Each Purling Note
I’ll let you hate me for this; sometimes, that’s why we exist.
I won’t look at you until there’s no moon and the lights are all coming out. In the background, a motorcade of red and white. The sirens sing you into shore tonight.
Just like you to make a sound, going down with no one else around. The echoes trickle through the phone lines.
I got the call at midnight so I stayed up late and thought about the things I missed, how they’re never enough.
The past is foreign, just a scrapbook of friends, family, and places that I’ve lost. One and done, so what’s another? It’s never enough. It’s never enough.
Oak St. Market
Tearing into you, I didn't get it. You weren't black and blue, you were just molecules; and look at me. I feel a little pathetic compiling your fault lines for me to ride through this summer. Now I want to go back to where the leaves and snow and feet snuffed out these cracks. Leather and rubber, together, our boots rubbing pavement or ice in Kalamazoo.
I wish I knew how karma flows. Are we bound to the present, or will it let me go? Will it follow me back? Will it follow me back? To where the leaves and snow and feet snuffed out these cracks. Leather and rubber, together, our boots rubbing pavement or ice in Kalamazoo; I wish I knew.
This Canada House is Not a Home
It’s those three days a week that I just can’t sleep right. A knotted stomach at night, it’s a light through the door. It’s knowing my family’s torn up ‘cause of money and I don’t see them no more.
My heart could stop; it sputters out as I listen to darkness drown. I tie myself to the streetlights ‘cause I’m afraid to walk alone in my own city. Heart isn’t home when it’s always anxious.
But I’m so ready to forgive. Let life slide off of me; just ready to forgive. Searing off with teeth is tempting. But I’m ready to forgive. Let life slide off of me; so ready to forgive.
A skinned knee for your thoughts.
I won’t raise my voice ‘cause you’re too aggressive. I won’t cross my fingers; you could do better. And I never went fishing for your sympathy but I caught with stale ink how things used to be.
We don’t communicate. A tour through the tri-state area black book. Your hands fight these names tied to numbers; lines drawn between lovers with miles to echo the hook.
Baby, You're an Anarchist
The way you said it so cold, “I never want to see you again.” I’m watching ink run off of pictures from the rooftop of your home. In mid July, your voice was beading down my spine. But I didn’t love you…What could I do? What could I do?
The secondhand smoke, I haven’t missed it. Oxygen’s no better with carcinogens and laced in shards of hope. I’m feeling overwhelmed with you. It’s all or nothing, for life or cut free. My hearts not strong enough for two.
And now you’re leaving me notes saying you don’t want me to leave you alone. “Hey I miss you, here’s my number. Call me later, we can talk it over.” But I hate phones and half the time I just want this to disappear. I don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be there.
The Matlock Expressway
Eight folds of cardboard roll down to the street from stow. Ramp reels and cables pull, incline contractual. Shall I weep? Porcelain splayed out in a sick white smirk smashed under feet. The little teeth, they’re biting at my soles, they’re grinding out a hole, they’re cutting through to me, the porous me. Would you eat what I eat first? Would you sleep where I sleep first? Would you follow me? Well, I’m not sure what’s worse. That I owe you an honest love, not what I am: fragmented replica.
A cold key to trip the pin, a slight turn to burn the past away. Electricity ignites, the engine roars and pulls away the empty cavity. C’est la vie, so long. Apprehensive bon voyage. Going, going…
Shall I weep? C’est la vie. Raining saccharine thoughts over me. No, I shouldn’t weep. I can sleep at night, growing in this life, not aging idly by.
In my new bedroom, this feels alright, alright? In my new bedroom, this feels alright. Alright, now.
Dock Ellis, I'm Jealous
A little note scrawled in my book adorns the title page; a gift thought out for me that Grandfather gave. Moldy stains can’t completely mask a love played out from the first page to the last; a sullen reminder.
The power of the tongue penned courses to my head and recreates your stone fence in your back yard. A world away we trekked down mountains to the beach, where we laughed ‘til the sun came down on you and me.
So hard to see you now with your eyes burned out, you can’t make it up the stairs. The light, the sound, the heat it wanes. In your day, I bet you were like James Dean. Smoke a cigarette and watch me sew a funny thing – a memorial before you leave.
Mom would say we cursed too much in the store by the lake where the fishing boats docked. The schooners set my eyes and sailed. A sky so pink, it’s not hard to remember. So, please remember.
I ain’t seen your eyes like this in quite some time, girl. Bodies poised, lips pursed, finally letting go. Naked toes grip the carpet and I might be wrong but I’d swear you’re in love. I’d swear you’re in love. I might be wrong.
I ain’t lying when I say that I need this. I know you need this too. But can you blame me for not wishing it happened when I’m across the room?
My mouth’s dry, slightly pigeon toed. My insecurities are growing bigger with time. But my eyes feel at home locked on you. It’s just making out. It’s just making out.
Sweet Berry Wine
Two people on my street, they’re so falling in love. They’re so falling in love. Though, I don’t know them well, their shadows cast through dawn. They are painted on my wall.
How I caught her lip in the moonlight. See me stare and I don’t mind. How I caught her lip; smooth moves after midnight. See me stare and I don’t mind.
You are the last. You are the last, but I’m still learning. The shadows fall with passing time. How can I deal with this? To shoulder such an unknown risk? Yeah, I’m still learning. Spinning silhouettes to life.
I’m so falling in love.
I can’t call you my friend. I won’t call you an enemy. You’re just a shock of emotion no longer in motion. This is how we deal with death; postmortem memory simplicity. The storm that swells into a bottleneck pours sweetly out. You must have drowned in love.
More than I could ever be, you took it. Sparked a fire, sucked it deep. Now it’s sink, swim, or ride the smoke. The tide is creeping in.
I can’t call you my friend. I won’t call you an enemy.
My memories of first grade; you stole my red dime-shaped eraser head. Tried to turn to something better than the life you had. I didn’t see you for years ‘til we were both nineteen. You were the ruler of things, a semi-modern queen. I watched your lips pull tight as you beckoned in a mollified release.
More than I could ever be, you took it. Sparked a fire, sucked it deep. Now it’s sink, swim, or ride the smoke. The tide is creeping in on you.
A sacred day for you, comatose and overused. Let the pulse complete its course.
Feet ready on the floor, absent of rhythm and I can’t move. Absent of rhythm and I can’t move.
A sacred day for you, comatose and overused. Absent of rhythm and I can’t move.
A sacred day for you, comatose and overused. Feet ready on the floor, my feet ready and waiting.
Everything Happens So Much
I’m depressed ‘cause I will go to hell. Or maybe nowhere, depends on who you ask, but there’s nothing there for me.
Salt the room; coat it with sucrose. Play it straight, I’ll say it, I am not old. I’m just a little bit broken. To assume it’s nothing to most of my friends who age with grace, I can’t maintain. Polish the frame. Just a little bit broken.
A little bit broken, my clock, it loses time between the dots. The screw that holds my hand together gets brittle. Caught up with numbers a lot, twelve wicked candles for a buck. It’s all I’ve got to keep these joints warm through the winter.
Tonight the air feels empty, a lull. The fire feeds into my face. December nights here pass without a sound. I listen for the sound of your voice on an old cassette, your words magnetic but dull.
Vincere Vel Mori
Life could never contain you. I think about it crushing gravel beneath my feet. And it’s grinding up my voice now trying to tell you how we’ve gotta find this church now, even in death, man, you’re still giving us grief. If we don’t burn up in Saint Mary’s eyes, I guess we’ll be there.
I used to think it’s a shitty way to go, lying on the pavement. And when they said they felt your soul leaving your body, I didn’t believe it, but man, I hope so.
I watched my best friend carry you out into the sun to fade, to fade away. A shared consciousness streamed on the faces between stone pillars that seemed to make light of life and the fragility of human mortality. We just fade; we fade with faith.