Sunday, May 6, 2012



1. Cerebral Dance
2. Waiting For Delmore
3. In Bed With Boys
4. No Action
5. Verbal Blunder
6. Sinister
7. Agitation
8. Tonight
9. Tuesday Tastes Good
10. Mantic Sway
11. True Romance At The World's Fair
12. Sub Rosa
13. Let's Transact
14. Heat Wave

15. Friendly Manifesto
16. Connoisseurs Of Lightning
17. An Explanation For That Flock Of Crows
18. Tractor Pull
19. Horizon
20. Please Respect Our Decadence
21. Little Dead Bodies
22. Amusing Oneself
23. Somewhat Bleecker Street

As always, tracks in bold have been transcribed and the remainder are coming soon.
 Italicized words are uncertain; corrections and additions are always welcome!


Cerebral Dance

Waiting For Delmore

It's like brushing your teeth in public or being kissed in a dream by a stranger in white shoes.
I get so confused. Delmore's no longer in the shower, no longer on [??], no longer making a fuss.
Telephone calls come, asking if he is home. They hang up before I can answer.
I get so melancholy when I think of his good points:
How he knew what each piece of silverware was for;
How he could light a match using only one hand;
His talent of grinding his teeth in his sleep,
Clacking out a calypso rhythm that would send me tapping into the living room.
Oh, Delmore, Delmore, your comic books still come in the mail.
The oatmeal I make for you each morning turns green well before noon.
The shoebox whimpers when it recalls your feet.
And I miss you.

In Bed With Boys

When I was small and arthritic in my crib, I knew Spaniards wanted sleep,
While Americans merely needed it. Now, on warm summer days, boys nip at my neck,
Their hands too sweaty to hold and their backs wetting the bed.
Boys in bed, boys on the bed, their heads roaring on pillows
And their feet twitching in sleep.
I got boys who speak Latin in their dreams; boys whose faces land in books,
Who must be coaxed to the covers. I got European boys who like cold rooms
And those that like the bushes. I got boys who think they're famous,
And boys who call me "Sir." Boys who are shaped like Z's
That snap straight when an avalanche of sun comes in the window
And in winter, they're rolled in sheets that unfurl in the morning and fill the room with skin.

No Action

Because nothing ventured, nothing gained, but better safe than sorry.
And when in doubt, don't.
Because we look before we leap, knowing a stitch in time saves nine.
And we try to make hay while the sun shines, because he who hesitates is lost,
But slow and steady always wins the race.
Because too many cooks spoil the broth, but God helps those who helps themselves.
And if you want something done, do it yourself, but two heads are better than one.
Because where there's smoke, there's fire, although all that glitters is not gold,
And you can't judge a book by its cover, but clothes make the man.
Because idle hands are the devil's playlot, but we fear burning our candles at both ends.
'Cause the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary,
So we keep our nose to the grindstone, knowing all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Verbal Blunder

No slip of the tongue could cause this misunderstanding
It's your head and its wicked working that's led you to this awkward pause
After blurting out that vicious clause, which brings those [?]s
Which say, "Drop dead."
No slip of the tongue could cause this misunderstanding;
It's your head that controls your flapping jaws and dictates all those things you've said.
Don't claim that your meaning was misread or twisted by perception flaws,
Because no slip of the tongue could cause this misunderstanding.
It's your head.


Do not leap into the lake. Do not wish for Sri Lanka. You will not get the half of it.
You claim to make the moon disappear, but I know it's just your hand over my eyes.
I'm hip to the tricks of scientists.
Do not make any sound that imitates travel, motorized or not.
There is movement that makes more impact than you.
You twist my cheek harshly, claiming it is love, and tell me life is Cupid useful.
Do not want more than the lump of me, more than you can put in your pocket
And defect with.
Do not stand with your arms folded. They will not protect you as you puzzle,
Trying desperately, to sort it out.


Not afterglow, but overglow. Not moonlight, but spotlight.
The crooning has grown cold, while I have shrunken in my old age and gone soft all over.
Give me the morphine sleep I crave, that slap in the face for hysteria.
Replace my bones with plastic joints; remove my breasts so I can slip through gates.
Give me knees so weak I have to roll and boys that make suicide impossible.
I don't want to have to go out in peace. No talking, no snoring, no dreaming.
And my lungs collapsing in unison.


Tonight there is no moonlight; no fragrance, no rawness, no lock (luck?)
And lovers retreat to the Ego motel.
At times, colored birds would leave their nests, go espionage hunting for something hard
Sex or [?] or [?]. But not tonight.
Yesterday, a deaf man stole a car, attracted by the garter hanging on the rearview.
Tonight, he sleeps in a normal bed, dreaming of empty beehives.
The compulsive are not leaping [?] naked into the lake.
There are no fresh bridges to jump from.
A conspiracy among the unborn. Procrastinate another day. All kicking in the labor room,
Flatten [?] to a hum. And that light in the sky isn't Venus, but the lost signals of a flashlight
That the meterman dropped at noon.

Tuesday Tastes Good 

Note: This is one of the most difficult tracks to transcribe, and unfortunately it's also one of the most popular. If you have the liner notes for this album, PLEASE send me a corrected version of these lyrics!

Slide me out of girl afternoon, feminine square, a fur tube and loose skin
Make me monkey-nude with big car dent.
Give sound of free-running volcano. Pineapple eruption and solar thud.
There is front lawn utopia; scant dull earth works miles near
Unpleasant stay at home vacation.
Now the beat breaks down (x9), breaks down (x10). You've lost it!
Kidnap softens as planned, while newborns are lulled by eloquent drinking songs.
Pull out of it. Aggressive. Pull out of it. Aggressive.
Cursed [?] crumble to flatten friend's hand.
Hear it snap on his diet side of chunky life.
Give skeletal image to [?] too. Moonlit tough interior. Brilliant. Brilliantine.
Nome brass geese. Kill. And again. (x17) To regain smugness.

Mantic Sway

Something will erupt. Straining stockings, aching chains
The dress that pops off from too much affection and bursts, busts, breasts that swell
In a too-tight brassiere. A fist muscle growing as a hand tightens.
A perfume called Volcano of Love... in French. France is waiting to erupt.
Painted nails scratch a surface, scratch sin off so something can erupt. Something will.
Oh, the beat of our blood in our necks. The flutter of blood in our guts.
We know what that is. We all know what that is.
I have a good ear tonight. I have intuition worth your weight on my lap.
I am nothing to put to rest. I am nothing but a fireball. Take it.
Take it and something will erupt.
Tomorrow, no noisy mournings. Tomorrow, a collection of regrets.
We'd wanted them for so long. They can ruin our lives.
We'll read about them in our biographies when we're dead, dead, stone-cold dead.
A paragraph about what we never once mentioned,
A paragraph describing how we managed a secret.

True Romance At The World's Fair

A whispered remark changed a girl's life.
Make no mistake, there was a difference. She had a war job and mother-in-law trouble,
A jitterbug wedding, and an itch that started quick.
Dressed in the most attractive of rubber suits, posing as a girl, unmarried and unkissed,
She set out to answer questions: "How red is Hollywood?" and "What brings out the beast in men?"
By the seaside, by the bandstand, she sighs and says: "Too many blondes spoil the crowd,"
As sound systems loom over the city. Electric, anesthetic, and that mad shine is drilled into the moon
Which is masculine at night, but this ain't no musical romp, no screwball comedy.
This is just dog-collar loneliness.
The world -- the world is not a wild place.

Sub Rosa

All the stars clustered like rashes
[?] on a cheap woman's neck.
Reminding me of nothing as subtle as a tongue slipped into an ear.

Condensed laughter streams in from the wings.
I've called for it to distract you.
I hear you sing a song of temptation and wonder if you wrote it for me.

You'll never tell. You only give me big, big dumb juicy eyes.

I become obsessed with all sorts of omens: birthmarks or plagues or glints in the eye.
From closer, I see your hands are sweating, flooding their wrinkles.
I see your hands are nervous now, begging to be clutched.

Let's Transact

Always, when my sound becomes too freed, I keep
I forget to say I've snuck you into my stories, both told and not, all dangerous.
Tonight, I dress in black and order something dark like Bailey's and bourbons.
Something hard to forget. I know you'll show up, and if the time is right,
I'll pull one on you. That's what we all want, isn't it?
And you'll follow me around, asking, "What did you mean by that?"
It'll cost you dearly for me to tell. Perhaps a kiss or a bathroom encounter.
Perhaps a swearing of eternal adoration. Perhaps a replacement story to hold in my throat
As ammunition.

Heat Wave

Sunday is a killer. I want a festive time, a darling illness
Hands playing staccato violin, while the theme from Psycho fills the room.
Instead, the day's as vacant as an infant's dumb stare.
In Mexico, the toreadors are having their day, torturing bulls that would rather be sleeping.
But here, the only things being tortured are the lawns, wet down by their owners
'Til soggy and numb. Yesterday, while shopping, I saw three men on crutches
Buying galoshes for the women they loved.
But today the only thing I hear are the ethnics outside.
They're walking to church to bless baskets of eggs,
Immobile things that will smell bad with time in this heat, this humidity,
That has closed down even the stripper joints.
It's sad to consider how much sweat is wasted today, produced by our own simple breathing.
Even sadder is when the night turns so arid.
Nothing can shimmy. Nothing can dance.

Friendly Manifesto

We girls, we have to mature, create an instant past, a hairline incision
Into what was once called [?]. They say we'd lose our heads if they weren't attached
To our spines by ganglia and nerve tissue and stuff called effervescence. Because it's pink.
Oh, it's not enough to be ringmasters, bachelorettes of knowledge, [?] queens of the world.
A sign must be put on to study, to be ignored like that doghouse on fire out back.
Father once warned me that I'd explode, and I did. It was a painful way to spend a Saturday,
But I think it built character. You, you'd do it too, and hide everything that's [?] be inside
Until it becomes a secret known by you, only by you and a soft sweet liver.

Connoisseurs Of Lightning

It never thunders in Paris. I can see us there, small and polite,
Waiting for someone to offer us a cigarette, waiting for a street child to pick us at random
Present us with a flower. A tulip, perhaps. So out of context.
Each time we enter buildings, we are greeted by groups of violinists who adore us.
And we love it well.
How wonderful it would be. No time for revolutions, we'd laid down our guns.
Too much fluff to enjoy, and we do.
No time to think of dead parents, no time to write our own epitaphs,
Which in any case would read: "Had lots of fun. Thanks."
We would glow and sweeten the air, more brilliant than any Manhattan neon.
Oh, Paris, Paris, I know you're there. I know you're there like heaven is there.
Not very lonely. Not dying to see me.

An Explanation For That Flock Of Crows

A thread of birds has settled outside your door.  Spring is coming, and you lean back,
Waiting for its root-juicy kiss. Politely, charmingly.
Once, during a summer, you came without shoes, without any maps, and settled
Into my elbow while this hemisphere turned blue.
We were urban, unkind animals and I never once thought of champagne.
How often you'd want me to tell you your future. Show me your palms, the lumps on your head,
As if I knew what my mother knows best: how to inflame things at a distance.
Now, you think of me with a casual chuckle. Now, you save me like an auctioned-off bon-bon:
Brought out on a doily for guests to admire. I know, and it's all in my pocket.
Just press your ear against your back door. There's a sound I've sent.
It's there to haunt you. Like a cello. Like a buzzsaw.
I hope you're enjoying yourself.

Tractor Pull

This evening, upon waking, I saw [?] saying, "I'm going to a tractor pull."
And I didn't understand. Outside, it was dusk enough to make things invisible,
And I heard a car swerve as it skinned the elbow of an ugly child.
It didn't make the news, though I did wonder how hard it would be for a tractor to skin anything,
No matter how impulsive it was on the open fields.

It was an hour before I fell asleep again and dreamed I was on a soggy bed,
While Mom ironed linen curtains in the other room, saying:
"Isn't it awful here with all the heat and the fever blisters and no trees to block the tumbleweeds
From coming in the windows?"
I looked up at the open prairie skies and all its stillness and I forgot that the TV was silent,
Letting us remember all the loud colors of the world.


A restless heat has risen above the soft hiss on the radio,
And suddenly, you become the sinister tease, the moist, orange heartache that never goes away.
Now, I hold you out at arm's length, the way a mime holds out a phantom bib.
Now, I am dreaming of April, of yellow.
Dreaming of deserts upon which you walk into the pale horizon.
And the distance makes you ugly.

Please Respect Our Decadence

Everybody's dying, so we send them flowers.
After their funerals, we go out to dinner, and then we try to forget about it.
We're all committing suicide, and everybody points it out to us:
Is that a coffee you're drinking? Is that a cigarette you're smoking? Is that meat you're eating?
Is that air you're breathing? Have you no self-respect?
No, but we're having fun, quick, before we drop dead. We don't mind your great concern.
But please, send flowers instead.

Little Dead Bodies

How right you were, dear Paul,
That we hear of famous people's deaths while on vacation.
Perhaps it's so their funerals are not too crowded, with their loyal fans being out of town and all.
Those celebrities are pretty clever.

I've heard that someone's born every eight seconds,
So I presume that someone dies every eight seconds just to keep things even.
It makes me feel shortchanged when I read the obituary page: someone's holding back information.
It also prompts me to flip through the telephone directory on sleepless nights,
Saying over, and over, and over again: "Yup! You're all going! Every last one of you."
Wow. Heaven must be a big place.

I don't know too many dead people, but folks tell me I'm young.
When my grandfather died, he was laid out in the Bogg funeral home,
And I was secretly glad Mr. Bogg didn't change his name to something more romantic
When he went into business. I just wish it was less memorable.
My high school locker partner, Ned, worked part-time for a mortician.
Imagine dressing dead people, straightening their ties and fluffing up their hair
So you can afford to take a girl out to the movies on Saturday night.
Well, that's love! That's adolescent desperation!
I would've been honored to have Ned take me to the movies and let him buy me popcorn.
Instead, I went out with a boy who died.
The hardest part was knowing that his body didn't just disappear on the bed the moment he left.

I think that's what keeps me off of suicide:
The idea that there's something left for someone else to clean up. How rude and inconsiderate!
It's a pain to take out the weekly trash, let alone figure out what to do
With over a hundred pounds of flesh that's about to go bad.
It'd be even worse in India, where there's a religious cult which believes you shouldn't desecrate
Any of the elements with the dead. They can't be buried or burned. They can't be cast out to sea.
So they're taken to the top of the Tower of Silence, where they become the vultures' problem.
How's that for passing the buck?

No, when I go, I want to go clean, convenient, leaving no mess.
As if I vaporized while taking a shower,
As if I moved to Antarctica, leaving no forwarding address.

Amusing Oneself

A fever crawls into you. A colorful one. Scarlet? Yellow? Too soon to tell.
Restless and itchy, you grab any rumor that's lounging around.
Blame it on boredom or the position of stars. Perhaps the good weather has made your brain crazy.

You write "Warsaw was raw" in lipstick on your old lover's letter,
Hold it up to a mirror, and delight in yourself.
It's easy, like sending a card to yourself on your birthday
And crying when you get it, 'cause "someone remembered!"
Like when you empty a bag of groceries onto the kitchen floor:
When the last apple stops rolling, you call it still life.

Somewhat Bleecker Street

Greenwich and Chungking and Johnny's got a girlfriend.
Dumb blonde in loose pants, too big to be Miss America. We wave hello.
It's here, even in the rain: the heart, the heart, the simple spin,
The audacity of colors and heat fucking up from the sidewalks.
If you strut, if you wear pretty slippers, see how hard your feet can get.
[??] shakes me up four flights and I don't feel like peeking in.
The lavish halo, innocence in parentheses,
Inside me, five girls shout in Italian, wanting life to be one long vacation.

1 comment: