As I Expected from You

Hang on the walls in an old white picture frame
Sun from the morning seems to call your name
Light sing down the hall, though I’m not sure how you came

I’m not bleeding anymore
We can make love on the floor
I hear you weeping through the door,
And I’m not sure what I wanted you for

Sleep through the morning & don’t show me your eyes
Stains on the bed sheets seem to sever the ties
Keep the tears from forming at the edge of our compromise

I’m not screaming your name
Visions of your art will remain
I’ve stopped believing in the game
I’m sorry for my part in making you cry just the same

I’m not leaving too soon
I’m not sure what I’m clinging to
I’m not breathing like I used to
Things haven’t gone quite as I expected from you


Before all the changes, I walked straight and upright,
With all of my faults in a line,
I gathered my essence to pour out like water,
And begat a hole in time,

My heels wore through feeling, painful and easy,
Waisting one step at a time,
Through meandering rivers of asphalt and concrete,
Begetting holes in life,

Encased in an island, hollow and sterile,
With spirits and walls intertwined,
If I had the power to wish straight through stone walls,
I’d beget a hole in mine.

Carried Away

She sees the stars traveling in the sea above
It gives her a reason, it gives her a hope for love
It’s something she told me of
The day that push came to shove

She could believe in the trail that would lead her out
Gathering listless, eyes searching all about
Hiding her fears and doubts
Give a start with a shout

Her boy is wandering under moon
Balancing on a guitar string out of tune

Put them in boxes, hurtle them down the path
Burn out the world in the throws of a speeding wrath
Brace yourself for the crash
We’re getting there pretty fast

Give him the carpet and give her the countertops
Knock down the prices, it don’t need to stand for long
We’ll be well-off and gone
It’s nothing to linger on

They’re upside down their bottoms-up they’re awash
Their dragging their feet, they’re bearing an albatross

Man, I got carried away

He wants a hostage, he wants the hoover dam
Get him arrested, put him with Uncle Sam
Say yes sir and ma’am
The bonds don’t give a damn

He’ll wreck up a subway, he’ll let out a battle cry
He’ll light up a high school and use it for alibi
His parents will wonder why
It’s something to know him by

He’ll keep his peace and bury it underground
It’s thirty pieces, Jesus, man, look around


Beyond my own thoughts are strings of cacti lined along a vanish line
Streaking past periphery as they blur into the mile marker signs
We are bristling with youth and hurtling towards tragedy and scars
As the desert air surrounds and we recount aloud how we each received ours

We’ll meet the horizon where the sun goes down and deify the turnpikes’s twisting lines
No thunderclap or man could remove our kingly crowns
We are drinking dandelions

Beyond all I know is a serenity of houses, farms and wives
And everlasting souls arranged in pairs and moving through each other’s lives
We may not be men but we are armored, we are shielded, we have pride
We race around concentric circles burning all the homes where we reside

Drunk at the Library

Please don’t leave me right now
I gotta get home and right now I don’t know how

The top of the post was reachable only by air
As the alarms cried out and the rebel ride jumped on the fare

Lord don’t go anywhere
The street is moving and I can’t breath in the air

The curves of his face were etched out in black and white
As the band packed up and the smoke rose up in the light

I got a helmet; I got your back

I’m alright in the light
The alley is calling and I can’t put up a fight

The square was pulsing and the courthouse was shining bright
And my blood was calling from the very ground


Stand tall and spend it all
I can spend the winter in high boots and overalls
I’m down in Oxford Town
There’s a hole in my pocket and I’m spinning like a cannon ball

If that river were whiskey
Baby, I’d be a diving duck
All my friends would come by
We’d sit down here and drink firewater

Scythe high at harvest time
Bleed, sweat, and leave it out on the line
And all my family ties will
Join in as the day slips into night

Find the levee and burn it down

Matter of Fact

Let it wash all over me
Put the honey soap down
I’m clean enough as you can see
You’ve not enough to go around

It comes as a matter of fact that she wasn’t mine
It comes as a matter of fact that your tone’s out of line

Let the sun rise up again
I’m sorry Honey I’ve got to go
You are the notion I’m swimming in
You’ve more than just my word to know

In spite of all of my answers and all of my reasons
In spite of all of our fault lines I am alive
And when you come up to my town you know that I will settle down
In spite of all of your reasons I am yours

The mountain carries my words to you
Thrown around from time to time
It’s not as though I wanted to
My words don’t always speak my mind

Northern Town

I followed my love to a northern town
And she dressed in delicate gowns
We were hanging around a northern town

Shimmy she wobble on cobble stones
Ripped up and carefully thrown out
On the ground in delicate mounds
Hanging around a northern town

All my worries are fading away
With each waking of a Canadian day
I breath in and soak the chimerical rays

I followed my love to a northern town
And we kissed as the fireworks sounded
We were hanging around a northern town

Je suis heureux j’adore votre pay
Vous etes le peuple du soleil
Hanging around a northern town

I Am Not Your Friend

A year on my own and I was thinking that I’d bring the hammer down
A better life had passed you by and gone while you were not around
You can give me a phone call, drop me a line
But I am not your friend; I’m your lover despite our lack of common ground

All I want is for you to say it hurt
But all I hear is the singing of a bird
Preambles and non-sequiters and glibly stated artifacts
I am yours, but I am not your friend I’m your lover

An invitation to the ocean state for the weekend to relax
I left the house with a couple of knives and a feather quill stuck in my back
I told you before I came, I told you twice
I don’t think I can do this again and keep my bleeding heart intact

Juke Joint

We were coming around the levy and you were hanging on my arm
We were hoping things were starting on time out in the barn
Just when we arrived, they rosined up the bow
We were standing closer as the band played out real slow

I moved close to where you were, hoping to see things better
I hung on your every word, stringing them all together

You smiled soft and knowing as the fiddle played its part
And the gut-bucket filled the low end with the beating of my heart
And the racket from the washboard soared into the air
And mixed with all the voices singing out in prayer

The sound of the mandolin rang like bells in winter
You looked on with innocence for the rest of all us sinners

Bring out a tin pail and put it in a spot where everyone can see
And we’ll fill it with kerosene to the top and light it to the beat
Shadows dance around us and move along the walls, circling the flames
Feet pound on the floorboards, lift the working dust, shake the shadow’s names

I felt it down in my bones and moved a little closer
We danced in the bucket’s glow and almost knocked it over

As walked out of the ramble the stars rose in the air
As if they heard the voices singing on in there
I drove towards the highway and you promised we’d return
As you looked out of the window at the kerosene fire burn

Ordinary Ways

Come and tell me everything
Everything you wanted to hear
Say it slow and say low this time
All the words that would endear
If I could say them clear
If I could say them twice

The streets are running red with hope
Emptied out and cobblestoned
The windows glaring shadows of your face
Love and violence all intoned
In a single word you’d throw
Claiming to entice

I won’t stand for another trial
No matter how it’s worded or phrased
Footprints are stretching on for miles
I am walking around in sort of a daze

Everyone looks familiar when you haven’t seen a friendly face for days
And I’m still stuck in my ordinary ways

Better leave it left alone
Streaming out over the wire
Fingers dancing nimbly to and fro
Responding to a world of liars
And they’re dancing on a fire
Burning through the ice

My breath is floating on top of the air
It’s colder here than I can recall
My feet are sore and soon to go bare
I am walking around for the hell of it all

Everything looks familiar when you’ve walked for miles and found you’ve lost your way
And I’m still stuck in all my ordinary ways

Over the Battlements

Bayonets, the trenches are dug enough
We’re calling an early bluff
Looks like it’s getting rough

Hold, we are semper fi
Dug in along the line
We all are gonna’ die

Do you think we’re allowed
To come back around
When the outcomes in doubt
I’ll come back around

We enveloped the straight away
Looks like we’re here to stay
This is the only way

The sun is over the battlements
Distant and yet immense
It doesn’t make any sense

The stars are out with a crowded blast
Aflame and streaming past
Do you think it’s gonna’ last?

Stay, tell me did we win?
Where has my mettle been?
Do you think we start again?

Pigeon Song

We’d step through the door between stars and the light
That was shining down on pool tables, souls and fights
Oh, what a rush to be in your sight
As the smoke hung low and I strutted from side to side
I was a fancy pigeon that’s trying to catch your eye

Our part of town has been quantified
And cordoned off by street names and picket lines
We can retreat into our minds
And let loose a hammer to strike out against our times
I was a fancy pigeon that’s trying to catch your eye

A vanishing line between the road and a life
Was stretched out along many paths I’d travelled twice
If you could say it I would move in kind
And go back home as fast a bird can fly
I was a homing pigeon with your face on my mind

There are so few words

We stepped through the door between the stars and the light
That was shining down on the make of your soul and mine
We can retreat into our minds
And touch our heads together for one more time

I’ll say it again, you’ll be alright
I may not believe but I mean it with all my might
A hospital bed is no place to die
Cut me here, I am sustenance, I am blind
I’m a feeding pigeon with my breast for your life


When I was young I kept my tongue in my pocket
And a spoonful of cold molasses stuck in my mouth
But my mind was racing like a solid fuel rocket
With ideas of love and romance running around

I spent my days applying varnish and lacquer
But my mind was stuck inside my head like a jar
My heart shot skyward like a lit firecracker
When we met on the train inside a passenger car

I’ve been stammering for forty years
But it’s coming easy on the 4th of July
I am grounded by the sound of your voice
But I am flying from the look in your eyes

Across the tables in the car we would stare on
I couldn’t tell you how it happened or why
But when you asked me if I might like to share one
Out came an eloquent and witty reply

We watched the fireworks clime up in the heavens
And light up all of the midsummer sky
We fell asleep about ten of eleven
In each other’s arms as the country flew by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *