Songs & Lyrics


The Space Needle

Summoned the strength
To get that weight up off my chest
To finally ask if all I’ll ever be is second best

The vessel lands
A mess of sweat runs off my hands
And from this window I’m supposed to watch these wraiths just dance and dance?

North By Northwest

So I made a huge mistake

Ascend that tower?
That needle’s evil anyway
We had just a few halcyon hours
You threw them away

There is no farm
There is no goddamn country house
Just lies, and dreams that died and now I want you out…get out

North By Northwest

If you think you’re still my fantasy, come on don’t flatter yourself
Don’t you think I lied from time to time? You’re only fooling yourself

Hail Fellow Well Met

Earnestness is a quirky Brooklyn songstress.
Sincerity is a Springsteen homily.
Do you disagree? That’s heresy.
Do you disagree? Controversy.

Taking offense is the best offense.
Katie bar the door! It’s common sense!
There is a time and place for iconoclasts,
But that time is not now, and that place is never here.

On a Hoboken roof, he said “we need no further proof,
That all of this can be blamed on our dear friend Dwight D.”
It’s only Old Chub and a ladder, but watch your step!

Everyone screams, looks to the skies; faltering hands shield fearful eyes.
A bird?!? A plane?!? No, no, no, it’s the umbrage bomb’s toxic rain!
Here we are post-everything, a place where you need know nothing
To feel quite safe, so secure. The once valiant now do demure.

Hail fellow well met,
Bill Bennett just lost another bet.
Stephen Peer, he fell, down to his death,
So you and I, let’s not waste another breath.


A girl and a belt, some paper, a pen
When writing about ends where the hell to begin?
Well, she dangled there after the letter was sent
And I cried.

The emptiness enveloped a crowded room
Souls gasping for air in that coldest cocoon
Well, my lungs came undone when they asked what I knew
So I lied.

Frozen, as gargoyles, out of our minds
Death’s callous dogma written in our eyes
Facing friendships now so morbidly redefined
What’s the time?

He stunk of calamity I must confess
He was sobbing about flowers and her wedding dress
Well, I gave him the note and I gave him my best
Oh I tried.

Holding the hands I can’t hold
Consoling the people I cannot console

Somebody write me a letter
Write me a letter today
I don’t care about what – just start writing
Make her penmanship go away

Somebody write me a letter
Write me a letter today
Then, please mail me another
Make her penmanship go away

Short Commute, Live Forever

Railroaded, keelhauled, thrown under the Bolt Bus
DC to Manhattan, is it quite so obvious?
A lie like ours is a terrible thing to waste
A spoonful of sugar helps it go down… but what about the aftertaste?

The newly appointed Czar of Wonderland
Has informed me they finally got whatever that cat was smoking banned
And – surprise! – Alice has joined the bureaucracy
Turns out tinfoil mad hatters, they churned out prophecy

Someday our predictions – they will all come true
Until then, the sweet satisfaction of being correct will have to do

Short Commute, Live Forever.
Sign the lease it’s Now or Never.
Short Commute, Live Forever
We All Know You Can’t Do Better.

Those bantam fears, mere souvenirs
The wreckage of your darker years
Push them aside, because, congratulations!
Your accommodations deserve adulation

Snake In The Grass

You can smell the success
You can almost hear the handsome
To wade through this trash?
I’d pay anything, a king’s ransom!

“Have you heard the news?
It seems we’re moving south
Big city lights don’t shine so bright now that her father’s buying us a house!”

Snake in the grass
Snake in the grass
Didn’t see this coming, you’re a snake in the grass
This is unexpected, you’re a snake in the grass

The world spits out beautiful people, fragile people as if they’re poison*
It hurts when the serpent finally bites and injects the venom we’ve chosen

Take apart your cage
Snake in the grass
And you’ll be amazed
Snake in the grass
How far you’ll slither out
Snake in the grass
Terrified and engaged
Snake in the grass

So sit right down
And drink your Guinness
You’ve got nothing to say to me
So just listen

I should’ve voted no
Right from the start
I don’t pretend to recognize you
And I’ve no desire to start
The vipers conspire
The town criers are liars again

So sit right down
And drink your Guinness
You’ve got nothing to say to me
So just listen

*with apologies to Denis Johnson

A Campfire Of Your Own Awe

May Day sirens bring turquoise swells
O God Almighty, some things you just have to see

The majesty of perspective: Someday Today will be the day it all changed

When I am all alone I offer up toasts in your name

Now that you’re in awe


Wash up on my shore, taste the salt, the lapping waves
Come to, ‘neath a low sky, feel your pulse race, twine with mine
Back arched, windswept, hear your name float on the breeze
Bated breath breaks, see it pass from me to you
“Freedom has a scent….” It won’t last, the night swallows all
And for what, now? Quotidian obligations? Banal configures?
They can’t reach us when we’re here, so close tight your eyes and go there knowing….

The porch lights come on like bulwarks against all that has no name
You want to be held close? The widows will tell you there is always the windowpane
In the bathroom down on your knees, Hail Mary, full of grace
What is held back in reserve if ever The Virgin wants a change of pace?
The porch lights come on like bulwarks against all that has no name

Sleep safe tonight
Sleep safe tonight
Whether coming or going I want to be where you are
Sleep safe tonight

The Unfathomable Heart

Pearlescent wave over my head
Shut the blinds, get back to bed
Smooth and dark, best left unsaid

Spent so much time
I rue the day I gave up that fight

Your hand in mine, that creaking door
The reeds, bare feet, that silver shore
Honestly, I wanted nothing more
Than to hold that line
I rue the day I gave up that fight
From time to time
I rue the day I gave up that fight

Believe it, believe it
It tastes like the truth you best believe it
It smells just like truth you best believe it

Cold city bleak and ghostly gray
They dare to call this a spring day?
I’ll get just an hour to say
I pay no mind
I rue the day I pursued that fight

Summer fades, I’m getting old
Red lightning skies, an empty road
Still sleeping while I’m catching fire
While those screeching tires
Say pay no mind to that which you have left behind
And don’t stay blind
Those thunderous drums can still inspire

I believed those lies
The air is stale you’re out of sight
Concussed, expired
I rue the day I stayed in that fight

I’m gnashing my teeth
I can count all my bones


I Hate Everyone I Want To Like

Every single person that I know has truly lost their minds.
True, it’s a matter of opinion, but in mine they’ve crossed that fine line.
21st century, given this condition: Fuck your personal trainer, marry a pediatrician.
Happy hour is so much fun. It’s a competition.
Who has bigger breasts? Where’s a statistician?
Keeping track of shots done….progress report….life plan.
Tell us what you want, girl, we’ll find you a new man.
Tanned and toned with six-pack abs? Existential diatribes?
Promises don’t mean a thing–think of all the fun you’ll have!

I’d tell her there are no such things as soul mates,
But she just got a great new deal on text message rates, and there goes her cell phone chirping again.

Every single person that I know dreams of their middle age.
It seems a steady nine-to-five and a live-in partner is all the rage.
Sixty hour work week? At least it’s Friday once again!
Stuck in traffic, hit the gym, still we’ll have lights out by ten.
But first we’ll make some dinner, maybe watch some TV.
While we do the dishes we’ll bump a little R and B.
I’ll tell you what this salad needs–it could use some crutons.
Keep in touch with old friends? God damn all these “put-upons!”
Life consists of the here and now– “Art” is a pointless venture.
Rock and Roll is a waste of time, Joyce deserved his censure.

I’d tell him there are better things than Facebook,
But it has been eight years since he last gave Lit a look, and even that was I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

I hate everyone I want to like.

Tagged in snapshots left and right, we must immortalize this night.
Twenty-three on bended knee? I must confess it repulses me because….
You waste your time on people who are loathsome, on people who are awful,
On people who wouldn’t get your jokes if you hit them with a 2 X 4.

All the high heels in the land will not help you further understand.
Adulthood is not grocery lists, nor is it found in tawdry trysts.
This may sound like an attitude of arrogance, preaching down to you.
However, it shouldn’t be contentious. No, it’s just true.

All in all, here’s to life. Here’s to life.

Little White Lie

I might be duplicitous
In your eyes
Let me tell you a secret
While the eel fries

Oblivious, devoted
Under my command
Love’s far too easy when –
She’s in the palm of your hand

I have got this little white lie, little white lie, little white lie
That no one wants to talk about

People have an inkling
About my little plan
I don’t really hide it
Stop me if you can

See, romance, is all relative
And so too is the truth
Number one can cook the salmon
While I’m fucking number two

I have got this little white lie, this little white lie
That no one wants to talk about

Titian Titillation

The weekend is here:
We could go out but we’d have more fun on our own, no doubt.

Watch your step:
There is still a long way to go, and with all these bricks the whiskey might show.

She said:
Wine and your bed are a bad combination.
I learned that Friday night despite my concentration.
On avoiding yet another demonstration
Of all the ways in which you and me are trouble.

I wanted to say that I had a great time:
Tomorrow will kill but the fault is no one’s but mine.

Oh did I mention….? That you’re a goddess?
What’s that? You say I didn’t?
Oh well, let’s avoid that mess.


Welcome to the final cut
The negatives you’ve never seen
So silent and so strong so long
In our own purgatories

So, yeah, go ahead ladies
Because God I cannot wait to see
Our trite lives memorialized
In bad photography

But you…
Yeah you were preaching to your congregation
Yeah you were speaking in tongues again
And you…
Held up your end of the conversation
Yeah you were speaking in tongues again

Chalk it up as another loss
One more hallowed, hollow cross
No fortitude to face more lies
I’ve just stopped asking why

Wait – have you got some time to spare?
This communion has led us nowhere
Tonight, no cares, no souls to bare
Not scared that we’re not scared

But you…
Yeah you were preaching to your congregation
Yeah you were speaking in tongues again
And you…
Held up your end of the conversation
Yeah you were speaking in tongues again


She likes to let me watch her dress, whispering “good sir, I’m your mistress.”
It’s like every time she comes I feel a little less.

She likes to probe me, asking why I lie awake wanting to die.
It’s like every time it’s her I feel compelled to lie.

Aren’t you glad I’m on your side?
Now there is nothing left to hide.

It’s times like these I wish I smoked.
Step outside to clear my head:
My mind a dog-eared page of what she’s said.

Aren’t you glad I’m on your side?
Now there is nothing left to hide.

She calls me up after midnight just to tell me she’s raw, with every nerve exposed.

I wish that it would be.
I wish that this would end.

Mythical July

It would be so great to see you: I will drop you a phone call real soon.
Indeed, let us get together: I’m available after late June.

But I won’t get my hopes up.

When you’re back in town next, let’s give that Michael Collins a fair try.
I’ll let you know when I’m free. I should be less busy sometime in July.

But I won’t get my hopes up.

Georgetown MA English Program: Thank you for your desire to apply.
We’re reviewing your credentials; you should hear from us by July.

But I won’t get my hopes up.

This Milieu of Effete Weaponry

Sunrise creeps across the Carolina sky
Look at you, I wake up and wonder why
I’m not still – with you at my side
Now and again, you’ll throw me a shard of life because…

Nothing is ever good enough for you

Sunshine blasts through the bleakest western desert sky
Finally, I didn’t dream of you last night
Wake Up Wake Up and earn this privileged life
Make Up Make Up make these wrong moves seem alright
And so tonight, I’ll drink up all the good stuff
Gotta numb myself to your distant touch because…

Nothing is ever good enough for you

This is a new vernacular to me
If I imbibe can I cancel these memories?
Mix a new elixir to ease a troubled mind
This liquor goes down so much quicker
Fuck, I’m feeling fine!

Who whispered he must stop running?
Darling, all I’ve got is time.
Who whispered this is all so stunning?
Sweetheart, I’m feeling fucking fine!

And so we leather souls shuffle out
Into the streets we scream and shout
We stink of drink and cigarette regret
We’re briefcased ghouls who don’t know it yet

I was such a helpful host
And you’ve been such a gracious ghost
Let’s walk this beach – it goes for miles
I never noticed your pendulum smile

Nothing is ever good enough for you (anything I do, everything I do)

The Town Crier

Did you know? Had you heard?
Lisa she got herself a divorce, dumped the kids, and bought a new car.
She is dating Rick–he is forty-three–they spend their weekends with their jet skis!

Did you know? Had you heard?
Curtis he got himself ordained. He is living in St. Cloud.
He speaks Japanese and is going there soon to do some work….maybe he will meet a nice girl!

What about you?
Do you ever talk to Allison anymore?

Did you know? Had you heard?
Meredith she got herself engaged. The wedding is at St. John’s on the tenth of May.
The guest list is huge, and I am a bridesmaid.
You want to talk about soul mates? They are perfect!

What about you?
Who was that brunette with you last Tuesday night down at the show?

Good to see you again, my friend, because I was curious just how you had been.
Gosh, how everything has changed! We are all growing old–some times I misplace names!

This is what I dread about it the most:
I’ll have to say, “Likewise,” with a smile, and add “thanks for sharing, this is all news to me!
Thank you, I am grateful for being brought up to speed.”

But in reality, you could outline in bullet point form the extent of my interest in these matters with the blunt tip of a permanent marker on the rim of a shot glass.

Five Flag Forest

For years I had a nursery
At this locality
Pensacola’s the best place on earth
To plant and raise a tree

See I don’t wear a ring, boy, I’m bonded in my heart
I knew I was in love ever since the day she got my truck to start

We were married at sunrise in a garden
Nature’s liturgy
We’re more in love than ever – can’t you see?
Life’s jubilee among the trees!

We’ve got a few snakes by the water
We’ve got a few snakes out back
We’ve got a few snakes downtown
But it’s my aim to change that

I paved this road with my own hands
And cleared this property
See, Pensacola’s the best place on earth
To raise a family

I raised this roof, built up these walls
I laid down this old floor
When the ‘canes come, no we don’t run!
We hoist our glasses to the shore!

Regolithic Rachel

Rachel wants to know if she’s going to hell.
The streetlights leak in through the blinds and the world has become eight feet by seventeen.
What should I tell her?

Rachel wants to know if I believe in angels.
Perched above me she’s an alabaster statuette cast in classic proportion.
What should I tell her?

Life tends to make us lose our focus:
It’s the people who love us the most that we never seem to notice.
And so to characterize my love, I’d have to say it’s hopeless.

Everything you said I treated as gospel. Everything we shared, it meant so much to me.
I recall it all, the tiniest details–I can scarcely convey how much it meant to me.
But now I can’t shake the feeling I never meant anything to you.
I can’t shake the feeling it was all a children’s game to you.

We get scattered further away each and every day.

The Soft Machinery of Success

Just kidding around, you hit me in the face
You didn’t get it then, you never will
Let’s swim in blood and money (together)
Let’s swim in blood and money (together)
These waters are as easy as apathy
These waves are rollin’ in like apathy

Now you’ve taken this to a physical place
Now you’ve ruined this for me

Nobody understands me here
Blank stares at my riddles
Nobody understands me here

Look at your angel-faced girl
I bet she’s never seen this much blood before
I hope there aren’t any cops out tonight
I think that I’ll be alright
I hope my airbag works tonight
I’ll be alright
Let me tell how you to brief a case
Four years later and I’m in this place
Forwards and Backwards in stride
My whole love flashed before my eyes
Backwards and Forwards in time
My whole love flashed before my eyes

My answers in all the wrong places
He’s punching all the wrong faces

The March to the Sky (Softshell)

The doctor said sir I don’t see
How you’ll possibly live to see age fifty-three
You won’t see your daughter earn her high school degree
And you can forget about that old phD
No more research on civil war history
Say your last goodbyes to Stonewall, Grant, and Lee

So I told him, “Die when you can.”
Just like that a boy becomes a man
It’s not hard to cry when somebody dies
It’s much harder to kiss them goodnight (for the last time)

The fire in him was never set free
Was the crab in his belly by divine decree?
So sure of exactly what he’d be
Bonnie Blue speeches and coldest iced tea
A well traveled philosopher by age seventy
That much he could just about guarantee

So I told him, “Die when you can.”
Just like that a boy becomes a man
It’s not hard to cry when somebody dies
It’s much harder to kiss them goodnight (for the last time)

The funeral crowd gathered some steam
Friends, family, and a dignitary
Perfectly present then quitting quickly
The ashes are kept by the family
On a shelf in a closet where they can’t be seen
Keeping death to themselves is bizarrely healthy
No macabre motor rides to some cemetery
After all, those places, they mean nothing to me
Unless they have to do with civil war history

And I ask myself while I am crying to sleep
Are we made of the things that make grown children weep?
Are we floating as jellyfish aimlessly at sea?
Are we blowing like wind through cliche autumn trees?
Is life mattering, mattering, mattering to me?
Is life mattering, mattering, mattering to me?

So I told him, “Die when you can.”
Just like that a boy becomes a man
It’s not hard to cry when somebody dies
It’s much harder to kiss them goodnight (for the last time)

Baby Fat

Shed your skin and run tonight with dandelions and fireflies.
Can you hear it? The voice inside your head?
It’s whispering. I swear it said….
Once, once, once….when you were young, grace came from a lover’s tongue.
Now you know too much to ever want to go back there.

Hear the train, so hit the square:
You’ve got some time to go prepare.
When you see her, you’ll hear God speak. He’ll ask you where you’ve been all week.
And you won’t know but time will tell….if this eve brings heaven or hell.
For as the hazy sun sets, you know she’s going to ask you to….

It takes so long to find the words you need.
True, patience is a virtue–there’s great fatigue in sowing a good seed.
So keep dreaming of a day when you’ll know exactly what to say.
The garden will grow green and all this dreaded “in-between” will….

Grass is damp, her hand is cold:
You never thought you would feel this old.
In this moment, all is at peace and your anxious mind has found release in….
Coastal curves and milk-white thighs, breeze-chapped lips and hazel eyes.
Tomorrow is far from certain but you can worry all about that then.

Do you remember all the times that you’ve fallen in and out of love?
One moment torn asunder, the next you fit like a glove.
Everyone wants to think that they are so unique–one of a kind, each born to blow a mind.
As if “we are all enigmas with ubiquitous yet wholly disparate stigmas that define and delineate what we were, who we are, and how we someday hope that we will be.”

But as we sat in Cracker Barrel bathed in menthol smoke–I’ll never forget the words that he spoke.
His story went like….

It was a Freudian slip as she reached to leave the tip.
It was an obvious sign though I missed it at the time, and now I wish I hadn’t been so dense.
I told him “what more can we do than learn from the past tense?”
So anyway, she grabbed the check first and now I don’t know what feels worse:
The idea we’ll never be or the feeling that I am finally free.
I am finally free, but I just don’t know, for I lost myself and the plot somewhere along the way.
And me, what could I say? I said I could relate, and to take it day by day.
Just take things day by day.

Summer night, you taste the wind.
To have loved is to have sinned.
Someday you’ll look back only to find that you don’t miss that much what was left behind.