1. 03. Churn

From the recording Bowlahoola

'Churn' is a technical term so here's Wiki: 'Churn rate, in its broadest sense, is a measure of the number of individuals or items moving out of a collective group over a specific period. It is one of two primary factors that determine the steady-state level of customers a business will support'. The other factor being individuals moving in, obvs)
Now, I was thinking about the Shriekback demographic (as embodied by our mailing list) and how the same names appear time and again and, by now, if someone new appears, it's noticeable. This is good in one way - 'these people are loyal' - but bad in another - 'these people will die' - but then so will we - so, hey, a good time not a long time amiright?.
I recently went to see the lady downstairs from my son Finn's old flat (now my flat again, after 20 years of him living there) and she mentioned how many people had come and gone over that time (girlfriends, mates, band members, gangs of hedonistic young Kiwis on the razz, demure couples with careers waiting to buy somewhere etc etc.. CHURN see? Churn is a feature of a functioning life, albeit suffused with the sadness of time passed and the inevitable Losses. Learn to embrace it, I reckon. You should worry when it stops.


The 20-something master race (the fever-broth of man)
we hear their lonely voices 'cross the chasm
their struggle getting organised, the factions in the van
the will to order shunted into spasm

the sultry mess, the summer dress
the frond around the rose
too trivial, you'd think, to move the needle
yet stubbornly these forces will
- as everybody knows -
affect alike the budgie and the eagle

there's a lot of churn here at the heart of things
and no-one really is to blame
we were all quite lairy at the start of things
but now we're churning once again

the sapient homunculus has not returned my calls
he had his chance, I feel, so therefore fuck him.
half hearted as the project was I came to love it all
(the irony of which I'm sure has struck him)

there's a lot of churn in almost everything
a lot of history to explain
and although we're still yearning for the better things
we end up churning once again

the lovely witch at fever pitch had all her suitors nailed
the pain that she entrained was legendary
and still with some regret I can report that ship has sailed
and left me whining in the estuary

the wisp of hope, the endoscope they both can make you cry
they are not what you need to rake the gravel
the Necronauts, though in our thoughts,
have vanished with a sigh
but have defined the road we are to travel...

you can feel the churning in its animus
the whole unsettling display
and we're one sequin short of being Fabulous
there's so much churning on the way..