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Holy Gloom

1. Spoils

of all the toils, and all the spoils you would spread
and every speech that you would dread in front of crowds,
or in your bed late at night, rehearsing all those silly fights.
every argument a light to the candle in your head.

and you are stronger than you know
each road lined with black top's paved with gold

if you'd just travel it,
and just for once don't mind your funds
or how you'd like to eat just once this week or this month.
ain't it funny how our dreams are all laid out?
but life gets in the way, so we live on day to day.

I guess I'm stronger than I know
and each stage is stained with gold
each silver microphone couldn't say
what I want to say,
what I need to say,
what I've gotta say.

all the times you were exposed, stripped bareback naked in a field of eyes
alone but for your pen, for your friends, for your sins

I guess I'm stronger than I know
and each stage is stained with gold
each silver microphone couldn't say
what I want to say,
what I need to say,
what I've gotta say.    
    
---

    
2. Midland City Society

when the wolves came down, came down,
down to ground.
and the corporate ladder fell rung by rung.
and the businessmen went south like birds on clouds
flocking for the warmth old money brings.

making worlds go round on silver strings.
making heads go round 'til we believe .

we dig each day and pray we strike gold.
we curse at clouds above and dirt below.
we fight for our beliefs, but we've no proof
all we've ever known has any truth.

making worlds go round on silver strings
making heads go round 'til we believe
it's the air and chill that first light brings
and the red sun shining for tomorrows heat  

milked for what it's worth
not much else, but gold
a desert king or queen
beautiful and old.

making worlds go round on silver strings
making heads go round 'til we believe
it's the air and chill that first light brings
and the red sun shining for tomorrows heat
    
---

    
3. Graveyard Vines

there was a time when the old folks all died,
and their love and their labor paved the way for youth, not saviors.
now we're blue, so black and blue,
red with anger too, and flushed with all you counted on.

now is the time for old grapes to change to wine.
mashed and battered by resilience of old ideals and turpintine.
soaked to bone and all alone in a tomb not meant for life- not anymore.

some old harlot queen-
rows of rotten teeth
a colossus king-
sedentary.

headstones in line, graveyard vines tangled entwine
all the men who made this city, before it was our time
stone by stone, and brick by brick
straw by straw and stick by stick
wolves blew it down..

the sermon rings out true for all the sad ones in the room
while the happy think of life beyond that same old holy gloom
hands to god, and far beyond the pulpit all their eyes and ears are so damn focused on

some old harlot queen-
rows of rotten teeth
a colossus king-
sedentary

was it God, or just a man?
who came 'round the town again, again
was it God, or just a man?
    
---    
    

4. The Holy Man of Iron City

we post to prove we are alive,
a pulse that thinks and feels and thrives
with waves unseen from t.v. screens
depression under power lines
iron city's blacksmith lies
between the peaks and in due time
we know we're doomed,
a black cloud is blooming.

through cover ups and stained glass lies
the city rises higher, higher towards the sky.. towards the light..
and sugar creek is overflown,
it's substance shows it's lacking anything worth fighting for,
no purpose for a war.  

worship pills and your purpose is your profit
worship bills and smoke

disease is for the poor
famine, flood, and so much more
disease is for the poor
famine, drugs, and urban wars
stay away from our sight
from our ears and from our mind
disease is for the poor
famine, flood, and so much more    

---
    

5. Caribou
    
when there's love, we'll show it true
when frustration shines on through
we know it'll go away
where were you when I needed you?
ten years ago I was feeling blue
bellicose, it went away

I come home and I wait for you
to howl above the stairs
and break on through
like you just won the lottery
of endless bones and broken wistful dreams
now alive, til tomorrow comes


and I will carry you
when the sun shines through the moon
still I will carry you, caribou.

our little family so finely tuned
no little sticks or stones to tend a bruise
or a break, not today
when i'm tired from a long, hard day
you are there to help me shake
it off, and embrace the night

---
    
6. 2:05
    
I recall the haze on fire,
all the embers as streetlights line the avenue,
I recall a smile from a ghost who didn't quite know it yet.
I recall the sidewalk cracks,
and averted eyes juggling a three year gap
with too many words to say and none at all,
it's all the same.

I recall your voice shooting ridicule
jesting obscene gestures at the man himself
black and white days summon reddish sun rays
to burn out the dead grass and cracked withered hay
I recall most of all an outpour, an outcry
the day we heard the news.
I recall a stillness one sticky night,
when the bad beat out the good and all was sullen, all was ruined, all was bruised

I recall the last time we spoke and you had me rolling in reminisce,
your eyes and mouth told a different story, I guess.
if only I could see through your skin, through your soul, determine what was sinking in
would you still live on, would you not be gone?
if we'd take off our masks for one second
and see eye to eye like most men can
would there be a parade, a machine for some martyr like you who lost grasp of his dream?

---
    
7. Desert Kings

a carbon copy of old kings who bathe in riches.
a feather dipped in ink for all of the wrong reasons.

there's no use to breathe
when the air's breathed by the heir of thieves

milked for what it's worth:
not much else, but gold.
a desert king or queen:
beautiful and old.

there's no use to be
a book drawn up by the likes of me

why are you not scared?
what makes you feel so free?
why are you not scared like me?

why are you not scared?
what makes you feel so free?
why are you not scared of me?

---
    
8. Zachary

all the good you could've known,
about a world you'd barely roamed
for two long years, or twenty moons.

the ink on photographs run dry,
like tears on cheeks from daddy's eye
and maybe someday soon you'll reconnect, some time.

in a perfect life, we might reunite
and the birds will sing, zachary.
in a perfect life along cosmic light
we might wish on stars together, zachary.

ornaments don't look the same this year
passing cars don't sound the same anymore
snow falls down, and it rains and hails
sunshine never looks the same anymore

in a perfect world, we will all unite
take back our sons and take back your rights
in a perfect life, they would be here now
and all of us would be together
but that's not the way the world spins
so we'll wait here, zachary
    
---
    
    
9. Little Life


the static spreads, reveals the moon
dangling high from tiny spools
stretched tight like wires, but deep down in grooves.
a puzzled frame without the glue
an earthquake sounds and shakes the room
the pieces fall, stay stuck by glass.

where the cold sleeps & the warmth moves.
where the cold sleeps & the warmth moves.

the dunes part ways and skylines fall,
dirt and dust made of us all,
dirt and dust and devil's breath.
brought me to you, and us to death.
dirt and dust and devil's breath,
brought me to you and us to our debts.

where the cold sleeps & the warmth moves.
where the cold sleeps & the warmth moves.

and there's no other way I'd want to live,
than on your heels through all of this.
to watch the chaos pass on by,
and to create - as our own creation coincided.
leave those petty wars, and callous cries
for that little life we always needed.
where family trumps the nine-to-fives,
no matter cause of any kind,
I'd always choose your side.
I'd always choose your side.

---
    
    
10. The Great Ohio Desert

patiently you sat, and you listened,
and you cried of what beauty I had made.
and I said “don’t be sad, I’m just tryin’ to be uplifting,
but it all comes out wrong in such a pessimistic way.”

maybe life’s not all that bad,
maybe life’s not all that sad anymore.

patiently you sat by the steeple and you prayed
for all that’s good to come your way.
but with arms folded tight you missed all of the handouts.
with your head facing down, and your ears all clogged up.

maybe life ain’t all that bad,
maybe life’s not all that sad anymore.

patiently you took to the streets,
and you fought for what was yours and what was mine.
and they said “Kid, grow up, this ain’t time to be messin’”,
we’re all serious in some narcissistic, sad sarcastic way.

maybe life ain’t all that bad,
maybe life’s not all that sad anymore.

money grows on family trees,
and the likelihood of livelihood does fade.
but each awful song or album
each lyric never listened
is outweighed by a day just like today.
    
---

    
11. Wick & Flame
    
dry leaves on the flame
we're all going out of style again
and all of our friends are dead to us
that dot in the sky
do you think, there's someone there?
looking back at us,
don't be scared.

you're a wick and a flame
for all I know, just burnin' away

ice turns to snow
snow turns to rain
don't be afraid, we're going away
you'll never come home, never return
and never be late

look at the pond
here by the boat
six silhouettes, totally alone
with a world of our own
and no bills to pay
a reminder above, our old ways

all those things we did for our ourselves..

so, snow turns to rain
don't be afraid, we're going away
you'll never go home, never return
and never be late
son, make love from that hate
you've built inside
the four walls you made
throw dead leaves
into the flame,
a brand new stage.
    
---

12. Silver Strings

silver strings make the world go round
or so it seems, in it's right place
in its right place.
corporate king, with his money bags and his rings
he'll spit on you for a penny or a price,
just to sleight you
graveyard vines, tangle / entwine you
the men who built his fortune up

up and away
through wick and flame the skies look grey
up and away
a desert king on silver strings today

silver strings make your head go round
or so it seems, in it's right place
in its right place
your brain is on the dime
of some suit behind the sky
coding your thoughts through this life

up and away
through wick and flame the future's grey
up and away
a desert king on silver strings today

---    
    
    
13. Father Ferapont
    
I can't be what you want me to be
patriarch of the family tree
I can't see what you want me to see
stuck with these thoughts I've held since birth
stung by sentiment and a poor choice of words
written in the form of sung verse.

and I can't rehearse
when I'm whispering the words
to the songs that unite us
and the songs that destruct

ten years down the road,
what do you see?
some old resevoir dried up and cleaned
I won't let that happen to me
remember when we, we were kings?
for that one night before the scene
squeezed out all that was left to squeeze

no I can't reverse
when I've written the words
to the songs that unite us
and the ones that destruct.    
    

---


14. Father Zosima

I guess it's over now, ten years of sound
all drowned out by the flood of life
and passing crowds didn't help but to dig the knife in,
I'm moving south where I can clear my head awhile
And see the stars and see the sky on summer nights

and iron city will succumb to us tonight
and all you love will disappear by morning light
all the paper reads are unfamiliar headlines
all the trees and all their leaves will change in due time

I am overwhelmed.. that's what you say
about the way that I look now.
but I'm so sick and tired of everybody knowing just
what's best for me, what to believe as if my own thoughts,
were wiped clean when I dropped from class and tore down the cross.   

and iron city will succumb to us tonight
and all you love will disappear by morning light
all the paper reads are unfamiliar headlines
everything you see will be mistaken for a good sign.

the oceans breeze will call you home, but no we won't go
the wind will taunt you to leave, but no I don't think so
we'll trade the deep blue sea for green as far as eyes can see
we'll trade our comfort for the iron city.
and trade our tattered clothes for those without a seam.
and trade our skin for hardened bark off the oak trees.
and wear it's moss and always look north, and always look home.
to where your ma and where your pa, they miss you so.
to where you learned of all of your wrongs and all of your rights
back on greenlawn ave. through all those snowy nights,
unwrapping gifts to shape your future and your life
although you didn't even know it at the time.
go trade your comfort for the iron city,
go trade your comfort for the city, and make it home.
go trade your comfort for the iron city,
go trade your comfort for the city, and make it home.