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Friday, 27 February 2015

Mother's Medicine


Your mother's got her medicine, but she's still got her temper
      and neither mix well with vodka.
Her beatings are extra vicious if you remind her of your existence
      so you been quiet since you were a toddler.
She likes to remind you, even though it's not true,
      of how you drove your dad away;
How he could never love you, how no one could ever love you,
      how you're her worst mistake.

Every day and night, this world, its people, life
      taunts you with its happiness.
On the day that you turned twelve, the store would finally sell
      you your own box of matches.
The flames would singe your arms, new blisters on old scars
      and you didn't even screw your face.
The pain shot through your blood, still you'd do it again because
      it's like some sort of escape.

On the day you turned thirteen, the kids were being so mean
      you just closed your eyes and ran away.
You cut through the park, went down the thistle path
      to the shorelines of the boat lake.
You were born in late november, so the water when you got there
      was colder than an old grave
But the same way the matches left your mind distracted,
      the water numbed the pain.
You went in to your waist and thought about being famous,
      it was surely gonna come;
The teams of reporters filming across the waters,
      interviewing everyone.

The pondweed round your legs, the heaviness of your dress
      starts to pull you under.
With the water to your head you took your final breath
      and thought about your mother;
You wished someone would love her;
You wish she could have loved you.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Spring Streams

I was a boy that year that the circus came to town
      with my knees grazed up and my shirt-tail sticking out
No stone-eyed, pebble-minded rockslide could beat me down
      I was a Spring stream, running from a mountain

There was a lady on the steps of a red, wooden caravan
      with hair on her face and tattoos on her hands
I said I'd feed her snake, pick her heather, big her act
      if she'd take me from this love-forsaken land

She said, "You're like a Spring stream, running down from a mountain,
Like a good dream I don't want to wake up from"
And her heart beat through those words like a poem
When she said to me, "Come, run away with the circus"

I worked as hard as the horses and I slept under the hay
     or in the cages with the lions and the tigers on the nights when it rained
The mornings were the thunder to them lightnin' nighted circus days,
      all us storm-cloud-outcasts, the ghosts and the clowns and the strays

There was a dirty blond girl we came across one morning
      with lightning-bolt-blue eyes and desert skin
She'd outdone the Devil for that face and a lifetime of whoring
      and cashed in on the sins of God's settled gentlemen

She was like a Spring stream running down from a mountain
Like a good dream I didn't want to wake up from
And my heart beat harder than a hammer
When she said to me, "Lets run away from the circus!"

I said, "This is the best of the lives I've known,
and I won't ever call a mountain home"
She said, "There's prairies and there's deserts and there's meadows and there's plains
      You and me are rivers raging with the rain
And I can feel another storm coming in,
      So let's fly too close to the Sun, let it burn our skin!"
She said, "I'll peel your blisters and kiss your bleeding flesh!"
She screamed, "I'll peel your blisters and kiss your bleeding flesh!"
I laughed, "I'll kiss YOUR blisters and choke you half to death!"
We called it love
      and then we high-tailed it out of that tent!

We were like a Spring stream running down from a mountain
Like a good dream we didn't wanna wake up from
And our hearts beat through those fields in perfect rhythm
For a while