Listen Up

Give me a perpetual rainbow
Give me perpetual sun
‘cause I’ve been far too long in the shadows
and I’m ready to come undone.
Sought your face out in the hollows
Sought your face out under the gun
I don’t believe in water this shallow
And I’m too thirsty to run

So listen up
This is it
I can’t take any more distance
I can give you love
Babe, you know we’re a perfect fit
I don’t mind your jaded head
You know, it keeps me real well fed
Don’t wanna change or trade you up
I want you just like this

I remember you by that waterfall
four years ago today  
You laid your crooked back over the rocks
You saw the possibilities
Well the sky still holds a lot for me
though infinity’s real hard to read
But the boomerang shape of the clouds today
says with you is the best place to be

So listen up
This is it
I can’t take any more distance
I can give you love
Babe, you know we’re a perfect fit
I kinda like your jaded head
You know, it keeps me real well fed
Don’t wanna change or trade you up
I want you just like this

So listen up
This is it
I can’t take any more distance
I can give you love
Babe, you know we’re a perfect fit
I don’t really like your jaded head
You know, it keeps me real well fed
Don’t wanna change or trade you up
I want you just like this

Star


I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried
I do not know where to start
Feels like a dream, seems like a movie scene
And you always play the same part
I’ll hit the ground, play the fool, play the clown
And you keep on playing the star
 
Star…

I think you like things a little bittersweet  
Tragedy has its charm
Maybe you’d like to be swept off your feet
Stepping black and white off some street car.
So I’ll hit the ground, play the fool, play the clown
And you keep on playing the star

Star…

All I can offer’s a camera and stage
But baby, remember my heart
I’m in the wings, in the pit losing face
You got the lead role wherever you are
So I’ll hit the ground, play the fool, play the clown
And you keep on playing the star

Star…

Yellow to Green


Empty packets of tea
Cigarette box cellophane
A rest stop like a million others
We note that this one’s clean
The scream of wheels on bridges
duck under overpasses
we shoot like plasma
through the thick of a vein  
It’s you and it’s me, it’s you and it’s me
Past the point of tallying sheep  
It’s these crazy clocks we keep
They’ve all got A.D.D.
And we day dream of sleep
Yeah, we dream of sleep – Sleep

The lights slip back
Yellow to green
We’re speeding, remaining
kind to memory

The lights slip back
Yellow to green
We bleed on splinters
we use later for kindling

The lights slip back
Yellow to green
We follow our eyes
Past the screen
Shift to fifth
Make it clean
I love the way you crash
though the ceiling

My heart beast hummingbird speed
with your hand on my knee
But I want you more than I need
to exhale, to expel the exhaustion I feel –
It’s cradled between my ears, in my head
neurons jump to implode
I’m already full up, and I don’t need to make sutures
with my teeth
to keep your wounds from waking  
You’ve got tough, tiny scars
and they laugh while you sleep  
Yeah, they laugh while we sleep – Sleep

The lights slip back
Yellow to green
We’re speeding, remaining
kind to memory

The lights slip back
Yellow to green
We bleed on splinters
we use later for kindling

The lights slip back
Yellow to green
We follow our eyes
Past the screen
Shift to fifth
Make it clean
I love the way you crash
though the ceiling

Hot Air Balloon


I’m flying a hot air balloon, I’m crashing through the clouds
Below the pavement buzzes, and the people – they all shout
But up here the air is thin and clean, the landscape’s made of fog
And if you ask me to come down from here, I may not answer you at all
Because my head’s been inside books about the rises and the falls
And if you want my opinion, men always stand too tall, stand too tall

And it’s warm in the sky
I can feel my body rise
I’m getting higher and higher
I’m feeling lighter and lighter
And that soil don’t suit my feet
Because this ride is fueled by fire

I’m flying a hot air balloon, there’s sunbeams in my skin
The shadow of Calliope is bound to do me in
A V of geese is winging by my shoulder, they’re winking
Because the map of all their feathers tells the places I have been
So clip the sandbags from the basket, let the ropes start dangling
Goodbye to all the rooftops and to every busy thing, you busy thing

And it’s warm in the sky
I can feel my body rise
I’m getting higher and higher
I’m feeling lighter and lighter
And that soil don’t suit my feet
Because this ride is fueled by fire

I’m flying a hot air balloon, I’m tonguing fresh ozone
I’m losing sight of the circuit boards, the chess games, and the clones
The atmosphere’s delectable on a Sunday afternoon
Forget work and school and credit cards that keep me in my room
Because the open blue’s inviting me to shed all of my silver rings
Stretch my bare fingers out, let fall the weight of everything, oh everything---

And it’s warm in the sky
I can feel my body rise
I’m getting higher and higher
I’m feeling lighter and lighter
And that soil don’t suit my feet
Because this ride is fueled by fire

Break This Pace


I wanna line it up today
Gotta bring myself to say
that there’s so much here worth fighting for
Can’t let this clutter block my door
The lilies just stopped blooming
The weather sifts right through me
I’ve gotta break this pace
before I lose what I’ve been proving

And I complain about how I’m tired
My eyes are always wired to red trucks
screamin’ down the highway to put out the next fire
I’ve got a timecard and a tip jar,
six alarm clocks cursin’ in unison
I gotta break this pace
before I lose what I’ve been proving

Now I’m staring straight up at the sky and fame
No god to beg or blame
I’m desirous of a life that has no age
I take the trash out in the evenings
Shimmy the tightrope ‘tween drunk and dreaming  
I gotta break this pace
before I lose how I been breathing

There’s a lot of lies to live inside
There are twists and bills and broken ties
I’m lucky when I can write to my own mind
I got a penpal in Virginia
shuckin’ corn and tendin’ tomatoes
I can tell this life’s hard for her
even in the sweet and salt of the summer
She says, Lady, you gotta get away
Lady, you gotta stay.
We gotta hash it all out
before we lose what we’ve been saying.

If there’s one thing universal about these ups and downs, so personal
I think it’s that we crave boredom the moment we’re forced to fight
Maybe it’s Eastern, maybe commonplace
Not resignation but a give and take
The brilliance of a smile before it breaks.

Come On Back

Come on now, little darlin’
It’s time for us to go
Come on back to me now
We’re late for the next show
Come on now, little darlin’
We’re running on fumes
The high that we caught in the hills
might just pull us through

Close your eyes and put
your finger on that globe
Wherever it stops a spinnin’
that’s where we will go
And if it’s some place
that they don’t like Americans
we’ll put on a northern accent
and we’ll tell ‘em we’re Canadians

Come on now, little darlin’
It’s time for us to go
Come on back to me now
We’re late for the next show
Come on now, little darlin’
We’re running on fumes
The high that we caught in the hills
might just pull us through

Every wasted minute
with which we start
somehow becomes two
by the time we park that car
I often wonder
if you fully understand
the precious cards you’re holding
in your hand

Come on now, little darlin’
It’s time for us to go
Come on back to me now
We’re late for the next show
Come on now, little darlin’
We’re running on fumes
The high that we caught in the hills
might just pull us through

What do you want
to talk about today?
The government, UFOs
or the price of gasoline?
If I was gambler
I’d know which horse to choose
And if I was a rambler
I’d wanna ramble on with you

Come on now, little darlin’
It’s time for us to go
Come on back to me now
We’re late for the next show
Come on now, little darlin’
We’re running on fumes
The high that we caught in the hills
might just pull us through

Come on now, Come on now, Come on now little darlin’
Come on now, Come on now, Come on now little darlin’

Cannibals Are Carpooling


Wonder who he loved  
Did they have some kids?
Is this all that’s left of John?
Some obtrusive need
This is his job
This is John

Cannibals are carpooling
He stands in the median, shoulders slumped
Don’t look to the eyes of passersby
He don’t even hold a sign

Light rail dings, soiled jeans
Sacramento heat
Rugby shirt, a tinted breach
Warmth by the time card
Assembly line
This is his job
This is John

Cannibals are carpooling
He stands in the median, shoulders slumped
Don’t look to the eyes of passersby
He don’t even hold a sign

Is this resignation?
A designation of a man who gave up
Is this resignation?
A designation for a man to wake up
Hesitation ‘fore he tosses life up
‘cause who says that anybody really wants to hold a sign?

I am from a small town
Been warned about animals
City dictates
Offices, wife and kids
John’s got no blessings
This is his job this is John

Cannibals are carpooling
He stands in the median, shoulders slumped
Don’t look to the eyes of passersby
He don’t even hold a sign

Your Worst Memory


I’m your worst memory
I’m the gray inside your silver lining
I’m a puppet on two strings
Cut one loose and watch me hang
Call me up, fill my cup
Hit redial just to hang up

I don’t mean to be so bad
History repeats but I ain’t mad
Hated you for his fuck-ups
Played hopscotch to the tune of love

If you remember my taste
let yourself run fast away
You never took tea in haste
Cracked your saucer by mistake
Wrapped your hair around a rusty spool
Knit a scarf – I wear it like a noose

I don’t mean to be so bad
History repeats but I ain’t mad
Hated you for his fuck-ups
Played hopscotch to the tune of love

Traveled the world in a plastic bag
I could still breathe – I could run in fact
Your appetite: my vice.  Your vice was my lie
Bull bucks in a mirror, he’ll probably die
Ouroborous was my kid bro 
I taught him everything he knows

I don’t mean to be so bad
History repeats but I ain’t mad
Hated you for his fuck-ups
Played hopscotch to the tune of love

Bright Blue Blood

So this is where is brought me
This is where I am
Two feet in the sand and miles of vapor above
Shifting, composing a bodiless kind of love

I watch kids laughing, slapping feet against the waves
I remember a time I didn’t have try so hard to know my face
So I have moved and I have changed, I harbor regrets
There were times I should have stayed
But I am whole, I stand and sit, and I am parted
But still so much a part of this.

I’m not about to signal or accept defeat
When your handle keeps on slipping, and it’s hard to breathe
The airwaves stay congested – man, they’re choking me
The highways are still open
When your landscape isn’t broke
The horizon isn’t silent
If you don’t condition violence
Reel this island back from the sea
Yes, we can  

There’s bright blue blood coursing through my veins
I’ve sectored myself off and yet I am still the same
The nursery rhymes we heard were victorious once
But I don’t want to die inside them
The scope’s too wide, I’m not done

The black market is dancing waltzes out in the street
Can sell yourself for nickels just to stay on the beat
Bifocals, telescopes can’t teach you how to read
The stars won’t stay aligned with market astrology

I’m not about to signal or accept defeat
When your handle keeps on slipping, and it’s hard to breathe
The airwaves stay congested – man, they’re choking me
The highways are still open
When your landscape isn’t broke
The horizon isn’t silent
If you don’t condition violence
Reel this island back from the sea
Yes, we can

We're Fine

So the world settles in another night –
the mechanics of breathing, the give and take of light,
the crickets, the dog and you
settle into the rhythm and keep such perfect time.

My grandma slipped inside while I was singing
in some pub around the corner form her house –
I’ve got a photo of her hand tucked in mine,
but the bones that could hold had already lost their fight,
and now she’s fine
She’s fine
She’s fine
So fine

And I wonder if we’ll ever set the clocks right,
if we’ll have quarters for the meters or turn off all the lights.
We’ve been seizing the engines, never leaving breadcrumbs behind.
My ma says, Jesus, girl, you’re busy – are you sure it’s alright?
and I say, It’s fine
It’s fine
I’m fine
Ma, I’m fine

I help you clear the shelves of stories you couldn’t buy,
dried goods beside match boxes, shortcomings all in a line.
We’ll load ‘em in the truck, and we’ll toss ‘em down the gorge.
Memories with sharp edges won’t be carpeting this floor,
because we’re fine
We’re fine
We’re fine
We’re fine…

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