Too Late to Fixate

Tried some bad meditation
Sittin' up in the dark
They say to picture an island
Cuz that's one place to start
I guess I could count my blessings
I don't sleep in the park
With all my earthly possessions
In one old shopping cart

No, I'm up in the penthouse
On a big feather bed
Is it too late to fixate
On that instead

My wife takes a vacation
One she can't afford
I go fishin' the alleys
For someone to escort
No, I don't mind the money
It beats betting on sports
And though it might get expensive
It's cheaper than divorce

And I love her torn stockings
And her lipstick of red
Is it too late to fixate
On her instead

You know you're my favorite
She says when we're through
Some parts are off limits
But I'd give them to you

Where the hell was Dock Ellis
When I gave up that hit
Where was Timothy Leary
When reality bit
Who's the new Dalai Lama
That shy little kid
With no room in his body
Where a stranger could live

I can't blame him for dreamin'
He'll sleep when he's dead
Is it too late to fixate
On that instead
Is it too late to fixate
On that instead


Gossamer Thin

Rings 'round his eyes
Tracks down his arm
His fans are confused and his friends are alarmed
His wife doesn't talk
Hates when he's gone
Counts every skirt in his new entourage

And they're all gossamer thin
Left of the dial, bohemians
And they dance tournament style
Twirl 'round the room, curtsey and smile
And they sit at his feet, read poetry
Swoon with each word he speaks

She likes the new pope
She's not scared of hell
They meet once a week at a secret motel
She kisses his neck, she plays with his hair
Her screams sound like pleasure, her moans like despair

And they're spread gossamer thin
Pushed to the edge, frayed at the ends
And it's no business of mine
They can love more than one at a time
But they're pushing their luck
Hard but they must
Risk it all for love

Now I walk around in some kind of altered state
The drink in my hand is starting to shake
I get used to it if it has to stay this way
A new bunch of flowers I'll have to arrange

I don't want to eat or get out of bed
Try to recall what the therapist said
Ego and Id, the Essential Self
You are who you are and you are someone else

But I'm worn gossamer thin
Like Delicate Arch, carved by the wind
There's a glass psyche at stake
Throw me a brick, see if it breaks
'Cause the mind and the brain aren't quite the same
But they both want out of this place



I'm in bed beside some jail bait
Megan's passed out on the staircase
Michael's searchin' for a good vein
Tomorrow comes we'll do the same thing

Jim got blacked out at the tailgate
Emma's dressed up for the new wave
We're all so tired of this dance craze
We never learn so we just sway

And it's long overdue
It's so long overdue
It's just so long overdue
Still feels too soon
Still feels too soon

I read a book about The Badlands
Sometimes this house looks like a death camp
And too much sun can be a drag, man
That's why we sleep as late as we can

And it's long overdue
It's so long overdue
It's just so long overdue
Still feels too soon
Still feels too soon

But it's so long overdue
It's so long overdue
It's just so long overdue
Still feels too soon
Still feels too soon

(Hang those packing blankets up
So morning never has to come
Spent all the borrowed money cause you insisted
Buy me something new and shiny it's almost Christmas
Amy left the bathtub running and we kept knocking
If we can't get the door unlocked
Then Meghan says she'll call the cops

Will you meet me at the station
Promise me a long vacation
Layin' on a beach for hours
Layin' on the beach for hours)



I woke up this mornin' still wearin' that tie
The one with the hammer and sickle design
Threw up all the pills my doctor prescribed
And went out to fetch me some air

The streets were so crowded with billboards and signs
Food trucks double parked in their parallel lines
I thought about breakfast but settled on wine
Always choose hunger over despair
And what's possible over what's there

But it isn't as though we get what we want
No matter how hard or long we have fought
Oh my happiness is a mere afterthought
When I'm with her I keep it in mind
Then she leaves and I've run out of time

I sat down today in a high barber's chair
To hear the town gossip and clean up my hair
He said she was seen on the bus station stairs
With her suitcase threatenin' to walk

Not sure how true it was but I'll hazard a guess
It's probably not more and it's probably not less
If that college kid bookie was accepting bets
The brackets would mostly be chalk
Yeah it's safe to assume that she's lost

But it isn't as though we get what we want
No matter how hard or long we have fought
Oh my happiness is a mere afterthought
When I'm with her I keep it in mind
Then she's gone and I've run out of time

I can't be concerned with the state that I'm in
At the height of the scandal with vertigo spins
Take every audition til I'm Errol Flynn
And bring it to life off the page

And I'll get up tomorrow still wearin' that tie
The one with the skull and the crossbone designs
If I'm asked if i miss her it's easy to lie
In this world that's called more of the same
Yeah I wouldn't feel proud or ashamed

Cuz it isn't as though we get what we want
No matter how hard or long we have fought
Oh my happiness is a mere afterthought
When I'm with her I keep it in mind
Then she leaves and I've run out of time


Next Of Kin

I saw a crash on the interstate
It left a feeling I could not shake
Just a name in a database who must be notified
It's not a phone call I wanna make
A stranger answers, I hesitate
Got some bad news that couldn't wait
Are you sitting down?
Her bathrobe hangs on the bedroom door
Though she's been dead for a year or more
He buried her by the sycamore
So that he could keep her close
It broke his heart and it made him old
Tries to rebuild but it just erodes
Some people say that's the way it goes
But he don't feel that way

Get too drunk and you can't perform
Something dies when a star is born
I spread my anger like Agent Orange
I was indiscriminate
Yeah, I met Lou Reed and Patti Smith
It didn't make me feel different
I guess I lost all my innocence
Way too long ago

She called my bluff and she won the fight
I ran outside in the hot twilight
I had a lighter that didn't light
Well I know I shouldn't smoke
I was gone, I was free to leave
Walking fast down the Bowery
Tears in my eyes so I couldn't see
But I made my way back home



It's a quixotic quest on a hot summer's night
I got a fistful of fireworks
I'm gonna try and set things right
I lost my inhibition
I think I may have lost my wallet too
In this dying land of plenty
There's a whole lot of nothing to do

Oh, I'm Billy Pilgrim you're a Dresden doll
They carpet bomb the city
Thank God they spared the mall

Let's hold a vigil
For the kinda, sorta innocent
And I guess I should defend your virtue
But the truth is I'm still on the fence

Old Heinrich Himmler never broke the law
Well, technically speaking ask Sam Peckinpah
Sometimes you need a vigilante if you want to get a just thing done
And I don't want to kill nobody
Whose only crime is worshiping the sun

Breakfast of napalm
Burn down the place where I belong
Arch rivals make love
And they gotta keep it secret
They still do it with the lights on

And I got bad nostalgia for what came before
Sad reenactments of a civil war
My heartache is obsessive
I just wish that I could let it go
But there's a mountain down in Georgia
With a kickass laser light show

And I can always convice you you're just like Patty Hearst
Or you're sympathetic, baby, when I'm at my worst
I don't want to brainwash you
I just wish that you would change your tune
'Cause I've been gunning for redemption
And I think I'll hit the bullseye soon

Chartreuse and menthols
Burn down the town that we were from
I lost my true love to a three-alarm fire
They tried to put out with a squirt gun

Sing little child like a Nightingale
Sing little child, send me anthrax through the mail
I wanna to know you, I wanna know if you are true
Because the closer I get to you is the further that I feel from you

Breakfast of napalm
Burn down the place where we belong
Arch rivals make love
And they gotta keep the secret
They gotta keep it secret
They gotta keep it secret
They still do it with the lights on


Mamah Borthwick (A Sketch)

Just because you got it
You don't have to flaunt it
With an endless stream of famous men
Pretty as a portrait
Look like Mamah Borthwick
On that Shining Brow of Taliesin

Someone might try and burn it down
So you'll have to put the fire out
A fortune spent but that's irrelevant to build something that's sacred till the end

It costs twenty dollars to visit Fallingwater
It's a perfect house where no one lives
Maybe someone once did but they got evicted by a busload full of greedy tourists

And it would take a time machine
To fulfill all of my fantasies
'Cause a hidden dream can be embarrassing
And the only thing that's sacred till the end

Every time I tempt fate
There's a major earthquake
Heard the people scream as the ceiling fell
Every building damaged
Only one left standing
It was Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel

A rumination in my mind
Winding like the ramp at the Guggenheim
I'm not content
But I'm feeling confident
to build something that's sacred till the end


Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out

Rise and shine, get out of bed
Get ready for the day
Get a coffee from the deli
And walk the riverbank
Be careful with your headphones on
When you cross the FDR
Don't want to be a casualty
Before you make it to the bar
And hide your shakes, and worried face
Just sit down in the back
Your friends got there ahead of you
And night is falling fast

Oh, you know you shouldn't say it
So you're thinking it out loud
Some things we lost are never to be found
But if you're gonna talk like that
At least buy another round
And we can keep drinking till St. Dymphna kicks us out

This world is made of blinking lights
They're changing all the time
But depending who you're talking to
It's likely to be fine
I watched you go from bad to worse
The blues is here to stay
But sometimes it's the simple things that make it all okay

Oh, you don't have to lie, say you're alright
We're just happy that you're here
But if you yell and tell me to go to hell
Well at least you'd sound sincere
Oh, you know it's all a spectacle
When you go to take a bow
You always did get nervous in a crowd
But if you need some company
I'll gladly stick around
And we can keep drinking till St. Dymphna kicks us out

Let's get enabled
Great minds, they think alike
I never was a good judge of when to call it a night

Oh, you don't have to say it
So you're thinking it out loud
Some things go south and they never turn around
But if you want a confidant
I'd never let you down
Oh, we can keep drinking till St. Dymphna kicks us out
Yes, we can keep drinking till St. Dymphna kicks us out


Barbary Coast (Later)

There's a dancehall there
Where the sick folks go
Like the olden days on the Barbary Coast
There's a barefoot child playing in the rain
You can sell your wares even if they're hot
In the great bizarre or the parking lot
Cause it takes a while to know who to blame
I might have a taste cause the first one's free
And the checkout girl's got a thing for me
And they're both as sweet as the day is long

I don't wanna feel stuck, baby
I just wanna get drunk before noon

I don't mind my head when there's room to dream
Feel like Paul Gauguin painting breadfruit trees
In some far off place where I don't belong
Tried to lose myself in the primitive
In Yosemite like John Muir did
But his eyes were blue and mine are red and raw
'Cause the modern world is a sight to see
It's a stimulant, it's pornography
It takes all my will not to turn it off

I don't want you to feel sad, baby
I take everything back, I swear I do

Cause once all the friends I had
Have used me up and left
I bet you hang around
I bet you'll hang around awhile



It's a mass grave
A dollar-fifty resting place
On the north face
It's a rope I've gotta climb
I'm a stone's throw from everyone I love and know
But I can't show up looking like I do
In an old suit my hair is slicked up back nice and smooth
In a courtroom, sweat rolling down my back
It's a bad dream
I have it seven times a week
No it's not me
But I'm the one who has to die

Needs a cold draw to slow his tachycardia
In a dark bar the world just melts away
And he feels fine
If he can just lose track of time
It's a good sign when he can't stay awake
On a slow day the rain against the windowpane of the cafe
She spills the coffee grounds
And the same thought hits her like cinder block
Life's an odd job that she don't got the nerve to quit

Yeah it's just there
At the bottom of those spiral stairs
It's the World's Fair
The future's on display
In the still night
They turned on the electric lights
And the crowd cried out
Everyone looks so amazed


Empty Hotel by the Sea

Order an Old Fashioned with a splash of Grand Marnier
I'll be there in ten minutes if you'll stay
I don't wanna argue, but I gotta tell you straight
And better if it happens face to face

They're lookin' for you, brother
They keep stopping by the house
They're waiting at my work when I get out
What do you think would happen if they'd followed me here now
Do you really think they'd let it go
Well judging by your silence, the answer's no

It's not true, Matthew
No it's nothing like before
They know exactly where you're gonna be
In that presidential suite up on the 37th floor
With your feet propped up, watchin' the TV
With a tray of food you're never gonna eat
And some shit excuse that no one would believe
In that empty hotel by the sea

Now when it's over I'll be talkin' to your grave
You might as well hear what I'll say
I can't forgive you, and I'll never sing your praise
Why'd you always have to get your way

Now you're a legend to those sick Neanderthals
The ones who count the bullet holes
Can't help admiring the splatter on the wall
Like cherry blossoms in the spring
Oh, it's a thing of beauty 'til it gets cleaned

It's not true, Matthew
No it's nothing like before
They know exactly where you're gonna be
In that presidential suite up on the 37th floor
With a blindfold on, tryin' to fall asleep
While your rental car's on fire in the street
And the snowflakes falling softly on the beach
In that empty hotel by the sea

Oh, it's, it's not true, Matthew
No it's nothing like before
They know exactly where you're bound to be
In that presidential suite up on the 37th floor
With your fingers broken, pickin' up your teeth
With the realization you were in too deep
With some final words that no one will repeat
While the snow's still fallin' softly on the beach
In that empty hotel by the sea


Anytime Soon

You could come around once a year
Like a Christmas ghost
Or hold me down like an anchor, baby
But you can't do both
I can't be your father figure
But I could be your friend
Watch me burn my candle crazy
At both ends

Nothin's gonna change here anytime soon
Catchin' fish in the mornin', get drunk before noon
Watchin' little brown bubbles floatin' in the spoon
Could be soakin' in a warm bath or back in the womb
Anytime, anytime soon

Used to want to be an astronaut
But I was just a kid
Spent my days in a batting cage
Where a robot pitched
Once you were my blushing bride
I was your nervous groom
But now we're just more comfortable
Sleepin' in separate rooms

Nothin's gonna change here anytime soon
Make a bed for the roses, hope that they bloom
I don't know if it's safe, but I just assume
I won't play in the majors or walk on the moon
Not anytime, anytime soon

Spin me a tornado, honey
Cry me a monsoon
Let's just get through the holidays
And the terrible twos
Christmas has passed
It's just yellow snow
Sometimes you gotta hear somethin'
That you already know

Nothin's gonna change here anytime soon
When it's all unpredictible, I can still count on you
Lookin' for the mailbox with the red balloons
I'll be late to the party, and I have an excuse
Cuz no one likes breakin' bad news
It's nothin' I'm wantin' to do
Not anytime, anytime soon


Counting Sheep

Closing my eyes, counting sheep
Gun in my mouth, trying to sleep
Everything ends, everything has to
Get-well balloon, going insane
Weight of the world, papier-mâché
Gone with the wind, out into nothing

I'm just trying to be easy, agreeable
I don't want to seem needy to anyone, including you

Little Louise drowned in a pool
Billy got killed walking to school
Hope it was slow, hope it was painful
Life is a gas, what can you do?
Catheter piss, fed through a tube
Cyst in the brain, blood on the bamboo
Highway to hell's littered with signs
Everything last thing they advertise
I want to buy, I want to sell too

But I don't want to seem greedy, I'm generous
I'm just trying to be pleasing to everyone, including you

Tomorrow is shining like a razor blade
And anything's possible if you feel the same

Early to bed, early to rise
Acting my age, waiting to die
Insulin shots, alkaline produce
Temperature's cool, blood pressure's fine
One-twenty-one over seventy-five
Scream if you want, no one can hear you

I just want to be easy, acceptable
I don't want to seem needy to anyone, especially you

Especially you
Especially you


The Rain Follows the Plow

Straight away I learned to pray
Heap praise upon the sky
You go to heaven when you die
But keep that lake of fire in mind
Broke all the rules at Catholic school
Turned to a life of crime
When I stole that motorbike
I left a trail of tears behind

Had casual sex
Smoked cigarettes
Threw caution to the wind
Was a winding path that I always plan to get back to you again

Till the ground 'neath thunderclouds
The rain follows the plow
But it was never as profound as I had wanted it to be
The birds, they sang the Rites of Spring
In summer's La-Z-Boy
I sat down to enjoy a world that's comfortable in green

A red feather hawk and a Celtic cross
I pierced into my ear
No matter where I went I meant to make my way back here

Well I don't need God or common law to tell me right from wrong
'Cause when you press me to your chest
I know where I belong


You All Loved Him Once

You all loved him once
And not without cause
He fed you through the winter
He led you through the fog
You hid behind his body to be sheltered from the mob
You all loved him once
And not without cause

You all loved him once
When his glory was unmatched
Your signal when to celebrate was the bugle of his laugh
Oh, when it came time to stand with him
You scattered with the rats
You all loved him once
That time has passed

You all loved him once
When the future was opaque
His reassuring visions were the pillars of your faith
Through a thousand false horizons
He would always fly it straight
You all loved him once
That turned to hate

You all loved him once
An uncommon love at that
What you saw as a pedestal
Was his elevated path
So to satisfy the Philistines
You stabbed him in the back
You all loved him once
Imagine that?

You all loved him once
Yes, you ate out of his hand
He mirrored your confusion
So that you might understand
Then your soul was an experiment
So he drew a diagram
You all loved him once
It ended bad

You all loved him once
And not without cause
He helped carry your baggage
When your strength was nearly gone
And though more and more was put on him
He tried his best to take it on
You all loved him once
Not without cause
You all loved him once
Now he is gone


A Little Uncanny

We started drinking the Kool-Aid
We were taking the bait
We were talking the big talk
Never playing it safe
Looking good as Jane Fonda
On a Vietnam tank
Can't get something for nothing
Have to energize your base

But she was young enough
She was blonde enough
She was 'bout a perfect ten
Had millions of admirers but not a single friend
And it's a, it's a little uncanny what she managed to do
Become a symbol for a pain she never knew

You know old Ronnie Reagan
He was a shoe salesman's son
He got himself in the movies
He impressed everyone
He thought trial by fire
Was America's fate
He made a joke of the poor people
And that made him a saint

But he was tan enough, he was rich enough
He was handsome like John Wayne
And there was no one at the country club
Who didn't feel the same

But it's a, it's a little uncanny
What he managed to do
Got me to read those Russian authors through and through

I miss Christopher Hitchens
I miss Oliver Sacks
I miss poor Robin Williams
I miss Sylvia Plath
Every morning's a desert
Every night is a flood
They say a party can kill you
Well sometimes I wish it would

But I'll get strong enough, I'll be man enough
To keep myself in check
'Cause all my friends that flew to town
Said that's what they expect

But it's a, it's a little uncanny
What they managed to do
Made me admit to things I knew were never true



To whom it may concern
The litter box has overflowed
The frozen dinner burned
Oh we're running low on wine, my man
Could you please swing by the store
My TV's just reality
And I can't watch no more

There's a shining diamond somewhere
Where a kid is strikin' out
His dad is in the dugout
He's foamin' at the mouth
A stomach's turnin' sour inside of a disappointed scout
Yeah he thought he'd found the real deal
But now he's got his doubts

So it's over before it began
But I could nurse you in the triage
I could stick you with some pins
But it's hopeless
These rules make no sense
First they say we can't be lovers
And now they say we can't be friends

This medicine don't work
Had that same thought ten thousand times
It's only gettin' worse
Swore off temptation
But what if it's what I really wanna do
But how could I apologize
For tellin' you the truth

There's a burned out light bulb above my head
That's stolen my ideas
There's a yearbook on the book shelf
That can't explain the years
Well I never should have signed it
But you know summer's comin' soon
When I almost drowned
You gave me mouth to mouth
Beside your neighbor's pool

It was over before it began
You could've left me in the water
But you made me live again
And I'm sorry
I can't pay you back
I wanna hold you 'til the world dissolves
But we just can't get attached