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I Can't Tell If You're Looking at Me

from The Cover of Hunter by Liam Betson



Let’s paint a scene
where tall, black trees
cast shadows on sheets
with blue folds descending
and pointing to a place
where all contrast dissipates
beneath the carpet and wood.

Night hangs from a branch,
opens out, covers the ground,
mixes with the dirt
where gardens will bloom—
buried, for now,
under a waxing moon
tacked there from ever to after.

As cats hiss and dogs bark
at a fox running across the park,
back to its dominion in the woods,
dreamers breathe softly
in their rooms and float through
visions of serenity.

A trace of light, spitting dust
torn from that other world,
frames straight lines
for straight shapes
to appear before eyes blinking
open, closed, open, closed,
now open on the sun.

The world of dreams
fades away, fades away,
replaced with common things.
The same four corners,
the same ceiling and floorboards,
the same getting up to leave.

Walking over broken glass along
the highway overpass and the ants
between cracks in the sidewalk.
Amazing, beautiful trash-land
where bottles, cans, plastic bags,
cigarettes and newspaper
all mix in the street cauldron.

Escaped industrial smoke
rings around Rusholme,
seeps through the dry heat.
Cough cough and open the door,
up the stairs and down again,
already split in two
and leaning against a fence.

Staring at a robin eating a worm
as a million cars pass by,
endlessly disappearing into a tunnel,
echoing weird concrete
like a fortress deteriorating
whispers to the ground
where everything comes to rest.

In the distance it smears to gray, to gray,
to gray, to gray... following back the lines
until they’re colored again.
An atmosphere of devotion—
not fade away, not fade away.
Still imagining the world
as a gigantic painting.

Beginning to melt into it,
half-remembering a dream
with outlines like vapor.
Throw it away, throw it away—
there is clearly a present
and visible world
surrounding and filling everything.


from The Cover of Hunter, released July 22, 2014


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Liam the Younger

Liam Betson is a North American songwriter.

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