Saturday, May 5, 2012


Many of the tracks on this album originally appeared on Big Skin but have been reposted here for the sake of completeness and convenience.


1. Little Dead Bodies
2. Somewhat Bleecker Street
3. Gist
4. Why No Action Is Taken
5. Father's By The Door
6. Tractor Pull
7. Tuesday Tastes Good
8. In Bed With Boys
9. Sinister
10. True Romance At The World's Fair
11. Tonight
12. Please Respect Our Decadence
13. Heat Wave
14. No War Bride
15. Let's Transact
16. Lethargy
17. Amusing Oneself
18. Recalling The Last Encounter
19. Seasonal Zombies
20. Agitation

These lyrics have now been checked against the official liner booklet and should be complete!

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 Bub funeral home,
And I was secretly glad Mr. Bub 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.

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 bucking up from the sidewalks.
If you strut, if you wear pretty slippers, see how hard your feet can get.
Giraffe timidness 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.


Sameness halts.
Every husband is extinct or floats into exile while a sly tenor breaks the hush.
Hush, let's no longer be shy for years but the blatant camera scanning hairlines
Just to get on nerves, play. Play up our rawness while we soak the hard boiled
'Til they lapse far off into the red land. Remedy the tension not with see-through hints,
But the stuff that pierces hearts. Let's explode. Let's give the half-blind an eyeful.
Change the timid habit of the skin and raise the simple hairs upon it
Right now, this moment, happy thugs ambush the evening, bust loose the wicked seams
And call them their own. Let's, let's be among them, the looming opera, the exotic hymn,
The shameless snarl that's mainly crispy.

Why No Action Is Taken

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.

Father's By The Door 

Father's by the door. No more jukebox hands or swollen feet.
No more fun. The house is drained.
I put on my bravest shirt and get some blueing for these eyes.
I know this face is money, but the skinny boys won't buy.
Father's by the door. Father's by the door.
Forget that saxophone in the subway; that glove, slipped off, which smelled.
Stop those river of hips: they'll be greeted with a sneer, and fasten your brassiere
Before your breasts become too cold.
The day reclines and falls asleep, 'cause father's by the door.
Father's by the door. Father's by the door.

Tractor Pull

This evening, upon waking, I saw a face 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.

Tuesday Tastes Good 

Slide me out of girl afternoon, feminine square of fur tooth and lulu 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 earthworks miles near and
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.
Curse goes crumble to flat in friend's hand.
Hear wrist snap; eyes die at sight of chunky life.
Give skeletal image to pin pelvis to. Moon-licked tough interior. Brilliant. Brilliantine.
No brass peace. Kill. And again. (x17) To regain smugness.

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.


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 cute and 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.

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.


Tonight there is no moonlight; no fragrance, no rawness, no luck
And lovers retreat to the Ego motel.
At times, colored birds would leave their nests, go espionage hunting for something hard
Sex or jazz or both. 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 plead 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,
Flattens 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. 

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.

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.

No War Bride

From somewhere back, a light keeps flashing:
A billboard asking me to sleep.
Downstairs, my neighbor is bathing. I hear him humming a polka. I hear him thinking about me:
"What does she do when I can't hear her marching?"
I'll never tell him I dream of the army.
I could've enlisted, been a sergeant by now.
Downing brown whiskey and cursing civilians.
If I were a soldier, I'd be sleeping by now, my helmet full of rumble and letters from Mother.
Instead, I am wakeful,
Remembering you in your white, loose, all-over summer and constantly giggling.

Let's Transact

Always, when my sound becomes too free to 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.


Everyone is so boring. No cure for colds, no car lot chases.
Nothing to make this a faster asteroid. Even your fever-giving drone makes me pensive,
Puts me at a melancholy pace as if I were embodied in an egg.
I should gloss like a glass fish: freeze oxygen at night and thaw it at dawn
Plow the fields just to make the earthworms nervous.
But instead, I'm ready to throw bricks. But only something as dull as bricks.
Pardon me. Pardon me while I. Pardon me while I strip and melt.

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.

Recalling The Last Encounter

 There is an anemic embrace on the street.
A kiss is thrown, meets another, drops to the sidewalk and goes for a tumble.
You warn of tight clouds that wriggle like armyworms,
A form of algebra suicide, I guess. I want to telephone the sailors,
Curse their songs of gasoline as the light in the booth turns me hideous.
I want to become hydraulic. Hit the newsstands, national exposure,
Feel the world crawl into me through the fingers as the traffic outside locks, stops, and goes soft.
I want to talk about milk, about the invisible bones of the face,
About this brain that sits too close to the skin.
While I hear you tell me we could be chainsaws under the stars.
Under what stars?

Seasonal Zombies

Would winter in China be so innate?
With flashlight and desk globe, I pretend I'm the sun.
The earth is turning an impolite child and I can't take care of it all.
I yawn at the man who's delighted by snow
Collects it in jars that are stored in the freezer, labeled by year, and fearing a blackout.
It's time to go nowhere.
In the overstuffed chair
Wearing the dunce cap and waiting for wisdom to hit.
This winter chews up my life, paralyzes my father, makes things so idle.
Not even the stars pulsate.
Like nervous eyelids.
This winter has numbed us like a fly in an ice cube.
No bobbing, no hearing chatter
This season reminds me of some tedious death
Where you listen and listen and there's nothing to dance to
Nothing to signal an impending good time
Even danger is dormant, brewing its core.
I'll join it, waiting for spring and its millions of noises.


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.


  1. Man your site is awesome, I just found out about this band and I am in love with Lydia's lyrics and deadpan delivery.

  2. Can I email you? I have the CD for this, including lyrical booklet.

  3. That'd be fantastic! I can be reached at scintillascar @ gmail

  4. I checked the lyrics here against those in the booklet and mailed you the differences. Hope this helps :)

  5. Huge, HUGE thank you to A3 for taking the time to check my transcriptions and send corrections from the booklet! You're the best.

  6. Hi, you made a great work with this blog. I discovered this band on and youtube and i'm now deeply in love. One question, where you found the cd's or vynils? Do you know something about their story?

    Greetings from Italy

  7. Thank you so much for your work on this website. I have it bookmarked and I check it constantly. Algebra Suicide is a recent discovery of mine and already they are so close to my heart. Thank you again -- it's really saved me from some headaches. x

  8. AS is not a recent discovery for me, having grown up as a teenager near Milwaukee. But your website sure is. I'd love to send you some "artifacts" (interviews, articles, pix, etc.) but I now live half the world away with no access. Still, THANK YOU for keeping the genious of AS alive!!