Track 13: Deathland

Album: Walk Fast, Whistle

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in deathland i draw the curtains
of the bullet-blown windows
and the furtherdown uncertains
the blacked breeze ‘n’ blows
grow the skin of the nation tight
across a skull of men and might
there’s hooting now and hollers
roving dogs burning dollars
the apocalyptic leaves
of an economy of mean
and a gunshot cracking the eaves
on the eve of a murderer seen
slinking across television screens
amidst the screams of fawning teens
and the burst of a sickly spleen
of all our insides
of all our souls
for the stink of the hides
crackling over the coals
in the backyard by the pool
by the neighbourhoods of our hearts
is all crazy, all fool
all walk on, all bit-part
and instead of stopping
we keep on starting
the engine and the fireblade
the military cavalcade
of the hatemachine and smoke
we hold too dear to die
the choke the fade the joke
the lie the past the lie
shopping shitting shopping
raping rapping raping
by the mall of carnage
by the crater of misunderstand
at the ruins of the wreckage
outside the window
of deathland

i draw the blanket of bones to my chin
some my own, some of kin
and i close my eyes
in deathland

the burning house is a light to some
moths come to sacrifice
our smiles and artifice
our silence

with a spade in hand and a bent back
sweat dripping down
into the solid ground
the deepening hole

when the clock lacks hands
and time is a shrill bird
in the parched land
of silver and sin

the animals roam in packs
by the seams of the city
smelling us out

the child is alone
on a spinning wheel
in a park with no gate
no fence

the wind saws an afternoon
in two
the sun drills a night
in half

the dream is a hurricane
the hurricane is here
here is a bedroom
with no walls

in a place with a new name
a place of black oil
and gas
and forget

the forefathers have risen
the mothers of the nation
are awake
in the hills

and they look down upon
our sleeping faces
our blanket of bones
in deathland

i dream the dreams of the blind
who might have seen as a child
so only recall rocks and blood
tree and dog shapes, mud
the rest is sound
and textures
and the gravity pulling
at the lip of a cliff
towards the hollow depths
of deathland

i dream the dreams of the unborn
of the lost, the forlorn
a gate is left open and i roll
down a highway black as coal
a tumbleweed on fire
the river of life
streaming from my mouth
north to south
east to west the breadth
of deathland

i dream the dreams of the dead
there is nothing left to dread
the harbour is full of wrecks
just scarecrows left on deck
to wave goodbye
to the gathering dark
where the starlings form a painting
a second coming
in the sky
above deathland

the boatmen of the world
have been left without
a sea to sail upon
and now ply their trade
on sharp-pointed pirogues
in the narrow canals
of our veins

the shepherds of the land
sheepless since sunday
are now calling in vain
in the echoing spelunk
of our vulture-picked-clean
chest of a church
where the last
of the flock
on the pulpit
has turned and left
an exit wound

the car guards of the city
have but oxwagons to watch
in the wrong little epoch
of reflective loin-cloths
and language too deeply imbued
by symbolism and shades
to be understood
by the lady
with the gold rings
and gucci

the funeral undertakers however
have a fun time
as they count
the neatly dug rectangles
in the eternal city lodge
of our funny fucking lives
in deathland