week sixtysix: we'll be friends

we’ll be friends

this is after christmas
while her family watches television
she and i go out and clean the kitchen
and we’re happy we’re happy we’re happy we’re happy we’re happy

this is bravery
this is the romance of the century
this is music right in front of me
hearts racing i reach out she’s shaking and i’m shaking and we’re shaking

this is how to love

this is our final night
this is the summer of 2005
all our friends in the firelight
and they’re dancing they’re laughing they’re rolling they’re laughing they’re dancing

this is heartbreak
this is knowing what she’s gonna say
we’ll be friends alright ok ok  
but what happened what happened what happened what happened what happened

this is how to love

sing it out sing it out sing it out sing it out

i’m driving through our hometown remembering the thunder
the lake water raging our heads going under

and i wonder what she’d say if i stopped by to see her
i’ve never been mean but i’ve never been very brave either

i think she’d say
play that song we used to play

this is how to love

you keep singing out of your body
you keep singing out of your mouth
you keep singing out of your bones
sing it out sing it out

week sixtyfive: fox hymn

fox hymn

i wanted more from the songs i write
and that just made them less
i wanted more from my whole life
and that just made it less

it dawns on me that i’m starving for
joyful loving sounds
i’m out in the woods lost and alone
show me the door to your house

show me the door to your house

singing out won’t pay the bills anymore
singing out won’t pay the bills anymore
but i’ve got you
least i used to
show me the door
show me the door and i’ll walk through

sweet eyed fox in the corduroy weeds
with a big old fish in his mouth
i still want a little more than i need
show me the door to your house

look at us tangled in the morning mist
far from the talkers of town
every day could reveal like this
if i knew the way to your house

show me the door to your house

singing out won’t pay the bills anymore
singing out won’t pay the bills anymore
but i’ve got you
least i used to
show me the door
show me the door
i had you
you had me too
show me the door
show me the door and i’ll walk through

week sixtyfour: wolf hymn

wolf hymn

honey i know the ways
the other boys have let you down
i have all those things in me
i have tried to shut them out

crystal sky farm road
wild turkeys at the fence
all the wolves they have outrun
come back again and again and again

my grandma’s book of hymns
lying on the closet floor
didn’t she love her god
didn’t she please her lord

how sweet she was to me
though i saw her be unkind
and i saw her body fade
and i saw her lose her mind

honey i hear your voice
waver when you start to sing
honey i know the sadness
on the other side of everything 

and if you wander into town
i won’t think any less of you
there are wolves all around
i know you see them too
 

week sixtythree: creatures pt.2

creatures pt. 2

traveling to meet someone
you take the wrong ferry run
you end up going way out on the sea
the boat shakes and something cries
you lean your head over the side
but what it was is hiding in the weeds

when you land in nova scotia
no one’s got a a ticket for you
tourist season all the boats are packed
you go walking out of town
drawn to that orchestral sound
but what it was is hiding in the grass

when everyone you love is gone
and you’re still singing the same song

how long will you wander
how long will you need
how long will you search for
creatures that cannot be seen

queen anne’s lace yellow rose
killing birds keeping low
she’s asking when you’re coming home again
you see that ferry come across
you tell her but the call is lost
and what it was is hiding in the wind

you take that 945
standing room overnight
you fall asleep leaning on a screen
then something brings you back to shore
and feeds you what you’re hungry for
but what it was is hiding in your dreams

when everyone you love is gone
and you’re still singing the same song

how long will you wander
how long will you need
how long will you search for
creatures that cannot be seen

how long will you witness
how long will you care
how long can you live with
the creature that’s always there

week sixtytwo: rainstorm

rainstorm

we don’t have any more to prove
we’ve got a hunger for each other
bobcat in the woods
crying out like a lover

and the van won’t start
so we leave it where it is
at the edge of the yard
in the pollen mist

and we both go down
and we fade to gray
and the bugs come out
and the waters rage

ah mama it’s a rainstorm
on the scatter light lawn
ah mama it’s a rainstorm
we’ve been waiting on
i can see it it’s a rainstorm
on the kennebec shore
i can see it it’s a rainstorm
we’ve been waiting for

i run the lines of your back
take the straps from your shoulders
undertow in the river
alpenglow on the roses
  
and i ask you now
where is it you want to go
you say a long way down
you say that’s all you know

so we both go down
and we fade to gray
and we know it now
we can be this way

ah mama it’s a rainstorm
on the scatter light lawn
i can see it it’s a rainstorm
we’ve been waiting on
ah mama it’s a rainstorm
on the kennebec shore
on mama it’s a rainstorm
we’ve been waiting for
 

week sixty: execution night in texas

execution night in texas

execution night in texas
i’m at a motel 6 in memphis
in a faded room on the cable news
execution night in texas

i swear to god i’ve known him
like we played as kids or something
i sit and watch his body drop
i swear to god i’ve known him

i’ve heard harris county horses
gather where the river turns to morning
go out walking borderlines
we were born in a killing time

i’ve been doing this in secret
i’ve been shaking when i need it
i’m the movement of the curtain the smoke still emerging
i’ve been doing this in secret

i thought you might come find me
lean to kiss me and untie me
room thirty-five execution night
i thought you might come find me

i’ve heard harris county horses
gather where the river turns to morning
go out walking borderlines
we were born in a killing time

oh mama don’t you wait
they’re coming for to steal your mind
oh mama don’t you wait
you were violent
so was i

i’ve heard harris county horses
gather where the river turns to morning
go out walking borderlines
we were born in a killing time
 

week fiftynine: amapolas pt. 2

amapolas pt. 2

adelaida
adelade
you’ve got oceans inside you
i’ve got dead weight
i will keep you here
as long as you’ll stay
i want you here
don’t go away

the water’s cold
summer’s gone
the carnival went all night long
i drank so much i couldn’t stand
i sat alone
and watched you dance

you don’t have no kind of sinking ship as good as mine

so hold me now
while you can
i’m part revolution
part comedian
say i’ll run for money
and lie to whoever
i won’t be back for weeks
maybe never

adeleeda
adelide
nothing’s ever come easy to me in my life
i wish i was better
i wish i was true
adelaida
adeloo

you don’t have no kind of sinking ship as good as mine

if you wanted a husband
if you were looking for a friend
if all you needed was a good man
i ain’t none of them

i’m the lawyer’s son emancipated
the colonial prince expatriated
when i left that island
you had oceans inside you
bringing flowers to cowards
adelaida

i remember my old man’s dirty jokes
how he used all of us
and my mother the most
i don’t want to be my father
so bring me your flowers
and stay for the weekend
and sweeten the hours

you don’t have no kind of sinking ship as good as mine
 

week fiftyeight: united pt. 1

united pt. 1
by max garcía conover

neighbor boys
running in the river noise
searching through the soil sands
jumping at the cold high call of the crows

the headline reads
april 2017
10 tons of tnt
proof of something everybody already knows

here i am a dreaming man
a joke inside a room
oh my country tis of thee
oh it’s of me too

you and me the foreign powers
you and me the robot planes
you and me the murder hours
you and me the slaughter days
you and me the colonizers
you and me the sovereign states
you and me the freedom riders
you and me the poison rain
we’re united babe

number 45
waste as a way of life
whistle at whatever shines
chariot of fire is a motorcade 

and the neighbor boys
turning at their mother’s voice
going in to supper now
winters thaw and the waters rage

here i am a dreaming man
a joke inside a room
oh my country tis of thee
oh it’s of me too

you and me the fortune hoarders
you and me the torture kings
you and me the hatchet borders
you and me the vulture priests
you and me the lord’s redemption
you and me the deport dogs
you and me the long detention
you and me the hidden cost
you and me the market forces
you and me the thirst for more
you and me the water shortage
you and me the profit war
you and me the finance rodents
you and me the human hides
you and me the secret motives
you and me the tv lies
you and me the revelators
you and me the normal hate
you and me the wealthy jailers
you and me the legal slaves
you and me the mighty country
you and me the modern shame
you and me the heaps of money
you and me the killing stain
we’re united babe
 

week fiftyseven: painter

painter

i’ve got shadow in my body
i’ve got breath that leaves me read
by the time you’re my age honey
i’ll be dead

if you don’t believe the bible
if you won’t explain your faith
if you’re bored by your survival
i relate

honey this whole world is a sad man’s highway
keys in your pocket won’t be long before you go
when they start asking if your soul’s in need of saving
tell them no

i took canvas for my living
i stretched the fabric over frames
i have seen you stop in awe son
i’m the same

honey this whole world is a sad man’s highway
keys in your pocket won’t be long before you go
when they start asking if your soul’s in need of saving
tell them no

week fiftyfive: her sadness

her sadness

she cannot say for certain so she won’t say so at all
but i can see that she’s been hurting and i’m sure that it’s my fault
i’ve been shaky every morning and i run to stay the cold
and i need more adoration than anyone i know

i heard about her sadness
i heard about her fear

the river never freezes and the blood flow doesn’t sleep
i am typing like a hailstorm my boots still on my feet
and the furnace now is knocking spitting sulfur smelling dust
i don’t feel the tumors growing i don’t think anybody does

i heard about her sadness
i heard about her fear

there is fog along the window as we’re getting into bed
she rolls her body onto mine and looks me in the eye and says
i don’t mean this as a warning but i think that it’s the truth
if you’re lying to yourself you’re gonna be lying to me too
you’re gonna bang on every window and be burdened by the work
and when the money doesn’t come you’re gonna wonder what it’s worth
you’re gonna smile for your dinner you’re gonna bow and pass a hat
you’re gonna find somebody beautiful make her love you back

then sometimes you’ll turn your mind from what you want to where you are
and you’ll feel a revelator sink her teeth into your heart
you’ll be staring at a darkness somewhere deep inside the woods
when some rabid little creature comes out singing something good

i heard about her sadness
i heard about her fear
i said i’m never leaving
she said you’re never here

week fiftyfour: on the day of the dead

(a relevant poem)

on the day of the dead

skulls painted
in a dozen shades of red
sit by a crucified jesus christ figure at the side of her bed

scotch with her meds
playing penny slots again
she says when i meet the lord i’ll be wearing this long black dress

then she says oh my
i don’t want to die
on the day of the dead

the sun’s going down
and the kids are all out
i pass a pirate and a princess and a devil on the way into town

the pharmacist
at the cvs
says boy i can’t believe your mama is the woman in the dress

i ask him why
he says you look so white
i pay and i leave and i know it’s gonna be a cold night

i help her into bed
she says sorry i’m a mess
and tomorrow i don’t know if i can wake up but i swear i’ll do my best

then she says oh my
i don’t want to die
on the day of the dead

week fiftythree: oil in the water pt. 2

oil in the water pt. 2

did you meet somebody in some bar
break your promise in the backseat of her car
did you wake up certain you were dreaming
throw up everything you had that evening
running like a buffalo to slaughter
burning off the oil in the water

did you let a decade pass you by
sitting down around your nine to five
going into church every week
just to sing with someone who believes
did you see her outside of the mall
standing with a man long and tall
were you humming fare thee well my lover
burning off the oil in the water

did you have a baby girl in cleveland
stay with you in buffalo some weekends
painting wild whiskers on your cheeks
driving down to barcelona beach
diving from the dock the way you taught her
burning off the oil in the water

week fiftytwo: witnesses

witnesses

we both saw the damage he was done
we both saw the damage he was done
when he came here broken
and you wrapped him in your love
we both saw the damage he could do and the damage he was done 

creatures now are burrowed in the yard
creatures now are burrowed in the yard
the winter sun is quick to go
and daily breaks your heart
creatures now are burrowed in the house in the walls and in the yard

honey i believe in who you are
honey i believe in who you are
when the house was freezing
and we slept out in the car
honey i believe in who you were who you’ll be and who you are

we both saw the damage he was done
we both saw the damage he was done
when he came here broken
and you wrapped him in your love
we both saw the damage he could do and the damage he was done 

week fiftyone: oil in the water pt. 1

oil in the water pt. 1

there’s rust and oil in the water
and i never wanted to be a father
but i’m going crazy with nothing time
and i’ve got room inside this house of mine

when the toast was done and the coffee brewed
i used to sit and read the news
and i’d get concerned then it passed me by
i’ve got room inside this house of mine

and all that i’m looking for now
is a song i can sing for a small and hopeful crowd
while the buffalo are running toward the slaughter
and there’s oil in the river water

it’s verse for verse and it’s pound for pound
and i scratch them out just to get them down
all these tiny notes all these fuzzy lines
i’ve got room inside this house of mine

and i wear your shirt when i want to cry
when the frozen pond looks just like the sky
and i wrote you more but nevermind
i’ve got room inside this house of mine

and all that i’m looking for now
is a song that i can sing to a small and hopeful crowd
while the buffalo are running toward the slaughter
and there’s oil in the river water

week fifty: tiny tracks pt. 1

(a relevant song poem)

tiny tracks pt. 1

ah ma we wake after so many hours
in a strange unknowable place
there’s good and there’s bad and there’s love and there’s power
but out here they all look the same

ah ma the dog cannot see in the night
so she doubts every change in the wind
you turned in your sleep and you made love to me
then we fell back to dreaming again

morning comes
up so slow
shining seas
golden shores
 
ah ma they’re waiting to wear us away
and we know it and we’re letting them in
i know their checks are a sure way to die
but i’ll do it if they ask me again

ah ma i said the tide’s coming in
if you asked me to leave now i would
they tell me love is a losing delusion
that i need you more than anyone should

morning comes
up so slow
shining seas
golden shores

ah ma i said i’m no good in their world
i am dying from distraction
i’ve seen the eyes of the internet girls
i am weary of their attraction

and i know this longing for what won’t be found
is a line from ten thousand songs
they tell me i can be somebody now
and i thank them but i know they’re wrong
 
cause right now the wind is howling blind
and you tell me it’s time to get out
the hush of the doorsweep the deep breath of night
we shatter the frost on the ground

and way out beyond the tall yellow grass
that cut tiny tracks in our arms
we see the first light distant and soft
and realize we’ve been in the dark

morning comes
up so slow
shining seas
golden shores

week fortyeight: song for paul

(hope is the thing with feathers)

song for paul

“you’ve been in uniform? you shoot at the enemy. you try to identify the enemy and the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in, are people of color or people of hispanic origin.”
- governor paul lepage

drone in a big sky
jeep on a land mine
if i gotta go to war
i wanna be the one to die

i know there’s a pile of bones
everywhere the lightning goes

hawk in the high weeds
land of the white greed
plant a little love in it
give it a heartbeat

i know there’s a pile of bones
everywhere the lightning goes

i wish i could call you my friend
i wish you could call me yours
i thought i would die for something
i don’t think that anymore

i got a governor
straight talk governor
up in the state of maine
i gotta say a few words

cucarachas
we’re the monsters
hiding in the governor’s closets
take the white folks
hold them hostage
or sell them drugs
there’s a lot of options
check your plumbing
i hope you’re watching
mud pours your porcelain faucets
no one's gonna save you paul
you’re drowning in your own subconscious

hawk in the high weeds
land of the white greed
plant a little love in it
give it a heartbeat

i know there’s a pile of bones
everywhere the lightning goes

i wish i could call you my friend
i wish you could call me yours
i thought i would die for something
i don’t think that anymore

week fortyseven: 9/28/16

9/28/16

you wake up with lines on your cheeks
leave another anxious dream
you pull the blanket up off the floor
lying back to sleep a little more

she leaves you when the morning comes
she needs you when the work is done

on sunday she asks you to walk
through pitch pine and glacial walls
she’s in the water ankle deep
singing for the sleeping geese

she leaves you when the morning comes
she needs you when the work is done

you’re sitting at your desk in the attic
bleary eyed and weary of your habits
sometimes you see past the screen
sometimes you don’t see a thing

she leaves you when the morning comes
she needs you when the work is done

this life you know is nothingness
this life you know is all there is

on sunday she takes you to the beach
cold water shakes her to her knees
she says this is like a dream
you understand she means everything

she leaves you when the morning comes
she needs you when the work is done

this life you know is nothingness
this life you know is all there is