wake up too late
Minds of Chomsky but low birth weight
Sleeping beside, treat us like eggs
Box-jellyfish light; tinsel legs

 

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

 

The Drowning Of St. Christopher

The Drowning Of St. Christopher

There’s no heart in the men who run these mountain bars
All love extinguished by location and cold fronts
Dogs in the parking lot surround the car for scraps of affection, for eyes not glazed over like black ice
Thousands of kilometres of roughage and terracotta roofs
Horizons replaced by horizons
We run the belly of rainclouds between Madrid and Valencia, with the radio tuned into the weather we don’t have
St Christopher drowns crossing the river
Firs blown onto the windscreen disperse like a pack of tiny black birds
Service stations are watched over from the hills by shepherds who spend all their days flooded by thought – a deafening meditation
The cowbells, like bloody church alarms, smashing the silence of grass, of the air
I am interviewed in a sleepy bar by a girl who wants me to explain “the warmth of nostalgia,” incensed that I “glamourise sadness”
And after seven hours on the road, I have lost all defences – they are roadkill, torn up, gutted
At night, tiny red beacons crown lonely antennas
Everywhere is shepherded in the absence of gods
Cities spoil everything : that there is somewhere to go and something to do, when the partition between sleep and awake in the back of the van features such happy accidents – hazed dreams in an unfocused Super 8mm
On rainy nights, we are docked in the harbour of circular ballrooms playing to the shadows, playing to revolving mirrorballs
Our harbours are in brandy glasses
Our music is swilled/In hostels, fourth floor, bare rooms but for a bed and a sink, we stare vacant at sleeping guitars, wondering how many fucks and violence and drugs have intervalled us staring at sleeping guitars
And the taps can’t be turned off
And there’s suspect movement on the stairwell
Small pictures of boats in storms
Watches and money in our shoes
We wake up and the building is still there and we’re still in it, like miserable captains

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The End Of A Dark, Tired Year

The End Of A Dark, Tired Year

The end of a dark, tired year
I slept bad, in bad dreams, on bad beer
I tried to get on but you nagged in my ear
And London is fucked – a busted bike with rusted gears
I walk around with a knife in the cuff
But that’s not gonna be enough

The end of a dark, tired year
I slept bad, in bad dreams, on bad beer
I tried to get on but you nagged in my ear
And London is fucked –
A busted bike with rusted gears
It makes me dark, dead in the eyes, a shark

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The Faint Horizon

The Faint Horizon

In youth, we think too little
In age, we think too much
In youth, of what’s to come
In age, of what we’ve lost
We always want tomorrow
So never live today
And that’s the curse of our lives
We wish our lives away

With time, the faint horizon
Comes clearer by the day
For some, it’s far too soon
Whilst others cannot wait
And all men need distraction
And some men need their gods
For without these diversions
Then everything is lost

In life, we carve the land up
That is not ours to carve
We cannot take it with us
But cut the greater half
And herein lies the problem
And herein the blame
You enter life with nothing
You leave it with the same

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The Fun Of The Century

The Fun Of The Century

Could it be that you drove me into your fleet of hand-melt candy?
Could it be that you sent me falling off the roof backwards, gently?
Do not let my words depress you –
I’m here to uplift you now
(I’m here to uplift you now)

Her eyes have gone south –
Terrible lies she denies
Could it be that you broke me into a sheet of rain swept sideways?
Could it be that you wrote me a dead attempt?
It just plain scares me
Do not let my words distract you from all the fun you demand –
From the fun of the century

No more glistening wet poems in your honour,
Captain of alienation, New York, money, compassion

 

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The Index

The Index

I have thought about you in your Summer abode
In your lunatic smock, in chronicle mode
The typewriter smack as you nail in the words
And the turntable’s drunk reflection occurs

I have thought about you in your grasshopper pose
And the cigarette smoke carving trails through your clothes
Your Spanish guitar pins your bed to the floor
So your dreams can’t escape
And they’re yours evermore

Paris, she bleeds night into her cup
As you index the birds and you label them up

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The Journal Of A Disappointed Man

The Journal Of A Disappointed Man

I slip and slide through my life, trying to get a grip on the rail. I’m grasping in the dark for a switch that’ll turn on some almighty bright white light and thus, illuminate the way, the path, make everything clear as day. And every breath I take seems to be quickly rolled up behind me and filed away in memory. Only a particular scent or dose of weather can pinprick the past and even then, the drawer opens flirtatiously for just a moment.

I have lost touch with everyone I went to school with, everyone in the village where I spent most of my formulative years, everyone I went to college with, everyone I ever worked with. They too, are filed away, often angrily slamming the drawer behind them, over something I said or something I didn’t say.
My lovers cannot be traced. I know. I’ve tried. I’ve taken trains to their cities and stood on street corners in the miraculous off-chance that they might wander by. But each time, I have returned home, defeated and had to force myself to sleep so that my heart didn’t kill me.

I began my autobiography at 23 years old, with the intention that I wouldn’t live ’til 25. But I’d done nothing, loved no-one, said nothing of any great importance by that time. The journal of a disappointed man.
I took a position at the Natural History Museum but left after only 3 months due to allergies. Whilst deluding myself that I could reinforce the scientist’s power of detached analysis with a poetic intensity, I would cough up my guts on the glass that held the giant stuffed man-o-war. I had a gift of incisive and candid comment, but I failed to ignite it when faced with the apple-cheeked Irish girl who served the tea in the basement canteen. Drunk most nights, in the Black Swan on Canal St, I would attempt to put my own complicated nature under the microscope of a beer glass. I walked home alone, opening the air with bolshy, slurred dictums against religion, ethics, love and life itself.

Lonely, penniless, paralysed by the guilt of never having told my father I loved him, I wander hospital corridors, posing as a visitor. I have wept, enjoyed, struggled and overcome but I remain disappointed.

 

 

(Words – GA Johnson)

The King Cannot Be Found

The King Cannot Be Found

I know your story
I looked into your eyes
And everything had died
Time was, you glistened
You had a lot to say
But you threw it all away

And now your silence is just an excuse
And I’m embarrassed by the lies you produce
You start to crack up when you’re faced with the truth
You start to crack up when you’re faced with the truth

The king cannot be found
The king cannot be found

I know your story
Your hands are cut to maps
Your heart, a photograph
Time was they loved you
You wore the Golden Fleece
You had them on their knees

But now you’re missing from the history
Now you’re missing from the tapestry
And there’s a shadow where you used to be
There’s a shadow where you used to be

The king cannot be found
The king cannot be found

Black out the windows
It’s the start of the plague
Black out the windows
It’s the start of the plague

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The Last Engineer

The Last Engineer

I feel alone in the city
I feel alone in the crowd
I try to listen to reason
But the city’s too loud
I took my heart to a doctor
He took one look in my eyes
He told me hearts may be broken
But the love never dies

I tried to follow my father
He was the last engineer
But they’d closed all the factories
And his steps disappeared
I thought I’d follow the train lines
But it started to rain
And everything looked clearer then
Everything was in its place

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The Last Engineer

The Last Engineer

I feel alone in the city
I feel alone in the crowd
I tried to listen to reason
But the city’s too loud

I took my heart to a doctor
He took one look in my eyes
He told me hearts may be broken
But the love never dies

I tried to follow my father
He was the last engineer
But they’d closed all the factories
And his steps disappeared

I thought I’d follow the train lines
But it started to rain
And everything looked clearer then
Everything was in its place

 

 

(Lyrics by GA Johnson)

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