Here are a good chunk of lyrics from our songs. All our CDs (except Smothered & Covered, Scattered) have lyrics included with the discs. Why not make a purchase and help us pay the electric bill? Okay, I know, you can't remember the last time you bought a CD... Anyway, all lyrics by Rennie Sparks unless noted.


Wilderness
Honey Moon
Last Days of Wonder
Singing Bones
Twilight
In the Air
Through the Trees
Milk and Scissors
Odessa






WILDERNESS

Flies
Your fan of golden hair oiled with rose and cinnamon
As your blood bloomed poppy red across your velvet coat
Your deep blue velvet coat
Yes, there in Montana prairie grass the Sioux shot Custer down
His red scarf tied, his black boots shined
How beautiful he looked to the flies, the happy kingdom of flies

Dear Custer there’s a Wal-Mart now where once the grizzlies roamed
Mountains of hair spray and cowboy shirts and everyone has a gun
Everyone still has a gun
But high in the rafters above the lights, red finches, they hide their nests
And when our cars drive out of sight they sing symphonies across the night
In their forest of heating pipes

And out past the parking lot along the curb in the wilds of weed and trash
Great armies of the smallest ants fight battles for the glory of their queen
Such a tiny glorious queen
But even the empress of the ants for whom ten thousand fall
Makes not a sound beneath the blades of our great empire of lawns
How quiet is the empire of lawns

Frogs
Have you ever seen a fish leap up from a quiet stream
Shine a moment in the light then fall away again?
Have you seen it, sister? Will you come outside and see?
Have you ever seen the rain turn the earth to mud
And watched the mud turn gold in the rising sun?
Have you seen it, brother? Will you come outside and see?
Will you go with me tonight down to the lowland fields
To hear the frogs singing, the air so hot and still?
Will you go, sister? Will you go with me tonight?

Down in the flooded fields the earth is wet and dark
Down in the flooded fields beneath the falling stars
Lie down in the dirt, brother, be a mirror to the night
Lie down in the dirt, sister, we are mirrors of the night

Eels
They used to think the swallows were living under water
All through the winter when they were missing from the trees
They used to think the geese budded from the branches
Each gentle sunny spring when they came back again
But the swallows and the geese, they have always heard
The ringing of the bells that echo through the earth

The monarch butterflies in their cloud of orange wings
And all the golden eels swimming through the sea
They are following a path to places never seen
They see the secret map the moon draws on the sea
The butterflies and eels, they have always heard        
The ringing of the bells that echo through the earth

But the airplanes overhead hang heavy in the air
And all the shiny cars, they circle in despair
“Where am I?” They cry. “Where are you? Where am I?”
But they will never hear the bells that ring tonight


Octopus
The octopus has three hearts, it lives in caves below the sea
Or in a beer can or a bath tub or a puddle on the street
Any fisherman can tell you when an octopus waves its arms
It hypnotizes schools of fish, all movement stops for miles
Even the waves stand still, all the witnesses have sworn
And it’s impossible to resist the urge to jump overboard
That’s why I know I shouldn’t go on a seashore holiday
But I know that no one has to know if I take an evening stroll
Down to the end of the wooden pier where the water’s deep and cold

For if I should see an octopus lift its arms out of the sea       
Or see its shadow rising up across the rooftops above the street
I’d follow those dancing limbs to the spinning edge of the sky
Where all the boats fall off the world into the octopus’s eye       
That’s why I know I shouldn’t go on a cruise across the sea
But I know that no one has to know if I take an evening stroll
Down to the end of the wooden pier where the water’s deep and cold

Owls
The blue house at the corner of Twilight and State
Four storeys, soaring turrets, floors of wood parquet       
And owls, so many owls, snowy, horned and screech
Thousands of owls, all flapping their wings
How I love the marble staircase, the claw-footed tubs
The room of rare orchids, the glass hall for my guns
Statues of pharaohs, 20 feet tall, crystal chandeliers, rare paintings of clowns
But the owls, so many owls, I’m never alone
The owls make this blue house a home
How peaceful it is to watch them soar
Through the palm-tree ballroom with its gold-paneled doors
And as I sit by the fire and slip off my boots
They perch on harpoons and the stuffed heads of moose

The apothecary closet is lined with shelves
But deeper than expected and slanted as well
How long have I been here searching for my pills
As the ceiling grows upward and the walls start to swell

Oh, the owls, the owls, with their feathers of silk
The owls they mock me and have stolen my pills

Oh the owls, the owls, with their shining green eyes
The owls will save me, if not today then tonight

Caterpillars
Sylvia was struck by lightning while reading in bed one night   
She’d left the window open, the storm caught her by surprise
For days she lay still as stone hooked to pumps and tubes
Then out her window the street lights flashed and at last a finger moved
She awoke to a cacophony of electric and radio waves
Pulsing rays of energy falling from outer space
High in swaying towers, down in basements full of dust
She could not escape the static, the sixty cycle hum
She wore dark-tinted spectacles, several fur-lined capes
Three pairs of velvet gloves, a veil of dotted swiss
But all the Earth’s vibrations still pounded through her ears
So she packed a steamer trunk, flew a prop plane to Belize

From there a log raft took her over raging waterfalls
Deep within uncharted jungle where giant caterpillars crawl
They spun their silk around her, a cocoon beneath the trees
And still she hangs there swaying, deep within the dripping leaves
Keeping time with every rumble, every quiver of the Earth
And she slowly changes shape with the turning of the world

Glow Worm
Up the snowy spires, where the air is thin as glass
Once a year the cold mists clear and you can see inside the earth
High in that crystal palace I built a sailing ship
Mast and wheel of polished brass, sails of golden silk
I piped the engine steam, I set velocitations
I consulted dusty maps, set careful calibrations
Ever inward ever in, peering through my scope
I sailed deep into the hollows, deep inside the earth
I traveled a boiling river through streams of mercury
Underneath volcanoes and the roots of ancient trees
Underneath stalactites I lit phosphorus lamps
Sparks snapped into the air and coiled up the mast
I watched enormous birds diving through the slate
As I stood upon the prow in my oilskin cap and cape
At last my anchor caught and echoed through the stone
And I climbed an old rope ladder miles through the gloam
Then up above I saw it, a glowworm’s little light
And I reached out and caught it in the center of the night
Tightly in my fist I held that glowing worm
Deep down in the hollows I held the center of the world
Lizard
Granny Green was stooped as a windblown branch
She lived high in the bramble forest
Once a fortnight, if the moon shone right she came down to our little village
She brought blackberries and willow bark, mandrake root and mushrooms
And it was said she spoke the tongue of birds
And understood the river’s whispers
Now several girls among our town by a golden lizard they were bitten
And those sweet girls lay stiff in their beds like frozen ice up on the branches

Granny Green mixed a tonic for their ills but it was such a bitter tonic
All who drank began to dance and could not stop their dancing
But none would have danced one sinful step
If that old crone had not bewitched us

How we leaped and pranced and cackled, the whole town writhing madmen
And so desperate grew some to still their feet they dove into the raging river
Still we danced on day and night till our fine clothes were torn and ragged
And crying out, “Oh, Lord, make us stop!” we danced naked round the chapel

How Granny laughed to see such sin.
“It’s just water,” she said, “in my tonic!”
But all cried out, “She lies! She surely lies!” and chased her deep into the bramble
But like the four winds she disappeared
Though we searched round and round the branches
Rolling in leaves and naked ‘neath the trees we lost the way back to our village
But I swear we were all pure of heart till that old crone did bewitch us
And I know we will all go home, when the good lord returns to save us

Woodpecker
Lovely Mary Sweeney, the famous window smasher
Was just a quiet school marm from Lacrosse, Wisconsin
She took a pinch of cocaine but only for her nerves
Laudanum for trembling hands, a little bottle in her purse
She was a woodpecker, she couldn’t help but see
All the things that hide inside all the pretty trees

At dusk she took a train just a hammer in her bag
She went from town to town, smashing every pane of glass
Storefronts, mirrors, windshields shattered in the night
A hammer through a window’s gleam filled the air with light
She was a woodpecker, she couldn’t help but free
All the things that hide inside all the pretty trees

In the state asylum the windows caged in bars
They soaked her in an ice cold bath till she was seeing stars
Wrapped up in her straitjacket her mind still hammered on
Till the glass inside her smashed and she flew off into the trees
She was a woodpecker, she couldn’t help but see
All the things that hide inside all the pretty trees

Gulls
Good Dr. Brown, he fell in love with a girl with sleeves of such rosy silk
But her dark eyes roved away, away like the soaring gulls on the wine-dark sea
One night he begged she be his bride but she said, “No, it can not be.
Just like the gulls, with their hungry cries
I love you less than the wine-dark tide.”

How he did brood on such cruel words and those rosy sleeves of shining silk
Then he took a rock and threw it high
And knocked a gull from the wine-dark sky

In twilight dusk, in a black eel ditch, the doctor burned wormwood and pitch
And with a fist of graveyard dirt he begged the night for that wine-dark heart
There she came with those rosy sleeves to touch his lips with such a wine-dark kiss
His black top hat to the breeze it went and his flapping arms grew feathered thick
His face it stretched to a sharpened beak
And how he screeched to feel the wine-dark wind
But though he flapped and fought to fly those rosy sleeves held him, oh, so tight

Spider
In the shadows, in the bushes, in the space between the leaves
A spider in a thicket crawled up on my knee
I put my gloves on, put my hat on, and I ran from the trees
But that little black spider came a crawling after me
From the shadows in the bushes, in the space between the leaves
A little black spider came a crawling home with me

It crawled across my window as I lay me down to sleep
In the morning on my pillow it waited patiently
And then came the ants, the frogs and the snakes
Slithering and sliding through my clean white sheets
Rustling from the bushes, creeping from the leaves
Every awful creature came a crawling over me

I crushed them and killed them, but they came all the more
So I ran in my nightshirt out onto the lawn
But I tripped up on a tree root and they swarmed from the weeds
A million little teeth tore me to pieces
In the shadows of the thicket rain poured through the leaves
And I was scattered in the mud beneath the dripping trees

But from here and from there, from every direction
Little voices sang under twigs and mosses
And I swarmed and I gathered under logs and leaves
I crawled and I slithered under rotting trees
In the tangle of the bushes, underneath the wet leaves
I am many and nothing and I crawl up on your knee

Wildebeest
When Stephen Foster died in a flop-house on the Bowery
His worn-out wallet held just a quarter and a dime
But the crocodiles, they have to eat, the crocodiles have to eat

He smashed his head on the sink in the bitter fever of gin
A wildebeest gone crazy with thirst pulled down as he tried to drink
But deep down in the muddy stream even crocodiles dream their dreams

And as the herd galloped off he lay on that flophouse floor
Singing, “Beautiful Dreamer” as the lions began to roar
But we all have our beautiful dreams running through us like wildebeest

And when we meet at the river to cross to that gleaming shore
The river, she always takes a few as the herd thunders across
But the river has oceans to feed, she has beautiful oceans to feed

And the oceans they feed the sky and the sky feeds the earth
And Stephen Foster’s beautiful ghost lay down to feed a song
To feed ten thousand songs echoing cross the wild plains





Honey Moon
Linger, Let Me Linger
Like the thorn bush twines against the chain link fence
Like the spider spins its rings between the trees
And the lonely sycamore bends to the breeze

I am the puddles in the street waiting for your falling leaves
Twine your vines around me, drop your branches in my path
Linger, let me linger

Hearts drawn on a dusty window pane, a love note lying in the road
A car circling round a darkened street, a woman crying on the phone
We are like the crickets in the spring, calling out from under stones

Twine your vines around me, drop your branches in my path
Linger, let me linger

Little Sparrows
Oh, you little sparrows on a swaying branch
Singing to the cars up on the overpass
When you fly away from here take me with you when you go

A herd of antelope, a sea of redwood trees
Schools of shining fish and a thousand buzzing bees

Over winter parking lots the passing geese
Rising in the air little dandelion seeds
When you fly away from here please don’t leave me when you go

If I were Jonah thrown into the raging sea
I would not fear the whale that came to swallow me

Oh, you paper cups rolling down the windy street
Oh, you little ants winding through the tangled weeds
Where you’re going I don’t care, take me with you when you go

My Friend
I swear I heard a bird high in the chestnut trees
The sun was so bright, that bird I couldn’t see
No matter where I stood I couldn’t see beak or wing
Just burning, blinding leaves, still and silent trees
Were you with me then my friend? Are you with me now?

When that cement truck, the mixer turning slow
Drove right past me dripping in the road
That swollen body spinning in circles
I stopped and watched it roll, roll and groan
Were you with me then, my friend? Are you with me now?

When I swam alone that night, late summer dusk
The air so warm and still, the water wide and dark
Something brushed against me, I splashed and kicked in fright
Such cold hands upon me, underwater vines
Were you with me then, my friend? Are you with me now?

When You Whispered
Up on the drawbridge when we stood in the wind
My car left running, the doors wide open
The wind spread ripples along the river waves
Your hands in my hair as the drawbridge swayed
You leaned in closer as the sun fell away 
A plastic bag trembled caught in the waves
When you whispered what you whispered in my ear

The breeze at the shoreline bent down thet rushes
The sparrows cried out from the waving willows
And even the minnows in the muddy shallows
Even the frogs calling from the shadows
Even the wind leaned in to listen
When you leaned in closer, your hands in my hair
When you whispered what you whispered in my ear

The Loneliness of Magnets
My heart is a beating compass pointing to the pole
The great expanse of stillness, the true magnetic north
I know the sky blue longing of a cloud of spiraling birds
All turning in an instant, a perfect spinning whirl

I feel the loneliness of magnets and the tides across the sea
I am the dark valley calling to the trembling mountain peak

Wherever you are tonight as you close your eyes to sleep
Think of me as you drift away to the mist of silver dreams
And I will find you in the darkness where water turns to steam
Your pull upon my heart could steer ten thousand wings

I feel the loneliness of magnets and trembling mountain peaks
I call you from dark valleys and I hear you echoing

June Bugs
I want to kiss you in thickets and dripping wet glades
As the stars rub against the dark skin of space
Every planet is turning and calling your name
For hundreds of miles the trees bend your way
Because the green buds are swelling
And June Bugs are back in the yard

I want to kiss you in green groves and echoing caves
I want to fall through the treetops and drift across lakes
The wind’s in the oak trees, it’s been raining for days
Because the green buds are swelling
And June Bugs are crawling the yard

Hawk moths are sipping the night-blooming rose
A honey as sweet as the moon’s sugar glow
The leaves of the apple tree whispering low 
The stars are on fire, the nightingales moan
Because the green buds are swelling
And June Bugs are crawling the yard

A Thousand Diamond Rings
A smashed windshield, the dust on a pickup truck
Shine with silver secrets in the Albuquerque sun
The light makes jewels of pawn shops and drive-thru banks
Wrinkled faces staring out the windows of the laundromat
And even the broken glass scattered in the street
Shines like a thousand diamond rings

Neon signs above the old motels, warehouse stores and strip malls,
Houses sprawled across the hills
The sunset’s a bird with wings made out of fire
Parking lots turn to gold as it glides across the sky
And every night from 6:00 to 6:05
The desert dirt shimmers like a sea of watermelon light

Even the broken glass shattered in the street
Shines like a thousand diamond rings

Love is Like
Love is like a white moth sipping tears from sleeping birds
An asteroid in flames tumbling to Earth
Raindrops sliding down the stems of orange leaves
The flicker of a strange light far out across the sea

Love is like a black fly buzzing in the sun
Circling and landing, dancing like it’s drunk
All around the red apples scattered on the lawn
Fallen in the fury of last night’s thunderstorm

Love is like the hole torn right through the roof
When that old sugar pine came crashing down last night
And above the broken beams and the shattered ceiling tiles
You can see starlight for the very first time

The Petrified Forest
When we were together I lay in your river
As the fish swam through my hands
Raindrops and roses fell from the heavens
Just to brush against your skin
And a strand of your hair lost to the wind
Sent doves wheeling through the air

But now I’m alone in the petrified forest
Stumbling on rocks in the dark
But I remember, I still remember
When you held me in your beautiful arms
When you left me alone the sky turned to stone
And my legs rolled into the sea
Why did you go? The sea was so cold
My arms blew off in the breeze
I search for your footprints, the scent of roses
As the wind weeps over the sea

But now I’m alone in the petrified forest
Stumbling on rocks in the dark
And I remember, I’ll always remember
When you held me in your beautiful arms

Wild Wood
Give me a swamp, a deep dark bog
Where I can lose my way in pools of slippery mud
Give me cold, cold rain; a cloud of stinging bugs
Deadly nightshade, poison oak; give me the wild, wild wood      
The wild, the wild, wild, wild wood

We can dress in skins, wrap our feet in bark
And you can growl at me or hit me with a rock           
When you want to say, “I love you” in the dark       
And I will bark like a dog in your arms
In the wild, the wild, wild, wild wood

We can make a god out of sticks and bones
Or we can pray to the trees or pray to the sun
And our eyes will shine when we start to scream
With the hungry wolves outside our freezing cave
In the wild, the wild, wild, wild wood

Darling, My Darling
Darling, my darling, look at my waving antennae
My barbed jaw and hard red pincers, the stripes running down my spine

Darling, my darling, watch me fly up in spirals
Admire the horns ’neath my eyes, the fan of my beautiful wings
I’ll give you everything

Darling, my darling, I bow my leg like a cello
I perch on branches and bellow, while dreaming only of thee
I’ll give you everything

Darling, my darling, down in the dew-dropped rushes
I beat my head in the darkness and build a fortress of tunnels

Darling, my darling, your snapping fangs don’t scare me
I’ll leap on your spine and love you till you gnaw me down to my wings
I’ll give you everything

Down in the Winding Corn Maze
I came to a field of green where the corn stalks grew so tall
The sunlight could not pierce to the winding path below
Round and round I went under those waving stems
I followed the shadowed path marked so faintly with her step
Down in the winding corn maze where green stalks shiver in the wind

There in a swarm of bees I knelt down at her feet
Such spirals spread for miles through the bending leaves
And she took me to her arms in that cloud of honey bees
Whirring in their whirling as they rose on golden wings
Down in the winding corn maze where green stalks shiver in the wind






  “LAST DAYS OF WONDER”

Your Great Journey...
like four million tons of hydrogen
exploding on the sun
like the whisper of the termites
building castles in the dust
you’re no longer leaving foot prints
you left your wallet on the bus

Your great journey has begun

When automatic sinks in airports
no longer see your hands
and elevator doors close on you
when buses drive right past
when the only voice that answers
is the whir of a ceiling fan

Your great journey has begun

staring out hotel windows
at planes taking off
walking round the parking lot
you will never find your car
you’ve begun to dance the ghost dance
stray dogs gather in your yard

Your great journey has begun


Tesla's Hotel Room...
In the last days of wonder
When spirits still flew
where we sat holding hands
In half-darkened rooms

Nicola Tesla
In the hotel New Yorker
nursing sick pigeons
by the open window

dreamed of a death ray
To disintegrate matter
detected Morse code
From faraway planets

he couldn’t stand the touch
of hair or of skin
but stroked feathers gently
on trembling wings

and drew plans for a camera
To photograph thoughts
Vacuum tube lights
Wireless phones

In the last days of wonder
When spirits still flew
Round bubbling test tubes
In half-darkened rooms

Edison and Westinghouse
in silk brocade
ate oysters Rockerfeller
with French champagne

But Tesla grew thin
eating only saltines
going days in his lab
Without any sleep

dreaming of  god
as an X-ray beam
he was hit by a cab
while crossing the street

lying on his bedspread
he struggled to breathe
the light bulbs exploded
the air filled with wings

In the last days of wonder
When spirits still flew
Tesla vacated
his half-darkened room

These Golden Jewels...
I left a black shoe hanging
from a telephone wire
I threw hubcaps in the bushes
filled the creek with burning tires

I drove circles in the meadow
threw tvs off a cliff
I scattered dirty needles
in a grassy ditch

Shopping carts of garbage
overturned in silver ponds
in fields of wild mustard
I abandoned several cars

at the edge of town
these golden jewels
I left them all for you

You, hiding in the falling leaves
and the spider’s dew-dropped ring
You, lying in the muddy river
with ten thousand wild wings

I will set the world on fire
pluck the stars down from the sky
if you will spend with me, my dear
a single summer night

at the edge of town
my golden jewel
I’m waiting here for you

BEAUTIFUL WILLIAM...one morning in May
in a milk-white convertible drove slowly away

Beautiful William with curling black hair
gold rings on his fingers as he held to the wheel

Was he given a package by a man on the train?
We found his car by the roadside later that day

mirrored sunglasses, roses and wine
laid on the empty seat, as he slowly drove by

He left his lights burning. He left his perfect lawn
His automatic sprinklers about to switch on

Did he find a black glove on the cliffs by the bay?
Why would he leave us, why would he leave us this way?

he drove through the town with a smile on his face
waving to everyone as he went on his way

Polly from Red River.  Rose from Green Falls
they drove to his house and they lay on the lawn

Was he stopped in the airport by a man with a cane?
We found his car by the roadside later that day

Rose smashed his windows till the glass was all gone
Polly broke the back door and she screamed down the hall

but no answer sounded but wind flying through
as we tore up the green lawn and torched all the rooms

Did he find a white glove in the pines by the lake?
Why would he leave us, why would he leave us this way?

ALL THE TIME IN AIRPORTS...
I see you all the time in airports
in the windows of the shuttle trains
flashing past between the terminals
below the rising planes

and as I pull my shoes off
put my coins in the plastic tray
I see you past the X ray machine
just a hundred feet away

in the lines of people waiting
at the frozen yogurt stand
or running down the moving walkway
dragging a rolling bag

I see you all the time in airports
just a hundred feet away

I see you flipping through the pages
of books by millionaires
who found that Jesus Christ could guide them
into tripling their sales

late at night in airports
the cages pulled across the stores
and early in the morning
when they drive the waxer across the floor

I see you sitting on your suitcase
I see you sleeping in a chair
but each time I get too close
you always disappear

I see you all the time in airports
just A hundred feet away


WHITE LIGHTS
when you walked with me
away from the strip mall bar
across the highway
to that little graveyard

where plastic flowers
bloomed in yellow grass
we sat on a broken bench
listening to the cars pass

and right above your head
in the branches of a tree
there were white lights
swaying slowly in the breeze

there were white lights, white lights, white lights swaying in a tree

I know they were there
to stop kids kicking over graves
or spray-painting tree trunks
with their favorite rock band’s name

but sitting there with you
almost touching your white hand
among the broken bottles
crushed and faded cans

and those white lights, white lights, white lights swaying in the breeze

there was mystery
singing from everything
the strip mall, the highway
the boarded-up skating rink

they were calling our names
in the strip mall parking lot
our sweet drunken friends
finally noticing we’d gone

but we just sat there
not saying anything
almost touching hands
your hair flying in the highway breeze

like those white lights, white lights, white lights swaying in a tree


BOWLING ALLEY BAR....
Dented cars make me think of you
sitting on a red leather stool
drinking with your sunglasses on
at the bowling alley bar

and the sound of the crashing pins
behind us when we kissed
the night I wrecked my father’s car
behind the bowling alley bar

I’m so sorry Donna
sorry about your sunglasses
I didn’t mean to step on them
I didn’t mean to laugh when you cried

cause it was never a waste of time
to drink beer by your side
and watch the fallen pins
set up right again

skinny girls in tight red jeans
kicking cigarette machines
that old woman all alone
dirty dancing by the phones

driving circles at 3am
throwing rocks at mailboxes
you could never see the stars
with those plastic sunglasses on

but it was never a waste of time
to get drunk by your side
and watch the fallen pins
set up right again


AFTER WE SHOT THE GRIZZLY...
    After the airship crashed
After we lost the compass
After the radio went dead

We shot and ate the horses
    We marched through deadly swamps
    Inside a limestone cave
    I found a human skull
        Yes, Mary, I found a human skull

 The captain caught a fever
    we tied him to a tree
    We stared into the fire
    And tried not to hear his screams

I killed a tiny antelope
    not scared by my approach
    we turned it over dying flames
     ass we huddled in the gloam
        Yes Mary, we huddled in the gloam

We built a raft from skin and bones
    Only five could safely float
    the others stood upon the shore
    they screamed and threw sharp stones
        Yes Mary, they threw the sharpest stones

But how the sea did spin us
    How the waves did roar
    The captain jumped into the storm
    then we were but four

one by one we chose our straws
    till only I remained
    but Mary you are with me now
    all around me in the waves
        Yes Mary, you are in the waves


FLAPPING YOUR BROKEN WINGS...
I can still see you there
In your grass-stained underwear
Dancing crooked circles
Across the golf course green

It must have been 3 a.m.
When we hopped that chain link fence
And ran across the grass
In the pouring rain

Oh and you kept falling down
and rolling on the ground
like a drunken little bird
flapping its broken wings

flapping your broken wings, flapping your broken wings
flapping your broken wings in the green, green grass

as if pilgrims with axes
had never seen the devil dancing
in the silent branches
of thousand year old trees

as they sailed up the wild coast
leaning from their wooden boats
shooting every pretty bird
that rose up from the weeds

when the sun began to rise
I could see it in your eyes
and shining on the golf balls
lying in the grass

and a rusted chain link fence
a golf cart in a ditch
and the colored flags
you pulled from all the holes

like jewels on your green dress
my lady of the golf course
running in your underwear
to greet the cops who’d driven up

flapping your broken wings, flapping your broken wings
flapping your broken wings in the green, green grass


HUNTER GREEN...
Last fall I hunted white-tail deer
my dog and gun with me
I wandered to a shady grove
where ivy grew dark green
where ivy grew dark green

I raised my gun so carefully
and fired into the trees
then saw it was my true love fell
in a dress of darkest green
a dress of darkest green

her eyes reflected back the moon
as I carried her back to my car
but as I crossed the empty road
was a dead deer in my arms
a dead deer in my arms

next night I rowed upon the waves
to catch a leaping fish
but on the hook my lover’s heart
I pulled from briny depths
I pulled from briny depths

as I lay her cold corpse down
in the bottom of my boat
it was a jumping fish
caught in my nets and rope
caught in my nets and rope

third night I spied a wild boar
charging madly through the trees
but I raised not my gun to her
just let her come to me
just let her run to me

and as I fell in mossy ferns
as her teeth grabbed hold of me
it was the lips of my true love
that kissed me dark and green
kissed me dark and green


OUR BLUE SKY...
why do you dream
of pearly white gates
high in the air
where no bird flies
no tree grows
beyond the sky

our blue sky

why do you dream
that worms and dogs
hills and clouds
are not like you
burning light
that never dies

our blue spinning sky

why do you leave
a trail of death
air turns brown
trees fall down
burn green fields
and drive on by

our blue sky

could you love god
if he didn’t love you
more than rivers
snakes or wind
could you share heaven
with black buzzing flies   

our blue spinning sky

what if this dream
you dream with pigs
you dream with dirt
and this is home   
is it so wrong
to love this light
our blue sky


SOMEWHERE ELSE TO BE
I didn’t wrap my head in roses
I didn’t run screaming down the street
I didn’t drive off jagged cliffs
or dive in roaring seas

I broke no cage door open
I set no horses free
The day the girl at the drive-thru window
Softly smiled at me

actually I did nothing
As she handed me a large ice tea
An extra packet of ketchup
a small bag of onion rings

I didn’t even smile back at her
just pulled into the street
Searching my rear view mirror
To catch her eyes on me

‘cause there were cars behind me and I had somewhere else to be

down the street I saw an old man
eating as he drove
running over empty cans
lying in the road

but the billboards near the highway
were full of singing birds
and the trees were blooming green
in their little squares of dirt

every dog chained in every yard
was howling with me
but, I didn’t even smile back at her
I just pulled into the street

‘cause there were cars behind me and I had somewhere else to be



Some lyrics from SINGING BONES

FAR FROM ANY ROAD
From the dusty mesa
Her looming shadow grows
Hidden in the branches
Of the poison creosote

She twines her spines up slowly
Towards the boiling sun
And when I touched her skin
My fingers ran with blood

In the hushing dusk
Under a swollen silver moon
I came walking with the wind
To watch the cactus bloom

A strange hunger haunted me
The looming shadows danced
I fell down to the thorny brush
And felt a trembling hand

When the last light warms the rocks
And the rattlesnakes unfold
Mountain cats will come
To drag away your bones

Then rise with me forever
Across the silent sands
And the stars will be your eyes
And the wind will be my hands


GAIL WITH THE GOLDEN HAIR
Out in the red rock desert   /   sitting on the roof of my car
drinking cans of warm beer   /   watching the sky get dark
Gail and I shot our empties  /    with an old, rusted rifle
Her golden hair went flying   /    like a wild, brush fire

CHORUS: when the mountains turned red at dusk   

time passed in the burning desert  /  & the tumbleweeds they tumbled
we lay in a golden fire  /  as the screaming buzzards circled
far down in the darkened valley   /  the city lights still twinkled
but my eyes saw only Gail    /   and her hair in golden fire

CHORUS: when the mountains turned red at dusk 

but the fire burned right through her  /  Gail followed unseen voices
they led her to the city  /   deep in the darkened valley
I drove circles through the alleys   /    calling my burning lover
but Gail ran deeper in the gloom  /   screaming at the street lights
and I lost her there forever   /   deep in the valley’s darkness
my Gail with the golden hair   /   that burned as bright as fire

CHORUS: when the mountains turned red at dusk

FALLEN PEACHES
We came down the black dirt hill
Between the rows of blooming peaches
And we scattered leaping fawns
As we fell into the ditches
Ahead of me ran Jackson       
Who took a bullet to the chest
And beneath the swaying peaches
Jackson slowly bled to death   
But as his green eyes dimmed       
I saw a fiery mist   
Drift softly to the clouds
From between his cold, blue lips   
Now my eyes were opened       
I stood up between the guns
I saw trails of smoke and fire
Flying everywhere I looked       
Like hands of glowing light       
Trailing up from fallen peaches
And around the running fawns
Leaping through the branches       
Across the corpses on the hills
The sunset spread her flames
And her glowing fingers held me
As they dug my shallow grave






TWILIGHT (some of the lyrics)

WHITE DOG

Last night my window opened  in the cold winter breeze
and from the dark forest a white dog stared in at me
he sat in the branches with his glowing yellow eyes
and softly he growled in the shaking black pines
White dog, white dog tell me where’s the door
across the lake of fire to the silver shore

I fell from my window in the swirling black breeze
into the dark forest and the ice-covered leaves
down, down through the branches through the white
waving trees    / down, down I fell into the mouth of the sea
White dog, white dog tell me where’s the door
across the lake of fire to the silver shore


TVS IN TOWN
You can’t see the stars
above the city skyline
but sometimes the air shines like gold
under the yellow street lights

the psychotics in the park
howling up at the sky
and the silent airplanes
slowly drifting by

sometimes it all seems to glow
as bright as the lights
from all the tvs in town

but when I wake up scared
in those still summer nights
when the air hangs like snakes
around flashing neon signs

it seems like there’s nothing
along these broken roads
but blinking lights on creaking metal poles

like a thousand crying eyes
dropping tears in the light
from all the tvs in town


BIRDS YOU CAN NOT SEE

There are birds in the darkness that douse electrical fires
Flaring up in nursing homes and the bedrooms of blind men
Birds you cannot see

There are birds in the darkness that nest in wooden crutches
Eyepatches and bandages, broken spinal columns,
pots of withered plants
Birds you cannot see, filling every tree, falling out of closets and perched on the hands of dying men

There are birds in the darkness that lead lost dogs off highways
Steer boats past icebergs, save children stuck in wells
Birds you cannot see

There are birds in the darkness seen by those with tumors
 circling common light bulbs with blue feathered haloes
and the sound of rain
Birds you cannot see, filling every tree, falling out of closets and perched on the hands of dying men

COLD, COLD, COLD
Out on highway five there’s a field
Where sometimes at night people disappear.
That’s the only road that takes me home
Across the open prairie and the drifting snow.
Cold, Cold, Cold, as the Cold wind blows.

I was halfway there one frozen dawn
When she appeared at the side of the road.
A woman weeping n the frozen snow.
Her black hair flying across the empty road.
Cold, Cold, Cold, as the Cold wind blows.

I pulled to the shoulder and she fell to the snow
But when I stepped from my car in the cold wind’s blow
She drifted away in the swirling cold
Down through the fields and their frozen rows.
Cold, Cold, Cold, as the Cold wind blows.

But I heard her howl and I heard her moan
And she called my name in the swirling snow
But when I turned to run back to my car
There was nothing waiting but her frozen arms
Cold, Cold, Cold, as the Cold wind blows.





In the Air

Don't Be Scared
Whenever Paul thinks of rain, swallows fall in a wave and tap on his window with their beaks. Whenever Paul thinks of snow, soft winds blow round his head and his phone rings just once late at night-like a bird calling out, "Wake up, Paul. Don't be scared. Don't believe you're all alone." "Wake up, Paul," whisper clouds rolling by and the seeds falling softly from the branches of the trees.

The Sad Milkman
Above the dark highways on a black tar roof stood the sad milkman in love with the moon. She filled up his window with soft milky light till he crawled up the chimney and into the night. But, the moon she rises and the moon she falls and her slow white eye sees nothing at all. Down on the sidewalk a crowd gathered round flinging up bricks and bottles to knock the boy down. He stood up above them with his hands in the air calling up to the moonbeams, "Come let down your hair." He wanted to feel like a bucket of milk or sweet summer wind on rolling, green hills. He wanted to fly up from the roof sailing up through the night wind to the arms of the moon.

In the Air
I am afraid of bridges. Sometimes I have to turn around when I'm driving towards one and my heart begins to pound. Last night at the bridge to Johnsburg I swerved down a dead end street. I sat there shaking in an empty lot full of broken glass and weeds. Then past me in the darkness ran four wild dogs leaping over abandoned tires high into the air. In the air, in the air, someday I will live in the air. Once I loved a girl named Joan whose skin smelled just like falling snow. One day she drove us off the road into a dead field of corn. She laughed and hit the gas as we bounced across the rows, but I held onto the dashboard with my eyes tightly closed. Those wild dogs brought back that smell of falling snow and the girl who lives in Johnsburg across a bridge I can not cross.

A Beautiful Thing
Don't you remember that snowy December when we went to see "Singing in the Rain"? I shouldn't have smuggled in that bottle of gin because after the film, I could barely walk. But, darling don't you know it's only human to want to kill a beautiful thing. When I was seven summer lasted forever. I used to chase fire flies through the woods. Tiny green lights circling warm August nights. I'd catch them inside a washed-out old jar. I dreamed of the stars with the jar by my bed, but each morning my pretty bugs were dead. We should have been dancing like lovers in a movie, but I fell and cut my head in the snow. I wanted to tell you all the ways that I loved you but, instead I got sick on the train.

So Much Wine
I had nothing to say on Christmas day when you threw all your clothes in the snow. When you burnt your hair, knocked over chairs, I just tried to stay out of your way. But when you fell asleep with blood on your teeth, I got in my car and drove away. Listen to me, Butterfly, there's only so much wine you can drink in one life and it will never be enough to save you from the bottom of your glass. Where the state highway starts I stopped my car. I got out and stared up at the stars. As meteors died and shot cross the sky, I thought about your sad, shining eyes. I came back for my clothes when the sun finally rose but you were still passed out on the floor.

Up Falling Rock Hill
Up Falling Rock Hill where the leaves swoop like bats I shot my brother William five times in the back. "Have mercy, have mercy, dear brother," he cried. But, the wind has no mercy and neither did I. I watched as his blood ran through dead grass. I watched as the black ants crawled through his hands. Up Falling Rock Hill the wind softly moaned and down, down came I with blood on my clothes. Cicadas were hissing and the whippoorwill called, but the earth didn't open and the sky didn't fall. Up Falling Rock Hill the wind softly moans and black ants they crawl cross my dear brother's bones. Wild, red roses tangle the grass where William, sweet William, his blood once ran. Through the dead leaves, I walk marked with blood and wherever I step, the night creatures run.

Poor, Poor Lenore
Poor, poor Lenore carried off by crows as she wandered alone where the red oaks grow. Black, black were their beaks twisted in her hair and black were their wings whipping up through the air. Fly, fly into the breeze, Lenore and the crows, to the top of a dead tree where the heartbroken go. Love, she fell in love with the grave digger's son who was thin as the bow of his black violin. Kiss, he kissed so hard her mouth filled with blood then he left her to cry where the red oaks die.

When That Helicopter Comes
It's gonna rain champagne and the hills are gonna dance. There will be power in the blood when that helicopter comes. The sky will swim in lightning fire and the trees will shake and scream. Rocks gonna roll up hill and the sun will dive in the sea. The dead gonna wake and sing and roll their bones in the grass.

Grandmother Waits For You
Grandmother waits for you with a pair of new shoes in a land where the leaves never brown. The hills are scattered with empty wheelchairs and hearing aids thrown to the ground. The long night is over. The shadow has passed and farewells forever are done. No more fear, no more cold. Earth and sky painted gold. In the land where we'll never grow old. The peacock and snake, the wolf and the lamb, all creatures find peace in time. These perfect white shores are littered with jewels falling like rain from the sky. Mother and baby walk into the waves no longer fearing the tides.

Lie Down
Tuesday at dawn Michael's glasses washed ashore with a styrofoam box and two broken oars. He'd been digging for clams in the muddy swamp weeds when he heard the salt water whisper to him, "Lie down, lie down in the dark rolling sea. When you get to the bottom we'll kiss you to sleep." Michael threw his glasses in the cold green water. Hermit crabs ran as he dove down under. One of his shoes bobbed on the waves. Seagulls circled until it finally sank.

My Beautiful Bride
Out in the heather where the sun burns bright she swore to love me the rest of her life. But, my hands they shook as the noon bells chimed so at the last bell I showed her my knife. And I laid to rest my beautiful bride out in the heather where the sun burns bright. Now all alone under the cool night sky where locusts scream and white moths fly, silvery moonbeams fall on her grave, but twisting black vines have covered her name. For I loved too much my beautiful bride and so gave her up to the cool night sky.

 

Through the Trees

Weightless Again

We stopped for coffee in the Redwood forest. Giant dripping leaves. Spoons of powdered cream. I wanted to kiss you, but I wasn't sure how. Like those indians lost in the rainforest, forced to drag burning wood wherever they went. They had all forgotten how to start a fire. This is why people OD on pills and jump from the Golden Gate Bridge. Anything to feel weightless again. Those poor, lost indians, when the white men found them, most died of TB; the rest went insane. In our motel room you're drinking Slice and gin, reading Moby Dick on the other bed. Remember the first time we slept together? You said it felt like when you learned to float.

My Sister's Tiny Hands

We came in this world together. Legs wrapped round each other. My cheek against my sister's, we were born like tangled vine. We lived along the river where the black clouds never lingered. The sunlight spread like honey in my sister's tiny hands. But, while picking sour apples in the wild waving grasses, sister stumbled in a briar and was bitten by a snake. Every creature casts a shadow under the sun's golden finger, but when the sun sinks past the waving grass, some shadows are dragged along. Alone, I took to drinking bottles of cheap whiskey and staggering through the back woods killing snakes with a sharpened stick. But, still I heard her laughing in those wild, waving grasses. Still her tiny hands went splashing at the river's sparkling shore. So, I took my rusty gas can and an old iron shovel. I set the woods to burning and choked the river up with stones.

Stalled

Falling snow spun above the road winding through the dark woods where my pickup stalled. Falling snow hissing through the air, painting my windows white till the trees disappeared. Even though I started to feel cold and I was far from town, I just sat there in the dark.

Where The Birch Trees Lean

Now that there are green sprouts pushing through dead leaves and fat yellow jackets float on the breeze, the waves kiss the shore and the air is warm, but, birch trees are falling now that you are gone. Once we walked the crumbling cliffs where the birch trees lean, once I kissed your apple lips high above the sea. A year ago it was since the last clover grew, under creaking birch trees I would wait for you. We kissed in the salt air beneath the leaning trees. White slender branches bent to the sea. Once we walked the crumbling cliffs where the birch trees lean, now who will kiss your apple lips under the salty sea?

Cathedrals

The Cathedral in Cologne looks like a spaceship, like the hand of God falling from the sky. 1,000 stone-carved saints hang like icicles, but icicles don't take 1,000 years to die. And everyone who ever worked on this cathedral or even spent a moment walking by, everyone of us is swept away like breadcrumbs. What comfort does it bring, soaring towers left behind? There's a fiberglass castle in Wisconsin where kids race go-karts around a moat. Once we went up there in December when every water-slide and fudge shop was closed. Hoping to feel love under the icicles. All we did was drink in an empty bar. But, stumbling drunk we crawled back to our motel room and I fell against you and felt your beating heart. Snow was slowly falling on the ice machine and the moon shone hazy through the pines. But, there were lounge chairs thrown into the empty pool and a dog chained to a tree barking at the sky.

Down In The Ground

I am not afraid when you call me down. Down the basement steps under the house. Down, down in the ground. White cows are limping. The black dog barks. Crickets are screaming. Smoke in the barn. Just like a field snake eating a mouse. Just like a blue gill, hook through its mouth. Cry for the toy trains lost in the snow. Cry for the dead deer surrounded by crows. You call me softly down in the dark. Down where the red worms circle like sharks. Under the black mud in your quiet house you have prepared my place to lie down. A house in the rock where sorrows drown. Old man or baby make no more sound.

The Giant of Illinois

The giant of Illinois died from a blister on his toe after walking all day in the first winter's snow. Throwing bits of stale bread to the last speckled doves, he never even felt his shoe full of blood. Delirious with pain, his bedroom walls began to glow and he felt himself soaring up through falling snow. And the sky was a woman's arms. A boy with a club foot had sat next to him in school. Once upon a summer's day they went wandering through the woods. They spotted a sleeping swan on the banks of a muddy stream and they stormed it with rocks till it collapsed in the reeds. They lay out on the green lawn full of chocolate and lemonade, but under the blue bowl the giant was afraid because the sky was a woman's arms.

Down In The Valley Of Hollow Logs

Down in the valley of hollow logs two lovers lay in the weeds wrapped in the net of their sweaty arms safe from the wind in the trees. "My love," said the boy. "You're the clear blue sky, you're the air I gulp to breathe. I feel you rushing through my veins like the wind rushing through the trees." "My love," said the girl, "You're my secret pearl. You're a string of tiny glass beads. You're a burning star I keep in a jar safe from the wind in the trees." Down in the valley of hollow logs two lovers lay back in the weeds listening to the howl of hunting dogs and the wind howling through the trees. Then insects ran for the underbrush as the wind filled the air with dead leaves and every stone moved closer to dust as the wind tore through the trees. So the young girl pierced her lily-white breast. Her blood poured over dark weeds. A silver dagger through her burning heart, cold as the wind in the trees. So the boy picked up that bloody knife and stove it through his chest. "Farewell, farewell to the wind and the trees. I'll die with the one I love best."

I Fell

There's a mountain north of Winnepeg buried under ice. And as the black clouds roll above, white pines crack like glass. Walking under those swaying trees, branches bowed with ice, I wanted one to fall on me, to pin me in the snow. That silver forest reminded me of you and how I kissed you and I fell down to the bottom of a well. Down a dirt road west of El Paso, behind a burning barn, I stumbled on a horse's bones bleaching in the sand. But, when I reached down to touch the skull underneath my hand a stream of orange lizards poured out from the bone-white mouth. That empty mouth reminded me of you and how I kissed you and I fell down to the bottom of a well.

The Woman Downstairs

Chicago is where the woman downstairs starved herself to death last summer. Her boyfriend Ted ate hot dogs and wept with the gray rats out on the fire escape. In a thrift store chair I drank cases of beer and dreamed of lying down on the el tracks. The trains roared by under smoke-gray skies. Lake Michigan rose and fell like a bird. And when the wind screamed up Ashland Avenue, the corner bars were full by noon and the old stew-bums sliding down their stools ate boiled eggs and fed beer to the dogs. The woman downstairs lost all her hair and wore a beret in the laundry room. I borrowed her soap and bought her a Coke, but she left it on a dryer. She died in June weighing 82. Her boyfriend went back to New York. The cops wandered through her dusty rooms. One of them stole her TV.

Last Night I Went Out Walking

Last night I went out walking out on the edge of town, not going no place special, only wandering around. I came upon a river. I thought about what you said and couldn't stop it flowing and running through my head. You said that I'd been changing and never seemed to laugh, but I can't recall the last time you smiled and it's tearing me in half. I want to run and tell you the thoughts that are in my head, but I don't think that you'd believe a single word I said. The river's water runs so cool it calms my burning skin. It takes away my aching thoughts and cleanses all my sin. So let it flow on, take me down, to sleep that quiet sleep. And roll my body back to you—my love you may always keep.

Bury Me Here

Down that foggy road slow centipedes crawl, plump blackberries fall, and the ground is dark as blood. Down that foggy road the moon burns red as flame, weeds snap in the rain, dogs are dragged off in the flood. Bury me here in the silvery mist. Bury me here with the spiders and fish. Down that foggy road black bears crawl to sleep, tree sap slowly seeps and the sunrise never comes.

My Ghost

My ghost drives around with a bag of dead fish, falling neutrinos drift through the trees. He staggers and reels, runs up credit card bills and clogs up the toilet with bottles of pills. Here in the bipolar ward if you shower you get a gold star, but I'm not going far till the Haldol kicks in—until then, until then— I'm strapped to this fucking twin bed and I won't get any cookies or tea till I stop quoting Nietzsche and brush my teeth and comb my hair. Days pass slow in slippers and robe, but my ghost still bangs on the roof like John the Baptist in the rain while the nurses play Crazy Eights.


Milk and Scissors

Lake Geneva
You are crouched before the fire in a state park by the highway and through the heavy pine trees ten-ton trucks go groaning by. Like the screams of your Aunt Barbara who went crazy in the '70's, wrote poems to Jimmy Carter but forgot to feed her kids. But, it's the first time you're together since he got out of the hospital. Raccoons in the darkness drag off your hot dogs buns. But, you're happy just to lie there in a plastic tent from Wal-Mart like sticks and fallen dead leaves to feed the fire of the world. Because which is more important, to comfort an old woman or see visions of the heavens in the stumps of fallen trees? Albert Einstein trembled when he saw that time was water, seeping through the rafters to put out this burning world. Next morning you're at Waffle House. Toast and eggs and hash browns. Truckers chain-smoke Camels over plastic cups of juice. And you remember how he cried when they strapped him to the stretcher, convinced his arms were burning with electricity from heaven. You remember how he told you that black holes were like Jesus. And the crucifix was a battery that filled the air with fire.

Winnebago Skeletons
There's a fish in my stomach a thousand years old. Can't swim a full circle, the water's too cold. Burnt out cars in my fingers, conveyor belts flow, right angles and steam whistles, nothing can grow. A big-antlered deer stepping into the road, a beautiful woman with her head in the stove. The skyscrapers crumble heavy with rats. The wind's full of beer cans and whiffle ball bats. This fish in my stomach wears a full length mink, but his teeth float in sherry in a jar by the sink. He's the withered remains of Rin Tin Tin taking his new Cadillac out for a spin.
The endless sea of traffic lights never make a sound like Ben Franklin's electric kite crashing to the ground and the Winnebago skeletons beneath this bankrupt town.

Drunk by Noon
There once was a poodle who thought he was a cowboy, but he lived in a cage the size of his thumb. And, though his white horse was a box of toothpicks, he galloped around until hit by a car. Sometimes I flap my arms like a hummingbird just to remind myself I'll never fly. Sometimes I burn my arms with cigarettes just to pretend I won't scream when I die. Sometimes I can't wait to come down with cancer. At least then I'll get to watch tv all day. And on my deathbed I'll get all the answers even if all my questions are taken away.
If my life was as long as the moon's, I'd still be jealous of the sun. If my life lasted only one day, I'd still be drunk by noon.

The House Carpenter Lyric: traditional
Well met, well met said an old true love. Well met, said he. I'm just returning from the salt, salt sea, all for the love of thee. Come in, come in my old true love and have a seat with me. It's been three-fourths of a long, long year since together we have been. Well I can't come in or I can't sit down. For I haven't but a moment's time. They say you're married to a house carpenter and your heart will never be mine. That's odd, could've married a king's daughter dear. I'm sure she'd of married me. But, I've forsaken her crowns of gold all for the love of thee. Will you forsaken your house carpenter and come and go with me? I'll take you where the grass grows green on the banks of the deep blue sea. She picked up her little babe and kisses gave it three. Says stay right here my darling little babe and keep your poppa company. Well they hadn't been on ship for about two weeks, I'm sure it was not three, when his true love sat down and began to weep and mourn most bitterly. Says are you weepin' for my silver or my gold? Says are you weepin' for my store? Or are you weepin' for that house carpenter whose face you'll never see no more? No, I'm not weepin' for your silver or your gold. Or neither for your store. I am weepin' for my darling little babe whose face I'll never see no more. Well they hadn't been on ship for about three weeks, I'm sure it was not four, when they sprung a leak in the bottom of the ship and it sunk for to rise no more.

The Dutch Boy
My heart it goes out to that poor little Dutch boy who stopped a great flood with the tip of his thumb. Through parades and medals he felt no joy and took to his bed with a bottle of rum. The queen she arrived in her motorcade to give the good Dutch boy a commemorative pen, but he watched as the milkmaids all withered and grayed and he knew that the waters must rise again. Because the world is made up of milk and scissors, milk and scissors in a spiraling chain. Milk and scissors like a cheap squirting flower, milk and scissors like worms when it rains.

The King Who Wouldn't Smile
There was a king who wouldn't smile. Sat on the toilet reading "The Trial." His dogs chased their tails 'round and 'round. Midget cars arrived stuffed with clowns who served him quail eggs on toast. There was a king who never laughed. Fell in love with a two-headed calf. Filled his bath with razor blades. Tattooed his arm with the ace of spades, but the grass made fun of his shoes. There was king who cried and cried. Mice crawled in his shoes to die. He cried so much that herds of deer gathered to lick his salty tears so the king crawled under his bed.
Like a fish at the bottom of a pail, like a cricketswallowed by a whale, like a chipmunk who's chewed off his tail, the king who wouldn't smile.

Emily Shore 1819­1839
She'd been coughing up blood since the dogwoods bloomed. Seventeen that spring and confined to her room. At night her heart pounded holes in her chest. Death, like a bird, was building its nest. She'd laughed at the graveyard on one sip of wine and kept a pet duck till the cat crushed its spine. But, waltzing one night in a red velvet dress, she noticed a whistling down in her chest. Propped up on pillows, she watched the snow fall, trying to picture an end to it all. By spring there'd be picnics and merry-go-rounds, but she'd be nothing but bones in the ground.
And so, on the last day of her short life, Emily called for her father's penknife. She sawed at her head till the floor pooled with hair and braided a watch chain for father (mother) to wear.

3-Legged Dog Lyric: Darrell Sparks
Like a 3-legged dog you've called in sick. Sure there's seconds of pleasure but so many moments of pain. And you can't snap your fingers and you don't talk so straight. You want to be loved, but you probably can't make it anyway. Now the ground is cold and there's no fire around. An absence of fire and you're just cold. And I've seen this dog in my sleep. He chases my father too, when he dreams between the sheets. But, we all think it's time for you to quit. Take a last swig of that cabernet. But, I tell you my friend I won't forget you. And the world's not clean, but they get mad when you're dirty. If you've handled some food, you better wash up. Like a 3-legged dog you got three feet. You can't walk fast or fuck, but you still get in heat. You can't wag your ears or flap your tail, but I still see you wandering down by the wishing well. When the ground was young and caves were cold, you've stayed out all night and you're just too old.

#1 Country Song Lyric: Brett Sparks
I remember the day my little brother brought you 'round. I even recall the color of your dress. Deep blue like the evening sky, I was captured, I confess. I didn't think you'd treat me like you did the rest. I remember the night you told me I was the one. Those loving words and the promises we made. But, before that night was done, I'd find out you were just having fun and from the start you never planned to stay.
Now darlin' I feel I'm going out of my mind. Can't last another day without you. I wish my foolish heart could find somebody new, but I just can't stop loving you.

Amelia Earhart vs. the Dancing Bear
Amelia, Amelia Earhart, after her plane was torn apart and bursting through the trees She remembered picking lemons with William Randolph Hearst and how a spinning plane propeller turned liquid in the sun. And as the cockpit burned, her hair filled with sparks, but when the glass exploded in, everything went dark.
She remembered sipping consommé with William Howard Taft and a boy with perfect skin who smelled like mustard gas. And as the cockpit burned, she couldn't help but smile, recalling a dancing bear she'd seen as a child.

Tin Foil
Late New Year's Eve, paper hat on your head, it's hard to believe you'll ever be dead. But that dream where you're falling you've had since you're five is a bird on your shoulder who whispers goodbye. Evil Knievel shot up from dead grass. I loved him better each time he crashed. Liza Minnelli spent a month in her bed certain that Skylab would fall on her head. One night I dreamed that I dug my own grave and climbed down inside to patiently wait. Down in the ground I breathed the warm air and blackbirds flew down to nest in my hair.
What is moving will be still. What's been gathered will disperse. What's been built up will collapse. All your dreams fulfilled

LYRICS TO ODESSA



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