Wolf and the Owl
Poetry, Lyrics, Translations
and Musings by Alex Etchart

City Me

By on Wednesday 12th December, 2012

It’s like The City knows I’m leaving,
He’s trying to squeeze the last vestiges
Of energy from me before I go.

For He is a he,
With his tall spires and violent screens,
He penetrates into all I do,
All I am until I start to believe that
That is who I was meant to become:

Dark and ratty, stressed and snappy,
Cynical, clinical, nihilist and cold,
Live fast die young out with the old,
Metallic and gleaming,
Today Im the latest thing,
Tomorrow obsolete and out,
Futile to scream and shout,
Forever riddled with fear and doubt,
Did he look at me, did she see me look?
How did it make her feel? Did I play by the book?

Got my hands in my pockets to escape all touch,
Guard my possessions from the potential clutch
Of the omnipotent ever-present universal thief
Hiding behind anyone and everyone’s eyes
Mind gone, head spun, forgot to breathe, quick to seethe,
A glimmer… of hope in a smile… turn to check and… no.
They’re just laughing at a video on their phone.

Bright lights on high stare out over the abyss
Wondering if the two will ever meet, dare to kiss
If you shine and are kind prepare to ration out your time
Amongst the needy, the greedy, the weak and the mad
They covet you like vampires yet you pity them it’s sad.

So you make a million appointments to save the lost souls
And in doing so risk becoming harrowed to a hollow hole,
Back-bent, bitter, twisted with pain,
Falling in amongst the mass graves of zombies’ net-drain
No one wants to stand on their own two feet
We’re in a fragile pile of matchsticks playing jenga, time the opponent
Poised at the point of collapse at any given moment.

We’re given moments rather than making them,
Faking them, a list of dates in diaries, late to each one
In a constant state of going somewhere, being nowhere,
Senses never fully switched on
Frantic, pedantically stuck on semantic
Differences between each slate
Jump on a million high-speed metal carriages
Surrender our bodies to fate.

Well “I’m fucking off!” I shout
Down the tube tunnel to a muffle of bewildered looks
But the city he refuses, abjectly reuses the same old seductive hooks
One more party, one more smoke, one more beer and one more toke
One more catch-up, one last job
One more curious spectacle or cheeky glimpse at the mob…

“Don’t worry” he caresses “you are deep and profound”
“You can leave me any moment with both feet on the ground”
“You’re not one of ‘them’, plugged in, unaware, pushing buttons without a care…”
“You have a role to play, we’re sure to find a slot for you”
“Even if just to dissect and redirect the shit I spew”
Convincing you of some special purpose however radical or opposed,
He keeps you lapping at the hamster feed up on your tippy-toes,
The City he knows, he persists to exist
‘Cuz the fists that resist still sit within his cysts.

But he is part of me. The City me. Inside of me.
A monstrous colonic growth, a festering fungus, a familiarity
Feeding off of old habits, belligerent egos, lost dreams,
Old vices, halfhearted healing, illusions of comfort, lying and stealing
Forever forcing me to cave in to the self-destructive pattern
Of solemnly settling for second best
And kneeling.

Less words more action.
I’m doing it this time. For real.
Breaking ties, cutting links, melting shackles in rhyme.
The stars and planets have lined up fine nectar and wine
And the ticking clock aligns with signs to tell me that it’s time.

So to my friends and lovers and all the ones in between,
A confession, an apology, an attempt to come clean:
I promised you my care would be there, and I tried.
I promised what I wasn’t ready to give, and I lied.

I’m too feeble to face it yet – Zen out the whirlwind.
To face my inner demons whilst I’m sinned, thinned and tinned,
Jacked up on their drip-feed drugs
Of sugar, sex, booze, fear and desperate hugs,
Do anything find nothing, normalised thugs
While the source of my insecurities pumps
I’ll never take the camel by its humps.

I see me.
My need.
My weak.
My fear.
My feed.
My back.
My broken.
My love.

I deserve to de-serve.
A holiday will be good for the soul,
Let the last few years learning
Settle in, take their toll…

Yes, I escape.
Fasten my cape.
Dance over rooftops.
Float over the lake.
I’ll take my time to cocoon
And hope that when I’m back
I’ll’ve learnt to tread a lil’ lighter
On the beaten track

By knowing what I need
I’ll know what I can give
Just maybe, only then
I’ll more responsibly,
Sustainably and

Blog owner, singing/strumming person, word speaker, community arts make-happen-er, eco-baby.


  1. Laurie
    Tuesday 26th February, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    thanks for this dude

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