The Weeping Song by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

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“The Weeping Song”

Go son, go down to the water
And see the women weeping there
Then go up into the mountains
The men, they are weeping too

Father, why are all the women weeping?
They are all weeping for their men
Then why are all the men there weeping?
They are weeping back at them

This is a weeping song
A song in which to weep
While all the men and women sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won’t be weeping long

Father, why are all the children weeping?
They are merely crying son
O, are they merely crying, father?
Yes, true weeping is yet to come

This is a weeping song
A song in which to weep
While all the little children sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won’t be weeping long

O father tell me, are you weeping?
Your face seems wet to touch
O then I’m so sorry, father
I never thought I hurt you so much

This is a weeping song
A song in which to weep
While we rock ourselves to sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won’t be weeping long
But I won’t be weeping long
But I won’t be weeping long
But I won’t be weeping long

Postivism, Let’s Be Honest

Don’t get too comfortable.  There

are things people never want

 

to hear. Words are seeds. If you plant

someone else’s verbs you never know

 

what you mean. It is good to plant seeds

to both nourish body and spirit. But

 

when words become mindless copy

and paste, acting like authenticity, meaning is lost.

 

If facing the wound, itself, standing in your doorway,

could you look at all the blood, tears, broken bones,

 

bashed hymens—girls too young to count. I feel

the cost of it turning inside of me. What space

 

would you open to my body covered with dead

babies suckling my graffiti mile marker skin,

 

with their sweet lips dripping AIDS down my body

to pity at your feet? Could you open your cozy home

 

to the woman in the burka crying in what sounds

like something a terrorist could say? Is there the right

 

coffee, in your orderly house, for the little girl I carry

in my arms, the one who was raped beyond

 

what she could count, sometimes she’s too shocked

to notice the pain of penis ramming

 

anything it fits in? Could you even look

at her? Would you think it strange if a person

 

from the long past shows up to cry, not saying

an intelligible word simply reciting Landay, after Landay,

 

after Landay, weeping in Pashto?  Does the food

you offer nourish your soul, before you offer it

 

to others? You are right, someone is always

listening. Hearing what isn’t said is the hard

 

part. Would you open the door to someone who will

make you question your own ideologies,

 

instead of right click, click copy, click post window,

paste? Could you really take in the broken and beaten,

 

or is it just a coffee date? Why don’t you reach out authentically

only like you would?  Instead you plagiarize your heart

 

with someone else’s loving

thoughts.  I agree we need more love.

Caged in the Deadeye Culture

How am I to act when I choose

to not participate in the horrors

culture produces around

me?  Wars on everything promise

 

to kill the very Bay of Misery that knows all

my secrets. Where can I face the current

and not find myself

 

poisoned by toxic algae blooms? Away from

the hazy horizon to the faces I see always fixed

gaze on their flat appearances

created by a façade of platitudes for banal

 

social engagement that has driven people to death

from the buzzing in their pocket, while the car slides

into the wrong lane for a wrong number…looking for

 

the lol while 911 is called.  I’ve been found

in the trap of the screen myself.  I do hate it,

despite my best efforts to never hate

a thing. The trouble is distraction.  I get distracted

 

by the waves of emotion which grip my tiny frame

tossing me around in storms and fits of why

 

does it have to be this way? People don’t understand how

simple it is to change. It’s true, I’ve let fear take hold

 

at times, but when it’s fight or flight for my life, you better

believe it is terrifying, but I will stand. To always

 

 

walk the decaying

streets, with all the pot

holes, the missing

pavement, kicking

a half crushed Monster

can to the rhythm of chaos

past the crumpled up

 

tin foil, orange plastic caps, muddy

syringes, all the bent spoons: I know too

well what fresh hell is.

The Byronic Crown

#1: Yes Intended Audience

 

She’s always ready for guerrilla tactics,

pen in hand, marching—one foot

in front of the other to leave a single path masked by the bits of carpet she tied around her feet…one set of impressions in the sand.  I do it just by the gesture of my

left hand, while always meandering along

the wavy lines extending farther than any

eye—whether it’s evil or not—can see.  Some

people are merely typos, a scratched out name, a misspelling,

 

a misspelling of the word lover.  There’s no

need for a cipher to crack that code of silence. All you

need do is imagine it and then it is

  1. Believe me the terrible

angels will swoon, and I’ll bat

them like flies with my rolled up paper.

 

#2        Choices

 

This place is dreary and forsaken. The pertinacity

of names is not easily forgotten: Erie.  She

stood insignificantly trapped between the paper

thin dividers of lying nude in naïve dignity of death

and the sound of her own breath.  He was a corpse, her flesh

had no place against it.  The eyes shone glazed in

the obscurity oblivion only offers.  Each time there

was nakedness exchanged between them it became clear

 

how isolated from the other they were.  Her nakedness

was always poised and cleverly posed.  His hidden under

layering drips of himself to weep down a wall

when the painting is taken away.  The streaks of a man’s life

dissolving into a skillfully placed image of trees growing all wrong

to hide his face is all she gets to touch of the craftsman.  Being

channels through which life is issued they have to decide

to do it fully or be something for a mantel piece.

 

#3        Butterflies Building Better

Failure teaches us life is nothing

more than a draft, she has learned to swim

like two fish always chasing

the other’s tail in Misery Bay.  It’s like a mural

on the side of a decaying building trying to breathe

life into the waning city of dwindling culture

 

climbing up coiling around old neighborhoods as an invasive

new species of weed, just as it has in the old country

 

warring over its own name.  It seems the race

called human—all the variations of flesh which come

along with the word myself—has forgotten how

 

much like snowflakes they are. Blowing lake effect

gusts of bitter biting cold drives snow too heavy to see

a single flake adhere to the painted traditions on all

the buildings making it impossible to distinguish which ones

were crafted with love and belief,

and which ones are to be demolished on the shores of the sick

and hypodermic infested Great Lake Erie.

 

#4        Agony to Know

Any words cost him

a painful effort.  She dare

not show her eyes

 

directly at him for she would look

flaring with humble

eyes’ metamorphosis being victorious

in first possession.

 

#5        Spice Nomenclature

 

It presses hard upon me.  I let it press hard

upon me.  Questions reach so far they can never go

farther.  The heart burns from a sweet

agony.  Voice could save you.  The mind

moves in strange directions.  It’s not linear.  Massing speeds

that cannot be calculated, it is by will alone

 

I set my mind in motion

 

to mend all the broken bits of forgotten

ballads, stupid sestina’s…a sonata

with a number of movements in sound

missing a metronome.  A choice

 

spurring the need for new experiences is

 

perplexing.  Without change something sleeps inside

  1. It draws something out of us,

like a deep down countdown allowing us to grow.

 

 

#6        Eaten Alive

 

He chooses to invest time

in a Siren

when the Muse sits alone

 

in a green office writing

the poems of a could be God. Sadly,

 

he prefers to flit around in shallow waters.

 

The Muse sits alone.

A green room swallows her words.

He picks the Siren.

 

#7        The Sleeper Awakens

 

Maybe you are the only person

who completely engages the things that are

 

important.  So much of her is irrelevant, so grounded

in the earth to which she’ll return

one day. We are already silent partners

in the creation of myth, she didn’t say

this for you to hear it.  She isn’t there.

 

#8        The Walking Dead Sleep

Culture is an ostentatious bitch

riddled with tyrannical ideology. She’s always

 

in a humble bowing away from sharing

the parts she really wants

 

to say—but doesn’t have the means—so she’s shackled

 

to words escaping her.  How well your gaze fell

upon her.  It made the Dark Lady wake to carry

 

her scarred and etched skin: a dying savage

animal, screaming Carpe Diem.   Know

 

we’re dead to everyone, unless we struggle

to be what we may become.

 

#9                    Irony Would Do It

As a failing body, all she has

ever wanted was to love

fiercely so to be loved back

 

just as savage.  Yet, she gets overlooked,

because maybe she feels safer

 

lurking in dark places, because that’s what she’s

 

accustomed to.  Too used to being nothing

more than a prostituted body, the child

 

left behind.  Nice would be nice, since there’s already

too much tragedy.  It’s time to edit the world anyhow.

 

#10                  Overcoming False Boundaries

Is it that he can’t speak, or has he

not the means to copulate

in discourse?  The real, tangible, humble

servant to the Word—with each one’s

 

symbiotic semiotics sound—is a weak imitation

to the thought, the feeling.  Words will always

fail me when I speak, that’s why it is the Voice

which demands to be heard.

 

#11    Beginning Steps of Standing Strong: The Act of Telling

 

That neglected, abused girl

has grown into a woman, a virile

bodhisattva of the earth, now

 

she’s something more

a kin to the need

in conversation for digression, while keeping

 

record of metaphors.  White paper covered in

lines and lines of scribbled smudges

from some sweet ditty, a shushed

 

scream, all that sobbing

acts like the crutch keeping her

standing.  Even if she’s limping,

 

bloodied and beaten, she always

stands.  Sleeping through all this is not

an option.  Memory behaves as tutor

 

developing the disciple of man’s

languages—most of them dead

and mostly forgotten.  She knows the rain,

 

leaning against every said meaning, looking

for the unasked questions in the pursuit of  roots.  Thus

illustrates the need for questions in a time that is so

 

demanding of the mindless.  Utterance is

what is

necessary.       Voice is a constant                 organic thing.

 

#12      The Act of Showing

Mindfulness is knowing everything is

as it should.  The tree with roots penetrating

deep into the ground can usually withstand

months of brutal Erie winters to return year

after year as the promise of maple

collected in buckets during

the season of snow and mud. Until

lightning strikes, then becomes fruit for the insects

of the dirt to make it a tree again.  The tree then returns

 

for a children’s book

to be written about how giving

 

a tree can be.  She watches as tree

 

covered mountain tops are all blown

to bits in the search for energy, consequently

forced to wonder why we work so hard

at destroying the gifts we are given.

 

#13      The Act of Doing

 

Because there is a reason

for everything, you’ve been put

here.  Secrets were never

 

your friend, remember the Wiseman

says, You are only as sick as your

 

secrets.  So let them go.

 

Touch each one, even

the ones hiding in an achy and itchy

wound.  Touch them lovingly because they’re

 

guides through toil

to the state of being here. Let them hover

in the air giving life to your blood.

 

#14      The Action of Contentment

 

This county off Misery Bay has made

many hermits of this land.  My tree is dying, so I

see, invaded by the Asian

 

Longhorn death bringing beetle,

murdering a little more of my history, my home-

town off Misery Bay.  We will lose

our fifth season: the season of snow and mud.  It is

a secret time of year that only

maple trees share among the Great

 

Lake.  From a book I learned the wisdom of a Hermit

bee keeper, who had his story told once in an Erie news-

 

paper.  So, it’s time to celebrate

the life it did have

by dancing naked in the coming

night bereft of light,

splashing in the black Lake.

Its waves dance.  Here is being

among the erosion

of the shores.  The sun singing

its nightly swan song to the night of cloudless sky.

The sound of bats overhead.  We clasp hands.

Actuated by Officiousness

he realized, even in his panic he had not wanted to smudge the creamy paper by shutting the book while the ink was wet.

1984-Orwell

 

It makes no difference

how to resist. Winston

 

Smith knew brain washing is

easier to recognize

 

from the outside.  Question how

your own perception is managed.  By Thought

 

Police or algorithms…by some bot programed

to respond like you—after analyzing your internet

 

behaviors with a computer program—in order to wish

loved ones happy birthday, even after the flesh

 

sending the message has turned into food for insects

and worms. A forever repeating greeting,

 

that even in death, the voice can be made real by words

formed. Voice is infinite for the finite flesh.

There Is No Mandela Here

My tired, nearly blind

eyes have seen too much.  I’ve seen

 

processions of corpses. Lists of dead

friends I started keeping at age thirteen

 

have scrolled out taped together as far as suburban

sprawl can see with syringe precision. So many

 

nights, steaming floods would fill ears, as the mouse

traps snap any stillness out of the synapses

 

misfiring in tandem from my head to toes

in a sudden jerk of fear. The only food

 

in the fridge has maggots.  It’s still better

to have a place for an appliance with maggots

 

than no place for it at all.  Better than pressing

swollen eyes and runny noses into the same

 

spot on the nasty cot so many have done

the same on, it is better to have something

 

to call your own even with with maggots. Aging is

getting the better of my eyes, they are weary

 

from having seen too much. Every word is blurred

from my sight. I can still visualize letters and fonts

 

in my mind as my fingers guide me toward a space

I make for myself.  Maybe, my eyes no longer need

 

sight to see. My fingers know

the keys well enough now I don’t have

 

to ever look at the blinding white of the stark:

that blank emptiness.  I unpack in silence.  My head

 

bowed, almost in shame of not wanting to tire

my eyes again.  Wearied by the knowledge I have

 

chosen to use them for. Knowing too much

is a thing which is the thing plaguing my eyes. My eyes

 

have seen the worst of humanity.  The arrogant, ignorant

faces of wealth and power.  It’s true I met DeKlerk.

 

I wiped my hand on my pant leg as fast as I let go

of his weak grip.

Drinking the Tea

Decades of taxing my body

matters not to the tax

 

on wages, tax on property,

tax on welfare, tax on health, tax

 

on labor, even a death tax.  It’s all taxing

to the quality of all existence.