D. SHALLOW What is a myth for the young people meant to enslave them to
something or someone who will
detain them from a more perfect thing just out of reach for the old, sick,
strange and weak is a gift.
EAGLE ROCK Young dumb and full of cum, this'll be your anthem: a set of
shaking strings tethered to a fly.
If you survive to be a daddy this'll be a lullaby too for your handsome boy
t-t-t-tacked up with pins. Down in the
Mole Hole or up on Eagle Rock, crushed like a nut or saved by dumb luck no no
no no was not my fate oh me oh
my I just got stuck: spent and spun out in a rut like a mean old buck.
THE DUTCH FIST ( Some lyric by Chad Bidwell) Inching forward single file,
immune to the malaria mosquito
haze on the deck of the slaver. One more time you strain your neck for one
last glimpse of your young, fine wife
tied ankle to ankle boarding a different ship. Fast forward 200 years: the
Dutch Fist has adjusted its grip. The bank
branch fat manager's bosses are using credit like they used to use a whip
(they'll take your name and make you pay for it).
NIGHT AT THE KNIGHT SCHOOL At the night school, night school you doodle and
you draw anything, anything
except what you're taught. You got a bad tooth, bad tooth so you clench your
jaw and you concentrate, concentrate on
the aching cause it keeps you awake. Forecasters of disasters show proofs
that show they're right, but you can block
out anything counting every blink of each florescent light in every class on
every single last night (that's right that's right).
And when the tooth breaks, tooth breaks you can bite down on your tongue and
keep a tight smile, tight smile stitched
across on your practiced face like it's all stupidly, stupidly right, but
when you take down your notes each night write
lightly then go back and erase what they say because they say forecasters of
disasters want proof that they were right.
They'd love to see you learn but they'll have to wait for a long, long time.
You can outlast anything, you'll count every
blink of each florescent light in every class on every single last night at
the night school, at the night school.
PROUD TURKEYS Counting your blessings as they hatch and grow you'll start to
feel uncomfortable as each one
takes off far away with small wings and heavy. Proud turkeys with the gift of
flight!! And you were right, they drop like
an anvil out of a wagon in the grasses climbing through foggy passes on
soaking wings and get caught up with wolves
and young, hot foxes and do Jesus Christ who knows what sorts of things. You
read them stories from the Book of Bad
Breaks every night when they were sleeping safe inside their eggs hoping to
impart at least a premonition about the dangers
they'd face. But barely two, they're lost to you now: proud turkeys with the
gift of flight. Big-breasted babies, way unsteady,
really heavy and not too bright.
FLY PAPER I'm going to steer clear of everyone. I am no near deer, queer for
anyone. Flitty me flies high above connections
because the fly that was dried in the glue, yes he made one. And if I as a
crow see some pizza foil on a trash heap and the sun
glints off its silver skin so it leaps just like a fish and I react like a
seagull I'll still pull out in mid-dive in case it's a trap set
by rats...I know, I know, that's just how I am (do do do) It's trouble up,
trouble down: I've steered myself so clear of
everything if I was a black bear I'd hibernate all through the year. But I'm
from a race that kept on lapping me so long the
crowd went home and left me limping around the track watching my rear view
mirror. And things look so much better after
they have passed me by. I feel like Charlie Heston riding on a horse on the
beach but I'd rather be an ape if it helps me take the
last fruit off of the very last tree 'cause it's out of my reach (do do do do
OH YES, ANOTHER MOTHER Mother you were first upon the beach you stormed the
wake boards and the free bar at
Normandy where they shot at Grandpa's head while he screamed if I ever get
out of this I will be a good book salesmen and
when he did he kept his promise gratefully he lived died serving money and
making his family and he wanted you to do
the same but times change you serve yourself, you serve yourself. But Mother,
Mother I am becoming another family. I kept
some of your strange advice -- and let the bad drift right up out of sight.
Out of my atmosphere before it choked me and killed
me like your servant did to you on your vacation when your too-late
reformation left you bronzed for dead by the pool in the
April heat in a spring setting records every second 'til you grilled like
meat and I helped myself (but everything that came after
that was another mother).
THE WHITE MASK Passed out at noon you woke up in a waiting room full of
blurry magazines. You tried to focus and
read but you were excited to meet your maker. The room slowly emptied of
blurry, blank faces until you at last heard them
call out your name. But when they showed you in you didn't meet your maker
just a group like you holding short straws and
then the office fell into the hold of a galley boat where a black sand man
flicked on a Bick while you rowed. His click click
ticked on with no tock to the beak of a feeding chicken who was pecking out a
beat with his beak on the bottom of his cage at a
pace you were sticking to until through storms of feathers you arrived at a
coast on the edge of night where with his one
remaining flame the black man took your oars, set them on fire, and left you
there with your makeshift torches saying wait
just a little more and soon you'll see your maker in the flickering light,
but after a while your torches died and it was pitch,
coal, tar black so when the so when the White Mask (when it came at last) it
was out of sight
MO DEEPER What is a myth for the young meant to enslave them to something or
someone who will detain them from a
more perfect thing just out of reach for the old, sick, strange and weak is a
MORE DEEP CUTS
POST-PRESENT Let's not go out. Let's not stay up late. Let's not go out.
Let's not celebrate.
'Cause there is no time left in tonight: Tomorrow is already here...
PRE-PRESENT The present in your lap has already been unwrapped, opened, and
used, many times before
you. And so it goes that knowing where it's been makes you worry that it's
been tampered with. Has it gone bad?
Open it and see: Maybe it's filled to the brim with magic pennies! Each time
the present is received there are more! They'll
roll all over the floor, out to the street and give themselves away to
everyone they meet!
FRESHMAN THESIS Before I spoke in riddles, I was worried someone would hear
me. Now I know that no one really
listens so I will just speak clearly. I don't have private thoughts, just a
lyrical worksheet for mangling my observations
on the meter and the beat. And in the process of it, on every line, sooner or
later I'll have to change the meaning to fit the
rhyme. But back in the skylight all of the stars turn into sound and though
they are far away they shout so loudly I think I
may know exactly what they're saying to me. It's on the tip of my ear; it's
almost palpable! I have to listen closely and get my
mind around it! And when I understand it I'll just transcribe it. This time
when I write it down I'll do it faithfully. I won't
try to rhyme it.
AVE GRAVE In the beginning we rounded them up, all of the traitors to luck.
And then we killed them and put all their bodies
into one massive grave. As they approached where they'd spend their tomorrows
they never asked us a thing. When you give in
to the mercy of time you don't try to survive, you just try to get by on
whatever it brings. (corpses ascend) When we came back
to throw lie on the corpses there were no corpses there. All of the Trevors
and Patricks and Davids were set to float away. We were
not angry, we weren't disappointed, we were just doing our jobs. We barely
missed them by a dangling hair. Up past fingertips into
the air -- as they rose up their look was reserved.
CLOISTERPHOBIA Bang, bang your drum. Though your bed is unmade you can bang,
bang away. There's nobody to stop you now.
Take a plane. Return home to the place you first saw her. From the sky it's
off-white little hills like bags of cocaine. When you arrive
drive the five blocks to her former home. Take her shoes out of your suitcase
and put them on. Place your hat cockeyed upon your
balding head, and then dance a little dance to celebrate.
2 AM When it begins, sound rushes in and drowns out everything. Sideways in
bed you cover your ears -- the roar is deafening.
When it won't quit you stagger up and into the hall, but out there it's
louder... somebody's party? You start to yell: "Hey,
buddy, hey! Hey, buddy, please! Would you quiet down? You're killing me! It's
2 AM, I need to sleep!" But the sound keeps
going, 'til the walls are shaking, and no one answers though you keep running
around and banging on doors. And it seems strange
there's no one home. You start to wonder, "Who's making that noise if
I'm up here all alone?" But then the pitch hits and you stop caring.
What was piercing is now controlled. And there's no who and no why. There's
no conflict. You breathe it out and let it go. You start a
song: And when you sing the sound is gone! And when you sing the lights come
on! And then the doors all open wide! And then the
whole hall staggers out and sings along! You rub your eyes...they come
closer... it's a party?
WALK OF SHAME We don't wanna learn what our hearts can't hold, but I know you
know and you know I know: The time has come to
return alone. We'll be empty handed, and once again left to ourselves and our
strange beliefs...but you can't believe if you have no hope.
Can we change these frequencies? Can we trade them in for dreams? Can we stay
asleep for them? And Lucifer if we say please can we
keep them? But outside the cabin there's rain on the lake and one mind
wanders while the other stays. And though what's said is harder
done, it's almost time to return to one. But can we change these frequencies?
Can we trade them in for dreams? Can we stay asleep for
them? And lucifer if we say please can we keep them?
ASK ME ABOUT JON STROSS I take my seat as the scenery flickers on an exercise
tape for the waking dawn. First go the trees
changing grey to green behind the wires and then the sun comes up on a field
full of tires. I felt two things at once when I heard the news:
I felt upset but I was also confused. How did you see your way free to do
what you did? I guess I still thought of you as that happy kid.
But outside the scenery is getting better. Who can be sad with all this space
and time passing by? I'm on my way to the funeral of you,
my childhood brother and all I can do is look out the window and smile.
HOUSE BREAK The guns underneath the fake floor point to the rafters. Walking
on the wood beams you place your feet carefully,
each one gently. You woke up in a strange house with something hidden in a
safe place, but no way to find it. Certain kinds of anxious
dreams are incomplete: they lack a key you only get when you go back to
sleep. The long distance shots fired over your head tell you
it's time to retrace your steps and go back to bed. If you stay awake in this
dream, in this dream you're going to die: So say goodnight
or say goodbye.
MONKEY VS SHARK EP
MONKEY VERSUS SHARK washing my feet in the shower I slipped and let out a cry
the sound that came out didn't sound like an
animal of any kind I'm losing focus on the things that make me special the
last time I ever peed my bed I threw the sheets out of the
window and looked down at the creepy sheets blowing away down the creepy
street there are four fat folders with the state labeled
with my name one is me and three are not but all read the same I'm losing
focus on the things that make me me (me me) but back
when I knew what I was exactly on creepy sheets in the dark I was the monkey
and you were the shark a circling fin beside my bed
while I stretched out over the edge to brush your skin as you came close with
the bottoms of my feet a special touch from me to you
PHINEAS BOGG you took your life to relive it -- to be born again right at
birth -- to be reformed from the violence but now it's
worse. your parents feed you through the grating. outside you hear goblins
laughing. you lie stalk still as their hands reach inside
and when the grate is shut you rise, approach the door, and grab a bite. it
is your right to try for a piece of mind any time you can.
it is your right to take your life and be reborn again as many times as you
can stand. 'til cold food for the blind turns into bright white
light and you can feel your tiny hands are glowing. it is your right to try
DUTCH SLAVER what could be true does not interest you at all as if you knew
every new fact obscures the truth a mad orange slave
on a tour boat at dawn squinting your eyes and counting waves but shot back
from traveling on a shuttle bus full of queasiness headed
home and hurtling forward towards a certain doom as the rain on the
windshield streaks down the glass you notice a fissure, a glinting
gold splinter then a sickening crack as your neck snaps and takes you back to
a different Dutch slaver passing curving cliffs at dawn with
grandpa's fat wraith directing you onward while his insect lieutenants hack
limbs off with their swords you squint your eyes and count
DEADBEAT WATER (Lyric By Benj Vardigan) know how the sprinkler makes great
arcs low and up again? like a curbside ode tracing
the trim wet lawns to the sewers and drains to the rivers and lakes to
evaporate and return as rain? we barreled a car across the state wore out
our tapes halted on salted roads between receding lakes the wind clipped
through the reeds the alternator shot the dashboard light shut off the
car was dark we began to freeze we drummed our hands on our knees a tuneless
tone marked for home came through rhythm free
A HISTORY OF SPORT FISHING
WHERE R U NOW? Stuck between the daylight hours was a place that was ours and
we confused us with it just enough to make it fit. The
MC5 played "Stayin' Alive" in a basement room on Geddes Drive. But
we had short hair and we couldn't compare to a love we knew was
never there. Oh, it's the people you choose to leave who you'll see all the
THE 8TH RING OF HELL I'd sit on my hands if it would do any good because what
I do is not what I should. I always say that I'm a stand-up
guy, which implies that I can walk as well. The eighth ring of hell is full
of flatterers and panders -- I'm one or both, but it hardly matters because
when I leave I'm going to set fire to a terrible sky that from far away will
light up the walls of your new kitchen while you're busy knitting and
forgetting. And now it's time to say so long but I'm not sure I'm saying
goodbye. I still want to try! I miss your hands and your little feet! But
several times I've been driven to cheat upon you and that's more than enough.
There's just one thing to do...
A HISTORY OF SPORT FISHING Now that I care enough to be more into you than
you're into me I have to work every day like you did on
me to get me to stay. And if I knew what I know now I'm not so sure I'd be
around working on you every day like you did on me to get me to stay.
BALLAD OF DOUGLAS CHIN Oh sleeping in the trees -- traveling light, an unseen
breeze, I never really thought I'd get caught in that quad,
but I was wrong. Oh I wanna get well and find a skill that I can sell, but no
one buys what I made to give away. Trapped in the city -- no sleep
no more -- Just stay up yelling at pimps and whores. And what for? Is this
art or war? Who made the part of my brain that makes music feel like
pain? "Go to bed, whiteass!" "Get STRAIGHT, get a job!!"
"Are you crazy?! What's your problem?!" "Are you lazy?"
"Disrespect ME, you
gotta PAY me!!"
I DO SO HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR Following me out of the city dump past the
birds east of St. Claire. I make one mile and you cancel it
out. It hurts me to know that you're still around. I'm a long distance runner
with world record splits but I don't know how long I can keep up like this.
Please remember that I never said if you hung in there we'd still be friends.
I know that you've got a big heart because it still has space for the hearts
that you tear apart. You left me, dear, but you want it both ways so you keep
calling up with nothing to say except: "Oh now, it's time to try some
But we don't try anymore, not that way...
THE PERFECT MAP Oh my god, are Thou glad? I think we found the perfect map to
the song in your head Before they pronounced you dead.
So keep our hands tightly tied and our mouths open wide. We will sing out all
the time and say nothing and be satisfied. Is it wrong to remind people
having a good time that they're out of your sight and it's showing? In the
cold, in the yard we saw sounds tore apart and we were freaked out by the
a bloody final fight. We were worked up with the fear that you had
disappeared but we found your note at dawn. So this is for the people
songs: We're going back, back, back, back, back, back to the laws! Is it
wrong to remind people having a good time that their groove isn't tight and
THE HORIZON IS A SINGLE POINT I'll sew the stars to the backs of my eyes so
they won't seem so far from my sight. I'll feather my hair and go
out on the town and no one's going to bring me down. I'll harness my hopes to
the first car I see but if it drives by it won't bother me. It's all or
and where I'm bound no one's going to bring me down.