ALL YOU HAVE :: the worried well | you're over it | millsteam | all you have tonight |
DEMONSTRATION :: such fools as we | so long at sea | o wretched plain
the worried well
Did I write to offer a benediction? Did I write? No. And if I can't be happy for you, or anyone, it's because anyone might have done what you've done.
Do you recall our aimless terror before the cul-de-sacs and malls, we, the worried well, with aught but the songs that we'd sung and the naked idea that we could be the flint to fire a soul where we feared we'd find none?
Do you think that we were wasting our time? Well I'm still wasting my time trying to write, from hollow days, a brilliant night.
Did I write to offer a benediction? Well should I have? I suppose I should. 'Cause if you can find the meaning in a family or career then you've found peace in ways I never thought we would.
But I hope you know you're still wasting time, and I hope that you're still wasting your time. 'Cause I'm still wasting my time trying to write, from hollow days, a brilliant night.
I hope that you're still wasting your time, and I hope you hope I'm still wasting my time.
you're over it
In four ragged block prints I thought I'd met the glimmer in your eye. But the light half-reflects reality; perception's a fickle guide. You didn't want to fall.
See the mirror and its sides: one sheer, one unarmed against the harsh light. This is all that's true or right: you didn't want to fall.
So I hid for days in my canebreak, and the false moves my heart had made, they didn't seem so bad. But two steps beyond the line of the cane made me realize my mistake: you didn't feel and you never had.
See the mirror and its sides.
Every sentence measured, we run short of words mourning bridges dearly built and then casually burned. Your return, at least, at last assured: the mill's steam whispered and you heard.
I try to take this in stride, that like you I'm tethered to a line. It seems I've beaten these brushes dry on a canvas of half-lies that only half-describes the brilliance of the light.
I'm ashamed of myself, the beast, afraid that the stage is a screen, that when the current runs dry there is nothing to see. So I make of myself a feast, and when the bones are picked clean there's as little left of you as there is of me.
all you have tonight
"There are ways around this, man... Join a church perhaps?" the voice of reason crows. But this is how we prove our worth, charging headlong toward these flickers in the dark. "Give me the strongest thing you've got."
"I've only come here to observe." But from this hungry mouth such pretense is absurd. There's no sense mincing words; despite how hard I've tried to hide my sunken cheeks and hollowed eyes, they are recognized. Thus exposed I do what I suppose I should and slip softly from the room, afraid even to match your smile. Just think how well we've learned to lie about the simplest things in life... I take a breath and step inside.
With the lights out we move our bodies, let our minds fill in the colors in between the grey outlines. With the lights out, we stumble closer wondering if what we've seen is what we think we've seen this time. And this time you won't let one more pass you by, 'cause you know: this is all you have tonight.
But here you are, and you're stumbling down the street toward my house. And something I see in your eyes makes me think you might see something in mine. And we're in no state to decide between those things we think are wrong and those few things we think could possibly be right. So ultimately we're resigned that the difference is too slight, and besides: this is all you have tonight.
I'm stirring, light is pouring through mesh and bamboo onto six weathered maps and four guitars and my disheveled chest of drawers, the air I'm breathing only mine, none of it yours, and you haven't left a trace.
Your fingers wrapped around my heart, and my heart may as well stop.
such fools as we
we sleep at dawn, wake at sunset, vapors atop the parapets. a cast of shadows, we exist to collapse.
a pair of dandelion blooms, like intruders in each other's rooms, we'd taken root and blanketed the ground beneath our feet, like quicksand architects, quick to promise, quicker still to forget how every beam is rotting as it's raised.
such fools as we should never have learned to speak. such fools as we should never occupy space in anyone's memory. such fools as we should never have been so close as to hear each other's hearts beat. such fools should know not to believe.
we live in a house you've never seen, on a hillside collapsing beneath the weight of its own rotting trees. you walk under streetlights now strange to me. we'll never right this wrong, so it goes, so we've known.
so long at sea
at the shoreline you figured me out, in a dream that i had of a crumbling victorian house. you saw i was never as i appeared: doe-eyed ingenue, red-faced behind crocodile tears, never more than the sum of my fears.
staring west across the sea, the earth bent up at your back to prevent you from staring east. in your silted bay, tailing roots feed a silver tree.
if i could only wash down with the dirt beneath my feet and settle, stable, to bridge the space in between: a great desert, speckled gray and green, and a hundred empty days between you an me.
staring down at the creek running through the trees, my breath feeds the leaves i will join as the loam of the next century, in the gradual leveling out of a land so long at sea.
a hundred empty days after seven hungry years. the rivers trace the cracks in the shattered mirror that reflects our great mistake.
o wretched plain
you came drumming at my door, a bas relief in clay and a handful of stories you'd stolen to paint yours. so am i sore? there's more to both sides than either side on its own can perceive. oh, there's much more.
stretched on this frame: o wretched plain, to share our shame as we struggled to etch our names, confess our debts, across the waste of its emptiness. how else to explain the thoughts in between and the things left unsaid?
sight long unseen, and the brilliant fades to gray, frail memory of all that was and could have been. we once breathed colors so recklessly, now we sigh backwards to blow the dust from the light we'd once seen.