Lyrics for "Peasant of the Wreck"

Peasant of the Wreck

 

You're the victim of the torture of a king without a head

you wake up to no country on your own demise he's fed

his rule is like a switchblade two inches from your neck

his brother is a hangman--you're a peasant of the wreck

 

You ride his boundless horses and you try to get away

you had a revelation that the king he did not save you

for your own volition--so you grapple and it's grave

if you could you'd take his head off--but he's got no head to take

 

If he died four times over

another king would take his place, undoubtedly he'd move right in

you could change your name your house your class

might marry him and even have his daughter

and you'll wake up to no country again

 

He draws your faith and quarters it and throws it to the rain

but no country has the weather to relinquish all the pain

like Hamlet in the bone yard and the legacy he craved 

you're looking there for nothing--'cause a headless king won't change.

 

If he died...

 

 

BONSAI

 

I’m through, wrapping up my burdens around you today.

I knew I could never be the one, I saw you see through me

I’m rue and hey--they say love does not alter when it alteration finds

we come to each other broken and we try to bend the other’s mind

like bonsai’s cracking concrete growing in and out

of line--we live.

Chorus: 

We go the distance back to back

Our bodies on two different tracks

We’ll say good-bye and dissappear

and wonder where those hearts we spun

will go from here.

 

Love’s that single drop of water that makes the ocean full

It’s the seed that is the bonsai, it’s the push before we ever pull

It’s the reason for our living, it’s the spark that is the light

It takes nothing for the giving, will we ever get it--ever get it right?

 

Chorus: We go the distance...

 

They say love does not alter when it alteration finds

we come to each other broken and we try to bend the other’s mind

like bonsai’s cracking concrete growing in and out of line--we live.


BED

 

One third of each day spent here, 

equals one third of an entire life.

Two thirds of that third

most likely this square will be shared.

Coil springed pad in a sea of room

to set down and dream on.

No wheels or wings it has

but travel is its target.

From womb to crib to cot to grave--

somewhere in there--thrown 

from single to queen, we bump 

and collide like twins in utero

on the crest of stormy sleep.

After one third of two thirds of that third,

spent boxed in a seven by seven,

lynched out of falling, snagged by snores,

and dreaming your elbow is chewing 

my lower back, I want to push 

you off the bed but I don’t.

They say if you hit the ground 

when you’re dreaming

you never come back.

How do we jump from wakefulness

and land safely on this budding swoop of sleep?

We lie flat on our beds. That’s how.

I hope dying is like that. The last time

my spirit lies flat on its bones--

calcium pad in this sea of sky

to set down and dream on,

no wheels or wings, but still able to fly--

I hope dying is like that. Spirit, two thirds life 

the other third a dream,

without your elbow in my back please.

 

 

Dashboard Jesus

 

Got no rosary on my windsheild--got no halo round my head

Just this cracked up dashboard Jesus who’s pretending to be dead.

Got no answers to most questions--got no reasons just these rymes

What’s the use in chasing facts when one and one is two is right?

 

Chorus:

 

Wonder lies ahead--wonder lights our way.

If my dashboard Jesus had his way--he would crown this love we are in.

 

I ain’t no holy roller and I’m not the type to pray,

the church beyond my windsheild is just another day.

My cracked up dashboard jesus never looks me in the eye

But I swear to god he winked at me when I took you for a ride.

 

Chorus:

 

There’s a magnet on the pedastel don’t know how long it will last

sometimes he falls over when I’m driving way too fast.

He’s peeling at the shoulders--he’s missing his left hand

but my cracked up dashboard Jesus takes me safely cross the land.

 

Chorus:

 

 

Mary

 

The easy leaves of the quaking aspen shake under the current of clouds streaming over Billy’s head. He flips his rod into the dark lake. A perfect cast. The plop of the hook and sinker landing at least five feet further than his father’s last pitch makes him sweat. There’s a quick tug on the line--but he don’t have that fish just yet. He don’t have that fish just yet. “Looks like a doozy,” Billy’s father calls to him from the top of the hill.

Suzy, Billy’s Mom, looks up from her cosmo magazine and thinks about parental statistics. What percentage of the population shouldn’t have kids. And if there were a study done of people who shouldn’t parent, her husband, Henry, Money magazine in one hand and a near beer in the other would be at the top of the list.

“Help me Dad. I got him-I think I do!” Billy cries gripping the rod with his right hand while he wipes his left one dry on the leg of his red trunks.

“Do it yourself son--meet it like a man.” His father raises both arms. In one hand the can, the other the magazine.

 

Chorus: Look at what they’ve done this was supposed to be fun. At the lake there’s no TV so they pick up magazines. Run run run run run. Run run run run ruuuuuuunn. Ah ah ah--ah ah ah.

 

“You got it Billy!” his Mom shouts with the cosmo spread over her thighs. She’s reveling in jarred herring. Chocolate covered cherries.The fish bursts from the water in a twisted fit and with hook in mouth, plunges into the lake ripping the rod out of Billy’s greasy hands. It drifts out into the deep.

“Nice cast, Billy,” his father calls from behind his money magazine. “But it looks like he told you who’s boss. And you’ll be paying for that rod with your allowance. Where’s Mary?” Billy points at his little sister who is playing behind a batch of of Indian Poke and water hemlock skirting the lake shore. Suzy screws the cap back on the herring jar and runs to her boy with a soda and a bag of chips. With his back to her, Henry reaches into the bottom of their cooler and sneaks a swig of vodka from the head of a red and yellow clown. Billy’s sippy cup when he was little.Suzy cracks the soda and puts it to Billy’s mouth. The sugar soothes him. Mary runs over to them and reaches for the bottle. “What about me?”

“Go  see if there’s something else to drink in the cooler,” Suzy tells her daughter. “There might be some water in the sippy clown.” When Henry sees Mary dawdling up the hill, he gets up and walks towards his blue Volvo wagon. Doesn’t want to be bothered. Mary tries so hard to be Daddy’s little girl it makes him crazy.

 

Chorus: Look at what........

 

Mary opens the cooler. The sippy clown is at the bottom floating in the icy water. She takes it out and drinks her father’s vodka. Henry sees her from the hood of the wagon where he’s sitting and says the heck with it. The worst it would do is calm her down for the long ride home.

 

Suzy makes her way up the hill and asks Mary for a sip of water. Mary hacks and hands her mother the clown. Suzy takes a swig and spits it out. “Henry,” she shouts. “You’ve been drinking again.”

 

Henry had quit drinking two years earlier after he wrecked his red Subaru on highway nine. Drove into a tree. He was with Jane Caruso, a seventeen year old local hitchhiker who thumbed home from the South Hill Library every night at 8:30. Henry would always leave home at 8:15 to pick up some desert for the kids and drive by the library to get her. When she got in the car it tightened his denim. He liked the way she smelled. Like apples.

 

That particular night he didn’t leave from home but rather a company dinner where he got bombed. He had checked his watch and when he noticed it was 8:35 he staggered out of the restaurant, revved up his car and drove fast past the library. Relieved to find Jane still standing in the road, thumb out waiting for a ride. She got in. He sniffed the air. Crazy from the booze and the smell of her, he floored the pedal and skidded around the bend and ended up with the tree. He wasn’t hurt but Jane’s head hit the windshield and she needed quite a few stitches. Henry did six months for drunk driving and endangering the welfare of a minor and swore off booze and hitchhikers for the rest of his life. But as time went by and the memory of that awful night faded, the desire for booze increased and he started drinking on the sly.

 

“I had a tough week,” he tells Suzy, who is emptying the sippy clown. She pours vodka on a tribe of tiny red ants swarming a wad of dirt crusted bubble gum. “I’ve got a handle on it,” Henry says. “Yea like the handle you had on the Caruso girl.”

 

Billy’s throwing peanut m&m’s at the sky.

 

Mary draws a picture of a face that has no eyes.

 

Chorus: Look at what......

Suzy picks up soda cans, potato chip bags and candy wrappers. 

 

Mary runs up the hill. “I have to go to the bathroom Daddy,” she says tugging the hem of his khaki shorts.

 

“Go over there,” Henry says pointing at the lake.

 

Mary rolls down the hill.

 

Billy carries some beach chairs to the car.  

 

Little Mary goes into the water.

 

Henry packs up the car and Suzy tells him that going out with the family for a day isn’t so bad. She read that a father should spend at least 18 hours a week with his kids and that a vacation twice a year is what keeps the family together. Henry looks at his watch--hopes he’ll be home in time to watch the game.

 

“Where’s Mary?” Billy asks.

 

Henry snaps his fishing pole while trying to squeeze it into the back of the wagon. “Jeez.” he says and pulls the hook out of his finger.

 

Suzy says she’ll drive. “Where’s Mary?” She asks.

 

Billy and Henry get into the back of the car.

 

Henry tells Suzy that Mary’s down by the lake while squeezing a spot of blood out of the slit on his finger where the hook went in.

 

Billy looks out the window at the dark water. It is smooth and black except for a small spot that ripples out in the middle. Probably the poor fish--Billy thinks--hook in mouth dragging that slippery rod at the bottom.

 

Chorus: Look at what....

LADY GOING DOWN

 

She woke up to oblivion

on a dim November night

The shadows that were living there

required so little light

She pinched herself said you’re dreaming girl

The dark ages have passed

You’re living in a brave new world

seems it’s dying way too fast

 

She dropped her torch on the river floor

Shed a tear for all the cities, states and towns

this isn’t what she came here for

They’re shattering the windows in her crown

Good bye friends this lady’s going down

 

The crimson sky grew over her

and took away the blue

She closed her eyes fellto her knees

and said this can’t be true

She pinched herself said you’re dreaming girl

I came here to be free

Can’t speak cant’t swear

can’t choose can’t care

what has become of me?

 

She dropped her torch on the river floor

Shed a tear for all the cities, states and towns

This isn’t what she came here for

Can’t live with all this vermin in her crown

Good bye friends this lady’s going down



 

 

SMALL GOD

 

As sure as my two hands are on these strings

this song I sing won’t kill me

but to die inside a song is like you’re never even born

to all the promises that never last--too much time spent

inside a glass of whiskey that pretends to hide

your waking up to all the lies that will be

they will be

These wordas I sing won’t bite or sting me

like yo do on this road that does not go home

like a tree that blocks the burning sun from me I hide

sometimes I think I’m better off inside my song alone

 

Chorus:

It fills me like a prayer

when the whiskey’s gone and the lights go on

and the morning’s just not there

I beg a mystery to share

the right words with me come and lift me

up to your love and I find a small God there

 

As sure as my two feet are on the ground 

this head I’m in won’t kill me

but to die inside a dream is the best way

to be redeemed from all the promises that never last-

too much time spent inside a glass 

of whiskey that pretends to hide

your waking up to all the lies that will be

they will be

 

These dreams I dream won’t bite or sting me

like you do on this road that does not go home

like a tree that blocks the burning sun from me

I hide sometimes I think I’m better off inside my dreams alone

 

Chorus:

 

 

2023

 

What are these wars that they call holy?

Nuclear armed divinity

I hope the children can get older

In two thousand twenty three.

Jet fighters, missiles, mass destruction

Why don’t they leave our skies alone?

Does God eat popcorn watching battles in the universe-

The universe, this big screen we call home?

Chorus:

What is this God I heard was love?

It don’t look nothing like my own.

The rose of Sharon she is wilted from the napalm

Please leave our paradise alone

Please leave this paradise alone

 

What you say you gotta do--you gotta do

Wrong or right or right or wrong--

Wish you’d keep your noses on your faces 

and out of all those other places

would you mind nobodies business but your own?

 

Chorus:

What is this God I heard was love?

It don’t look nothing like my own.

The rose of Sharon she is wilted from the napalm

Please leave our paradise alone--

Please leave our paradise alone.

 

Refrain:

I am the Rose of Sharon

A lily of the valleys but little foxes spoil the vines.

As a lily among thorns--so my love among daughters

So is my beloved among the sons of time.

 

What are these wars that they call holy?

Nuclear armed divinity.

I hope the children can get older

In two thousand twenty three.

Jet fighters, missiles, mass destruction

Why don’t they leave our skies alone?

Does God eat popcorn watching battles in the universe-

The universe, this big screen we call home?

Summer Place  

 

To look back on that summer

is like trying to grab the air

of a story we had left untold 

where you were with me--not quite there.

Our words ran with the river 

and they hardly made a sound--

it’s a short cry to that shiver 

when autumn brings the summer down.

 

I will remain 

under a bough of hemlock 

where the seasons never change.

And where are you now?

Sitting in your summer place,

while autumn shows its dying face,

finishing this story somehow.

 

The fish they were a jumping

but no cotton there was grown.

Maybe there was something  we had

so together--so alone.

Those words were never written,

pages never read. That story we had left untold,

a book thrown in the fire instead.

 

I will remain 

under a bough of hemlock 

where the seasons never change.

And where are you now?

Sitting in your summer place,

while autumn shows its dying face,

finishing this story somehow.