Hopening (2012)

She took me from canyon to ‘copter
Somewhere between here and forever
I dropped her
I sat on the edge of my seat
To see if she’d land on her feet

She was all of a girl
And I was all of a boy
I was her tool
She was my toy
I never stopped loving her
But I let her go
The oldest story ever told

Quick as a shadow
Final as a sigh
I buried her deep in my mind
She’s always a memory away
But I’m always a memory behind

At a roadside attraction
Somewhere in Georgia
A state trooper saw the whole thing
But ignored it
I gave the attendant a drink from my flask
He said “if you wanted privacy,
Hell, you could’ve asked”

Then we were back on the road
To places unknown
They don’t make a map
For nowhere to go
I never stopped loving her
But one thing I know
The best thing I ever did
Was to let her go

She shattered the darkness
Like a prism breaks light
I buried her deep in my mind
She’s only a memory away
But I’m always a memory behind

She took me from canyon to ‘copter
Somewhere between here and forever
I dropped her
I sat on the edge of my seat
To see if she’d land on her feet

I hear the sound of the same old horses
Dull thud of their worn out shoes
Singing songs and naming their sources
If you’re in the way you better move

I found a pot of fool’s gold
Now there’s a price upon my soul
Too bad they don’t take pain for tender
That’s the only compensation I can render

It’s the sound of the hard times beat
The bitter blues of the bad news streets

You don’t exist, you make no sound
The flashing lights all come around
The world above is a zombie town
Another night in the underground
The clock is all too tightly wound
Time is hanging upside down
Another night in the underground

Now the news reruns
They’re buying bigger guns
Nice guys by firesides eager to experiment
From Dr. Frankenstein to Mr. President

It’s the sound of the hard times beat
The bitter blues of the bad news streets

You don’t exist, you make no sound
The flashing lights all come around
The world above is a zombie town
Another night in the underground
The clock is all too tightly wound
Time is hanging upside down
Another night in the underground

Sometimes
When I’m a million miles away
Feeling old and tired
With not a lot to say
I dream that I can change the world
But it’s the world that’s changing me

I’m not looking for a flower to pick
I need a mountain to climb
I know there’s
Somebody who understands
I know there’s
Somebody with no demands

I didn’t want to be the one for you Anyway

Until the day when I am seventeen again
I will stretch my arms to reach
For every moment I pretend
That someone could change my world
But it’s still the world that’s changing me

She’s got the big yawn
But she won’t go to bed
She’s got the big yawn
But she won’t go to bed
She’s tired and cranky her face is all red
She’s got the big yawn
But she won’t go to bed

She’s got the big yawn
But she won’t close her eyes
She’s got the big yawn
But she won’t close her eyes
I tell her when she wakes up
There will be a surprise
Thought we could come to a deal,
But there’s no compromise

She’s got the big yawn
But she won’t go to sleep
She’s got the big yawn
But she won’t go to sleep
She’s waving her hands
And she’s kicking her feet
She’s got the big yawn
But she won’t go to sleep

It doesn’t have to be complicated to be powerful
A cup of coffee on a rainy day
A twinkle of light through the morning haze
Your legs are sturdy
Time to get down and dirty
But beware where you stand
Sink your fist into the heart of a hurricane
Now the blood of the storm is in your hands

You say you can’t make any promises
But you’ll do your best
I believe that like I believe I could walk through water
And not get wet
I got a friend in the firm, he’ll argue my case
But at the end of the day how much time did we waste?
I don’t want to settle or be sentimental
But this time, let’s just say you won

You sold your savior to the con men and rapists
Pointing the path to the Promised Land down the sights of a gun
Prepare for the pitfalls & pretend you heard the king call
Somebody’s gotta do the dirty work till the dirty work’s done

It doesn’t have to be complicated to be powerful
A cool breeze rattles the wind chimes
I sit on the banks and watch the day fade away
The world doesn’t stop to look at the clock
We all lose track of time
Sink your fist into the heart of the hurricane
Now the blood of the storm is in your hands

Sometimes in the worst of all situations
Comes the best of all possible times
When the dust settles down
And the shadows have lifted
Hand in hand we will watch the sunrise

A lightning bolt sliced
Through the late summer skyline
Now a cool healing rain waits to fall
The survivors are few
And the heroes are many
Though their stories may never be told

Now is no time for harvesting hate
The last bitter fruit on the vine
We’re all in pursuit of a fountain of truth
Nothing will stop us this time
We’ll drink till our tears run dry

The snow will soon fall
And sweeten the landscape
Like a single red rose on the grave
If there’s really a face to all of our sorrow
Like a river it just runs away

We all have a day
We’ve committed to memory
And those days always seem to be sad
I’ve made up my mind
To remember the fallen
And the better days
They should have had

Sometimes I go walking,
Sometimes I go wondering,
How could I waste more time?
Laughing at people who worry
‘Cause time passes by

Has there been a mistake?
Have I been a disgrace?
Did I let someone down somewhere?
Sometimes I go walking
Just to move through the air.

Johnny come back to America,
The family farm is falling down,
If only you’d come back around,
These fields of green would rise again.
Do you think that you could lend a hand?
No one but you can work this land.
You’ve always been a stubborn man,
But can’t you compromise this time?

I hear every time
That you mention my name,
You curse me, you bless me
And leave me the blame.
If I were you I couldn’t say
I would not do the same.

Understanding each other
Leaves things to discover,
You think that you know me well.
But I never told you
Everything that I had to tell.

I saw in the garden
You planted some roses,
Each one in my memory.
The garden you planted
Is my favorite place to be.

When you hear the wind whistle,
It’s a tune that I’ve written,
To let you know that I’m near.
I can never return but for you
I will always be here.

I can’t turn around now
I’m already half way there
I might not make it all the way
At this point I don’t care
It’s all about the ride
It’s all about the fight
Swimming across the riptide
Swimming into the light

It’s all a big cliche
Water flowing, making waves
Life goes on
So they say
You never know when you wake up
If it’s your last day

Choose your battles wisely
Until they’re chosen for you
Once you accept the mission
There’s nothing more to do

I can’t turn around now
I’m already half way there
I might not make it all the way
At this point I don’t care
It’s all about the ride
It’s all about the fight
Swimming across the riptide
Swimming into the light

They say you’re measured by what you leave behind
I can’t say that’s not true
But every ship outruns its wake
Before drifting out of view

The sun still shines without you
The trees are blooming
The birds are singing
The kids are playing
And I’m still living
But every day I wonder
Why you swam away so soon

I can’t turn around now
I’m already half way there
I might not make it all the way
At this point I don’t care
It’s all about the ride
It’s all about the fight
Swimming across the riptide
Swimming into the light

They say Billy used to be a wise man
But his temper was quicker than his wit
He couldn’t keep his mouth shut
He’d always let the punch line slip
The prosecutors worked overtime
Trying to make the charges stick
Lucky for him,
The hands of justice ‘round these parts
Ain’t very swift

No escape in a river town
Stuck on one side or the other
When the bridges come down
There ain’t no meeting in the middle
Unless you want to drown
Something always smells funny
In a river town.

Just another tired man
At the end of the bar
Broken like a horse at the rodeo
He’s the kind who won’t ask for directions
There’s no place he’s gotta go
The wondering eyes all try to pry
But the case has long been closed
Are those tattoos from the jailhouse?
Or somewhere down the road?

Sweet Diana’s Pocket Palace
That’s where the money changes hands
Eight balls, dime bags, bootleg bourbon
Then it’s back to hear the band
Turf wars, even scores,
Gunshots, local cops-
Who’s the murdered man?

Everyone knew Billy at the station
Guilt by reputation-
He was always first in line
You tell the same old story time after time
Pretty soon you believe your own lies

The catfish are splashin’
And the tree frogs are answering
Like a bunch of old souls
Billy’s still stewing about having to prove
That he never left home
I sit and wonder
If the wind across the water
Could be any more cold
Everything in this town
Comes back around
But it never gets old

Some things will never change
We all grow up
With a certain amount of pain
It’s nothing you can’t rise above

My father told me when I was young
Desperate times will always come
It’s nothing you can’t rise above

It’s time to shake the world
Raise a little dust, come on
You better shake the world
I’m leaving it up to you

If it moves you, shout about it
Shout about it loud
If you need help
The brave among us
Will be right by your side

I’ll tell my children when they are born
Your Daddy wants you
To make a lot of noise
You be the one voice in the crowd
To make your feelings known out loud

You better shake the world
Put it back on track
You better shake the world
I’m leaving it up to you

Played out and laid out in this triangle town
Tongue tied and battered by the circuits of sound
Give me a minute and I’ll strike up a pose
Packed tight in my loose fitting designer clothes
The DJ rocks, his needle drops, salvation on a dead end street
The tattooed girls are squirming to the factory beat
Any other night and they would be safe at home
Piercing body parts and deconstructing suicide poems

The song’s the same
How hard you listen
Makes all the difference in the world
But I’m not saying anything different
From anything you’ve already heard

Ten gallon hat, three inch heels and boot cut jeans
Quarterback cowboys coaching line dancing teams
I’ll bet they really do have fences to mend
Choking the reigns of some old Mercedes Benz
A buckskin ballerina does a perfect honky-tonk pliè
She pulls a dollar from the fingers of a badly drawn toupee
A deal is signed in sawdust, two new lovers retreat
On down the trailer park boardwalk to hillbilly beach

Just another culture built on urban decay
There’s extra college credit if you’re homeless for a day
Don’t mind the rats- they live here too
They’ll bite your feet and steal your food
We shower under broken pipes- I’m sorry- wish it wasn’t true
The junkies on the south side hang out by the trains
The coming and the going only adds to the pain
Years ago they’d never guessed they’d grow up to be weeks from death
How sad to think that life is measured breathe by breathe

A dozen Harley scooters congregate outside
A chrome and steel welcome mat for an after hours dive
The beer is cold, the whiskeys cheap- the whole place smells like leather
On the jukebox David Allen Coe sings “Panheads Forever”
Most guys in this tavern come in here to unwind
After ten long hours of sweat on the assembly line
They don’t dress up like bikers ‘cause it’s the latest style
See some people really were born to be wild

Everything seems like a good idea at the time…
Till you see your face in the rear view mirror
Heading out of bounds
Hot on the heels of something you can’t buy
Something you can’t steal

You can say “I love you” but words are not enough
To pull me through this field of broken hearts
And feel your touch
The memories, the future
The laughter and the lust
We’ve crossed a bridge to someplace
We don’t talk about very much

Do I have your trust- could you give it to me?
Do I ask too much- just a little trust?
Is it in your soul? Will it not let go?
Is it all too much? Just a little trust…

Stop questioning my questions- the way you always do
If I had any answers I’d give them all to you
So many emotions written on your face
I think I get the story but I can’t turn the page

Pick a pretty flower, the pretty flower dies
It doesn’t hold its beauty; it never again thrives
The butterfly collectors have left you feeling shy
I don’t want to hang you on a wall, I want to see you fly

I wanted you to see me flying high
I circled you
My shadow floating on the ground,
Racing after you

I wanted you tight in my grasp
My talons eager to caress
Your long hair blowing in the wind
Beckoned me

I followed you as far as I could

Why did you run from me?
I never meant you harm
Was it my voice you couldn’t trust?
Did I sound too much
Like a song you’d heard before?

Why do you fear me?
I am fragile in construction
You could crush me in your hands
Or hold me on your arm

I followed you as far as I could

I’ll bet you can’t believe
That I would ever say goodbye
But two birds tied together can’t fly
I hope to see you someday
In another place and time
Riding high on a cloud
At the top of the sky

Now here I am in solo flight
I promise myself
That I’ll never fall so hard again
All this puts weight upon my mind
My attitude is in decline
But that’ll change in time

I followed you as far as I could

Veronica and the elephant and the rhino
Went down to Peppermint City in the rain
They had a cup of cake
A hippopotamus in the lake said
“Don’t be late”
And then the ground began to
Shake shake shake

They ran into the big banana forest
The elephant said
“I know the way from here.”
They followed in his tracks
Until they found a purple shack
When they turned around
The forest disappeared
(Suddenly disappeared)

To everyone’s surprise
The door flew open
The rhinoceros said
“I’ll go in and look around”
He poked his head inside
And saw a giant water slide
The clouds were made of cotton candy
And the ground was made of clouds
(Soft, soft clouds)

A turtle wearing glasses said
“I see you’ve found the party
Sound the horn and grab a partner
‘Cause the dance is getting started”
The elephant put Veronica on his back
And did the twist
He said “it might look difficult
But it’s all in the wrist”
(Twist wrist, twist)

Veronica and the elephant and the rhino
Had to get back home
And be in bed by nine
The turtle called a taxi
And he tipped the driver well
Then he bid the three of them
A fond farewell

The next thing that Veronica knew
She was sailing on the lake
The elephant wore a captain’s hat
The rhino was his first mate
She closed her eyes and then
Woke up in her own bed
She wiggled her toes
And stretched her arms,
Turned over with a sigh
The elephant and the rhino at her side

Don’t show me your guns or show me your gold
Show me the reason
You show me your warrior soul

Nothing you can say will change my mind
You simply thought it was time for war
You can talk about new order
You can talk about new borders
But please don’t talk to me anymore

Looks like now what you say is OK ‘cause you’re the boss
Anything that you want is OK at any cost
We have no stipulations
You are our liberator
You came and took control
Someday we’ll repay the favor

Don’t show me your guns or show me your gold
Just show me the reason
You show me your warrior soul
Show me your warrior soul

Who has fought to keep the peace?
And who has fought to keep the keys?

The dark side of your ambitions
Won’t stand the light of day
You keep changing your conditions
How can a body pay?
How then shall we appease you?
I don’t think there is a way
You want all that you can take
Suffice to say

Don’t show me your guns
Don’t show me your gold
Show me the reason
You show me your warrior soul
Man of the cloth and man in control
Give us a prayer to exorcise this warrior soul

When we are fighting you come between us
If we are hungry you come to feed us
When they think they know me you redefine me
Sometimes I think I’ll give up
Then you remind me

That the world goes on without me

I try to talk to you but you don’t let me
Seems I don’t have a prayer to set myself free
But then you come to me when I am dreaming
Sometimes my wounds heal
Sometimes they deepen

Because the world goes on without me

When the news broke
Everyone thought it was a joke
Special reports led to warning sirens
And air strikes
That seems real to me
We saw the movies,
We thought we knew what to do –
But we didn’t
If I had known the last time I saw my family Was gonna be the last time
I saw my family…
Well, there’s a last time for everything
I guess
They said it was under control -it wasn’t
They said there was
Nothing to worry about-
There was.
I wish I could help you,
I wish I could give you good news
I wish I could guide you to safety,
But every sanctuary has fallen.
There’s nowhere to rest.
I’ll broadcast on this frequency again tomorrow.
It’s bed time-
Do you want me to sing a song?
Good luck trying to sleep

If you can hear this you’re obviously alive
But I may be dead
This is a recording –
I stopped doing live broadcasts
Over a month ago
I was forced to move up to the roof
When they broke into the station
I don’t have enough water to last long, Although the rain
Has been good to me this week
There may still be hope for you
But there’s none for me
Sorry to get all Kafka on you-
I don’t want to be cynical
But it’s going to take
One amazing cavalry
To save my day
Don’t follow this signal, run away from it;
The city has been completely overtaken
If you have food or water,
Start rationing now
Don’t trust anyone you meet-
We’re all monsters now
Maybe I’m just being dramatic
This broadcast will loop
For as long as the battery lasts
That’s all I have to offer-
Take care of each other

Good morning campers!
This is Abby, rocking the morning shift
On WLZZ.
Actually the afternoon shift,
The evening shift,
The graveyard shift- speaking of which…
The studio is surrounded-
There are thousands of them
Pushing against the walls, the windows-
It’s safety glass, but still,
Everything has a breaking point.
If you somehow
Haven’t caught on to this yet
They want to eat you
They’re slow and weak
But there are a lot of them
Don’t attract attention
They can smell you-
The more you smell like them the better
They’re dumb but you can’t fool them
Keep running
Remember the zombies are here –
It’s real
If they ever make it in,
I’ll give you my best horror movie scream,
But for now I’m good- who knows,
I might even outlast them…

The Lash - Fire Under Grace (2006)

Say goodbye to the clowns and their pitiful frowns
The freak show is over
The tents have come down
A lonely ringleader surveys the lot
Life in a circus is all that he’s got
Look at Jacko the giant
He lifts his own weight
You’d be surprised if you knew what he ate
Tasha the tattooed lady would dance
And the whole show would grind to a halt
All our life is on hold
As we follow our dreams down the road
Belly up
In a pool of no regrets
Gino the animal tamer would crack his whip
And the ladies would fall in his lap
Taurus the tarot reader would draw the death card most every day
Monkey the juggler came last to the troupe
In perpetual motion he never came through
I missed him the most when he skated away
But he didn’t so much as wave
Selling the snake oil
To pay the rent
There’s a believer
In every tent
Selling the snake oil
To pay the rent
They only stay till the money’s been spent
The caravan settles in tomorrow’s town
We call for a crowd and they gather around.
Every one says it’s the best show on earth
We just take it for what it is worth

His name was Doc he said he had a law degree
I met him down on Walnut Street
He said he’d like to be a friend of mine
Asked if I could help him buy a bottle of wine
I said Doc- I never met a lawyer who didn’t have a dollar…
He said yeah, yeah, yeah
But the legal bar is hard on alcoholics
I said yeah, yeah, yeah
Can you help me find a better world?
Another tale about the worst of times
Simon lost his battle with the simple life
Seldom leaves the shelter of his penthouse suite
Totally addicted to his luxury
He says but somewhere on this dark horizon
There’s a life I’ve got my sights on
I said yeah, yeah, yeah
The storms will all subside
I feel so sure
Probably… yeah, yeah, yeah
Can you help me find a better world?

There’s a tower on the tracks
The king of the bay
It casts a wicked shadow
You can see it through the haze

I know it by heart because I see it every day
Scares the hell out of me
And every other runaway

Legend has it that a princess has been locked in there for years
If it’s true, likely as not, she’s a prisoner of her fears
It’s a world of wonders but nobody wonders here
Alice had a looking glass
Her future seemed quite clear

Brats on a beaten path
Every bit as mean as we look
We sold the key to Sunday school
And bought a comic book

I was walking through the darkness
Taking quite a risk
I went to save the princess
And be rewarded with a kiss

Little Sandy Ballard surprised me in the mist
Panic hit me like a hammer
So I nailed him with my fist

He wouldn’t wake I slapped his face
I thought that he had died
I drug him to the river bank and tossed him from the side
He drifted with the current till he was out of sight
I sat by the tower to conjure up a lie

I thought I’d jump the train
Next time it came around
I had visions of escape
To some small forgotten town

I waited for the whistle
But I heard a different sound
Sandy tripping through the bushes
He said “I must’ve fallen down”

We were living in a tiny town
Nobody needs to know
It wasn’t Sandy’s life
But his memory I stole
The years have passed and rarely do I ever tell a soul
I went to save a princess and I nearly killed a troll

Like a plate of fried potatoes
Any diner any town
I’m not the prettiest thing on the menu
But I’ll never let you down
Escuchame mi querida
I can’t tell you twice
If you want to bail from this border town
The ghost train leaves tonight
Trouble follows me
Bad news is my fate
I blew a hundred dollar future
On a fifty cent mistake
Throw your eyes across the landscape
Tell me what you see
Did the posse ride at midnight
Like they do it on TV
We can buy a little farmhouse
Make our money from the land
I’ll hang a lantern from the sky
Till all our dark days die
When our grandchildren
Huddle by our side
When we try to tell the secrets
Of the water, wind, and sky
I’ll give a little wink
If I think you’ve said too much
There are stones out in the graveyard
Nobody should ever touch

Sometimes I go walking
Sometimes I go wondering
How can I waste more time?
Laughing at people who worry ‘cause time passes by
Has there been a mistake?
Have I been a disgrace?
Did I let someone down somewhere?
Sometimes I go walking just to move through the air
Johnny come back to America
The family farm is falling down
If only you’d come back around
These fields of green would rise again
Do you think that you could lend a hand?
No one but you can work this land
You’ve always been a stubborn man
But can’t you compromise this time
I hear every time that you mention my name
You curse me, you bless me
And leave me the blame
If I were you I couldn’t say I would not do the same
Understanding each other
Leaves things to discover
You think that you know me well
But I never told you everything that I had to tell
I saw in the garden
You planted some roses
Each one in my memory
The garden you’ve planted is my favorite place to be
When you hear the wind whistle
It’s a tune that I’ve written
To let you know I’m still near
I can never return but for you I will always be here

I’ll meet you in the middle
That’s what they always say
Sometimes I really believe
Real life gets in the way
Between the things you mean
And the things you say
Everything dies and it goes away
If I had one more hour
If I had another day
Would I be silent
Shut up
Stay boy stay
Or would I blow up like lava
In a brilliant cascade
Love can’t be right in the wrong place
I’m not gonna say I believe there were more good times than bad
You’ll just shake your head & say I don’t know about that
You know it isn’t easy sometimes
Everyone agrees
Down the road
So we go…
See ya when I see ya
Bloody but unbowed
Two soldiers battle fate
Leave it unresolved
Fire under grace
Battling temptation
We can’t avoid the taste
Love can’t be right in the wrong place
We all make bad decisions
Actions we would change
Sometimes times get better
Sometimes the anger stays
The ticking clock just marked
Another day I should erase
Everything dies and it goes away

The Lash - Every Direction (2001)

I’m gonna stick to you like a bad tattoo
And haunt you till you die
I’ll be the pain that needs your Novocain
And the glimmer in your eye

I’ll take the rust out of your trust
So you’d believe me if I said
I’d never be the dish who makes you wish
You’d eaten somewhere else instead

The friends you make on the way up
Are the friends that are going to last
They’ll be there on the downhill slide
And they’ll be there when you crash

When we have a falling out
Like lovers always do
I’ll be the clown with a frown, crying tears in my beer
Writing poetry for you

One day you said you were fed up
I thought I was so tough
But even seven days of make-up sex
Wasn’t good enough

Now you’re no longer by my side
Ohhh but what the hell I tried
I was so embarrassed that you left me
I told everyone you died

When I tell my story
I make sure I cry
‘Cause the world is full of long gone lovers
Who never say goodbye

Nine lives, little lion’s heart
Sly and cunning, committed to the art
Of professional and pointless investigation
Any excuse for recreation

Always the time for an impromptu nap
Sleep for a while then up for a snack
The kings and queens of every nation
In a little cat’s imagination

Every shadow a possible threat
Any noise, every footstep
Possible danger in every situation
Paranoia, too much concentration

Always the time for an impromptu nap
Sleep for a while then up for a snack
The conflicts and struggles of every nation
Wrapped up in a cat’s imagination

Enemy eyes from street to street
Nervous anticipation, tiny feet creep
Panic, intrigue and mystery abound
No insult taken sitting down

Patiently lying in wait for the prey
Mindless aggravation is all in a day
The conflicts and struggles of every nation
Are wrapped up in a cat’s imagination

There’s a tower on the tracks
The king of the bay
It casts a wicked shadow
You can see it through the haze

I know it by heart because I see it every day
Scares the hell out of me
And every other runaway

Legend has it that a princess has been locked in there for years
If it’s true, likely as not, she’s a prisoner of her fears
It’s a world of wonders but nobody wonders here
Alice had a looking glass
Her future seemed quite clear

Brats on a beaten path
Every bit as mean as we look
We sold the key to Sunday school and bought a comic book

I was walking through the darkness
Taking quite a risk
I went to save the princess
And be rewarded with a kiss

Little Sandy Ballard
Surprised me in the mist
Panic hit me like a hammer
So I nailed him with my fist

He wouldn’t wake I slapped his face
I thought that he had died
I drug him to the river bank and tossed him from the side
He drifted with the current till he was out of sight
I sat by the tower to conjure up a lie

I thought I’d jump the train next time it came around
I had visions of escape to some small forgotten town
I waited for the whistle
But I heard a different sound
Sandy tripping through the bushes
He said “I must’ve fallen down”

We were living in a tiny town- nobody needs to know
It wasn’t Sandy’s life but his memory I stole
The years have passed and rarely do I ever tell a soul
I went to save a princess and I nearly killed a troll

I’m gonna stick to you like a bad tattoo
And haunt you till you die
I’ll be the pain that needs your Novocain
And the glimmer in your eye

I’ll take the rust out of your trust
So you’d believe me if I said
I’d never be the dish who makes you wish
You’d eaten somewhere else instead
The friends you make on the way up
Are the friends that are going to last
They’ll be there on the downhill slide
And they’ll be there when you crash

When we have a falling out
Like lovers always do
I’ll be the clown with a frown, crying tears in my beer
Writing poetry for you

One day you said you were fed up
I thought I was so tough
But even seven days of make-up sex
Wasn’t good enough

Now you’re no longer by my side
Ohhh but what the hell I tried
I was so embarrassed that you left me
I told everyone you died

When I tell my story
I make sure I cry
‘Cause the world is full of long gone lovers
Who never say goodbye

I was in Catahoula Parish at my favorite corner dive
Trying to drink away another lonely Delta night
She strutted in cock-steady, flaming hair and almond eyes
A gallant Gaelic beauty with a touch of Cajun spice

I couldn’t take my eyes away as she had a taste of etoufee
Chased a shot of whiskey with a glass of amber ale
I finally got my nerve up and asked her for a chat
She said that won’t suffice, I’d really rather dance

She’s an Irish Cajun Polka queen
She lights up just like New Orleans
As graceful as the night it seems
When she kicks her heels to St. Anne’s Reel

The jukebox played a polka that I’d heard a thousand times
In heaven there’s no beer it says, but we all know they’re lying
She spun me like a dervish on a long midsummer’s night
And filled my head with dreams of what might happen down the pike

I woke up in the morning with a two-step in my head
The scent of heather fresh upon a note next to my bed
I read it to myself but in my head I heard her soft patois
“Meet me down the quarter tonight at the cowboy’s ball”

It wasn’t hard to find her ‘cause she glistens like a star
The only ray of sunlight in that dark and dingy bar
I knew right then and there she was the woman I would wed
I offered my devotion, but she just shook her head

You see I’ve got men in Warsaw, Austin, Baton Rouge and Derry Quay
I promised all of them my hand if ever I come back to stay
See I’m a travelin’ girl- I guess I’ll never settle down
Just like that lonesome whistle I roam from town to town

She’s an Irish Cajun Polka queen
She lights up just like New Orleans
And you might imagine how I feel
When I hear the tune of St. Anne’s Reel

This is the last time that I’ll wake up on the floor
It’s time to let the demons go
Living the mystery of who I was before
All that I thought I knew I threw it out the door

Can’t you see- everybody’s got a Jekyll and Hyde
A few of us have seen the other side
You’ll choose to hide it, and hide it you may
But no one ever gets away

Can’t you see- everybody’s got a Jekyll and Hyde
A few of us have seen the other side
You’ll choose to hide it, and hide it you may
But no one ever gets away

A tattoo of a question mark identifies my soul
It’s time to let the demons go
A good wind of ill tide is blowing over me
Some distant memory struggles for release

Can’t you see- everybody’s got a Jekyll and Hyde
A few of us have seen the other side
You’ll choose to hide it, and hide it you may
But no one ever gets away

She sacrificed her pagan pride
And let her soul be paralyzed
She cleansed her spirit in the pool
Where hypocrites collide with fools
But the light she hoped to see revealed
Forever will remain concealed

She looks into the night and finds a star
Anxious for some saving grace
She’s too much like the wind
Restless and trying to escape

Is she in love with the thought of where she’s going
To be one with the sea and the sky
And the moonlight’s glow
In love with a man but she can’t understand
What he’s saying
Blind to the ways of the world
And what she’s betraying

Nights such as this lead her to wonder
Could there be any power as great as the rain or the thunder
She’s fully embracing a story she doesn’t believe
But she’ll always chase rainbows
She sees what she sees.

We’re strapped in for a ride down a clattering track of confusion
We’re anxious and we’re late and it wasn’t an easy decision
To face the rolling hills and wonder where they’ll take us
Some new and better world that won’t whip us or forsake us

Maybe you found it in a church, a book or a man or a song
You pulled it around your shoulders and prayed it would help you along
Feeling good- part of it all-you whispered your new found wisdom
When you reached the top of the mountain, did you see the mystical kingdom?

There’s a shelter we need to find
‘Cause dreams will no longer guide us
We’re ready to leave home
‘Cause home long ago left us

There are roads everywhere and they lead to every direction
We’re heading out to find protection

As of today, nothing has changed- the wheels are still spinning in place
Speaking for me, I need something more than what history spit in my face
I have my people, I have my name, my congruencies and contradictions
What seems like gospel to me, to you may only be fiction

There’s a shelter we need to find
Because dreams will no longer hide us
We’re ready to leave home
Because home long ago left us

There are roads everywhere and they lead to every direction
We’re heading out to find protection

I was arrogant and stupid
When I was a kid
I thought I’d rise above it
But I guess I never did
I’m waiting to grow old
But doubtfully much wiser
My history will be so contrived- but clever

Like every dirty schoolboy
Or precocious little girl
I can twist the meaning out of words
Don’t quite know what I’m saying
Really haven’t got a clue
But I’ll irritate the best years out of you

I’ve had this profound talent
Ever since I was a child
Put me in a room of stiffs
And I could get ‘em riled
With pseudo-intellect
And literary flash
And fast enough to run away before they beat my ass

Now I’m older and more careful
And slightly more reserved
I have learned to hold my tongue
When I become perturbed
But every now and then I will engage you in debate
Leave you feeling dazed
And wondering when I’ll go away

I’m the one who got away
I think about it everyday
I escaped the hand of fate
Why was I not embraced?

I’m the lucky one

Put yourself in my place
Toss the dice, have a play
Fare thee well gentle mates
I hope we meet again someday

Everywhere I go people say I’m the lucky one
They ask for my favorite numbers in the lottery
But I’m only a survivor with no power over fate
I take the blessings with the blame and I swear I’ll never change

So you’re amazed I would complain
The wheel of fortune turned my way
Another dance, another day
Another chance to skate away

Everywhere I go people say I’m the lucky one
They ask for my favorite numbers in the lottery
But I’m only a survivor with no power over fate
I take the blessings with the blame and I swear I’ll never change

I’m the lucky one…

There’s a love song playing on the radio
I don’t want to hear it anymore
I got a cat’s eye idea about love and war
Any sudden movement and I’m out the door

I had wild obsessions and so did you
Who could understand what we go through?
Your mother said we must be star-crossed lovers
‘Cause people like us – we deserve each other

I can’t climb up mountains like I did before
I can’t fall back on you any more
I get mad and I kick apart the furniture
I couldn’t cope so well if I was more mature

I had wild obsessions and so did you
Who could understand what we go through?
Your mother said we must be star-crossed lovers
‘Cause people like us – we deserve each other

My present tension is wearing me down
I sit and tap my fingers and I hate that sound
I still have everything you ever gave to me
But I’m working it out in therapy

I had wild obsessions and so did you
Who could understand what we go through?
Your mother said we must be star-crossed lovers
‘Cause people like us – we deserve each other
We deserve each other

Another sleepless night, parched from summer heat
I close my eyes, waiting for a dream
Out on the horizon, wolves on the prowl
I leave my bed to join them, we hunt for a while

Grey eyes in the moonlight, moving with the pack
The riverbed reflects the sky, bleached and cracked
The smell of water’s faint, but not the smell of blood
We close in on a shadow, and we run

Then I listen to the wolves cry, and I do the same
Because even the hunters feel the pain

A gunshot rings out across the countryside
The hunters become hunted, the trailing wolf has died
The pack reels around, facing the man who holds the gun
They descend in a flash of fur
Tear him to the bone

It’s the classic confrontation between predator and prey
The stronger one survives, the weaker one gives way
Instinct tells them both, survive at any cost
Passion guides the loser – avenge the friends you’ve lost

I woke from my dream to the sound of driving rain
I jumped to my feet, stared through the window pane
I thanked the wolves for teaching me
You can’t always show restraint
Sometimes you must bare your teeth and retaliate

The Hardwires (2014)

All I heard was maybe
Like the sound of a heartbeat to a baby
A little security in an endless night
Nothing’s for certain, but that’s alright
Somebody somewhere will save me

Do you think you’ll be staying?
Remember the song that was playing
The whole situation was summarized
By a three minute pop song, but that’s alright
The Beatles have never betrayed me

When I tell you the story of my life
Look inside
Can you get past the lies?
And decide
Did I do it alright?

It kind of feels like waiting
Then again it’s more like anticipating
I thought I had a hold
But it all slipped away
It doesn’t shine like a diamond
But it cuts the same way

There’s a time and place
Where we all get our reward
If the devils and the angels are really keeping score
Some check out with a balance due
That might happen to me but they won’t get you
You’re too good for their world

Good Morning beautiful girl
Wake up beautiful girl
We’re gonna have a little time-bad and good
I’ll always think about you like I said I would
A pretty little face that can never be replaced

I feel a little crazy
When I have to stop and stare
Around the corners and the clouds
Because I thought I saw you there
But it’s always just a flicker of light
A tiny little flash of white
Just wishful thinking I guess

The top of every mountain
Will eventually fall
You can believe in forever
But nothing lasts that long
There’s no way I can understand
Why I felt timeless when you touched my hand
Sometimes a love is written in stone

I am a friend in need
I am a refugee
If fate had taken a twist
You could be me
I am a friend in need of everything

I need a cold drink
I need a place to think
A bed would be nice
But I’ll be alright
I need a cold drink of anything

I’m sorry but I live outside the lines
You sympathize but I know your hands are tied
At least you think you’re better off than me

My ship ain’t comin in
No dinner bell to ring
I got bills to pay
But they’re gonna wait
I’m overdue on everything

Don’t care about the cost
My money’s all been lost
I found a 5 star meal in the crumbs you tossed
I don’t care about the cost of anything

Hey man we’re gonna be late
Our horse is in the race
We might come out on top
But that’s never the case
We’re always late for everything

They sent a rescue team
They’re bringing gasoline
Food and water and cable TV
A little money can heal anything

I’m living on the street in the lost and found
For every up there are 25 downs
I’m bored and lonely, living under cover
Some people turn a new leaf, I just turn over another
I admit I was scared when I jumped my first train
Wedged behind the ladder, riding in the rain
I didn’t pay attention to where I was going
Ended up in Minnesota where it never stops snowing

It’s a mean world but that ain’t news
I got a right to the blues, honest I do

Desdemona left her dinner cooking in the kitchen
Stepped away from a life that she’ll never be missing
Along came a man who found it frustrating
That someone so willing had not been taken
Now her life is a banquet and she eats it like a queen
She’s a slave to his fantasies, a prisoner of her dreams
He said you can leave my palace whenever you please
Just leave all the money and don’t take the keys

It’s a mean world, puts you to the test
She’s got a right to the blues, she just don’t know it yet

In the capitol city, lost state of denial
Just pay the fine and we’ll bypass the trial
These discretions don’t need to leak out to the press
It’s a three piece lawsuit you don’t want to undress
Let’s pretend nothing happened, we all learned our lesson
You continue to practice your blessed profession
The little boys treat you like the king of the world
And you treat the little boys like you treat the little girls

It’s a mean world, the kids know that
They got a right to the blues, you’ve seen to that

We live in a world of in betweens
We live in the middle of wants and needs
We live in the future, we live in the past
We’re living right now for as long as it lasts

It’s a mean world, I’m talking to you
We got a right to the blues, honest we do

You never minded urban sprawl
As long as you heard nature’s call
Detroit ain’t such a bad town
If only you could walk around

I took a drive down 75
To see the palace shining bright
Across the river
The other side
They say misery loves company
But that’s a lie

All we ever do is talk about changing the world
But nobody ever does anything
Except watch the power swing

Angels and marionettes
Get happy do the dance
This might be your last chance
Miles and Jack DeJohnette
It don’t get better than that
Look at the world in trance

I climbed a mountain
And took a call
No escape from the world
The grid interfaces all
The little girls and the little boys
The scientist and all his evil toys

All we ever do is talk about changing the world
But nobody ever does anything
Except watch the power swing

Angels and marionettes
Get happy do the dance
This could be your last chance
Miles and Jack DeJohnette
It don’t get better than that
Look at the world in trance

And now the story is understood
We read between the lines as best as we could
Sometimes a book is just a book
All the shiny lights don’t deserve a second look

Miscellaneous

I remember every sleepless night
I remember every teenage fight

These two lines are more than steel and spikes
These two lines bring this city to life

I was not concerned with wrong or right
Or compromised myself to avoid a fight

These two lines are more than steel and spikes
These two lines bring this city to life

Hunger, instinct- what do you call it?
Middle American average family blues

Big Decision, big mistake
Time to leave, time to escape

I could never hide my tired eyes
I was not concerned with alibis

Like the man who discovered tomorrow
When he met the woman who invented yesterday

Every mother wants a son like me
But every woman wants to marry a man like him

Big Decision, big mistake
Time to leave, time to escape

I remember every sleepless night
I remember every teenage fight

These two lines are more than steel and spikes
These two lines bring this city to life

Big Decision, big mistake
Time to leave, time to escape

I couldn’t blame the horses for sinking me in debt
Can’t fault their mighty muscles for the pounding in my chest
Deep in uncharted waters with a rock around my neck
I’ve taken every paradox and put it to the test

Well you see they framed Picasso for looking past the lines
I wonder if his alibi was opium or wine
I know it’s been the downfall of many lesser men
Don’t blame it on the whiskey
Whiskey’s still my friend

It’ s true I’ve met the morning in the gutter once or twice
And even spent my winnings on some other drunkard’s wife
But as sure as winter snow will turn the wastelands white
A precious drop of single malt will open up my eyes

Now the bets have all been hammered and the losers scurry home
No greater field of glory have they likely ever known
Than to drop a whole day’s wages on some unrewarding roan
It’s a chance to dance with destiny and still go home alone

Here’s to all the heroes who rise to keep the peace
Every day on and on
No reward and no relief
The battles and the backaches
Together we are strong
It takes a rebel nation
To sing a rebel song

Gather the weak
Gather the strong
If you’re feeling forgotten you’re welcome along
On an epic migration
We will embark
Arm in arm, each with a part

Ready for love
Ready for war
We took all your punches-we’re ready for more
Our spirits are high, our allies are few
Maybe some day you’ll walk in our shoes

Hey hey, who’ll lead the way?
Who’ll be the hero and who’ll take the blame?
By the day’s dawn
Ten more come along
Every day on and on

And here’s to that rare soldier who comes back from the war
With no anger in his heart
And no need to settle scores
The orders from the throne
Are swiftly handed down
But the common good is seldom served
By the powers of the crown

Ok getaway armored car
Teargas in the alley way
One more man being pushed too hard
Tangled in the law today

They picked him up, tore him down and put him away
He wasn’t the chosen kind
Court appointed lawyer just shut his case
He’s got a two o’clock tee off time

They’re marching him over to a 10 foot cell
Said that he had a gun
Nobody cares about the bruises on his neck
Twenty years won’t be a lot of fun

Late night in Detroit
The city’s locked down tonight
But we don’t care
No worse for wear
We gotta start somewhere

A dull morning on a captive day
He keeps to himself in the yard
Always seems to work out this way
The gavel hit him and it hit him hard

He’s a hero, he’s a martyr, he’s an anti-Christ
Depends on your point of view
Why don’t you ask the reason for his sacrifice?
You afraid that he’ll give it to you?

They picked him, tore him down and put him away
Nothing out of the regular
Nobody cares about the bruises on his neck
Twenty years won’t be a lot of fun

It didn’t shine like anything
Nothing at first sight
Through a window in the corner
Just another ray of light

When you feel like you’re trying
Hoping everything turns out right
If it slips through your fingers
Maybe you held it too tight

A little bit should have been enough
But if you can’t stop yourself
You can’t stop yourself

Living out of control
Taking the falls as you go
Good luck living clean
In a dirty world

You didn’t fall like an angel
To fall that hard you gotta fly
I’ll give you a little credit though
You got up pretty high

You never threw in the towel
I was proud of your pride
But when you said winning ain’t everything
I knew right then that you lied

A little bit should have been enough
But if you can’t help yourself
You can’t help yourself

Now we’re both at the crossing
Standing on opposites sides
Life flashes before me
As the freight train rolls by

I’d be a fool now to touch you
When you’re trying to say goodbye
But it takes a fool
Anybody else would afraid to try

I’ve been under the weather for a week or two
Trying to forget, to obscure the view
Stayed home all night just to watch TV
I’d do anything just to fall asleep

All I want is to unwind
All the while my common sense does cartwheels in my mind
A hunger so hard to resist
The man at the drugstore he just grins

Someone throw me aline maybe I’ll come home soon
Instead of walking the streets like a prophet of doom
There’s an undertow that keeps dragging me down
I try to center my life
It just keeps spinning around

I try to look away
Say thank you anyway
I try to turn myself over and over
Into a different light
But on a Friday night
The excuses get older
And the time gets shorter

Candy tastes so sweet when life gets sour
But the bitter comes back in a couple of hours
Tonight I’ll keep going till I pickle my brain
I may wake up tomorrow to do it again

Maybe it’ll come with no-one there to see it
Maybe it’ll come, but I won’t hold my breath
Maybe it’ll come when nothing else delivers
And I won’t even know what I’m waiting to find

Maybe it’ll come as a boy on a bicycle, or a girl with a checkered past
In a country cafe eating Crème Brule
Staring at a mannequin in a Mardi Gras mask
Without so much as one thought in my head
If the biker boy eludes me and the woman never shows
I feel incited to rebel
But against what I do not know
Right now the light is beautiful and I cannot see the dark
I know I’ve got a story, but I don’t know where to start

Maybe in a dim warehouse apartment with a good view of the past
The city beats like a lover’s heart, the lights are changing fast
First it wants to flutter but eventually it stutters
In the end it freezes up tight
The TV pitches poison to me
Late night talk and shopping shows
I lose my point of focus and I’m sad to see it go
The street, the stars, the light, the dreams
It all becomes a blur
I asked the city for a song, but I don’t think it heard

On a drive like this I can’t resist stepping on the gas
There’s nothing but the night ahead and nothing in my path
Just like a super hero looking on the earth below
I’m only renting this car
But tonight I own the road

We said hell no with one voice
And we said goodbye with one voice
Try not to let the door hit you on your way out
If you got the notion
You can leave your information
We’ll try to leave a message
I can’t say when that may be

You can swing your velvet hammer
As you stutter and you stammer
Even Jesus and his grandma
Will not hear the words you say
One day you’ll steer clear
Of all the rumors and the fear
Then we’ll all get together and twist each other’s ear

In Peter Moody’s Colorado Barbecue Emporium, ski lodge, herbarium and haberdashery
The one with the big old spotted bass over the door
The beer is always better
And your mother’s always welcome
Just take your shoes off at the door
And paint your toenails blue

In the event of rain
Just put a hat over your brain
We’ll move the party to the store

We wouldn’t want anything to get wet
That wasn’t wet before
If the timbers start to sag
We’ll play a game of Frisbee tag
Why let a perfectly good obstacle
Go to waste
And when Peter gets to cooking
Don’t even bother looking
He doesn’t use a recipe
He plays it all by ear

In Peter Moody’s Colorado Barbecue Emporium, ski lodge, herbarium and haberdashery
The one with the big old spotted bass over the door
The sign always says open
Sorry we don’t have a phone
No shirt no shoes
Then come on in and make yourself at home

In conclusion and memoriam
The why nots and what for-iums
Hysteria, listeria, so sorry
Am I scaring ya?
We say hell no with one voice
Try to make our fathers proud
Don’t forget to buy a postcard
From the lobby
On your way out

In Peter Moody’s Colorado Barbecue Emporium, ski lodge, herbarium and haberdashery
The one with the big old spotted bass over the door
There’s chicken for the pickin’
Flowers for the table
You can even buy a fancy hat
To send to Great Aunt Mable

In Peter Moody’s Colorado Barbecue Emporium, ski lodge, herbarium and haberdashery
The one with the big old spotted bass over the door
The sign always says open
Sorry we don’t have a phone
No shirt no shoes
Then come on in and make yourself at home

Should I ask where does your heart lie
Or when, or why
You’re pulling my head in a dozen directions
You offer me a truce
But then it’s on again and off again

I’m wide awake
I give and take
And I have taken all I can
Should I give up, can I trust
You’re never coming back again

I guess goodbyes are in order
But goodbye is not enough for me
Why don’t you set me free
Honestly

Under the stars I pray for hours
But wishing doesn’t make it true
Awake at dawn and so alone
Why don’t I hate you

Should I ask where does your heart lie
Or when, or why

I call you on the phone
But you don’t seem to be alone
You say I’m sorry, but I’m with a date
Can you wait?

You play to my desires but that routine’s gotten tired
I won’t let you brand me as a sucker for your candy
I’m not afraid to lose you but it’s true
There’s a million things that I would rather do

Than say goodbye
‘Cause goodbye is not enough for me
Why don’t you set me free
Honestly

Seven on, seven off
Too many ounces in a gallon
But not enough to make it rough
Seven on, seven off

She’s a broken ballerina
And I’m a puppet on a string
Every other Sunday
We get together and we sing

We take a week to tell our stories
Then we go back home for a while
People think I must be crazy
Cause I still think of her and smile

She is the prettiest of pictures
I’m the happiest of clams
When she pulls me from my shell
And we dance upon the sand

We hear the whisper of the ocean
Under the silence of the stars
It’s like a gypsy lullaby
On 25 Spanish guitars

I think I need a long vacation
I don’t know what to take along
Maybe I should take some shark repellant
In case my friends come along

I trust in nothing but my money
And even that makes me suspicious
But one thing I can always count on
Is that your kisses are delicious

I told you once I’d tie a rainbow in a knot
So you could wear it on your finger
I tried to be a poet slinging metaphors
I may as well have been a folk singer

You were afraid of the dark
Wouldn’t come out to play
Like the fabled fox
I tasted sour grapes

All that was then; it’s history
You’ll never know now what you missed with me
I tried to hold you
That was my mistake
I hope I’m there when your heart breaks

I tried to give you a rainbow
But you gave me the sack
I tried to write you a love song
I overcame that
I hope your day is full of shadows
Every time you open up the door
I hope somebody says I’m sorry
She doesn’t live here anymore

All that was then; it’s history
You’ll never know now what you missed with me
I tried to hold you
That was my mistake
I hope I’m there when your heart breaks

All my days of contentment
Shouldn’t end up in resentment
I hope someday you’ll discover
What I left under the covers
It took a damned big injection
To get rid of this infection
The raven said nevermore
(that’s a quote)
This bird has flown
Seriously, that’s what she wrote

You might be somebody’s daddy
You’re definitely somebody’s son
You probably have someone who wonders
“Where did I go wrong?”
Somebody’s gonna cry for you when you die

You might be a murderer
You might be a saint
Maybe you found time for both along the way
When you go to bed
I wonder
Do you wonder?
We all wonder
Who’s Gonna cry for me when I die?

I fell, I stumbled
I rose, I tumbled
Caught my breathe and mumbled
Taking the easy rhymes when I can

Evidence is evidently evidentiary
What is it, who are they
What’s the reason and which way?
Everybody take a breathe and blow away the fog
Who’s gonna cry for you when you die?
Somebody’s gonna cry for you when you die

Have you ever known a woman with such a sweet, sweet kiss?
Like a pecan pie
Only twice as rich
She’s got eyes so much like the ocean deep
You swear you could jump right in
Sail to some foreign sea

Well my tongue has tasted
What your lips have missed
Because I know that woman
And I’ve felt her kiss
And it makes me want to tell her this

You send me reeling when you hold me so close
I feel like a kite after my string has broke
But you keep me on the ground
With your sweet embrace
Keep me on the ground
So I don’t float away

Every image of you
Is my favorite view
These are just a few of my 742
Reasons for loving you

The reason I think I like the best so far
Is reason number 344
Although your manner is so gentle and tender
You won’t back down
Or say surrender

I won’t even mention your physical graces
I can’t even think about it
It drives me crazy
But it’s just another one of my reasons for loving you

And then there’s reason number 52
The one that made me fall in love with you
You make it clear that you believe in me
And with that behind me
I can do anything

But I know we won’t be together forever
Because someday you’ll find someone else
Who’s got just one more
Reason for loving you