The Moon, A Silver Dime

The Moon, A Silver Dime

Who cares if we got heartache here my boy

we can hold her close until it kills us to endure it

they say one man's sorrow is another's joy, one's heads is another's tails

so I'll flip you for it

 

Perhaps the sky is just a big dark place to get lost

maybe the moon is just a silver dime to be tossed

call it in the air, wish upon its chime

oh brother tell me can you spare the moon a silver dime

 

Lord knows that old bitch fortune loves a game

to hide among the leaves and sucker punch the rover

you wager happiness and love, failure or fame

with a reckless heart to grieve

until the game is over

 

Perhaps the sky is just a big dark place to get lost

maybe the moon is just a silver dime to be tossed

call it in the air, wish upon its chime

oh brother tell me can you spare the moon a silver dime

 

You need a blanket and a pillow for your bed

a doorway full of rain

a heart that beats too loud too often

like a friendly dog with a raincloud overhead

good luck may follow you straight down into your coffin

 

Perhaps the sky...

 

 

Disappearing Waltz

Days on a train watching window scenes vanish

bound for a country where people speak Spanish and live their lives without fear

watching their own window scenes disappear

do you live your life by the code of magicians

never let on how your tricks elude vision

a suitcase of mirrors and smoke stowed in the baggage compartment alone

as the tracks pull you farther from home

 

The train sets you down in a town by the ocean

looking for lodging but nothing is open

it must be some holiday

only the beer joints and the brothels are serving today

the streets wind along like the lines in a sonnet

you follow them til you collapse and you vomit

don't you know nights like these will vanish like thieves with your memories

into the hills with your memories

 

Something turns back into nothing again

the padlocks hang open no trace of the man

so real may it seem, when as in a dream

something becomes nothing again

 

Dragged from the stage by the manager's hook

fractured in mad leaps of faith that you took, still you smile

well isn't that life

soon as your feet kick the air the ground isn't there

whipped by misfortune or pummeled by madness

beaten half senseless left by the road pantsless

the worm forgives the plow

just as the plow forgets the blood

when there's work to be done in the mud

 

Something turns back into nothing again

the padlocks hang open no trace of the man

so real may it seem, when as in a dream

something becomes nothing again

something becomes nothing again

 

Love often aimless and more often tragic

something becomes nothing as though by magic

it rains, the rain goes away

leaving the nightcrawlers stranded and the clouds empty-handed

life in the country meets life in the city

Death follows after panhandling for pity

in shabby clothes in the lane

knowing something will be nothing again

what was nothing once becomes nothing again

 

 

 

Catskills Trailer

We got a mobile home

no matter where I roam it's someplace to get back to

a place to hang my hat and take off my clothes

 

Imagine living life that way

always running away from the law or the landlord

at least you don't get bored when you're on your toes

 

But there's always someplace you'd rather be

you've seen it on tv or in a magazine

Pompeii or Aberdeen, the calling of the Great Unknown

 

We got a mobile home, we got a mobile home in the Catskills

we got a mobile home, we got a mobile home in the Catskills

the telephone don't ring here 

bottles and cans don't pay the bills

 

I don't ask much of you

be there to help me through life's spooky hollows

you don't have to swallow my philosophy

 

I don't tell you where to buy your clothes

and I don't care where your money goes just as long as it's yours

let me die dirt poor if I wanna be

 

With my hot plates and coffee machines

tabloid magazines and a radio

black flies in the kerosene

policemen in the town below

 

And I know that you treat me kind

even though my tongue unwinds like a sideshow barker

all night til there's light in the windows

 

I'm a pipe dreamer I've been told

I don't know if it's bold or just blind as batshit

to the world that the rest of the world knows

 

But there's something in the wind

that says come in get out and come back again

sit down where have you been

we know you get hung up in that skull all alone

 

We got a mobile home, we got a mobile home in the Catskills

                                                                                we got a mobile home, we got a mobile home in the Catskills

the telephone don't ring here

I don't believe it ever will

 

 

Waltz for the Rain

Fall down and lean on the windowpane, then 

rise up and twist in the weathervane

rise up and fall down again

 

Fall down walk these city streets again, then

rise up to washed out skies welcoming

rise up and fall down again

rise up and fall down fall down again

 

Rise up for Heaven is waiting, then

fall back with the weight of your suffering

rise up and fall back again

 

Fall down and send rivers on their way, then

rise up and come back some other day

go and come back again

go and come back come back again

 

Rise up for we all must try to rise, then

fall down like teardrops from weeping eyes

fall down like teardrops again

 

And I won't abuse you with flattery

and I won't complain when you fall on me

rise and fall on me again

rise and fall on me fall on me again

rise up and fall down again

rise up and fall down fall down again

 

 

New Year's Lullaby

Hey goodnight

put out the cat put out the light

hey put out the light

shadows will keep these weary hours

 

Hang down your head

kick down the door fall into bed

pray the Lord above

your soul to take

 

Til the bells ring out

to wake the world and let them know

we are still here

and may be better off this year

 

Bills are paid

ghosts of the season are out on parade

dead folks on the town

muttering unlikely resolutions

 

Time ago

seems like these days came dressed in snow

and round again we go

for old times' sake

 

Til the bells ring out

to wake the world and let them know

we are still here

and may be better off

we may be better off this year

 

 

One of the Good Ones

In the streets there are no cars there is no light

in the forest owls are waking up the night

in the houses in the bedrooms out of sight

people are dreaming 

 

Do they sleep because there's nothing else to do

do they dream because in dreams they're born anew

to discover when they wake they have become

one of the good ones

 

I don't expect a lot I ask too much

and I lean upon my anger like a crutch

even though I realize it's such

a sad way to go on

 

Outside the rain falls and the churches ring their bells

believing most of us will die and go to Hell

if God is good you know I'm sure that he can tell

one of the good ones

 

Contraptions of skin over bone

were not made to be good

exploding or sinking like stones

but darlin' if I could I would

 

Call back the reckless words I let fly

that I see written on the teardrops in your eyes

I hope that you can see how hard I try

I will try again

 

Maybe it's good enough to know we can be free

from the rusty chains of time and misery

I'll do everything that I can do to be

one of the good ones

 

Contraptions of skin over bone

were not made to be good

exploding or sinking like stones

darlin' if I could I would

 

Keep you with me here tonight under the stars

but instead you'll catch a plane you'll call a car

I'll always tell everyone I know that you are

one of the good ones

 

 

Song for an Empty Building

The streets dress up in dim light and start making for the moon

people smile throughout the city jangling keys to every room

midnight comes and nobody comes home

 

Some go laughing to their horses with their jackets under arm

there are no vagrants or police in sight to do them any harm

midnight comes and nobody comes home

 

Nobody sings here any more

nobody sings here any more

nobody talks about the weather or drinks wine and sleeps together

nobody sings here anymore

it's too unhappy to endure

how everything's so faded and obscure

 

Shadows crowd the doorways and the buildings lose their light

everything knows that some times will bring no living soul in sight

midnight comes and nobody comes home

 

Nobody sings here anymore

nobody sings here anymore

nobody plays the tarantella or stands under Death's umbrella

nobody argues in the halls

no one hangs pictures on the walls

nobody stands here growing gray beards while their aching arches fall

nobody sings here anymore

oh it's unhappy that's for sure

how everything's so faded and obscure

 

At one o'clock the streets are full of relics full of sand

and two o'clock brings final notes to every good-time band

let them drone

and nobody comes home

 

Nobody sings here anymore

nobody sings here anymore

no one leaves orphans for the abbot or pulls top hats out of rabbits

nobody sings here anymore

nobody waltzes on the floor

no one drags chairs or plays the tuba or falls down screaming Hallelujah 

nobody sings here anymore

or knocks the knocker on the door

depart and come again for evermore

 

Michelle's Waltz

Springtime in New York City

and hawks are nesting up high

they see it all from their places in Heaven

all matters of distance beneath the big sky

 

Winter makes lonely hearts shiver

they wait to come back like the ghosts of the leaves

still there are cold winds and Amtrak train whistles

and fat guys with pistols 

to bring melodies

 

If I'm off to the city it's greenbacks to spend

but if I'm off dreaming it's free

if life were a long song

nobody'd want to sing along

but if I go waltzing would you waltz with me

 

People spend their whole lives waiting

and they don't know what they await

but they still wait for the grass to stop growing

or the wind to stop blowing

and life comes to late

 

But we'll know that nothing's the matter

and we'll be funny and free

and we'll know all things are matters of motion

and move through this blue world

just like you and me

 

If I'm off to the city it's greenbacks to spend

but if I'm off dreaming it's free

if life were a long song

nobody'd want to sing along

but if I go waltzing would you waltz with me

 

I'll go back to the green fields of Lancaster

following the green exit signs

but if you can find a tall enough building

you'll see all the way from your window to mine

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 comment

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