wild sageI leave the house as soon as it gets light outside like a prisoner breaking out of jail. and I steal down to business 15-501 like I had a bounty hunter on my tail. and somebody stops to pick me up, but he drops me off just down the block. and along the highway where the empty sprits breathed, wild sage growing in the weeds. walked down the soft shoulder and I count my steps. heading vaguely eastward, sun in my eyes. and I lose my footing and I skin my hands, breaking my fall. and I laugh to myself and look up at the skies and then I think I hear angels in my ears like marbles being thrown against a mirror. and along the highway, where unlucky stray dogs bleed, wild sage growing in the weeds. and some days I don't miss my family. and some days I do. and some days I think I'd feel better if I tried harder. most days I know it's not true. I lay down right where I fell, cold grass in my face. and I hear the traffic like the rhythm of the tides. and I stare at the scrape on the heel of my hand, 'til it doesn't sting so much, and until the blood's dried. and when somebodyone asks if I'm ok, I don't know what to say. and along the highway, from cast-off, innumerable seeds, wild sage growing in the weeds.
new monster avenueshadows on the broad lawn, canopy of trees sometime after midnight, the ground is gonna freeze. birds in the frosty air, what are they doing there? greenhouse full of butcher's broom, breezes at my back some time before the sun comes up, the earth is gonna crack. I look down at my hands, like they were mirrors. fresh coffee at sunrise, warm my lips against the cup. been waiting such a long time now, my number's finally coming up. all the neighbors come on out to their front porches, waving torches.
half deadit was raining outside, so I cleaned house today. spent half of the morning throwing old things away. try not to get caught up, try to think like a machine. focus in on the task, try not to think about what it means. can't get you out of my head. lost without you, half dead. took my spot at the window, looked out at the road. dots and dashes of traffic, like a messaging code of whole boxes of memories wrapped up at the curb, I sang songs to myself that didn't have any words. can't get you out of my head. lost without you, half dead. stole out to the backyard late last night. pine trees frozen in the silvery moonlight, rising like giants from the cold earth. what are the years we gave each other ever gonna be worth? can't get you out of my head. lost without you, half dead.
get lonelyI will rise up early and dress myself up nice and I will leave the house and check the deadlock twice. and I will find a crowd and blend in for a minute and I will try to find a little comfort in it. and I will get lonely and gasp for air. and send your name up from my lips like a signal flare. and I will go downtown, stand in the shadows of the buildings and button up my coat, trying to stay strong, spirit willing. and I will come back home, maybe call some friends, maybe paint some pictures, it all depends. and I will get lonely and gasp for air. and look up at the high windows, and see your face up there.
maybe sprout wingsa bad dream shook me in my sleep and I woke up sweating. ran through the dark to the shower, already forgetting. tried to think good thoughts. trying to find my way clear. let the room fill with steam, traced pictures on the mirror. ghosts and clouds and nameless things. squint your eyes and hope real hard, maybe sprout wings. I clawed my way to the living room window, stood there in the cold. the last bits of my dream like figures in the distance, hard to hold. I thought of old friends, the ones who'd gone missing. said all their names three times. phantoms in the early dark, canaries in the mines. ghosts and clouds and nameless things. squint your eyes and hope real hard, maybe sprout wings.
moon over goldsboroI went down the the gas station for no particular reason, heard the screams from the high school -- it's football season. empty lot the station faces, will probably be there forever. I climbed over the four foot fence, I was trying to sever the tether. moon in the sky, cold as a stone spend each night in your arms, always wake up alone. I lay down in the weeds, it was a real cold night. I was happy until the overnight attendant switched on the floodlight. walking home I was talking to you under my breath, saying things I would never say directly. I heard a siren on the road highway ahead. kinda wish they'd come and get me frost on the sidewalk, white as a bone tried to get close to you again, always wake up alone. and as i was crossing our doorstep, i hesitated just a moment there. remembered the day we moved into our small house 'til the vision got too vivid to bear. you were almost asleep, halfway undressed i lay right down next to you held your head against my chest. and a guy with any kind of courage would maybe stop to think the matter through maybe hold you still and raise the question, instead of blindly holding on to you. but we crank up the heat and you giggle and moan, spend all night in the company of ghosts, always wake up alone
in the hidden placesautumn came around like a drifter to an onramp there were wet leaves floating in gutters full of rain. took to walking barefoot around town melodies from grade school, kicking in my brain. saw you on the crosstown bus today. you were reading a magazine. I turned my face away and I shut my eyes tight. and dreamed about the flowers that hide from the light on dark hillsides in the hidden places. the brakes howled and the bus pulled up near my house and I got off at the corner. pulled my sleeves down over my hands, over my hands. and I wished I was someone else. and I wished it was warmer. and when I got home, I thought about you. like a desperate policeman, searching for clues and I almost passed out, just then and I shut my eyes again headed for the dark hillsides in the hidden places.
song for lonely giantsno one washed behind my ears. high in the trees alone for years, practicing my solitary scales 'til they rose like balloons watching them go where they will go. face in the leaves, song in my throat. fall through the air, hoping to float. practicing my solitary scales 'til they grow heavy, too heavy to carry. watching them go where they will go.
woke up newon the morning when I woke up without you for the first time, I felt free. and I felt lonely. and I felt scared. and I began to talk to myself almost immediately, not being used to being the only person there. hmmmm the first time I made coffee for just myself, I made too much of it. but I drank it all, just 'cause you hate it when I let things go to waste. and I wandered through the house, like a little boy lost at the mall. and an astronaut could've seen the hunger in my eyes from space. and I sang oh what do I do? what do I do? what do I do? what do I do without you? on the morning when I woke up without you for the first time, I was cold, so I put on a sweater. and I turned up the heat. and the walls began to close in and I felt so sad and frightened, I practically ran from the living room out into the street. and the wind began to blow and all the trees began to bend. and the world in its cold way started coming alive. and I stood there like a businessman waiting for a train. and I got ready for the future to arrive. and I sang oh what do I do? what do I do? what do I do? what do I do without you?
if you see lightwhen the villagers come to my door, I will hide underneath the table in the dining room, knees drawn to my chest. when the villagers come to my door, I will breathe shallow breaths from high up in my stomach ah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah waiting for the front door to splinter, waiting all winter. when the villagers come to my door, I'll be all tucked away with my face to the floor and my eyes closed. and no one knows how to keep secrets 'round here they tell everyone everything, soon as they know. and then where is there left for poor sinners to go? waiting for the front door to splinter, waiting all winter.
cobra tattoosun just clearing the treeline when my day begins. slippery ice on the bridges, northeastern wind coming in. you will bruise my head, I will strike your heel. drive past wind of northern pine, try not to let go of the wheel. dream at night girl with a cobra tattoo on her arm, it's head flaring out like a parachute. prisms in the dew drops in the underbrush skatecase sailor's purses floating down in the black needlerush higher than the stars I will set my throne. God does not need Abraham, God can raise children from stones. dream at night girl with a cobra tattoo and try to hear the garbled transmissions come through.
in corollathe day I turned my back on all you people I felt an itching in my thumbs. the salt air like a broadcast from the distant, dark beyond when my transformation comes. I went down to the warm, warm water saw a pelican fly past waved once at the highway and then left all that behind me I went wading through the grass. and no one was gonna come and get me. there wasn't anybody gonna know. even though I leave a trail of burnt things in my wake every single place I go. and it was cool, and it was quiet in the humid marsh down there. i let my head sink down beneath the brackish water, felt it gumming up my hair. the sun was sinking into the atlantic the last time that I turned my back on you. I tried to summon up a little prayer as I went under it was the best that I could do. and I said, "let them all fare better than your servant", the reeds all pricking at my skin. "here's hoping they have better luck than i had down here with you" all that water rushing in.