Track 10 of Future Ghosts, and probably my favourite on the album.
i slap them
against the window
see which crack first
glass or dream
see how solid
each render reckons itself
by avebury stone
i drink myself blank
strand of all season
for solstice sun
for ancestor stain
for history come
sink your bone
your mother memory
ether go away
or go all the way
bring the sun
miss speed miss delic
second of no
still of yes in motion
the stink of love
Musically this draws heavily on the Logos track db00215, an out-take from the Shamania sessions which appears on the Logos 'unreleased tracks' collection Chasing A Thread That Has No End. You can hear that version here.
The text was written 20-22 June 2014, in Avebury, Wiltshire. I usually spend the solstice period in Avebury, and on this occasion was staying with my good friend Steve Marshall, whose book about Avebury and its history will be published this spring; I'll no doubt post some links to it closer to the time, for those of you who are interested in that sort of thing (as I am).
Some comments on the text:-
"epiphany come / epiphany go / i slap them / against the window / see which crack first / glass or dream / see how solid / each render reckons itself" - When you've been in the epiphany game as long as I have, you learn to test any new arrival before embracing it. Reminds me of my time on the occult scene in the 1990s; however successful you think your demonic or angelic summoning, and however much belief or reality or paradigm shift you invest in it, treat anything that subsequently occurs or manifests with extreme suspicion until it adequately verifies itself.
"by avebury stone / i drink myself blank / strand of all season / bleeding through / for solstice sun / for ancestor stain / for history come / i drink" - This was indeed written at Avebury stone circle on the summer solstice, 21 June 2014, in the midst of what McKenna may have shaken his head at and disparagingly termed a 'heroic dose' of alcohol, and also in the midst of mental collapse; the second, and longest, of my breakdowns that year. Yes, I know alcohol and depression is not a recommended combination; nor, for that matter, is alcohol and anti-depressant medication.
"either go away / or go all the way" - See the Jefferson Airplane track Hey Frederick (Volunteers album, 1969)
"bring the sun" - See the track Bring The Sun by Swans, from their 2014 album To Be Kind. I was listening to this album a great deal at the time.
"miss speed miss delic" - In both their literal senses and in their pharmaceutical connotations.
"it's only / human pain / it's just / the stink of love" - See the Swans track A Little God In My Hands (To Be Kind album, 2014; see also note above): 'Oh universe you stink of love'.
"cygnusolar / stolen sun / shine /motherfucker shine" - Aside from the “by Avebury stone” section (which, as noted above, was indeed written by Avebury stone), the whole of the Cygnusolar text was written while sat in the garden of my friend Steve Marshall's house in Yatesbury, Wiltshire*, at the onset of a mental breakdown, listening to much Swans and hefty 60s psych. Sometimes madness is necessity, the only feasible response to the circumstances in which one finds one's mind. Fields budding and fecund in every direction, mama sun beating. I need to ditch my accessories; cigarette in left hand, beer can in right, screen before me and headphones in my ears. At one point I imagined a perfect experience of communion with the ineffable, an ascended moment that would be immaculately complemented by these things. I was wrong. We don't get where we should be by acquiring, by adding to what we currently are; we get there by stripping away.
* = It was also in Steve's house and garden (and in the Red Lion, Avebury) that I mixed the Future Ghosts album exactly a year later, over a long weekend at summer solstice 2015.
Currently reading: The Holocaust - Martin Gilbert
Currently listening: Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division (one of my favourite ever albums, though for purely personal reasons Closer still has the edge for me as best Joy Division album)