Terra Cotta’s Just Clay
Recorded in the new “Rubber Room with a view” where digital and analog, drum machine and banged-on things, vodka and whiskey, fought a half-assed war of frail alliances and technical difficulties. Summer 2000.
- Dawn Was Bound to Break
- 252 Elm
- Every Bar
- Terra Cotta
- That Song
- Frail Alliance (acoustic)
- Ya Home?
- Siren Song
In a ritualized diversion, she turns their heads like cream. Wearing quiet grace like boredem, she grins a playful dampened dream. But Dawn was bound to break, I pity the love she leaves. How pretty, the love she leaves. She tears the wallflowers down. The pretty punks come dancing round and round. She says, "Keep me dancing still, That I may stay a sober man, While others drink their fill." And she knows just when to quit, "There, there, my sweet, our love will keep." And she gives it up again and again. All's fair in tangled hair and lucid dreams my darling, dear.
Nobody said no, so we walked right in. Some of us staggered, but most of us grinned. We had shit in our hair, Schlitz in our guts, and spittle on our chins. We were the slick suburban sons, just something our folks had done. All of my friends were built for speed, and the bar was just a setting for our wetter dreams. We got high before school, and at lunch, and at home. We got high all day, every day. We drank our fathers' booze, we played our mothers' games. We were never less confused, but we were always in our way. All of my friends were the latest scene, and the bars were overrun with fake I.D.s. Tony stayed drunk, he carves his name in bars with his teeth. Nicky found god then Nicky found crack in the same sick fucking week. Did you hear how Duncan went queer? And every night is class reunion hell At 252 Elm.
It's dark, and the man I used to be is busy throwing darts at your memory. Judging from the pain behind my eyes, I'd say he's missing almost every time. I've got a bottle and an armchair, I'm all dressed up and going nowhere. So tonight, I'm gonna sit at every bar in this town, and drink one for the way you pissed me off when you were still around. Somewhere there's a girl with a smile like the fourth of July, a body like a long, cold drink, when she laughs it's all summertime. And somewhere there's a guy who thanks god every day, because that girl has finally gone away.
Lined up where the sanity stops and you and I begin, my past crimes stand like housewives as the new slight stumbles in. And it's wrong to blame specific aches for a general state of sore, when all you need is less of me, and all I've got is more. It's your turn, It's fucked up anyway. It doesn't matter why. It doesn't matter what I have to say. We skated on the all and all, arm in arm, until we carved it away. We cut the sit-com down to one thin line, it's where you smile while you say, "Sometimes, terra cotta's just clay." You said, "Sometimes, terra cotta's just clay."
You buried all the hatchets you had. Now you're out back, digging like a blind man's dreams. If I laugh now, I'll die first, Another love'll rest in pieces, So Poe-etiquette-ly. Your tell-tale heart's been beating like a drum. My one good eye is eyeing you, and you, you seem a little high-strung. Amontillado on your breath, murder in your beautiful eyes. If you buried all the hatchets you had, Why do I feel like I've been stabbed?
The cigarette smoke dances ballet in the air, paints shadows on the wall and a halo round his thinning hair. And the dawn falls down, stinking of gin. Another night dies, and the mourning begins. He figures he should get some rest or another glass of something like hope, when a bird on the wire outside clears its throat. It's a song that he's heard before, but he can't remember the words. It was all about life, or love, or god, or a beautiful girl, in a beautiful car. And he tries to sing along, but he can't get it right because he can't get it wrong. The food sucks, unless you're eating the beer. She says, "The world's full of assholes, and they all dine here." The ones who bust her hump the most tend to tip the least. It's all stale booze, stale jokes, and grease. And she thinks about cashing out, going home and cashing in, when the game goes off and the jukebox kicks in. And you try to sing along, but you can't get it right because you can't get it wrong. It goes, "Shut it all out, Shut it all off, Shut it down."
She held out my hand and made believe the lines were hers. She choked on her laughter and said, "If this is all I'm worth, I'm gonna get myself a razor blade and carve away the mess you've made, these empty, wasted lines you've cut." I said, "Break the skin, and graft the bone, Just clean me up and take me home. Because I'm the hero when I'm stoned, and if I've never been all that brave, I've never been one to be saved." Her hand was shaking slightly as she brought the scalpel down, and her surgical Swiss Army mapped the piss-ant to the crown. "Your heroes should be fools," she said, "and your gods should all be clowns. Your death should be senseless, and your life should be a strange parade of sound." When the blood was slow to dry, she offered me a cigarette. She said, "Do you feel changed?" And I said, "Yes, but then I always have."
Splitting hairs with a chainsaw, making my spirits fight. It's a pitiful day, a pharmaceutical night. But no pain is no pain. I've got my head in my hands, my dick's in my pants, and my gut's picking up the slack. I could booze a little more, I could screw until I'm sore, But I'll never get my stomach back. And I'd hate to fail such a frail alliance, But I'll never be the kind of friend that you needed today. Fitting in is kinda seeping out of you. I know the choice is mine to make.
They're drinking in The Church Of His Mercy And His Sword to the soul of Dan Shadowback. When the young priest sways, is it grief, is it grace, or a taste from old Dan's flask. There's laughter and smoke in the air, whiskey and tears on the floor. And the widow can't be found, could be drunk, could be drowned, could be slamming old Dan's pine door. The bartender says, "I've never met anybody sane, nobody goes to heaven, they all get carried away." "He was a damn fine man," says Johnny From the Band with his right foot on the rail. "Yeah," says Jacks as he raises his glass, "but the dumbass was born to fail." And the jukebox breaks their hearts, as another round warms their souls. "It's funny," Billy says, "but when you bury a friend, you drop a lot of you in the hole." They're drinking in the Church Of His Mercy And His Sword to a dawn that's slow to break. 'Cause dan's found god and I wouldn't take the odds, today, I'd bet your god sleeps late.
When you held your head high, the sun felt unreal. It warmed till it burned you, you blistered and peeled. So you went inside, and the sun went away. It started to rain then, it's been raining for days. The plants on your window sill have withered and died, while the rain fell behind them, it was raining outside. Angel, if you're in there, come on out. The sky's still full of thunder clouds. You've been waiting on rainbows, you've been wasting away. So tonight, we'll just pray for rain. There's a part of me that's dying, and a part that's dead, the kid who wants to love you, and the clown that did. It's a locket full of love, in a pocket full of hate. It's the push, come to shove, come to slow decay.
Drunken feet stumble through the wasteland. Ghosts of breath tremble in the cold. Filthy streets struggle with the moment, while shadows mark the progress of my soul. So what's it like to be alone? How does it feel to be alone? Can you bear to be alone? I just want to be alone. Remember smoking in your one-room mansion? We spoke of growing old, becoming gods. Divinity's just a product of our passions And in the end, it's just another job. Siren song, you're always there.