Night Circus

Now remastered and available at Bandcamp to stream and download

part one

1. Introduction

2. Dream Landscapes

3. As The Sky Turns To Fire (intro)

4. As The Sky Turns To Fire

5. Audience

6. The Center

7. For Ann

8. Running Water

9. Black Sunsets

10. Cold Sky

11. Erebus

12. I Hold The World For Ransom

part two

1. Night Circus

2. Watcher

3. The Last Ride


Night Circus is concept album. The story concerns the manipulation of reality and eventual destruction of civilization by supernatural forces. (Not the devil or the antichrist, but angry spirits of murdered and lost souls- victims of genocide, wars, intolerance, apathy.) A young man is chosen to act as a focal point for these forces, and invested by them with enough psychic power to cause chaos, disease, and eventually to manipulate electronic systems from a distance in order to cause a nuclear catastrophe. Civilization is almost completely wiped out. The young man is transformed into a sort of wandering supernatural monitor, and when necessary, an exterminator . He is sent to places where humanity has survived, and if these places are full of violence and chaos, he is ordered to wipe them out. He has become immortal and is doomed to wander and destroy, forever.



Original Cassette cover art




All songs/lyrics c 1980-1985, 1987 by Greg Segal. All rights reserved.


Written June 1980- August 1985.

Recorded May 1984- August 1985.

Recording Engineer and producer: Kenny Ryman

Mix engineered and produced by GS, June 1-4, 1987


GS: vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, effects, 4 and 8-string basses, organs (Roland, Hammond and internal), bowed device, drums and percussion.

Kenny Ryman: electric piano, loops, collected sounds, backing vocals (choir), patience.

M. Segal and Marilyn Moon rounded out the choir.

Dedication: To Kenny Ryman, without whom this recording would not have been possible; and to Vincent Crane, who was to the soul of rock music what Poe was to the soul of literature.

They will not be forgotten.


The lyrics and recording information given here may be of particular interest to anyone who managed to tape Night Circus in its entirety off KXLU when it was aired.

Night Circus contains some of my earliest work- including my first poem and second complete song. Subsequently there are things here, especially some of the lyrics, that really reflect the author's age. (These were written primarily between my 16th and 19th years. And before you decide that I couldn't possibly have done good work at that age, check out the art gallery on this site, featuring work done mostly between the ages of 13 and 15.) It is my hope that Night Circus holds up, as a whole, much like some of my favorite low budget horror films might- short on refinement but long on imagination and atmosphere.


illustrations: GS

photos: Marilyn Moon

see more in the NIGHT CIRCUS GALLERY





photo: GS


Droplets of rain on a windshield

Shining like diamonds

in the artificial light of a street lamp

The way the streets look at night

only minutes after rain

The way the shadows fall during a summer sunset

Sunset in an unknown place

The twilight of a dream.....


G.S., 6/15/76




The ghosts of genocides past

Scream their defiance at the world

that stood and watched

They do not die so easy

The unjustly murdered scream for their revenge


I hear them in my nightmares

I see them in the street at dusk

I feel their cold dead fingers on the back of my neck

When the winter winds blow

I taste their blood in my wine

I smell the stench of their long dead shells

Wafting down the winter wind

And screaming.....









All peoples

Leaves of the same tree

Do not die so easy

And they watch NOW


G.S., '83




Here, in this place,

Dream pasts and realities collide with the grey present

And stare in wonder at the possibility of seismic future.


Walls black with yesterday's visions

Rooms rich with special, personal scents.


Circles forming,

Cycles repeating,


In an endless confusion,

Time through time,

Past through present

To past again.


In one way I have found a center.

In all ways I have found a riddle.

Why I am and what this place is, I don't really know.


And I'm still waiting.


G.S., 6/ /80




The love that's strong in the wake of disaster

Soon fades in the warm light of morning

The beauty disappears and the mind clears

Lines get harsh

And people get ugly once more.


I saw your face before what we thought would be oblivion.

Futuristic, Apocalyptic,

The background holds meaning.

And as we waited for the final flash

Ugly selfishness vanished and we loved each other,

Clung close, waiting for the flash:

But it never came.


We drifted apart

And you grew uglier,

And I decayed from the inside out.

We wandered with each other for a while,


Roaming the morning city:



utterly doomed.


Then we saw the doctors,

you wouldn't tell me what was wrong neither would they;

you seemed to hate me Why is my old friend here

why are you foaming at the mouth and convulsing, him too

The doctors glare at me they pull you both

forcefully into

the inner office door

Never to return?

Adrenaline surging I stumble swiftly down the

plush gold carpet staircase thin walls


As I walk along the city street,

Trying to find my way home and thinking I remember it,

I pass an office building another old friend of mine,

A teacher (nice lady, fond memories) is working at.

It seems like another hospital waiting room.

I rest my elbows on the counter.

She's glad to see me,

but sniffling a lot and her eyes water.

She's got some kind of bug that's going around.

Says everyone else does too.


G.S., 6/ /80




He of the sea-rat's beard

Eagle eye and scale claw

Testimony of a farewell to men

Anchors away boy, anchors away.


Dark sea night and brine green tide

Vampire running water's bride

Carnival Ferris wheel lights the way,

Lights the way.


Her white dress wet with sea-tears shines,

Blows pale and cotton in the moonlight;

Running water bars the way,

Shocks and convulses with cascade of change.


Their love on dust of dead time dines,

Grows long in shadows on floors of night.

Fading by the light of day...white lite repulses...

vanish into smoke

And oblivion unknown


Until the night returns

With longing, and tears,

And visions of a loved one,

Far away.


See the water run,


Rearranging grains of sand,

Never bringing in the tide.


Her white dress wet with sea-tears shines,

Blows pale and cotton after midnight;

The sea-rat groans and shakes

As cursed warmth flows from his eyes.


The ocean winds blow cold

And ripple time across the moonlit waves;

These lost from times of old

Are only new ones born in modern graves;


A union killed by circumstance,

The sea-rat and the sailor's daughter;

Two vampires trapped on distant shores

Share only tears


And running water.


G.S., '83






photo: GS, from 2 superimposed photos by Ken Zelinka


In my mind I see

Black sunsets

Falling on the fields


In my mind I see


And dream cities of everlasting night.


In my mind I see

Scattered starfire

Blazing distantly in the twilight sky.


In my heart I feel

The loneliness of death

And the nights that lie beyond.


In my mind I see

Bright visions of darkness

That dwells within my very soul

Consuming darkness

Inhabiting my origin,

Devouring me whole.


I feel as if I'm turning into everything I hate.

I will not accept this monstrosity

and take it as my fate.

I'm getting what I always wanted,

But the darkness is undaunted;

I'm so busy fighting to keep my mind in one piece

That what I once sought for comfort

is no longer a release.


I tried to believe I'd been making something

out of nothing,

Creating monsters out of thin air;


But they continue to haunt me

And flaunt me as a symbol of their power:

"Once his own, now he is ours".

Playing games within the context of time,

They continue to program and re-arrange my mind,

Until I've become the horrors I once dreamt of.

They play with my destiny,

Try to re-route the path I've chosen to take in life;

I seek freedom from hatred, competition and strife,

Incredible beauty and sanity and order.


I live insecure, for I live on the border

Between this world and the next

In the land where every nightmare comes true.

Watch well where you wander, for next time

It may be you.


In my mind I see black sunsets

Falling on the fields;

In my mind I see eternities

And dream cities of everlasting night;

In my mind I see scattered starfire

Blazing distantly in the twilight sky;

In my heart I feel the loneliness of death

And the nights that lie beyond.


G.S. 6/3/81






In urban chaos

We hide in the shadows

Wasted lives stretch behind us

We hide in the streets


Traveling sideshow

The black hound watches

From the carnival grounds

As dusk falls


The rabid and the lonely

For what do we thirst

Perhaps for the void

We knew before birth


Beneath the cold sky

No trace of warmth left

Wonder why

Maybe it was never there


Alleys of cold rest

Newspaper bedsheets

The insane and the outcasts

Sleep where they can


Beware of the lone ones

For we are the deadly

Unloved for too long

We wait for our dance


Show us your bad side

We'll show you your graveside

Show us your love

And you might have a chance


But beneath the cold sky

No trace of warmth left

Wonder why

Maybe it was never there 


Joined forces and built our power

Almost ten years time ago

Roamed the land to find disciples

Pulled from gutters, broken homes

No one knows just where he came from

Sent to lead this ragged band

The carnival is just a cover

A refuge for the legions of the damned


Churchgoers praying

Fill the indifference

With meaningless insights

Of word and sound


Praying for something

To make life worthwhile

Praying for peace

But no answer comes


Still the world spirals

Continues the pain

Apathy rising

Who cares why


Out in the cold sky

No trace of warmth left

Wonder why

Maybe it was never there


G.S., mid-December, '83




A rolling of tympanies

From out of the darkness

Flashes from the outer realms

Reveal the prince of Erebus

Royalty of the dark

Silent night

Lay claim to the rotting grandeur

Born in the new day of timeless light

Proof of ignorance

Unnatural wastelands, unasked for but paid for

In full, down the line

Don't ask by who, it's been buried


In the dark gray morning

A bell sounds

As the prince of Erebus is revealed

Not as foe but as avenger

A reminder of the days before

A clown in a suit of darkness

The darkness beyond the door

He who has kept the score

And keeps a lone vigil on a silent midnight hill


  G.S., '83





I hold the world for ransom

Within my brain lies great cataclysm

For universes lie hidden in the brain cells

And a single mind could burn this universe out.


I hear your wretched minds screaming non-stop

And if you don't shut up then the bombs will drop

Look me in the eyes

As my mind sets the world on fire

Burning in my heart is an everlasting funeral pyre


Your ignorance and hatred towards me

just feed the flames

You can't hurt me anymore,

not one of you, I know your games

Call me a freak


Call me a liar


And I will laugh when your world is on fire.


I hold the world for ransom- leave me alone or die

I hold the world for ransom- leave me alone I cry

I hold the world for ransom- leave me alone or die

I hold the world for ransom.


G.S., 8/15/81



illustration: GS, early '82? oil pastel


Flying over twisted concrete

Drifting through the night's blue mist

Standing by the gates of midnight

Rainswept streets that hold death's kiss


Torn from dreams, this barren landscape

Mutant saviors roam the night

Flesh and blood and energy

Plagued with guilt, minds numbed with fright


The Night Circus has come to town

They want your life and soul

The Night Circus, nowhere to hide

They want to devour you whole


Old bad dreams are new bad reality

Old bad dreams are new bad reality


I have wandered here while dreaming

Feeling changed when I awoke

Flaming sunsets, barren midnights

Drifting through the blacklight smoke


Dead nights carry a strange freedom

Awe inspiring, fill the soul

Search the night for Eldorado

Find instead a gaping hole


The Night Circus has come to town

They want your life and soul

The Night Circus, nowhere to hide

They want to devour you whole


They're going to devour you whole


G.S., 8/12/80



Time goes on

Great cities fall

Decay falls over all

The world a shade of gray

The transients now hold sway


"Traveling through dark dimensions

Racing through the timeless night

Slowing down to one world only

City is within my sight....."


Time is gone

Great cities rust

Tall towers thick with dust

The weeds have overgrown

Now anywhere is home


"City is a barren wasteland

Echoing with empty halls

No one waits for my arrival

Nothing seems alive at all....."


The curtain crumbled in her hand as she pulled it aside.

Gray light shot in through the broken panes.

Down at the end of the empty street stood a man in black.

Their eyes met.

She ran.


Through endless corridors of murky gray.....

Sound began to reach her ears.....

She was approaching the center of the tower.

Open doors filled with leering faceless hoards

beckoned her to join the fun.....

The screams got closer.....

The corridor ended, followed by the floor.


She stopped at the edge and looked four floors down

At the swirling mass of filth encrusted humanity

that remained.

They crawled on each other like crabs in a bucket.

But they sought no escape. They liked it here.


She made her way to the remains of the staircase,

Which hung in crooked tatters from the edge of the floor.

In many places, no stairs remained;

In other places, the stairs were blocked off

by walls of garbage,

Packed so tight against the ceiling

that they had to be crawled under.


At last she reached the lobby.

She stepped over two transients

screwing on the floor in front of the staircase

and edged her way around the rest of them.

The screams down here were deafening.

Unable to stand them,

She ran for the lobby doors,

Tripping over a transient

who had been cut to death with a razor.

She stared into his passive, lifeless eyes.

Realizing she was acting foolishly, she got up

And walked safely into the stale night air.

She was safe.


Time is gone

Great cities rust

Tall towers thick with dust

And to this deadly hive

A watcher now arrives

His reasons unknown.

A Watcher. Born alone.


She meets him, they walk together...

She asks him where he came from...

Turns his head and smiles (but briefly)...

Says, "Somewhere out on the dawn".


And they walked far into the night.


She showed him the abandoned theater,

Where once great plays were performed,

And music rang out into the waiting ears of the audience.

They entered.


Garbage and debris filled the stage

Where once watchers spoke to their kind

And all the statements of current condition

And all the truth left in human relations

What emotion was left at the hour of the fall

Lay in the dust of the abandoned hall.


"Ain't it neat?", she asked him.


He held her, and sensing just what it was she liked,

He threw her to the floor.


They made lust on the empty stage

Their cries like the music, so long ago.


"Take me with you", she sighed to him gently.

"Take me somewhere where I can belong.

I don't know what I'm doing here, really.

Somehow even reality's wrong."


He looked down at her and chose to feel something.....

Things inside...dead for thousands of years.

He looked longer and saw she was crying

So he held her head and wiped off her tears.


"You've got to see the place I'm staying in.

If you could see it then you'd know why I cry.

You've got to take me out, get me away!

If I stay there too long, I'm going to die."


And so he told her that he would take her

She wouldn't know that it could never come true

He hadn't let her know just what he was

And he still wasn't sure what he had come there to do.


They slowly walked towards the doors

Which had been broken so long ago

When from somewhere a gang appeared

And blocked the way in grim tableau.



"What we got here?"

"Don't know. Looks like fun."

"Hey, what you doin' round here anyway?"

"We're gonna poke out your eyes and skullfuck you, bitch!"

"No, no, man. She gotta see what we do to him first!"


The Watcher spoke.

"Do yourselves a favor. Leave."


The gang laughed and advanced on the couple.

She wanted to run, but he waited, and watched.

Just a few of his thoughts in a few of their minds

And they turned on each other,

killing just their own kind.

Switchblades, hammers and hacksaws

Metal met flesh and bare bone.


He turned from the gore, which was part of his job

So long ago he had learned not to feel.

She fell on the floor and laughed at the mob.

So long ago he'd learned nothing was real.


"What makes you laugh?" he wondered aloud.

She rolled in the blood that flooded the aisle.

"Cocksuckers!" she howled, "It serves them right!"

Her laughter gave way to a jubilant smile.


He saw what she was and couldn't help but feel sorry;

Her lunatic world had left its mark.

Children raised in disease cannot help but be sickly;

Children raised in the night learn to live in the dark.


Suddenly, a voice in his head cried


(His orders, coming through at last.)

A thousand times the voice had screamed

A thousand cities burned to ash.






"Listen to me", he said to her,

"I've just discovered why I'm here."

She looked up from the brains and blood

and suddenly she tasted fear.

Something about him had changed.

She looked into his eyes and saw

the end of everything she'd ever known.


He turned from her and walked out into the night.

She didn't follow.


She heard explosions, screams,

sounds unlike anything she'd ever heard.

Years without fear caught up to her

and she lived them all in one night.


When the first rays of light

appeared through the broken doors,

She cautiously exited the theater.

Everything was gone.

No buildings.

No people.

Barren ground stretched onward into the horizon.


The Watcher appeared behind her.


"I thought I owed you an explanation", he said.

"I'm a Watcher; I'm part of you.

I'm not different. I'm in everything you do.

Your own people called me.

I'm their death wish personified.

I'm also your fear; and these must be gratified.

I'm the witness to every society's fall;

I must see all the things that revolt and appall.

Doomed to wander, always out on call;

For I inhabit the vision of all.

Nothing hides from me, nothing is safe

Though you have your illusion of privacy.

All wishes are granted by yourselves, not by fate;

You know all there is, but you don't choose to see."


"Elsewhere on this planet are inhabited places.

Walk east until you find a town

Where you can wear some other faces;

It's there that you can settle down.

Your life is forever your decision.



She reached out to touch him but found the air instead.


She and the theater stood alone.


The Watcher was gone.



And the Watcher still waits

Somewhere out on the dawn

A ubiquitous, timeless, drifting pawn

Still watching those who refuse to see

That their actions reveal their destinies.


To the lone surveyors of distant sights

To the wandering transients, out on the night

To the lost and the fallen

Those deceased and unknown

To those who serve neither the black or white thrones

To the killers repentant, denied of release

To those born out of time

Denied of the feast


The Game will continue

Forever and on

The Watcher still waits

Somewhere out on the dawn.


G.S., '81-'83

 illustration: GS, 12/31/80 oil pastel. Photo: Ken Zelinka, fall 1980.



As the misty curtains of sleep dissolve

And yield to some autumnal morning,

The dreams that passed before

Will stay with you as a kind of warning.


The remembrance of eternal nights of emptiness

Now haunts your days

The feel of death is in your soul

It cannot leave

It will always stay.


For those who've glimpsed some other world

Through dreams or visions or genocide

There still remains a lifetime's wait

Before the last and final ride.


G.S., '81