Lyrics

Here is a random selection of lyrics I’ve written over the years. Some have been set to music. Others have not yet. They are reprinted here in no particular order. I will continue to add more, so visit again if you’d like.

Sentimental Drift
“Swallowing dirt by the mouthful”
“I can’t breathe” she said
“Dragging me under the earth with you”
“It’s not you” she said
“Sometimes I feel like you’re no longer the boy who I used to like”
Sometimes I feel like I won’t even care if you go away
“I drew a line from your mouth” she said
“I connected it straight to my ears”
“I drew a heart around your name” she said
“It feels like I’ve carried you everywhere”
“Sometimes I feel like you won’t even care if I go away”
Sometimes I wish this could be that simple
With each kiss the silence grows
It’s more reflex than meaning by this point
A crush of skin familiar against a girl so foreign
Your eyes staring lifelessly is the image I remember
“I remember feeling lightness when I heard your name” she said
“But all we do is stand here”
“I can’t move” she said
“Sometimes I feel like we’d be happy if I go away”
Sometimes I wish this could be that simple

(2000)

Magnificent Desolation
Hey old man
Entertain me will you
Because I’m falling asleep
I’m drowning in these feathers
Outside the sky is blue
The sun’s still shining loudly
It stings my eyes
Until it leaves me blinded
In this bed
It’s where I sleep all day and night
Under this bed
It’s where the monsters hide
If you can see me breathing
Then you’ve come much too close
I’m tired of all this dreaming
It must soon be my time to go
There’s always somewhere where we belong
I can’t believe in heaven
Unless I have proof it’s real
I’m just the same as you
I guess that’s how I feel

(2003)

Penelope In An Envelope
Penelope in an envelope
Ready to go anywhere
A lick and a penny stamp could send her
Stuffed into the mail slot
Her eyes shut tight so anxiously
And on the front it’s written
“Please anywhere worth being”
The return address was blankness
And the addressee is the unknown
Hopefully she tumbled in the darkness
As she spun around she said a prayer
Which sounded like a plea
And waited quietly to be delivered

(2014)

The River
I went to the river
I walked there with Jesus
They called me a sinner
I went down down down
A prayer to deliver
A moment of rapture
A drink from the river
Then you drown drown drown
A bath tub of wishes
When everything’s missing
The promise of cleansing
Keeps us around round round
Lord can you hear me
From the banks of this river
I’ve been screaming a lifetime
Without a sound sound sound
So I’ll wait by the river
I’ll wait here for Jesus
Surrounded by sinners
I just want to drown drown drown

(2011)

Flutter
Flutter by girl
Butterfly girl
Leave me alone again
You twist in your skin that you left by the door
I clutch the beginning
It’s all that I’ll ever have
I can hug all the pieces
But they no longer fit
So it doesn’t make sense to even be here at all
You fly away from this mess that you made
The past has a name that’s now unpronounceable
A thousand flaps from your wings
Cause a wind to rush through my heart
And blow me off course again
Until I wake without landing
On the floor like I planned it
With sketches of then again
And the cold hope of home again
As you flutter flutter flutter away

(2014)

Burnt Offering
Shimmering chimney
Too many dreams
Burned up in the home
And fed to the sky
Like a sacrifice to God
For our well being
We watch the smoke rise
It’s always black smoke
Always a stalemate
Never a pope

(2014)

Mermaiden
She held him down and kissed him
With her mouth full of fishes
Like she was the seventh queen of the seas
Like the power of the waves compelled her
And he drowned
In a slow aching motion
Until his heart gave out below them
Until the bubbles stopped around them
And then he floated away
While she still lingered

(2014)

A Confederacy Of Birds
On a hilltop desolate
We waited for a quorum met
I kicked the ground and paced again
“This is the last time” no one said
But in the silence we all meant
All the things which were never said
And on and on and on we go
At last the waiting soured stale
They didn’t bother no one cared
An absence was the same as being there
With shuffled feet I caught their eyes
And muttered vague words of goodbye
We hesitatingly turned to face the sky
Fly fly fly away

(2007)

Departures And Arrivals
Your love is terminal
Always beginning and ending
But never a destination
Only layovers and holding patterns
Your bed is full of introductions
And missed connections
And solitary questions
I was waiting on the tarmac
Grounded in a perpetual taxi
While those other planes took off around me
Departures and arrivals
All those rivals would never see what I do

(2013)

Broken Egg
Asleep under cloud cities
Shapes drift by aimlessly
Hours and hours to feel nothing at all
She turns and she smiles to me
Says she feels really free
Clutches my hand and then closes her eyes
Doctors and surgeries
An egg in a hundred pieces
A shaking of heads and a release of sighs
She lays like a broken car
Rusted and always parked
Asleep in the front yard to no longer run
I touch her legs and arms
So they’ll move like they’ve moved before
When we formed those memories she’ll never recall
Her friends and family
Come by less frequently
To look at the statue of a girl they once loved
All the hours I waited were hours I’ve wasted
With my hopeless hope against unavoidable words
This dream that I’m chasing is the last one she dreamed in
It’s useless but I’m running until my legs say no

(2009)

The Beautifully Ignorant
I remember you now since you cut off your hair
You were so certain that you’d be a star
To be on tv is all you wanted to be
Now all your dreams are ripped through their seams
We’re the most beautifully ignorant people you ever will meet
There on the bed lies your crumpled dress
You’re a wreck in the head and you look like a mess
Your eyes are all shot
Your speech is so slurred
This empty girl is all that you were
Sometimes at night you still shut your eyes
And you beg yourself to wake up alive
But you’re alone on your own and he won’t know your name
And you’re growing old and dead with each new day
We all are
We’re the most beautifully ignorant people you ever will meet
Sometimes I don’t want to die
Sometimes I don’t want to live without him by my side
And the sky was torn open like a book
Like pages flapping in the wind
You were there standing tall and frail
Like the crowning of the waif elf
It was the dawning of America
You were there looking like the discovery of America
On my coronation day she locked herself in the bathroom
She told me she was pregnant through her muffled sobs
“Another DNA another generation” I sighed
How utterly careless to bring someone in
When I’ve been spending my life planning my escape
We’re the most strikingly American people you ever will meet
With big cars and guns star spangled swagger
We’re the most arrogantly naive people you ever will meet
I love my heroin girl
I love my heroine
Heroine chic
We’re in my convertible driving to California
It’s where all the hot girls go
Somewhere over the rainbow there’s a land called California
So with your big dreams and meager means
You leave your kids behind
You didn’t see them crying when you got on the train
But I was the one who let you get away
And I’m the one they hate
We’re the most beautifully ignorant people you ever will meet

(1998)

Stop Speaking English
Let’s get symbolic on me
In letters pictures hieroglyphics on the wall
You’ve seen it all
You know the rules
Semantics queen in a vernacular scene
Ain’t it groovy yeah
Stop speaking English
You don’t even curse
In writing speaking or thinking thoughts
You never lie when the truth really hurts
You’ve got a funny accent
I don’t know where you got it
Linguistics gymnast on a balance beam
Semantics queen in a vernacular scene
Phonetics prophet on a teacher’s budget
Grammar punctuation verb capitalization
Stop speaking English
And you never would’ve guessed I only speak Spanish
But you’d never hear me anyway
Stop speaking English

(1997)

A Fucking Drink
Can I get a fucking drink
I said can I have a fucking drink
I’m thirsty and dry
I’ve been out here all this time
I could really use a fucking drink

Oh Sobriety it’s like you’re trying to kill me
Sure my family might thank you
But my friends are all bored
They don’t call anymore
I just sit home alone
Wishing for a fucking drink

(2010)

Allison In Static
Allison in crutches
Perched upon the shoulders of a very distant memory
It keeps on growing fainter
Until one day it won’t support her

Allison so wasted
Curled upon the feet of the only thing she’s prayed for
And waited to be requited
But all she got was silence

Allison in wonder
Of the dreams she had been dreaming
Everything seemed so vivid
It was like she had been living
When really none of her existed

Allison in static

(2013)

A Lion In Autumn
I’ve often admired you
Inspired by you
But I’ve come to hate what you represent
It’s like you let me down
Without promising anything

So long may this sea roll between you and me
I feel relief
Even if I may look longingly

(2013)

A Conversation For The Fall
Now that the season’s changed I won’t be coming around again
But you already knew so there’s no need to explain the reasoning behind my absence
Suddenly the thoughts are falling faster than I can come up with words to describe them with
All the dreams I had of a cleaner time
I just stayed in bed and let them die inside my head
As though they’re prisoners of my inaction and I starved them
But that’s not how it happened
You had your share too and you’re a part of the truth you keep trying to place upon my head like it’s a crown of hope
You dressed me in a gown of smoke and ran away
She was a novelist and I was her plagiarist
But I had all the lights so her words became mine
Then she started believing everything I was saying as though my words had meaning even though she’d given birth to them
Suddenly I’m standing on a sparse stage with nothing else to say
Waiting eyes look back at me but I can’t look so I just focus on the empty wall
Will you still love me when the truth about me comes to breathe
I’ll fight it until my last breath but now I’m tired and feeling weak
I used to stand for something and used to proclaim my beliefs
Now I only stand up for myself and do so quietly
Beneath these lines and closing eyes
I’m still the boy you dreamt of flying away with even if only for an instance
The field’s still there but we’ve just gone a different way
Caring about things is for the young
I won’t surrender anything even though it looks like I stand in defeat
A history of conversations and a sequence of frustrations
I’ve known you for too long
I’m amazed we still have anything left at all to share

(2008)

The Funeral Swans
Outside on the streets
The funeral swans glide up and down the pavement
Like angels dressed in sheets
There are flags hung from cranes
The boats on the lake are motionless
Everyone is missing now
Just a swishing sound as the swans go by

(2008)

In The Desert
As the Christ suffered in the desert
So am I here trembling
I am further from God
I am further from love
Than I ever thought conceivable
Only I will not have a resurrection
Nor will I have a reign of glory
In an unmarked plot
A hollowed husk filled with wanting more

(2009)

A New Sun
Peered through the window
A new sun is dawning
It looks like a morning but still feels like yesterday
Stilled with a silence of pulses and breathing
A violent retreating of the way we felt yesterday
Stand in the doorway
Just stand in the doorway
A face in the hallway and back turned towards everything
Here is it all just like was wanted
We dreamt it we got it now time for a celebrate
A breaking of hope and a breaking of promises
Sworn to the grave even though they were impossible
I draped you in kisses then draped you with sighs
And then came the lies until nothing at all
All of the words my mouth was bleeding
They had no meaning no matter how loud I screamed them
It was just a sound clanging in the hollow cold
So I leave you with nothing
Just like we started
Such a blank stretch of time we shouldn’t have bothered
All that was sworn to the grave means nothing today
And nothing we say will ever be heard again

(2008)

Cloistered
I thought I could read you
With my hands clasped tight
I said it like a prayer
I thought I would need you
I wished I could care as much as I felt you did
But in the end all I believed in
Were words that you said and words that I heard
And words that I hoped for in times of silence
To fill the quiet with noise and with meaning
A purposeful sound
Something to believe in
I wish I could fill my heart with hope
I wish I could spend these moments wanting to spend these moments here
If only you could fill my head with thoughts

(2008)

Loud Sky
I keep telling you my brain feels like it’s melting
I couldn’t sleep all week
It’s like I wake up hearing screams
They’ve been screaming since that dream
We ran away the other night to escape reality
But then it just got louder
It’s like I’m drowning

There’s a dozen broken birds
And none of them have wings
Sitting in a plain room
Waiting patiently
For a sign to tell them anything that starves their disbelief
In a sky that gives them nothing
Then time is up soon

So I’ve been waiting in these feathers but I can’t tell you why
I’ve just been doing this for decades
Ready made self defense of some type
Flightless without trying
That description is too kind
The sky keeps getting nothing
We’re going under

(2011)

Matadora
Matadora come in for the kill
I’ve been stabbing for weeks so you may as well fulfill
This slaughter I’ve started and set into place
Everyone’s waiting for you to erase
All signs and all likeness of what’s come before
We don’t want any of this so save us Matadora
A mouth full of bluster and tongue full of truth
And hands filled with venom when it’s ready to lose
Stab from the left and stab from the right
Stab until it’s over and over finally

(2012)

Night On The Town
I’m in the fourth level of hell
Help this place is being overrun by Greeks
If I stay much longer I’ll go mad
But I can’t leave
I’m trapped
I mess up my hair
And take off my sweater to show my Belle and Sebastian t-shirt
As a signal of distress to anyone who can read
She’s standing with her friends and looking quite bored
She rolls her eyes as the boys drop their lines
Then she walks over here
“Hey I like `Photo Jenny'”

(2000)

Purgatory
In city center Purgatory
I was stranded in a story
Involving a girl who’s out to kill me
And how I could’ve let her
But I never got as far as either of us wanted
In a restaurant at a table
Across from our place settings
We sat looking toward our faces turning into strangers
It was one of many days filled with obligation
No matter how I dreamt things
I kept waking in the same bed
Sunken in the plainness which turned into stagnation
It’s easier to do nothing than try to make a difference
So I’m still in the same city
And no she never killed me
But the thrill of then is over now
We’re just two strangers at a table
Saying nothing out of comfort
Having nothing that we wanted

(2010)

Elephants In England
She got on the train at Temple Meads
And cried all the way to Paddington
The boy in the glass whispered “I love you”
He may have just said “elephant”
But she melted the same
A row away a man kissed his wife like Gomez Addams
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you

(1997)

Asleep And Back Again
Off you go
You’re awake again
You’ve gone away again
It was a bad dream
I’m still asleep
I’m missing
Come back
Come back
Come back to me

(2011)

6A10L
This giant plane to Iceland
Thailand Pakistan or
Wherever it is I’m going
Lumbers slowly and silently
The fat man next to me is sleeping
His head falls
Searching for the bosom of my shoulder
As I stare out the window overlooking nothingness

They listened to a rock n roll record that evening
When she did unspeakable things to him
In the living room while her parents were asleep upstairs
Neither of them thinking at the time
That one day he would raise a spoon to her mouth
And gently wipe her down in silence
As they listened to the oxygen pump breathe

I will cover you in blankets of wires
And scream in your ear until you fall asleep
Sleep sleep my precious
And someday you may wake up somewhere

(2006)

The Colors At The End
So the day starts plain enough. I get out of work and the sun’s planning its escape. There’s about two hours of light left I think. So I go to Chinatown, just south of the demilitarization zone and I decide to walk around until night falls. Looking at a strange sky and breathing in its sick air. I wish I had a camcorder to document the day in all its chaos. In all its plainness. It’s like we’re living in a time capsule I think. My chest starts to hurt and I feel dizzy so I get on the 6 back home. I fell asleep on the train for the first time since then. I get back home when she calls me up. “Do you want to go to Sheepshead Bay?” she asks. It’s a hike, I know, but I have nothing else to do. So I go for the ride. Driving there we listen to a mix tape of Clinic and the White Stripes and my other pet songs of the month. After dinner and a visit with her mom, we park the car on Manhattan Beach and make out like teenagers while the radio plays. We could see the stars through the sunroof and she says “Today was so clear. I don’t remember seeing such a blue sky since…” and when her voice changes, I don’t say a thing. Silently we drive back to the city. I get high and we drive across the Brooklyn Bridge. The Empire State Building looked so out of place. And those same three colors shining every day for weeks. But I looked again at the approaching city. It was a city of glass it seemed. An island of glass shimmering through a blackened sky. So fragile and beautiful. We drive up First Avenue and sat in traffic through the police checkpoints. Everyone moved like a slow motion film. No one spoke. Even the siren lights were quiet. When we got to her place I fell asleep. I had a dream about the morning. It was a crowded train and I was squeezed into place. Next to me is a man in an oversized coat too big for this weather. We catch each other’s eyes. “Are you my killer?” I ask. He smiles and opens his coat. Light. Flash. Heat. I open my eyes and she’s sleeping peacefully as I catch my breath. I fall asleep again and dream that I snuck downtown one night and while everyone slept, I disassembled the World Trade Center. Story by story I took the buildings down (it was a slow tedious task). Then I put them back together three blocks down the street and I waited until morning. Monday morning everyone gets off the train and looked confused at the empty lot. “Where’s the World Trade Center?” they asked. Then I started laughing. “They’re behind me” and everyone turned to see them as tall as ever three blocks away. Then we all started to laugh. I was arrested and charged with trespassing but the judge only sentenced me to a $1 fine. As I left the courthouse, I began to laugh. I laughed so hard I lost my gravity and floated up to the sky. I began to float around the city and I looked in every window as people sat there eating, sleeping, fucking, watching tv. It was a city of glass. It was an island of glass. And I kept floating higher until all the lights had gone away.

(2001)

Driving Me Home Again
Oh Shannah
These last five miles are unbearable
Another time done up so senseless
The sky hangs heavier than words
I can wrap them up into a sentence
Divide them into falses and truths
But it’s too late
It’s another night
And you’re driving me home again

(2011)

West Of Heaven
It rains it rains
It always fucking rains
And on a day like today
When I drive to your house
And you’re not in
It just feels like a waste
Like I shouldn’t even bother
I’m so sick of this town
It’s like we’re living west of heaven
Where everyone is dancing
And I’m stuck in this car
Driving in the fucking rain

(2006)

Giza
My inclination is to tear it down
And build a new one
But my world is already a meadow of ruins
Some great monuments of failure
I will stay this time
I will build towards the sky off this level of scars
And be perfect from here on out

(2006)

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