Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"This is Another Life"

Here are the lyrics for the songs of the next album. Punctuation is a little spotty

This beautiful collage by Arturo Medrano.

This is another life.


I have searched for such a long time
for a beast I have yet to find.
So I'll ask you
If you were a dove in a cloud of ravens
swirling as just one animal
would you deliver me safely
to your nest in the morning light?

And if you were a herd of ponies gathering
and I twisted my fingers into your mane
would you carry me on your back 
or trample me under your hooves?

And if you were the claws and the fangs
of a pack of wild wolves
would you keep me prisoner in your cave?
Would you teach me the proper way to live my life?

And if you were a swarm of newborn spiders
and I lay in your mother's silken trap
could I be the first flesh on which you dine?
On which you dine?

I have searched for such a long time
for a feast I have yet to find.
So I'll ask you
If you were the axe of the executioner
and I painted a new line for you on my face
would you carve me gently
right between my eyes?

If you came in disguised as desire
and I slipped my hands beneath your dress
would you fight for no reason?
Would you open your thighs?

And if you were the keeper of the constellations
would you invite me to visit you up in the sky?
Would we walk together, indivisible,
our movements making new maps in the night?

I felt like a burden and ran away. I apologize.
I won't follow the footprints you've left.
I will recover until I can recognize 
the taste of the feast, 
and the face of the beast I have yet to find.


I see the future in my lonely woman's eyes. 
I have seen that face before.
On the day I met you
On the day I left you
and on the day that I was born.
I am half alive
Will you carry me
if I should die?
Will you bury me?
I am outside
I thought I had the key
but I don't live here anymore,

I see the future in my lonely woman's eyes
Just like twin pieces of a broken crystal ball.
I will keep them to remind me 
of what happens when I lie
to myself and the ones who love me.
This house is mine
these walls were built by me
There's room inside
Who will fill it up with me?
Each room's on fire.
But which ones do I need?
There are just too many doors.

This may be the last song that I write. 
I hope I get it right.
I hope it gets easier.


Driving East through winter rains
on the way to meet ourselves.
We were drinking something mixed with champagne
toasting the future and our health.
You wouldn't roll me a cigarette
so I was steering with my knees.
While in the road ahead rain turned into snow
drifting through the open window silently.

Got into town and found a bed
and we lay down for a little while.
We rearranged our bodies
and became for a little while.
And all the distance between us
disappeared for a little while.
But when we came down 
it still felt like a thousand miles.

In the woods you were a faun
and I was following in your tracks.
Waiting for the moments in between
when you were looking back.
The morning canyon wind was so 
California cold
and so I let you wear my 
Midwestern hat.
Even then I must have known
in half a year you would be mailing it
Northwestern back.
From when you were the first.

Those days became some photographs 
I wish that I had not received. 
Became a distant past
at times impossible to believe.
But I will recall you on that trail
collecting memories of your own.
I will recall you draped in furs
and when you called me your home.
When you were the first
and the last thing on my mind.
The only thing on my mind.


Shake the hand of the man 
who told you lies.
"It will be all right."
And then it came to an end.
Shake the hand of the man
who tore it all apart.
I guess you needed to start
all over again.

And I know
it must have cut to the bone
when you lost your home
and the man you thought you knew.
And you might not believe it, old friend,
but it cut me too.

Shake the hand of the man 
who shook your walls
and made you crawl 
with a child in your arms.
Shake the hand of the man
who let you down
and then spread all your secrets
from town to town to town.

And I know 
it must have cut to the bone
when you lost everything
you thought you knew.
And you might not believe it, old friend,
but I lost everything too.

And you might not believe it old friend
when we lost everything we got everything.


Find a place that's safe and dry
make that your home.
When you're hungry
find some food
and eat it slowly.
And it sounds like sage advice
but no, it's not from me.
It's from Richard Brautigan.

Plant your poems in the garden 
and watch them grow.
Show your little ones
that you were once a little one.
And it sounds like sage advice
but no, it's not from me. 
It's from Richard Brautigan.

And I don't rest easier.
No, I don't rest easier
knowing you can write a story
just like I can write a song
when the words we say out loud
turn out all wrong.

And I don't rest easier.
No, I don't rest easier
knowing you can write a story
just like I can write a song
when the bones that carry us 
will soon be gone.


In this house of silk and lace
I am not lonely.
I am not angry.
Windows are my face.
My mother is with me.
My sisters are smiling
and laid out before me
I see my bride.

Leather on my feet.
Satin fingers gently holding
my softest places.
Unwrapping them sweetly
like petals unfolding at night.

In this house of sand and stone
I am alone. I am alone.
Curtains drawn and tied in place
I am peeking through windows.
My mother is empty.
My sisters are hungry
and my bride has never been born.

Leather on my feet.
Wooden fingers trying to keep me.
Scratching the wounds of my body.
Weaving wool all around me
keeping me safely outside.


I had a dream last night
of smashing a stone into another man's face.
There was nothing of his nose or his eyes or his teeth.
His blood splashed on my chest.
And as I hoisted the stone above my head
with your hand on my shoulder you spoke to me.
But I never did hear what you said.
A telephone rang.

And in Detroit, in an abandoned mansion
a policeman was strolling, he was warning me.
And at the foot of my bed he sat smiling, expectantly.
So I took the birthday belt from my jeans
slashing leather across his cheek.
As I swung and I swung once again
his skin bloomed like a flower hungry for the Spring.

I had a dream last night
I walked the road with my father's feet
and I could see everything I ever wanted
just floating in space.

I had a dream last night
of you on the floor on your hands and knees
and my fingers were strumming inside of you
and you had a microphone in your face.

I had a dream last night
you were on a train going East.
Over mountains and tunneling into the Earth
you had gone away.
And when you'd traveled as far as you could
you turned and looked back and you waited for me
but I was too fragile and frail to follow you
so I just waved like the sea.


I have just woken up
from a long winter of hibernation.
I have found that my hair has grown long
and my face is grey.
I lost a love
found a love
lost a love
and found another love
and I might lose one again.
You meet so many people in the road. 
That's how you make your enemies
and you might find some friends.

I hear that you're doing just fine.
I heard you had a little child?
Maybe now you will understand
and throw away your princess smile.
I would sure like to hear from you 
how you're doing
but I changed my name
my number and address.
But I haven't gone too far.
You can find me if you want to, I guess.

I wonder if there will come a day 
when I let my light shine?
I have shaded it from my own eyes
I wonder if it's still alive.
There was a time 
I could climb 
into the nearest tree
and see my future unfolding out up ahead.
Then I'd fall, just to find
that, foolishly, I'd tied
a noose around my head.


Pretend we are all alone now.
No one else is listening in.
Lay back in my arms.

The first time I saw you
I wanted to hold you.
I wanted to kiss you.
Can I kiss you now?
You say to me,
"You never have to ask."
Like the sun shining down on a frozen lake
to me, say it again.

And I have known witches. 
I have felt sorcery in my veins.
But your lips are whispering spells
and your fingers are magical wands.
And I have burned bridges.
I have stranded myself from the shore
and found what I held onto 
keeping me afloat
wasn't worth holding onto no more.
You say to me
"You never have to ask."
Like the winds of a thousand years 
on a mountain's face, say it again.

I waited for you, my love,
on the path of one hundred days. 
I prepared to receive you.
I prepared to believe my eyes.
The road may be long, my love.
There will be times when we can't find our way.
Would you like to come with me?
You say to me
"You never have to ask."
Like the shackles cut clean from the throat of a slave
to me, say it again. 

Say it again.
Say it again.
Oh, say it again!


I'm in the bed with you again. 
I hold your body just the way you like.
I have no plans for sleeping
so I didn't even kiss you goodnight.
I'm so afraid to close my eyes.
I'm terrified of what I'll dream about tonight.
Ain't it hard to be alone all the time?

When I get the chance,
I'l slip away into any other room
with the door shut tight.
And if you have any decency
then you'll pretend to be asleep so I can write.
I never made an enemy
who didn't fall in love with me for a while.
Ain't it hard to want to hold a disguise?
Ain't it hard to choose the truth from the lies?

If there is a boat-man left
come and take me, be my guide.
And lead me by the hand across the river
to the other side.
No coin in my mouth
but I hope to pay you for my ride
with a song
for my second saddest lover
may she still see the skies.

Well I don't know if the first one sang to me
and I don't know if the last one will sing to me.
But tonight we've had a little wine
and tonight we have a little time.
And tonight I am on your side.
Sing to me, in the dark.

Well, I heard you lost your instrument
to the father of your children
and until you get it back again
sing to me, in the dark.

You don't have to take your dress off 
to be my family for the night.
Let me wash this Spanish dust off of me.
We are not ghosts. 
We were never here at all.


I came to you in a suit made of ash
but you were already gone.
Laying on the beach
with the beast at your back.
His fingers were playing our song.
What was it you said when you came?
"What does it matter?
I've already given my soul."

I came to you in a suit made of a son
that I said I could never leave.
Nothing on my mind
but to have a little fun.
Or so I led you to believe.
What was it you said when you came?
"What does it matter? 
You've already given your soul."

I came to you in a suit made for leaving.
I let you do the rest.
Now there is another
with your hair in her fingers
and two new lips at your breast.
What was it you said when she came?
"What does it matter, 
I've already given my soul? 
This is another life."

1 comment:

  1. Excited about the forthcoming album. In my estimation, you've been making some of the most poignant music of the early 21st century. So far it seems to have gone somewhat unnoticed within the disparate cacophony of countless musical genres and voices-- most of them impetuous, callow, bad-- but one hopes that art of quality eventually surfaces above the dregs. Keep writing, keep honing and advancing, I'll keep listening. -Jason