Meek Tiger – The Lottery in Babylon


  1. Where the Lottery is the Basis of Reality

2. An Infinite Game of Chance

What does the blind girl see as sociability
At a table that caters for greed
When she has many mouths to feed?
The professional in the green visor
Cuts the pack like a vampire’s incisor
Would sever the jugular vein
And leave an indelible stain
On the collar of his seduced prey
But to his kind it’s all in a game

The probability of purchasing milk and honey
From the proceeds of her two Queens
Her pair of Jacks and her three
Seems to be littered with provisos
So she says “this is as far as I go”
But the gambling men fold up and ante again
Waiting in accusatory disdain
Lighting cigarettes and preening their manes
Like snipers on turrets, preparing to aim

3. Until the Last Night

Strapped to a failing vision of a promise-land
The deepest waters can’t quench this flame

I’ve been transformed, a monster
My failing heart, beware of desert night
Which never ends
And trauma tremens

I’ve been waiting for that dusty sleep
To be there, again

To feel the aching uproot shooting forth

Witchcraft’s all around me, saint
A masquerade of laughter freaks
A bronze hero’s chain wrapped around me
My neck and wristss he’s tied to him

4. Panic in the River of Pleasure

I might not know the first thing
About boating trips or horses
But I know what my soul will always sing
About the river that life courses
See, I’ve been down to some dark places
In the depths you can’t perceive
Where there’s scaly, blemished faces
And claws that grab at me

Ain’t in this for status
Or to go on worldwide cruises
Made a raft for apparatus
And it gave me scars and bruises
Plugged all ears with bee’s wax
‘Cos the siren’s song confuses
A deckhand’s mind, so these attacks
Are best countered by the muses

The day I reached the delta
I stood on shifting silt
Without a form of shelter
But it’s not my head that’ll wilt
See, I looked to the horizon
Dreamt of falling off the earth
But I wanna go where the sun’s rising
True to the rites of my birth

When the salt of the earth
Salinates the sea
What remains between the devil and me?
The sharks circle, and they salivate from greed
But my throat’s sore and thirsty from need
When the ice caps melt and the oceans merge
Will every gene pool be forced to converge
If towers built from slave labour submerge
Nothing remains to tell saint from scourge

5. Awakens Suddenly

6. The Peaceful Darkness

After death, the remains of you
Will be washed away by the shores
My footsteps and gaze across the setting
With a dawning of a life

Being lifted, hovering the oceans
All land I’ve left behind and knew
Neptune would be my mother womb
And my draining soul would fill you

The deep and the forgotten members of your body float from underneath
And I’ms still stuck in this nightmare, wearing Saint Peter’s Wreath

I’ll miss the blissout that was your kiss
But I can’t stay swamped like this in your mist
A wave in my mind is breaking on the wrong shore
These days you ain’t no woman no more
No, it’s no girl that keeps me up in the streetlight swirl
It’s the first skirmishes for control of the world

It’s the blade drawn out of my snake-like spine
It’s the evidence removed from the scene of the crime
Undemocratic, brutal, sporadic
Lepers and addicts are bleeding, stigmatic
And i turn off the lights but I can’t shut the doors
I sing fake sea shanties and pass out on the floor

Nostalgia beckons from the gates of heaven
The city’s in ruins by ten to eleven
And i still couldn’t say if the war’s even real
The looters don’t even know why they’re drawn to steal
If it’s just a matter of human desire getting its kicks in brimstone and fire
Sulphur and phosphor, fifteen and sixteen
Keep your eyes peeled and survey the scene
Find explanations for Baskerville Hounds
In the shrapnel that flies around as the sirens start to sound
‘Cos even in summer skies
Lapis lazuli paradise:
The birds sing in minor keys sometimes

7. When the Last God Annihilates the Earth

There ain’t gonna be no wedding bells
On no Monday morning
‘Cos the rumours I’ve heard in the trenches tell
Of a four-minute warning
So I take out that picture
To stare at her smile ’til then ‘cos I like
Photographs of the Rapture
Piercing my mind more than devil’s spikes

She’ll be trying to ignore the rumours going round
By fleeing the city and burrowing into the ground
But Lord knows she’ll be found
The thrill’s in the chase of the fox for these hounds

Been seduced by the banality
Of the Renaissance in her brain
What seemed like a mere formality
Now refuses to be restrained
But I can’t find the jewel
That she gave me when I left town
To enroll in this war’s renewal
When green pastures faded to sepia brown

She’ll be talking to people Whose names she don’t know
In an attempt to cover her footprints in the snow
I’m regretting that I never told
My precious doe
That the hunt is all these deer stalkers know
The hunt is all these deer stalkers know

She travels by the moon’s tides, positions of stars
Rented hotel rooms, sometimes the seats in her car
But her roots have always spread far
She knows every safe place to park
She knows she’s the rose that blooms in my heart
Even though it’s surrounded by tar
And after the sludge has dried out or been drained
I can only hope she’ll recognise the lengths I went to contain
It spilling out like blackened rain
But if I never see her again
At least I’ll die taking some little pride
The Renaissance was in my name

8. Veiled Men Murmur in the Twighlight

9. Some Warped Echo of Our Rites

(making structures of the liquid caught between sky and pavement)

We are in a canteen, you aren’t worried neither am I

(steeples of ice pierce the clouds, there is hope for us now)

The queue is long and racially diverse I, f’r instance, am green

(rivulets form patterns; flow through the streets)

You have skipped in — pushed in front of some cracked old lady

(we turn off the sounds there is hope for us now)

This skinhead seven places exactly behind turns, stares

(They move like eels The snot-green professionals Some of them don’t
like it When they’re cased in amber)

You order: “one egg” you aren’t hungry
Neither am I

(liquid flowing underground, there is hope for us now)

Skinhead leaves the queue, walks up to me
I’m not worried

(in summer the city will melt, we must be cautious of the sun)

“This green guy’s going on like he’s black” the skinhead says
This worries me
So I put my tray down
Head for the door
Don’t look back

(The ashen-faced outsiders
Who travel by frequencies
And speak with strings
Are already made from stone
They collect the fragments
Of the bonfires
It’s the professionals who
Spark the flames)

10. The Mercenary Sale

…and again, The mind’s waves break on its own shore.
The cliffs form a face; the face faces The fields.
You, underneath, You burrow. You break waves.
Midnight, and the majors move their pawns across the atlas
Each pawn covered in ink and oil, flaming wine bottles in their hands
Above them the stars remain fixed, glowing as their rank demands
But the soil below rumbles like blood in their veins
What was left of the towers was scattered
And in the ruins the guerrillas hide their faces
Searching by instinct the mercenaries sift through the rubble
Bounty never the object but the cause

And you realise it’s about time you forgot everything you’ve been remembering.
Just as it’s time to remember more or less everything you’ve forgotten.

And as the spark gently dies from their torches
The ruins shift from sight;smooth revolutions of tectonic plates
And the mercenaries tumble into the void
Desiccated soil raining on their plummeting pelts
The stars lose interest, and disappear into their vacuum …

Beneath a sedimented layer of shit lie pearls: small, fragile, white.
These, more or less, symbolise ‘regret’, and you, swine – burrow, swine.

11. Fissures in a Dusty Aquaduct

The reservoir used to stand proud as an ocean
When there was enough water for all
Now the weather’s more arid, and trees breathe pollution
I’m not so sure now that it’s walls won’t fall

You can whisper what you like as I’m walking out the door
Just understand, there won’t be any punches pulled no more
What you always lacked in vision, you made up for in depth
But now I see there was just too many secrets that you kept
I never had access to your mind when you wept
I always had to guess what your dreams meant when you slept

The reservoir stands here now, empty and alone
After the Gods upturned it, spilled it
I look into the dry pit, as if at the unknown
It’s waiting for your tears to refill it
But sugar I ain’t stupid, and I ain’t so damn blind
To think that I won’t be one of the last things on your mind
What I mistook for true depth, is really cowardice
And now I see that the reservoir is far from an abyss
It’s emptiness is really cause to reminisce
On times when all that mattered was my own pure bliss

The reservoir used to stand proud as an ocean
When there was enough water for all
Now the weather’s more arid, and trees breathe pollution
But I can rest assured that it’s walls won’t fall

12. A Vermillion Tattoo

13. The Years Have Not Erased

Drainage damages my nasal passages
But the feeling is more like joy than sacrilege
As molecules race each other through the air
I realise I’m a little scared

The games I play
Or do they play me?
I watch the cards
Or do they watch me?

Wearing boots made of leather
Should weigh me down but I feel light as a feather
As moisture cloys together in a gentle mist
I theorise – what if I don’t exist?

Filled with mirth, I left the cabin
It felt good to be between the fir trees
I’m not listening to your declarations of love
The forbidden fruit is not evergreen

14. Now, Far from Babylon and It’s Beloved