Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We Call Upon the Author to Explain by Nick Cave


I have a serious rock star crush on Nick Cave. He's #1 on my list of people I'd love to be stranded on a desert island with. I love him, his songs, his poetry, his brain and his books & novels, "King Ink (lyrics and plays)", "King Ink II (lyrics, poems and an essay)", "And the Ass Saw the Angel", and "The Death of Bunny Munro" which I have on CD of him reading the story. It's beyond amazing. He loves words perhaps more than I do and it shows in his writing and his songs.

The lyrics below are from my favorite song of his, "We Call Upon the Author to Explain" which is the first I ever heard his sing. He had me at "...he writes like wet paper mache". Swoon and double swoon... I highly recommend watching the live version on YouTube. I can't get enough of it. Who ever said poetry had to be boring? Not Nick Cave, for sure. xoxoxo




We Call Upon the Author to Explain
By Nick Cave

What we once thought we had we didn't, and what we have now will never be that way again
So we call upon the author to explain

Our myxomatoid kids spraddle the streets, we've shunned them from the greasy-grind
The poor little things, they look so sad and old as they mount us from behind
I ask them to desist and to refrain
And then we call upon the author to explain

Rosary clutched in his hand, he died with tubes up his nose
And a cabal of angels with finger cymbals chanted his name in code
We shook our fists at the punishing rain
And we call upon the author to explain

He said everything is messed up around here, everything is banal and jejune.
There is a planetary conspiracy against the likes of you and me in this idiot constituency of the moon.
Well, he knew exactly who to blame
And we call upon the author to explain

Prolix! Prolix! Nothing a pair of scissors can't fix!
Prolix! Prolix! Nothing a pair of scissors can't fix!

Well, I go guru-ing down the street, young people gather round my feet
Ask me things, but I don't know where to start
They ignite the powder-trail straight to my father's heart
And once again I call upon the author to explain

We call upon the author to explain

Who is this great burdensome slavering dog-thing that mediocres my every thought?
I feel like a vacuum cleaner, a complete sucker, it's fucked up and he is a fucker
But what an enormous and encyclopaedic brain
I call upon the author to explain

Oh rampant discrimination, mass poverty, third world debt, infectious disease
Global inequality and deepening socio-economic divisions
Well, it does in your brain
And we call upon the author to explain

Now hang on, my friend Doug is tapping on the window (Hey Doug, how you been?)
Brings me back a book on holocaust poetry complete with pictures
Then tells me to get ready for the rain
And we call upon the author to explain

I say Prolix! Prolix! Something a pair of scissors can fix.

Bukowski was a jerk! Berryman was best!
He wrote like wet papier mache, went the Heming-way weirdly on wings and with maximum pain
We call upon the author to explain

Down in my bolthole I see they've published another volume of unreconstructed rubbish
"The waves, the waves were soldiers moving". Well, thank you, thank you, thank you
And again I call upon the author to explain
Yeah, we call upon the author to explain

Prolix! Prolix! There's nothing a pair of scissors can't fix!

13 comments:

Kelly said...

Would you believe I have no Nick Cave in my collection? Perhaps I should remedy that.
:)

Andrew said...

Thank you for Nick Cave. I had never heard of him before.

And a pox on Playlist. Since I live in Canada I am not worthy. Your playlist is even banned from my coputer.

Serena said...

Mondo cool! I gotta see the Youtube. Happy Hump Day and a lovely Thursday to you.
xox

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Marion~ I love to hear, feel, see your passion... I didn't know Nick Cave or these lyrics--which are brilliant! And his use of Prolix! How cool is that!
On the other side of the island would be Greg Corso and I (or one of the Beats--Kerouac?). Corso wanted his ashes buried next to Shelley's in Rome and wrote his own epitaph:
Spirit
is Life
it flows thru
the death of me
endlessly
like a river
unafraid
of becoming
the sea
I call upon the author to explain!
Now to YouTube... LOVE xxox

Terresa said...

"Nothing a pair of scissors can't fix!"

I like this refrain, thank you, Marion, for opening my eyes (again). I'm not a fan of Nick Cave, but may just be now...

Marion said...

Kelly, you must get some Nick Cave. I have his CD, "Dig Lazarus Dig" and I've about worn it out. Blessings!

Andrew, what a bummer about Playlist! I'm sorry about that. Perhaps there's something similar? Thanks for stopping in. I appreciate your comments.

Margaret, Nick is a huge fan of the classic poets, the Bible and the beat poets. That's probably where he got the title, no? Thanks for sharing that. Blessings!

SJ, you're in for a treat. He's hot and such an amazing live performer. I only wish he came to the USA more often so I could see him in person. Blessings!

Marion said...

Terresa, he has an amazing mind. I love, love, love his novels, poetry and his song lyrics. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you. Blessings!

erin said...

i think i have lived in a closet all my live long days
and you have just opened the door. (again!)

!!!#@@&!*!***!

xo
erin

Marion said...

Erin, I felt the same way when I stumbled upon his music about a year or so ago while reading a blog post by the poet Olena Kalytiak Davis at a poetry web site. She quoted Cave's line about 'writing like wet paper mache' and I was freaking GONE running to find anything he'd written. Now I'm having this fabulous love affair with the man's every written word. Sigh. It's sooooo gooooooooood! LOL!

xoxo,
Marion

Phoenix said...

Love this! I have very little Nick Cave but man, the stuff I do have of his is GOOD. And that man and his voice... yeah. That's all I'll say. Yeah.

This song is fantastic. Very heartbreaking and cynical and yet incredibly vulnerable. And Bukowski WAS a jerk but he was my jerk. ;)

Laurie said...

Nick Cave is new to me!

Wine and Words said...

This brings back such a sweet memory of hearing this in your kitchen for the first time, the last time. Nick will always be associated with you. Yes...I know...."Hands Off". He's all yours :)

Rick said...

that was a freewheelin and fun piece Marion with so much brilliance hidden in attitude
thanks!
rick