Liner Notes for Witching Eye
The devils bargain. We are still waiting for our offer, but many have jumped in head first. We look around and we can't help but wonder. No moralizing, as Blake so persuasively declared "if you please we will commit ourselves to this void and see whether providence is here also.” Never the less, the bargains currently being made has every one of us included in the contract. Maybe the time has come to cut our own deals, lest we become collateral for someone else's.
Liner Notes for The Last Man EP
The Last Man is self released, coinciding with the ramping up of the COVID epidemic. It is important people don't feel alone in what may be the declining years of Faustian civilization, but we feel it is equally important that we give vent to our existential position, come what may. This may best expressed with tortured screams, blasphemous rantings and sonic dissonance. At least that is how we sometimes feel about it. The truth sometimes hurts, but beauty can pierce even deeper, and we hope that we also expressed the sublime fragility of the human experience, at least sometimes.
We have been locked down for months. The days blend into the next and all novelty beyond the digital realm slowly grinds down to zero. It is constricting to say the least. When we recorded these songs, COVID was in the future. We feel that they have gained a greater gravitas in the face of it all. It is funny how things can work out. Some may connect with this release, many will not. We feel that, first and foremost, these songs are an attempt to connect. It is very important people don't feel alone.
The vegetable serenity of the opiate unclenched my mind like a relaxing sphincter. Dreams and images expel from my subconscious like a stream of shit, now a trickle, then a torrent. The mind under opiates is a mind in suspension. Temporal concerns are addressed only as an imposition. If this state could be indefinite, I think I may achieved a very real immortality. A merging of tomorrow and yesterday. These are only words however, only abstractions. My need is physical.
Waking up from a deep sleep. Last images of a dream flutter through my mind. I was an outlaw, hiding in some rustic forest, surrounded by turn of the century cops. Ghosting from tree to tree, I am trying to asses the situation. Other members of my gang crouch and load their weapons. Suddenly shots ring out. The fight has started. I fire at the cops, first with a rifle, then with a 6 shooter. My comrades fall around me. The law is closing in. I pick off one of them with a head-shot with my last bullet as he runs before me. He collapses, rifle flying out of his hands and lying at my feet, a long bayonet attached to the end of it. I grab the rifle and charge what looks to be the captain. I stick him once, twice, thrice. He doesn't fall and no blood pours out of his wounds. He stands there, looking me in the eye. As I am rapidly surrounded by cops, I throw the rifle to the ground, raising my chin in arrogant defiance. The captain draws his pistol.
“You are hereby sentenced to death for the massacre at (name obscured)” He raises the gun to my temple.
The gun fires, the bullet enters my head and I wake up.
Waiting all day for borrowed money to clear the bank. My stomach clenches and my legs are restless. I am compulsively refreshing the page on the online bank account, but this is a gesture of hope much like the genuflections of a sinner in prayer. It takes my mind of the situation. It gives me illusion of engagement.
Horrific scenes on the bus. Grotesques and caricatures. Broken wreckages of humanity. Flesh and meat and rot and smell. Hair on necks and pitted thighs. The fear of infection overwhelmed me. The anxiety that by sharing this moment in time with these people, I may somehow risk assimilation. My hair may spontaneously eject itself from my scalp with a popping sound. My belly may suddenly balloon out like a melting wax candle. My eyes may take on the unthinking bovine quality I perceive in every gaze. I take a deep breath and calm myself. My eyes close and I focus on nothing. Eyes open. The infernal scene melts away and these monsters become furniture. Mere scenery. No more a threat than a cardboard cut-out. They have nothing to do with me, and I have nothing at all in common with them. I allow myself a small smile and fix my attention back out the window.
I am stuck in cycles. Drug cycles, sleep cycles, people cycles, food cycles. Standing motionless in a whirlwind, watching everything rapidly cycling while I remain a stationary observer. Despite petty stresses and arbitrary challenges, my base state is boredom. I feel if I could generate enough energy, I may be able to break out of this whirlpool into some strata of unlimited energy and novelty.
Leaning back into the couch, I light a cigarette extracted from Jacks pack. Waves of pleasure radiate through my body as I inhale deeply. My eyes slide shut and my head falls back into the couch as I sharply exhale. Jack is talking music. The details escape me but I feel it is a rehash of a conversation we have had before. In this period of inaction, strategic and tactical debates abound. Normally these kinds of conversations excite me, but for the moment I am content to simply exist. Shades of purple and blue emanate from my solar plexus. The air encases me like a cocoon, bathing my body in cold air. Incense from some half imagined spice meanders through my nostrils. The flesh is sympathetic to the mind and the mind surrenders to the body.
My eyes jerk open. “Huh?”
Jack smirks and points to the cigarette burning a hole in the couch. I shrug, take another drag. Soon my eyes droop and I feel the butt drop from my fingers.
Jack purses his lips in irritation.
“Hey man, don't fuck up my couch!”
A film of dust coats the floorboards of an unfurnished room. Slivers of light penetrate from the shutters over the window, the sun is setting. Pacing back and forth, I count my steps wall to wall. I have counted this route many times. It has become a meditation, a way to pass time. 8 steps wall to wall. 5 seconds each lap. 12 laps a minute. 120 an hour. My day is reduced to an equation. Time and movement merge together into a pointless symbiosis, and I am given something to do.
I am hit with a contortion of the stomach. Hunger pangs. With a gasp I clutch my belly and slide to the floor, back to the wall. The hunger pangs last 20 minutes, and subside for a couple of hours until the next 'pang'. The body doesn't condition itself. I have grown conditioned to all manner of things. Corpses in the street. Soldiers on the corners. Walls and barb wire and curfews. Even the fear of my imminent and unceremonious death have receded to a mere banality. Maybe I will eat today, maybe not. Perhaps it will rain, perhaps not. Possibly I will be shot through the head this week. My body remains tethered to its cycles however, its need for equilibrium. The body keeps me fixed within my context. It doesn't get used to things.
I can feel my bones against the floor. My spine grates raw against the wall. My legs splayed out in front of me, made unreal by the void of the senses. Pants hanging slack off the thigh bone. Unwashed blazer shining with dirt, hanging pitifully from my shoulders. I feel like a scarecrow, animated by habit, flailing impotently at the crows as they peck my eyes out. A marionette in thrall to some Darwinian puppeteer. The cramps are subsiding and the light is almost faded. The room is getting darker. Very soon, I will get up and light the oil lantern sitting by the door.
The cold seeps under my skin. I draw the thin blanket closer around my shoulders and lean closer to the lantern. No insulation. No buffer. I try to project myself out. Retreat into memory or imagination. I have nowhere to go. My body anchors my mind to my stomach. The chill flows from my bones to my brain. What I wouldn't give to simply go mad.
When will this end? There are many ways it could conclude. Maybe like the old man I saw last week. He refused to scrub the street with the women and the children. Remaining aloof through a stately and dignified manor. The bullet entered his brain and sprayed his dignity all over the pavement, and the women and children kept scrubbing. They demand total submission, and to them we are not even animals. We are parasites. The absurdity that we are reduced below the level of rodents whilst posing a threat great enough to destroy their nation.
I may freeze to death. I could starve. Starvation seems to be the current tactic. Men fighting in the streets over a crust of bread. Feeble blow after feeble blow, concluded by a third party claiming the prize whilst they are occupied in their sickly melee. Very likely disease will claim me as it has thousands of others. Tuberculosis, polio, some flux festering from a corpse the soldiers neglect to burn. I hear rumours of liquidation. Death camps. No matter. Mere detail.
For all my sins however, I am cursed with youth. It may not be so quick. The body fights on, and I am indifferent.
I am indifferent and nothing can touch me. My future has been annihilated. My fingers trail marks in the dust at my side. The room has taken on the aspect of a void. A small fire surrounded by a blackness that belays the closeness of the walls. I am on an island in a void. I feel like some primeval caveman. The lantern is my fire and the world has dissolved into infinity. The last man ending much as the first started. My eyes close and my mouth starts to laugh.
I wake with a start. Gunshots ring out through the street and a woman screams. Bang – Bang – Bang. Thee shots in rapid succession and some shouting. A car engine starts up and roars into the night. The lantern is still bright, so I must have only slept a few hours. My ears cock for more noise. After any incident, people lock down and keep dead quite to avoid drawing attention. People only scream when they know they can't hide any more. When they know their number is up.
Mama comes to mind. I don't know if she screamed. Slumped like a rag doll on the street in front of the apartment. She didn't look like a person. Thin limbs contorted around her head in some automatic protective spasm. Bullet hole through the hand. Eyes open and staring like dolls eyes, except for the blood welling up in the cornea, trickling down the nose, staining the front of her dress. I don't remember what I was doing that took me out of the apartment. Probably looking for food. I laughed like a mad man till tears came down my face, until a passing soldier knocked a couple of teeth out with his rifle butt.
Hunger pangs hit, stomach contorts in rhythmic pulses of pain. I curl up on the floor in a foetal position, staring blankly into the flame until the image burns into my vision and persists with each blink. Cheek down to the floor. Breathing slows. Focus on the flame and breath until it merges. Until it All. Becomes.. One... Thing....
My breath dislodges some of the dust from the floor. I can feel the particles enter my sinus and my lungs. My eyes tear up and I start to blink. I know that I will have to sneeze. It's suppressed for the moment, but the equation requires completion. Already I feel a tickle in my nose and a spasm in my diaphragm. The dust must be expelled. A sneeze is inevitable. A gunshot rings out. My ears hear a woman’s scream.
Cold breath blown thru hot air
Lonely to be loved
Waiting for the vibrations of a call
Swarm of insect frequency
Just another notification
Cold air stings lungs
Smell a wasted fuck
All in all I would rather be dreaming
Chasing phantoms in the smoke
Throwing hours to the wind
Bathed in moonlight
Trembling at the coming dawn
Wake up and it was nothing
All in all I'd rather be asleep