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The Wickedest Man In The

The river Mersey, 70 miles of chocolate coloured sludge, dead cats and condoms.

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve and the Liverpool skyline explodes with multi-coloured fire, it's as though the Luftwaffe are bombing the shipyards again.

As the moon rises over the chemical plants and oil refineries, the river and sky appear fused into a single element, a psychedelic pearlised wash of candy pinks and flaming tangerine.

For me, each year gets just a little harder to get through, the regime a little tighter, the stars a little more distant.

A naked girl wrapped in nothing but the smoke from a cigarette, she’s just a silhouette but you can’t breathe properly because she’s here with you, her back as shapely as a cello.

Your father laid out, just hours dead in a darkened room, his eyes still open a slit, a bunch of freesias, his favourites, gripped in his withered hands.

What happened to me? I used to catch midnight boats to the Hoek of Holland, make love to punk schoolgirls in shower cubicles, drink Benylin for kicks, steal poetry, do acid for breakfast.

As the last of my ambition evaporates like surgical ether, the one thing that keeps me from going under is the memory that once, just for a few years, I was beautiful, had friends and Liverpool was my garden of earthly delights.

For me, each year gets just a little tougher to get through, the regime just a little tighter, the stars a little more distant.

(words and music © Paul Simpson 2008)

Liquid Mercury