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“Speak Of The Devil”

Stream “The Devil You Know” above

I’ll update this post when the book itself goes live, but I posted the ‘audiobook’ of the first iteration of the Gap Year Book Club project today; this one sort of reminds me of a way Jesse Lacey describes the Brand New track “aloC-acoC” in just it kind of was one of those tracks I just sat down and it just came in one take, mixed with the words exactly and even though I’d been working on something completely different for a week and a half, I scrapped it immediately because this one was just right, which also deals with confronting a lot of the inspiration for the song.

The lyrics are from a poem that composes the introduction—

“You were looking away,” she said
as I recounted these things that I had seen
of late and
how they all began to seem
the same to me

The villains,
the complicit and
everyone else on screen

To invite chaos, you know who you are

in America

That television screen across the room
is streaming images from Mars while
a radio broadcasts
pre-recorded tape from
Washington, DC

I live in Los Angeles now and all of the movie theaters are closed
The United States no longer exists but the news has yet to report it

The birds are singing
unaware of any electoral results
or
the controversies on TV

as mannequins in playground are posed for
and ad campaign in South Korea
being photographed across the street

I am not myself these days
nor have I ever really been

I’m just bored because I’ve
seen the future and
everyone there knows
nothing means anything
anymore

Is this now or when
another day full of poison
poses as a process

The news reports no progress
regarding hope or change

We are all ageless on the internet
& in America we kill our own
to save the economy

There are no pleas for a culling
of the proletariat
from the political elite

just calls for decorum
as millions of people
watch one another
die in the street

& somewhere along the line
everything became untethered
as it was designed to be

& somewhere along the line
i left behind the love of my life
like a rat diving in to the sea

I scream into a void & then check my phone

A person can lose themselves to many things over time

To what they believe it’s worth or
what it forces them to endure

It has been, quite literally
one hell of a year

The people have been abandoned by the state
& factions are forming tribes
sharpening knives
for the fight

While the cameras wait
lurching
in blood-thirsty delight

& along the river he sways

A stain of red wine on
some mustard-colored secondhand sweater
glowing goldenrod in the five-thirty light

an identifier, ununique,
he slowly shifts his feet
directionless
but heading east

he faces off with what shadows lie ahead
half-drunk but still all smiles

“last september feels so far away,

i wonder how
the victors will write it,”
i say

proposing a toast
to the anonymous man
disappearing
into the dark

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Briefly

Colin Smith is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. His assembly-based work focuses on human nature and its relationship to media, language, time, and systems of control.