Unrealeased material

SONGS FOR JULIETTE

01. WALKIN' 'ROUND THE ZOO

who really cares how I spend my time
I know I don’t as long as I’m feelin’ fine
I like to walk around places that are new
one day I found myself down at the zoo

one day I found myself lookin’ at a ga-noo
and I discovered what I like best to do

when I got │nothin’ else to do
I like walkin’ ’round the zoo

they got cages of monkeys and go-rillas too
polar bears and leopards and kangaroos
I don’t know what kind of animal I might be
if I had to choose I probably say a lemur or a tree

I like the bears and the penguins that smile
but I wouldn’t want to be a crocodile

when I got │nothin’ else to do
I like walkin’ ’round the zoo

I like to gaze upon the coyote
he’s always got trick up his sleeve for me
I know he’s lonely, I know I would be
someday I’ll come down here at night and set him free

and maybe the flamingos would like to fly away
they say flamingos cannot fly
but who can say

when I got nothin’ else to do
I like walkin’ ’round the zoo

02. THE GARDEN WALL

who are you
who am I
who are we
and where is the sky

where is the moon
does she like the sun
are they good friends
do they have someone

to teach them about
the shadow and the light
about the day and night
all the things we cannot see
they’re a mystery

but this I know
we’re so small
we’re almost
not here at all

then again
we’re so tall
we can see
over the garden wall

03. DRUNK AS A SKUNK & MAD AS A HATTER

Mrs. Black and Mr. Blue
went down to the lumber yard
got some tape, got some glue
and built themselves a house of cards

they had a pot of wild spuds
and a bag of thistles
they put them on their breakfast plates
and swallowed them down – slick as a whistle

Brother Brown and Sister Green
liked to go to crazy places
like Hollywood and Yosemite
with crazy smiles on their faces

they always tried to pit their wits
against the fools but it never mattered
cause all the fools were much too cool
drunk as a skunk and mad as a hatter

Aunt Red and Uncle White
lived far away – down the street
in a house that late at night
got up and walked around on a pair of feet

now Aunt Red and Uncle White
looked out the window one night
and saw some trees passing by
as fast as greased lightning

Grandma Purple and Grandpa Yellow
they liked to take it slow
their lives were so mellow
it took them years for their ears to grow

they didn’t eat meat or ve-ja-ta-bulls
so they lived on juice
when they walked around their legs looked like
they were falling off – they were loose as a goose

04. ONE IS FOR THE TURTLE

one is for the turtle
who likes to live alone
and he sleeps in the sand (in the sand)
he’s the oldest creature in the whole wide world
he’s a real old man

two is for the pair of doves
who believe in love
they stay together all the time (all the time)
thru all kinds of weather
they never lose a feather
they go coo-coo – they’re feeling fine

three is for the bears
who live in the woods
mama, papa, little bear – they all lend a hand
they look for honey
in the tops of the trees
they are the family of the land

four is for the buffalo
I don’t know where they are
they seemed to have vanished in the haze (in the haze)
but someday they’ll return
and we will say welcome back
hey – hey these are happy days

05. ONE LESS KANGAROO IN THE ZOO

41 penguins in the snow
one said to the others – I gotta go
somewhere south where the popcorns grow
one less penguin in the snow

13 blackbirds in the tree
one said to the others – hey look at me
he flew around upside down
one less blackbird in the tree

23 turkeys dancing in the straw
one said to the others as he played a singing saw
I think I’ll take my hat down to Panama
one less turkey in the straw

one hundred hedgehogs rolling in the hay
one said to the others – I cannot stay
you all say I’m old and in the way
one less hedgehog in the hay

2 kangaroos in the Zoo
one said to the other – I don’t know ’bout you
but I think I’ll hop over to Timbucktoo
one less kangaroo in the zoo

06. DID YOU EVER SEE A CAT

did you ever see a cat
that looked like a bat
that flew around in the sky
like a big butterfly
well, I can tell you that
it was probably not a cat

did you ever see a dog
that looked like a frog
did he talk like a hog
did he roll like a log
I can safely say
it was probably not a dog

did you ever see a sheep
driving a jeep
speeding down the road
with a load of toads
just between you and me
it was probably not a sheep

did you ever see a cow
with heavy eyebrows
who drank a lot of milk
did she have boots of silk
I can tell you now
it was probably not a cow

did you ever see a goat
floating in a boat
blowing on the sails
as he delivered the mail
you might want to make a note
it was probably not a goat

07. FINN THE FISH

this is the story of Finn the Fish
she went swimming in the creek one day
that’s where she was born in
and that’s where she wanted to stay

but as she grew longer
and she grew stronger
the creek was too small to play in
so Finn the Fish floated away

Finn the Fish was a-mazed
swimming into a stream
so many new things – oh happy days
she was swimming in a dream

but her eyes grew larger as the days went by
she dreamed about a place that was larger than an eye
the stream was too small to play in
so Finn the Fish floated away

she came to a rushing river
the water was fast and wide
fishermen with their fishing poles
standing on the river side

the poles had lines and the lines had hooks
the hooks had worms and she didn’t like their looks
the river was too dangerous to play in
so Finn the Fish floated away

she came to a blue blue ocean
larger than the green green land
wide and deep it had no end
she said maybe I will find a friend

she found a friend and what is more
soon there were two and three and four
they all got together and made a wish
that’s the story of Finn the Fish

08. THE MOON AND THE MERMAID

what happened to the moon
of the drunk baboon
who fell down on his knees?
oh it’s right where it’s supposed to be
there’s nobody here but me (and the moon)
nobody here but me

what happened to the crow
from the medicine show
is he still hanging out in the tree?
oh he’s right where he’s supposed to be
there’s nobody here but me (and the crow)
nobody here but me

where is the bat
who lives in my hat
and sleeps from four to three
oh he’s right where he’s supposed to be
there’s nobody here but me (and the bat)
nobody here but me

where’s that lady bug who lives in the rug?
she’s gone, she’s a mystery
oh she’s right where she’s supposed to be
there’s nobody here but me (and the bug)
nobody here but me

where’s that mouse who lives in the house
and stays all year for free?
oh he’s right where he’s supposed to be
there’s nobody here but me (and the mouse)
nobody here but me

what happened to the ghost of the burnt toast
who hides in the chim-ma-knee
oh he’s right where he’s supposed to be
there’s nobody here but me (and the ghost)
nobody here but me

what happened to the dog
was he swallowed by the fog
and became a coy-o-tee
no he’s right where he’s supposed to be
there’s nobody here but me (and the dog)
nobody here but me

what happened to the sheep
who walked in his sleep
and danced the old tai chi
oh he’s right where he’s supposed to be
there’s nobody here but me (and the sheep)
nobody here but me

what happened to the cat
who sang a low B-flat
when we saw him on MTV
oh she’s right where she’s supposed to be
there’s nobody here but me (and the cat)
nobody here but me

where’s that pair
of mermaid underwear
I fished out of the sea?
oh it’s right where it’s supposed to be
there’s nobody here but me (and the mermaid)
nobody here but me

09. RED RUBBER BALL

I had a red rubber ball
I bounced it against the wall
it came back to me, it came back to me
I was glad I could see

IMPOSSIBLE CREATURES

1. THE PUMALOWEENA

pad pad poom poom
here’s the Pumaloweena
he comes from the faraway land
of Halloweena

his feet are floating
they don’t touch the ground
it’s with his mouth
he makes this sound
pad pad poom poom

the Pumaloweena

2. THE HUMPBACK BUMBLE BEEF

bump bump thump thump
the Humpback Bumble Beef
he comes from the Forest
of the Muddy Maple Leaf

he had leaky faucets
in the middle of his eyes
they drip wild honey
whenever he cries
bump bump thump thump
the Humpback Bumble Beef

3. THE DOPE-A-LOPE

trip trip mope mope
it’s the Dope-a-Lope
he comes from the Mountains
of the Slippery Slope

he’d like to be a bird
a real high flyer
a Seagulleagle
that’s his one desire

trip trip mope mope
the Dope-a-Lope

13. THE BUFFALOON

here he comes – the Buffaloon
playing on his harp
a Ragin Cajun tune
playing on his harp
and singing at the moon

he comes from the Bayou
where the Chapatoolas dance
to the old Cherobeekeeper chants
he don’t know if it’s midnight or noon
Buffaloon

there he goes
down the road
nibblin’ on a wheel
of cheese a-la-mode
there he goes
I hope he comes back soon
the Buffaloon

4. THE PANDALLAMA

flim flam pim pam
Pandallama
she comes from the Island
of Roma-Rama

for bamboo shoots
and funky fruits
she gets dressed up
in a monkey suit

flim flam pim pam
Pandallama

5. THE KANGAROOSTER

hip hop rock-a-doodle-doo
it’s the Kangarooster
he comes from the Desert
of Timbucktoo, sir

he drives to the oasis
in an Alabamobile
he’s a noodle
a real slow wheel

hip hop rock-a-doodle-doo
it’s the Kangarooster

6. THE ELEPHANTOWHALE

oh hail! – the Elephantowhale
he comes from the big ocean
the Bordeaux and Beaujolais Sea
even pepperoni sausages will agree
oh hail! – the Elephantowhale

7. THE LEOPARMADILLO

hey-oh, hey-oh bar bar
the Leoparmadillo
he comes from the Dusty Hills
of Chill-a-Pillow

you don’t mess with him
he’s got a chimney on his chin
coat hanger glasses
and a gobble gobble grin

hey-oh, hey-oh bar bar
the Leoparmadillo

8. THE CHIMPANZEEBRA

ooh woh ooh wah wah
make way for the Chimpanzeebra
he comes from the Jungle
of Jimbolah

he’s up to no good
with his tom tom drums
he’s a total dumb mumble
when it comes to chewing gums

whim wham ooomp-pah pah
the Chimpanzeebra
whim wham ooomp-pah pah
the Chim-Chim-Chim-Chim-Chim
Chimpanzeebra

9. THE HIPPOCRITTER

flip flop bip bop
this is the Hippocritter
he comes from the Whispering Cave
of the Gossip Pinch Hitter

he’s a laughing gas balloon
he’s moondog spit
he’s a useless goon, he’s a baby boom
don’t let him be you baby sitter

flip flop bip bop
stay away from the Hippocritter

10. THE PIGUANA

ho ho here we go
say hello to the Piguana
he comes from the city
of the Big Priga-a-Donna

he’s a merry, merry mischief maker
he’s a quasar quaker
sleep awaker, salt shaker
prone to the swoon
when he gazes upon the moon
so give that little shaver
a buffalo bassoon

ho ho say hello
to the Piguana

11. THE ALLIGATORPEDO

wait wait go slow
here comes the Alligatorpedo
he lives in the river
called the Ho-Ho-Ho-Ho-Holy Toledo

he used to have a friend
– a Grizzley Squid
but that was long ago
you don’t want to know
what the squid did

it was so ghastly
in the greased pig parade
oh no – there he goes
the Alligatorpedo

12. THE SALAMANDERGANDER

zoom zoom nom de plume
it’s the Salamandergander
he comes from the lake
called the Ruff-Ruff Dander

he makes good eating
if you catch him while he’s a-snooze
you’ll like the underarmageddon
perfume he uses

zoom zoom nom de plume
it’s the Salamandergander

01. ANGEL MOON

look at you, Angel Moon
looking down at me
tell me, Angel Moon
what do you see?

you got me in your eye
you got me in your light
you got me humming an ancient tune
show me the way, my old Angel Moon

you keep rolling round
thru a sky full of stars
and the wink of a distant plane
you keep rolling down
thru the mist and the rain

when times were hard
and the streets were cold
and the nights would never end
you were by my side
you were my only friend

on a hot summer night
I see you on the rise
floating up like a big red balloon
oh my, my old Angel Moon

and you keep rolling around
you keep rolling round
yes you do
you keep reflecting your light
in the late-night dew

and sometimes I see you
shining so pale
in the late afternoon
look at you, my Angel Moon

some say your name
is Queen of the Night
and some say it’s Claire de Lune
but to me you always be
my old Angel Moon

[ May 2003 ]

02. ANOTHER AMERICA

he turned from the city, from its laws and its rules
turned away from its history, lessons learned in school
and he walked out across the fields of Birmingham
past the gravestones of Korea, Iraq and Vietnam
past the bloody snow where Crazy Horse died at Wounded Knee
where they buried his heart in another century
past the tracks of wagon wheels, of tears and of toil
past the holes the miners dug for silver, gold and oil
where the dust bowl winds blew away the soil
into the Rio Grande of Another America

he came to a bridge blocked by dogs of war and birds of prey
then the wolves came around and chased them all away
and he walked across that bridge and disappeared from view
his face was soon forgotten and his footprints vanished too
now he lives across the river in a place that has no name
no roads, no fences, nothing looks the same
as it did back home where he was born and raised
here the trees don’t grow in rows and the sun measures the days
this is a wilderness that no one knows
far beyond the horizon in Another America

he traveled to the north into Canadian snows
or was it south across the border down into Mexico?
now he lives on a mountain up among the clouds
far away from the ceaseless crush of the crowds
he sings « Blowin’ in the Wind » and « Goodnight Irene »
his harp is tuned to chords he picked up in a dream
he lifts his voice to the sky
where only the crows can hear him cry
and sometimes they can hear his laughter’s joyful scream
« Hey! Hey! I live in Another America. »

he left on a ship sailed across the sea
left behind a thousand friends and a million memories
he came to a land where they spoke the ancient runes
the Celtic speech of old Bardic tunes
and he walked across the sacred ground
where the priests of the pagans gathered around
a fire in the night on a tower of stone
and they showed him where they’d buried his ancestor’s bones
and he found peace of mind and it felt like coming home
so he stayed – now he lives in Another America

03. AVE MARIA (JACK'S PRAYER)

when the day meets the night
I will fear no more
I will be with my lord, oh lord

when the angles touch the sky
and open up the golden door
I will be with my lord, oh lord

Mother Mary help me please
get me off these folded knees
I don’t care anymore, anymore

oh Madonna you know the way
light the path with your laughter
and the words that make us pray

all you saints keep coming ’round
checking out the common ground
between me and my lord

he says: where was Moses when the lights went out
I say: In the dark, he says: just about
oh lord, my lord

04. BACK OFF BLUES

back off blues
back off blues
give me some room
I’ve had enough
of your god-forsaken gloom

I’ll give you a minute
maybe two
so go and do your worst
do what you gotta do

then back off blues
back off blues
leave me alone
I can make it
I can make it on my own

I don’t like the look from the corner of your eye
I don’t want to lie down and die
I don’t want to make anybody cry
you can do your fancy dancing then say goodbye

and get the hell out of here today
I’ve got some living to do
and you’re in the way

back off blues
back off blues
don’t you have some other place to be?
the face you should be
dragging down it ain’t me

I’ll give you a minute
maybe two
so go and do your worst
do what you gotta do

05. BACKDOOR TROUBADOUR

generation upon generation, right down the line
running scared running blind most of the time
you try to get along, you try to ignore
the black clouds sneaking up, pouring thru your door

they went to church on Sunday, it was just routine
checking in with Jesus, hoping they were clean
then they went out on Monday and cut down the trees
dug up old Mother Earth, did exactly what they pleased

generation upon generation, right down the line
running scared running blind most of the time
you try to get along, you try to ignore
the black clouds sneaking up, pouring thru your door

and what’ya gonna do with this backdoor troubadour?
he’s wondering how you’re going to survive
in a world alive with all those dead beats on your floor
those guys who say, « It takes too many years
to make friends with your fears »

generation upon generation, right down the line
running scared running blind most of the time
you try to get along, you try to ignore
the black clouds sneaking up, pouring thru your door

then one day you do it, you punch right thru that cloud
and there you are on the other side in the middle of a crowd
they’re singing about redemption, singing about the seasons
circles and living in peace most of the time
circles and talking it slow,
keeping your balance but they still don’t know
what they’re gonna do with that backdoor troubadour

oh what’ya gonna do with this backdoor troubadour?
he keeps saying, « Oh no, you can’t ignore
the black clouds sneaking up and pouring thru your door
what’ya gonna do with this backdoor troubadour?

06. BETTER RAINY DAYS

the sun might be shining, it might be ablaze
but my eyes are filled with fog and smoky haze
and now I feel the heat coming on in waves
and it feels like a total eclipse is on the way
I’ve seen better rainy days
I’ve seen better rainy days

and it feels like a total eclipse is on the way
I’ve seen better rainy days
I’ve seen better rainy days

you say it’s just another day like yesterday
and the day before that
you might be right in everything you say
but I’ve got a touch of blue down in my soul
and I cannot make a move standing in a hole

I’ve seen the church where Jesus saves
it’s going out of business, it’s in its last phase
I’ve seen the devil dancing on his grave
they say that god works in mysterious ways
I’ve seen better rainy days
I’ve seen better rainy days

they say that god works in mysterious ways
I’ve seen better rainy days
I’ve seen better rainy days

you can pepper me with promises, keep me amazed
you can tumble my heart, tickle me with praise
you can pepper me with promises, keep me amazed
you can tumble my heart, tickle me with praise
I’ve seen better rainy days
I’ve seen better rainy days

you can tumble my heart, tickle me with praise
I’ve seen better rainy days
I’ve seen better rainy days

07. BEYOND BELIEF

we’re all so delicate and fragile
it’s beyond belief

this is our life
we can’t deny it
it’s beyond belief

we need so much love
it’s beyond belief
we need so much love, cher
it’s beyond belief

it’s tearing me apart, cher
it’s breaking my heart
we need so much love and care
we need so much relief

we need so much love
it’s beyond belief
we need so much love, cher
it’s beyond belief

08. THE BLACK OAK TREE

it was planted in the night
on a rain and windy night
where the Raven River flows to the sea
it sprouted from the earth
where the Rose of Sharon grows
you know it was a Black Oak Tree

yes it sprouted from the soil
the damp and leafy soil
and it grew into the shape of a man
and its arms reached to the sky
the dark and starry sky
and the clouds passing by touched its hands

in the village on the hill
above the water mill
lived a preacher’s daughter fine and fair to see
the maiden’s name was Rose
she was seventeen years old
when she heard about the Black Oak Tree

it was said that witches dance
on midsummer’s night
when the Raven River flows to the sea
I believe I shall go down
said fair Maiden Rose
I shall go and see the Black Oak Tree

she rode a big white horse
her father’s stallion horse
twice ten hands high and saddle free
until she came to the place
where she saw her face
in the leaves of the Black Oak Tree

the village people knew
the ancient tale was true
of children lost to evil sorcery
they came down and gathered round
the moonlight on the ground
in the shadow of the Black Oak Tree

they saw the horse rise to stand
and change into a man
fair in face and proud was his stance
then he took Rose’s hand
they joined mortal hands
and they danced beneath the Black Oak Tree

then they lay down upon
the damp and leafy ground
there was love in their eyes for all to see
and then they disappeared
into the shadow cast upon
the ground by the Black Oak Tree

and when the moon was cloud clear
only Rose re-appeared
she was quite alone without a horse or man
and she wore no clothes
only bells upon her toes
and silver rings on the fingers of her hands

oh it’s witchcraft they said
the devil’s in her head
he’s taken her soul and there can be
only one true hope
so they took out a rope
and tied her to the Black Oak Tree

then they gathered twigs of wood
dead branches and straw
and they piled it all at her feet
then the preacher raised a flame
said a prayer to god’s law
and he burned down the Black Oak Tree

years and years went by
the village people died
the church and the houses fell to ruin
but the mem’ry of Maiden Rose
lingered in the River’s flow
when touched by the midsummer moon

one day a raven flying by
looked down from the sky
and a pile of white ashes he did see
he flew down and there he found
growing from the ground
the leaf of a Black Oak Tree

and they say late at night
in the pale moon’s light
when the Raven River flows to the sea
a maiden rises from the ground
the damp and leafy ground
to dance around the Black Oak Tree

09. BLIND DATE APOCALYPSE

watching bombs falling on the TV screen
people shouting words they don’t know the meaning of
nobody’s winning, everybody’s losing their heads
we’ll soon be sleeping in the arms of the Grateful Dead

The ships are sailing from the dark side of the moon
creatures are crawling from the black lagoon
there’s gonna be a hurricane, gonna be a hullabaloo
there’s gonna be a high tide coming down upon the human zoo

I was banging on the cage but they wouldn’t let me out
I had a blind date with Destiny & Doubt
I knew I was screwed when I saw them throw away the key
this is prime time, baby, this is what you get for free

I showed up late at the Halfway Café
checked out the faces that we’re looking my way
then I saw my blind date sucking on a can of Gatorade
she had a white cane & shades and a black hand grenade

there was shouting in the street, people going insane
a bus exploded and the sky started to rain
buckets of blood and men in parachutes
they were wearing gas masks and camouflage combat boots

they pressed against the window and they pointed at me
I knew they’d come to take me to Eternity
then they slammed thru the front door, razors on their fingertips
like I said before this was a blind date apocalypse

I was lucky to get out of there and make my get-away
they were hard on my heels, my white cane and shades
I jumped in a taxi, the driver said « where do you want to go? »
I said anywhere but here, get me off this skid death row

(he said: I see you’re on a)
prime time, blind date apocalypse
prime time, blind date apocalypse
prime time, blind date apocalypse

(welcome to the)
prime time, blind date apocalypse
prime time, blind date apocalypse
prime time, blind date apocalypse

10. THE BOOK OF LOVE

1.

I lay my hand on the book of love
and swear I’ll never reach the end
I read about the magical dance
of chance and cosmic laughter

I read until a darkened door
opens wide into the night
I read until my shadow
is swallowed by the light of the moon

2.

I read until I see my eyes
look back from every page
I see my face between the lines
and hear my voice, a double bass,
escape from in between the quotes
and knock aside parentheses
I trill my tongue, the book of love
speaks back to me in the language
of the birds and the bees

3.

I read until the seasons turn
and twelve tumbles into one
I roll from June into July
I hold my thumb up to the moon

I read until I fall asleep
and dream of you and me
I see you writing the book of love
and I believe what I see

11. BOY AND GIRL (PLANET EARTH)

somewhere tonight on Planet Earth
a boy walks away with tears in his eyes
a girl stays behind with a broken heart
and she cries

her tears are made of glass. her tears fall down
the boy’s far away but he can hear them hit the ground
he can see them in the air, he reaches out with his eyes

and that’s the way it goes on Planet Earth
round and round from sadness into joy
from happiness to sorrow
the story of a girl and a boy

it’s the seventh night on Planet Earth
the other six are gone, lost in passing time
slipped between the fingers
on the strings of a song

but the boy still remembers as the river flows by
deep beneath the water, the girl’s face of glass
falls apart
and she’s gone

and that’s the way it goes on Planet Earth
round and round from sadness into joy
from happiness to sorrow
the story of a girl and a boy

seven years go by, let’s take away the girl
and now she lives on the far side of the world
but the boy has not forgotten down in the subway
where he plays « Sweet Marie, Please Come Back to Me »

his guitar is out of tune, there’s but a dime in his cup
but his song reaches out across the oceans waves
and the girl in New York City
she starts to cry

and that’s the way it goes on Planet Earth
round and round from sadness into joy
from happiness to sorrow
the story of a girl and a boy

12. BRIGHT EYED CHILD

it’s the middle of my journey
thru a life of constant changes
I find myself surrounded
by children with dead eyes

and tho the world is filled with wonder
they don’t want to know it
or maybe it’s just the fashion
to not be surprised

so I sit down by the roadside
and watch the passing faces
of the children dragging roses
in the dust – and then I see

one bright eyed child
like a light in the darkness
he’s sitting quietly
across from me

it’s just one bright eyed child
to a thousand dead-eyed children
that’s a lot of frowning faces
for just a single smile

but I’ll celebrate that smile
in the face of the wasteland
of a thousand dead-eyed children
I praise the bright-eyed child

as I gather up the years
as I wander thru the wasteland
I leave behind a trail
of broken friendships in the dust

and as the dust gets deeper
I begin to wonder
what happened to the bright-eyed child
that lived in each of us

[ Budapest, Hungary, summer 1974 ]

13. (the thing that goes) BUMP IN THE NIGHT

there’s a thing bumping around in the night
if you look into his face
you will never be the same again
he’s a shadow on the wall and he’s coming to get you
and he knows every hiding place
and he’s calling out your name again

just when you’ve got that thing that goes bump in the night beat
just when you’re back on your feet
he comes sneaking ’round when you got your back turned
gets you from behind
knocks you off your feet just one more time

he’s a beast of burden, creature of confusion
howling at the moon
he needs a piece of you to survive
he’s got you double-thinking, got you second-guessing
dancing to his tune
you’ll be lucky to get out of here alive

just when you’ve got that thing that goes bump in the night beat
just when you’re back on your feet
he comes sneaking ’round when you got your back turned
gets you from behind
knocks you off your feet just one more time

he’s like a long, long snake slipping thru your fingers
crossing all your border lines
he’s got you crying out loud for the light of day
he’s looking for trouble and you know he’s found it
when he crawls right your spine
and your scream can be heard from a mile away

just when you’ve got that thing that goes bump in the night beat
just when you’re back on your feet
he comes sneaking ’round when you got your back turned
gets you from behind
knocks you off your feet just one more time

14. BURIAL AT SEA

take me out to the edge of the sky
fill me with laughter and a lopsided smile
roll down the rugs that cloud my eyes
I want to dance with the whales for a while

turtles are falling on the roof
crabs are fiddling with a low tide shoe string
mermaids are singing as they carry aloof
the last of the sling-shot hot-time kings

they love their load, we all love his queen
who stands in the background strumming a fork
with drinking-straw legs, her skull filled with steam
her face a bottle plugged up with a cork

there’s nothing to see past the first double take
a blur of fur and four fast feet
and skid marks of snake heat when she puts on the brakes
then it’s back to the end of the line for another repeat

there’s a message in a bottle from fourteen hundred
and ninety-two shipwrecked sailors on a rock
a stone’s throw away from the village they plundered
« our time is up, no more shall we count
the clicks of the clock, »

the hour hand’s on four, the minute’s on ten
the sweepers are going from attic to bathroom
3 big women, 2 little men
5 golden rings, one whisky broom

it’s nothing to blink at, nothing to praise
just obvious tea cups filled with grins
that take you deeper into the maze
past the point where you’ll survive
by doing tricks with your chin

the sweepers are going from room to room
chances are slim you’ll come back the same
ceaseless if disconnected at last from the tomb
caneless if blind, crutchless if lame

so drain me away to the far flung sea
measure me with mystery, weigh me with wonder
slip me away between the sheets
over the top and all the way under

Amsterdam, Nov. 20, 2006

15. CARD IN THE HOLE

Mephistopheles was gambling for his soul
he had four cards showing, one card in the hole
might’ve made a full house, or four of a kind
he kept raising the bets, left us all behind
and even today we still don’t know
if he could’ve been beat cause he never did show
that card in the hole
that card in the hole
that card in the hole

Mona Lisa had the boys running down her list of trials
she had a lady’s liberation movement in her smile
but then she started preaching politics
and the politicians got her with a few card tricks
she’d still be running with the boys today
and she’d still be smiling if she had not played
her card in the hole
her card in the hole
her card in the hole

it might be an ace or something wild
like a one-eyed jack with a side-ways smile
or it might be garbage or throw-away stuff
no one knows unless they call your bluff
and no one cares if no one knows
and right about there I almost showed you
my card in the hole
my card in the hole
oh that in the hole

16. CAT MAN DOO DAN

Bean Pole Rattle Bone went down to Italy
Bean Pole Rattle Bone went down in Rome
(Bean Pole Rattle Bone went down to Italy
Bean Pole Rattle Bone went down in Rome)

Loogaroo Two lived on the top floor
of the House of the Hippies and the Freaks
(Loogaroo Two lived on the top floor
of the House of the Hippies and the Freaks)

Bojangle Jungle Jim danced in the Mardi Gras
up in Venice where they got a big creek
(Bojangle Jungle Jim danced in the Mardi Gras
up in Venice where they got a big creek)

oh lordy!
Bojangle Jungle Jim
oh lordy!
jump down
oh lordy!
hop around hop around
oh lordy!
Bojangle Jungle Jim

Cat Man Doo Dan went up to London
Cat Man Doo Dan had a cup of tea
(Cat Man Doo Dan went up to London
Cat Man Doo Dan had a cup of tea)

Jumpin’ Jehosafat jumped in the river
swam back to the bridge and did it again
(Jumpin’ Jehosfat jumped in the river
swam back to the bridge and did it again)

They all gathered around, the hippies and the freaks
what happened to the Cat . . . Man Doo Dan?
(They all gathered around, the hippies and the freaks
what happened to the Cat . . . Man Doo Dan?)

oh lordy!
Cat Man Doo Dan
oh lordy!
jump down
oh lordy!
hop around hop around
oh lordy!
Cat Man Doo Dan

What happened to the man
Cat Doo Dan
what happened to the man

what happened to the girl
Pop Top Pearl
what happened to the girl

what happened to the boy
Pop Up Toy
what happened to the boy

what happened to the dog
what dog? what dog?
what happened to the dog?

oh lordy!
what dog? what dog?
oh lordy!
jump down
oh lordy!
hop around hop around
oh lordy!
what dog? what dog?

17. CHINATOWN BLUE

blue neon light in the deep white fog
blue neon light in the fog
blue neon light in the fog
not a single night owl
you’re the only late night dog

go down the steps you’ll always find a booth
in Wooie Looie Gooie’s Underground
in Wooie Looie Gooie’s Underground
at 3 am it’s the only place to eat in Chinatown

a bowl of beef rice for 25 cents
sliced green onions on the side
a tin pot of tea for a dime
go back to the kitchen
stand in the steam heat line

back on the streets, back in the fog
walking round in Chinatown
walking in Chinatown
at 4 a.m. you’re the only white boy around

Chinatown blue
Chinatown blue neon light in the deep white fog
deep down in Chinatown
at 4 a.m. you’re the only white boy around

18. CITY LIGHTS

going down to San Francisco
be a Bohemian too
going down to San Francisco
be a Bohemian too
North Beach
Broadway and Columbus Avenue

I knew a guy in San Francisco
he had a string of girls
I knew a guy in San Francisco
he had a string of girls
it started on Market
went clear around the world

I had a girl in my closet
a girl under my bed
I had a girl in my closet
a girl under my bed
I believed in a woman
I got fooled instead

I believed in a woman
I got fooled instead
I believed in a woman
I got fooled instead
those beatnik chicks
love to fuck up your head

City Lights
that’s the place I’m headed for
City Lights
that’s the place I’m headed for
get my education
down on their basement floor

going down to San Francisco
be a Bohemian too
going back to San Francisco
be a Bohemian too
North Beach
Broadway and Columbus Avenue

19. CLASS REUNION 2017

1.
here’s to you, Betty
you’re a part of who I am
all the way back to the 4th grade
you were the singer
I was the guy who played trombone

and here’s to you, Karen
you took my hand
led me off the playground field
bloody knees and tears
to the nurse in Room Nine

memories are falling down
like a song line (like a broken line)

2
Hey there, Cullen,
you were the heart and soul
of the undefeated (Greyhound) football team

Eddie you pitched the fast balls
Howard you hit the homeruns

and greetings to you Ann
standing side by side
last names together at the end of the line
folk dance, fire drill, driver’s ed
all the way to graduation night of our senior year

memories are falling down
between far and near

3.
Bob, do you remember the night we played
a dozen ukuleles on the drama club stage
26 Miles Across the Sea to Catalina

and Jim McLen, if I knew then
what I know now
we would’ve talked for hours
maybe become friends

memories are falling down
between the now and then

4.
Phyllis and Jo-Jo Ann
the girlfriends I never had
you were too old for me then
you’re too young for me now

hey there, Pete, it’s been a great life
you’re my oldest constant friend upon this earth
70 years and counting
we never thought we’d live half this long

memories are falling down
like the words of a blue song

5.
Shirley, Nadine, Norman and Jake
we grew up together, we made our mistakes
and became who we are

and Tom and Gail, Lauretta, Mary Ann
Jimmy and Timmy. LaVerne and Lillian
all of you who’ve passed away
hello from all of us
on this reunion day

memories are falling down
like ashes and dust

6.
8th of July 2017
Hello to all of you from across the sea
I wish I could be with you
On this reunion day

Maybe next summer
I’ll be coming your way
Who can say?
We’ll get together
One more time, we’ll dance in a line
Do you wanna dance?
Do you? Do you? Do you wanna dance?

20. COUNTRY FLAVOR

make it short, make it sweet
but make sure it’s a country song
you can play the juke box all night long
from the jokers and the truckers
and the old heartbreakers
just make sure it’s got a country flavor

when the moon falls around
and the music calls for you
and you waltz into the midnight dew
sing the songs that you learned
when you were a shaver
those old songs with a strong country flavor

take you fiddle and your banjo
and tune them to the key
of the mountains, the valleys and the sea
gather your family and your friends
and don’t forget the neighbors
give them all that fine country flavor

if it’s music you must play do yourself a favor
play the tunes that got that old country flavor

21. CROSSROAD MAN

let me be your lover, let me be your crossroad man
let me be your lover, let me be your crossroad man
I’ll get down on my knees and put myself at your command

meet me at midnight down by the crossing sign
meet me at midnight down by the crossing sign
guide me across that deep, dark border line

I’ll sign your papers, tell me what you want me to do
I’ll sign your papers, tell me what you want me to do
put me under your spell now, teach me how to sing the blues

Let me be your rider, take me on a full moon ride
Let me be your rider, take me on a full moon ride
take me to the edge, let me see the other side

22. THE CROW

there’s a place where I go
late at night when there’s nobody
calling out my name
or ringing my phone
oh no, I’m alone

there’s an old photograph of a crow
on my table and he’s looking out at me
as if to say don’t look at me and pretend
I’m not your friend

and sometimes a moth
comes thru my window
and flies around my lamp
until he gets tired
and lies down to die

and the crow looks down
at the moth turning around
on my table and he says
don’t look at me we’re all the same
we’re all to blame

and I came into this world alone
and I know I will leave it the same
there’s no use in calling out my name
I’ll be gone with the crow
and we’ll be alone

[ January 2, 2010 ]

23. DANCING ON THE BACK BEAT

1.
when you’re standing on your back feet there’s nothing you can do but mambo
but when you’re riding on the back beat there’s plenty of places to go
you can go to the bai-yo and get yourself a bai-yo mojo
you can go down to Mexico and come back poco loco

you can go to the north and go ride a bull in a rodeo
you can go to the south and get mixed up with a lobo
you can go to the east and become a Zen monk in Tokyo
you can go to the west and become a shooting star in a movie show

you can go any place you feel like going
where the music’s like a river and the river is flowing
where the drums are beating and the bagpipes are blowing
and people are dancing to Cotton-Eye Joe
when you’re riding on the back beat there’s plenty of places to go

2.
in Paris you can run thru the streets and pretend you’re Quasimodo
you can prowl around London explore the corner pockets of Soho
you can run the Boston Marathon, you can do it all in slo-mo
you can water ski the ocean from the French Riviera to Rio

you can take it to Jerome, you can bring it home to Bobalina
she’s a jelly belly dancer, she’s an old soft shoe ballerina
you can ride a rollercoaster holding hands with Miss Pasadena
but the Tunnel of Love will take you to the heart of Tipatina

she’ll get behind the wheel of her Love Supreme
and drive you all the way to Halloween
she will be Norma Jean, you can be James Dean
so pump another dollar in the record machine
when you’re dancing on the back beat there’s plenty of things to do

3.
when you’re dancing on the back beat there’s plenty of things to do
you can do the hokey-pokey, fandango-tango, do the boogaloo
you can do the polkadot.com, you can do the funky kangaroo
do the hulahoop-a-hula can can cha cha voodoo

do the gallis pole swing, do the 2-step double shot
go poppin’, go jerkin’ swag surfin’ all over the parking lot
you can slap, you can slam, do the 21st century fox trot
C Walkin’, Cat Daddy, Gravy Train, Louisiana Hot Spot

you can ride a red horse into a black and white movie
take a midnight ride with a girl name Groovy
in a rag top Cocomobile in the rain
down the Moonlight Mile to Lover’s Lane
when you’re driving from the back seat there’s plenty of places to go

4.
you can go back in history check out the mystery of Marco Polo
take a slow boat to China, you can shuffle off to Buffalo
you can smoke a little dope then climb the slopes of Kilimanjaro
you can call it a day, start over tomorrow

you can strum the antic harp, you can learn to play the body cello
you can stomp on the pedals of Jessie Fuller’s Fotadello
you can fly to the moon and come back on a pink flamingo
you can ride a foo-fighter and chase down a U.F.O.

you can go any place you feel like going
where the music’s like a river and the river is flowing
where the drums are beating and the bagpipes are blowing
and people are dancing to Skinny Dynamo
when you’re riding on the back beat there’s plenty of places to go

when you’re riding on the back beat there’s plenty of places
when you’re riding on the back beat there’s plenty of places
when you’re riding on the back beat there’s plenty of places to go

24. DAY AFTER DAY

day after day after day
going by so fast, going away
don’t ask me where it’s gone
cause all I can say is
day after day after day

time, time, time running away from me
leaving me behind with a memory
I look into the mirror
But that all I can see
is time, time, time running away from me

footsteps echoing down the years
first they fade, and then they disappear
the clock is ticking loudly
but all I can hear is
footsteps echoing down the years

25. DIRTY DOG

dirty dog he’s on my trail
razor sharp teeth and claws and a tail
a thousand miles long
eyes made of stone

dirty dog, chewing on my bone
go away dirty dog leave this man alone

dirty dog he’s getting in my face
tracks all around, tracks everyplace
inside my head
he won’t let me go back home

dirty dog, chewing on my bone
go away dirty dog leave this man alone

one week gone by
I haven’t seen the dog
but I know he’s out there hiding in the fog
and he’s brought a pack of his friends along
they’re going rip me to pieces
leave my lying in the twilight zone

dirty dog, chewing on my bone
go away dirty dog leave this man alone

words by Tucker Zimmerman & Kris de Meyer
music by Tucker Zimmerman

[ Stockay/St.Georges, October 31, 2003 ]

26. DON'T DO THIS TO ME (for Jef Van Gol)

1.
I was dreaming like thunder
sleeping like a long in my bed
when a demon came in with two live wires
hooked them up to my head

he tuned on the juice I shot up in the air
smoke and fire in my hair
he said I was just testing your reflex action
for a minute I thought you were dead

don’t do this to me don’t do this to me
don’t do this to me lord have mercy
don’t do this to me
if you pull the plug leave me just a little bit of sanity

2.
his name was Coyote
he had a bag of tricks
he lived in a loose-leaf tree house
with a shithouse made of bricks

he invited me to dinner
and the treat was on me
the water was just coming to a boil
he grabbed my neck; stuck my face it
it was a sheet of aluminum foil

don’t do this to me
you can spell it with a C
that’s Mister Co-Yo-Tee

3.
there’s a clown in my closet
he’s hanging like a fur coat
he knows all the secrets
of the martial arts of win chung foo

he comes out like a lion
he comes out like a rabbit
he comes out so many times
he starts looking like a zoo

and when you shut the door
he’s standing at the window
saying please give me one more chance
so you let him out again
and he’s wearing swim flippers
and he’s doing a swim flipper dance

don’t do this to me
I don’t care if it’s a secret
from the Wing Ding Dynasty

4.
I like it when it goes over the top
that’s when it gets all notable and funky
the joker deals another round of poker
there are too many cards
and it’s all monkey money

and around about midnight the air gets tight
it gets thick, heavy and hard
but the joker don’t care
about the heat in the air
he’s got his face on every card

don’t do this to me
he’s got a pair of deuce coupes
and Brian Wilson sitting on his knee
singing off-key

5.
there’s a comic in my kitchen
she’s a stand-up kind of girl
she knows a thousand and one one-liners
she knows it’s a one-liner world

but when she starts flipping eggs and bacon
over her shoulder at the door
and a mule jumps out with a greasy snout
devours everything and says he wants more

don’t do this to me
that’s one one-liner that doesn’t have my sympathy

6.
you build a barn out of Stonehenge
you fill it up with pigs
when a she-wolf comes along
you make her get down and dig

then you twist her tail all the way to jail
you’ve got her dancing a jig
then she says I’m not a wolf
I’m your long-lost brother
as she takes off her bee-hive wig

don’t do this to me
I’m a rootin’ tootin’ cowboy
all the way from gay Paree

7.
say hello to Mister Weird
hello Mister Weird
he doesn’t have a mustache
he doesn’t even have a beard

he’s as bald as a cue ball
but he’s got all of this hair
growing out from between his toes
it’s the carpet of his room
which he jerks from under you
the moment you blow your nose

don’t do this to me
I don’t care if that’s that way
they do it down in Tennessee

8.
she was a movie star back in 1948
the oscar goes to Miss Ivory Soap
she invited me for cocktails at her Hollywood villa
along with a hundred other dopes

she showed her home movies when she was a kid
they were filled with American dreams
we’d just settled down for a close-up of her face
when she jumped thru a hole in the screen

don’t do this to me
I swear that hole was

9.
who is this voodoo man?
and why is he shooting the breeze?
he’s got a 90-pound rooster
that’ll tear you apart if you sneeze

he’s got a half-pint turkey and an 8-ton moose
and a pick-up truck made by Jeep
he’s got a 12-gauge shotgun pointed at my head
he pulls the trigger and the gun goes beep

don’t do this to me
he said I might kill a pigeon
but I’d never hurt a flea

10.
he told me the story of his life
before he had his brain repaired
and the story of his life of his lifetime before
when he lived at the circus fair

and the one before that when he reached 94
he couldn’t even move, just stare at the door
he said I’ve been around; I like the life of a flea
and that’s just to mention the very last three

don’t do this to me
if you buy one you get the next two for free

27. DOUBLE TALK

talkin’ ’bout this
talkin’ ’bout that
talkin’ fiction
while thinkin’ about the facts
talkin’ ’bout money
while thinkin’ ’bout the law
that’s called double talk
double talk, talk, talk, talk

talkin’ ’bout the woman
who just happens to be your wife
but you’re thinking ’bout the girl
who’s messin’ up your life
you’re thinkin’ ’bout her walk
and the way she makes you crawl
that’s double talk
double talk, talk, that’s all

say what you mean
mean what you say
put your money where your mouth is
you know you’re gonna have to pay
don’t think about Peter
when you’re talkin’ to Paul
that’s double talk
double talk, talk, that’s all

double talk man can mess up your mind
double talk woman can push you cross the line
double talk people can do you in
make your head spin
double talk
double talk, talk, talk, talk

28. DOWNTOWN (I KNOW YOU DO)

light and playful, light and playful
like a bob cat on a hot tin lizzy
slouched out, slumbering like the Beat of Hearts
(slumbering like the Beat of Hearts)

down town, they got this place they call it
down town, that’s where you go when you’re a-
round round, I know you get around
down town, I know you get around you
do too, I know you get around you do
(I know you do)

spoonful, have a taste of mountain
moonshine, puff a pipe of purple
loose goose, swim a pool of kicking
mule doves, think you see the one you love

roomful of swinging doors and open
phone lines, get them ringing at the
same time, have you heard about the
Wild Thing? Louie Louie and the Wild Thing

down town, they got this place they call it
down town, that’s where you go when you’re a-
round round, I know you get around you
do too, I know you know just what to
do too, I know you know just what to do
(you know you know just what to do)

29. FINN THE FISH

this is the story of Finn the Fish
she went swimming in the creek one day
that’s where she was born in
and that’s where she wanted to stay

but as she grew longer
and she grew stronger
the creek was too small to play in
so Finn the Fish floated away

Finn the Fish was a-mazed
swimming into a stream
so many new things – oh happy days
she was swimming in a dream

but her eyes grew larger as the days went by
she dreamed about a place that was larger than an eye
the stream was too small to play in
so Finn the Fish floated away

she came to a rushing river
the water was fast and wide
fishermen with their fishing poles
standing on the river side

the poles had lines and the lines had hooks
the hooks had worms and she didn’t like their looks
the river was too dangerous to play in
so Finn the Fish floated away

she came to a blue blue ocean
larger than the green green land
wide and deep it had no end
she said maybe I will find a friend

she found a friend and what is more
soon there were two and three and four
they all got together and made a wish
that’s the story of Finn the Fish

30. GHOSTS FROM THE BASEMENT (to Ian Anderson)

Camden Town is where they gather around
down at the House of Cecil Sharpe
coming up from the basement
plucking banjos and puffing on harps
these ghosts are musical
they know all the tunes from ages ago
from the man called Anonymous
to the Man of Constant Sorrow
they sing about the Village Crow
in the key of Rockin’ Roe
they say « Boo to the Goose »
and cut him loose
and then they head back down below

Kings Cross at midnight
that’s when these ghosts can best be seen
that’s when you see their heads and feet
and nothing in between
there’s one with his eyes on fire
smoke pouring from his ears
he’s chasing a 5-alarm memory
as he rolls back the years
one’s dancing with her shadow
another’s counting back to absolute zero
they say « Boo to the Goose »
and cut him loose
and then they head back down below

werewolves in London
are a common sight at night down by the track
hanging round the underground
looking for a midnight snack
but the ghosts from the basement
are a shy and silent crew
until they tune up their guitars
and cut loose with the Phantom of the Opera Blues
lord have mercy, God Save the Queen
hallelujah, Goodnight Irene
they say « Boo to the Goose »
and cut him loose
and then they fly right up into a dream

[ London, September 2010 ]

31. GOING DOWN CRAZY

we’re going down crazy
we’re going down lame
heads in a knot hole
heads hung in shame

we’re going down fast
down like a duck
shot in the ass
by a ten-ton truck

we’re going down deep
damned and be-deviled
where the mindless leap
and the whale bones weep

we’re going down dirty
mud-flapped and smut-
slapped and screwed
in the blue tattooed gut

we’re going down, dear sister
we’ve all sprung a leak
sinking like a stone, sister
with a sniffle and a squeak

we’re going down, honey
get the kids in the car
we’ve got miles and miles
it’s almost as far
to the west of the sun
as the shadow of the moon
is close to our hearts,
love, God the Goon

32. GOODNIGHT

you’d be right
yes you’d be right
you’d be right
if you said it’s time to say goodnight

you’d be right
if you think I had a good time
you’d be right
if you thinking I’m feelin’ fine

you’d be right
if you think I’m comin’ back again
sometime later on down the line

you’d be right
if you say I wrote a good song
you’d be right if you clapped your hands
you’d be right if you asked me to sing another song
I wouldn’t mind if you got up and danced

you’d be right
if you think you’re up in Scotland
somewhere between Inverness and Aberdeen
you’d be right if you think you’re on the Mississippi
River on your way down to New Orleans

you’d be right
yes you’d be right
you’d be right
if you said it’s time to say goodnight

33. I DON'T KNOW (I DON'T KNOW)

I walked out one afternoon
the sun was shining down and soon
I came to two roads crossing
one was high, the other low
so I just kept on walking
where did I go?
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know

I saw a boy sitting up in a tree
I danced for him and he said please tell me
about your youth
where did it go?
all those years you left behind
so long ago
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know

and where have all the love songs gone?
the ones they used to play upon
an out-of-tune piano
thru an open window soft and low
all those out-of-tune pianos
where did they go?
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know

I walked on thru the afternoon
I walked until the sun went down,
the moon began to rise
an evening breeze began to blow
is it all a dream?
or a memory shadow show?
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know

is it all a dream?
or a memory shadow show?
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know

34. I GET IDEAS

I come into a room sometimes and I feel all the people looking
at me and thinking: are we gonna let him in or not? He’s got
mud on his feet. He looks like one of those wild dogs who chew
up the wallpaper.

He might even be part American. You can tell because he doesn’t
wear his cap backwards and they say he goes north a couple of
times a year and hangs out at one of those border towns.
So they take a vote. And they write down all their opinions in a
scroll. Then the bald man gets up and unrolls the scroll. And he
reads it out loud :

don’t let him stick around too long
he’s got mud on his feet
don’t let him stick around too long
he might turn up the heat
don’t let him stick around too long
he might get ideas.

don’t let me stick around too long
I got mud on my feet
don’t let me stick around too long
I might turn up the heat
don’t let me stick around too long
I get ideas

I’ve got a habit. You might say it’s a bad habit. Or you might
say I just can’t help it. But I end taking over, taking control.
For instance at the door of a crowded elevator I stretch out my
arms and say, « I’ve got you gathered here for a reason. I’m
glad you could all make it –  »

Then I tell them about the signs of the zodiac and Jung’s Theory
of Collective Unconsciousness and Heisenberg’s Principle of
Uncertainty. And, well, they eventually let me into elevator. So
I get out a net and organize a game of volleyball

And I say « Over on this side we’ll be the San Francisco Giants
and you guys over there on the other side will the San Francisco
49ers. » But by the time we reach the 44th floor they’re all
shuffling their feet and whispering in each other’s ears, and I
hear them saying:

don’t let him stick around too long
he’s might get in our hair
don’t let him stick around too long
he might breath up all our air
don’t let him stick around too long
he might get ideas.

don’t let me stick around too long
I might make you fall in love with me
don’t let me stick around too long
I might get stuck in one of your fantasies
don’t let me stick around too long
I get ideas

don’t let me stick around too long
I got mud on my feet
don’t let me stick around too long
I might turn up the heat
don’t let me stick around too long
I get ideas

35. I TALK TO MY SELF (AND MY SELF TALKS BACK)

I used to talk to my self
but my self never listened he was looking somewhere else
I’d tell him about Utopia, tell him about Walden Pond
he was speeding down the fast lane
chasing down a Thunderbird Blonde

now I talk to my self and my self talks back
we have long conversations late into the night
sometimes we argue and sometimes we fight
but mostly we laugh and I say to my self you’re alright

and the years went by
I’d talk to my self but we never saw eye to eye
I’d tell him about the Navajo, tell him about the Haiku and Zen
but he was down underground
in the Chinatown Dragon’s Den

now I talk to my self and my self talks back
we have long conversations late into the night
sometimes we argue and sometimes we fight
but mostly we laugh and I say to my self you’re alright

and tho I’m getting on in years
my self is still the same, he’s still seventeen
when I’m asleep at the wheel, he’s busy shifting the gears
and when he talks about twisting their tails
I know exactly what he means

now I talk to my self and my self talks back
we have long conversations late into the night
sometimes we argue and sometimes we fight
but mostly we laugh and I say to my self you’re alright

36. INSANE

I opened up a package of instant soup one afternoon
it said « double-chicken » on the box, I got out my spoon
warmed it up, put it in a bowl, sat down to eat
but there was no trace of chicken or any other kind of meat

so I threw that bowl of soup against the wall and let it dry
put a picture frame around it, for all the lies
that I must chew but just can’t swallow I’d need a million frames

what y’gonna do
when the whole wide world has gone insane
you go insane too

out on the edge of the city, out in the concrete zoo
they’re stackin’ up the cages, talkin’ about a state of welfare too
you can live up there on the thirty-fifth floor, staring at the sky
and never come down to touch the ground until the day you die

but it’s dangerous to walk those street as the rate of suicide
goes up with all the altitude the architects provide
you might get hit by someone jumping, especially if he aims

what y’gonna do
when the whole wide world has gone insane
you go insane too

I walked into a public toilet, I complained when I had to pay
the men standin’ round, zippin’ up their pants said:
we agree with everything you say
but man, you must be crazy
to think that anything is gonna change
you better go see a doctor
the kind that helps you when you’re actin’ strange

so I went to a psychiatrist, the first hour was free
but it only took a minute to find out he was crazier than me
he was screamin’ at his reflection in the mirror:
hey, you’ll get used to the pain

what y’gonna do
when the whole wide world has gone insane
you go insane too

the jet planes fly by so fast and low, they rip up the sky
make the old folks heart skip a beat, make the children cry
at night down by the airport it’s a constant head-ache
for every passenger arriving on a plane 5OOO people are kept awake

and the time will come when you look up into the sky at night
and see it completely filled with advertisement satellites
you’ll be lookin’ for escape, but you’ll just get entertained

what y’gonna do
when the whole wide world has gone insane
you go insane too

well, by now it’s plane to see there’s only one insanity
the poor man calls it money, the rich man calls it economy
it’s how much can you steal without gettin’ caught
it’s how far down into the ground can you be screwed
before being bought

they’ve got a million ways to make your life much more than rough
the list goes on and on, it’s just ordinary stuff
but it’s the things we take for normal that scare me
clean out of my brain

what y’gonna do
when the whole wide world has gone insane
you go insane too

37. INSOMNIA

it’s after midnight and you can’t get to sleep
you count about a million sheep
by then it’s dawn and you still haven’t closed your eyes
that’s about the time you realize
you’ve got insomnia, tossin’ and turnin’ in your bed

you swallow a bottle of those sleepin’ pills
but all they do is make you slightly ill
by now it’s afternoon and you’re dead tired
your eyes are wide open and your brain is wired
you’ve got insomnia, tossin’ and turnin’ in your bed

oh oh, insomnia
talkin’ ’bout insomnia
you can’t sleep
tossin’ and turnin’ in your bed
funny people runnin’ round inside your head

after one week of sleepless nights and days
they pack you in an ambulance, drive you away
to that house on the hill where they shoot you full of dope
but one week later there’s still no hope
you’ve got insomnia, tossin’ and turnin’ in your bed

the doctor’s got an operation that will save the day
he’ll cut out the part of your brain that’s in the way
they strap you down on a table and it kinda hurts
cause the anesthesia doesn’t seem to work
you’ve got insomnia, tossin’ and turnin’ in your bed

oh oh, insomnia
talkin’ ’bout insomnia
you can’t sleep
tossin’ and turnin’ in your bed
funny people runnin’ round inside your head

well, one day you finally die
they put you in a box and they say goodbye
you’re layin’ there six feet under the ground
your eyes are wide open and you’re lookin’ around
you’ve got insomnia, tossin’ and turnin’ in your bed

oh oh, insomnia
talkin’ ’bout insomnia
you can’t sleep
tossin’ and turnin’ in your bed
funny people runnin’ round inside your head

38. JACK BLUE

no more nail driving
skull screaming
fallen fool drooling

no more hunchback
ruck-sacking
thumb-bumming rides

no more eggshell crunching
unmapped road running
flying in the sky

no more Jack of Hearts
bleeding and dealing
down drunk tumbling

no more Ti Jean
mama’s boy
Buddha baby

no more new nirvana
wonder wails

no more ramble chants
no more dharma bum

desolation angel
backpocket blues

oh oh Jackblue
oh oh Jackblue
oh oh Jackblue
oh oh Jackblue

so long Jack of Hearts
so long Ti Jean
adios amigo, au revoir
sait-on jamais, sait-on, sait-on

 » . . . and something good
will come out of all things yet
and it will be golden and eternal
– just like that –
there’s no need to say another word. »
(Jack Kerouac, 1962)

Jack Blue
Jack Blue
Jack Blue
Jack Blue

39. JACK JACK & DR. LUGAROO

Jack Jack the one-eye, two-tooth vampire
was out in the woods with his motorcycle parked by the campfire
waitin’ for the sun to go down
he had some unfinished business back in town
Jack Jack the one-eye, two-tooth vampire

Dr. Lugaroo was hangin’ out at the drugstore
he could fill your prescription, he could cash your check
he could do lots more
he strolled down the street to the town pool hall
the customers suddenly became part of the wall
they were just makin’ way for Dr. Lugaroo

Jack Jack kicked the motor of his bike into action
when he pulled into town he knew he was the center of attraction
he said: I’m lookin’ for a guy they call Lugaroo
I’ll be down at the parking lot, if he asks who
just say it’s Jack Jack the one-eye, two-tooth vampire

the crown gathered ’round, formed a circle in the parking lot
the full moon was risin’ shinin’ down into that circle like a hot spot
the gentlemen placed their bets, the ladies ran for cover
the odds were even, it was one or the other:
Jack Jack or Dr. Lugaroo

Jack’s jacket was unzipped showin’ off his blue tattoos underneath
he pulled a knife from his back pocket started pickin’ his front teeth
Dr. Lugaroo walked up, pulled a knife from his sleeve
started cleanin’ his fingernails, said: I do believe
Jack Jack we’ve got some unfinished business

Jack Jack had his teeth out, goin’ for the mainline
Dr. Lugaroo had his claws goin’ for the middle of the spine
they fought to the left, they fought to the right
they raised a cloud of dust til they were both out of sight
the crowd moved in closer, they were shadows in the moonlight

when the dust died down Jack Jack and Lugaroo were nowhere
they’d both disappeared, vanished into thin air
no bets were collected, the crowd just stood and stared
there was a moment of silence and then they said a prayer
for Jack Jack the one-eye, two-tooth vampire
and then they said another prayer for Dr. Lugaroo

40. JAW BONE

GOTCHA BY THE JAW BONE
GOTCHA BY THE JAW BONB
AND IT AIN’T NO FUN
GOTCHA BY THE JAW BONB
AND IT AIN’T NO FUN
WHEN YOU GOT NOWHERE TO RUN

Slip Stream José was floating on a breeze
that just blew in from south of the border
with blood hounds hot on his trail
and the officers of law and order

he got caught coming thru the rye
in the middle of a cyclone’s eye
O José can you see the sky falling down?

flags be damned there’s a curse on the land
going all the way back to the brimstone preacher
and coming up-dated in the tents of revival
with wild-eye crowds screaming in the bleachers

Ezekiel saw some kind of wheel
fast and furious and made of steel
spinning him round in a cloud and dealing him down

Ultraviolet had a E-lumination
saw herself as a graffiti-covered saint
she heard the hunters coming cross the mountain
with guns of thunderball paint

some people stay the same
others make a living living in the fast lane
it wasn’t paint it was web of chain link fence

41. K-9 BLUES

2 old dogs digging in a ditch
one called the other a dirty son of a bitch
that’s right
then they started to fight
they each had a bark bigger than their bite

one said I had a ball with your wife last night
the other pulled out a switchblade knife
that’s right
then they started to fight
they each had a bark bigger than their bite

one flipped a bird in the other one’s face
then he got up and scratched his fleas all over the place
that’s right
then they started to fight
they each had a bark bigger than their bite

the other one stood up and started to strut
then he spit out a cigarette butt
that’s right
then they started to fight
they each had a bark bigger than their bite

2 old dogs
2 old dogs
that’s right
they each had a bark bigger than their bite

[ Vallespir (France), January 2010 ]

42. KILL DEVIL HILLS (THE BALLAD OF JOHN GRADY COLE)

in Kill Devil Hills
it’s always high noon
the sun is always hiding
behind the moon
and John Grady Cole
is getting out of town
this old, weird American scene
has his head hanging down
(hanging down)

he goes away alone,
it’s just John Grady Cole
one silver dollar
and a dozen bullet holes
and a pair of horseshoes
he’s taking back to Mexico
to a junkyard cantina
at the end of Gunsmoke Row
(there he goes)

he comes back with a Zippo
and a pack of Lucky Strikes
and a girl named Jingle
on a motorcycle bike
Jingle she can fly,
leaving nothing to chance
she jumps into the sky,
hits the ground & does a come-&-get-me dance (she can dance)

Jingle’s got his number
and the song the coo-coo sings
she sneaks off with a gambler
on her broken wings
she says: do not be mistaken,
do not be confused
you’re not the first to be forsaken,
or the last to be refused (you’ve been refused)

John sets out
to track the gambler down
across the border
in a tombstone town
it’s a place of broken wires
and misplaced names

people who come here
never leave the same

when John Grady Cole
comes around again
he closes his eyes
and counts to ten
when he looks into the mirror
and takes his hands from his face
he’s ten years older
and a stranger has taken his place
(hey that’s my face)

first you’re here
and then you’re not
that’s the way the wind blows
when you’re caught
in Kill Devil Hills
between remorse and regret
you leave everything behind
that you need to forget (need to forget)

that’s the way it goes
in Kill Devil Hills
a loaded gun
and a pocketful of pills
a marked deck of cards
and a hangman’s rope neck tie
and the saddle from a horse
of a ghost rider in the sky

the world at best is blurred
in the eyes of a man
who is led into the wasteland
blindfolded and abandoned
he is one step ahead,
one step behind
at the same time he crosses
the border line (border Line)

43. LADY BLUE LIGHT

when the mid-summer sun set down
on the daughter of Miss America Brown
she was a thousand miles north of the wasteland’s water line
working the switchboard of a border town’s street signs

traffic lights and speed limits were at her command
she was the ghost in the machine in no man’s land

she was Blue Light
they called her Blue Light
in the dark of night
you can see her glowing on your TV screen
she’s the ghost of the ghost in the machine

in the cloud of steam from your nuclear reactor
hear her laughter in the silence that comes after
the bite of ice cream and the moment in between
you close your eyes and go to sleep
– perchance to dream

of Blue Light
Lady Blue Light
in the dark of night
she’s almost visible but not quite
you can see her glowing on your TV screen
she’s the ghost of the ghost in the machine

they came across the border one at a time
snow up to their necks they were not having a good time
we came all the way from the Land of Sunshine
this is just ice and stone – they had to get back home

to Blue Light
Lady Blue Light
in the dark of night
she’s almost visible but not quite
from above, below and in between
you can see her glowing on your TV screen
she’s the ghost of the ghost in the machine

they took down the stained-glass windows
to make them clean
they had special soaps for all the reds and greens
they washed them, they dried them, they covered them with screens
and when they put them back in place all that could be seen

was Blue Light
Lady Blue Light
in the dark of night
she’s almost visible but not quite
from above, below and in between
the blink of an eye in a lost moon beam
you can see her glowing on your TV screen
she’s the ghost of the ghost in the machine

they opened up the cage down in Sunshine Land
where they’d captured her mother and put her on display
she had eagle wing tattoos on the palms of her hands
she lifted up her arms – and flew away

into blue light
Lady Blue Light
in the dark of night
she’s almost visible but not quite
Lady Blue Light
in the dark of night
Lady Blue Light

44. LEADBELLY

oh, oh, Leadbelly
you played a 12-string guitar
made by Stella
you could make it ring
and I could hear you singing Green Corn
singing Green Corn
singing Green Corn
singing Green Corn
oh, oh, oh Green Corn

oh, oh, Leadbelly
you spent half of your life
in a penitentiary
the other half
in those cotton fields back home
in Texarkana
in Texarkana
next to Louisiana
oh, oh, oh Louisiana

oh, oh, Leadbelly
I can feel you nine-pound
nail-drivin’ hands
reachin’ out for me and sayin’:
take this hammer
take this hammer
take this hammer
take this hammer
oh, oh, oh, take it from me

oh, oh, Leadbelly
you let the midnight special
shine its light on me
and the Rock Island Line
and it’s goodnight Irene
goodnight Irene
goodnight Irene
goodnight Irene
oh, Irene goodnight

45. LEAVE IT ON THE PORCH OUTSIDE

well I guess we’ll have to see about that
just leave it on the porch outside
it’s ready to eat, it’s hot and it’s fat
JUST LEAVE IT ON THE PORCH OUTSIDE

I think I got my history mixed up
JUST LEAVE IT ON THE PORCH OUTSIDE
I don’t have a bucket, so I guess I’ll leave a cup
JUST LEAVE IT ON THE PORCH OUTSIDE

sounds like a story I once heard
and I remember that story’s every word

somebody said this is where I can leave the mail
JUST LEAVE IT ON THE PORCH OUTSIDE
there’s a real fancy ad for the big summer sale
JUST LEAVE IT ON THE PORCH OUTSIDE

I found this cat climbing in a tree
JUST LEAVE IT ON THE PORCH OUTSIDE
he’s already got a name, it’s either Dick or Jane
JUST LEAVE IT ON THE PORCH OUTSIDE

sounds like a story I once heard
and I remember that story’s every word

I took off my boots, so where do I put my hat?
JUST LEAVE IT ON THE PORCH OUTSIDE
well, I guess we’ll have to see about that
JUST LEAVE IT ON THE PORCH OUTSIDE

[ Amsterdam, November 2007 ]

46. LET IT LAY

take it as it lays
take it as it lays
if it’s laying on its side
take it for a ride
but if it’s laying in the way
let it lay

if it’s laying in the street
kick it with your feet
put it in your pocket
take it home to eat
but if it’s laying in the way
let it lay

if it’s laying on the table
and you’re willing and able
to pick it up and play it
go ahead and lay it down
but don’t be amazed
if the bets get raised
and you end up empty-handed
rolling on the ground

take it as it lays
take it as it lays
if it’s laying on its face
you might want to take its place
but if it’s laying in the way
let it lay

if it’s laying on a bed
it might be dead
or it might be awake
and starting to shake
but if it’s laying in the way
let it lay

if it’s laying in a ditch
by the light of a pitch
black moon and it prays
then go to where it lays
but if it’s laying in the way
let it lay

47. LET'S GRAB A BITE TO EAT (AND GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE)

I never shout / I never yell
I just whisper in your ear
let’s grab a bite to eat (and get the hell out of here)

the room is crowded / I’m climbing the wall
I’m losing my grip / I’m starting to slip
I made a mistake / I don’t want to be awake
I want to get back to my bed that’s all

I don’t know why we came in here
it seemed like a good idea at the time
a long time ago, I must have been blind

I never shout / I never yell
I just whisper in your ear
let’s grab a bite to eat (and get the hell out of here)

if they’d leave a little more heaven
we wouldn’t have to get the hell out of here
but there’s less and less heaven every day
that much is perfectly clear

but what’s not so clear is why, oh lord
they got to open up the door in the floor
everytime I turn around
everytime I fall down

I never shout / I never yell
I just whisper in your ear
let’s grab a bite to eat (and get the hell out of here)

[ Amsterdam, November 2007 ]

48. LORD HAVE MERCY

the laws of gravity have got me down
lord have mercy, lord have mercy
the laws of gravity have got me down
I see smoke rising from the ground
lord have mercy on me

midnight has come and gone
lord have mercy, lord have mercy
midnight has come and gone
won’t get no blessings coming from the dawn
lord have mercy on me

72 years riding on my back
lord have mercy, lord have mercy
72 years riding on my back
rolling like a locomotive down a track
lord have mercy on me

comes a time when you ain’t leavin’ by the door
lord have mercy, lord have mercy
comes a time when you ain’t leavin’ by the door
no more
you’re goin’ feet first thru a hole in the floor
lord have mercy on me

lord have mercy, lord have mercy
lord have mercy on me

I’m goin’ feet first thru a hole in the floor
lord have mercy on me

49. LORELEI

late at night when the moon is full
I sit upon the river shore
full moon in my eyes
water flowing by my open door

oh it flows by
folks along the river call me Lorelei

hard times have come again
folks looking for relief
looking for the silver lining
in the clouds of disbelief
falling from the sky

they pray to the river
pray to Lorelei

someday I will move away
to the city on the hill
leave behind the waterfall
leave behind the water wheel

bring along my silver harp
bring along my golden psalms
sing them into peaceful dreams
sing my siren songs

but only as a guiding light
to better times and safer shores
I’ll sing away their trembling fears
take away their tears and so much more
and then I’ll cry

and folks will say where has she gone
oh Lorelei

50. LOST LOVE

she lives in a mirror where lostlove hides
but lost love escapes and leaves her inside
with all of her April Fool’s Day fish
a broken mirror and her very last wish:

if love has jaws
if love has a bite
may I be devoured
on this very night

she lives in a dream where lostlove drips
like a lost honey kiss from her love lost lips
there’s a moon in there too and a black dog sky
lostlove clouds with a wink in each eye

if love has a tongue
(she silently prays)
may it lick my heart
thru its heartburning haze

she lives in a laugh where lostlove weeps
lostlove tears are the tears she keeps
they flow like a fountain, they fall like rain
lostlove tears and a river of pain

if love has teeth
may they grind and chew
start with my mind
and work down to my shoes

she lies in a bed where lostlove sleeps
until lostlove awakes and lostlove leaps
on her trampoline heart and bounces away
lostlove night follows lostlove day

does she live in a house
with too many ghosts?
no, she lives by an ocean
with too many coasts

she reads too many books full of lostlove scenes
and too many shadows and lostlove dreams
where does she live? can anybody tell?
she lives in a room at the Lost Love Motel

51. LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT (Lost in the Wind)

I was walkin’ in
she was walkin’ out
maybe somebody knows
what love is all about
so somebody please tell me
if she comes back in
it was love at first sight
lost in the wind

It happened so fast
in the blinkin’ of an eye
a flash of light
hello and goodbye
and she was gone
never saw her again
it was love at first sight
lost in the wind

She was one-of-a-kind
she was that kind of girl
for once in my life
I was sittin’ on top of the world
but we got cut short
before we could begin
love at first sight
lost in the wind

They say there’s nothin’ to it
you come and you go
lookin’ for love
lookin’ high, lookin’ low
but sooner or later
you don’t know where you’ve been
love at first sight
lost in the wind

Laurel Canyon (Los Angeles) summer, 1966

52. MAGIC CARPET BLUES

it’s been many many moons since
I woke up with the morning light
it’s been many many moons since
I woke up with the morning light
and it’s too damned depressing
to always have the sunrise end the night

the needle’s pointed west
and I’m hustling down the left side of the road
the needle’s pointed west
and I’m hustling down the left side of the road
looking over my shoulder
trying to beat the daybreak home

I know that I can make it
cause I take each and every corner slow
I know that I can make it
cause I take each and every corner slow
and this lonely road I travel
is the only road I know

I’m picking up the pieces
the needle in the haystack has been found
I’m picking up the pieces
the needle in the haystack has been found
I’m going to make a flying carpet
get my blues from off the ground

I’ll ride that magic carpet
to the edge of the sky

53. ME AND MY TWO WHEELS

9 p.m. Saturday night
all the roads are quiet
everybody’s gone to where they’re going
I’m all alone in the twilight

a south wind is blowing
shadows in the twilight
I’m all alone, it’s 9 p.m.
Saturday night

I’m going home
I’m going home
it’s just me and my two wheels
going home

last night I missed a big eclipse
the moon passed thru our shadow
tonight it’s stuck on the horizon
I feel the west wind blow

I’m going home
I’m going home
it’s just me and my two wheels
going home

54. MISS AMERICA BROWN

she was prayin’ for rain, she was divin’ for pearl
she was the last woman out when they busted the girls
they put her in a box car drove her down to the beach
they thought her hands were completely out of reach

she pushed the panic button, jumped off the train
she was half way between Monterey and Memory Lane
she had a hat full of feathers and a new set of chains
a suitcase of drugs, she’d just run out of plugs

it could have been better, it could have been worse
or just a stroke of luck in an accidental universe

WHAT YOU GONNA DO MISS AMERICA BROWN?
WHAT YOU GONNA SAY WHEN THE HEAT COMES DOWN?
IT WAS A PRACTICAL JOKE?
IT WAS A SHAGGY DOG TALE?
IT WAS A SLAPSTICK POKE
YOU KNEW THEY WOULD FAIL
WHEN THEY CLAPPED YOUR BEAUTIFUL BODY
IN THEIR MONOPOLY JAIL

you can touch my body but you can’t touch my mind
that’s what she said when they hooked up the lines
to the shock machine with a pair of pliers
drilled a hole in her skull and stuffed it full of wires

then they waved goodbye, we’ll see you in hell
she smiled right back said only time will tell
the machine blew up and fell apart
I forgot to mention you can’t touch my heart

it might have been an angelic curse
or just a stroke of luck in an accidental universe

she knew a monkey shoe shiner
lived down on Pachuco Street
I can get you cross the border
it’s gonna cost you some tricks and treats

there’s a long love tunnel
the tricks’ll be right by your side
they’ll be driving in the nails
you’ll be delivering the mail

then you’ll need a doctor and an x-ray nurse
or just a stroke of luck in an accidental universe

she crossed the border under a harvest moon
walked across the highway into Gringo’s Bullride Saloon
bought a bottle of tequila took it up to her room
switched on the TV
watched the round-up at the border at half past noon

knock on the door, this is the law
she hit him with a bed post knocked off his jaw
she jumped out the window where a pick-up truck
was running north, the law was out of luck

and the rest is up to you and the gold in your purse
or just a stroke of luck in an accidental universe

WHAT YOU GONNA DO MISS AMERICA BROWN?
WHAT YOU GONNA SAY WHEN THE HEAT COMES DOWN?
IT WAS A PRACTICAL JOKE?
IT WAS A SHAGGY DOG TALE?
IT WAS A SLAPSTICK POKE
YOU KNEW THEY WOULD FAIL
WHEN THEY CLAPPED YOUR BEAUTIFUL BODY
IN THEIR MONOPOLY JAIL

now she lives in a penthouse Ventura Boulevard
the whole dammed city is her backyard
she’s got the politicians in her pockets
she’s got all the cops
she snaps her fingers and everything stops

telephone rings it’s the border patrol
we got a girl down here out of control
she says she knows you from down in Monterey
bring her round tonight we’ll see if she plays

the monopoly game where she delivers the mail
the monopoly game where the men drive in the nails
if she doesn’t have that card that will get her out of jail
then her beautiful body goes on sale

GREAT GENEROSITY, HOLY HOSPITALITY
SHE’S GOT A GAP IN HER PERSONALITY

GREAT GENEROSITY, HOLY HOSPITALITY
SHE’S GOT A GAP IN HER PERSONALITY

GREAT GENEROSITY, HOLY HOSPITALITY
SHE’S GOT A GAP IN HER PERSONALITY

55. MOCKING BIRD

WORDS OF WISDOM, WORDS OF LOVE
WORDS THAT DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY’RE WORDS
PAY NO ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU’VE HEARD
IT’S JUST SOMETHING SPOKEN BY A MOCKING BIRD

where do we get all these words? that’s what I want to know
they seem to fall out of thin air, like invisible snow
invisible snow? now there’s a pair
say it ten times, twenty times, say it slow
you’ll start to feel a hole opening in the top of your head
it’ll swallow your hair, leave you gasping for air
well, that’s my impression
words do that to me sometimes
(sing) I get carried away, I get carried away
they carry me away, they carry me away down between the lines

WORDS OF WISDOM, WORDS OF LOVE
WORDS THAT DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY’RE WORDS
PAY NO ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU’VE HEARD
IT’S JUST SOMETHING SPOKEN BY A MOCKING BIRD

and then there’s all these languages, dialects
a thousand tongues, a thousand tribes
Latin, Lakota
Walloon, Navajo
Danish, Druidic, Mongolian, Mandarin
Italian, German, Portugese, Finn
French, Spanish, Icelandic, Greek
we hear with our ears therefore we speak
and we speak therefore we think
now that’s something to think about
think about it long enough you’ll start to doubt

hocus pocus
mumbo jumbo
rhymes and signs, read between the lines
lies and cries of sweet surprise

WORDS OF WISDOM, WORDS OF LOVE
WORDS THAT DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY’RE WORDS
PAY NO ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU’VE HEARD
IT’S JUST SOMETHING SPOKEN BY A MOCKING BIRD

that old story about sticks and stones
it might be true, but I don’t think so.
we got something more than just our bones
we got spirit, we got soul, we got delicate mojo
and we got names, our God-given names
they’re magic, they’ve got power,
they drive our dreams, they fire our flames
nick names, code names, nom de plumes
names sprayed on walls like ancient runes
sometimes they’re kind, sometimes they’re cruel
like all the names I got called in school
they burned my ears, filled me with dread
they made me want to run home, crawl under the bed
« Hey Four eyes! It’s Little Tucker Fuckerfaster! »
I was a mumbling, grumbling, stumbling, fumbling verbal disaster
Grandma said don’t pay them no mind
they’re all full of shit and totally blind

WORDS OF WISDOM, WORDS OF LOVE
WORDS THAT DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY’RE WORDS
PAY NO ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU’VE HEARD
IT’S JUST SOMETHING SPOKEN BY A MOCKING BIRD

onomatopoeia, say it: ONO – MATO – POEIA
onomatopoeia just another way to say ya
gotta a lotta sounds inside you head
that’s gonna make ya play around with all the noise
like a basketful of toys
bang bang, boom boom
zig-zag; zap and zoom
cheek to cheek, cha cha cha

then there’s all those words you can’t use in a song
words that are sometimes ten – twelve inches long
nobody knows what they mean, not even me
but they have a fine rhythm and they sound like a symphony
ignominious, peripatetic
magnanimous, equanimity, epistolary, empathetic

WORDS OF WISDOM, WORDS OF LOVE
WORDS THAT DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY’RE WORDS
PAY NO ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU’VE HEARD
IT’S JUST SOMETHING SPOKEN BY A MOCKING BIRD

All those poems, all those prayers
you hope someone’s listening, you hope someone cares
they go rama-lama-ding-dong, boogity-boogity-shoop
ooh maw maw papa ooh maw maw, bop-she-bop, loop-de-loop

WORDS OF WISDOM, WORDS OF LOVE
WORDS THAT DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY’RE WORDS
PAY NO ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU’VE HEARD
IT’S JUST SOMETHING SPOKEN BY A MOCKING BIRD

which reminds me of a story:
one night in a club, after a gig
I was catching my breath, sipping a beer
a few people gathered round to say hello, goodbye
there was this one guy – at the end,
it was not exactly clear
what was on his mind, he looked like some kind of spy
he had a magnifying glass over one eye
it made look him like weird species of bug
he said just one question . . . do you take drugs?
I said I don’t know what you’re talking about
he said those little white pills
that make your mind bulge out
I said one or two, he said what happened?
I said nothing much. I talked a lot
I spoke about one million, seven hundred thousand
three hundred and eighty-eight words
in less than a minute
(sing) there were jokes and jests and aphorisms
promises, puns, and spoonerisms
riddles, raps, Freudian slips
verbs and nouns, quotes and quips
there were threats, curses, cliché blah-blah
praises for the wonders of the world, HALLELUJAH

WORDS OF WISDOM, WORDS OF LOVE
WORDS THAT DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY’RE WORDS
PAY NO ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU’VE HEARD
IT’S JUST SOMETHING SPOKEN BY A MOCKING BIRD

56. MONDAY WOMAN

she’s six-foot four
and she can drive the devil away
she’s six-foot four
watch her drive the devil away
she’s six-foot four
can drive the devil away
she’s my Monday woman
couldn’t be another day
she’s six-foot four
watch her drive the devil away

we gathered around the stove
waitin’ for the storm
we gathered around the stove
waitin’ for the storm
we gathered around the stove
waitin’ for the storm
drinkin’ to the new year
prayin’ to keep warm
we gathered around the stove
waitin’ for the storm

then it flooded in my basement
we had to get out fast
it flooded in my basement
we had to get out fast
it flooded in my basement
we had to get out fast
me and my friends
were the first
and my Monday woman
she was the last

I came to her Sunday
head between my hands
I came to her on Sunday
head between my hands
I came to her on Sunday
head between my hands
she said you got the wrong day
you’re my Monday man
(head between my hands)

now I’m holdin’ only memories
this could be the end
I’m holdin’ only memories
this could be the end
I’m holdin’ only memories
this could be the end
the flood was so peculiar
wiped out all of my friends
this could be the end

57. MOONLIGHT AND THUNDER

the power of love
the ignorance of man
can you explain it?
I don’t think I can

the beasts of the bible
and the fruits of the loom
have gathered in silence
to celebrate doom

the rainbows of grace
are falling upon you
can you explain them?
I don’t think you want to

here I stand
face in hand
with my feet nailed fast to the floor
it’s way past time
for some monkey-type shines
tell you taxi to stop at my door

the dreams of a fool
who just wants to fly
can you explain them?
I won’t even try

the lady in the booth
is on a telephone jag
long distance calls to her daughter

she’s got a fish-skin umbrella
and an alligator bag
and the booth is slowly filling with water

the phantoms of freedom
the wild child’s cry
who can explain it?
maybe you, but not I

« Not I, not I, » said big chicken little
« Not I, » said the big purple hen
they’re just a pair of devil may care
dare devils lost in heaven

miracles and wonders
moonlight and thunder
who can explain them?
who can stand under?

58. MOVERS & SHAKERS

adapted from Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy’s ODE,
(“We are the Music Makers”), 1873

We are the music makers
And the we are the dreams of dreams
Wandering by lone sea breakers
And sitting by desolate streams

World-losers and world-forsakers
Upon whom the full moon gleams
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world forever it seems

With wonderful deathless verses
We build up the world’s great cities
And out of a fabulous story
We fashioned an empire’s glory

One man with a dream, at pleasure
Shall go forth and conquer a crown
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down

we are the movers and shakers
we are the movers and shakers
we are the movers and shakers
of the world forever it seems

We, in ages lying
In the buried past of the earth
Built Rome with our sighing
And Babylon with our mirth

And O’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth
For each day is a dream that is dying
Or one that is coming to birth

we are the movers and shakers
we are the movers and shakers
we are the movers and shakers
of the world forever it seems

we are the music makers
we are the dreamers of dreams
we are the movers and shakers
of the world forever it seems

[ summer 2017 ]

59. NETHERLAND

TAKE ME DOWN
(TAKE ME DOWN, TAKE ME DOWN)
TAKE ME DOWN
DOWN IN NETHERLAND

down in the Netherland
they got a weatherman
he talks to the weather
it tells him where to stand

I talked to the weatherman
he said he has a plan
he’s going take all the weather
and put it in Weatherland

TAKE ME DOWN
(TAKE ME DOWN, TAKE ME DOWN)
TAKE ME DOWN
DOWN IN NETHERLAND

down in Netherland
they got this place called Spain
where they take all the weather
and all the people it’s driven insane

and they put them in the bottom
of this bottle called Spain
tilt it up on one side
and drinking out the rain

TAKE ME DOWN
(TAKE ME DOWN, TAKE ME DOWN)
TAKE ME DOWN
DOWN IN NETHERLAND

down in Netherland
they take all the weather
and the people who’ve gone insane
and they put them all together
in a PLAIN BROWN PAPER BAG
they tie on a tag
that says: light as a feather
if you pour out the weather

you take it down to the tracks
to the crossroad of the rails
load it on a boxcar
of a SOUTH BOUND TRAIN

TAKE ME DOWN
(TAKE ME DOWN, TAKE ME DOWN)
TAKE ME DOWN
DOWN IN NETHERLAND

60. NEVER KNOW (NEVER KNOW)

you’ll never know what hit you
never know, never know
you’ll never know what hit you
oh you’ll never know

it might be a train
it might be a headlight
of a rolling car

it might be a rock
wrapped inside the rain
or a bullet from a shooting star

it might be your shadow
we never know what controls the night
our imagination is no reliable guide
to the morning light

it might be a stranger
never know, never know
it might be the nextdoor neighbor’s dog
oh you’ll never know

our imagination is no reliable guide
to the morning light
when we know who controls the heart
then we’ll know who controls the night

it might be love or it might be rage
or something from a broken heart
or something left over from a dream
un objet d’art

ou bien tu sens des fleurs
dans le fleuve, dans le soir
a tongue in a foreign language
licks your neck and you fall apart

you’ll never know what hit you
never know, never know
you’ll never know what hit you
oh you’ll never know

[ Amsterdam, November 2007 ]

61. NOBODY KNOWS (WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN NEXT)

it might be the first time, it might be the last time
it might be a straight line, it might be a stop sign
it might be a brick wall, or no surprise at all

someone might take your shirt and run it up a flagpole
someone might take your shoes and toss ’em in a black hole
and you might get lost when you’re caught between the rock and the roll

nobody knows what’s gonna happen
nobody knows what’s gonna happen
nobody knows what’s gonna happen
after you’ve wound up your clocks and your time has been told

it might be yes ma’am, it might be no, sir
it might be a place where you can’t go, sir
except on the afternoon when the moon turns blue

and the earth stands still and you keep on shaking
it’s the wildest ride you’ve ever taken
and the sky turns green and you don’t know what to do

nobody knows what’s gonna happen
nobody knows
what’s gonna happen next
when your prayers and your backsliding curses all come true

you know the outside has a way of getting in
it can drive you crazy, make your head spin
banging on the back door shouting for more
like a natural-born sinner in a house of sin

you can’t trust a mirror as far as you can throw it
so your face might be a gargoyle the next time you show it
but your eyes will be the same until they disappear into tears

the sun might explode and the clouds might fall out
and fill the land with thunder and you hear a voice call out
April the 1st will follow October the 9th this year

nobody knows what’s gonna happen
nobody knows
what’s gonna happen
when you drive into heaven without a rear-view mirror

nobody knows what’s gonna happen
you might find yourself the coming attraction
you might find yourself with your feet in motion
and you might find yourself walking out upon an ocean

drink a little « drink me, » get your head unlocked
smoke a little smoke, feel the laughter of the aftershock
bend the frames go all the way to Hades
kiss the flames come back and kiss the ladies

spin the bottle, pin the tail on a goat boy
spit out your name, say that it’s Kilroy
and get rounded up with the usual suspects
nobody knows what’s gonna happen next

62. OLD DAN TUCKER

Old Man Tucker, they call him Dan
washes his face in a frying pan
sits down at the table and starts to eat
fills himself up down to his feet

MAKE WAY FOR OLD DAN TUCKER
HE’S COMING AROUND TO GET HIS SUPPER

he sharpens his knife on a T-bone steak
follows it up with an angel food cake
yams and gravy and pumpkin soup
a pot of clam chowder and a lot of cantaloops

MAKE WAY FOR OLD DAN TUCKER
HE’S COMING AROUND TO GET HIS SUPPER

Old Dan he can eat 25 fish
break a chicken bone and make a big wish
give him a plate of toasted cheese and chili
and a few of them pickles from Piccadilly

frozen pizza he doesn’t defreeze
just bites off a chunk and then says please
pass the mashed potatoes and the rice-a-roni
meatballs, meatloaf and cannelloni

MAKE WAY FOR OLD DAN TUCKER
HE’S COMING AROUND TO GET HIS SUPPER

pancakes, bacon, a dozen fried eggs
artichoke hearts and both turkey legs
for desert he fills his belly
with chocolate ice cream, peanut butter and jelly

peaches and cream go down nice
we got blueberry pie, you want a slice?
old Dan Tucker gets a twinkle in his eye
and says just give me the whole damn pie

MAKE WAY FOR OLD DAN TUCKER
HE’S COMING AROUND TO GET HIS SUPPER

in between meals he goes out for a snack
Hamburger Heaven down by the tracks
goodness gracious sakes alive
all you can eat for a buck twenty-five

I gotta make room for some Quaker Puffed Oats
a banana split and a rootbeer float
you got watermelon? well, I’ll take two
and give me a slew of that graveyard stew

63. OLD FOLKS FROM FARMERSVILLE

old timers, gold miners
witches and midwives
mothers who’d never seen their faces in a mirror

there was Jack of all Trades and Scissors Sam
the Moonshine Monkeys and the Mystery Man
who’d ride in on a tall black horse – then disappear

they had some good things to say
those old folks from Farmersville
father to father
right down the line
it had nothing to do with Jesus
or gossip on the grapevine
it was the holiest of religions
striving to abide

and if you do a good deed
to a stranger in need
forget it
forget it right away

and if a stranger does you a good turn
love it and live it
and never forget it until your dying day

and then there was grandma
« Silence is golden, »
and « The more I learn
the less I know it seems,”

canned peaches, bedtime speeches
bedtime stories and old-time songs
her patchwork quilts were filled with dreams

they had some good things to say
those old folks from Farmersville
father to father
right down the line
it had nothing to do with Jesus
or gossip on the grapevine
it was the holiest of religions
striving to abide

64. OLD HIPPIE'S LAMENT

I crossed the line so many times
I don’t know which way’s out
my brain’s a-flutter
my fingers feel like butter
don’t talk to me about doubt

I keep trucking
shoulder shrugging
bear hugging day and night
my brain’s a-flutter
my fingers feel like butter
don’t talk to me about light

and come around when you’re in town
I’ll show you my old hippie room
but I’m always out
pushing around
my bike on a Sunday afternoon

love and peace
and happiness
it’s still a good way to go

I got all my needs
my Navajo beads
the I Ching coins I throw

what’s that you say?
« all night and day? »
I can only hear you if you scream

I can only hear in red
too much Dead,
Iron Butterfly and Cream

goodbye Jerry
so long, Wavy Gravy
Ken Kesey, I know you’re still alive
way down south inside the pole
where they keep the famous
old hippies on ice

was that you or me?
I can only see
in blue anymore

my brain’s a-flutter
my fingers feel like butter
and my shadow just walked out the door

I’ve crossed the line
so many times
I can only hear you if you shout

I’m losing weight
I can’t wait
for the rest of my hair to fall out

so come around when you’re in town
I’ll show you my old hippie room
but I’m always out
pushing around
my bike on a Sunday afternoon

and I keep trucking
shoulder-shrugging
bear-hugging all afternoon
what’s that you say?
you can only hear in grey?
did you hear that sonic boom?

so goodbye Jerry
so long, Wavy Gravy
Ken Kesey, I know you’re still alive
way down south inside the pole
where they keep the famous
old hippies on ice

65. OLD MAN BLUES

I got the old man blues every night and every day
I got the old man blues every night and every day
he’s a total drag and he’s in the way

he lives downstairs in the back of the house
in an empty room
everytime I play my music
he pounds on the ceiling with the handle of a broom

he smokes a cheap cigar and the smoke seeps up thru the floor
he smokes a cheap cigar and the smoke seeps up thru the floor
he spits on the sidewalk in front of my door

he says someday boy you be as old as me that’s for sure
he says kid you be as old as me that’s for sure
I hope you suffer like I do – only much more

I got the old man blues every night and every day
I got the old man blues every night and every day
he’s a total drag and he’s in the way

I got the old man blues
he’s bad news

66. THE OREGON TRAIL

we left St. Louis on the first of May
we sailed up the wide Missouri River
on the seventh day we stopped, saddled up our mules
rode them west into the wild Nebraska Territory

under burning sun and finding only shade
beneath the cottonwood and willow
we followed the ruts the wagon wheels had made
we followed the sky lines of the eagles and the crows

some were bound for glory
some were bound to fail
some we left behind on the Oregon Trail

we traveled in rain we traveled in the snow
we traveled under thunder and the lightening
and the sky at night filled with God’s holy light
shook our souls, oh it was frightening

we crossed the hunting lands of the great nomadic tribes
the Lakotah, the Cheyenne, Arapahoe
and the prairies where the antelope lay down their bones
and the ancient stomping grounds of the buffalo

some were bound for glory
some were bound to fail
some we left behind on the Oregon Trail

up the Platte River to Chimney Rock
to Horseshoe Creek and Laramie
to the South Pass – across the Great Divide
we came out of the Rockies on the Green River side

we lost ten men at Wind River Falls
and other twenty-five at Miner’s Peak
when the Blackfeet attacked, shot arrows in our backs
many woman, many children died at Coldwater Creek

some were bound for glory
some were bound to fail
some we left behind on the Oregon Trail

over the Cascades into Willamette Valley
where men were laying down the rails
for the trains that would roll headed east into the dust
we had stirred up for the last thousand miles

we stopped and said our prayers when we topped the last hill
and Portland Town came into view
then we said a prayer to those we lost along the way
who still lay in their shallow graves to this day

some were bound for glory
some were bound to fail
some we left behind on the Oregon Trail

67. PRETTY NEAT GUY

oh yeah he was a pretty neat guy
(oh yeah, oh yeah oh yeah)

I saw my uncle standing on the corner
the other man had a gun in his hand
my uncle snapped his fingers, the gun disappeared
he said, « That’s no tool for a gentleman. »

he danced around in a circle
he said, « I’ll show you how to fly »
he flapped his arms
until they were covered with feathers
then he shot straight up into the sky

oh yeah he was a pretty neat guy
(oh yeah, oh yeah oh yeah)

oh yeah, I used to have an uncle
he took me into the backyard
he showed me how to build a tree house
out of a deck of cards

he showed me a movie on the wall
it was The Lion and the Tiger Fight
the lion won
so then he showed the movie backwards
he whistled a jungle tune
as he bounced around the room
and the tiger came back to life

oh yeah he was a pretty neat guy
(oh yeah, oh yeah oh yeah)

68. PUMP IT UP

the DJ’s got the music turned up loud
it’s movin’ like waves thru the crowd

pump it up
come on, man, pump it up

everybody’s dancin’ the decline and fall
shakin’ the foundations, shakin’ the walls

pump it up
come on, people, pump it up

flash, flash, the light show’s on
boom, boom, the beat goes on

pump it up
yeah, yeah, pump it up

I can’t dance
but I can sit here
all night long
with a belly full of beer
and watch you pump it up

look at that guy in the middle of the floor
he’s makin’ some moves I never saw before

pump it up
come on, man, pump it up

check out that girl dancing all alone
she’s lookin’ so good I never want to go home

pump it up
come on, baby, pump it up

I can’t dance
but I can sit here
all night long
with a belly full of beer
and watch you pump it up

69. RESTLESS SLEEP (Texas Dream)

it don’t look like this road
will ever get us out of Texas
I don’t believe this road
goes down to New Orleans

my son was at the wheel
I was deep asleep
it happened all one night
in a restless dream

I’ve never been to New Orleans
I’ve never been to Texas
And I don’t think I ever will
get the chance to go

but who knows, someday maybe
I will look out the window
see a city sliding by
and my son will say that’s San Antonio

I wake up in the backseat
and it’s raining out the window
it’s dark, it’s night
I wonder where we could be

my son says it’s the highway
all the way from Paris
we’re going home, now you go back
and get some more restless sleep

70. RIVER BARGE (for Patrick Riguelle)

come on down to my river barge
come on down and we’ll float away
float away down to the tide-turning towns
float away tomorrow today

I don’t live in the city anymore
I live alone on the river barge
I lay my head in river barge hay
I make my bed on River Barge Bay

come low tide, I’ll take you for a ride
in my River Barge home
River Barge food
River Barge beer
music by River words by Ear

[ April 2005 ]

71. SAN FRANCISCO BAY

I was born and raised on the San Francisco Bay
I was born and raised on the San Francisco Bay

I’ll tell you a story of San Francisco
the year is 1965
there were a few other people running around
but fewer and fewer are still alive

we had the Bay Bridge with Treasure Island
we had the spotlights at night from Alcatraz
we had the Golden Gate lost in the fog
we did the Tenderloin Slide down on Turk and Hyde
to the hard bop beat of the Black Hawk Jazz

these things have changed
they’re not the same
since the day I went away
I was born and raised on the San Francisco Bay

finger-painting museums
graffiti-covered whalebones
and some guy’s on the radio
singing like a rolling stone

Carol Doda’s dancing naked in a window up on Broadway
Allen Ginsberg’s dancing naked outside the bagel shop
and Kerouac’s down in Vesuvio signing autographs
with fake karate chops

these things have changed
no they’re not the same
since the day I went away
I was born and raised on the San Francisco Bay

we had the whole Pacific Ocean
from Seal Rocks to Pacifica
the Fun House and the Do-Nut Shop
out at the end of the Haight Street Shangri-La

we had submarines in Vallejo,
motorcycles humming
up and down Telegraph Avenue
foghorns singing in the night
the Giants playing ball
at Candlestick – but that’s all gone

the Airplane’s at the Fillmore tonight
the Dead’s at the Avalon

and I’m standing on the street outside
to hear Jessie Fuller play
I was born and raised on the San Francisco Bay

72. THE SEASON

it’s the season
when the leaves are dancing round like butterflies
and it’s timeless
the clocks are going crazy telling lies

and the sun is closing his eyes
and there’s a crossroad moon on the rise
and the sky has turned electric blue
it’s the season
when all your dreams of your dreams come true

and there’s no reason
I’ve given up on that one long ago
we just float around
and changes are the only things we know

there’s a dream about a field of dreams
another one about a midsummer’s night
but you know any old dream will do
cause it’s the season
when all your dreams of your dreams come true

and memories
they come and go like water in a well
and when they run dry
then I’ll have nothing worthwhile left to tell

and I know you’re feeling the same
so bring around a bucket and we’ll collect the rain
and we’ll mix the old drops with the new
cause it’s the season
when all your dreams of your dreams come true

I’m amazed when
I come awake each day and see the light
I’m so grateful
I made it thru another night

I can’t believe I’m still hanging around
I can’t believe I’m not hanging upside down
yes I’m so lucky to be alive (and kicking too)
it’s the season
when all your dreams of your dreams come true

73. THE STORY OF THE APE

this story begins on the day I woke up
to find an ape at my table with my favorite coffee cup
I went to the toilet, locked the door, and tried to laugh
turned around, there was the ape taking a bath

I went to the kitchen to get me a drink
there was the ape sittin’ in the sink
I went to the closet, I was leavin’ and that was that
there stood the ape wearin’ my cowboy hat

I ran bare-headed down the stairs
jumped in a taxi, said: take me anywheres
the driver said: you gotta gimme anywhere’s address
he turned around, it was the ape, I knew my life was in a mess

I hit the street as the taxi pulled away
ran around the city for the next few days
came home one night, the house was quiet
(too quiet, I said)
cause when I went up to sleep, the ape was in my bed

I was goin’ crazy I had nowhere else to run
when I found him in my bed, I shot him with a gun
put him in a sack, and I left home
dropped him in the river, he sank like a stone

I was standin’ on the bridge watchin’ the water flow by
very soon I felt someone standin’ by my side
I turned my head and I said: Oh man
yeah, there stood the ape, and he even shook my hand

I moved across the water, cause apes can’t swim
bought myself a castle and I moved in
fixed up the drawbridge, filled up the moat
now no one could get in or out, and apes don’t drive boats

for all the years I lived inside those castle walls
there was an old suit or armor standin’ in the hall
one day when I was watchin’ it walked away
and the footprints in the dust were the footprints of an ape

so I went to a doctor tho I knew he was a quack
said: I’ll give you anything to get this monkey off my back
he said: there’s nothin’ there, but I’ll investigate
drop your pants, bend over, close your eyes and count to eight

so I did like he said, I’d counted up to three
when I felt this furry paw garb me by the knee
I jumped up and hollered rape
pulled down his doctor mask, and there stood the ape

well, you’re probably wonderin’ how this story’s gonna end
but I knew I’d have no peace until this ape became my friend
so I decided I would wait until the next time he dropped by
then we’d sit down, have a talk, look each other strait in the eye

I waited for a week and he never did show
I was gettin’ nervous, and time was passin’ slow
I was pacing around the room when I paused before the mirror
yeah, there stood the ape with a grin from ear to ear

they tied me up and they carried me away
while they were doin’ this I heard someone say:
where we gonna put him, he’s the kid that might escape
we got lots of rooms for humans, we got no place for apes

I suppose I should’ve worried, but I went to sleep instead
woke up in the morning as a peanut hit my head
now the sign says: APE, but you know it isn’t true
you see, they put me in the human cage down in the zoo

74. SUMMER DAYS

you don’t need that rock and roll band
you don’t need that kind of pillow
you don’t need that kind of helping hand
so turn down your radio and look out your window

see the fog sliding by
we got patches of blue up in the sky
here comes the green grass
here comes the sunny haze
here comes the summer days

hello sun, it’s been a long winter
kind of cold and wet around the edges
all those degrees down below zero
all those nights of water pipe freeze

we’ve had our feet too long in the fire
our faces buried in piles of wool
packing around all those sheep on our shoulders
drinking rum until our heads were full

oh here comes the sunshine
watch it burn the fog away
oh here comes the hot times

oh here comes the sunshine
watch it burn the fog away
oh here comes the summer days

later we’ll see the starshine
we’ll watch it shine the night away
then we’ll see the harvest moon
and the last of summer days

you don’t need that rock and roll band
you don’t need that kind of pillow
you don’t need that kind of helping hand
so turn down your radio and look out your window

see the fog sliding by
we got patches of blue up in the sky
here comes the green grass
here comes the sunny haze
here comes the summer days

75. SUN IN SCORPIO

she had a Gemini moon
and her sun in Scorpio
she had a Gemini moon
and her sun in Scorpio
she had a Virgin rising
Venus in the house down below

I said: what does that mean
sun in Scorpio?
tell me what does that mean
sun in Scorpio?
she said: I control your soul
I’m your mojo, don’t you know

I can make the oceans rise
I can make the west wind blow
I can make the oceans rise
I can make the west wind blow
I can take you to the river
make you feel the flow

I said: what does that mean
sun in Scorpio?
tell me what does that mean
sun in Scorpio?
she said: I control your soul
I’m your mojo, don’t you know

76. SUR L'AUTOROUTE ANTWERPEN LIEGE

sur l’autoroute Antwerpen-Liege
ca ne mene nulle part, c^est un piege
le moteur fait la musique de fond
je comptes les sorties et les ponts
sur l’autoroute Antwerpen-Liege

apres minuit c’est presque vide la bas
sure les panneaux les nomes des villes qui n’existent pas
il n’ya plus que toi et la nuit
et quelque taches de pluie
sur l’autoroute Antwerpen-Liege

les yeux sont fatigues et dans les phares
on commence a voir des choses assez bizarres
j’ai vu ub camion de trois kilometres
ma femme a vu une petite bicylette
sur l’autoroute Antwerpen-Liege

on avale les kilometres comme la nuit avale le paysage
on ne s’arrete pour rien meme pour les depanages
j’ai depasse un type completement fou
poussant un voiture sans pneus
sur l’autoroute Antwerpen-Liege

comme la ligne est droit et le temps passe lentement
c’est bien facile s’endormir au volant
et si tu be me trouves pas le matin
c’est que je suis toujours en chemin
sur l’autoroute Antwerpen-Liege

77. THE TALE OF AGAIN AND AGAIN

tell me the tale of again and again
how he sneaks in the back door
and hides in the smoke of the cigarette store
then finds out his mother is the one they call the wind

bring him around with a whiff and a whack
the old Jabbersnack he weighs but a pound
prop him up with a pin again again
make sure his mother is the one they call the wind

whatever happened to the nomenclature
whatever happened to mother nature
spin him around again and again
see if his mother is the one they call the wind

he’s just a half-punk an old hump-a-lump
he’s no match for a slam dunk
he’s too soon for the purple goose moon
take him down with a motorcycle pump

don’t let him mess around with the flow
or take a quick peek at the double take show
feed him on fool bait, pump up his phone
promise him tomorrow and point him on home

tell me the tale of again and again
when he finds out his mother is the one they call the wind

78. TALKING AMERICAN DREAM

I set out for the city
with a guy that smelled like Conway Twitty
Burma Shave and Bay Rum
Coppertone and Double Bubble Gum
Vitalis, Brylcreme a little dab’ll do ya

he had a red tattoo of a naked girl
he said it’s a true portrait of Minnie Pearl
I kicked him out, picked up a woman
had her picture on a skim milk carton
she had a big wig like Jolly Dolly Parton
she was a Dixie Chick
she liked the wide open spaces
between her front teeth

there we were – out in the sticks
me and Jolly Dolly, my new side kick
we were driving around in a used Troubadour Mobile
it had four bald tires and a steering wheel
half a muffler, half a wiper
no visible mean of support

it was shy on the brakes, it had a Cadillac fin
a white rag top blown away by the wind
it had been around the world seven hundred times
starting way back in 1939
World War Two , Korea, Vietnam
it’s last proud owner was a draft dodger
who was lucky to get out of Saigon
in one piece, escaped into Canada
never looked back

cop pulled us over, no tail lights
Jolly Dolly said we never drive this gas hog at night
he said « I guess you’re looking for the American Dream
it’s right around the corner by the coke machine. »

we said the American Dream died years ago
we’re looking for its grave, so maybe you know
where we can find Uncle Sam’s Old Folks Home
we want to do a dance on the American Dream tombstone
put some flowers on its grave, say a prayer
here lies the stars and stripes forever

we crossed a bridge over River Slaughter
a thousand dead fish belly up in the water
on a floating log we saw a family from New Orleans
there go a few more American dreams

since we were kids we’ve heard those politician creeps
making promises they know they’ll never keep
Holy Cococola the American dream
whoever was having it died in his sleep

79. TALKING NORTH BEACH

it was an old Italian restaurant on Washington Square
I was sitting there eating from my plate of spaghetti
the cook started talking about a poet friend of hers
his name was Lawrence Ferlinghetti

so I went down to his bookshop City Lights
he had a Manifesto of Human Rights
I bought myself a copy of Ginsberg’s Howl
sat down on the floor and read it right now

the very first line was a revelation
« I saw the best minds of my generation
destroyed by madness, starving hysterical –  »
I flipped out cause the thoughts in my head were much too numerical

I didn’t know if I was coming or going
I just kept reading that god damned poem
I turned a page and there in big words up above
it said the weight of the world is love

I knew if the weight of the world is love,
I’d have to find some way to get my love unplugged
maybe some wild woman who know all about men
or Gary Snyder with his teachings from the Zen

that’s when I saw this guy staggering down the street
drunk as a skunk, no shoes on his feet
he said I used to be a running back
they called me Jack Kerouac

I said Jack Jack, you’re just in time, I need a guide
show me the ropes and how to catch a ride
I read all your books Dharma Bums & On the Road
I think I’ll come along the next time you go

he said man, my hitch hiking days are thru
all the beats are gone now it’s just me and you
and soon I’ll be gone and ain’t it funny
all they talk about now is how to make money

so I sat down at my old typewriter
banged out a poem about The City Lighters
took it down to the corner, hoping to pay my rent
sold it to a tourist for 25 cents

well, this girl came along and said « Tell me what to do
I wanna be a real beatnik too »
She was six foot five weighed ninety pounds
she had long black hair that touched the ground

she had a black cat, she had rings around her eyes
like an old raccoon she caught me by surprise
she said I might look 46, but I’m a chick of 17
I’m a wild wild woman and I wanna make the scene

I said the first thing you gotta do is drop out of school
then we’ll go down to Mikes Place and shoot a round pool
drink some wine, smoke some pot, get astronomically high
go back to my pad and make the mattress cry

then you’ll write a poem about our topless sex
you can print on the mattress which is now a nervous wreck
take it down to the corner and with a little luck
sell it to the tourists for a hundred bucks

you see the cost of living was climbing sky high
for the average beat it was sell out or die
she sold her poem to a New York Rockerfeller
a million bucks it was a best seller

she became famous on the Jet Set Scene
got her picture in all the glossy magazines
got her face on the late night TV shows
the Pulitzer Prize for Purple Prose

she said it’s time for me to be moving on
I could hardly wait until she was gone
she took her cat, she took her raccoon eyes
the only thing she left behind was her beatnik disguise

I said just remember to be true to your beatnik roots
so she put on a pair of black high heel boots
moved across town where the kids were hairy
became a hippie in the Haight-Ashbury

me, I stayed down on the old Barbary Coast
nothing on my plate but tuna and toast
flat broke, no joke, no more tourists, no more chicks
Book of Revelations: Chapter Six

yes there I was all alone
so sat down and wrote a thousand page poem
about life and love and a music all the way from jazz to disco
I was the last beat poet in San Francisco

as the years went by I was always down to my last meal
but I’ve often wondered who got the best deal
was it she with her million bucks up in a cage?
or me with my poem of a million pages?

well, you figure it out if it was her or me
she spent her million dollars on LSD
I might be down to my last dime
but I can still write another line

postscript: just between me and you
there’s only two things in the world that seem to be true
one is that the world is not only inside your head
the other is something Allen Ginsberg said:
he said: the weight of the world is love

80. THE BEAST

the beast comes back to where he started from
the beast returns

flung into a parallel world of this and that
not knowing who I am or where I’m at
trying to find a place where I can lie down
riding with the ghost riders
in a sky full of thunder

I hear someone calling me back home
someone who controls my name and my jawbone
smoke is rising from the shadows of my eyes
like the wings of a blackbird
flying up from down under

I don’t know but I’ve been told
the streets of hell are god-damned cold
the gates of heaven are made of gold
and the path to them both is the same old story

I’ve been below, it’s the same as above
I’ve been in trouble, I’ve been in love
I’ve seen sirens, heard their song
all in all it’s been a fine, long journey

the beast comes back to where he started from
the beast returns

81. THE BUTTERFLY (For Hans Weiskopf)

oh this dew drop world
blown away by the wind
soap bubble in the air
disappearing into spin

butterflies in Brazil
make the world go round

I dreamed I was a butterfly
now I’m awake
and I wonder who I am
am I a man dreaming
I was a butterfly?
or am I a butterfly
dreaming I’m a man?

I watched you go away
over horizon hill
into the sky
in the blinking of an eye

butterflies go down to Mexico
and cover the trees

I dreamed I was a butterfly
now I’m awake
and I wonder who I am
am I a man dreaming
I was a butterfly?
or am I a butterfly
dreaming I’m a man?

[ Stockay / St. Georges, summer 2017 ]

82. THE LOVERS OF BEGGAR STREET

flexible as a nickel we flipped thru school
got out in the world where we could spread our wings
they called us Bohemians and clipped our wings
we were a noisy generation but we were cool in the heat

O the Beggars, the beggars of Lover Street
we changed our faces, we shuffled our feet
we sent out invitations to come and meet
the Lovers of Beggar Street

I never had a perfect swing
but I could punch the ball between shortstop and third
beat it down the line on a two-strike bunt
but in social skills I was less than complete

I was a Beggar, a beggar of Lover Street
then I changed my face, I shuffled my feet
I sent out invitations to come and meet
the Lover of Beggar Street

They’re still talking about the longhair band
Buzz Box on vocals, Tom Tom Thumb on drums
I held down the bottom with my best bass guitar
it hummed thru my body like a heart beat

we were the Beggars, the beggars of Lover Street
then we changed our names and we shuffled our feet
they’re still talking ’bout our « Napoleon’s Retreat »
the Lovers of Beggar Street

we are the Lovers of Beggar Street
make no mistake we’re still the Lovers of Beggar Street

83. THE OUTLAW

1849 when the railroads were unwinding
there lived a boy, just a kid
his folks were poor, his ma was a whore
his pa whipped him for no matter what he did

he grew up wild this unwanted child
age of ten he picked up a gun
shot his ma, shot his pa
and he was on the run

he started runnin, he started runnin
running from the law
he started runnin, outlaw runnin
running from the law

he rode to the border, cause the men of law and order
put a price on his head
he crossed the great divide cause they wanted him alive
but they just as soon have him dead

ten years went by, in the mountains he survived
living off the land from hand to mouth
ten years went by but his story didn’t die
in the flatlands to the south

he’d doubled his age, he’d turned a clean page
but his poster still hung on the wall
his legend grew and tho it wasn’t true
they said he killed eleven men in all

and he kept running, he kept running
runnin from the law
and he kept running, wild dog runnin
runnin from the law

one full moon in a miner’s saloon
a young woman turned his head
he took a stand she took his hand
and took him up to bed

she gave him loving made a whole man of him
ah – sweet surprise
and then she shook her and slowly said
I can tell by looking in your eye

that you’ve been runnin, you’ve been runnin
running from the law
you’ve been runnin, goose neck runnin
running from the law

she said a runnin man one day must make a stand
it’s best you go back and find out how
you see your face has changed, you don’t look the same
they’ve probably forgotten you by now

he said I’m wanted dead or alive I’ve heard it said
that my poster’s still hanging on the wall
and she said I can’t hide you and I can’t ride beside you
cause runnin’s no life at all

you can’t keep runnin, you can’t runnin’
runnin’ from the law
you can’t keep runnin, Jack of Hearts running
running from the law

he set out alone, heading for home
after all these years
the road was long, his horse was strong
he said I guess I used up all my fears

outside of town he laid his rifle down
word spread ahead like prairie fire
the town got its guns it was a hundred to one
when he rode into their line of fire

they shot him down, they shot him down
they shot him in the back
they shot him down on the far side of town
somewhere across the tracks

dust settled down on that railroad town
the young men went back to work again
the fathers played cards, the mothers prayed hard
and the children said we want to be like him

no need to say there would come a day
when one would pick up a gun
shoot his ma, shoot his pa
and be on the run

and he’ll keep runnin, he’ll keep running
running from the law

and he’ll keep runnin, outlaw running
running from the law

[ 1975 ]

84. THE WANDERING JEW

they call him the child of the thunder god
he’s a human lightning rod
that’s him, the Wandering Jew
they say he’s crazy, careless too
he does what he wants to do
that’s true
another storm rolls in
lightning flashes, thunder crashes
rain pours down and floods the land
he climbs the rocky mountain side
holding out an old tin can
catching lightning in his hands

down along the Miracle Mile
they talk about the wild things he’s done
he’s a son of a gun
riding cyclones, hurricanes
stealing light from the sun
the tidal waves rush in
the Second Coming is at hand
the wind opens heaven’s door
he stands on the ocean shore
his feet planted in the sand
catching lightning in his hands

now you see him, now you don’t
he’s been known to disappear
in the blink of an eye, where did he go?
he’s a stunt man in the movie show
he rides the bull in the rodeo
he used to be a friend of mine
but now he’s gone into the Great
Beyond the reach of mortal man
last seen he was flying a kite
into the center of the night
catching lightning in his hands

another storm rolls in
lightning flashes, thunder crashes
the sky begins to spin
and all you see is a wild child
running for the Promised Land
catching lightning in his hands

85. THEY DON'T SAY IT (BUT IT'S TRUE)

they don’t say it
but it’s true
a way of life
dies with everyman
they don’t say it
but it’s true
sometimes it’s just as well
other times it’s a pity
a crying shame
they don’t say it
but it’s true
if you could be inside of me
and me inside of you
we’d both go insane
in a minute or two
they don’t say it
but it’s true
stark raving mad
you and me
me and you
stick around long enough
you’ll see what I’m saying
we’re a me-you
shocking blue
witches’ brew
Winnie the Pooh
play that’s playing
they don’t say it
but it’s true

86. THIN WAIL WALTZ (for Garrett List)

what can I do
to make it new
can I make it fast
tho it may not last

can I make it slow
with a sky full of snow
make it cry
with a poke in the eye

can I make it old
by making it cold
then thawing it out
with a tickle and a shout

I don’t want to make it cold
or cry or slow
I want to make it smile
at least for a while

I want to make it run
make a shadow in the sun
I want to make it slide
when I take it for a ride

can I make it hot
will you like it a lot
will you still love me
if I make it for free

can I make it hum
like a tribal drum
can I make it dance
like a child in a trance

can I make it wail
can I twist its tail
can I make it spin
right out of its skin

can I howl like the wind
will you still let me in?
will you love me more
if I knock down the door

what can I do
to make it come true
can I leave it alone
with my old trombone

can I make it new
by painting it neon blue

can I make it sing
can I make it grow wings?
can I make it fly
away
and never
come back again

Liege, December 7, 2009

87. TOO OLD TOO SLOW

too old, too slow oh grandpa
too old, too slow, oh grandpa

you say you’ll take me into town
buy me a new pair of shoes
then you disappear for a year
in your 12-bar blues

then I find you sitting and singing
a rocking chair song
you say where you been?
what took you so long?
good thing you showed up
it’s about time to go
too old, too slow oh grandpa

you say you can keep up with me
any time you choose
we’ll have a race, same place
be there with your shoes
I say right outside on the street
right about now
then you show up in your wheel chair
saying what? wheels not allowed?

I say roll on grandpa
show me what you know
too old, too slow, oh grandpa

hey old timer
time to hang up your feet
hang up your car keys
get off the street

that last fender bender
was the third one today
you say it wasn’t your fault
that old lady got in the way

I say how about last week
13 in row
too old, too slow oh grandpa

just give the me keys grandpa
I’ll drive you where you want to go
and you say oh no
you’re too old, too slow

88. TOURIST IN MY HOME TOWN

strange creatures are afoot
on the ladder of my spine
dancin’ to a tune
of time out of mind

ghosts with no name
have caught me in a net
got me dancin’ to a tune
I’d rather forget

don’t ask me why
I keep coming round
I’m a tourist in my home town

can’t get out
can’t get in
the gate’s been closed
and I’m stuck again

the bridges are blocked
and the streets are asleep
the houses are locked
and the steps are too steep

there’s no more kick
in my old stomping grounds
I’m a tourist in my home town

buy a dozen postcards
of the Golden Gate Bridge
ride the cable car
up and down Nob Hill
pass by the house
where I lived in Chinatown
it’s been torn down

my eyes are clouded
my brain is blurred
my heart is speaking
but I don’t hear a word

I don’t think
I’ll ever understand
this drop of rain
in the cup of my hand

can’t go back
to lay my body down
I’m a tourist in my home town

89. TRUCK STOP LOVE STORY

it was a short order cafe, truck stop diner
grease on the menu, grease on the spoons
flies on the ceiling, flies on the window
records on the jukebox with broken-hearted tunes

and he was just another trucker finished with his supper
on his second cup of coffee getting ready to go
and she was waiting tables and peeling labels
from the ketchup bottles when the time was slow
(and today the time was slow)

she was over thirty, her hair was blond and dirty
make-up from the morning running in her eyes
he was looking tired he had sweat around the collar
of his blue denim shirt and as she passed him by
she said, « You still look hungry before you go
is there anything else you might want to try? »
and he said, « Honey – I do believe
I’ll have another piece of apple pie. »
(one more piece of apple pie)

she looked over her shoulder at the back room door
he nodded his head, put his feet on the floor
she disappeared into the back and he was right behind
if you’d been sitting at the counter
it might have crossed your mind
there’s some things in life and man can’t resist
and love can be found even in a place like this

about ten minutes later here comes the new romance
she was buttoning up her blouse, he was zipping up his pants
and then he paid his bill and she wished him good luck
he looked at the watch upon his wrist
he went out in the parking lot, climbed up in his truck
she watched him from the window and she blew him a kiss
yes, love can be found even in a place like this

copyright SABAM (no 203811) 2/14/77

90. TUMBLIN' DOWN

walking is nothing but leaning forward
and taking a step to keep from falling down
(sad but true)
and from above we look like old roadrunners
as we make our way across the ground
(yes we do)
you’re sitting on top of the world
until you start rolling around the pole
then your arms are slapping
and your legs are flapping
as you tumble down a rabbit hole

(and you) keep on tumblin
keep on tumblin’
keep on tumblin’ down

and with all the weight we carry
it’s a miracle we’re still alive
(a thousand tears)
memories and souvenirs
photographs that somehow will survive
a thousand years
but all in all it’s all illusion
covering up the Grand Confusion
ready to pull that slapstick trick
upon your merry-go-round

(and you) keep on tumblin
keep on tumblin’
keep on tumblin’ down

gravity’s got us by the neck
one false step you’re falling on your face
(total wreck)
gravity’s like a rollercoaster
without it we’d be floating round in space
(on a wild good chase)
they say that gravity’s our best friend
but gravity always gets you in the end
it happens every time
he’s no friend of mine
(and we) keep on tumblin
keep on tumblin’
keep on tumblin’ down

you’re a tightrope walker so you take it slow
until you look down and away you go

mumblin’ grumblin’
fumblin’ bumblin’
rumblin’ stumblin’ round and round
keep on tumblin’
keep on tumblin’
keep on tumblin’ down

91. TWO HAND ONE MAN BAND

town to town, day to day
it’s got him down and on the run
suitcase on the end of one arm
guitar case on the other one
he’s the two hand, one man band

bars, cafes, it’s time to play
what’s work today used to be fun
he reaches for his guitar
like an outlaw reaches for his gun
he’s the two hand, one man band

so give that sweet boy
one more chance to say the news
give that sweet boy
one more chance to play the blues

he’s been out on the road
just a little bit too long
so give that sweet boy
one more chance to sing his song
he’s the two hand, one man band

he’s the lost and lonely
two hand, one man band

he’s the one and only
lost and lonely
two hand, one man band

released on DERROLL ADAMS 65th BIRTHDAY CONCERT
produced by Stefaan Francois and Walter Ertvelt
for Waste Productions – WP. 9101 Belgium, 1991
Tucker Zimmerman: vocals and 12-string guitar
Yourra Marcus: 6-string guitar

92. UNREQUITED PAIN

rampages, road rages
beaten wives and kids in cages
suicide bombers, greasy politicians
pollution upon pollution, lousy decisions
no rhyme or reason, there’s nothing to explain
« ten thousand killed in a Sri Lanka rain »
what am I supposed to do with all this pain?

switch on your color TV
it’s loud and clear and plain to see
aids in Africa, famine in Afghanistan
mass murders in Atlanta, militias in Montana
we’re all hooked up on an endless chain
information overload
what am I supposed to do with all this pain?

Jews in Palestine, Yanks in the Middle East
babies left in boxes, jokes about peace
assassinations in Holland
cult sacrifices on the pacific rim
your mind just goes down the drain
and the singer of the year is Shania Twain
what am I supposed to do with all this pain?

a sniper fires off a hundred rounds
misses every time then turns around
sticks the gun in his mouth, blows of his head
DRIVE BY SHOOTING LEAVES ONE BOY DEAD
it’s all for show, all in vain
all is vanity and burning shame
what am I supposed to do with all this pain?

so just go out and sing, if that’s what you do
grow your garden, make it come true
share as much as you can spare
make me laugh, it’s my only rescue
and stay away from the push and shove
you’ve got your friends
your friends have got you
what are you going to do with all this love?

93. WAITING

I wait for a green light
I wait for the rain
I wait for the pill
to relieve the pain

I wait for a bad dream
To come to an end
I wait for the dawn
and the summer to come round again

yes I’m waiting
yes I’m waiting
I’m waiting for the day
when people stop fighting wars
waiting for the second shoe
to fall and hit the floor
waiting in the dark
like I did the night before

I wait for a phone call
I wait for a plane
I wait for an angel
to call my name

I wait for the mailman
I wait for a rhyme
it seems that I’m waiting
waiting all the time

[ summer 2017 ]

94. WALKIN' SHOE BLUES

Words by T. Zimmerman & Marie-Claire Zimmerman
Music by T. Zimmerman

old walkin’ shoes
I got the walkin’ shoe blues
they’ve been walkin’ me around
they got my two feet
six feet in the ground

29 miles 29 miles
I’ve come a long way tonight
I got a few more miles
before I see the morning light

I’d rather be
I’d rather be at home
sittin’ in my old rocking chair
instead of walkin’ round
all the way from here to nowhere

how many steps
how many more steps
must I take before my old walkin’ shoes
have walked away
these old walkin’ shoe blues?

holes in the soles
of my old walkin’ shoes
they’re getting’ bigger every day
soon I’ll have to say
I walked my walkin’ shoes away

how many steps
how many more steps
must I take before my old walkin’ shoes
have walked away
these old walkin’ shoe blues?

[ Vallespir (France), January 2009 ]

95. WASTELAND BLUES (THIRD WORLD EVERYWHERE)

there’s an age-old plague upon the land
the good earth is being turned to sand
it’s been in Mexico for many a day
now it’s sweepin’ north, it’s comin’ this way
it’s comin’ to the U.S.A.

chaos and destruction, look and you will see
people scroungin’ ’round in the rubble on their knees
no more houses just tents and trailers
and cardboard jungles and contagious disease
welcome to the wasteland
it’s gonna last for centuries

self-elected princes behind barbed wire
TV propaganda’s psychopathic liars
politicians with contaminated roots
pickpockets in ten thousand-dollar suits
consumed by greed
and evil desires

livin’ in a wasteland of smoke and dust
contaminated water, dirt and rust
where absolutely nothing is ever shared
not even the rich will be spared
we’re doomed to poverty
third world everywhere

96. WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING

we are always watching
we are always watching
can’t ignore the world that flows before our eyes

we are always watching
we are always watching
can’t ignore the world that flows before our eyes

people moving round and round
people talking, people laughing
but we’re not laughing, we’re not talking
we’re just walking along and watching
people watching other people
here’s the church, here’s the steeple
look inside, nobody home

people running, feet not touching
the ground
sometimes we find ourselves running too

people scheming, people dreaming
lost in thoughts and double meanings
I know that feeling and so do you

we are always waltzing
we are always dancing around the floor
like we’ve been here before

we are always sliding
sliding and colliding, riding the merry-go-round
on the last horse out of town

we are always watching
we are always watching
can’t ignore the door that opens from behind

we are always looking
we are always looking
for a place to rest our eyes, to give us peace of mind

[ Amsterdam, November 2007 ]

97. WE ARE THE MUSIC MAKERS

[ Words by Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy , 1873 ]

We are the music makers
And the we are the dreams of dreams
Wandering by lone sea breakers
And sitting by desolate streams

World-loser and world-forsakers
Upon whom the pale moon gleams
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world forever it seems

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory

One man with a dream, at pleasure
Shall go forth and conquer a crown
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down

We, in ages lying
In the buried past of the earth
Built Nineveh with our sighing
And Babel itself with our mirth

And O’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth
For each day is a dream that is dying
Or one that is coming to birth

[ summer 2017 ]

98. XANADU (ON THE ROAD TO)

1.
on the road to Xanadu I met a doctor who
had a one-wagon medicine show
he had ten penguins, eleven ravens
but he pulled in a crowd with his crippled crow

it prophesized the future by standing on a ouiji board
and pecking out the letters and the signs
it knew all the great philosophical debates
the cat and fiddle riddles and the I Ching lines

when I flipped him a coin he flapped his wings
he got all excited and his face turned blue
he didn’t know what to do as he clawed out the letters:
X-A-N-A-D-U

2.
half way to Xanadu I stopped for a beer
at a roadside trucker’s cafe
thumbtack salad and diamondback stew
was the blue plate special of the day

at the end of the counter behind a morning paper
sat a sports page prophet reading the news
he worked out the menu and the crossword puzzle
then he looked at me with eyes of glue

he said I know where you’re going and if I were you
I’d turn around now, go back home, what
ever you do stay away from X-A-N-A-D-U

3.
when I got to Xanadu I saw the skulls and bones
hanging down from the city limit sign
up against the gate were the crucified thieves
they were down to their very last dime

and inside the dome they had buckets of foam
and prehistoric alligator spines
I bought one of each plus a petrified peach
and bean bag growing on a barbed wire vine

they took all my money I was flat broke
I had a load of junk and very little hope (you know the)
next time around when I need a monkey paw
I think I’ll go shopping in Shangri-La

99. YOU'VE EITHER GOT THE RHYTHM (OR ELSE YOU'VE GOT THE BLUES)

If you’re not the locomotive
then you must be one of the rails
if you’re not the hammer
then you must be one of the nails
if you’re not the driver
then you’re one of the screws
you’ve either got the rhythm
or else you’ve got the blues

Sometimes you’re up in heaven
sometimes you’re down in hell
you can swim the river
or you can drown in the wishing well
sometimes you’re in the spotlight
sometimes you blow a fuse
sometimes you got the rhythm
sometimes you got the blues

One day you’re the scapegoat
next day you’re the boss
you ride the merry-go-round
and then you carry the cross
one day you’ve got all figured out
the next you’re completely confused
one day you’ve got the rhythm
next day you got the blues