John Cale
Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale




  1. Zen
  2. Reading My Mind
  3. Things
  4. Look Horizon
  5. Magritte
  6. Archimedes
  7. Caravan
  8. Bicycle
  9. Twilight Zone
  10. Letter From Abroad
  11. Things X
  12. Over Her Head
    Japanese edition bonus track:
  13. Where The Creepyboyz Sing


It's midnight
and our silver tongued obsessions come at us out of the dark
Scrambling to be recognised before tearing themselves apart
It's zen and the art of Bollywood
Heroes turning on a spit
The lovers unable to resolve a pre-historic bitch
We don't know the half of it
Clever is as clever does
His drawn lights sparkling on a merry-go-round
Hypnotising everyone on it
In zen and the art of forgery we're losing control of light
DeLorean, Picasso, Mondriaan and El Greco some one's gonna pay the price
If i didn't know you better than that
I'd never let you outta my sight

Where is the art of sorcery
We wanna be fooled again
Staggered by deception charmed into submission
Helpless as a deck of cards.
It's now the art of reality
Calling a spade a spade
Facing the obvious
A monkey and his grinder
But on a different plain.

I see you clearly from day to day
As clearly as i see tonite.
Keep talking said the slow-eyed Mandarin
"I've got nothing to say"
Meet me on the staircase on your way down
We'll see if there's been a mistake
In zen and the art of algebra
There is no value for time
Whatever thrives inside the dark
Decays on the outside.


Reading My Mind

I was careful and cautiously optimistic
Saving enough for the Cobra on sale downtown
Test driving my motor and she was reading my mind
Four on the floor hugs the road designated driver tonight

Driving my motor - she was reading my mind
Driving my motor - couldn't even see the signs

The blondes downtown passing the Fontani di Trevi
I wish I had a dollar for everyone
The suns beats down on the chrome and leather interior
Four on the floor hugs the road good driving tonight




Elsewhere in the Temple the llamas are gearing up
To assault Tiger Mountain when the sun comes up
We sat around whispering in the candlelight
Trying to get a game plan for the night
Talked about the difference between North and South
Keep your gun in your pocket and your tongue in your mouth
and you'll be doing it
- the thing you do in Denver when you're dead.

A month is a Saturday - Wednesday's a week
I saw the way you looked at her Charlie Brown - good grief
She pulled you into the shadows and taught you how to love
Patted you on the head and gave you a shove
and you were doing it - the thing........

The sexual exuberance of a concubine
Checks my carburettor one more time
With the passion of a thoroughbred and the
Sensitivity of a moose I rarely make a move
Unless I've got some proof that we'll be doing it -
........the thing........

You live in Paris I live in France things are expensive
When you live first class - you learn Latin I'll learn Greek
And when you've got a minute we'll meet in Crete
And we'll be doing it - the thing........



Look Horizon

The bears are in the forest
The Pope's in Rome
I'm on a beach in Zanzibar
Or at least i'll be here soon
What a shame we carry with us
The residue of fools
Instead of better wisdom
And Advance Tools

We prefer to be standing
Looking out from higher ground
Breathing air to lift the spirits
Or racing balloons in the Alps
While on the beach in Zanzibar
We're struggling in the surf
Seeing the Look Horizon
Moving further away from us

And I close my eyes
I think it's me
Out on the Look Horizon where i found you.

Across the Nile
The Land of Pharaoh is digging up its past
The broken amulets of history
Strewn in our path

I feel like someone's watching
Through a window frame
A child prodding a wounded insect
Next to a cow in the pouring rain



I forgotten how often we saw Magritte
He's been much on my mind these days
Often we saw Magritte
Inside a canvas of blue saturated with beauty
In a web of glass
Pinned to the edges of vision

There's a car-horn in the street outside
And a museum with its windows open
Often we saw Magritte
Running with the legends of conspicuous men
And how often we forgot Magritte
How we remembered him then
And worshipped at his feet
Pinned to the edges of vision

Somebody's coming that hates us
Better watch the art
Upstairs there's a canvas stretched
For umbrellas and bowler hats
Everybody knows Rene did that
Often we saw Magritte
Pinned to the edges of vision
Often we saw Magritte
We all know Rene did that
Often we saw Magritte



Keep me away form a naked flame
I am made of vapor and i will explode
There's been something rattling in the closet trying to get out
The car antenna's gone missing - it's out there somewhere
cruising the streets

Archimedes and me go back a ways

Archimedes and me both married in our own way
To old ideas in new clothes
The good will goddess passed us by we were satisfied with that
and when your drive down
Pacific Palisades you can see he made the desert bloom
Archimedes and me ...

(the noise of the first Archimedes Screw)

There's been something rattling in the closet trying to get out
- the car antenna's missing - (the rest of it will be gone soon)



I'm slipping away from planet earth
Hand in my pocket full of dirt
Shaking all over
Shaking all over with the funny stuff
Climbing the fens in the Norfolk Broad
Waiting for Godot and Niagara Falls
Mustn't be late for the caravan
Mustn't be early for the garbage man

I give you a host of reasons to go
You come back marked address unknown
Sandwiched between a question of honour
In the quiet mark of a medicine man
You're sitting alone at the traffic light
The pain is real you're ghostly white


Twilight Zone

Hanging with dictators in the south of France
Checking shipments to le Monde Arabe
Obsession with detail precision with terms
Remember you're speaking from the TZ

Your reputation precedes you now you're getting bored
No longer into the story of the antique road
The milk of human kindness has curdled in your cup
You see me staring at it and tell me to shut up
Chaucer was to Canterbury what you were to the zone
Instead of trying to solve it you left it alone
A hangout you could call home

Now you're out things aren't going to be the same
Now you're out of the Twilight Zone

You're feeling unreliable you don't like the same things
Manifestly different from where you chose to begin
The turnaround is brilliant the execution sublime
You found a way to move on leaving nothing behind

Now you're out ...


Letter From Abroad

It's a squalid little town with a tenuous beauty
The cool wet mornings are so appealing
People waking up suddenly in the night
Very disappointed

At the water's edge fishermen smashing their boats - taking nothing for granted
In a few hours the heat will hang over town as the northeast monsoon comes roaring in
Can you feel it?

Afghanistan Afghanistan whatever happened to you
I don't really care but I thought I'd ask in case it mattered to you - let me hear it

They're cutting their heads of in the soccer field
Stretching their necks in the goal
Taking them out in the elephant grass feeding them to the hyena's
Don't you hear it

Everybody's lips are thin - eventually eyes are empty
This a letter from abroad life is cheaper back home
Let me hear it

You learn form novels living out there rainfall is followed by thunder
You hear a man's voice soothing and calm - 'I understand no problem'


Over Her Head

She sees flames in the kitchen it's a vision of hell
a sign that madam is not feeling well

Like the pigeons in the yard she's getting fat on starch
She's cooking for sailors and combing her hair in the dark
She loves everybody she'll even love me
When I'm born in the traffic on the rolling seas
She's in over her head

It's either the pairing of the woman on the floor above
Or long static shots of half naked men in the desert
She loves everybody ...

© 1999- Hans Werksman