The buzzing in my ears returned again. I must admit that it was lonely here without it. There's currents humming just beneath my skin I read a scientific study all about it. And this apartment's growing stale again The radiator has expressed its disapproval But I will keep the entries chained and barred Disregarding all requests for my removal I hypothesized a life comprised of colored boxes Cradle to the classroom to the chapel to the coffin And you were horrified that I'd assigned you a biography of cells You're up early for a Saturday And it appears as if your family came to visit Unemployment suits you all too well You changed your address but I can't make out the digits And someone pretty thanks you for the drink And yes it's tragic that I have this information But don't you owe me some small recompense? If only cheap and easy forms of entertainment And yes it stings to see your name shine out from colored boxes Ugly and predictable and comforting and toxic But I need something to distract me from this biography of cells Thank you kindly but I know plenty of people already One for each of many neat and tidy categories See the dishes pile up, see the paint begin to peel I won't shy from my defeat It's a livable disease Someone's lover treads the boards for me Shrunk to fit within the confines of the casings And I will keep his image close at hand For all those moments when my memories need erasing Why should I brave slings and arrows? Bow my head against the onslaught of the ages When I can have the ages brought to me Hand delivered while the universe around me rages When I look too close it all dissolves to colored boxes Pixilating inward and I'm thinking I should stop this But I'm still looking for my next cage I'm still looking for my next cage... Don't much feel like going out today Think I'll just stay home
PROOF OF MOVEMENT
Hurry up and wait Breathe their plastic scented air This atmosphere is so peculiar... Staring off in space Popping pills to keep you sane Suspended in this state of danger You are up above the downpour where the vapor meets the sun You're wasting three hours, gaining only one You're decades out of practice for the week to come Ready set and wait What's your hurry, where've you gone? They've given you no proof of movement Over blinding waves You can seem them rolling by But that silver lining keeps its distance Let the boredom overtake you, you've got everything you need You're powerless to pick up any speed Your pace is predetermined. And you've lost your lead. Sit down, Stand out Hell bent, House proud Shouting out loud... Shouldn't I be someone else by now? Settle in and wait For the machinery to fail The earth will be so pleased to meet you When your logic strays Is it racing toward the fall? A prophet with no soul to preach to. And if the body starts to rattle, if the nose begins to dive The numbers say you're gonna be just fine But rules come with exceptions. Could be you this time. The coming of age came later than the textbooks said it would The skeleton years sound greater when you call them "making good" Were you thinking you could join the 27s? Count your blessings that you never earned the right to die young Grip the armrest in an episode of prescience Imagining the aftermath of what could go wrong Will they burn you in your prettiest of dresses? Will they gather with your praises hanging off of their tongues? Will they honor you to stave off the forgetting? They'll forget you when the drama finally starts to wear off Wipe his image from your mind! He won't be notified. Eventually your story makes the rounds and he is Dumbfounded, squinting at some mutual acquaintance He takes a drag, thinks, "Isn't that too bad?" Of all the things to dream about... Calm your pulse. Count the clouds. Now the air begins to tighten. And the wheels touch the ground And you see the past approaching And your sister's hair is dark now And your brother's getting tall.
I've got the benefit of hindsight And rearview mirrors under blacklight And I can see you tracking me through bottles and through grass You think you've found yourself a live one The bass line heralds your arrival And I divine the future in the bottom of my glass. You're gonna beg my pardon You're gonna bear me witness You're gonna buy me medication You're gonna picture me in laces Bound up and breathless and abrasive And you know better than to venture unprepared Take up your hammer and your chisel And pry apart each tiny fissure Keep digging darling, there's a dream in me somewhere And when she's been uncovered When you've got her cornered Let the conversation take her down You are just another pretty face. Whatcha gonna do when that fades? You better get out there and get yourself a trophy now Before it's too late before it's too late before it's too late. I'll turn and walk your twenty paces Don't underestimate my patience By the time you've fired I'll have crippled you and fled
Write me down, I'd like to see how I compare on paper Make a record of my witch's laugh and bitten fingers Look across the table at me, tell me what you see As it happens, I've been living in your sentences for days Read between the lines and find me in the details You ask me what I think, my sheets are all stained with ink. So fold this up and keep it safe Let a pencil mark my place But I won't let you be how next year remembers me Honey don't wait, everything gets erased Listen for your echoes in the melodies I've found See I've got songs I sing on days you're not around But every time the notes betray me, every time the lyrics fail me Cause no kisses are ever more than sugar sweet No affection is ever more than river deep If love is so important, why can't we think of better words for it? We are each of us exquisite corpses Needles into houses into highways into horses So many hands to blame for the way we're made A never ending chain of "Hey, you wanna be my muse?" All our heroes drank here, yeah they were young once Scratching out their sorrows, trying to prove that they were someones And crawling through the Village he is writing their obituaries But I'm going down with the legends, lover. I'm going down with the legends, lover. I'm going down with the legends, lover. Yeah I'm going down... On into hell and the history books we go. I only want the ones who sing the blues... Hey, you wanna be my muse?
If you were looking, you could find me down among the merchants In the temple, with all the other lambs Deafened by the oracles who sing our fortunes Amplified a thousand times Seeking scripture in the records and the t-shirts All their teachings written in these threads We are here to be made into true believers We are skeptics, nothing if not regretted Never the less we are ever so pleased with ourselves Came to be seen and we stayed for the show Coming together to stand here alone Here comes our next redemption Sing a song for the lost, for the losers Nameless, faceless, faithless, milling endlessly I pray somehow my soul to keep Have another round of tired hallelujahs We have no use for the vacant time Listen close, they are giving us all the answers So young, so wild, to be so wise Blessed the fools, we know not what we do not know. Came to be seen and we stayed for the show Coming together to stand here alone Dance in your red flower dress Show them how free you are You must feel more than I do Show them how free you are And if you're lonely I will meet you down along the fringes I will lead you to the center of the fray Every head's gonna turn in the same direction Shake and shiver, and wait to be swayed Never mind that no one can see anything No none of us see anything No none of us see anything We are here to be made into true believers... And when they turn on the searchlights they'll find me And I'll be saved.
I tuck my chin Can't keep it up anymore Suddenly certain we two are perfect From shoulder to floor Dressed like we meant it... Off with our heads! We are kitsch, we are hideous/adorable Available for sale on Salvation Army bargain tables Put us on the mantle ladies, one on either side, Watch while we don't collide Watch while we don't collide Consider your fate Deprived of my good opinion Left with no token poet your pages fade They pale in meaning And they'll paint you over Bold to beige So go nowhere, don't wander off away from me Heartless romantic, oh paragon of apathy All your humanity slackens by the hour Keep yourself in my regard Keep yourself in my regard Did you know I was in among your men tonight? Gathering intelligence I'd never get on my own They rallied, they tried to fell me But you could have told them that I was too low to bring down Once we were embittered accomplices Two against all and the masters of none Then you talked your way up to oppressor I charted your progress from down in the mud Now I'm here for the one you threw over His final testament, personal effects I am dressed in black for your last identity You can't see me, you can't see because Murders are circling around you, they'll block out the sun And they'll rip you to pieces and scatter the scraps when they're done They are swarming, they are starving They are out on their daddy's cards And you're all too obliging And I'm getting tired Lying crushed beneath these hungry little nothings You've got hundreds of them, beaming, wanting How'd you manage it, as wretched as you are? Took your chances on that black dog offer
BETTER OFF MY WAY
"Come clean, however fatal are your flaws" You plead, so certain you can weather my response Your questions just strengthen my resolve Scowling and defiant I'm so rarely silent You should take advantage I encourage it Just try, you'll see how we are better off my way I'll hide buried in your chest until it's safe Your sweater presses wrinkles in my face Older every second I'm older every second I've always been wiser than you Can't lose the battles if you wage them in your mind Abuse of power comes at such a price So solemn, well I am not surprised Spotlight on the shoreline I caught every warning I saw this coming Yeah I saw this coming I stand ankle deep in the harbor Dressed in my very best green copper gown Watching the ships sail by I bear this fire with pride Stone cold, nobody's fool
NOCTURNE Tonight I'll be a good girl Clean conscience, sterile days Hush little baby, don't say a word Your mockingbird is surely on its way Heavy the head, lengthy the wait The flesh is willing but the spirit's wide awake The kitchen's blinking midnight Every minute New Year's Eve And I'm counting down by headlights To the hour when the alarm bells start to scream Heavy the head, lengthy the wait The flesh is willing but the spirit's wide awake Close your eyes, whisper what you wish you'd said at the time Where were those words when I needed them? Realize I'm right where I'm supposed to be I'm not missing anything and nothing's missing me This record has some damage Same song for some time now It turns through skips and scratches While I try to keep the volume down I could show you a spiral, you ain't seen nothing yet Lift the needle please and leave me a weak and empty head I can't sleep, I see threats on every side No retreat once the next attack arrives Stalwart on, braving all tomorrow's wars... I'll never love anyone like I love being lonely in New York Hush little baby, don't say a word
THE PARTY FAITHFUL
(If I'm gonna be up anyway, I guess I may as well be out.) Step right up my friends, you've stumbled on the main event Invented to determine who can have the better time This game's anyone's, your former favorite reveler Hasn't had enough to be considered for the prize And I am bored and boring, Competition pouring in from every door With the pressure soaring comes the question "What next? What for?" What's the point in waiting idly at the starting gate When you know and I know that everyone shows up late Saunter in and watch the spectacle begin again Sitting front and center and surrendering my escape Play the latest noise, hysterical and paranoid No amount of spirits could have summoned me to dance Banished to the side, abandoning my gimlet eyes If only this were television I might stand a chance Something south of beauty It's my duty to be clever as I can Let the venom soothe me until it kills me Bonne chance. Some plan. What's the point of seeking pleasure in the pageantry When you know and I know that none of them came for me Start the cheer and see the party faithful gather here Trapped beneath the mirror ball for all of the world to see All the money you don't have you spend on books that you don't read Leave them out to be impressive for the company (If there's company) Preening in our fading feathers, fraying wools, and graying leathers Admire us! Identical and visceral ...individuals Let's document the present like we did the past! Let's glorify our sins and then ignore the rest! We're the walking wounded On the lookout for whatever cures us next Every blessed movement written for us in italics (Takes stage) (Breaks down) (Fucks up) (Shakes fist) What's the point of trying to rise above this pantomime When you know and I know that none of us are getting out alive? Yeah you know, and I know (that I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places)
I'm taking this evening to tomorrow I'm holding its hand and pulling it through somehow Telling you all my cardinal virtues Bet you know them all by heart by now Crowds like this keep all your secrets And girls like me, we make for great mistakes So sit with ankles crossed and watch for day to come If it breaks, then it breaks You promised that you would be careful for both of us That's why I like you Let the clocks and the cameras click on Steal this time cause silence is coming soon Pictures of the same ten people Taken in the same four rooms This is a picture of me unaware Don't you think I look prettier posed? The moment was lost in the moment you took to try to take it Maybe so. Even so... You promised that you would be careful for both of us That's why I like you We have no way of knowing if it ever gets better than this Outside the window the empire is falling The song of the sirens is playing us out Whisper goodnight to the valley of ashes Goodnight to the damned and the devout But call this a cause for celebration Gather around with your family and friends All of us raising our glasses Patiently wait for this crash Let it end when it ends You promised that you would be careful for both of us That's why I like you Have I mentioned I like you? I like you What was I saying earlier? Hell whatever, never mind Never mind...