The Country

Drove on up the coast to find her out

White lines on the road

Dust the wind had scattered all around

Where'd her body go?

Left the Midwest, pale and milky skin

Burned for leaving town

How to piece her memory back again

Never to be found

I don't know how to tell the difference no more

All these stripes of yellow rays upon my floor

Is it the sun or just some headlights shining through my door?

Begging me to go

Tried to leave the country years ago

Concrete in my boots

Something about my blood that tells me no

Get back to my roots

It's how we only feel the fear before we fall

And you don't see the splash from your own cannonball

So tell me what's the point in worry, why be lost at all?

Even when you're on the road

Can you hear my little voice from out so far?

Can I ever reach my hands to where you are?

All I know is that America will tear you apart

I'm begging you to go

Come home to me, come home to me


I’ve Never Been to L.A.

So I’m working out, so I’m keeping clean

Try to sing the sound of you changing me

Who I found

Thinking all the time of my future self

Think I see the shine – something I can’t help –

Of you around

Now I’m starting to see how you figure to me

Trying to think of a way to forget what I know

Like a coming of age, like I’m breaking away

I’ve never been to L.A., baby, not even close

Like I broke the law, what’d I get into?

Tried to poke and prod; what’d you let me do?

All alarms

Think you feel the same: in a tunnel, crushed

At the other end, I wouldn’t worry much

‘Cause you’re the light

Like a sip of the sea: what the body, it needs

Walking around in the sunshine, sand in my toes

But how will I know, when I land, where to go?

I’ve never been to L.A., baby, not even close

And the wind, she doesn’t grab you by the arm, no

And the rain, she falls so few and far apart

Oh, but when I come, I can’t leave home all my sorrow

What do we do about that?

Tell me, what do we do about that?

I can honestly say, as I sit on the plane

Watching the hand-shaking pilots and entrances close

That I don’t really know how to get there alone

Can’t even picture myself in the summery clothes

I’ve never been to L.A., baby, not even close

I’ve never been to L.A., and I might never go


The Fallen Leaves

Starting yesterday, I’m picking up my things

If I can find them underneath the fallen leaves

I don’t even know how much I need you when you’re here

Didn’t even know how much I’d miss you when you’re gone

Where the beaches turn to water from the sand

How will I know where I can swim and where I can’t?

Couldn’t you have written down the rules so I would know?

Couldn’t you have told me I can’t bear to see you go?

Like a kid on the run after the fire burns out

But getting along

A good momma got to clip her baby’s toes

A good sun got to keep his planets close, I know

I can move freely now, but I don’t know which way to go

Oh, but half of the fun of getting the fireworks out

Is cheering ‘em on (but it looks just like a bomb out in the sky)

Waiting for the melody to come to me

I’ll die if I keep working for the company, I know

Like a kid on the run after the fire burns out

But getting along (it looks just like a god out in the sky)

Pack a pad of paper for my private thoughts

Am I fit to fight the battles that I thought I fought? Oh, no

I can move freely now, but I don’t know which way to go


Talking to My Saint

Carve some pattern

On my left side

Symbol don’t matter

Couldn’t decide

I’m not asking

For a free pass

I just stare at the window

I can’t see through the glare and the dirt on the glass

Heart slipped off my shirtsleeve

End my own parade

A child who runs from pole to pole

A man who needs a break

A babbler on Grace Street

Talking to my saint

Puzzle pieces piled on the patio

I don’t know what they make

Tatterdemalion

Sinking and bare

Mind that’ll fail ya

Driving impaired

Down from the rafters

The cobwebs hang low

Morning after, I wake

The blankets, I make

A place for the spiders to go

Avert ye eyes from danger

All these dead birds on the ground

A cardinal finds his son’s red body

In community lost and found

Cuddled in a mare’s nest

Talking to my saint

Dressed up in my favorite suit

Pretending I am who I ain’t

I can see a bird on the branches


And Then I Woke Up

Crammed in the low-lit kitchen with the ghosts of you

Lost in the narrow hall, what we’d hoped to do

What we have in common but I won't tell you

We're all sleeping through the afternoon

Sitting with bedroom eyes and breathing back the blues

Position your head at night to see an empty moon

It swirls in silence, what we hope ain't true

His son dropped dead in a hotel room

You eat by candlelight, a pot on the stove

Repeat, then wait to die all alone

Taking our coffee black, it always stains the white

Can I take my history back before my body might?

Ain't no reason not to speak your mind

Potato eaters who can read and write

We leave no shadowlight cast on the wall

And I won't say goodbye if I should fall

What is the darkness for?

What does it mean?

Table for two of four

Me in my own dream

What is the parlance for?

What do we need?

What do we do it for?

Where are we going?

Sunlight reaching around us and going inside


Don’t Break

Like when I walk through the street under trees after a storm

How it feels like it’s raining, but it’s not anymore

And we know it’ll swallow us whole when it dies

But we stand, as if to follow, when the sun begins to rise

How come the line don’t break?

What do you call the world?

I’m just a melancholy girl

Looking all around, but haven’t found my place yet

What are we down here for?

I guess I’m getting pretty bored

But I haven’t got the guts to go and face it

Even when I feel the wicked wind unwrap its arms around me

There’s still broken glass out in the lawn

Coupled with the clothes that ripped at seems and stuck to pins faithfully

Why don’t they fly away?

How come the line don’t break?

Even when he feels me bite on bait and spins the spool to reel me in

I keep getting farther away

Haven’t even talked to you in months, and I could call – yeah, it’s my fault

Do you even remember my name?

How come the line don’t break?

Well I’m spinning so fast that I might be sick

And that Unmoved Mover can be such a prick

How come the line don’t break?

And we toe that line

‘Tween the day and night

And we see the light

And we rise and shine