1 Sep


I promised myself I would not write another song until I had something warm and tropical to sing about. I feel like a cold front is sweeping this country, filling people with piousness and righteous ideas. I am okay with a little righteousness, but once it reaches the point where people start to take pleasure in doling out justice I get nervous. I did not want to add any ice to the group mind.

Still, this Arctic song woke me up in the middle of the night and I decided to write it down anyway. Because the South is all about trusting in Providence, just as the North is about Self-Reliance.





We walk through the frozen mountains.
We wade through the icy stream.
We shine like the northern rainbow.
We blow like the icy breeze.

Am I real?
Am I real?

Kneel down to drink from the water.
Kneel down to drink from the stream.
I’m too thirsty to think about it-
I don’t care if it’s dirty or clean.

Am I real?
Am I real?

We lie upon a caribou fur.
We rest our eyes upon a ceiling of ice.
Silver needles fill my fingers and toes-
I start to sink into a paradise.

Am I real?
Am I real?

We work beneath the silvery sun.
We rely on our ancestry.
Sometimes cold overtakes my heart-
It floats beside me like another me.

Am I real?
Am I real?

I cut my finger with a silvery knife.
I tuck my knife back inside of my fur.
He licks my finger with an eager tongue-
Raw meat is what we prefer.

Am I real?
Am I real?

We walk through the frozen mountains.
We wade through the icy stream.
We are silver needles beneath the sky,
Dissolving into the Bering Sea.

Am I real?
Am I real?

Truly Old

11 Aug

Truly Old

Pink and green, all alone
Guess you never really had a home.
Circles form, fires shine
You alone stand behind

To learn the ways
To burn the pain away
To find the gold
For you alone are truly old.

Chicken leg, gnaw the bone
Make your bed curled against a stone.
Circles form, fires shine
You alone are left behind

To see through things
To learn from bearded kings
To find the gold
For you alone are truly old.

Morning gold, wake in dew
Little bugs fly all over you.
Tiny bugs, tiny wings
In the end, you are a friend to things.

To feel
To know what’s really real
To touch the shine
Another world is left behind.

Fires shine, do not go
Never circle round their glow.
Fires shine in the night
Independent of their light

You alone are truly old
You alone are truly old
You alone are truly old
You alone are truly old.


Download MP3: Truly Old

I love to read

4 Aug


Best Friends


You wanted to lie face down in a pool
They lifted you up; they wouldn’t let you fly
They thought that you wanted to die.

You waited for the train; you lay on the tracks
They came to arrest you; they wouldn’t let you fly away, fly away
They said you had to come back.

Knitting at night under the moon
In your mind is a bone; it flies through the sky all alone
That bone is you.

White bone on black sky, swimming through stars
Fly away friend, the whole world is ours
Spreading like vapor, slipping through cracks
The whole world is ours; fly away never come back.

Finally one day you escaped to the moon
Through a bottle of pills and you left a note saying goodbye
Do not follow me, please don’t try.

Not all of us fly, not all of sing
Like a bone in the night sky but you were a king
Stuffed in a jar til the glass had to crack
Now I’m happy for you and I don’t need for you to come back.

Because look at me now, how I stroll through the fields
The grass brushes my leg an electrical feel
Every blade is a song, every blade is a scroll
Oh, the things that I’ve learned! Oh, the things that I know!

Songs about forests, light pours through the trees
Rushing into the wanderer electrical green
Though he covers his eyes, the light seeps through his skin
He was prepared to lose, but now he is destined to win!

Songs about creeks where a man cools his toes
As the water flows through them he suddenly knows why
Why his friend said goodbye.

And other stories like these.
As you know, I love to read.


Download Mp3: I Love to Read

The Other Side

28 Jul


The Other Side


If you want to cross to the other side,
I will follow you.
Splash the water over my face now,
Deepest shade of blue.

Follow the hand of an invisible man;
I still have eyes to see.
Cross the water where the moonlight glistens,
Like waking from a dream.

Oh did I fly? Fly? Fly right next to you?
Did we run on legs to the mountain top
Palest shade of blue?

Oh did I fall? Fall so far I couldn’t breath?
Did you watch my eyes through the bubbling waves
Beginning to believe?

If you call to me from the other side,
I will always come;
Come in the body of a feathery bird
Sucking on my thumb.

Whistle to me through a deep blue wave,
I still have ears to hear.
Splash the water over my face now,
The hard things disappear.

And we will run, run, run through fields of green
And you will cry out, what a happy surprise,
Things were never what they seemed.

And God will run, run beside us like a dog
And we will toss him sticks, and teach him tricks
As the golden sun dissolves.

But if you want to stay in an indelicate world,
I will stay with you.
Splash the water over my face now,
Blackest shades of blue.

Three men watch from across the hill,
Head to toe in black.
Lines are drawn and when you cross them
You’re never going back.

But I could fight, fight, fight just like a dream,
And I could teach myself to always believe that
Things are what they seem.

And I could hate, hate, hate right by your side
And we could struggle to take the western gate
Before the golden sun declines.


Download MP3: The Other Side

Shiny Soldiers

21 Jul


This is a song about the gray fairies who are responsible for recording everything that occurs so that Justice can be doled out in the correct proportions at a later time.


Shiny Soldiers


Big city ways
Everyone is gay
Try to find a way to shine

Living in the night
Everything is right
If you keep a spinning mind

Big man brown
Knock me to the ground
No one was around to hear

Furry furry man
Spitting on his hand
The only thing I knew was fear

Slide away
Shiny soldiers follow me
Eyes of gray peering from around the trees

Tiny spines so straight
They watch, they wait
Slide away.

Slime slime boom
Big city room
All the grown ups want to play

Big black night
Dancing in the dim light
Meeting creeps in the alleyway

Big man blue
Swinging with his shoe
No one was around to hear

Big city ways
Wanting to get paid
The only thing I knew was fear

Slide away
Shiny soldiers follow me
Eyes of gray peering from around the trees

Tiny boots, they glow
They see, they know
Slide away.

Gray gay white
Everything is right
Long as we don’t have to know

Plus the truth might lie
And one day we’re gonna die
So we better let the good times flow

Big black hole
Sliding down a pole
That was the only world I could hear

Black man bite
Crawling in the moonlight
Watching all the blood appear

Slide away
Shiny soldiers follow me
Eyes of gray peering from behind the trees.

They will dig, record
Then even scores
Slide away.


Download MP3: Shiny Soldiers

Hi, it’s me!

15 Jul

Slippers & I out and about, hoping to bump into some friends.

Hi there, it’s me! I feel like it would be rude if I didn’t, every now and then, step out from behind my songs and say hi as a person. I know some people prefer musicians to “shut up and sing,” but personally I find it a bit uncordial if someone keeps singing at me and never says hello. As they say in West Virginia, “Handshakes before hugs.”

Perhaps that is why I dislike concerts, as a rule. Not only are they extremely expensive (I prefer spending money on tangibles), not only are they cold, smelly, and impersonal, but I find it dull to watch a person perform for hours on end without ever removing the mask to reveal their self, if only for a moment.

Since musicians are supposed to like concerts, it took me a long time to admit how I really felt. Finally the day came when I had front row seats to a Roseanne Cash concert, but I stayed home to watch Columbo instead. It wasn’t like anyone was going to get murdered at her show. A couple weeks later, I had front row seats to a Justin Townes Earle show, but once again I couldn’t bring myself to go. I tried to give myself a pep talk- he’s a heroin addict, maybe something exciting will happen.  But I couldn’t budge myself. I knew he would probably be on his best behavior, singing his songs without a hitch and making witty comments about the wonderful audience. Perhaps I am a bad person, or maybe just a Scorpio, but I find it so dull to watch someone put their best foot forward. I always want to see their worst foot. But professional musicians never seem to fall off the stage or forget their medication. What is the point then? If I just wanted to hear someone sing, I could take a shower.


At any rate, here is what is going on with me- nothing. My life is so boring that I feel a pang of awe that I am able to survive it uncrushed. A testament to the human spirit. The most exciting part of my day is walking Slippers and saying hello to the rotating cast of semi-wild dogs that join us. As I’ve mentioned before, Slippers used to be one of these roaming dogs until she got hit by a car and was going to be ‘put down.’ Back then her name was ‘Nasty.’ Because “Keepin’ it Nasty” is the unofficial slogan of our holler. At first, I wasn’t sure what it meant. I thought country people were supposed to be square, with rigid morals. Boy was I wrong! If it isn’t illegal for at least three reasons, they won’t even touch it around here. Especially when it comes to love.

I sort of admire their krazy spirits, but only from a distance, watching with binoculars from my window.

So why is my life so boring? Personally, I think it has less to do with isolation and more to do with geography. There are hills on all sides. If you want to see the sky you have to look straight up. Giant walls of earth pressing in on me from all directions, vibrating my body with their cold brown waves. It is the sort of feeling you get in a library, being surrounded by heavy books, except it’s brown rather than gray. I like to think it is making me strong. Maybe wise too.


I am trying to get over my

No friends today, they were all hiding because of the flood and Slippers is pissed.







Normally, when James asks me what a song is about, I tell him I don’t really know. But in this case it is clear- this is a song about a giant named Big Stuff who dreamed of having a parade thrown in his honor. He saved up all his money and gave it to a man who was supposed to make the parade happen. But instead, the man disappeared with the money and left Big Stuff feeling so dejected and humiliated that he sat in a near catatonic state, barely rocking back and forth in a rocking chair, until the next phase of his life began.

I know that gay and straight pride parades have been in the news recently, but this song has nothing to do with them, at least as far as I am concerned. Big Stuff’s story actually took place around 10 years ago, but it is only now that I am getting around to telling it.

Big Stuff

Big Stuff- a real life giant with an endless appetite for the finer things of Life.


Purple lace, paint your face
Wait for the cold rain to go away
Today is your big day.

Candy sticks, pink balloons
All of their eyes will be stuck to you
Stuck with the sweetest glue.

Velvet boots, comb your hair
Part down the middle then gloss it with gel
Put some gel in your mustache as well.

In the mirror–look! What do you see?
Could it be you? Could this day truly be

Big Stuff’s Parade, Big Stuff’s Parade
Every gold coin that you saved, you saved for
Your special day, proud and gay
Shining the way that you knew you could
This day is going to feel good.

Purple stripes on a pole
The one that you’ll hold when they lift you up
Onto your satin throne.

Caviar in your pants for you to taste
When your dream comes true
When every eye falls on you.

Look in the mirror and what do you see?
Could it be you? Could today truly be

Big Stuff’s Parade, Big Stuff’s Parade
Every gold coin that you saved, you saved for
Your special day, proud and gay
Shining the way that you knew you could
This day is going to feel good.

But look around, Big Stuff, where is the man
Who took your gold coins in the palm of his hand?
The streets are still empty, no crowds have arrived
No floats to be seen, no flags in the sky…

You were tricked! He took your coins, but the flags never flew
The sun never came out, the crowds never gazed on you
Now you’re rocking and rocking back and forth in your chair
Rubbing the glossy gel out of your hair.

I was tricked! I was tricked! you mumble to yourself
and for the next seven months you will say nothing else.

Big Stuff’s Parade, Big Stuff’s Parade
He needs to learn that the world doesn’t turn
Just for satin lace on his face
Now that he’s bungled his one chance to shine
Will Big Stuff find peace of mind?


Download MP3: Big Stuff’s Parade

Tap Tap

7 Jul


Tap Tap


Tap tap upon my arm, I know you’re there-
I feel you breathing on my hand.
Please go away, although I know you care-
things that people cannot understand.

I dug the ditch.
I rolled them in.
I saw their purple eyes
Begin to dim.

This air does not exist for me to breath;
friendship fly away, I’m not the one who will believe.

I saw them die,
Covered in dirt.
At night I cry
and I cannot release the hurt.

Nobody knows the way to turn back time
but I could swear this time that I would sacrifice my life.
Nobody knows the secret things that fill the air,
it’s no one’s job to care; it’s no one’s place to fight.

Dig dig, they stood in black around me in a circle and they stared;
I dug a wide and shallow grave.
They stood and watched; they don’t fear anyone anywhere-
They know that wholesome people never try to save.

Too good to dig.
Nothing is ever found.
Although it lies
Only an inch below the ground.

Nobody knows the way to turn back time
but I could swear this time that I would sacrifice my life.
Yet living means to look away, that’s what they say,
another day of sun, another chance to lie.

Tap tap upon my arm, I know you’re there.
Please go away; too many things I’ll never share.

I must remain.
I must not rise.
Must not forget
Their begging eyes.


Download MP3: Tap Tap

I trusted you

24 Jun


I Trusted You
















I trusted you; your pale white face
I walked through snow to your winter place
Wearing no shoes; covered only in lace
Snowflakes fell to their death upon my face

As you waited for me inside.
But I didn’t know you had already died.

Your green eyes shone; they seemed to say
Every star that shines, it can be yours one day.
Though skin peeled and fell from your arm
I never felt alarm

I just stared into your eyes.
How could I have known you had already died?

Something hides deep in a cave
The darkest part of your ribcage
It can’t be seen; it has to hide
It can’t let anyone know that you already died.

In a deep dark well, I had lost some things
I gave you everything that it was possible to demean.
You seemed to shine, but it was only the glow
Of decay but I didn’t know

That God is always high
A pure white sheet in the sky
He never cuts us with a knife
Just to see us cry.

But I never flinched
I just held out my hand.
Love was a concept I did not understand.


Download MP3: I Trusted You

Red Rum

16 Jun


Red Rum



The sky it will fill with red
Water pours over our head
As our voices rise up and they mingle with those of the dead.

The sun watches from far away
Today will be his longest day
As we line up his sons and he watches us blow them away.

Follow me, crowds
Hear the screams so loud
Pouring like blood from the mouths of the proud.

“Red Rum!” we cry
Red Rum, we are willing to die
But promise us an eye for an eye.

Red blood you’ll flow
Through the streets of the world I know
But today don’t ask for me to go.

The sky it will fill with cries
Water pours into our eyes
As we raise up our voices and scream “Down with their lies!”

The flags how they shriek and fly
I gaze over my shoulder into your eye
And every five seconds I tell you goodbye.

Because I know death
He was there on the street where we met
And the way that he watched I knew he wouldn’t forget.

“Red Rum!” I cry
Red Rum, I am willing to die
But I need you to promise an eye for an eye.

There will be no more tears for now
Nobody knows what we have lost anyhow
We will not look back, the past is a fading cloud.

We’ll line them up against the wall
Today it will be the proud ones who fall
Ready and fire; we won’t falter at all.

Because we know pain
Falling down all around us like rain
And we never forget who to blame.

“Red Rum!” we cry
Red Rum, we are willing to die
But promise us an eye for an eye.


Download MP3: Red Rum