The Marion Flow, March 2019

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Since last year I’ve been getting back into playing solo acoustic. Here’s a 6 March 2019 version of ‘the Marion Flow‘:

Originally recorded in New Plymouth in 1999, it became the title track of my second album.

The 1999 recording had quite a different vibe – spoken word delivery, electric guitars panned left & right, and Paul Winstanley playing a cymbal through a pitch shifter, turning it into a deep sea gong sound.

On other occasions it became a rock riff, based around just an E note and its octave.

I was surrounded by wider & weirder music too. I moved to Wellington and found a  kiwi avant-garde scene with free jazz, noise, and theatre gallore. We eventually finished The Marion Flow album in 2001, after recording sessions at Thistle Hall.

The lyrics are some of my favourite. They were scribbled in a notebook sometime in the late 90s. I was digesting the influence of literary modernism (eg lines like ‘yea take in that wake’ a shout out to James Joyce, using nouns as verbs and vice versa, and other general flouting of grammatical rules).

Taranaki and its coastlines inspired much of the atmosphere.

I sit in this tower of tongues & bells & move move move to the groove, or so that I’m reckoned & then I am beckoned back back to these shoes nigh marion blues & so to the seashore our body now go & tale shall flow & power ye know. 

So under the tower my face nigh on water & shoes that are dough to the marion flow, & need to correct a sudden deflect & fine to the seashore can bring thee self-knowledge, but laugh shall I laugh & make my ears go to the marion flow. Distance contracted, stars that explode. 

Our body now sober lie down at the seashore & seashore that score the time that we know. Our body now sore that to lie on the floor to be seen to that go to the marion flow. 

A passion of treasure to my body lies pleasure to be watched on the Earth of patterns we go, & the comfort southwest is to be seen to be blessed. Longer that than you think to be seen to be pink in hard self-regard into cotton of night, & cotton this gift that to is be kissed & to cotton this Earth that to be at the first, that to be at the first is to be at the cursed; distance contracted, stars that explode. 

A thing is regained that is nowly defamed & be seen to that go, to the marion flow, a thing that does cometh to pierce the sea summit. Nervousness knows that to be on ye toes & voices that might all mutter that high fall, or to leave & not serve or lie in the Earth & the stars are now plain, & voices that come onto him all that come. Yea take in that wake that to be self that take or abandon the wake into silence it take & him that is spying be him that is crying & hence shall it west into heaven that blessed for to lie without knowledge & be proud & flee north. 

See not that I deformed & hear that I be forth into copious power that shall grumble an hour. Hallowed it be to hear the self reckoned, to see will be beckoned, upon paragraph & tower & weave in a bower, & to see all that spite now to be in the light. See not that I deformed all that came before & that pry in that chance who to aid not that branch. Hunger & knowledge of all that came before to fill up my head with emptiness dread & the loneliness crowd, so insufferably loud are the loneliness crowd. 

Locked without march. The rhythm that yawns not to be of the dawn, I write for that reason, to buckle the season, my storehouse a treasure of pirates at leisure with shoes that lie drying on priest without buying, and to be but a yawn in the streets that are born(e) & that sprung from the sea to with all that I be, but to fight for no groan in the top without loan, asleep on the throne that is slow in denial of friendships to smile of all that we know, in the carrion flow. 

To go forth alone into million at home and design in presignment, cold windy assignment, sings all that we know to the marion flow & hope be denial of all that we smile, I give all that I know to the marion flow. 

Danger & leisure are to be what we treasure, & to see the comfort southwest be amazingly guessed, to hope without trial of all is denial, the pen it grows dry to the self underly, the hope that I treasure the ribbons of leisure that lie without worth in the dustiness Earth. 

I will finish this page to dirty my age & to lie without spite is to see out the night. The truth it is worth more than loneliness birth where to be in a fright is to be in the night. I will always ignore the one I adore & am always at war with myself to be poor. 

The end, round the bend, come today another friend. Nothing shall be there to tell what I said or die in a bed & the loneliness crowd grows very loud. Back to the sea, it waits for me, a negative on water like any other matter. All is said & all is done, the flow continues, the song is sung. Myself I ignore. 

———–

from The Marion Flow, track released June 22, 1999
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