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Lyricist Available / Blog

PARTY CRASHERS

Birds that look like angels that look like children

looking down from endless spiral stairs

& peeking between the legs of dancers. If you answer

questions with questions you’ll never get to sleep again

I can hold up the wall all by myself with one hand in the other a whiskey

Cos I don’t need to remember why I’m doing whatever it is I’m doing, do I?

& you don’t need to remind me that I’m doing whatever it is you’re doing too

Baby, baby, tell me, why so blue?

The table is set but the host has yet

to raise a glass and make a toast. I bet

nobody here knows the rules of the games they play.

They came by yellow taxi & shark-white limo

We followed the scent of blood money,

passed the punks & beggars on the sainted avenues.

I could hold up the wall alright all night if I knew you were on the other side

Swallowed tears in the mouths & blood on the tongues behind clenched teeth

Crushed between day & night we dare not cry & we dare not speak

On moonless nights we told each other stories

to trick ourselves like children off to sleep

Under lucky stars we dreamt of glory

but in the morning dried tears were on our cheeks

copyright 2012

FINE DAYS IN THE UNDERGROUND

Do you still bust the lights out down lover's lane?

Are you still nobody's sweetheart, everybody's shame?

Seventeen years can make a strange boy a girl

Did ten-thousand days make a man of the world?

We met on the skids and we slid down the drain

In a moment of madness the years cannot explain

You were still in ruin over that boy across town

And like the fall of Rome I followed you down

Fine days in the underground

Do you remember what you read in the diary she wrote in?

Although she slapped your hand it was your heart that had stolen

We used to push up the leaves of lust for hours

Then you froze in the heat I picked your midnight flowers, la la lie...

Lately I've been thinking about that obsession

Wondering if I ever really learned my lesson

Are you still hiding in your skin like a grave?

Won't you dig a little deeper cos we've something to save

Fine days in the underground

Fine days in the underground

*this was written many years ago

CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE

She flapped & flapped her useless wings at the edge of Lover's Leap.

He played his bugle for her while the whole town was a sleep.

He took a 9 to 5 washing high-rise windows but couldn't make do.

He got 5 to 10 for robbing a 7-11 or two.

It was about that time sightings of the Virgin were reported in Orleans & Plaquemines

God dressed in drag, ordered bloody marys & was known as Miss Katrina at times.

Meanwhile, in Des Moines, the old barber snips away.

"I used to live in the Big Apple; it's rotten to the core. They say:

The devil is the son of a bitch who owns your debt.

If you don't believe it I'll take your bet.

It's three AM a distant train and a crow's cawing near

You can't get there - can't get there from here.

She pawned everything she owned & some things she didn't.

She drove through red lights laughing, blind drunk & drinkin'

He got a job for life: forever winding the clock chained to his wrist.

He wrote long letters to her daily each sealed with a jail-house kiss.

Old man sits in a chair with the legs always about to give way:

"I used to be bad now I'm just no good."

On the wall of his cell somebody wrote: "feels like there's some fool bird always pecking away at what's left of my heart."

At the end of the day the barber sweeps the hair from the floor,

Unaware that he's sweeping the past into the present & out the door.

"I used to think I was gonna live forever

Now I don’t know if I can make it through the night."

The bugle sounds again for anyone with an ear.

You can't get there - can't get there from here.

copyright 2012-13

THE SKY BELOW

Emily, tell me

All about the growing pall

Upon a hillside

In leaves of grass abide

How we rise and fall?

Mary, go round

Love’s season unbound

Though lost on you & the road you are

With none but fool’s luck

I found my black star

In the sky below. Will she

Come by fall?

Oh, lover, kill me

copyright 2002

MAGNOLIA

There’s someone to tell you lies about now

Turn your heart-sleeves inside out & let the petals fall

From a twisted branch the warbler cries

Old widow laughs & casts an eye

Spring foreshadowed, magnolias bloom

It's bad luck to see the bride too soon

On winter nights we drank the wine

After hours but before its time

A parlor game, a waltz, a kiss

& each love story begins like this

A word with which every other rhymes

How could I’ve misread the signs?

Your ma never told you all she knows about man

Now love has come to play the fool again

Pa pa pa pa pa pa pa….

Young soldier calls, wild rose in hand

Your pa never told you he’s but half a man

Wounded where it doesn't show

The hand inside the glove & as above, so below

Fool for love waiting in the parlor

Mustache, grin, your gentleman caller

A face like a mask unscathed by time

A kiss above the hand in mime

He speaks of fortune & coming war

Heavy boots cross the parquet floor

Dark maid waits behind the door

Pa pa pa, pa pa pa ….

Magnolia tree, Magnolia tree

Why does she drop so many leaves?

copyright 2002-12

THE WIDOW'S BROOM

A world weary widow sweeps out the doorway

Smell gutter leaves, get a rush in the chill

A boy who keeps pigeons leans over the roof

Root, branch and leaf: a suicide in the seed

Every day is spinning wheels, piano scales, digging holes

And all night long someone pacing the floor above

The seasons four but there’s always one more

Ride a clock read a bike drink a paper wind a cup

The soul pushing hard against the bones

Broken glass in the picture frame

You can’t look away from the photograph

Now there's a wall where a window once was

I'm lost & ask a stranger for love

A gust of wind comes up out of the blue

Rains fall, pigeons scatter

I feel an ache from my tooth

down to the sole of my shoe

copyright 2007-12

JEAUX

Listen little bride you can hide your eyes but still be seen

Listen through the open wound that sings life is but a dream

Listen now it whistles like a bird inside a train

Listen hear a stray dog limps & drags a master's chain

Whispers, hushed laughter, secret language, hidden room

That’s our love: a game

copyright 2002-12

THE SHAVING MIRROR DIARIES

I wouldn’t call it love; no, I wouldn’t call it that,

Though I once mistook a burnt out light bulb for a sleeping bat.

Such things cross your mind half awake at the shaving mirror,

But with a razor at your throat, your head gets clearer.

She looks bored, a little sadistic, in a half-conscious store-front pose.

Cocktail dress, fur, bikini; each day is just another change of clothes.

I’m down on Sunset & Vine; I’m playing my part.

LA is for dreamers; don’t you know we invented the heart.

She gives me a Hollywood kiss in the supermart aisle,

As if the whole world were watching her testify at a trial

Of a good man gone wrong, never meant to hurt no one.

& after all, ladies & gents of the jury, 'twas an unloaded gun.

I need distraction from my distractions, oh ya, that’s what I need,

A shaving cut reminder there’s still blood to let. Let it bleed!

copyright 2012

MY DARK CORNERS

Too many corners in this room, she said. Sweep some light in with a broom.

So many corners in your head, she said. Look what’s trapped inside his web!

It gets in your head! It gets inside your head!

Don’t fuck with my head! Do not fuck with my head!

So many ways to play indoor games. Kick your shoes off from the bed. Bite my nails down to my soul Open all our windows underground.

She gets in your head! She gets inside your head!

Don’t fuck with my head! Do not fuck with my head!

I’m writing War & Peace; it’s a book about spiders in top hats & capes dancing at the ball with masked men. Don’t know who I am, don't know at all.

She’s got a thing about spiders. We’re animals driven mad by our wounds. If you can shame it, you can tame it. We’re animals tamed by our wounds.

She's dedicated; she's designated herself my heart's sole mourner.

But who’s gonna love my dark corners?

copyright 2012

SENTIMENTAL RAINCOAT

Keep humming that tune--it’s such a stupid thing--while I zip up the back of your new old dress.

My palms are sweaty! Can you hold my hand? Toss the keys into the fish bowl. Leave the front door open.

Let’s go out & get lost, get drunk on all those little bottles of booze we got from the airlines.

They fit in the hole in the pocket of this rain coat made for two that’s never seen better weather--if you like dismal weather. We do!

Hungry town! Is it worth our time? the time we stole from the time we spent not sleeping …together.

There’s a band playing at the bar tonight; didn’t you date the drummer or was that me?

Someone left a science fiction novel on a bench at the bus stop. Tear the pages out & let them fly away.

Squint my eyes so I can read the street signs because I can’t borrow the glasses you forgot to wear.

You never know where you’re gonna find the time to waste your time on something so useless; it’s so precious! You never know where you’re gonna find the time to waste your time on someone so useless as me.

Ah, we’re oh so hunky dory (not!) Ducking under awnings then back into the downpour.

We’re not thinking; we’re not dreaming, running, streaming through the streets into fields once libertine.

Ah, we’re so drop-dead gorgeous (not!). Orphans mothered by orphans neither sanguine nor cruel.

We’re not waiting; we’re not marching. We’ll do everything we can but leave something left to dream.

copyright 2012

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