Saturday, November 27, 2010

Whispering Your Name, Not Another

 If you been around, can't blame the seasons,
The waters gonna rise, and the rains gotta fall
 Mother nature's just as fickle with her reasons
 As any womens gonna be with me at all

 I just pulled in here, guess I'm a lucky sucker
Even the best of luck wouldn't give me the right....
 Will you dance with an old cross country trucker?
And give me touch of your body tonight?

Tasting Cuervo and Salt, Angostura bitters
Touching nearly as much as a drunk can reach
Whispering your name (I hope) and not another
Passed out in the sheets from that Sex on The Beach

I used to have a wife and two small children
Sometimes just buying groceries, we'd have a ball
I could catch the girls there lookin and lookin
And point them out to my woman, who'd turn red and smile

Anytime you feel just a little bit normal
That's just about the time your going to need to get drunk
So despite my record when I'd get informal
There finally came a day when I could do what I want.

Tasting Cuervo and Salt, Angostura bitters
Touching nearly as much as a drunk can reach
Whispering your name (I hope) and not another
Passed out in the sheets from that Sex on The Beach

Sally Huesen's brothers had a need for cushions
To catch the growing asses of American men.
Problem was the factory was somewhere in Houston
So she naturally asked if I could haul them in.

There were six good bars between Indy and Texas
 But the borders so far from Matagorda Bay,
Back in that grocery I never reached for Mclellans
Could you guess the first thing I did in Oyster Lake?

Tasting Cuervo and Salt, Angostura bitters
Touching nearly as much as a drunk can reach
Whispering your name (I hope) and not anothers
Passed out in the sheets from that Sex on The Beach

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mama Said

Mama said, "Don't let the door, hit that lady in the ass,"
I swear to you, those were the words she cried,
So baby, don't, let that wooden door hit your rear end as you pass
To fall for someone with the apron strings untied,

Mama said, "She's younger than, she's cute, if you ask me,"
I'm serious, that was her take on you,
I swear upon, my own Mom, if you won't believe
She sorta thinks, in her mind, you're kind of cute.

Mama said, "She'll leave you, but, then come and beg for more,"
She looked surprised when I started, then, to laugh,
"I'm just a guy, she's just a girl, and Mama, that's the truth"
 She said, "For now there's one of you, in the world."

Mama said, "Hold the door, and tell her that you love her,
It's pathetic, but, that's all a man can do,
A woman's work is never done, but your marriage is in reverse
Should your wife ever have to hold the door for you."

I never guessed just what she meant
Till long past the day she'd tell
And one day I was so dog gone spent
With my woman and wouldn't listen well

Jess, my wife, was crying over something
I now, can't report
"Not now," I told her, "I just can't make the time,"
It took ten months, before I was to learn how I didn't hold the door
God, how I'd love change that damn fool's mind

A friend of hers
Whom she loved so young
Even now it fills her eyes
Had that day, finally, after eight months
Lost his life.

Mama said, "You dropped the ball, and cut the roast before it was time!"
I said, "Mixed metaphors and you're yelling at your son!"
Mama said, "You musn't live your life like your only five!,"
I said, "If I do, than it's from what you've said and done."

The lie sat there between us, like the state of age and youth
A figure formed of anger, fear and pride
And I could see the twist of the face of a pretty woman abused
And could hardly believe the shame that bloomed inside.

"Mama" I said, "You told me always, to tell the honest truth,"
Well, today, I'm so sorry that I just lied,
In a world of pain and suffering, my mother tended every bruise
Without you I'll never have a shot at being wise.

Mama said, "I know that, I'm your mother, you goon,"
"You can't fool me, I always know you've lied"
But thanks anyway for the really nice words, they made me feel real good,
Now go right home and talk to your pretty wife."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Till The Snow Comes and Falls In the South

Tell me truth
On this pain
If on the roof
Of your mouth

Tell me truth
I'll be laying
In the night

Tell me truth
On this pain
It's not enough
For me to doubt

Tell me truth
Till the snow
Comes and falls
In the South

Oh this deaf dumb mind
Heart broken sails flap untight
Tell me blues
Spoke and cog
Of the night

Tell me truth
On this shame
On the roof
Of your house

Tell me truth
I'm here waiting
In the night

Tell me truth
On this shame
It's not love
For me to shout

Tell me truth
Till the snow
Comes and falls
In the South

Till the snow
Comes and falls
In the South

Till the snow
Comes and falls
In the South

Owed To Anna Nicole

Darling, it's a ruined trip
Bruises up my smile
To look upon the empty seat
And see your face awhile

Pulling down the miles again
Catching 46 for the line
How many times I've missed this bend
With you upon my mind?

I can see you're still fine as then
Cool your heels with mine
On the banks in Madison
I'm gonna lose my mind

Your Papa he's a big big man
Got screwed there
Back in a foreign land
Took his vengeance, I understand
By growing you up in Madison

Some things fly like a church bell's hymns
I'd die so damn happy then...
Some girls lie with unjust men
Baby drown me in Madison

You'll see things you'd never know
Could flow so soft in your eye
The silver flow of entire oaks
In the Ohio's flanks tonight

I didn't mean to bring to mind
So many cruel things
It's just this towns so filled with signs
Of old desire and pain

She smiled and something
Like a hundred things
Fell in blue waters washed
From brown eyes in Madison.

Darling it's a ruined trip
Bruises up my smile
To look upon an empty seat
And see your face awhile

Pulling down the miles again
Catching 46 for the line
How many times I've missed this bend
With you upon my mind?

How many times I've missed this bend
With you upon my mind?

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Were the presence of your life
Somehow to awaken...
I'd be crying just to mind
All the bruising, here, you'd taken

For you turned this pain
To Gold, and you promised
What I was given
Were the presence of your life
Proof that I'd be soon forgiven

Pleading, pleading
Justified by nothing, were my mind
The one you're reading

And heeding, yes, heeding
Heeding little that you told me
So, now, I'm pleading

In the seams of dark black coal
Far from mind of golden rings
Live the white lies that I've told
Dreaming hard on bigger things

And though few have fallen near
As fast as I used to do
That beastly miner, fear
Pays this Cancer all her dues

Pleading, pleading
Justified by lucre, here's a book
I'm glad your reading

And heeding, yes, heeding
Heeding nothing that you told me
So, now, I'm pleading

Out the gate the bulls come hard
On the heels of foolish guests
Though it might seem so bizarre
They're neither punished, nor are blessed

For while we'll fight in sight of bruises
And stoop to foolishness for gain
It's great sport for one who loses
Half his balls at this parade

Pleading, pleading
Justified by nothing, here's a prayer
For your receiving...

And heeding, yeah, heeding
Heeding nothing that you taught me
So, here, I'm pleading.

Heeding nothing that you taught me
So, here, I'm pleading.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A (Bad) Suit Against The Reaper

Ten years ago I was sitting on a grassy hill, over looking 9th St. Park, here in Bloomington.  Beside me was an old friend, and we sat and talked about this and that. At some point he confessed that he thought we, as a culture, and a people of the world, might live forever.  I remember feeling kind of irritated, and confused by this, but also somewhat compassionate.

I could understand how anyone would desire such a thing.  The art I had seen my whole life has depicted such a yearning.  The science fiction I had read (including the Old Testament of the Bible, no joke) had enjoyed the fantasy of extremely long lived beings.  Many movies, stories, and mythologies dealt with vaguely fantastic God like ancients, inevitably making a mess of their endless largess... as writers of the books I read on writing narrative would have it, "rarely is it a good idea, in a story, to give the protagonist the appearance of having satisfied his or her desires."  Unless, of course, it's at the beginning... after which, the fun begins in earnest.

Was ever a story told, where the character desires something.... then, bang, gets it?  Of course... it's just that hardly anyone could find reason to read it.  The techne of writing and reading (the learned effort, the hidden machinery of your mind, experience, and spirit) is in fact very costly.  Costly to the individual to obtain... costly to the culture to earn (in schooling and the over arching social infrastructure)... costly in the basic economics of time management: cost/ benefit costly.  The story that speaks to the character getting what they desire, without complication, is not a story at all, of course: it's an aphorism.  Could a fable be constructed in such a manner?  No.  Grandma and Grandpa tell "stories" that they can only sell to their unconditionally loving family for the very good reason that they aren't stories at all:  they are life lessons, with most of the true consequences of experience butchered carefully for ingestion.  And we should be glad.  Real stories, told well, cause discomfort and terror.  Such stories are best left to the faceless devices that are presented to the seeker in all of us at the cinema, bookstore, and other purveyors of narrative.  A lot of bad movies are intentionally bland conversation pieces, for the large majority of any society which is lonely, and nervous, and needs something to talk about that doesn't create confrontation, ect.

So, the God-like characters I read about and saw depicted in stories and narratives on my childhood landscape HAD to have problems, so as to avoid being mistaken for a grandparent (though some of them were that as well!)  And, among the Greek and Roman myths, the simple satisfaction of earnest desires, can hardly be found.  The same can be said about the plays of most cultures, the literature, the opera, and indeed the politics. 

"Why can't the politicians just be good?"  you sometimes hear people ask.  After these paragraphs above I need not say more than the obvious fact that, this is a very nice question.  The answer lies to its seeker, beneath a thick carpet of dust, a few yards away from the spanking clean computers donated by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, at your local library.  To be fair... the computers have tons of answers as well, with very diverting pictures of cleavage, undyingly clickable right next to the mostly earnest fare of your disposition.  In any case, the answer is old, and bloody obvious, should you know the purpose of a politician, the power of narrative, and the ultimate willingness on your part to meddle in what is sometimes mistakenly presented as your representation.  It's the politicians fault, of course.

It's probably true, as these old stories (or one might say, reminders) seem to obsess over, that there is something riveting about having all the problems you have today: forever.  Who wouldn't want to wonder when the current war will end, for centuries?  Who wouldn't want to change their mind so many times over that they stop even relating to themselves?  Surely such a thing should only happen once, or twice in a life!

As the hilarious, and more than a little intelligent "film reviewer" Chrissreviews, put it, in her YouTube review of the Twilight New Moon sequel to the blockbuster series: (I paraphrase for fear of losing my attention by actually looking at this beautiful intelligent blond say these words again) "I mean, if I could live forever [as the vampires in Twilight do], wouldn't I want to spend the entire time in high school?" Of course you would... what else is there to do with life?

In some ways, depending on one's perspective (possibly, completely depending on one's perspective) we already live forever.  By which I mean we have many years, as humans, before the responsibility of family obligation and childbirth to orient ourselves with the world, or universe.  And, usually, we have some number of years beyond our family obligations to orient ourselves some more.  Isn't it interesting how utopian that sounds?  Surely, no one would be naive enough to really think that's how it works.  Somehow, such a simple minded description of a life neglects the undeniable impacts of heavy involvement and attachment to the loved ones and places of our life.  As long as we remain with, or are preparing for this attachment, we are far from the cosmic orientation that should be allowed from a merely technical perspective, to a lifespan of seventy to eighty years.  It is both too bad and gloriously helpful that this is the case.  Welcome to the humane riddle of humankind's largess. 

So... it's settled.  In a sense you kinda live forever, but can't practically appreciate (or enjoy) this, so really your lifespan is quite short, which everybody, who's anybody, knows only too well.  Right?  Your basic spiritual types, who are actually spiritual, versus the "of course I'm a spiritual" type of person (who, you know, needs a job, or kid, or whatever) will say that we all have more than enough time to address the truly important things.  While this is undeniable, like, say, one's proper body weight, it has a lot in common with the same.  Being told you should eat your vegetables is an unpleasant form of discourse.  Besides, most folks (a hell of a metric, don't you think) do not agree.  They want to go back, Our Town style. They want MORE time, not better time.  This is due to the fact that youth is a time of extremely stupid behavior, and valorization.   It's what...? Oh, yes.... Wasted. On. The. Young.   While we wouldn't put our money on this statement, say, while playing with the grandkids, it is absolutely crucial to our dignity, should we reach back to the choices we have made.  So... we can all agree, we didn't use the time we had properly, which leaves us in the unenviable position of admitting that yes, while we wish we had known better, we COULD use more time.  It's not what you'd like to be saying... but there you go.  Your old enough, now, for the truth (and man, you weren't back then, eh?)

So, back on that hill, at 9th St Park, with my friend, I hadn't really thought about a lot of this.  For one thing, I was in my twenties, my early twenties.  I knew I could yet make a lot of mistakes, and still get married to the wrong woman, and yet find a truer (though never, really, true) love, and some serenity.  A number of wonderful friends of mine reveal this to me today.  People who have lived; have loss that they lived through.  This loss is instructive.  Back at that park I had noticed a bit of this, but wasn't focused on it, even when the subject of life extension and immortality was brought up.

What I thought about at the time was: why don't we have a greater hunger for the lives being lived right now?  The lives that have been lived already?  The life we live today? 

I didn't know, just then, the excuses and explanations that help to destroy all of that, and render the stone and grass graveyard so much less than even a pretension of it's categorical nomenclature.  The deadest "memory" in the ugliest "garden" imaginable.  And The History Channel says you were meant to picnic at the cemetery!  It's the sort of fact that would appeal to a teen-ager who's lost no one.  God bless 'em.

I whistle beside it all.  And humbly miss my dead, kid. 

And, I guess, in the language of my Southern Hoosier brethren, I hope you're long for the world.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Darkness Knows

Here's a song I've been playing around with a few years.  The version you hear at the top of the player at left, was my original improvisation.  Somehow it just came to me at Elm Heights.  Hence my preoccupation at the time with "reasons for believing in ghosts."

Darkness Knows

Give it up to windblown days
The nighttime just glows
For it’s tailor made
To the things that Darkness knows

Driven out by the nimble ways
Dark houses blow cold
For it’s love that bades
Goodbye to what Darkness knows

Now I don’t believe in Ghosts
Though I usually say hello
And ask the reason
For their stay

Any given sinner has
A lifetime of reasons to pray,
But the reasons for believing
In ghosts, never go away

Little kid comes in your room
And wants to know
‘Cus he’s so afraid
When the lights get turned down low.

Say, “Kid, get up in my bed.
Where you won’t be cold.
And we’ll both try to guess
What the Darkness really knows.

The liars all will boast
That the bad things go away
And the nighttime rumors
Just can’t help themselves

But it’s getting on eight o clock
And the creatures are getting bold
Like in the olden days
All the things that Darkness knows