New York 1970—1983.

The Wild Farewell

is an instrumental.

Wake Your Heart

Faces in the crowd, ghosts in the crowd — "petals on a wet black bough." Don't doubt, don't doubt you're awake right now and you have a poem, one small poem bursting in your heart. Your heart, wake your heart. Wake your heart. Your heart blooms in the dark.

Practicing

Wear the black it looks good on you, wear their stares they look good too. Think they wanna to talk to you — think they wanna to take you to school. We don't know anything, but in case they're listening, we should think of clever something — we should be practicing. Wear those jeans they make your ass look so good — there's a space there where a hand could... do you think I look good? I think maybe that we should practice our big eye stare, practice putting your hand there, practice kissing and to be fair I'll put my hand anywhere, I'll put my hand (just say where). Sha la! I'll be a boy for you. Sha la! Be my boy too. Call me up and talk to me — maybe you'll pretend to be Simon Le Bon and I'll be Joey Ramone. Baby please don't laugh at me 'cause I like my boys pretty, and I won't laugh at you 'cause you like them 42. Baby I won't laugh at you. Sha la! I'll be a boy for you. Sha la! Be my boy too. Where you are they'll never go — wear your sneer so that it shows, it will bring them down so low, it will make them want to know. Sha la! I'll be a boy for you. Sha la! Be my boy too. We don't know anything, yet we know everything from the way all the boys sing, it gets us practicing. It gets us practicing, it gets us practicing.

Your Evil Man

Kindly send out your evil man. Give him a voice like God's, a fist as wide as the sea and make him three stories tall 'cause a bad daddy is better than none at all. Make him teach us a lesson. Give him an all-seeing eye, a big foot in a black boot. Let him answer our questions. Give us the grocery money, a place to rest our heads and give him your soft face and ours. Hand us to him — he'll take care of us. This is no time for love.

Preston Sturges Without End

So, I'm sitting on some slanted street with you in my dream, and I know that you don't wanna hear about my dreams, but we're eating, listening to "Private Eyes" on the radio, talking about Veronica Lake, watching a man lope down said street and I always awake with heartburn, singing. Did I mention sometimes the walls are white and sometimes green? They glisten from the light off the glitter on your cheek and I think I know what it's like inside. And I think I know what it's like inside. And I think I know what I like inside. And I think I like what's inside.

Bay Parkway!

Bay Parkway! Bay Parkway!

Hazy Heat

Hazy heat, don't want to go out today — stay in shade. Icy tea, beads drip down, lick the drips off my wrist, lick the sugar off my lips. Turn the lonely record on, wear it out until you're home. Picture you on the street, walking to your private beat. Hear this voice inside your head: come to me, I'll wipe the sweat from your face, each soft space. Turn the lonely record on, wear it out until you're home. Hazy heat, don't want to go out today — stay in shade. Don't want to be cool alone, come to me, bring your sweet tea, your sweet....

Girls Sing

Girls sing and tell the story of the boy I longed to love me. He spun it out for me, made all the cymbals shiny. Oh, uh-oh oh oh, oh oh oh, uh-oh oh oh. Said sing and so I sang, 'til my voice broke in half and he heard what he wanted to, the lightest shade of blue. Girls sing, and make me fly over his song and I will make it vast as sky, will make it all mine. Oh, uh-oh oh oh, oh oh oh, uh-oh oh oh. And then I'll be a run, run, runaway into the sun, sun, sunny day. Girls sing, sing with me, 'till there's no words to sing. Oh, uh-oh oh oh, oh oh oh, uh-oh oh oh.

Stone Girl

Carved Madonna from the whitest stone with eyes so black, that stare from 40 years away, another world, another girl. Now you're badly mended, your hair like torn expensive fabric, and I'm the stone that weighed you down, that made you drown. Please forgive your girl, who broke your arms in haste to flee, who tended you then left to be a stone girl. Walk the street where we lived now, see our house — how slim the windows facing out, how bright you were against the panes — a jewel waiting for thieves, your heart a diamond in a velvet bag full of wishes for what you'd never have. Please forgive your girl, who broke the glass in haste to flee, who stole your heart then left to be a stone girl.

Brooklyn Train

Rock me to sleep half aware, so I can see — sea go by each building's eye 'til I've gone from sea to sky. All your steel, every tree stretch out to star your dark. When I'm gone where there's stars but none I know who know this heart, and I'm always half asleep, stay in me like the sea. Rock me, softly, so I can dream; I can dream. When I'm gone and there's no one to see, or trains to stop stay in me like a heart. Stay in me like a heart.

Kansas 1983—2003.

Kansas, She Said

Daylight, too bright, everything shades of brown and white... waiting for dark, the night birds awakening, taking everything. Starlight, vast sky, panes away, wings gone by; everything is shadow and shine. No thing too small for them to see. In the day, I don't know where they sleep, how they hide from prying eyes, and I don't know why I can't learn to fly. (Night comes down.)

Passer, Deliciae Maeae Puellae

I awoke.

The Hand of Day

Drive where none can find you, past grain elevators and lights, into clouds of dust, into the summer night. All the fields are moving, silvered in the stars. You can be lost inside them. No one would know where you are. I want this night to not be wasted, to not just smack against the hand of day. Night is only silent in your bed here it whispers around your hair in moonlight and insect wings, let it teach you how to sing. You keep hearing the line, "Poor girl long way from home," and you keep wondering how you'll learn to be alone. I want this night to not be wasted, to not just smack against the hand of day. Tonight I want to drive away. Dance where none are watching in the rows of corn. The husks are dead or dying, they brush you and are gone. The insects buzzing beside, all your sorrow melts away like morning dew on August days

Mountain

It’s come to a glancing laugh; in silence, the warrior’s dead. Long live the fool, highly scorned. The king took a long walk, left us here with you. Come to my castle and just aim through, and fold your arms against the cold, lacking that, thank them for this mountain to bury you. There’s bluffing then there’s no design and stars explode just like empires. The castle road has grown over, the sky has no desire. Since the king took a long walk and left us here with you. The castle’s light is just an untamed blue, fold your hands together to listen now. Thank you for this mountain to bury me. Thank you for this mountain to bury me.

Ruby

Eighty years ago, it's winter and the falling snow buries Ruby's path along the river. She is 17, a rancher's girl with kids to teach in one cold room with frost on every window. Her horse floats on and the sky is gone white that melts to white and into mist. The river runs undammed but it's a frozen path that she's too poor to follow to the ocean. So she dreams of Spain, of never being cold again, and teaches kids to love a map's blue spaces. Her horse floats on and the sky is gone white that melts to white and into mist. There are no power lines, no engine sounds or warning signs to tell her it's not safe to drink the river. Ruby's 17, the mother of who fathered me — years away beyond her reckoning. Her horse floats on and the sky is gone white that melts to white and into mist. And in that icy hush, she knows none of us — she could ride on this way forever. She could ride on this way forever.

Clip-On Tie

My father only owned a clip-on tie and it was one of two things that I know of around his neck and Saint Christopher never took him far — or anywhere. But don't you worry father I've found a real job now, although it only leaves me enough to pay for drinks when we're out, I'm alive.

Real Fun

I'm sorry I cracked a joke at your funeral, there were things that escaped before the lid was sealed. I'm sure you would have found it all beautiful (the joke, I mean, but the funeral wasn't bad). The mourners only lost it twice, the flowers never felt your sigh, the songs that they picked didn't have your name, but no one ever notices these things. You looked better than you had in years. I was lost among some memories of falling down the stairs: stitches in my head, cooling wax on my hand, turtle-shaped pancakes and cactus needles in my legs... but you're dead, my dear, you're dead. As we walked outside, the heat kept our clothes close to our skin; inside they moved the flowers, closed the casket. In the car that led us to your home the driver quickly turned off the radio as he started the car, I don't remember what it played, but no one ever notices these things. You looked better than you had in years. I was lost among some memories of falling down the stairs: stitches in my head, cooling wax on my hand, turtle-shaped pancakes and cactus needles in my legs... but you're dead, my dear, you're dead.

In the Sky

Heading home, I'm alone dropping through endless blue like a stone. Four hundred miles left to go: rain falls, hail falls, sky goes cold. Through the black — shaft of light! — splits the clouds lights the road like fired gold. In the sky beams of light — twisting clouds coming down touching down then passing on. Almost died on these roads... almost died countless times, never drove slow leaving home. Now the sky fills with green, fills with blood, yellow sheaves, but it's not the end of me. I'm going home! Rain dries, wind dies down, sunset falls orange gold into my bones... flying now in the dark, stars alive there's a light on for me when I get home. I'm home. I'm home. I'm home. I'm home....

The Word Possibility

So let us begin the end with a word, the word possibility. They say everyone knows we will die alone, but you can smell fear on their breath — a cross of tin foil and scotch. Once I thought that only moments made up life with no continuum the same way opera is controlled screaming, but now I know moments become movements, and though we've never met, we already connect. We are in kind; we are kind; we are.... So when I'm gone, bury my body deep beneath a row of comfrey and use it to heal your feet from kicking against the pricks aimed at the heart on your sleeve, and when you miss me lift your head to the sky and listen to the train's passing along alone. Let us begin the end with a word, the word possibility.