The Sky Groundwards

by Brendan Bonsack

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credits

released November 11, 2010

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Brendan Bonsack

Brendan Bonsack is a poet and songwriter from Melbourne, Australia. These are his own brand of folk and pop songs, described as poems with dance partners.

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Track Name: The Sky Groundwards
All the ghosts in this vessel
Frightened of dying
All the words on the tips of their thumbs
Abbreving in Latin and mechanical pidgin
To conserve all desire in their lungs

If I turn the sky groundwards
From the sea they'll rise,
All those hapless navigators
Reaching for the stars
As they fall around our feet
And underneath our cars

All the stone in this bread cannot be turned
Despite the gnashing of my teeth in my sleep
But men do prefer the whole room to be burned
Than to just treat the floor to a sweep

All the ghosts in their windows,
Tapping and etching
Out the living into bottle-necked enfolds
Every hothouse has a memory of the
Bees that don't get through
But none of how all the flowers grew
Only that they must be new
To take on such a ghostly hue

If I turn the sky groundwards
From the sea they'll rise,
All those hapless navigators
Reaching for the stars
As they fall around our feet
And underneath our cars
Track Name: Could I Make You Smile?
So I'll just crouch in this position
See the lights upon the bridge
I'll just be here, dumb as the TV, dumb as the curtains,
Dumb as a magnet on the fridge.

Could I make you smile?
Would I make you smile?

So I'll just spread myself like butter
Along the cracks in the hall
This balaclava, straight-jacket atmosphere
Melts me quickly and I'll slide under the fly on the wall.

Could I make you smile?
Would I make you smile?

In my steaming seams,
Furrows, ridges, cockroaches like birds
Spiders like religion
Stretching and collecting smiles
Would I make you smile?

So I'll just crouch in this position
My throat calling up a song
I'll just be here dumb as the wallpaper, dumb as the radio
Dumb as the comedy that went wrong.

Could I make you smile?
Would I make you smile?
Track Name: Off the Map
The pointy thing says I'm here
And so I guess I must be
Because pointy things have a way
Of getting you to trust them

And the circle thing promises
That it does include me
And it's a lucky thing that it does
Or else I'd be intruding

But where is the wall that flakes under thumb
With its smell of ageing sardines?
Where is the door and the lock to become
The mate for this rusty old key?

The faraway girl in the whimsical dress
Taking samples from somebody's tongue?
The tartan states with their blank kings and queens
Berthed on the crunch of the lawns,
Their wails and bellows in miniature
Enjoying their miniature wars?

I can smell hyacinths and I can taste lime
But it is not now - it's from some other time.
Where are the lines, the strokes on the page,
To resemble me something like that?
It's all drawn out wrong or else
I'm off the map.

Here in red there should be
A cross that goes right through me
But I'm breathing in and out again
And nothing's trickling from me

But where is the glass and its crunch underfoot
And the measure of how that satisfies?
The tags over tags over stencils over tags
On anonymous and polite council signs?

Where are the lovers in their febrile embrace
They tried not for history to see?
Where is the door and the lock that replaced
The mate for this rusty old key?

I can smell hyacinths and I can taste lime
But it is not now - it's from some other time.
Where are the lines, the strokes on the page,
To resemble me something like that?
It's all drawn out wrong or else
I'm off the map.
Track Name: Digging Up Mister Cupo
That flame delights me,
Through the dust of my wings.
The cool glow incites me,
Such a beautiful thing -
The fiery dance of the Piper,
And here the spiral begins.

Stand back - I'm following Mr Cupo
Keep left - I'm digging up Mr Cupo

One year in every ten she managed it, to begin again
I'd bet I can cut that in half,
Just show me where the beginning ends
The animals marched on in in threes
Two like them, one like me
And I heard him speaking clear to me
With my head held tight to the box of bees

Stay away - I'm channeling Mr Cupo
Keep back - I'm digging up Mr Cupo

Somewhere over there the rainbow marks the spot with an X
Mon Cher, don't care: we'll be quicker and we'll do it for less
I heard of some bird who let the wax slide off of his wings
I'll trust my dust, I'm not as stupid as him.

Stay down - I'm going after Mr Cupo
Stand fast - I'm digging up Mr Cupo

That flame delights me, the cool glow incites me
The sweet lure of the Piper,
calling me in
calling me back
calling me in

Stand back - I'm following Mr Cupo
Hold this - I'm digging up Mr Cupo
Keep down - I'm bringing up Mr Cupo
Fall in - I'm digging up Mr Cupo
Come on! - We're calling out Mr Cupo
All in - I'm digging up Mr Cupo
Move on - I'm digging up Mr Cupo
Take this - I'm digging up Mr Cupo
Both feet - I'm digging up Mr Cupo
Repeat - I'm digging up Mr Cupo
Oh yeah - I'm digging up Mr Cupo
Oh yeah - I'm digging up Mr Cupo
Track Name: But in this Life
Trust became scarce like the air that we rely on
For you and now you warn me to retract it.
And dust collects in every empty corner of this world
Whilst your obsession strings your arms around
To clean it.

And I see you got our postcard and it's clinging desparately
To your fridge door like an island in a magnetic sea
You tell me that the body is a funny, crazy thing:
It controls you every step of the way
Whilst it's plotting quite against you;
Your family and neighbours have their gazes
Trained upon you every day.

And in your last life you were a tourist
But in this life you are the show
In your last life you were a tourist
But in this life you are the show

You say your life began at forty, along with the death-threats
From the Americans. And you never can tell
When a State-enrolled nurse might go mad and unplug your Ventillin?.

And you see the ceiling opening and, crawling, the world
Fills with malaise and the police have no idea;
The neighbours move their fences in about three inches every year.
They have plans to kill you in their insidious crush
You must watch who you talk to, 'cause tongues will wag
And tongues will lap you up.

And in your last life you were a keeper
But in this life you are the zoo
In your last life you were a keeper
But in this life you are the zoo

With a grip on your electronic umbilicus you tread softly
On the roses in the carpet. And hunched over, daily,
A table full of bills, you ensure me you're to busy, you've
Not got a moment.

And you've a map inside your head and a resume of everyone
Who happens to hazard by, you implore me who the man with
The mobile phone is on the corner.

He's plotting quite against you, he wants to buy your home
He wants inside your mattress for the treasure that
You curl around and sleep on.

And in your last life you were hungry
But in this life you are the food
In your last life you were hungry
But in this life you are the food
Track Name: Man in the Moon
How can the lawn be feeling?
And the gray trees are steeling
Themselves against a hyperactive sky

See the people seeping
Liquid they are speaking
Fermenting with their salads
And their little tubs of steam

Birds do not twitter
They shriek and they scream
Feckless mercenaries
Profane around her seat

And she burns like a sun
Like a sun she does burn
And I have nothing in return...

Machines are peeling
Walls are moaning
The hearth that briefly took me in
Has grown to an impossible cocoon

Filling in the room
I'm just a witness as she grapples
With this wayward Time Balloon

And she sounds like the earth
Like the earth she does sound
And she burns like a sun
Like a sun she does burn
And I have nothing in return
Only dust became the man in the moon...

There's a repeat screening
The earthquakes in the ceiling
Resembling all the lines
Within our palms

The world dispersing
Sounds like ___________
I can't rehearse these words enough
To have them spin the
Finest gossamer array

Can you feel the mighty sway?
One of my eyes follows this shadow
As it clocks its field of gray

But she burns like a sun
Like a sun she does burn
And I have nothing in return
Only dust became the man...
Track Name: Deep Deep
I'm in 46B on a 727 resting in the ocean,
My feet are the wheels of a supermarket trolley,
With a lesser sense of direction.
I'm drawn to the sound, so I sit on the ground
With my head to the box of bees.
I'm the coyote falling through a pillow of cloud,
Eyes imploring the screen.
I made a show of learning to swim, but...
Deep, deep, deep deep down
The beanstalk is a weed and I'm tired.
I'm a rescued chunk of the fallen Titanic,
Giving up at the sight of the sun;
I'm a bog-man cased in the British Museum
And I'm still not having fun.
I'm a corner shop with a shark on top
In a desert of weeds and thorns.
I'm the kite in the tree looking down at the scene of the crime;
I made a show of learning to swim, but...
Deep, deep, deep deep down
The beanstalk is a weed and I'm tired.
I'm the fire you started in the milk shed
Whilst smoking at the back of school;
I'm the shopping-trolley-wheel-footed kid
Moving closer to the edge of the in-ground pool;
I'm the man in the barrel, heading for the falls of Niagra
But I've changed my mind,
I'm the fish in the Safeway bag in the river -
It's amazing the things you can find
I made a show of learning to swim, but
I've only taken to waving
Deep, deep, deep deep down
The beanstalk is a weed and I'm tired.
Track Name: God the Funny Man
In hospitals, no, we don't laugh at God,
But god hear him laughing at us
Through the music of bleeping and charting machines
And snap of disposable gloves.

In churches we never laugh at our god,
Only curse the scourge of worser churches
They were the first to be laughing at us,
But oh now numbered their verses.

But would you peg God as a funny man?
Or even a slob going home on the bus?
God, is that you in my spotlight
As I'm pinned to this stage,
Waiting for someone to laugh?

Burning witches, smashing pictures,
Pray the collars into the Rich List
The Holy Comic Book of God is
Only funny to the monkeys.

In a firestorm we never laugh at God,
But go hear him laughing at us,
Through our mighty buckets and petroleum trucks
Wind-up birds and twittering alerts.

But would you peg God as a funny man?
Or to have personally blessed every bomb
To have strafed a wedding dance?
Or would you peg God a ventriloquist,
Handing out tongues for the speaking?
Or the feeling you get in your lone hotel bed
When every other bed is squeaking?

Would you peg God as a funny man?
Fire and brimstone dripping from
A tired cigarette in His hand?
God, is that you in the silence
Between the slipping on the fruit
And the first in the audience to laugh?
Track Name: Shade of Red
In this room, nothing's cured - there was no disease
Hold fixed your cold jacket
Retract your shoulders - you see?
Are you reminded of John's Glass Onion,
Did you want all this to be a dream
I remember, saw you twist a blade, saw you so fragile - don't see me.

This shade of red befits the flight of feeble power
That ownership exiting the room like a breath.

In this room savor this last, this time
The comfort of desire you know will outrun boredom
I know we'd like to see this as a murky subterfuge
But we're fools, you know, we're innocents
You know this ain't like a film.

This morning listlessness upholds that sense of power,
That ownership, unspoken, winds up like a toy.

In this room I'm aware of the hum of the water, the fridge,
The distant traffic
In this room, I count the crinkles in the sheets, the smudges on the mirror
Our metered breathing, riding above the dearth of words -
They fell, the fools, they lost connection
The preceded us...

This shade of red befits the flight of feeble power
That ownership exiting the room like a breath.
Track Name: Clown of Choice
Thy neighbour resembles thee,
Mouth open wide to receive
That hard, hollow pill -
It's smooth and it's white
And he's turning and turning each head with delight.

Ah Ahh Ahhh, Open wide
Ah Ahh Ahhh, Open wide

Thy neighbour sees what you see,
One-fifty-nine degrees,
The A and the B,
The tease in between,
An horizon just aching to see through its spin.

They emerge from the tempest of bees
that swell like the roar of a lingering T.V.
Hover, like cobras, their arms and their hands,
then charge in to breach the lips that can
Never seal over any meats of communion.

Ah Ahh Ahhh, Open wide
Ah Ahh Ahhh, Open wide

Thy neighbour knows what you know,
The smell of the grease and the flow
Of the numbers
And the coming of winters and summers;
He calls and he shouts but nothing comes out,
Only in
Through the head of their choice of clown.