Herein lies yet another collection of acerbic love songs and self indulgences. Turns out I’m a one-trick pony. To quote the esteemed Dr. Thompson, “I’ve never claimed to be anything but a nice guy and an athlete.” Dave Mirabella added his slide guitar magic to “Rusted,” and Nick Della Guistina lent his schooled ear to taming my sonic mess. Recorded in the Red Room with N-Track Studio and Drums on Demand during the summer of 2004.
- Standard Practices
- Little Help
- Slider Game
- Austin 66
- Fine Young Man
- 3 Sheets
We hardly ever fight, It’s damn near wedded bliss, Since I learned to take a dive, Since I finally learned to quit. The drunkard had to go, He was talking in his sleep. So I showed him to the door, Then I poured myself a drink. And I understand Everything changes, But there’s a part of me that love’s the man I used to be So eloquently loaded, Just fucked enough to know it, All god-damned, And devoted to the fall. A Don Quixote with a plan, A Cyrano with two left hands, A drunken Enderby Who’s never where he says he’ll be. Jane, Stop this crazy thing. It’s changing you, And you’re changing me.
A running list of all the worst of my mistakes, All categorized and ranked, With some highlighted. Kept on hand in case I forget what you said, For when I can’t get out of bed, And you’re not done fighting. You tagged every time that anyone Has ever done you wrong. If I could read your mind, love, I’d have to burn the athenaeum down. No one’s talking, If they tell you where it hurts, You’ll know where to hit them first. All those words You wasted on the hurt, When it finally goes to press, Does it hurt you any less? I’m all done, I guess I said too much tonight, Gave you way too much to write, I see you’re still writing. But someday you’ll read it back, And I hope by then you’ll laugh, You’ll laugh at all that crying.
I spoke before I raised my hand, The ritual eludes me once again. If there’s a problem here, Just tell me where it goes Because I’m afraid There’s always something else. And why discuss it When there’s still room in the back On the bottom shelf. You try to fight it, And all you get is bruised. Everyone’s disgusted I’m amused. It seems a part of me Is always falling out of me And I wouldn’t mind, But they all look so concerned. And once the rest of me Begins to get the best of me, I’ll gather up the poetry And see if bullshit burns. Don’t try to fight it It’s easier to lose. Everyone’s amazed I’m just confused. It’s all standard practices The paper cut, the all better kiss. We both know what it is, But it’s not working. I’m not the norm I used to be, I don’t know what went wrong with me, I waited on epiphany, But nothing really changed. And they said, “It sucks, But there’s nothing you can do.” While they got fucked, I did my best to get used. We’re still 2 and 0. We can’t let up, We can’t let go.
I'm half whacked on Benadryll, shitty brown weed, and a box of cheap white zinfandel, And you choose now to come down on me. To tell you the god's honest truth, I never know what to do, Because I'm never sure what I've done. And I'm losing another one of your games, I'll never win because I don't know how to play. You make the calls, you call the plays. I didn't drop the ball, it just got away. Little help? Here comes your trademark sigh, the one that says it all. It says it's all my fault, it says it all the time. I guess I'm just an easy target. I'm feeling like the fat retarded kid in dodge ball. You're keeping my back to the wall.
“I used to have it all,” she says, Each night before she climbs in bed With Lucky, her blind teddy bear, And the same old slew Of white-knight-mares. Her cat’s keep dying And she swears that there’s no reason why They won’t eat When she walks by And she says, “Yeah, I feel alright, But I think I’ve got a cold. I’d love to go But there’s just too much to do.” And you can't ask, Because she's been told, And she's worried about you. It sucks to be afraid of life, And never seem to find the time to die. She turns the lights down low, And crawls into that place she goes Where nothing seems to bother her But the air she breathes. And she always seems. She always seems to be, But never is.
I got a thank you note from an old dead friend. It said, “Thanks for thinking of me, They’ll be thinking of you next.” I got a valentine From an old girlfriend. She said, “I think about you often, But I’m dying to forget.” I got an old dead letter, It’s one I wrote to me myself. It says, “I’ll write when I get better.” And I haven’t written yet. It’s like a tattoo carved With a dull and rusted needle. You stay drunk enough, It only hurts a little. But it eats at you non-stop, Like bird shit On a rag-top. I got three cracked ribs That I re-crack every year. I guess I’ll never really learn, To take it easy on the stairs. I got a hole in me That I tried to fill with booze. I can’t quite top it off, But it makes a damn fine swimming pool. I got 32,000 tugs of tar in my lungs. I’ve hosted 2200 Russian quarts in my gut. And I’ve walked my own damn dog, Around 16,000 times. I’ve smoked twice as much as I spanked, Less than a tenth of what I drank, Quart-wise.
It’s not the years, It’s all the mileage. It’s not the tears, It why you cry them. It’s not the distance, Or the tolls. It’s the condition Of the roads, That wears it out. It wears it out. It’s not the screams, It’s all the silence. It’s not the hate in your grey eyes, It’s how you hide it. It’s not the harsh of your, “fuck you,” It’s the hollow, “I love you too.” That wears it out. It wears me out. On the outside, It’s fine. On the outside everything shines. But inside, It’s dying. Inside… It’s all worn out.
You're flawed, So deep it hardly shows. Perfection to the stone, But it eats your mind away. You're sick and you know it, You feel yourself growing down, It's a slider game, You're obsessed and it's lame You know you'll never figure it out. But you picked it up, Now you can't, Put it down. Hey corduroy kid, It's all slide or it's all skid. You can hide your hands in your toughskins man, But your palm's already been read.
Of all the little cuts That carved me into me, It’s your scars show the most, You may have cut too deep. They taught me how to hurt. They taught me how to love. You taught me something worse, You taught me how to turn it off. It’s a crazed cavity, A little pocket of numb You passed on to your son, With love from dad. Another hand me down sociopath. It’s in the slow death You always feared would find you. It’s in the cold fish That’s lying there beside you. It’s in the sucking sound you hear in the shower every day. Watching your hair Chase the soap-scum, Chasing your love, Down a cum-clogged drain.
For weeks now I’ve been breathless, Two years with my tail between my legs. And no one knows this, But I’m not sure of half the things I said. A born romantic, But the cynic clown was bound to take the stage. A sorry spastic, The rag-tag man sits down And comes of age. Maybe I’m spent, But I don’t think so. No there’s got to be more to me. It’s just a phase, I’ll get better, I’ll get back up on my feet. It’s a goddamn fine young man I kill today. His only fault was vast shortsightedness, He thought it would go away. Someone help me tear his shit down off the walls, It’s all the same retarded nonsense, Jesus-complex carryall. And I don’t need to be forgiven, The fool was bucking for the grave. He worshiped tired martyrs, Pacify to hide the rage. It’s a goddamn fine young man I’ve killed today. His only fault was vast shortsightedness, He thought it would go away. And maybe it has, Now that he’s gone. But I can’t help but feel ripped off, It took me far to long To figure out where I’m not. Slow burn away, I finally found the strength to fade.
I’m sailing three sheets to the wind, On a boat I built with rubber bands and Popsicle sticks. And the whole thing floats askew, But it’s the best that I can do. And I don’t feel scared. I really don’t feel anything. I did my best to stay, But there’s no room on shore for me. I’m the kind they’d medicate, And I’d rather drown at sea.
Could be the firelight, Dancing to the highway sound. Could be the $2.99 blood of Christ Getting passed around. Could be a county fair, From somewhere way down south, Caught a north-east wind, And decided to hang around. Could be the young John Hunt And his famous five string Yamaha, Throwing the perfect words, At the perfect song. It’s just an old guitar With rusted strings, But tonight It feels like everything Depends upon the way It creeks and moans. It’s like the part of you that had to leave Is finally tugging on your sleeve, And pointing down the road That leads back home.