This is Not That Dawn 05 Aug 2023
Loud Music 07 Aug 2021
Don't Turn Your Back on the Ocean 06 Jun 2019
South Less West 09 Sep 2016
When I Was a Painter 24 Aug 2016
I Miss You 01 Jan 2016
John Henry 13 Nov 2015
Let It Happen 12 May 2015
Dust in Time 27 Dec 2014
Hangovers and Disappearing Paychecks 17 May 2014
Great Circle 24 Feb 2014
Could Have Been Me 15 Oct 2013
You Made Me 27 Sep 2013
Proof 27 Sep 2013
The Longest Now 29 Aug 2013
Sugar Land 19 Aug 2013
Hope Center 02 Aug 2013
Here Comes the Train 08 Jun 2013
Where Do You Draw the Line? 22 May 2013
Health and Joy 01 Apr 2013
Lovers, Assassins and Cooks 31 Jan 2013
Another Country 10 Jan 2013
Who's Your Man 05 Jan 2013
Breaker 20 Dec 2012
Take Care 19 Dec 2012
Keeping it 17 Nov 2012
Miles and Miles 19 Aug 2012
Make it Better 15 Aug 2012
Baby I'm Delighted 23 Jun 2012
No Need to Cry 23 Apr 2012
Land in the Sky 20 Dec 2011
Red Dirt Miners 14 Oct 2011
At the Same Time 14 Oct 2011
If You Knew 15 Sep 2011
The Soul and the Song 29 Jun 2011
Leaning Towards the Light 24 Apr 2011
Tower of Babel 09 Apr 2011
Crossing Over 02 Apr 2011
Passing It On 22 Mar 2010
Pass it Round 01 Jan 2010
Mercy Get a Hold of Me 01 Jan 2010
Beulah Land 01 Jan 2010
Lay it Down 01 Jan 2009
Ladybug 01 Jan 2009
A Mystery to Me 01 Jan 2009
Crossing Over 03 Jul 2008
You Might Find Him There 02 Jul 2008
Finding Lines 06 Jun 2008
They Were Watching You 07 May 2008
Altered State 24 Apr 2008
Maybe I Was Right 17 Apr 2008
Things Fall Down 18 Mar 2008
Cash in Kabul 01 Jan 2008
Airport Road 18 Dec 2007
Border Radio 14 Dec 2007
The Numbers Never LIe 02 Oct 2007
St. Nicholas Elm 27 Aug 2007
Tree of Words 09 Aug 2007
Take Someone With You 21 Jun 2007
Lucy (in the Sky) 01 Jan 2007
Hell and Half of Georgia 01 Jan 2007
This is a song for the airline attendant 14 Jul 2006
The Sky was Falling as we Crossed the Western Border 06 Mar 2006
Stanwyck Dot Cat 06 Mar 2006
Hey Little Sister Don't 18 Jan 2006
I Know it's True 27 Mar 2005
I Told You Once 22 Mar 2005
Waterline 06 Jan 2005
Art 06 Jan 2005
Let's Do this All Over Again 01 Jan 2005
Of Any Power 25 Nov 2004
Simple 06 May 2004
Home 20 Sep 2003
Twelve 10 Aug 2003
Six Feet Under 06 Feb 2003
Down in Flames 03 Feb 2003
Walking Miracle 15 Jun 2002
Drift 01 Jan 2002
Alive 16 May 2001
A Sailor's Lament 01 Jan 2001
Today's Line Calls for an Increased Chance 17 Mar 1999
Water Freezes This July 01 Jan 1999
Twentieth Century 01 Jan 1999
Here and Beyond 01 Jan 1999
Heroes 01 Sep 1997
Spy 01 Jan 1997

This is Not That Dawn

In the fall of change we got high on hope
Started to believe they weren’t just giving us some rope
Put him in office like his face would be enough
They were dancing on the roof of the downtown bus

What you are waiting for
This is not that dawn
What you were hoping for
This is not, this is not that dawn

Man I’m through with hoping, I’m done with thoughts and prayers
Waiting on things that I wish were there
You and me, we got to work through the night
And when the sun comes up, no time to give up the fight

Gulf war protests

The ballot box and the bloody flag
This is not that dawn
The color guard and the rockets glare
This is not that dawn
Thoughts and prayers and the rockets glare
This is not that dawn
A changing face in the highest place
This is not that dawn

Think I heard the sounds move the the air
Heard those voices everywhere



Aesthetics of change without the reality
Keeping the door open
Who’s your audience and how did they get their seats

Loud Music

Everybody needs to turn it up sometimes
Playing your favorite song shouldn’t be a crime
You needs to get loud get lost in the sound
Everybody needs to turn it up sometimes

Now all you got is loud music
Loud music
Loud music
Everywhere you go

Everybody needs to take the microphone
To hear their voice coming through in stereo
You got things to say, an audience, a stage
Everybody needs to take the microphone


If you know you are never wrong
And you don’t want to hear someone else’s song
Turn it up to ten you’ll never have to hear noone again
If you know you are never wrong



Don't Turn Your Back on the Ocean

Don’t turn your back on the ocean
Or a wave will take you in
You are no match for that current
To the undertow you are nothing

You got yourself out there
And there's nothing that can save you now
Nothing that can save you

There are tides in the ocean
That will pull you far from shore
And winds to carry you
Where you have never been before


I lost myself by the ocean
To the sound of a sea birds’s call
When your arms reached out to me
There was nowhere else to fall



South Less West

Now I’m looking for a south less west
A place where I can learn, a place where I can rest

When I Was a Painter

When I was a painter I used both my hands
Made my living on someone else’s plans
And the past was not a place of regrets
When I was a painter, I was a happy man

When I was a painter, I didn’t speak all day
Let it out in songs, or some other way

Put yourself in position to draw a straight and a clean line

Stand back at the end of the day and you've got something to show for it
Stand back at the end of the day and you've got nothing to owe of it

I Miss You

Five seconds after I walk out the door
I miss you
Right after I hang up the phone
I miss you
All the way on that late night bus
Taking me away from us
When I remember what I planned to say
I miss you

When I’ve had more than enough to drink
I miss you
When I am too tired to even think
I miss you

When skies are cloudy and its pouring rain
When I am singing under sunny skies
When I’m all alone by myself at night
When I’m packed in the bus on a rainy day



John Henry

I’ve been thinking about John Henry
How he was born with a hammer in his hand

I’ve been thinking about John Henry
How he drove that steel like a man

I’ve been thinking about John Henry
How he laid his hammer down

Let It Happen

She said Karachi broke my heart
It will happen to you
But by then it was too late
I’d been taken in too

I had learned to love the traffic
Learned to breathe the fumes
Learned to take on my expenses
And take off my shoes

Let's throw it against the wall, see if it will fall
See how much more we can take
Let's give it all away, pyaar honay dey
Just let it happen and see what it will make

She said you’d better watch your step
Out on Clifton Beach
But I was already gone
Drifting out to sea

another verse here


She said you could spend your time
Thinking about what you’ve to to lose
You could stand around waiting for
Someone to make a move

another verse here

snow in sindh
The ghost of John Denver out on the pier
A place that is far from everything



Dust in Time

Everything becomes a ruin
Every place is already a ruin

A city or a mountain will both end up as dust in time.

Ruins of nature

Two ways water can kill you in the desert: thirst or drowning

Angles of geology
Roots of the mountains

Distinguishing the human from the natural
The effects of nature on civilization

Hangovers and Disappearing Paychecks

Just have the chorus so far

Here I am, it’s Monday night
I’ve got this barstool and this glass
I’d like to let this head full of memories go
And give my heart another chance

I used to be on top of the world
I had it all; what I wanted to get
I used to be proud and courageous
All I have now are hangovers and disappearing paychecks

Great Circle

We’ve got places to get to
We’ve all got places to go
We’ve got means, ways and motives
We’ve got wheels, we’ve all got roads

There will be things to carry
There will be a heavy load
And the hardest place to travel
Is the country you’ve built on your own

You've got to know the shape of things before you set your course
You've got to know if speed or scenery is what matters most
Chart out all the crossings and carry the right pass
And when you get to where you're going remember what you've passed

You can spend your life certain
Here is not where you belong
Or you can make home in yourself
And settle down in hope

The mountains of your mind
Are the hardest to climb

Could Have Been Me

When I think about the scar just below your right wrist
And how you turned the tiller and the windward side would lift

You didn't talk too much of history or make too many plans
You read the weather and the water and made some use out of them
All the places that you traveled all the things that you have seen
All the people that you've met, you could have been me

You Made Me

I’ve been trying to get over you
But you’ve got a way of keeping a hold
Over me and my fears
Are nothing to you but diamonds and gold

I’ve been trying to live my own life
But you reel me in as you’re turning your back
To me and the dark side of you
Is something I could not possibly lack

You made the best of me bring me down low
You made me feel I was all on my own
Made me a liar and broke my health
You made me do it all to myself

Made me choose between my friends and you
Dressed up as responsibility

Promised formulas and rewards
Talked of investment and traded in fraud

Made me care about things that don’t matter and ignore the things that count

You made me think it was me but really it was you

When things fall apart, you can see the pieces


People want something they can put their finger on
Some way to say if they are right or wrong
People want something that shows how much it matters to you
People want proof

I have watched my friends fight over the scraps of blame

The Longest Now

When I come to you will you take me in
Will you speak kindly of me
When I come to you will you see the man
That I wanted to be

When I come to you it will be as the man
I hope you will be to me

Evidence of me

Sugar Land

You’re as sweet as the stuff that they used to make around here
And you make my head spin just as bad as a nine percent beer

Come on baby, come and take my hand
I've got an uncle in Sugar Land
And we can drive all night long
Come on baby, come on and take me home


Hope Center

Take it where you find it
There’s not a center or an edge
Go with who it leads you to
I am not the one to judge


Here Comes the Train

When I hear that whistle blowing I run down to the tracks
Put a stolen penny on the rails and watch the train wheels roll it flat
And every day, if there was sunshine, snow or rain
When I heard that whistle blowing I’d know here comes the train

From the freight yards of Tacoma to the Gulf of Mexico
I rode as far as those wheels would let me go
But I settled down in Kansas in those fields of waving grain
When I heard that whistle blowing I said here comes the train


Where Do You Draw the Line?

Where do you draw the line
In the bonds of blood or the arms of crime
Where do you draw the line
On the cross, the crescent or the hills of time

bottom line

You pick them up from your father
You learn them in your school
You catch them in churches and hospitals
And they run you around like a fool

I’m trying to forget all of mine

Let me be the last to tell you
That you can carry everything
But let noone else set the limits
To your circles of affection


Health and Joy

Love I know is to be remembered
Whether for a boy or a girl
It wasn't for the sorrow or the sickness
You forgot it in the health and the joy

Lovers, Assassins and Cooks

We set out from the port on the 13th day
Made our way out across the bay
Sailing right out into the blue
Gonna show you what we can do

And we were lovers, assassins and cooks
You’ll find us on the high seas but we’re strictly off the books.
Lovers, assassins and cooks
See how we made you look

Another Country

I was in another country when you walked right up to me
And I didn’t understand a word of what you said to me

I choose my country, it is you

Who's Your Man

placeholder text

He came up from the south
He was born to let it out
With a heart as cold as plaster


It's not worth the bombs or the bullets
It's not worth the threats that lead to war
It's not worth anything worth having
It's not even worth dying for
Tell me again so that I understand
Who's your man


On the edge of the city the air is thick with smoke
And it’s there they drag the rusting hull of ships up on the shore

The world is full of people who are building and making do
But someone has to break things down, someone's got to make some room
And someone's got to make something old out of the new
Tear apart the present to give the future forms and possibilities


I am stronger than iron and older than sand
I can tear down anything built by human hands

Broke down
What kind of life is that to live
Broke down
Just how much more have I got to give

Ship breaker

When your course is run
I will be waiting for you

Take Care

You took all that care
And laid it at my feet
And I tended it like cancer
I called it love when I should have called it fear

Take care my friend
And make sure you give it back


Keeping it

Keeping it together/Losing it

Keeping it/Giving it away

Keeping a record/Forgetting it

Miles and Miles

The Romans walked a thousand paces
Al-Farghani laid his stakes in the sand
And while we’ve measured distance on land, air and water
We’ve known space between a heart and a hand

And there are miles and miles between us
But no distance at all
And there are mile and miles separating you and I
But nothing comes between us at all

units of measure
pieces of paper between here and the moon



Make it Better

Make it up
Make it over
Make it better

When I first looked at the pieces
All I could see were my mistakes
And then I started to think of possibilities
About the things that I could make

How I had let it slip and fall
And the weakness of my hands

To make something new, something old has got to break

Noticing where things lay

Pieces that were lost and others reappeared

Baby I'm Delighted

I’ve got nothing that I had before
I’ve got everything you left behind when you walked out the door
I’m in pieces all over the floor
And you’re out there getting what you wanted and more

Baby I'm delighted
I'm so excited
Baby I'm delighted for you.

I’ve got photographs I’ve got to hide
I’ve got thoughts that keep me up all night
I’m full up of loneliness and lies
But you’ve got more than my troubles on your mind


No Need to Cry

Now there’s no need to cry
Every generation leaves something behind
There’s no need to cry
Every generation has to learn to say goodbye

Land in the Sky

You could land in that land
You could land in the sky
You could land up somewhere else
You could land up in that land in the sky

Red Dirt Miners

Have you heard about the red dirt miners
Have you heard about the heavy load
Have you heard about the price they paid
And the 12 wheeled trucks they drove

Bringing it down
Bringing it down
Bringing it all back down

Have you heard about the things they whispered
As they worked those open pits
And as the dust storms spun and rattled
How they held onto their wits


Have you heard how they broke that union
Have you heard how they cut them down
How the ships flew by their hands
How their blood ran into the ground


Have you heard about the red dirt miners
Have you heard about the heavy load
Have you learned about the tracks they left
In the planet’s dust and snow


At the Same Time

I can’t love you and watch you fall apart
At the same time

If You Knew

If you knew what they were saying about you
Would you smile for the camera or turn your face away
If you knew how people worried over you
What would you do and what would you say

If you knew what they were planning for you
Would you up and fly away
If you knew the tricks they’ve got for you
Would you be gone by the end of the day

You will do what you came here to do
Place our minds in you

I would never insult love by calling it mine.

The Soul and the Song

there’s a lot that can be said in a song
and there’s more that can be said in how it’s sung

There are not words for every expression
And some things you can’t say in a song - …where you belong

between the soul and the song

Leaning Towards the Light

The daffodils on the kitchen table
Are leaning toward the light
By this time tomorrow
They will have died

I was walking down Eighth Avenue
On the day you died
I knew exactly when it happened
By the change in the light

I’ve always felt uneasy with my feet off the ground

It takes time for my head and stomach to catch up with a change in altitude

Tower of Babel

One glance from you was all it took
One word I did not understand
And your laughter cut me off right at the knees
Laid me out to die on the sand

So I built myself a tower
And I climbed up to the top
But it all came tumbling down

And we are locked inside our walls
And we look out our own windows
And we can only walk out our own doors


But we know all of the loopholes and all of the cracks
The tunnels and the fords into the heart
The weaknesses to our defense
The places where we break apart


language: dispersion/gathering

Crossing Over

for Patsy Cline

Well you can shake and swerve and shimmy until you jump right off the tracks
And they’ll leave you burning there after watching the crash
But if you wait for the right moment, guard the throttle, grease the joints
You’ll be crossing over at the switching point

Keep your hand on the throttle
Pay with patience for time
And you will cross over easy to another line

Find someone to sing to

Not to get high; to make the miles

Passing It On

We came in through the door off the car port
The one that always sticks
The answering machine was blinking
On the bed were the grandkids’ unwrapped gifts

There were lists on the refrigerator
And the calendar was covered in names
It was snowing in March in Alabama
As if we needed a reminder things had changed

I still think of you
What was left behind after you'd gone
It's not a matter of blame or credit
But passing it on

And the messages were automated calls
On behalf of your pharmacist
While I was restless, going room to room
Sure there was something I had missed


There was a stack of bills in the closet
Bibles and westerns on the shelf
And we looked for reasons and tried to find ways
For our hearts to hold things they can’t bear


Pass it Round

Take it down off the wall and pass it round
Don’t leave anything useful lying round
And whatever you can spend is enough to get you in
To keep everything going round

Pass it round, pass it round
There's so many empty bottles in this town
If you know how to fix what's broke, if you can pay more than you owe
And what you want to receive, pass it round

Paying for your share

If like me your mind’s a bum, let it go rambling on

Anyone can say anything and I will be listening

Music (an instrument)
Friends (what I know about you depends on who I heard it through)

Mercy Get a Hold of Me

When I’m up

When I’m down

When I’m right

When I’m wrong

When I’m down and low
When the waves of misfortune have covered me
When I am not half of the man I want to be
Mercy get a hold of me


Beulah Land

I’m coming down from the mountain any day

Where the red tail hawks are always circling

Lay it Down


I was born with a silver spoon in my hand
Tell the world to lay it down
Talk of real estate just passes over my head
And I lay it down
I’ve walked a mile in my sleep
On broken glass and concrete
Brothers, sisters, lay it down

You don’t have time for this tales of distant conflict
CEO-ldier, lay it down
We don’t see eye to eye you know the bottom line
Helicopters on the ground
You say you know the cost what’s sold can never be lost
CEO-ldier lay it down

I was born with my back against a wall
Come on Cisco lay it down
I got justice on my side and vengeance on my mind
Come on Cisco lay it down

Need some answers
I’ve got 9 to 5 cancer
Come on Cisco lay it down

There’s a line on the edge of town it starts ______
Hey Cisco lay it down

Where are all the unions
In the black it’s got me blue man
Hey Cisco lay it down


Ladybug fly away home
This house is burning it is burning down
Ladybug fly away home

A Mystery to Me

For things beyond the reach of dreams
Like fate and gravity
The reasons that I love you
Are a mystery to me

That one and one makes more than two
Is a mystery to me

The color of your eyes does not explain this at all
And neither does the way you smile

Crossing Over

Let me be your talking head
Let me be your childhood bed
Let me be your first tattoo
Your first communion suit

But I won't be your dream No I won't be your dream

Let me be your Jeri curl

You Might Find Him There

You might find Jesus in a gay bar

You won’t have to go too far
Just the nearest pub or bar
You will find him there
Drinking ____

drinking with his friends

Barrel House
On 42nd Street
The Bird Circuit (group of gay bars)
The Golden Pheasant
Old Colony

Finding Lines

He says I told him something I should have kept to myself
I say secrets are so fucking contagious

Listening to Joe Strummer feel the distance to the Nile
And the cruise control set at seventy five

Business corridors

Heading west and leaving the city behind
At seventy miles an hour

Moosic and the Promised Land State Park

Put it out of gear and let it roll
Let the wind take the lead for a verse or two - Finding lines in the passing air

Fragments of retreads stranded on the shoulder
Circling vultures
Crows dive bombing hawks

Out here we’re all the colors of our cars
And we’re singing along to the radio

Joe Hardy - 84 Lumber

Watershed, township, county, V for turkey vulture

90’s music charts, buckle up for the next million miles

They Were Watching You

You stood in the room where the paintings hung
They were watching you
Wondering if you were artist enough
They were watching you
Saint Sebastian lowered his head
With a mischievous smile said son don’t you know
I’ve been watching you

You sat yourself down in front of the screen
They were watching you
The pictures flickered in blue and green
They were watching you
The late night anchor turned in his chair
And fixing you with his benevolent gaze said
I’ve been watching you

They gave it to you fast and rough
They were watching you
Questioning if you were man enough
They were watching you
Monuments of bones, mountains of shoes
Skeletons dancing to the sound of Pan’s flute
They were watching you

Altered State

I wake up with my stomach in knots and my ears ringing
I should not be feeling this way first thing in the morning
With my back bent into a curve and a wobble in my knees
A spirit as flat as my feet

Lead me out into the night in those wild places
The shoulders of the highway in those high lonely days

Grit my teeth and clench my fists
Slumped shoulders
Bad habits

Got to get out of survival mode

Not even Joe can make me believe

Cracking up

Thank God for loneliness

Struggling to sit up straight

Letting it all go to waste
I can't go on living in an altered state
Living in an altered state of blue

Maybe I Was Right

Maybe I was right where I was right then
But in two years I’ll be gone
And maybe all the places I’ve been to
Only served to bring me here

Maybe I was right
Maybe I was right
Maybe I was right
I was wrong

Maybe all the things that I have lost
Make room for the new
Maybe all the people I forgot
I was not meant to know


Maybe the ideals that I have lost
Were the ones I don’t believe
Maybe all the anger that is gone
Was not sincerely felt

Maybe all the things that I regret

Not the waiting, but the preparedness

Confidence/assurity that I have lost

Remember something else

Mistakes I knew better than to make



Things Fall Down

Every thing noble is just waiting to fall

Dignity is just an excuse to stumble
Things fall down

Cash in Kabul

Silence reigns in the beauty parlor
Rusting Russian tanks and empty American shells

Cash in Kabul (You know where we're at man)
Cash in Kabul (All day long)
Cash in Kabul (I just want the facts man)
Cash in Kabul (All night long)

And I walked in holding my guidebook

If I am an immigrant in my own country
Then what am I here

Airport Road

Take it four lanes wide all the way
At ninety miles per hour
Tumbleweeds blow down ambush alley
And it will blow your confidence down

Airport Road you stole my brother
Airport Road you took my friend
You say take it easy but you do not deceive me
I am not going back there again

Out on the highway just past midnight
The asphalt is cold as hell
There’s a man standing there with a rock in each hand
And he’s praying to Allah for help


And though I drive down Route Irish
I will not be afraid
A gunner in the turret
Is my comfort and aid

Border Radio

You can’t pay to hear it anymore
Even if you wanted to
And you can’t hear it on the radio

Turn it on, tune on it
It will bring you to your knees and into sin
Blasting birds right out of the say
That border radio

DJs are afraid
AP and the girls
On the X


F / G / C
F / G / C / Am / G
F / G / C / G/B / Am
F / G / C

The Numbers Never LIe

There’s a rule for every number
And a place for everything
There’s a word for every notion
A perfect description

Well nothing is everything
And anyway there is not one thing you could do to make me believe
The numbers never lie

Mr. Dewey we don’t need you anymore
So pack up your papers and leave
You take your numbers, I’ll take my time
Consider it a deal

That is no way to live a life; in an
Alphabetical scheme
Every time you write it down
Please remember me

I won’t ask you what you want it for




St. Nicholas Elm

The wind blew down the avenue all night long
And it blew down a limb of the St. Nicholas Elm
Hundreds of years gone to splinters and dust
What was left on the ground I picked it up

You say lately things have been going to hell
There is less to be known and nothing to tell
Your body is failing to back up your mind
And you can’t trust your eyesight most of the time

Nothing lasts forever in these seasons or this weather
Everything falls apart
The world just keeps on spinning without reason or beginnings
And I've got to find my place and my part

Like Washington you stood your ground
As New York City burned on down
You stood by the trail where traders passed
An island was lost for trinkets of glass

And when we are gone our parting will be
A change in displacement, a scent on the breeze
Cracking and twisting with everything else
We are decaying miracles from our birth

Voices of nature and prophecy

Tree of Words

You would sit there for hours talking to yourself
And the words would flow right out of you like a fountain, like a well
You would sit there for hours talking to yourself
Things would fold and spin and shatter; I know, I was there

Oh you had me brother
You sang so sweet
Oh those words my brother
Underneath that tree

Oh this world is wheels in wheels
Wings and waterfalls
Secrets I will never know
And names yet to be called

You would sit there for hours facing east
All the agents of empire came on bended knee
You would sit there for hours facing east
And all the nations streamed towards you
From the greatest to the least

You would sit there for hours in the shade of that tree
At the head of the river looking out towards the sea
You would sit there for hours in the shade of that tree
And in the silence of that morning I fell onto my knees

Take Someone With You

I’ve got friends who say that they’re always alone
And there is nowhere left to go
The have all been everywhere
But none of them have left their home

Put on your traveling shoes
Get off the highway, turn off the news
Go somewhere you've never been and
Take someone with you

There are certain songs that cannot be sung alone
And stories that cannot be told
And you can never hope to sell
All the things you’ve got to tell

Home is always somewhere in between
Our feet and the ground

Lucy (in the Sky)

Neither incumbent nor activist

Finally I have learned
In every moment and task a chance
For the smallness of transcendence

Every moment has a soul
Every job deserves to be the only one

Living is not an art, it is a craft

Do the thing you’re doing really well

Forget about averages and history
Tides and ripples and echoes and memory
What your grandchildren will think of me

Once it starts to sway there’s only one way it can go

After all, who needs eyes to see
And diamonds will never make you believe

Butterfly effect

vanishing day

Hell and Half of Georgia

Coming up 7s all the time
Scant City
White lightning
Poor boy stores
Crossing county lines for liquor

Speaking for myself, there’s more inspiration
In the alleys than the avenues

This is a song for the airline attendant

This is a song for the airline attendant
Who brought me this pen when I asked her to lend it
I thought she’d forgotten like she forgot the tea
For the woman in the seat next to me

But she didn’t, and I’ve got this pen that writes well
And it has the name of Radisson Hotels
I’ve never stayed there, though I’m sure it is nice
And this plane ride is bumpy and the clouds are white

This is a song for the stewardess
I don’t know her name, but I know I could guess
Or I could just look at that tag that she wears
But everyone knows it’s rude to stare

It was thanks to her that I wrote these words
On a flight to Charlotte, which is nice I have heard
I am out of space and out of lines
So this is the end, this song is over, but it’s mine

The Sky was Falling as we Crossed the Western Border

The sky was falling as we crossed the western border
You turned to me with a smile
Though the world was drowning in half an inch of water
I could see for miles and miles

The earth was screaming as they poured across the border
You were pointing at the moon
And though the creek was rising and the southern bridge was washed out
There was nothing ahead but _____

The sea was raging when I heard the call to order
You were dancing on the shore
And though the wind had blown us nearly on the rock’s teeth
We were neither created nor destroyed

If it looks like war and it talks like war and it walks like war and it smells like war

God willing and the creek don’t rise

If love is a game it’s the first one to zero that takes
Everything but the girl
Is it finite like energy and matter or as vast
As an open hand

Stanwyck Dot Cat

Stanwyck dot cat
Lying on the mat
You could never kill a rat
You are too slow and fat

Stanwyck dot cat
What do you know
Are you a genius
Do you think humans are slow

Stanwyck dot cat
You’re a pretty girl
All the kitty boys
Want to get into your world

Stanwyck dot cat
You’re sleepy and sweet
What would you sat to me
If you could speak

Hey Little Sister Don't

Hey little sister don’t, don’t let them do this to you
Hey little sister don’t, don’t let them do this to you
Those things you’re believing are not real
Don’t let them do this to you

Hey little sister don’t, don’t believe what it tells you
Hey little sister don’t, don’t believe what it tells you
You are occupied territory
Don’t believe what it tells you

It is true that our bodies fail us
And Lord, so do our minds
But passing on all of the blame
Is the worst kind of lie

Hey little sister don’t, don’t let them do this to you
Hey little sister don’t, don’t let them do this to you
Those things you’re believing are not real
Don’t let them do this to you

I Know it's True

I know the sun is shining somewhere
I know tomorrow’s never far away
I know the skies are blue in Boston
But New York City is cold and gray

I know it's true (fact is stranger than fiction)
I know it's true (the amazing things I've heard)
I know it's true (we have exceeded all prediction)
I know it's true (this is a beautiful world)

I know I’m going to quit this drinking
I know my life is going to make some sense - I know I am still innocent

I know I can rely on happy endings
You play Romeo, I’ll be Juliet

I know that we have nothing but this moment
But right now sucks and tomorrow probably will

Did you know slugs have 4 noses
Goldfish have ADD
That camels have 3 eyelids
Fish cough like you and me

I Told You Once

I told you once
I’m not saying it again
You either step back off yourself
Or you’ll be dealing with my friends

I told you once
It’s not funny anymore
You better drop that shit this second
Or I’m walking out the door

Now you’re screaming bloody murder
Like a pig who just got stuck
Here’s a quarter, go call someone
‘Cause I don’t give a fuck

So you’re scared
Hell aren’t we all
Get your head out of your ass and
Get your feet back on the floor

And if you’ve got a cross I’ve got a shoulder to lean it on
Go on and lay your burden down, it’s not heavy, it’s not _____
I’ve heard this one before, it goes ABC
It’s the same fucking song, in a slightly different key



We were down on the shore that evening
Walking the waterline
A voice was calling up from the deep saying run
Leave your troubles behind

We were down on the shore that evening
Walking the waterline
You were calling to me you spoke my name
You said leave your future behind

Forty days on the sea are nothing
It’s the nights that will do you in
Watching the wake fade into the sea
Erasing where you have been

Forty days in pursuit of a cloud
At night a pillar of fire
The wind at your back blows over your footsteps
The past creeping up from behind

You can’t cut a line into water
Part the seas with a wave of your hand

It’s too deep for your anchor to hold

We’ve been two of a kind it’s true

If I’m caught in this flood give me strength
Not to struggle or swim
Let me drown like a stone let me surrender
Let me give in

Is this divine intention or human design
Are we out of step with this creation or
Right in time


You were looking at the sky and talking of God
At you feet a flower bloomed and heaven grew from mud
You were looking at the sky and speaking holy words
While the sacred passed unspoken and unheard

It takes courage to see beauty but it takes faith to let it show
You have love to give the whole world but you despise your fractured soul
And if there is a savior he loves the things both small and weak
The arc of the horizon the mud beneath your feet

You were looking at the wall and scales fell from your eyes
And you fell off of your horse and fell into this life
You were staring into space and then you heard the sound
You got up and left behind that winning hand


You have told me often and I know it is true
That art is for the sake of live and beauty is not truth
I am saying to you that living is an art
And love is more than giving, it is faith in your own heart


Let's Do this All Over Again

Let’s do this all over again
I’ll say you are my lover
You’ll say you are my friend

Let’s do this all over again
You will tell me stories
I will tell you lies

Let’s do this all over again
You will cry and I
I will apologize

Of Any Power

Place the blame on anybody
Claim that you don’t care
Say the world is lost forever
But don’t say you’re scared

Say you’ll move to Canada
You’ll never vote again
But don’t say you’re scared forever

Don’t fear tomorrow
don’t bow down
Do not be frightened
of any power
Don’t fear the dawning
Don’t be cowed
Do not be frightened
Of any power




It’s easy to say that I know nothing at all
And what I see may all of it be false
It’s easy to say that one and one is undefined
But all we have to do each day is simply live this life

It’s easy to say you are the master of this plan
And what you hold so dear is in your hand
It’s easy to say this is a miracle divine
Because all we have to do each day is simply live this life

I’ve tried to keep this short and sweet
But the words keep flowing out of me
It’s such a mystery

I’ve tried to slip my trembling grip
But I love this life too much
Just like Odysseus

I could be raised up
Like I was Lazarus

I’ve tried to keep this lecture brief

Enter into life
I am a simple man

I know it’s easy to say you believe in anything
It’s simpler still to just refuse


There are times to get back to basics
And this is one of those
Food water air and love
And you, you alone

There are times when not much matters
And this is one of those
I could even throw my life away
For you, you alone

I’m happy being your lover
I’m fine with being your friend
But if there was just one thing that I could be
I’d want to be your home

I know that I’m your lover
I know I am your friend
But what I really want to know is
Am I your home


Even Jesus had twelve men and you have yours too
A Judas, a Thomas, a Mark and maybe even a Luke
There are twelve months to each year twelve hours to each day
And I have but twelve breaths left to speak all the words I have left to say

All the twelve tables of law and steps to a higher place
Were of very little use of me when I stopped counting at twelfth grade
But the twelve Federal Banks can’t hold the love I feel
The Army of Twelve Monkeys can’t tell me this is not for real

The Greeks had twelve gods for every possible event
And the past is far behind us now but what can it help to prevent
There is a stone for every month of the year and I’ve carried them since
I did my twelve Herculean tasks in atonement for my sins

There are twelve days of Christmas and only one true love
Twelve tribes of Israel but only one true God
And as much as I try to tell myself who you are is not who you’ve been
There are still twelve of them and only one of me

Six Feet Under

A liar is the worst kind of coward and I have been that
A fool dies a thousand deaths and I have died some
But I was not a fool or a liar for you I tried to deceive myself
And now I am through with all this shit
And happiness is not my goal

You are as dead as Jacob Marley
You are as dead as a night on the sound
You are dead and I don't mind saying
You are six feet under the ground

You said to leave the past behind me and I have done that
You said to do what makes me happy and I have been some
But I was not about to leave what I have cursed and sweated for
And now I am through with playing mind games
And speaking in shifting codes


Down in Flames

"In the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens who created all these. He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them, each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing." -G. W. Bush

It’s the smallest things that kill when you’re in outer space

Thirty-eight miles high a cowboy rides the clear blue sky over eastern Texas
His silver ship and his gleaming gun reflecting morning sunlight
His face is radiant
So before it all ends in a flash of light brighter than the sun

Debris raining down over Nagacdoches

Countdown clock counting up

Walking Miracle

What did you
Come out to see
A man with a tongue like the wind
A resurrection

Ash in wind
Bullets in the debris
Will the future appear as the past
Are we bound to repeat

The longing of a fair maiden behind moat protected walls
The prayers rising to heaven as evening shadows fall

Home from war
Wounded soldier walks
In what is done and what is seen
Forgotten how to talk

And what do those who are left behind do when their loved ones come home
Is there more than a smile or a kiss or a hastily muttered hello

There’s no harm
In telling tales of war
But the future cannot be the past
Bathed in blood and gore

To all those
Who at the tomb now stand
Rise up and walk like Lazarus
Take up your cross and dance

And the ghosts that haunt this land are that and no more
The lives that now are lived are worthy of those before

Dare to dream
Endure memory
Do you have courage to create
Or just destroy

I know you’re not my saviour because mine has wounded hands
I know you’re not the one to be led to slaughter like the lambs

What did you
Come out to see
A man with a body covered in scars
A walking miracle


She said it’s cold in here as she pulled the blankets up to her chin
I rolled over and fell off the edge into the sea of my sin
Captain oh my captain I am caught adrift
No stars to guide this sailor home no wind these sails to lift

She said she’d known all along or at least a couple of days
I never meant to be telling a lie so maybe I wanted to fail
Tell me oh my brother where the current flows
I can feel I am in motion where it leads to I don’t know

If we could only swim
Under this sea of fire
We could keep our sins from turning to stone
But the rivers have run dry


I left you alone
I left you cold
I left you dead
I left you with a hole in your head
I left you with a piece of lead
I left you in the lake you bled
I left you with your hand on the phone
I left you all alone

You give me life
You give me peace
You give me blood
You give release
You made me laugh
You made me cry
I made you scream
I made you die
I made you beg
I waved goodbye

You won’t find me on the highway
Going 65
Everything is going my way
I’m alive

I know my dad would be proud of me
I know my mom still loves me
I know that you won’t feel a thing
A know the way that blood can sing

Don’t look over your shoulder
Keep your eyes on the road ahead
By the time you see me
You’ll already be dead

Life’s too short to be nobody

Life’s too short not to die

When I was young

Are you after me
Are you after you
Are you after my life
Are you after yours too
Are you after my mind
Are you after my head
Are you after my thoughts
And the books I have read
I am after you
I am after me
I am after your blood
I am after your plea
I am after your home
I am after your life
I am after your kid
I am after your wife

I am after fame
I am after TV
I am after success
I want to be seen
I am after faith
I am after hope
I am after love
I am after dope

A Sailor's Lament

The jailer had too much to drink he was fast asleep by ten
I stole his keys and let myself out of the holding pen
Set out across the mountains, heading for the nearest port
I knew it wouldn’t be long until they filed a Missing Person’s Report

I stowed away on a schooner headed out at dawn
To match wits with the future and beat it with my brawn
We were somewhere near the Azores when a storm came up fast
Blew our sails to shreds and broke off both our masts

They found me in the cargo hold, pulled me out and sat me down
I pulled out my flask of gin and passed it around
Then someone said, “Hey I know you, I’ve seen your face before
Oh yeah, it was on that poster on the wall at the General Store.”

I made like I had to leave, but they said I had to stay
The ship began to founder, we all began to pray
They said they had to lose some weight or the ship would surely sink
So they threw me and my sins overboard into the drink

I was never much of a swimmer, but I paddled around
‘Till I heard the captain shouting, “My God, we’re all going down!”
And through the waves I saw the ship dive into the deep
The sea sucked me in it’s gaping grin where many fell asleep

And as the waves rolled over me the sky above was dark
I screamed, “Don’t call me Ishmael, don’t call me Joan of Arc
Don’t call me a survivor, don’t wish you’d died instead
And far above all else, don’t you dare call me dead”

Today's Line Calls for an Increased Chance

today’s line calls for an increased chance clouded sun, popular indifference a shot of blood and a pint of hate sharks rising to the scent of the bait

give me half a chance
to gain my omnipotence
give yourself a chance
to be more than indifferent
peace is taken out to die
hope is falling from the sky
joy is lost in the river's fall
as justice takes the final call

when did love become hate’s favorite game and peace a way of staying sane children - collateral damage in our wars i wish that i could say it wasn’t my fault

Water Freezes This July

water freezes this july
burning kisses fall from the sky
humanity sinks out of sight
the sun’s caresses give way to night

in africa the desert’s frozen
artic water boils to the yellow skies
noah’s ark is slowly sinking
this world we’ve blown is lost to our eyes

last night I heard the screaming
went outside to watch them fall from the sky
tonight I hear the screaming
of a world that’s not quite ready to die

it’s because we loved our children
it’s because we had to keep up with someone else
it’s because we need inventory
this is our final love song for the earth

this ain't no hippie thing
love your mother, hug a tree
if there's nothing to wake up to tomorrow
it's gonna be a hell of a long sleep

it’s because we loved our children
it’s because we had to keep up with someone else
it’s because we need inventory
this is our final love song for the earth


BRIDGE: Drop D tuning

Twentieth Century

We’ll all be fat and happy our children well bred
We’ll all be beautiful and modern
In the Twentieth Century

Here and Beyond

When the iron curtain fell I was standing there
More surprised than I cared to admit

When the borders were closed I was sitting there opposed

When the verdict came down I was kneeling on the ground
My head in my hands


What is here and what is beyond

You can leave my failed aggression dangling

I know you have tried to hide your hatred
And I for my part have forgotten how much I love you


In life you sought illicit loves
Divorced future kings
Now you’re the “People’s Princess”. you’re
Flying on angelic wings

Death kills our heroes weakness
Puts haloes on their heads
Erases uncomfortable memories
And we like our heroes dead



mordechai - spy
free - we

i am your spy
runaway train
solitary - 12 yrs
mental insanity
sentinel for peace
whistle-blower - use parable
emperor’s clothes
little man - doesn’t see/hear

runaway train, he’s pulling the alarm