Reception in the Middle of Nowhere

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(watchtower)

Is she always there
Standing over me
Watching as the seasons change
Over some sleepy, wondering sea
Across her face and beneath her eyes
Is always the same wistful gaze
Reflections floating like young waves
Crashing just to show their size
The air gets dry
As the music grows dreamy
Synth sounds and electric emotions
As my head gets heavy beneath me
Roads pass by
And signs grow far out of distance
The radio changes with the reception –
Before we hit the chorus
And I sit looking out the rearview mirror
The radio tower lights blinking at me
Like a watch tower searching for a signal
And I wonder
If I might’ve left it on the interstate
And that’s why the music sounds so abysmal
And the static that crackles is its own accusatory finger
Blaming me for not trying harder
To get it back

Tomorrow to Come

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(summer soliloquy)

Who could tell
Who could wonder why
When summer passes through me
Like tears on hazy honey eyes
When it floats away, like those dreams on the big open sea
And life is simply another
Lonely menagerie
Things will never be the same
As they were before
Quiet songs on the record player
Spinning old songs of anti-war
Kissing in the driveway
Before you head back home
Silent cravings felt
Sitting in our separate rooms
But one of these days
Everything will finally stop moving slow
And finally it will feel like
Time has a flow
And tomorrow will come
‘At long last’ we’ll cry
And I’ll sleep next you
As the world goes by.

What’s Left of What Was Said

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I sit beside the crowds of people I see everyday
Yet cannot bring myself to recognize
I don’t understand a single word they say
But Lord, how I try
Perching in the rafters above the rumble of empty words
Faces that don’t mean a thing to me
I look over the scape and I don’t understand what I’ve heard
Stuck like a piece of twine between two adjacent trees
Across it all
What matters at all
Is the fading permanence of it all
Imprints in the sand just meant to fade
Collide and walk away
Fiercely in love
With the concept of numbered days
And trying to walk back down roads already once tread
Picking up the pieces of what’s left in the dust
Picking up what’s left of what was said

 

Sitting in the back seats as the cameras roll
And the seasons shift
Everyone knows how to brace for the cold
But I still can’t manage to patch this rift
Sitting between us from across the vine
I can’t tell what we’re trying to repair
Where I am, I can only try to find the time
To try to see where the next blow is going to hit
To stand alone and wait for the world to forget
A world full of cotton stuffed people
Around me sits a sea of ingenue
Perching in the shadow of some forgotten steeple
How can flesh and blood relate to felt and sinew?
They know better than I what they’re trying to get
Desperately in love with what they can introspect
And what they’ll be able to forget
They all think we’re all just left for dead
Left holding the broken strings of their marionette
Left with what’s left of what was said

You and I – there isn’t any time
Before the buttons get stitched over our eyes
And we sit up in the middle of the night, alone from our separate beds –
Dreaming about what’s left of what was said

Shattered Glass

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The wind howls louder still
Reaching for the empty heart
Of someone who never got their fill
Of a life that has yet to start
All of those hopeful flames
Dancing in such a cold, dark room
Ever so reluctant to respond to the change
We forget that we aren’t the same
Despite our matching tombs

So open your lungs
And breathe in
All these shards of shattered glass
Left in the future
From the pieces of our broken past
Breath out
All these shards of shattered glass
When we all stand alone
Who will be left to last?

Soak in the left over memories
And face the mirror
See the man you built
Out of the anger of all that you couldn’t achieve
Did you hear that it all comes crashing down?
Like the missed notes
Of your favorite love song
It’s going to come back around –
Despite the coughing and blood in your breath
We know the lost will eventually be found

So open your lungs
And breath in that shattered glass
No falling water can cleanse
What moves so fast
Breath out all that shattered glass
The pain will lose its edge
Though the scars always last
And while you lie sleeping
And I’m lost in my head
I’ll gather up all that shattered glass
Left behind on all those roads I’ve yet to tread

Bloom

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From beyond the nights
And into my sleeping head
Working for that sign of light
To finally pull me from my bed
A dance of moving parts and pieces
Gears twisting in their place
Fingers running over the creases
Left behind in the sheets
For behind my eyes – I no longer see your face
There’s nothing left in sleep for me
Not a sound or song or words of validation
Just the cries of the demands for my condemnation
There’s no quiet left in my room for me
Just echos of sounds and trails of hazy smoke
But before I wake to face the fumes
Of something lesser than what I want
I’m just waiting for these thorns in my head
To twist and bloom

A ballet of roses
And sweeter scents than what was left behind
A trickle of color
A downpour of things we’ll never find
I can hear everything so loudly
A symphony of re-repeating
Another collection of words
Just ski-skipping
I can feel it in my chest
The petals wilting ever so soon
So that the weeds and thickets
Can continue to bloom

There’s nothing  but twisting in the dark
There’s nothing but absence in the cold
A lack of color to your lungs
And an empire of dead bones to behold
The world turns beneath
As I sleep in the silence of it all
And the quiet, rushing thoughts bare their yellow teeth
There’s so much of it all
In the aching of the gloom
I can only wait for morning
And hope there is more waiting to break through and bloom

Rubble (Left in October)

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I once knew you
But don’t remind me
Like the rubble of the car wreck
That still sits close to me
And the oxygenated air
That still makes me dizzy
I don’t want to think about what doesn’t make me forget
An orange atmosphere with nothing left
And voices in the background to remind me of my debt
My mind is just full of wind
And I’m trying to fixate on the howl
If only I could go back to that empty ditch
And that shattered glass
Fall onto the dirt
Just close my eyes and focus on the smell of the gas
I once knew you
But don’t remind me
I just want to remember the burning
Of that dripping gasoline on dry fall leaves
The way I stammered your name
Speaking of the only thing that I believed
Winter cannot come sooner
For I am in love with the gray skies
And empty cold air
It makes me feel like I belong here
For three months at a time
When I felt like I wasn’t even here
For nearly two years
I once knew you
But don’t remind me
Just give me those thoughts of the icy metal bed
And my ripped clothing
The bandages on my head
I am in love with the bruises
That fell across my chest
And I adored the pains
That made it hard on my breath
Show me the aches and my old stiff limbs
Remind me of the dreams I never had
Tell me that I am something different now
Than I was before
Remind me that the winter world would give way to the warmest love I ever knew
But please don’t remind me
That I once knew you

Over the Shore

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Everyday I hear the story
that you loved me
like I loved you
everyday just another story
of what’s to come next
and what was before me
trying to keep my head above water while the storm rages on
I see the misguided direction all around
as I try to walk before I crawl
but I knew that you were never there at all
we could dance for days
on the cliff of what would have
over the rocks of what never should have
but I don’t want to look back and see –
I just want to go back to the shore
and believe that was it for me
as my regrets stand tall

And if we fall
will you be here at all
to see me at the end
of this cliff
of the day
at the hall
would you dare say a word
for fear of what would come next
everything at once
or not a thing at all
rest assured
I wouldn’t lift my head
so you couldn’t tell if I heard you
so we could go back without the embarrassment
of things better left unsaid
but could you let it be
those foggy mirrors
windows through which you see me
let the sun set on this day
take your bag and drive away
there’s not a thing for us to say
to change
what was
never there
at
all

Disposable Camera

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There’s a camera in the back of my closet
On top the faded photographs and written notes
Boxes covered with layers of dust
All of the letters that we sent back and forth
Remnants of what never was –
Echoes of those ghosts
Images burning away in my mind
Like they did in the grass
Fading in the air like the rising smoke
From the incense that we liked
The scent of it all
Still fills my room
And I’m doing my best not to associate the smell with you
And the songs that we sang
Still remain the same
But the words that echo throughout my head
Continue to change

 

I made an effort
To forget what sits alone
Ever waiting for me to look back
And reminisce about the forgotten bones
Of something I should’ve buried long ago
Do they understand that they have no use anymore?
As the days fall past I forget what I even had them for
Feelings change and regrets grow
I’m sure you and I both can still feel the sting
Of when we both learned what we now know
I don’t even care anymore –
It’s been so long ago
I don’t need to remember yesterday
All that matters to me is watching the dying flame
The falling wick of the candles –
The torn pages of words
Every promise that was made and every lie that I heard
The smoke will still rise
From that burning effigy of what once had been –
what is now no more.
The only piece left
Is that disposable camera on the floor
Undeveloped photos
Memories that I will never have to see
Ghosts that will never rise
Regrets that will never come to be
What’s left on the film means absolutely nothing to me
So just like us – disposable and not worth much at all –
It too can be lost to the smoke
Rising through the air, carried by the breeze
So I can forget
That I really did believe

No Sense

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All I want to do
Is see you
And I can’t understand why
I can’t keep myself from looking your way
It makes less sense
Than snow in July
But every time I look to you
I hope to catch your eye.
Though it doesn’t matter – it would never be
I’m in love with someone
And I’m supposed to believe
That I’m doing what’s best for me
There’s no mail on Sundays
No sun on a rainy day
It wouldn’t make sense to change
What is already set in place
To try to change the ways
That I’ll be left here, stuck with nothing to say

I don’t know why
I keep thinking about you
It makes no sense to me –
It’s like claiming the ocean is only ten feet deep
There’s no reason why
I keep picturing your face
I hear your voice
And all sense seems to leave
The sun doesn’t go around us
And the Earth doesn’t stand in place
And yet here I am
Sense gone without a trace
And I still have no clue
What I am to do
Meant to love something other than you
Still forced to believe
That I know what’s right for me
Other things still remain the same –
The rising of the sun,
The turning of the tides
Yet despite being so sure in these things
My feelings remain the most intense
In these things that make no sense

Ghost

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You are nothing but a ghost to me
And I run from you
Fearful of what your eyes can do
And you chase after me
With that fierce conviction
That you’re going in the right direction
Because when the moon is hidden
Behind grey clouds and rolling thunder
And no light is able to escape
From that empty chill under
God’s righteous fist
And the leaves crunch under heavy feet
As we try to catch our breath between fast and frightful sips
Of heavy night time air
And my chest burns and my eyes sting
And I collapse under the weight I cannot bear
You approach my body – dead for years, a whisper in the breeze, the sound of the wind in the trees –
And while I try to look away
You reach out to me
And you’ve seen my dreams
Where we’re alive and I believe
There’s no better place to be
And you know as well as I
That I will refuse to say goodbye again
I won’t come to your grave
And try to begin
To live as I die
As you lie
underneath.
Quietly sleeping – as you fade into the mist
With the sounds of gentle weeping
As the fog rolls across the hills and moonlit scape
No, I will not bargain
I will not wait
You’re nothing but a ghost to me
and in the cold, empty winter
I will still run from you
Wishing our paths didn’t have to splinter in two
That prayers would be answered
before I would have had to choose
And I see the clouds in the sky
And I beg God not to let the light break through
Because behind me, I’m still afraid of what your eyes can do