Track 05: Walk Fast, Whistle

Album: Last Days of Beautiful

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Next 06: All The Loves / Last Days Of Beautiful


walk fast, whistle
cock your ears and listen
hold your line
hold your own
wind the window down
while you’re driving
tap the beat on the wheel
look up, greet
touch a hand and feel
float a thought
to the rafters
smile at strangers
do not diet
don’t be quiet
eat tomato sauce
do not hold back a tear
drink beer
do not drink and drive
talk less about yourself
talk less
mess up, apologize
eat pie
eat humble pie
open your eyes
look inside your friends
and ask them how they truly are
take a trip round the darkest bends
together, tracking the trail
of the wandering star
to as far as the road goes
or the ship would sail
and the story will then slow down
it will hit a sandbank
and the phosphorescence
in the water will glow
and grow a blanket of silence
in which you can be wrapped

sometimes though be quiet for an hour
sit in the veld and observe
if not ants, then birds
if not birds, then bats
if not bats, then buck
pick up pretty stones
and twisted roots
seed pods and mice skulls
carry them home
arrange them on the window sill
trace their outlines
against the days of your life
have your lemonade, cold
your tea, slowly
your coffee, with a rusk
write with a pen on paper
purchase pencils
send postcards to distant friends
travel alone
travel far
travel to the point
where you can swivel on your heel
and remember where you come from
and who you are
and why you came
phone your parents
phone your siblings
phone your school friends
phone your sick friends
phone your friends with children
sometimes, switch off your phone for a week
do not check email
do not use a computer
sleep for twelve hours
three days in a row
until your dreams return
read a thick book
a 1000-page book
a book with difficult words in it
a book with an open ending
like Roberto Bolaño’s book
walk around the house
in your underpants
or naked
without drawing the curtains
do push-ups, run
when the wind blows strongly
lean into it
and open your arms like an albatross
(and just hang there for a while pretending you don’t live in the suburbs, you don’t owe the bank money, you’re just an albatross somewhere in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, just for a few minutes and then you can come back down and)
burp, fart, shit
pee outside
and especially, next to highways
wipe your bum
with something other than toilet paper
buy the newspaper
even if you don’t read it
support the idea of a poem
write poems, bad or good,
hidden or shown
purchase binoculars, study birds
investigate trees
consider different types of grass
stop by a road-cutting
and look at the layers of rock
picnic, own a thermos
wrap sandwiches in foil
eat peanut butter from the jar
drop it like it’s hot
drink coca cola
when it’s hot
drool on your pillow

but you know cut all that shit
spend money
donate money
but dislike money
earn money and
look after money
but dislike money
do something you like
if it’s an office job
remember who’s the boss
and who’s in charge
and that you’re the latter

swim in the sea
or swim in a river
or swim in a farm dam
hold your breath for a long time
open your eyes underwater
float on your back
and close your eyes

listen to the sound in your ears
the slow, dark, deathly croak
of your brittle body’s
cooked and cracked
organs and bones
and thne, slowly paddle back
to where you can stand
and look at the person
waiting there
and then walk over
and kiss her