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Richard Skinner: two cut-ups

The Only Living Boy in Aja

after Simon & Garfunkel & Steely Dan

Here at the dude ranch above the sea

I get the news I need on the weather report

Double helix in the sky tonight

Or so they say

Up on the hill

People never stare

They think I'm okay

Hey, I've got nothing to do today but smile

Half of the time we're gone

But we don't know where

Fly down to Mexico

Chinese music under banyan trees

There's no return

And here I am


Don't Dream Across the Universe

after Crowded House & The Beatles

Words are flowing out like

There is freedom within

Get to know the feeling

Of liberation and release

Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are

Only shadows ahead

They come, they come

Endless rain into a paper cup

There is freedom without

Possessing and caressing me

Like a restless wind

Barely clearing the roof

Many battles are lost

Inside a letterbox

Which shines around me

In the paper today

The door of your heart

Tales of war and of waste

Limitless undying love

But there's no proof

Now I'm walking again

And I'm counting the steps to

Sounds of laughter shades of life

Drifting through my opened mind

Hey now, hey now

Thoughts meander

They call me on and on

Like a million suns

Richard Skinner is a writer working across fiction, life writing, essays, non-fiction and poetry. He has published three novels with Faber & Faber, four books of non-fiction and four books of poetry. His work has been nominated for prizes and is published in eight languages. Richard is Director of the Fiction Programme at Faber Academy. He also runs Vanguard Readings and its publishing arm Vanguard Editions.

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