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“I march through…”

I march through
on heavy feet
with the weight of the day
on my shoulders
and the wind blows hard
against my face
a soldier of pain
the war is in my head
in my car
on the streets
in my room
and in my soul
on a steady diet
of nicotine and aspartame
I’m rollin’
with all my might
but the doors do not open
and the streets
don’t come clean
and my body is asleep
asleep in the backseat
of a Greyhound
I see it through
the rainy windows
and in the vacant towns
I pass through
while writing this book
I see it all through the cigarette smoke
and the ice in my glass
I see it all
and I see nothing
and I’m on my way

(from “Part Four: Tragic Glorious”)

I walked everywhere. Which was good. It gave me time to think and to feel. Sometimes, when you’re young, your life can seem pretty heavy.

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“The snow lays quiet outside…”

The snow lays quiet outside
and I’m left here alone
a passenger on a reckless ride
an hour to kill before I go home
why did I even bother here
there’s nothing here to say
horizon painfully unclear
my words are blown away
oh, to do it right I dream
and the dream hangs above my head
the mending of a tattered seam
and the day through which I tread
I lust for things afar
and my soul no one has seen
no one knows what my dreams are
they can’t know what I mean
lost and away to be
the blonde hair of another place
through my tired squint I see
a sun-kissed heavenly face

what the hell am I doing here
this is not where I belong
what fate has left me here
singing someone else’s song

Tom, Tom
he’s long gone
gone away from here
ain’t never coming home

(from “Part Four: Tragic Glorious”)

I remember that night. We’ve all had our hang-outs and one of ours was a 24-hour donut shop. It was winter and, as usual, I wanted to ‘be away’. Ended up borrowing from Tom Waits’ “Gun Street Girl”.

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“It’s the break of day at the sad cafe..”

It’s the break of day at the sad cafe
and Diane walks towards me
the sun seeks out her denim
and finds the smile I get for free

the morning crowd arrives
and they call her by her name
she brings them coffee without asking
she knows that every day’s the same

they strike her up and down
they figure they got a chance
she’ll smile and turn away
and do the Every Waitress Dance

I sit in the sun by the window
and she glances when she can
pretenders come and go
and I’m her only man

the apron tossed, the morning lost
and we leave for bluer skies
all I will ever need
is in the heaven of her eyes

(from “Part Four: Tragic Glorious”)

I remember that morning. The place was called The Brunch. It was interesting watching how those guys would talk to the pretty waitress.

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“In the days of yore…”

In the days of yore
with Lesley Gore
and a teen dressed up to the nines
a shotgun stick
a boy of slick
linin’ up my valentines

with the Boys of stomp
a meadow romp
you can put my fries on the side
with sand underfoot
we’re all stayin’ put
all tuned in to the tide

my Chevy rag-top
to the high school hop
the girls all wrapped up in dew
my buddies and me
are what they want to see
we can make ’em feel shiny new

the beach at night
don’t put up a fight
’cause the sun’ll be shinin’ soon
you and me are a hit
but your parents’ll sh@t
when they find that you’re not in your room

(from “Part Four: Tragic Glorious”)

It’s hard to pay homage to the old days without sounding lame. This one’s alright. I’ve always loved the first two lines (if I do say so myself).

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“The bottle containing my memories…”

The bottle containing my memories
was labelled highly flammable
just add sentiment
some desire, not forgotten
some dormant dreams, awakened
the spark of memory
shoots from nowhere
and the smoldering has begun again
I do recall…
and I did recall
just last night
as I shared my bed
with a cigarette
and my soul flew
as it does so often
I just never know where it’s going to land
last night it landed in your arms
where I once found myself
burning, burning
and back I went…

your lips the petals of a rose
your skin as smooth as the satin of my dreams
and back I came…

a smile was not my reply
to my memory’s return
and not a sadness
almost an emptiness
for what wasn’t
but more than all this
it was desire
a sweating, shivering need
as the flames of my memory pierced the night
it was desire
I felt, as the fire that is you was rekindled
awakened from it’s sleep
by accident last night
and now I know
that this part of me
you
will never be gone from my soul
it will lay still
only to be awakened some other night
while I share my bed
with a cigarette

(from “Part Four: Tragic Glorious”)

I think I’ve said before, a thing changes when it becomes a memory. It seems shiny, more vibrant. Sometimes you get a memory out and hold it close to you and smile. Other memories sting. Some can be very dark things. But it takes time – something becoming a memory – for you to really be able to know it’s worth. Some things are just forgotten. Other things…they resonate. And then you realize that they are deep within you. They’re part of who you are.

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