It gets so sticky down here Better butter your cue-finger up It's the start of another new year Better call the newspaper up 2.50 for a hi-ball And buck and a half for a beer Happy hour, happy hour Happy hour is here
So regal and decadent here Coffin cheaters dance on their graves Music, all its delicate fear Is the only thing that don't change 2.50 for an eyeball And a buck and a half for an ear Happy hour, happy hour Happy hour is here
from "Little Bones"
You just hit me where I live I guess it looked quite primitive What was that supposed to prove? Throw the calf or he'll throw you
Martyrs don't do much for me Though I enjoy them vicariously After you. No! After me. No, I insist! Please, after me.
from "Twist My Arm"
Angst on the planks, spittin' from a bridge Just to see how far down it really is
Treading the boards, screaming out Macbeth Just to see how much bad luck you really get Jump in the ring with your hidden cape The bull can't decide what it is that he really hates
Thief lingers on, on his hands and knees Must be one more thing here I really need Die in your dreams, falling on your knife A thief blinded on the job has to steal for life
It takes all your power To prove that you don't care I'm not Cordelia, I will not be there
Prisonyard stares and fleur-de-lis tattoos Cannibals are saving all their bones for soup
She says, "Why are you partial to that Playboy con? When you can see me naked anytime you want?" If I had loads o' money to make me tame and sour I could pay you to remind me of my baby by the hour
from "The Luxury"
Does your mother tell you things? Long, long when I'm gone? Who you talking to? Is she telling you I'm the one? It's a grave mistake and I'm wide awake
We don't go anywhere Just on trips We haven't seen a thing We still don't know where it is It's a safe mistake
It's been a long time running It's been a long time coming
from "Long Time Running"
I'd been carving you To see what form you'd take You were hiding in ivory I just wanted to free your shape
from "Bring It All Back"
Tom Thompson came paddling past I'm pretty sure it was him And he spoke so softly in accordance To the growing of the dim He said, "Bring on the brand new renaissance Cause I think I'm ready I've been shaking all night long But my hands are steady."
Three pistols came and three people went, on their way Three pistols strong and three people spent
from "Three Pistols"
We wake up different rifle through our dreams Another placid day ripples at the seams
Do you think I bow out 'cause I think you're right? Or 'cause I don't wanna fight? So tangle-minded then so becalmed It's all so subway-grim and then it's gone
Here we are, now where are we? It's like nothing I've ever seen We got hoarse-throated huckster's whispered gimmicks Rubbernecking the curious cynics And headlong-walkers, one born every minute Do I plug it in? Or do I stick it in it?
I don't know what came over me I'm too dumb for words I didn't think I'd like it here at all But I swear, I swear I'm on the verge
Here we are, now who are you? The long lost Queen's of some Hoodoo? Well we're the last of the big-time penetrators Playin' dead to fuck the undertaker The movie'll come out a little bit later The Men, The Legend, The Goat, The Satyr
I don't know what came over me I'm too dumb for words I didn't say I'd like it here at all But I swear, I swear I'm on the verge
Here we are, now don't ask how The time to leave was kinda now Well don't cry, baby, there's no cause for grief Deadheading's never gonna kill the Chief It's an empty road without relief And I'm a highway romance milking thief
I don't know what came over me I'm too dumb for words I didn't think I'd like it here at all But I swear, I swear I'm on the verge
"On The Verge"
I stood at your sink and I felt your warm water I washed your dishes and I looked out your kitchen window where I saw a soulful gymnast melt in the air and shudder just above the snow making moves that just weren't there
from "Greasy Jungle"
Take a look at this photograph Clearly his teeth were bared He coulda been yawning or snarling The story was never clear
And a bat sees a bug with the sound of a linger Night time when the shadows cough
from "Yawning or Snarling"
Interesting and sophisticated refusing to be celebrated it's a monumental big screen kiss it's so deep it's meaningless one day you'll just up and quit and that'll be it just then the stripper stopped in a coughing fit she said sorry I can't go on with this
Yeah that's awful close but that's not why I'm so hard done by
from "So Hard Done By"
I had this dream where I relished the fray and the screaming filled my head all day It was as though I had been spit here, settled in into the pocket of a lighthouse on some rocky socket off the coast of France, dear
One afternoon, four thousand men died in the water here and five hundred more were thrashing madly as parasites might in your blood Now I was in a lifeboat designed for ten and ten only anything that systematic would get you hated It's not a deal not a test nor a love of something fated The selection was quick, the crew was picked and those left in the water got kicked off our pantleg and we headed for home
Then the dream ends when the phone rings you doing alright he said it's out there most days and nights but only a fool would complain Anyway Susan, if you like our conversation is as faint as a sound in my memory as those fingernails scratching on my hull
Everyone's got their breaking point with me it's spiders and with you it's me thugs in perpetuity when we're excited little birds around the feeder the cat's indifferent or he's just furious it seems that he's never neither
Puffy lips glistening skin And everything comes rushing in We don't go to hell Memories of us do
from "Inevitability Of Death"
I want a book that'll make me drunk full of freaks and disenfranchised punks no amount of hate no load of junk no bag of words no costume trunk could make me feel the same way an inch an hour two feet a day to move through night in this most fashionable way
from "Inch An Hour"
I've often dreamt of a conversation that just keeps coming up again and again We're sitting in the Baby Bar bereft at a shadowy table out past the sentences end From until it's no longer fun to that's no longer relevant From until we're no longer one to the bona-fide embodiment of an endless emergency without end We're an endless emergency without end
but your finger starts to wiggle and landscapes emerge
Roses are worth more dried than alive such a thing to say O how I adore you when you reinvent a rose cliche Can you spare some change dear we've only got three hundred feet to go and with impossibilium for a payload we lift the rocket out of the pocket nothing can stop it
They shot a movie once, in my hometown Everybody was in it, from miles around Out at the speedway, some kinda Elvis thing Well I ain't no movie star But I can get behind anything Yea I can get behind anything
Sometimes the faster it gets The less you need to know But you gotta remember The smarter it gets The further it's gonna go When you blow at high dough When you blow at high dough
Whoa baby I feel fine I'm pretty sure it's genuine It makes no sense, no it makes no sense But I'll take it free any time Whoever fits her usually gets her It was the strangest thing How'd she move so fast, move so fast Into that wedding ring
from "Blow At High Dough"
Bourbon blues on the street, loose and complete Under skies all smokey blue-green I can't forsake a Dixie dead-shake So we danced the sidewalk clean My memory is muddy, what's this river that I'm in? New Orleans is sinking man and I don't wanna swim
Colonel Tom, what's wrong? What's going on? You can't tie yourself up for a deal He said, "Hey North you're South shut your big mouth, You gotta do what you feel is real" Ain't got no picture postcards, ain't got no souvenirs My baby, she don't know me when I'm thinking 'bout those years
Pale as a light bulb hanging on a wire Sucking up to someone just to stoke the fire Picking out the highlights of the scenery Saw a little cloud that looked a little like me
I had my hands in the river My feet back up on the banks Looked up to the Lord above And said, "Hey Man thanks" Sometimes I feel so good, I gotta scream She said Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean She said, she said, I swear to God she said...
My memory is muddy, what's this river that I'm in? New Orleans is sinking man and I don't wanna swim
"New Orleans Is Sinking"
Twelve men broke loose in seventy-three From Millhaven Maximum Security Twelve pictures lined up, across the front page Seems the Mounties had a summertime war to wage The chief told the people they had nothing to fear Said, "The last thing they wanna do, is hang around here" They mostly came from towns with long French names But one of the dozen was a hometown shame
Same pattern on the table Same clock on the wall Been one seat empty, eighteen years in all Freezing slow time, away from the world He's 38 years old, never kissed a girl He's 38 years old, never kissed a girl
We were sitting round the table, heard the telephone ring Father said he'd tell 'em if he saw anything Heard the tap on my window in the middle of the night Held back the curtains for my older brother Mike
See my sister got raped, so a man got killed Local boy went to prison, man's buried on the hill Folks went back to normal when they closed the case But they still stare at their shoes when they pass our place
My mother cried, "The horror has finally ceased!" He whispered, "Yeah, for the time being, at least" Over her shoulder, on the squad car megaphone Said, "Let's go Michael, son, we're taking you home"
Same pattern on the table Same clock on the wall Been one seat empty, eighteen years in all Freezing slow time, away from the world He's 38 years old, never kissed a girl
"Thirty-Eight Years Old"
Learn a language baby, it's that kind of place Low card is hunger and high card is taste
You can fly your own colours as long as they're right
from "She Didn't Know"
I feel I've stepped out of the wilderness All squint-eyed and confused But even babies raised by wolves They know exactly when they've been used
See when it starts to fall apart It really falls apart Like boots or hearts, oh when they start They really fall apart
Fingers and toes, fingers and toes Forty things we share Forty-one if you include The fact that we don't care Now you've blocked off most of Main Street For your Faith parade Everyone in town now, they probably all agree I'm lying in the bed I made
from "Boots Or Hearts"
Pulled down his birthday suitcase Brown with dust from no place Said, "I think it's time we made a start" They danced the waltz of charity No car garage, two kids for free They were pissing bliss and playing parts
from "Everytime You Go"
In the night a girl who doesn't mind her ragged sleeves Knows someone soon is gonna grieve And a man he tells her a story, she just don't believe Called, "Adam Never Could Do Right By Eve"
In my dreams, a candy coated train comes to my door With a little girl, I can't have anymore You know a letter washes up to the shore That I cannot read and I probably should ignore
from "When The Weight Comes Down"
Lining up, waiting on the trickle down Something's up, taking time to get around Belly up, all the drinks are on the crown It's just a matter of trickle down
from "Trickle Down"
He was a coal miner in the spring Blinded with its dusty resolutions Broke his back for higher contributions Now he'd take anything Well she was 1970 Burning like a cigarette long season Heir to all her family's old treasons She makes love hard like an enemy Oh Ma he's dying
Perhaps we're an election day Pumping hands and kissing all the babies Ain't no time for shadowed doubts or maybes Is there another way? Or we're a stolen Cadillac Racing for a roadblock in the distance Flashing by a lifetime in an instance Can we take it back?
from "Another Midnight"
So there's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do and yea the human tragedy consists in the necessity of living with the consequences under pressure, under pressure Courage, my word it didn't come, it doesn't matter
from "Courage (for Hugh Maclennan)"
I've got a job, I explore, I follow every little whiff And I want my life to smell like this To find a place, ancient race The kind you'd like to gamble with Where they'd stamp on burning bags of shit Looking for a place to happen making stops along the way
So I'll paint a scene, from memory so I'd know who murdered me It's a vain pursuit, but it helps me to sleep
Jacques Cartier, right this way I'll put your coat up on the bed Hey man you've got a real bum's eye for clothes And come on in, sit right down no you're not the first to show We've all been here since, God, who knows?
from "Looking for a place to happen"
Me debunk an American myth? And take my life in my hands? Where the great plains begin at the hundredth meridian
I remember, I remember Buffalo and I remember Hengelo It would seem to me I remember every single fucking thing I know
If I die of vanity, promise me, promise me they bury me someplace I don't want to be you'll dig me up and transport me, unceremoniously away from the swollen city-breeze, garbage-bag trees whispers of disease amid the acts of enormity and lower me slowly, and sadly and properly Get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy
from "At The Hundredth Meridian"
Cold wind blowing over your private parts I know a lack you've got and it makes a strong case for art Billboard breasts, they don't have a face I know that fact you've got no girl could ever trace Lionized, lionize
They don't know how old I am they found armour in my belly from the 16th century, conquistador, I think They don't know how old I am they found armour in my belly Passion out of machine-reving tension lashing out at machine-reving tension brushing by the machine-reving tension
Morning broke out the backside of a truck-stop the end of a line a real, rainbow-likening, luck stop where you could say I became chronologically fucked up Put ten bucks in just to get the tank topped off Then, I found a place it's dark and it's rotted It's a cool, sweet kinda place where the 'copters won't spot it and I destroyed the map, I even thought I'd forgot it however, every day I'm dumping the body It'd be better for us if you don't understand It'd be better for me if you don't understand
from "Locked in the Trunk of a Car"
Bring me back in shackles hang me long out in the sun exonerate me, forget about me I recommend measures for ending it Lover, she simply slammed the door She said, "you're gonna miss me Wait and you'll see" fully, completely I ponder the endlessness of the stars ignoring said same of my father Either it'll move me or it'll move right through me fully, completely
Bill Barilko disappeared that summer he was on a fishing trip The last goal he ever scored won the Leafs the cup They didn't win another until 1962 the year he was discovered I stole this from a hockey card I keep tucked up under my fifty mission cap I worked it in to look like that
Sundown in the Paris of the prairies Wheat kings have all their treasures buried And all you hear are the rusty breezes Pushing around the weather vane Jesus
In his Zippo lighter, he sees the killer's face Maybe it's someone standing in a killer's place Twenty years for nothing, well that's nothing new besides no one's interested in something you didn't do Wheat kings and pretty things let's just see what the morning brings
There's a dream he dreams where the high school is dead and stark It's a museum and we're all locked up in it after dark The walls are lined all yellow, grey and sinister Hung with pictures of our parents' prime ministers Wheat Kings and pretty things wait and see what tomorrow brings
Late-breaking story on the CBC A nation whispers, "we always knew that he'd go free" They add, "you can't be fond of living in the past 'cause if you are then there's no way that you're gonna last" Wheat Kings and pretty things let's just see what tomorrow brings Wheat kings and pretty things that's what tomorrow brings
"Wheat Kings" (this is about David Milgaard, a Canadian man who spent more than 20 years in jail for a murder he didn't commit glad to say he was fully exonerated a few years ago we met briefly in '82, I've believed in his innocence ever since you'll find a youthful poem on My Words page)
He's a man-sized Eldorado Hooved a doo who could blame him who could blame them Where we going? What's that ticking? Just the mention of Berlin makes me sexy it makes me sexy and tired of thinking about drinking for thinking of drinking while thinking about drinking and thinking about drinking It's a man-sized inside
Look in here it's all hardwood What's that smell? Smells like coffee Smells like coffee If you regret it please say something I've got no genius for evil that makes me common it makes me common and tired of loving, recovering, loving recoveringlovingrecovering recovering It's a man-sized inside
He's a man-sized Eldorado, whoopty-do if you can't take it you can't take it Where he's going? What's that ticking? Just the mention of Berlin makes me sexy it makes me sexy and tired of thinkingaboutdrinkingforthinking
Tired of lovingrecoveringlovingrecoveringlovingrecoveringloving
recovering It's a man-sized inside It's a man-sized inside