Sonnets of Solipsism (Blank Room I)

by Rough Drafts

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The conceptual first volume of an overarching philosophical tale told through word-play and tone-games. Spoken word musings over musical shimmerings.


released April 19, 2012

All lyrics written and performed by Ben Brandall.
All music composed, performed and produced by Lee Tyrrell*.
Concept by Ben Brandall and Lee Tyrrell.

(*except Track 3 composed and performed by Scott Tyrrell, produced by Scott and Lee Tyrrell)



all rights reserved


Rough Drafts London, UK

Rough Drafts is a young spoken word artist constantly exploring the intricacies of solipsism, existentialism with a healthy onus on super-villains and Rube-Goldbergesque sentence structure.

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Track Name: Identity Theft
I once knew a man who was scared of his reflection,
Scared to reflect on his past fear of rejection.
He'd go to art galleries and all he'd see is mirrors,
Loose form shapes and sounds moving nearer.
To him newspapers were blank verse poetry,
He'd go to the corner shop, but not the one locally.
When asked why he wears a mask, "So no one knows me",
He replied every time, not a fan of working socially.
Mostly it seems he's a reasonable character,
Who are we to judge or play the part of a narrator?
No one can see through his glass; we still look.
He's boarded his window up with philosophy books.

Dissected his favourite pages,
And tape them onto the panes so his eyes can't escape them.
Sometimes at night he dreams of blank spaces,
The night sky might try to take him places.
He sees in his sleep in the solar system,
In his head it relays as rooms slowly drifting.
I could risk optimism and say he's not insane,
If he didn't potray such a vision of shame.
I see him around on a daily basis,
There may be a snapshot of fate in his faces.
Tainting the stasis, maintaining, erasing,
Only to stop him from facing the case.

One of a kind in an unkind world,
As I knocked on his door and the story unfurled.
I met with him once, out of town, we drank coffee.
We made brief eye contact.
"Get off me!" he snarled,
Rasping under his breath.
We drank four more cups in silence and eventually left.
Before he went he mentioned his death,
But when I speak I manifest as events in his head.
I told him it's best if he just went home to bed,
He said his body is in prison for Identity Theft.
Track Name: .18 (Recurring)
I'm sitting in a blank room,
Where the floor looks like a checkerboard.
Tiles dividing grime and peeling wallpaper,
My head is sore.
I close my eyes, and all I see is coloured lights.
Dashing lines, passing time,
Hands making drastic signs.
And that's it really,
One door and one window.
With beads of condensation stuck on the panes of glass in limbo,
You'd surely think so.
I compare myself to these drops,
Cutting through a layer of steam to rest on the windowsill and stop.

Gather in a pool, and reflect the dim light-bulb.
The pale, yellow glow reflected back in the dead of nightfall.
Everything in its rightful place,
No balance without counterbalance.
No good without malice, of course,
This room might not exist.
The glass may never clear.
The lock may never click.
Open. Shhh,
The voices want to speak.
Take a rest.
The floor's too cold to go to sleep.

I could open the door if I really wanted to.
If I willed it with all my force, i'm sure I could go through.
I haven't done it yet.
I haven't touched the handle,
The way that I see it, the question's unanswered.
Before I try, it's both locked and unlocked.
Maybe in my dreams I travel round the block,
Back in time to rejoin my sleeping unconcience.
The room could be an illusion i've been freed from long since.

As I may have mentioned,
I have no idea how long i've been here.
The lightbulb stays on.
The glass is frosted, never clear.
It always seems like night,
I count the minutes mentally.
Making cuts in the wall, it'll be full of marks eventually.
The longer I stare the more the lines make patterns.
The wall is my skyful of stars,
Drawing constellations.
It makes words and symbols, and places i've never been.
Spaces never explored and faces i've never seen.

I see these places in my dreams,
It's a depressing sub-reality, expanding into infinity.
And there I am, asleep in every single room.
The black and white floors,
The grime on the walls,
And the marks that I carved, I assume.
I drift off the floor, ascend to the ceiling.
The window pane dripping, I see myself sleeping.
A glass on the floor just within arm's reach.
Where is this place?
A stitch in existence?
A place on the brink of time's own resistance?
A voice in my mind.
"Wake up, there's a glass of water by your side."
Track Name: Dead Black Space
The dim glow highlights, reflections on my eye-line;
I’m curled on my side in the foetal position.
Another nine marks on the wall, conditioned,
to document and read all information that I’ve been given.
It’s the way that I’ve been living, like the window keeps dripping.
One glass of water every self-perceived morning,
one pool of water from the window in the corner,
a wall full of scratches and marks…
Voices calling.

One thing I don’t understand.
When I lean against the wall why don’t I fall backwards?
Compress the earth with no space between the atoms,
and it scales right down about the size of an apple.
So the wall must be more nothing than in existance,
so why does it hold form, shape and consistency?
What lies the other side of the divide?
A Dead Black Space, a void or an exact copy of mine?

If I can identify nothing it is not nothing.
I can’t stop looking at the depths under the iceberg.
The tip doesn’t exist; it’s nothing more than this.
I scrape one more line on the wall with my nails.
Paint cracks and plaster crumbles.
And screeching interrupts the hum of the light bulb.
The drip of the window and the expansion of my lungs.
Occasionally my heartbeat when I count the next hour,
and think time is immaterial as no events have any consequence.
Even the grand scheme, whatever that may be.
Maybe all that I am is an analogy,
existing in the head of someone imaginary;
a thought experiment, a man alone in a room.
The same place he wakes, the same place he makes his tomb.

I’d like to think not.
I’m persistent in the fact that my existence remains intact.
So let’s think rationally.
The door could be shut, or open in actuality.
An equal chance – fifty-fifty coins flipped – the only shred of hope.
Gone with a lock, clicked.
What if the door sticks?
I’d better not touch it or test fate, just think.

What are thoughts?
Free will?
Or fate making an impact?
Our senses stay still.
Always in that one same position.
Don’t move, don’t let it trick you into submission.
Pull me out of a hat, a rabbit to a magician.
Is that all I am, over-watched by the system?
A network of duplicates to explain my decisions.
That’s what it is, every room’s a microcosm,
spanning on for as many variables as there is options.
That’s the problem,
nothing has a probability of one.
And as sentient beings our predictability’s none,
and it gets more convoluted as time ticks on.
I broke it down, to just one second.
And made a partial mental list of the events that happened.
Eyes blinking.
Each thought…
How it pans out and spreads
Now stop.
And wind that second back again.

What’s happened?
I explain the sequence of events,
Of course everything’s clear when you see it past tense.
The full painted canvas,
Scan past the mask and you’re still after answers.
When you see the first plans, it’s pure form and function.
Nothing is seen without pragmatics or assumption,
so I assume.
There should be a secret in the room,
a set of rules.
Go to sleep.
Wake with a glass of water, I’ll survive.
If I leave alive and trying,
it’s straight out the frying pan.
A kick in the diaphragm.
Try to devise a plan,
and throw it into the fire.
Track Name: Half-Time
What's the root of the problem to my tree of life?
The underlying issues that stand deep inside.
Could it be all too easy to blame the underhanded?
How half the world speaks without understanding.
I was born to this world, genetically programmed.
Environmental triggers positioned; maximum impact.
It's all the little things you drag up in times of crisis,
All the one word slips and past vices.
Is it just me who has a flashback to the present?
And how illusion and reality stay on the same level?
Whether it's a dream or not stays irrelevant.
It has the same effect as another closet skeleton.

Just one more to add to my collection,
of deep, lost thoughts prepared for resurrection.
You can add a clock to that list of broken objects.
Or you might as well, it's distinct lack of logic.
Time runs freely and drips as it sees fit,
like a broken tap, add that as well please.
It's about as much use as making sense of chaos.
So many dead thoughts all gather round and have a séance.
And join hands up with my split personality.
Me, myself and my lack of rationality.

The back walls, just one patch of missing plaster,
a small part still intact, but that was about the last of it.
The rest fell away when I was counting the minutes.
I had to save space with deeper cuts to begin with.
With indents representing hours and days,
with my ragged nails, the last patch I pulled away.
And it came away with a lot more force than the others.
This time it wasn't bricks but a hole that i'd discovered.
The room had decided it was time it was uncovered,
as I reached in and felt a cold metallic object.
I turned it in my hand and felt the grooves and notches.
It held far more weight in my grasp than i'd imagined.
It's intention to grant my escape became apparant.
A key of tarnished brass as it finally happened.

Flash forward six minutes, the door open.
Light infinite sinking through the carpeted floor.
Carnival music making me sick to my stomach,
I hold a cup held once before, and sip from it.
Lips to the porcelain, heart beating morse code.
More so than a dot to dot dash coffee gives me a sore throat.
We meet again, not the first nor last time;
around the thrice if i'm being precise.
I've not been quite up to speed these last nights,
with no concrete way to be able to perceive passing time.
As allowed by my vague mind and suddenly,
I'm dropped backed down the chute of reality, in Half-Time,
and what happens?