The 5 Friends

25 Nov
0

This airy song is probably not the best thing to publish at the heaviest moment of the year’s wheel, but still, here it is- a simple song about 5 sky blue friends.

 

 

Five Friends

 

They walk the road together;
they walk it side by side.
They hold each other’s hands;
they stretch out five men wide.

The sky stretched, too,
a flag of morning glory blue.

See the five of them
walk into the convenient store.
One of them buys the bread,
the other four wait by the door.

That’s what friends do-
they always hover near to you.

When they wander, when they roam,
they will hit the road together.
If one day they build a home,
they say they’ll live in it forever…

what a word…
so carefree and so blue, like a bird…

The five friends eat their meal
at a table that is round;
they never wince and cringe
to hear each other’s munching sounds.

But why?
Because these friends were dipped in sky,
their nerves never run dry.

The five friends walk the road
in matching jeans but different shirts.
They share a bag of snacks,
passing the bag both back and forth.

No concerns-
the five friends don’t believe in germs.

Five friends sit by the fire;
they listen to the music play.
One friend is asked to dance-
these friends are all too shy that way…

turning pink…
perhaps they could just sit and think?

The five friends seek advice
from a wise man at the church.
He says that friends are great,
but still you have to put God first.

And they agree-
but where is God?- He’s hard to see.
Is he a friend inside your mind?
Or could God be the sky?

The five friends vote on it-
the vote is five to none
that God must be the sky;
He shelters everyone,

so clear and sweet,
surrounding us with time and dreams,
surrounding us with space to explore;
that’s what friends are for.

Download OGG: Five Friends

Bananas

11 Nov
0

 

bananas

Strap the cloth upon your eyes- walk.
I can’t walk!
Strap the cloth upon your mouth- don’t talk.
I can’t talk!

Air surrounds like terror.
The world is black and dark everywhere.

Behind doors, men hide.
Shrink a little more inside.

Please don’t touch me now- I’m cold.
No more time to run and hide- too old.

And where else could I be
But in this darkened hall?
I can feel their bodies moving
Like bananas through the wall.

Strap the cloth upon your mouth-
I can’t talk!
Hands behind your back-
Walk!

No time. Too old.
You know before you were born, you were already sold.

And where else could I be
But curled up in my spleen?
I feel their fingers on the wall
And I know what they mean.

We walk through the hall
Patent leather shoes
On the marble floor
White you win and black you lose…

I can feel the stairwell rise.
I can feel their greenish eyes.
This was never about right and wrong;
It was only truth and lies.

Pat pat, so cold.
Don’t move, too old.

The cord around my waist
His waist beside my head
We’re standing in the kitchen now
He tells me I’m already dead.

And I know- I feel it too-
An air so dark and cold
It doesn’t emanate from you.

You’re just another fish upon his line
Trapped inside a ring of time.
Your fingers on my shoulder now;
You know I won’t resist this time.

Time is dark.
What done is done.
The dead will never rise again.
The dead and I are one.

Hidden in my spleen,
You know that I know what things mean.
There are creatures wandering this earth;
They will find their home in me.

Download MP3: Bananas

Finally, a much needed song in which the King of the South defeats the King of the North in battle, or plans to anyway.

To live in a real life Stuffington’s Hall is a fantasy I dream of day and night- the coziest, stuffiest and most pompous home in the world, decorated mostly in shades of brown, filled with leather bound libraries, stone fireplaces, gleaming wood antiques owned by former presidents, and dark paintings of grumpy looking men framed in gold leaf. Or glorious paintings of triumphant generals crushing their enemies in battle.

 

 

Stuffington's Hall

Men, we will stand at the top of this hill;
when we see them approach, we will swoop
down and kill them. Their blood on our
hands, we will lift them up high as
the sparkling sun beams down from the sky.

Yankees they work hard, them Yankees they try,
but November the 1st is the day that they die.
Bless their sweet little hearts; rockaby
in the grave. We will fight for the flame;
and the flame we will save.

We are fire; they are ice-
they will chill us no more.
We will bury their bodies beneath
the dance floor of Stuffington’s Hall.
Please won’t you come, come to the ball?

Now there are two kings-
there can be but one.
He is King of the Ice; I am King of the Sun.
He is sleek and so young; I dumpy and old.
He has made it clear he wants my story to never be told.

From my leather bound books, he would
smudge out the ink with his fingers in gloves
made of synthetic mink. Though his men are alright (and
they’re armed to the gills), we know God is with us-
trapped in the nook of our frills.

So don your gray lace ladies,
don your silk hats.
Twirl round the fruit punch that bubbles in vats.
Tweet, tweet so high-
puffing like cotton upon our blue sky.

We are joy;
they are tears.
We are hopes;
they are fears.
It is us who predates them by hundreds of years.

Old fingers, bold fingers, gold fingers- me!
I am the ruler of all that I see. And I see stars
languishing behind their cold metal bars.

Old fingers, gold fingers, bold fingers- wait!
Til they reach the valley, then don’t hesitate-
swooping down in a wall, and then
join me for a dance in Stuffington’s Hall.

 

Download MP3: Stuffington’s Hall

Eskimo

1 Sep
0

 

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.

 

Eskimo

 

 

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
0

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
0

 

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
0

 

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
0

 

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
1
IMG_3103

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

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