Search

Providence, MO

I count my blessings night and morning on a single hand
That lost three fingers chopping timber
when the busted buzzsaw jammed 
So we traveled east to Alabama, for better lives to find 
Toward better homes and better weather
Better unemployment lines 

The Lord blessed us with another boy
attached: a cursed mouth to feed
So little Jack’s been selling bottles 
while Mary Jane plays in the weeds
The frost has come and stayed to conjure 
the crops to dying with the leaves
Now Momma’s sick and baby’s crying 
Eviction man says time to leave again 

So I prayed for gold in Sacramento
but all the gold that I could find 
was the sun reflecting off the bottom
of this empty pan of mine 
They say that gold is just for fools;
but gold will drive a fool insane 
each time you dip your pan
and draw it out as empty as it came 

So I sold my pan and set to gambling 
For luck, I’ve heard, turns on a dime 
I rolled, and won, and filled my hands
then stumbled toward the county line 
He must have seen me throwing sevens 
and snuck up in the dark behind 
He split my skull and took my money
Left me bleeding there to die alone 

Dear Lord, if you recall my baby 
Heaven knows he’ll surely freeze 
Please take him up to over yonder 
If you care a thing for me 
Here I sit and here I ponder 
Laid beneath the dying trees 
My blood has dried me to the gravel 
The earth has wrapped me in her breeze
Still I wait and still I wonder 
Heaven hear my dying plea 
Please take my girl and take my baby 
So they don’t end up like me 
Please take my girl and take my baby
So they don’t end up like me 

Something Vicious

Is it honest of a boy to secretly enjoy
all the subtle things that break the seams 
and threaten to destroy his very way of blameless living?
His own path of guiltless ways? 
Do his questions need forgiving when his innocence decays?  

They said
“Though purity can never be replenished
grace may still be something you can win”
So I'll leave the front light on
and claim it helps you Grace, find your way home;
While kind of wishing somebody else wanders in

Can a lack of faith in man be traced to lack of faith in God?
I hope to God that I'm not faithless;
for without faith we'd all be lost
and forced to rely on the conscience of flawed humanity
Within a baseless state of tarnish that is grounded in nothing

They said though faultlessness cannot be rediscovered
innocence is something you can find again...
So I'll leave the front light on,
to help innocence find its way back home;
While kind of wishing somebody else wanders in

Do do do do da do do da da da...

I'll leave the front light on
and claim it helps you, faith, find your way home
While kind of wishing something vicious wanders in
I’ll leave the front light on 
And claim it helps you find your way back home 
While kind of wishing something vicious wanders in 

But Who Will Save The Savior?

You were a liar and I a poet 
They’ve always seemed the same to me 
Either way we found our own simulated security 
Sometimes I’d stare through the ceiling numbed beyond the will to care 
When everything that’s normal felt too beautiful to bear

Life goes on 
as the heartache turns to healing 
and apathy births a feeling it itself can not destroy 
But then it’s gone 
and we’re fumbling and reeling
Through a fog that’s all concealing 
making life hard to enjoy
It still goes on and on and on and on

When your heart meter formed a long draw and the nurse’s eyes met mine 
I felt my throat close up and inspiration vanish from my mind 
While walking out I pushed a father from a laughing conga line 
Pink bubble gum cigars announcing his first daughter had arrived 

I made it home through wretched traffic of the coming home parade
Though it took hours. 
The news banners read the war had gone away
I passed a young girl in the stairwell 
tears were running down her face 
They’d said her father was a savior 
I guess no one saves their savior once they’re saved

Crawl On...

I’ve lied for pleasure, I lied for pain
I lied for my amusement, to be mildly entertained 
I’ve lied to cover up the lies I made
All the while lying next to you
While lying that you were safe 

Though the darkness be upon me
 may the darkness never own me 
Through trial or gale or storm or tempest come 
May my past shine lights of warning 
Through the pitfalls laid before me 
Though the path be frail and thorny 
I’ll crawl on 

Maybe I’ve been a wanderer 
Because I’m too afraid to wonder 
for a moment what it feels like to feel sane 
so I’ve fed my fleshly hunger 
and bet on over-unders 
guessing the day I’ll die and in what way 
I crawl on 

Until your flower bed is satisfied 
with my sour flesh and swallowed lies 
and I float on toward fire or kingdom come 
Shed never once a tear for me 
but thank God for the misery 
My long overdue passing spared you from 
and crawl on 
Crawl on 

In The Throes

It won’t kill you 
But it’ll hurt a little while before it heals you 
Though you won’t fall through 
It’s gonna drain a little pride before it fills you 
Take a little lie from me 
In a little while you'll see 
You’ll be alright 

You might break down 
But you’ll learn to brave the waters when they surround 
There you’ll find out 
How your heroes earned their scars before they let you down  
Maybe when your comfort fades 
You can find a sacred place to feel alive 

A calm sea never once has killed a sailor 
Nor has ever tested his will or his strength 
Know you’ll not be asked to hold more than you’re able 
though it may be more than you would have believed 

Though it haunts you 
As it keeps you in the throes harm won’t befall you 
When you’ve lost truth 
Be a testament of hope as one who crawled through 

Nothing is a flawless thing 
Everything is flawlessly a little wrong 
I guess it takes a broken ground 
To let a little life grow out to something strong 

A Childish Thing

Fear is not a childish thing 
Neither is my cause for doubting 
Nor the way I keep the entrance watched and exits wide 
Time is for discovering things 
but everything to know has been found
and nothing's new or sacred, pure of heart - including me 
Fear is not the enemy 
You’ve never feared your enemies 

I’m only gonna break your heart dear slowly
I'm only gonna wreck your world awhile 
I'm only gonna drag you down 
then hold you under 
I only wanna break your heart
I only wanna break your heart a little while

Look me in the eyes, 
I swear darlin', you can see right through me 
to the secrets that I’ve locked and snares 
that I have laid before you, dear 
hoping that you won't get to me 
if I harm you, I'm not worth the scars you'll bare 
Love is not the enemy 
You've always loved your enemies...

Kingdom of Vipers

So go on, hide in self-claimed righteousness and paint your pious faces
All the while sharpening your claws upon the sacred rock of ages 
But the wealth you’ve gained from selling grace through holy prostitution 
Will not save you for the savior takes no cash for restitution anymore 

Pedaling penance for a salary and a high rise by the Bowery 
You’re overlooking all the trade ships coming in
While learning well recited verses used to line your hallowed purses 
Helping damn yourself auctioning redemption 

Turn away, turn away
I’m afraid I never knew you 
I’m ashamed of all that you do in my name
Turn away, turn away 
Don’t you know I see right through you? 
to the core of all of your familiar ways  

Neither for me nor against me 
You’re just trying to convince me that my failure as a man could be ignored 
But that we soiled doves and vagrants will simply dirty up the pavement
If forgiveness here on earth we can’t afford 

All of you salvation vendors
Know that sinners are big spenders 
When it comes to hiding from eternal flames
Oh, but grace is for the broken 
and the hurting and the hoping 
and you’re causing more to fall than can be saved 

Misery

I don’t even know if I care enough to ever cry at all 
Darling I suppose if I stare I could break through these walls 
If you don’t doubt me i doubt it, I’m doubting myself 
If it ain’t mine, life without it is just what I’ve been dealt 
If you’re planning to mend me then I don’t need your help 
Just get in line, far behind everybody else 

I ain’t lost I’m just wandering toward the wild and new
I’m sorry if that doesn’t fit the plans that you’d made for me and you 
Someday they may find me in blood on the tracks 
Peaceful and at home there more than safe and unpacked 
in the building of mortar and glass I’m expected to die in someday 

My dear I could use a little misery 
To help clear up the cause of our disparity   
and make me feel like I have a valid reason for this way I feel
because lately I feel so alone 

If you don’t know me by now 
You’ll never know me at all 

In The Presence of the Queen

darlin' you've got a way of saving me
I don't think you'll ever understand 
the way that your eyes bring hope into my life and shine light into the lightlessness of man 

Darlin' you've got a way of shaping me
into something that's far better than I am 
Through the peace that I find
when you're sleeping at my side 
I feel safe placing my heart into your hands 

You've got a way of making me
feel things that I could never comprehend 
I once felt complacent but you've been replacing
my fears with the will to love again 

Surely you must have mistaken me 
for somebody more worthy of your heart 
For no peasant should be among the presence of the queen 
yet still I open up my eyes and here you are 

A Once Exquisite Flame

You're back again to collect me; 
my darlings - Misery, dear Agony and sweet Apathy
I'll fetch my bags and you'll escort me 
off to some corner where it all feels far more frightening
But fear is not what frightens me 
half as much as knowing I might fail

I've searched my soul and found that I - I can go on
I can go on no more
I can go on no more
I can go on no more

I can recall when things still mattered
such subtle innocence I long now to recapture
I had a heart then, do you remember?
those childish passions now no more than stagnant embers 
of a once exquisite flame
I'll tell you honestly,
I don't recall if emotion is even something that I want to feel at all

I've searched my soul and found that I - I can go on
I can go on no more
I can go on no more
I can go on no more

Despite my growing faithlessness, I still have faith in saviors.
For I’ve been haunted by these demons 
and these graceless, fallen angels
but there’s an antonym for everything,
so there must be something faithful  
reaching down to drag me out 
while all these terrors fight to claim my longing soul
Oh, how ungrateful I must be for never feeling privileged 
that some hand selected me to be alive 
We're all forgiven, I've been told - if we confess
I must confess that my past is full of blemish 
and my future's full of failure, I'm afraid

Is there anybody there who has ever felt so all-uncertain 
about everything; but by timidly and questioningly searching
found peace and sense among the senselessness of human hurting? 
can you speak to me a word of grace, 
to calm and reassure me that you feel it? 
Can you feel it?
Could I feel it?

I know answers can be found and I've heard mercy never falters
But still, it's hard believing now as Im surrounded by these waters 
that have sought to bring an end
and take my soul as theirs to claim
as I fight hard to find a reason not to surrender to their weight
Can I feel it like you felt; 
the closest thing to an escape you'd ever found
created in me and have every apprehension stripped away?

Snowfall

Wait for me
I'll be here - cold, and with my arms around my knees
Trembling, longing for fragments of a fond and former peace
Lately, if you watch me, I can play a part that you'll believe
until you breathe easily
I'm not as strong as you perceived me once to be

The snow tonight has covered all your snares
and made it hard to find my way through safely
If I climbed or crawled through your defenses
would you see through my attempts at bravery?
Maybe, if you want me to, I'll fall apart and you'll escape
before you break down with me
I once believed in you as one to set me free

You don't know me
I don't even know myself

Wait for me.
I'll be here - cold, and with my arms around my knees
Trembling, longing for fragments of a fond and former peace
Lately, if you watch me, I can play a part that you'll believe
until you breathe easily
I'm not as strong as you perceived...
Wait for me.

Warzone Serenade

The buzzards all came flying in
to feed on what was dying and I found myself the victim of their ways
I guess I'm just the kind of kid
who's had so much given to him
I'd claim I hit a triple
when I was born on third base

Time burns slowly now
in the moments since the pin left the grenade
Still, it all feels calm, somehow
In the middle of a warzone serenade

I woke up in the lion's den
and found I had some lying friends
who swore I wouldn't fall where others fell
The light down at the tunnel's end
has faded out and grown dim
but I've found out that darkness suits me well

Time burns slowly now
in the moments since the pin left the grenade
Still, it all feels calm, somehow
In the middle of a warzone serenade

I guess it just comes down to knowing
when everything decays
It's okay for some things not to be okay
I guess it just comes down to knowing when it all goes up in flames
It's okay for some things not to end okay
It's okay for some things not to end okay

'Til We Die or Back Out

Don't mind me, Mister
I'm just gonna miss her and pray I don't show it at all
You've picked me up just enough to get back to my falling down
Guns and religion, whiskey and women
have nothing in common, they claim
but they draw truth from deceivers, stop leavers,
and give unbelievers a reason for faith

So if you hold the answers, then I'll hold the doubts
and we'll stumble together - 'til we die or back out
Then we'll look back and wonder what drew us apart at the seams
Then I'll keep what's left after you break the best parts of me

I think I'll lay here staring at the ceiling
trying to fight off what feelings may find me
All the half empty closets and boxes tell me that you're moving on
There's a hole in my mirror and blood on my hand
'cus I think that I once saw you out with that man
It hurts me to hurt you
But if you hurt when I do, then you must be dying right now

So if you hold the answers, then I'll hold the doubts
and we'll stumble together - 'til we die or back out
Then we'll look back and wonder what drew us apart at the seams
Then I'll keep what's left after you break the best parts of me

So if you hold the answers, then I'll hold the doubts
and we'll stumble together - 'til we die or back out
Then we'll look back and wonder what drew us apart at the seams
Then I'll keep what's left after you break the best parts of me
I'll keep whats left after you break the best parts of me

Don't mind me, Mister
I'm just gonna miss her and pray I don't show it at all

Maybe Things Will Make Sense When We're Grown

I was young and so were you
you felt shy and I did too
When we held hands beneath the swings
You laughed and said you wanted to marry me
We found this bird under the slide;
a missing wing and a missing life
We buried him and wondered
why do helpless creatures have to die sometimes?
Maybe this will make sense when we’re grown
 - I hope so

Children grow up as children do
I grew up too and I married you
We picked the rice out of your hair
that two years later wasn’t there
By hospital beds and in waiting rooms
we'd play cards and I would pray with you
That God would one day grant permission
to move your illness to remission 
Maybe this will make sense when we’re old
- I don't think so

Then you died and I grew old 
I tried to come up with my own routine of living without you
It went fine for a year or two. 
But then I died, for I’d grown old
I was laid beside you, cold by cold and side by side
You and I - just the way we’d been in life for so long
Maybe things all make sense when you’re gone
Maybe nothing ever makes sense at all
Maybe things will make sense when we're grown
Maybe nothing ever makes sense at all
 – I kind of think so

Day One of the Nights I'll Die Alone

I've got a bad idea that's probably gonna turn out worse
The second that I act what's on my mind 
I had a mind to tell you, but I couldn't find the words 
so there you go, I'm all alone, ten miles behind  

Maybe I'll think about you and wonder
if you're somewhere on the road 
As I hum a song you wrote me years before 
While I'm laying here with someone you've never met or known 
In a life you wouldn't fit in anymore 

It's strange to wake up in the morning
and have someone right beside you 
Then to go to bed that evening all alone 
Now I'm drawing lone stick figures in the fog breath on the window 
Here's to day one of the nights I'll die alone 

I've got a mind to tell you
That you're still on my mind 
I just can't seem to get you off this heart of mine
If I had a line to sell you to make you stay behind 
I'd let you know, but there you go, and I'm doing fine 
I'm all alone, and you're all alone, and we're doing fine 

It's Best Just Not To Wonder, I've Been Told

I guess I'm strange for holding on to things that mend me.
When certainty abandons and the thoughts come creeping in
perhaps it's best to run from blooming comfort
and find solace in the far less frightening same we've always known.
What's threatening in sameness? What fear is found in old? 
Pull flowers with the weeds and let no pure or foul thing grow
Nothing lives and nothing dies; 
just planted seeds plucked fast for fear they, one day, all might wither;
or will grow too well to stand their loss in winter.

 ...I wonder if it's best to let things go? 
...It's best just not to wonder, I've been told....


Why plant and toil and till and groan for something that may die before its season?
So we stomp and crush the growing things, and retreat into our homes,
 so glad that we escaped such near, potential, threat of pain or freedom
Then time goes on and nothing changes.
Nothing's growing, nothing ages.
Just the same old, safest, sameness that we've always held and known;
but when the storms come in and the trust we've felt since youth is too frail for fighting
what grounded roots have we let grow in strength to hold? 
What new beauty then will lift us and what peace have we let bloom as newborn comfort?
When the risk made us uneasy, did we stop the growth that now could be our mending?
 Did we let the fear to start become our ending?

I wonder what we killed before it had grown?  
 and wonder how that changed the very lives that we have known? 
I wonder if it's best to let things go?
     ...It's best just not to wonder, I've been told...

Fall Away With Me

I know there were things that were bringing you down 
All your planted dreams that never broke the ground 
Still you always seemed like the one who'd get out 
of this go nowhere, mid-Florida, flashing light town 

Brother, I know that darkness comes calling 
Sometimes it's shows, but sometimes it don't
You went in alone, showing no signs of drowning
I guess that's how it goes...

Slow fall away with me 
And I, I will always be 
Your hope, your hope  

You found your demise in a bottle of wine 
with a .38 short on the back of your mind 
I must have called home nearly every night  
to offer you hope and assure things were fine 

They said not to speak of what you were fighting; 
but where would you be if only I had? 
I guess some men are weak, and some strong as lightning...
but what if I had...

Slow fall away with me 
And I, I will always be 
Your hope, your hope  

Now all of these things that awake me at night
Are nothing, it seems, when compared to your life
It won't ever seem right, it'll never feel right...

I know there were things that were bringing you down
but where would you be if I'd just come around
we all let you down 

Lay It Down Easy

Lean on me awhile, although I'm not of whom you've dreamed
since you were but a child; 
but child, can I learn to be the kind of man that you require?
Don't shun me from your side
if I can make you feel like you're somehow more alive

Oh, won't you open your heart again? 

Let it all bleed out; your subtle sense of worrying
Soon trust will come around setting you ever free again
to see the hope that you desire
I can't help but feel this darkness troubling you
in the same way I've fought for years
I just want to make you smile and draw you out
from all the anxiouaness, to perfect calm again

Oh, lay it down easy
the Devil's at the driving reigns 
trying to drag you to your childish ways of doubting yourself again
Oh, lay it down easy 
know you're not the one to blame
for falling to a darker place than where you began 

While I'm carrying this torch I know your scars are hard to hide
But I won't look at yours if you try not to stare at mine
You're safe with me, my dear

Come to Tennessee

You doubted yourself
I doubted you too 
Who would have ever thought you'd find me here drawing closer to you? 
but it's undoubtedly true
Because here in your room 
I'm looking for ways to draw you away
from all of the darkness that you have been going through 

Ooh
Would you move from Carolina if I asked you to?
Ooh
I'm waiting for youYou doubted yourself, I doubted you too
Who would have ever thought you'd find me here
drawing closer to you?
It's undoubtedly true
because here in your room
I'm looking for ways to draw you away
from all of the darkness that you have been going through

Oh, won't you move from Carolina if I asked you to?
Oh, I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting for you

You were born without love
Your own cord around your throat
Making you feel that trust was weak and merely a promise of hope
that's yet to be broken
You silently spoke
and I saw in your eyes as you realized
I'm not like the others you'd known - who'd cut you to the bone

Oh, won't you move from Carolina if I asked you to?
Oh, I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting for you

No one's gonna hurt you now
No one's gonna let you down the way they did so many times before

Oh, won't you move from Carolina if I asked you to?
Oh, I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting for you 

You were born without love 
Your own cord 'round your throat
Making you feel that trust is weak 
and merely a promise of hope that's yet to be broken
You silently spoke and
I saw in your eyes you realize I'm not like the others you've known
Who clawed you to the bone

Ooh
Would you move from Carolina if I asked you to?
Ooh
I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting for you

No ones going to hurt you now
No ones going to let you down
the way they did so many times before

Ooh
Would you move from Carolina if I asked you to?
Ooh
I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting for you 

Plans of Great Escape

My eyes stare beyond the ocean
Through the howling winds and rain 
In sense, a prisoner laying plans of great escape 
Why is it my desires always are greater than my confidence? 

Still, I find subtle peace in knowing 
That if I sleep I'll awake 
To better problems than others have had before 
but it doesn't seem to quell the urging restlessness to leave 

I know that I know better than to deny;
I can't get you off my mind 

I've left rebellious cause for fighting and my ever childish angst
Now I don't question all the answers anymore;
or maybe all the answers simply lost their need for questioning 

Still, the moment that I stop to view the wild road before me;
 there's no doubting that I look like where I've been 
That probably should leave no room for doubting me at all

I know that I know better than to deny;
I can't get you off my mind 

It's hard, trusting in the open arms I see 
or trusting in your trust in me 

The Haunts of Youth

You - your lips like wine and haunting, tender eyes
 once made for better days
For me and the fleeting, restless pride
I'd tethered up and tied to keep from blowing away
But then life grew old and youth was lost forever
It felt stripped and torn away
Gone our separate ways
Forced to face the change ourselves

I, I will always feel as long as this heart of mine is beating
I, I will always heal as long as this soul of mine is breathing

You - your heart like glass
was flawed, yet so beautiful, in it's shattering
How it cut to wire my fingertips
as I helped you with finding the scatterings
I'm not prepared to mend or repair or save you at all
But when a broken thing can hold a broken thingYou, your lips like wine and haunting, tender eyes
once made for better days
for me and my fleeting, restless pride
I'd tethered up and tied to keep from blowing away
But then life grew old, and youth was lost forever
It felt stripped and torn away, left along the way
forced to face the change ourselves

I, I will always feel as long as this heart of mine is beating
I, I will always heal as long as this soul of mine is breathing

You, your heart like glass was flawed, yet so beautiful in it's shattering
How it cut to wire my fingertips
when I helped you with finding the scatterings
I'm not prepared to mend or repair or save you - at all
but when a broken thing can hold a broken thing
it makes the broken things feel whole

I, I will always feel as long as this heart of mine is beating
I, I will always heal as long as this soul of mine is breathing

You say you want to start a flame, but your heart is flooded over
and there is no way you're ever going to change enough for this

You, your lips like wine and haunting, tender eyes
once made for better days
it makes the broken things feel whole...

You say you want to start a flame
but your heart is flooded over and there is no way
you're ever going to change enough for this...

When You Need a Friend

I dove deep into my memories 
To when you'd let me look at yours
The night you swore that you'd go with me 
From homeland sea to foreign shore 

Do you recall my face at all?
When you need a friend darlin' don't think about me
I read your letters and lies filled them all
If you need a friend darlin' don't think of me

You said you'd lay till death beside me
You must have mistaken my bed 
There's not much sense in trying to hide things 
if I were to wish you well, I'd wish you dead 

Do you recall my face at all?
When you need a friend darlin' don't think about me
I read your letters and lies filled them all
If you need a friend darlin' don't think of me

It's only right the skies were storming 
When I lost the urge to fall 
The only answer left is...question it all