Monday, November 28

So try to be true, even if it's only in your hazey way.

‘His shyness and awkwardness were almost transcendent. A tall man, his clothes - black corduroy jacket and pants, frayed white shirt - hung around him like bedclothes after a particularly bad night’s sleep. He sat on a small stool, hunched tight over a tiny Guild guitar, beginning songs and, halfway through, forgetting where he was and stumbling back to the start of that song, or beginning an entirely different song which he would then abandon mid-way through if he remembered the remainder of the first. He sang away from the microphone, mumbled and whispered, all with a sense of precariousness and doom. It was like being at the bedside of a dying man who wants to tell you a secret, but who keeps changing his mind at the last minute. There was a new song that he sang that night, that he kept starting and stopping, never completing; he finally just sang the opening lines over and over again: ‘Do you curse where you came from/Do you swear in the night?’ (Hazey Jane I). ‘It was chilling and morbidly fascinating. No one took their eyes off him for a second - there was a real sense of keeping him there with our gaze and attention, that if we looked away, however briefly, he might disappear, or forget that we were there and go to sleep.’

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