Mah Sanctum - Nick Cave +lyrics
Title: Mah Sanctum
Album: And the Ass Saw the Angel
Mah sanctum—mah cave of vine and moss —is to mah right about ten paces into the thicket that
surrounds me now. So dense grows the swampland that sometimes it would take me up to thirty minutes to find the little hideaway ah had fashioned, though ah had been there hundreds and hundreds of times. Ah would look for the strips of white sheet, bright like bush ghosts, that hung along the woven walls—they would tell me where.
All about me were mah treasures. The stained bandages like flags. Boxes of nails and tacks. A crate of electrical cord. Mah hammer. Candles and plastic bags full of matches and tapers from the church. Mah Bibles. Twine. Animal bones and feathers and bird skulls. Shells and nests. Some of mah shoeboxes—about ten. Pictures ah had cut from magazines and threaded through the walls. The tiny blue glass bottles of scented water.
And with these ah kept mah Lire-trophies, mah God-tokens—the parts of her left behind—blood mementoes. The whore's hair. Her nightdress. The portrait of Cosey that ah had delivered from the hands of those who rose up against her, sheared her, cast her out. The kindergraph and the instructions she had written, in verse, aback of it. The painting of Beth—of her—fastened to the
walls and ceiling of the grotto, angled so that it hovered above me as ah lay in mah shell.
On a carpet of pink silk and frill—yes, and the ten pearl buttons leaving their evanescent impression down mah back or belly—the stroke of hair—a ruby bead sailing down a yellow strand—a trembling scarlet drop —the bittersweet sip—O the lifetimes lost in queer congress, holed up in that dark retreat—holed up in that dark retreat— A felled tree trunk, carved down the middle by a cleaver of lightning—during the rain days, ah guess— made a kind of a pallet where ah would lie, stretched out between the two halves that ah had padded with cardboard and moss, encapsulated by two walls of umbrage that twisted about a few clapboards nailed to the trunks as supports, the vines intertwining overhead to form a low ceiling. Ah could sit up with a full foot's grace—room enough for mah angel too, who would, in mah later years, appear on the tree stump at the foot of mah cocoon, then come inside and lie with me.
Sometimes ah heard thousands of voices, for God is many-tongued, whispering things to me as ah lay there all alone. All mah feelings of fear and of anger and of despair that ah ate daily like bread would depart from me, and ah would feel most powerful. Most powerful.
They tol . . . He told me things that ah know were special knowledge. Of mahself at first. Then of others.