Life Is Elsewhere

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LIFE IS ELSEWHERE

In a generic chain hotel room, all dressed up like a bridegroom
Doing crosswords torn from cafe copies of The Times
Sixteen down: ‘verbose invective’, Oxford Dictionary’s defective
Nothing fits, nothing works, nothing’s right
They call me Mr Saturday Night
So four across says it’s a synonym for lost, ‘misplaced’
When staying home is saving face
From the eyes of friends and strangers you’ve been meaning to avoid
It took me years ‘til I could see that there’s no us, no them, just we
Now this third person makes me feel like royalty
Tonight we’re here alone, ‘cos we’re just me

I get the feel life is elsewhere tonight

So here we sit alone again, East Berlin winter’s kicking in
Hot coffee in my hands and all these questions in my heart
Self-improvement’s just a compound verb
To drag ourselves above the herd
Of ragged average shadows on the streets
Who mutter as they shuffle to the beat of city madness that -

I get the feeling life is elsewhere tonight
Beneath these twitching neon signs we carve new Mason-Dixon lines across our minds
I get the feeling life is elsewhere tonight
For all the pulses in the park who sit around, wait for the darkness to subside

Conclusion’s drawing nearer, ‘three words - novel by Kundera*
They must be psychic, must be nuts, must be reading my bloody mind
Four storeys down and one to go
I head out ‘neath the falling snow
To join the other strangers in the night
Isolated but together, we’ll be right, we’ll be fine...

Sunday morning, 4 a.m., room trapped in the window pane
And the lamplight ushers in distorted doubles of a nocturne scene
Sunday morning 4 a.m., room trapped in the window pane
And the lamplight ushers in distorted doubles of a nocturne scene
Sunday morning 4 a.m., room trapped in the window pane
Teapot squat on the sill contains lukewarm dregs of the night’s remains
__________________________

*Milan Kundera (1929-), Czech-French author of the novel ‘Life is Elsewhere’

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from About Bloody Time, released December 11, 2013

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