tripped down franklin with a note in my hand
wire brush mind conscience of sand
i was a black kettle kid with a latch and a key
drinking from the drain of someone else's memory

sharp and clean, and timed to the day
birds erupt in a riot
sharp and clean the dirty end of may
but all you hear is the quiet

i had three lives i threw away two
filling my head with the worst of you

sharp and clean and timed to the day
i cant sleep when its this quiet
sharp and clean the dirty end of may
their hearts break for you to try it (so try it)

when i think about the past i just feel behind
i'm gonna leave this town tomorrow i swear this time


Insect Song

Insect Song

When I get lonely I can talk to the insects on my skin
There’s a pallor to the sky where even they start to pack in

I don’t want to die
I don’t want to die
I don’t want to die alone

I am without desire and then I disappear
No one comes around nobody comes around here

I don’t want to lie
I don’t want to lie
I don’t want to lie alone

I am a bag of lies that you liked to keep near
You got wise it became so clear

You gotta get drunk to ever stay sober
You gotta get off when the ride is over
And over and overdressed for the kill
If I don’t do it then nobody will
When it’s central time way past bedtime 
And the wheels in my mind are whining
I’m grinding my teeth to tell you the truth
I’m makin the case ignoring the proof

That I don’t wanna know
I don’t wanna know
I don’t wanna know


The Ballad of Me and Marcus

The Ballad of Me and Marcus

In a little boat, you can give em hell
For and aft, pitch and bail
But you're still sinking fast, mister tattered sails
Adrift and lost at sea

Don't you look at me, I tried to tell you twice
You can catch more bees, with honey on your knife
But now our baby's gone, and it's not my fault
Sink or swim or turn a stupid somersault
She's long gone, long gone

I know she's not the giving kind
But everybody has to give it up sometimes.

In a little boat, more like a raft
You ain't got no crew, but you got a cask of rum to pass
Pass away the days
While we all tread water in your wake
We're long gone, long gone

I know you'll love that siren sound
Till human voices wake you then, you'll drown


Open Hearted

Open Hearted

I could be obscure or I could be obtuse
nothing makes you feel clever like seeing through a ruse
its ok to be alone its ok to be confused
its ok to be poor and have nothing to prove

you tried to explain the things that you dreamed
you tried to make me know the things that they meant

you said your legs were flights from the east heading west
long and high and bent slightly at the crest

your arms were arms fleeing their own violence
panicked and wrapped around a discerning silence

your face was a ditch a favorite hiding spot
a patch of thistle in an abandoned lot

your breath was a gift or maybe an apology
i was a blank spot on your hearts astronomy

I like it when you talk it I like when you don't
when your wrapped around me i feel like a castle with a moat

this town has always been my friend
a rolling hill set still by a permanent end

I come here to be ground in your mill
I walk long hours on the window sill

You split me from my germ you cut against the grain
You call the space between us to make us whole again

Yes i always liked it here
like the middle of a moan long and deep and clear

you make the marks again but they were there before you started
Id die cold and alone if i lived warm and open hearted




Goodbye Dash, nothing is forever
But one thing's certain, I saw it in the paper
Thirteen baggies, a Colt 45 
Floatin' in the bathtub works every time

So long Dash, though we hardly knew you
That exposé it cut right through
It cut to the bone in saw-tooth fashion
Life is a gas when drugs are a passion

If life is a gas then love is a vapor
Your secret's out and printed in the paper
She's just a little girl, she don't know how to live yet
You came on the Post to put it in perspective

It's so hard to get through life when you are undiscovered
Your baby's cold comfort when she is undercover

King of the castle hiding in the village
Slave to desire to rape and pillage
How did I get here, will I ever learn?
To get a little hotter without getting burned

They left dash lying on a cooling board
They had their reservations but they also had a table
At Lucien, raise a glass
Dust to dust, ash to ash

Say your goodbyes say your farewells
I'll see you in heaven, I'll see you in hell
Bust down the door to room #8
Pound on my chest if it's not too late

It's so hard to get through life when you are undiscovered
Your baby's cold comfort when she is undercover




I woke up in January, feeling fine
Wind at my back this time for good
I Went down, quit my job working on the line
Asked my momma "can i do better?" she said "you could"

I ain't on Domino sugar plant baby I ain't going under
Im just passing through
Find a place to settle down, least for the summer
For a month or two

Got to the bottom of my glass and I felt a fever
I was shaking like the sea on the sand
I was cut cold and dry, like the breath of a believer
Like the ash at the bottom of my can

I ain't no New York Times you can still find me on the corner
I'm not going anywhere soon
I ran across nine states just to warn her
About a town with no shadows at noon

Staring at your reflection in a telephone booth
It gets old and it gets old for free
But if your having trouble mamma, telling the truth
You can come lie with me

I know you're not here for the revolution, the turns of kings and whores
You're just waiting for the sun to drop
I watched the execution, I watched the crowd at the door
I know who should have been shot




Gone gone gone
Like the words to a song you forgot
But you still got the tune

That’s the way it goes
“You are nervous and it shows”
It’s just one of those things

Kinda hard to explain
And if it’s all the same to you
I’d rather not go through with this

Well goddamn, good-bye, good luck
I don’t really understand and you could give a fuck
It’s just one of them things
Kinda hard to explain
And if it’s all the same to you
I’d rather not know

Hold it inside
As long as you can stand
Gone gone gone

Letting go takes so long
Who’s got time
Gone gone gone

They’ll say you were all wrong
It’s what they do
Gone gone gone

You know you were all right
All along
Gone gone gone

I knew you were already
Long long long
Gone gone gone


There There

There There

Blue moon baby can you spin a ribbon home
Out all night and now your waking up slow
Your tried to rise on time you swear
There There 

Graveyard girl, digging for a home
Understood by your mouth but trapped by your moan
Going on and on how it's not really fair
There There

She beats me, to my dreams
She beats me to my dreams

Junkyard dog, looking for a bone
Blood in your eyes and a mouthful of foam
Came late to show you didn't even care
There There

Having a little trouble growing up just for the grown
Taunting the timid with the forever unknown
Started out slow but now your going on a tear
There There

You beat me, to my dreams
You beat me back, to my dreams

I wasn't looking in the mirror I was staring at the phone
Never fell for the fruit never mentioned my own 
Couldn't look you in the eye on account of the glare
There There




A brutal petty punk, a gawker in a funk, I read it 'cause he wrote it
Are you really being fair? Do we even care? If she goosed you on the stairs?
An anonymous assault, pointless to a fault
I never would have thought that

You could be so mean to the hand-me-down queen
Ya know she don't deserve your bile
You ought to be proud, she's a magna cum laude
Who finally got her picture in the style section

We packed a picnic lunch for a walk in the woods 
As I looked back over my shoulder I thought
Don't my Saturn look good in the sun
Gleaming whitely, it made me feel a little bolder
So I took her hand as we arrived at an alpine lake
Still half frozen over in the summer
I thought I thought of everything but I kinda choked when I tried to tell her

You just look so good, when your leavin' town and I'm way to proud to follow
We both know that's a lie, but only one of us knows why
And by the way, do you have a suitcase I can borrow?

Just a little country kid, now look at what you did, you're all stranded in the city
And you haven't got a friend, ‘cause she dumped you in the end, oh isn't it a pity?

That you could be so mean to the hand-me-down queen
Ya know she don't deserve your bile
You ought to be proud, she's a magna cum laude
Who finally got her picture in the style section


On the Lam

On the Lam

Saw you lying low on your doorstep
The air hung heavy like a shipwreck
Marks on the ground where the night slept
Smoke rising from a cigarette

Saw you sitting pretty on your high horse
Buckling from the pressures of due course
We were somewhere up North
I gave mine, and you lost yours

I think that I miss you sometimes
I just can't really tell
I know you can't get past my almost crimes
Well, almost is where I tend to excel

Saw you wait it out on the fine line
The kids got rich or they died trying
You were screaming like a strip mine
Saying "I'm just trying to land mine"

Saw you fixing up on the down low
Painted face, watch the glass glow
Outsider all in the know
Late bloomer sitting in the snow

I think you might miss me sometimes
I know you'd never say
You fixed your face to look like mine
Thinking it'd be easier that way 

Ive been driving and drinking
The Southbound cars won't stop blinking
Tomorrow seems like wishful thinking
When your only 24, and the whole world's sinking




Goin to Rome, goin to Paris
I took the bus through Parkersburg
On my home too see my parents
On the occasion of my uncle's passing

It was the month of September
If my memory serves me well
These things got a way of slipping
That’s why I wrote it down here just to tell you

I won’t forget you Delmas

The hay is rotten in the fields
The weeds is grown up round the wheels
Of that old tractor with the busted light
That old tractor with the busted light

Goin to Rome, goin to Paris
I took the bus through Parkersburg
On my way home to see my parents
On the occasion of my uncle’s passing

Charles is lookin for his wife
Cuz he can’t find the knife
That old Delmie would have wanted me to have
That old Delmie would have wanted me to have


Lonesome Blues

Lonesome Blues

I had a girl from the mountains,  out to the west
shes a workin girl dont got no shoes
picture or her daughter, close to her breast
helps her keep away those lonesome blues

when she was young she ran away
guess she went lookin for somethin better to do
they caught her brought her back the very next day
ever since then she sang those lonesome blues

times comes i get myself some money
gonna do the only thing, i know how ta do
might sound kinda funny
but id rather sit at home and sing these lonesome blues

and when things get to goin good
you'll here me come whistlin to you
when things arent goin, like they should
you here that whistle blowin those lonesome blues

i got a friend in tuscon
hes always leavin every week or two
singin well i shoud be, movin on
one step ahead of those lonesome blues

last i heard he was in louisiana
captain of a ship with a ten man crew
picking and ringing that hammer
and every time it struck it was those lonesome blues

well my girl, she gets to yellin
somethin on her mind an, shell tell you
but in the middle of her tellin
i look into her eyes i see that lonesome blue

'n sometimes i hear that singin loud
and its low, beautiful and true
an i look up at the dark and gloomy clouds
and i swear i see the sun singin those lonesome blues 




Shapes shift down slopes of blue and glass
understood by gravity but not by mass
complaining everything moves so fast
my expectations have been put on their ass
now that the sun has come to pass
what will the night do with all this gas
when the world stops spinning just for laughs
everyone sighs "my god at last"

what you wrote wasn't what you said
you never finish you just leave for dead
what you thought was only in your head
little girl you

Flag flows fluid the shield of the peon
Angela's eyes burn flaming and neon
Two frustrated balls of freon
Freezing the only world I know how to be on
Its time to mime the songs of freedom
To the tune of a Nazi march on Hedon
Bent and broken the semantics of treason
all I need is a decent reason

what you wrote wasn't what you said
you never finish you just leave for dead
what you thought was only in your head
little girl you

Hell hath no fury like my indiscretion
my regret festers in a bed of prevention
the helicopter hum of a man kept guessing
your adorable apathy your best intentions
the skyscrapers shadow my only pension
i'm mummifying in a land of reflections
I cut it apart and put it in sections
I bind my mind with constant corrections

what you wrote wasn't what you said
you never finish you just leave for dead
what you thought was only in your head
little girl you came, and went


Small Difference

Small Difference

You keep beating the horse and it'll stop walking
You keep walking the line its gonna disappear
you keep hanging around long after i stop talking
thats why i like to keep you near

hey there pretty momma what you got on your mind?
ask you a question all you tell me's the time
i could sing you a song i give you some line
about some greener grass on some other side

you've been coming over long after dark
saying no matter where i am the suns going down
we've been hanging around in an empty car park
like a metal island in a concrete town

hey there pretty momma what you got in your eye
ask me a question but i'm already blind
when your city sinks don't come crying
singing me that song how your so sick of trying

hey there pretty momma what you got on your mind
ask me a question i start talking about my pride
i could sing you a song i give you some dance
then i start playing like i got a chance

i've been sitting around like a flea bitten rock
mice in my hair gum in my lock
my days are getting clearer but my conscience is not
you wanna come over don't bother to knock


Hard Hearted Girl

Hard Hearted Girl

Well a hard hearted girl can pass the time, can pass the time
You might toss and turn got them worried dreams
To a hard hearted girl it don’t mean a thing

You’re so hard on yourself
Each time you give her a call
Brother ain’t you got no self respect at all
I know it’s hard to keep your mind
Off a girl who’s so unkind

Girl ain’t done nothing wrong
That girl ain’t done nothing at all
It’s not her fault you’re a fool
Who falls too far to find his way home 
Don’t let it get you down
Just try and love your hard hearted gal

Lord, give me something
To hold onto In this world
But please please please
Take away that hard hearted girl




It feels like it never happened 
Though it weren’t that long ago
What ended in indecision
Started with a wonderful thing we saw

It’s not as if it really matters 
Ask for less and hope for more
A light came on then we all scattered 
Cast into the void in full on free fall

I hadn’t even noticed you’d torn free
Would you mind next time to warn me?

When it comes to hurtful wishes 
You tend to clinch your fists so tight
That all that’s left are burning bridges
Of the diamond in your mind to recall

It’s getting hard to form connections
Living all up in your head
Relationship of pure abstraction
The first thing I remember said was last call

I didn’t even notice you’d broke free
Would you mind some time to take me