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

week fortyfive: fire on i-295

fire on i-295

i found her crying in her car
in a symphony of violins and classical guitars
i could hardly hear the sirens
for the static and the sound on the radio

fire on i-295
she looks out her window
and she tells me she’ll be fine
i ask her if it’s okay if i stay
until the ambulance arrives

i think i could love somebody now
i think i could love somebody now
while a tractor trailer burns

we were driving
we were moving
now we’re sitting on the side of the highway
somewhere in the state of maine

she looks at her reflection in the mirror
she says her sister lives about a mile north of here
and when she saw the wreckage
she thought of her nephew in his carseat

i think i could love somebody now
i think i could love somebody now
while a tractor trailer burns

we were driving
we were moving
now we’re sitting on the side of the highway
somewhere in the state of maine

all the time we had
all the time we lost

we were driving
we were moving
now we’re sitting on the side of the highway
somewhere in the state of maine

we’re sitting quiet in her car
in the symphony of violins and classical guitars
we can hardly hear the sirens
for the static and the sound on the radio

week fortyfour: funeral guests

funeral guests 

early may
new york city
he called as he was getting in his car
he said i’m on my way
i’m gonna pick up birdseed
i keep hearing sparrows in the yard
in the dogwood
in the morning
i asked him not to tell everyone else
alright he said
but they all like you
so much more than you like yourself

when he died
his mother called
to talk to me about his funeral guests
she said she wanted
to get to know me
to understand what i was to him

i said i don’t know myself
but i think he did

holy father
save your sermon
i can’t sit through any more of this
just burn his body
just burn his body
i don’t care what his mother says      

i don’t know myself
but i think he did
and i don’t love myself
but i think he did

week fortythree: all the grain is gold

all the grain is gold

send my mama roses
tell my honey don’t quit
put my body in cedar now
comb my hair slick it down 

lay me where the grass grows
higher than the gravestones
lay me down in the cool shade
where the cows graze on the warm days

cause i’ve seen the silo
and all the grain is gold

i’ve been a leaf raker
a singer and a bedmaker
money’s fake power’s worse
fill the day with love and work

i’ve seen the red sun
setting over everyone
burning up a field of rye
like a missile a meteorite

and i’ve seen the silo
and all the grain is gold

cause i woke up in the night
with a fearful heart and a pain in my side
the doctor said okay all right let’s go
i want you to know it’s fine
i want you to know i don’t measure in time
i want you to know that all the grain is gold

so send my mama roses
tell my honey don’t quit
put my body in cedar wood
comb my hair make it look good

dress me in a white shirt
bless me with a kind word
lay me down in the cool shade
where the cows graze on the warm days

cause i’ve seen the silo
and all the grain is gold

week fortytwo: gone pt.3

gone pt.3

she said i’ll take you to the coast
lake erie buffalo
we can watch the fireworks
keep each other laughing through it all

all the whistle in the reeds
all the thunder crack heat
her and i in the dark
everybody else the enemy

and they were coming on
singing their old songs

it’s a dangerous town
it’s a barn burning down
we were always dressing up
hunting for a way to get out

and they were coming on
singing their old songs

but we were gone
through the high beams
on their crime scenes
all her and me
hollering up to god
what you got we don’t want
through the ragweed
forever staggering
writing our songs
hallelujah
crack of dawn
morning came
we were gone

all raining in toronto
gray water in the throttle
left the car to cary ann
caught a ride with cattle to chicago 

never got where we were going
or maybe did and didn’t notice
sparks on a line of hay
shining all the way to the explosion

and they were coming on
singing their old songs

and we were gone
sneaking on the bus
sun just coming up
geese of canada
cliff edge
road swung
river winding
we were gone
through the ragweed
forever staggering
writing our songs
hallelujah
waking up
morning on a high cold dawn
dew frozen on the lawn
we were working on
throat dry
crackle eyed
four claw track of dogs
her and i
hearts wide
high tide coming on

though the high beams
on their crime scenes
all her and me
hollering up to god
what you got we don’t want
through the ragweed
falling gladly
writing our songs
hallelujah
crack of dawn
morning came
we were gone