I was going to go for a rant, family members displaying ignorance, the world going more curved shape than usual. Man’s inhumanity to man etc.
Then I took a breath and time to listen to what was happening around me. My behavior was having unforeseen consequences. So I took a moment to find solace in the poetry of Roy Harper and his mad visions. Most notably Lifemask.
I remember buying the album the same day as my friend bought U2’s Joshua Tree. I had to listen to U2 first as Samantha swooned. Not over me I am sure but young Bono on the album sleeve. Then came the moment of truth. Side One was safe enough recognizable songs, a bit obtuse at times but definitely songs. Side Two was the challenge as Roy launched into his alternate Lord’s Prayer that attempts to cover all the bits deranged old Roy feels got left out in the original. This was about the time Sam saw sense and left me to it. She probably made a sandwich and a cup of tea and took a nap as Roy ranted for 20 minutes or so. We then probably went for a walk to break the news to me kindly that no sane man listens to such stuff and survives intact never mind creates it.
Every time I listen a new lyric sticks in my poor mind.
This week it was “whose wildest lust is escalation” which is undoubtedly exactly what is going to happen in this strange twisted world.
So here I am still listening to this strange accumulation of broken phrases and exhortations to the planet and reflections on a painting of Geronimo’s face.
I only saw Roy perform this once in the mid 80’s he was sat on a chair on the middle of a dance floor in Southport. We missed the last train home that night and slept on the station platform waiting for the first train and the question ringing in my head:
is it too late
a world with care
I still don’t have the answer to that question but the music rings as true as ever.