Wurlitzer Punishment

The sun is unbearable and awkward,

my pockets are empty

Not because my bar tab was high,

or my wages are low

But because of  my heavy debt to the jukebox

 

You can’t sweet talk her into playing,

she only takes cash

I play the same song every time,

in hopes that you can hear it,

All the way up in your tower

 

But you weren’t up there tonight,

you were out, forgetting my name

The only way you can

 

I wish I could do the same

But I’m more likely to stab myself in the back,

than admit I miss you

Us

There isn’t any amount of chains

Or whipping posts that can hurt us

 

There isn’t any amount of small wages

Or long hours that will starve us

There isn’t any amount of burnt pages

Or broken glass that can stop us

 

There isn’t any amount of voting laws

Or wage gaps that can silence us

 

There isn’t any amount of Jim Crow

Or burning crosses that can scare us

 

There isn’t any amount of draft cards

Or machine guns that can change us

 

There isn’t any amount of privatized prisons

Or racist cops that can cage us

 

There isn’t any amount of hateful churches

Or Kim Davis’es that can judge us

 

There isn’t any amount of predatory presidents

Or Richard Spencer’s that can kill us

 

There isn’t anything that can end us. Nothing.
If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be a part of your revolution” – Emma Goldman

It’s Hard

I drove into a tunnel today and I tried hold my breath

the way we used to do

I can’t do it for long anymore because my face gets red

my eyes swell up and I get light headed

Not because I’m not breathing,

but because you can’t beat me anymore

And I always win

It’s hard to play when you have no breath to hold

 

I played that Bowie record today and I tried to listen

the way we used to do

I can’t do it for long anymore because my throat gets dry

my eyes swell up and I get light headed

Not because I’m not listening,

but because you can’t sing it anymore

and I never could

It’s hard to sing the high notes alone

 

I wrote a song today and I tried to play

the way we used to do

I can’t do it for long anymore because my fingers hurt

my eyes swell up and I get light headed

Not because I’m not playing,

but because you can’t play anymore

And I still can’t

It’s hard to write a duet alone

Counting Sheep

I was too hard on her
The pillow’s indented
She got into her car
The pillow’s indented
It’s a nice Cadillac
The pillow’s indented
She drove down 95
The pillow’s indented
To get away from me
The pillow’s indented
The truck didn’t see her
The pillow’s indented
Gin can do that
The pillow’s indented

Lay on, MacDuff

Born on the 13th day of this month

I was northbound toward misfortune

But like MacDuff I was never born at all

which means I’m destined to be

a pain in the ass for murderous kings

and bound to duty of my sword

 

I hold my sword between my fingers

and combat the blank pages

that fought so hard to say nothing

But as the Three Witches commanded:

this page will fucking bleed before I’m through

Fall victim to my words like stab wounds

Lacerating lines beyond recognition

And through their bleeding show my truth

Through their bleeding show my love

Through their bleeding show my hate

 

Any tragedy that may bruise my soul,

I must press on for the Greater Good.

But I must also feel it as a man

Take it out on the blank page

I will hold my sword against it once more

And through their bleeding show my truth

Through their bleeding show my love

Through their bleeding show my hate

Proof of Love

Proof of love is in the long lines

that reach around your photographic memories

to the end of your casket where your family stands

An island of misfit toys saying goodbye to a dear friend

I’m starting to feel the effects of the parking lot

flask that my uncle keeps in his coat pocket

I knew my brain cells were dying for no earthly purpose

and I think the paintings of Jesus Christ know

that I’m buzzed lying in this church pew

Maybe all those Irish jokes are true after all

 

Proof of love is breaking fire codes

in a house that raised six children

“Bring more chairs up from the basement”

A house of books and tools feels empty

without its patriarch to join hands with

And thank God for a family that even through all their flaws

are together at the table

To discuss their racist coworker

or the new band your cousin found

It took four months to clean

50 years of memories out of this house

But, memory is beyond material

goods

It is held in the heart of your loved ones

That miss you

North Broad

The green and blue doesn’t want you

To know where you are

They cover up the gray and copper

That tells you you’re not worth it

The black and green remind you

You are only who you want to be

The spray paint smells but

At least it’s better than regret

The Man doesn’t understand

That the buildings he’s left behind

Look better than they way he left them

He sees rapists and murderers

a ketchup stain on his tie

Undesirables

I see misrepresented steel and wood

Silent power