When You Leave Me Alone

When You Leave Me Alone

I’m okay for a couple of hours and then, like a fog, your absence erases all the details
And I can’t keep warm so the kettle’s always brewing and the cups pile up around the sink, marking the hours
I reposition inanimate objects so that they have a better view of the garden and I move ornaments so that their shadows are more pronounced
I stay awake until the early hours watching minor Westerns; anything to avoid getting into a cold, empty bed
I play the records you always find too melancholy – Red House Painters, Stars Of The Lid
Forget to take my medicine
And then I walk up the hill and stand on the street corner in all weathers as if, like a lighthouse, I can somehow miraculously show you the way back
The clock sometimes seems to hold the seconds and the sky sometimes seems to hold the birds
When you leave me alone, I become who I was before – a two piece jigsaw with one piece missing
I plug in to the old answering machine to listen to friends I’ve lost
Their voices are like nettles on the heart
And in the bar you don’t like, I talk about you too much and I know I’m talking about you too much but I can’t shake you ‘cos I don’t want to shake you
I wear the same shirt for days, don’t shave, sleep on the couch
I spend hours watching the dust in sunlight, thinking : will this dust last longer than both of us?
When you leave me alone, I retract
I’m okay for a couple of hours and then, like a fog, your absence erases all the details
And I can’t keep warm

 

(Words – GA Johnson)

 

 

 

Wintersport

Wintersport

A Charlie Brown snowstorm for 2.49
Snoopy drops dead in the snow
This is all that I can show for my time

With someone I don’t really know
I met you in mittens beneath London Bridge,

Killing your skateboard, angry like sea
I loved you in minutes, like people love Lucy
We spat in the snow, black coffee

A rollerskate waitress in Littlewoods cafe
A Raleigh bike builder, Pro-Plus and Park Drives
We kissed once – it was like e minor
Things could, I think not, be finer

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

Wrong French

Wrong French

And there were those films,
Made in the Seventies
Where dolls ran through fields, late at night, after men

His shirt is my dress
I lost my knees and hands
He drowned my make-up in the white sand

And I’m too tiny for a heart this big
It swells like an ocean
It’s breaking the jail of ribs

And he said it won’t hurt
And he said it won’t hurt
And he said it won’t hurt
A lie the size of the sky

And this hotel is dusty
And he’s locked the door
And the sea’s gone so far out
I can’t see it anymore
I was baking when he kissed me
I put flour in his hair
He rolled me like a bottle,
Whispering wrong French in my ear

 

 

(Words – GA Johnson)

You Can Hear The Room

You Can Hear The Room

You can hear the room on these long, Winter nights
If you’d just…
If you’d just…
If you’d just be quiet

Beneath the word
There’s the whisper of pipes
There’s the stretch of the wood
There’s the chink of the light

And the wires conduct
And the water runs down to the sea
But stay away from the drink
Stay away from the diaries

It doesn’t matter
It does not matter

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

You Can Never Get Lost (When You’ve Nowhere To Go)

You Can Never Get Lost (When You’ve Nowhere To Go)

I know nothing of tides
And I’m confused by the stars
But you can never get lost
When you’ve nowhere to go

And I’ve got space in my heart
For the next twenty years
So don’t think there’s a rush
Just come on over sometime

And I will haunt myself blind
Only sleep when I’m bored
And I will talk into space
And I will worry this house

And I’ve got space in my heart
For the next twenty years
So don’t think there’s a rush
Just come on over sometime

(Come on over sometime)

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

You Don’t Need Me To Tell You

 

You Don’t Need Me To Tell You

You don’t need me to tell you
That there’s nothing after this
That nothing came before now
And that’s just the way it is
Any mark you think you leave here
Well, it will perish with the flesh
The purpose of this sorry life
Well, that’s anybody’s guess
And yet we persevere
Like flowers on the tide
The choice is seldom mentioned
The choice is set aside
For once its name is spoken
It enters by the heart
It haunts the empty chambers
And it pulls the heart apart
You’re sound of mind and body
But I’ve watched you from afar
Your rationale is fading
It’s fading like a star
Amongst these constellations
You always found the hope
But now I see a worried man
Behind the telescope

I’d like to say I’ve evidence
The proof that all men seek
But I’m as lost as anyone
The spirit, it is weak
You don’t need me to tell you
That there’s nothing after this
That nothing came before now
And that’s just the way it is

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

You Never Loved This City

You Never Loved This City

Make haste, the light is fading
The traders turn the sign
The clouds are lost to darkness
The bars they spring to life
You never loved this city
But angel, it loves you
Your smile, a Roman candle
Your eyes are Prussian blue

Beware, the crack of lightning
Three miles but drawing near
The first rain blacks the pavement
The birds, they disappear
And in the doorway, lovers
They share a cigarette
Below, the rush of gutter
Above, a silhouette

You never loved this city
But angel, it loves you
Your smile, a Roman Candle
Your eyes are Prussian blue
I never loved this city
But you can keep me here
Your love, a stained glass window
Your heart, a chandelier

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

You Never Loved This City

You Never Loved This City

Make haste, the light is fading
The traders turn the sign
The clouds are lost to darkness
The bars they spring to life
You never loved this city
But angel, it loves you
Your smile, a roman candle
Your eyes are Prussian blue

Beware, the crack of lightning
Three miles but drawing near
The first rain blacks the pavement
The birds, they disappear
And in the doorway, lovers
They share a cigarette
Below, the rush of gutter
Above, a silhouette

You never loved this city
But angel, it loves you
Your smile, a roman candle
Your eyes are Prussian blue
I never loved this city
But you can keep me here
Your love, a stained glass window
Your heart, a chandelier

You Never Stop Loving (The One That You Loved)

You Never Stop Loving (The One That You Loved)

Well, you may think you have an option
Well, you may think you can opt out
And you suppose time is the healer
And that you’ve learnt to live without
Well, you can burn all those letters
Tie them up in a sack
And you can throw them in a river
Tell yourself that you’ll never look back

But you’ll never stop loving the one that you loved
No, you never stop loving the one that you loved

Well, I heard you found another lover
And me, I found another too
But there’s a consequence of reason
There’s an undeniable truth
For in these moments of solitude
There’ll be a knock at the door
What was once in the shadows, at the back
Now, it will come to the fore

But you’ll never stop loving the one that you loved
No, you never stop loving the one that you loved

 

 

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

Your Ghost

Your Ghost 

Your ghost, a white candle in this night
Smile broken, though eyes bright as carnival rides
You wander these streets,
Punch-drunk on the stars
As the lights are stubbed out in the neighbourhood bars

Your voice, thin as smoke,
Barely exits your mouth
There’s blood in your hair
And a fire to the south
Your skeleton moves in a waltz with the stairs
And the well of your heart,
Full of no-one who cares

Your words, a white wreath
At the cusp of the hill
To mark off the kill
Where the blood was spilled
You’re the back of the mirror
You’re the ghost of the tide
And I would die twice
If you stayed tonight
(Don’t stay tonight)

 

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

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