Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I don't have to try to transcribe Tongue Wrestling! I have a mint condition copy of the original, complete with undamaged, perfectly legible liner notes. The wording I originally presented here was about the same as in the liner, though I altered the spacing, the punctuation, and in a few cases the spelling.

1. What I Like Doing Best
2. What Is Not In Texas
3. Thank You
4. Wily
5. Your Face
6. Desire
7. Incorrigible
8. Luster Goddess
9. Downpour
10. Stopping
11. One Night I Fell In Love
12. Loose Change 

The lyrics in the liner don't quite match up with most of the actual tracks, but what I've posted should now reflect what you'll actually hear. As always, if you have any corrections, do let me know.


What I Like Doing Best

Busting slob, swaying gush, nabbing drool, boodling;
Flinging woo, pitching woo, spooning, smooching, swooning
Under the moonlight, under a flashlight, under a sun lamp,
Under a table, understated, underscored, underrated,
Understand I won't remove my underclothes, under the influence,
Underwater with an underclassman, watching the submarine races,
Lapping faces; playing kissy-face, playing smacky-lips,
Locking lips, ripping lips, playing tonsil hockey, tongue wrestling.
Perching, petting, bussing, smacking, slurping, parking, in a convertible, in a big rig, in a castle,
In a dumpster, in a bathroom, in a river, in front of Rover, in front of mother, in a field of clover,
In a dungeon, in a prison, in a hospital bed, in June, in November,
In a tizzy, I remember getting dizzy while listening to, like, Thin Lizzy in the background,
To like Bolero or Elvis Costello; to Howling Wolf howling, to Yoko Ono yowling,
While I was dealing drool, swapping spit, switching lip, whipping pout,
Trading mouth, smashing face, bouncing lick;
Gently, elegantly, tenderly, subtly, coolly, friendly, demurely, alluringly,
Or give it to me surly, burly, late at night or early! I want to get loved up, cuddled up,
Eaten up, only from the waist up; lip tango, lip scalp, lip loot, smooch, suck face,
Make out, neck, kiss, salute someone with the throwing of my lips.

What Is Not In Texas

All you are seeking is also seeking you, he said.
Go down to the river; lie placidly, sit still. It will find you, he said.
Standing on the overpass are drunk teenagers breaking curfew, who are loud, do senseless smooching
Beneath the stars which pulsate torridly, though they know they'll be paled by dawn.
Go down to the river, he said. It's been waiting for a long, long time.
It is not my heart, it is not my anger. It does not promise anything, and it cannot stay forever.
But it is there. And it's sweet, and it's warm, and it's delicious, and it's waiting just for you.
Once it finds you, don't move away. Rest. It'll glow in the dark. See what happens next.

Thank You

Thank you for the headache. It was lovely.
The stars were out that night. I spoke to them. They offered no stunning information.
The best part of being sick is the cure: a pinch, a shot, or simply nothing for a long, long time.
Thank you for not killing me with your car. That was very thoughtful.
Now, you're welcome to my couch, my cocktails, to any trivia about me,
Though I won't say which is true or not.
The best part about morning is that time moves so slowly and sin whispers sweetly in our ears,
Begging for wild abandon.
Thank you for not hating me. That's very big of you. There's nothing much to hate or fear.
I have no sleeves, no pockets, leaving no secret hiding places
Except my head, my heart, and other such tiny empty holes.
The best part about being coy is the trouble it might cause while you remain totally innocent.
Thank you. Thank you for not giving me a hard time.
That would have been so very easy.


I will not say it first. It's too much what you want. You have not given me what I came here for.
Could you not be less a man and more a woman just tonight?
Could you not ask silly questions a little quicker just tonight?
The moon goes thud. Now you seem too easy. Stars off kilter, wind too timid.
I think I thought I heard a drunk hum a song about an angel beneath my window. It was very tasty.
You love secrets. I do too. Give me some.

Your Face

The way it is in the summer, in the winter, when the trees start to die, in a traffic jam --
The way it is up close, far away, in the rain, in the dark, under neon, in the moonlight,
In my thoughts, in China, moving through space or being perfectly still.
I once dreamt your face tattooed upside-down on my chest, and when I bowed my head,
I saw it move with my heartbeat and my lung heaves;
Your face, the way it's laughing, eating, talking, kissing, singing, sleeping.
The way it is guessing, musing, just waking, shaving, being very busy, being very serious,
The way it is beneath my fingertips in the morning with the sunlight upon it.


Do not ask: What is this here fire in our loins? Who put it there and why must we tend it?
Do not ask: If we ignore it, will it go away? The answers will be disappointing.
It's what keeps our bloods boiled; it's what keeps our glands oiling.
It's what keeps our virtues soiled; it's what keeps our hearts toiling.
All you can do is think cold-shower thoughts.
Shredded wheat in warm milk, Norway sleeping, the Dewey Decimal system.
Imagine a mule on a black satin bed, or an Eros, hung over, blindfolded, rolled up naked
And awaiting a penicillin shot. If all else fails, think of a statistician, whispering:
"Vector, quadrature, random regression..."
Yet, don't disregard that inner yowling.
That restless want of darling undulations with no parents present.
It's what keeps our bloods boiled; it's what keeps our glands oiling.
It's what keeps our virtues soiled; it's what keeps our hearts toiling.


It's because it's fun, and what's it to you?
It's because I was being told too many times that the world is flat
When I think it's more like a rhombus or a beehive shape.
It's because I know the good die young and I'm not up for sainthood.
Not enough time left to become immortal or revered in this lifetime.
It's because it takes guts and balls, will and definition,
An attitude that one can do no wrong and if one should, you're willing to admit it and ask forgiveness,
Which is granted easier than permission to do it in the first place.
It's because I have to live every day like it's my last, because it may be.
Being secretly weak and feebleminded, ready to step out in front of a moving truck
Or get hit at random by that asteroid headed for earth.
It's because I still think that anything that shines is bright and notice any peculiarity in common life
And anything, just everything, seems so ridiculous I want to screech, laughing.
It's because I've estimated how many weekends are left in my life and it's hardly a staggering number.
It's because I remember my mother being my age,
And because I know too many dead people that shouldn't be gone.
And I know too many live people that shouldn't be here.
It's because I could never hurt anyone: don't know how, never will.
It's because you think it's charming, and because I don't know how else to be.
It's because it's worked in the past. It's because it's working now, begging your attention.

Luster Goddess

Who needs a script when you've got blonde? And when the moon rises with you,
Spilling junk on you that makes women love you as much as men?
You are angel face, glamour puss, Venus de Milo with arms and with big fat bank account.
You are my stepsister, a staircase away, blowing smoke rings while you clutch your crotch
As if something was really there.
Phenomenon, marvel, spectacle, wonder: where did you get that secret stuff you're blessed with
And do you manage it with a silent secretary?
You are everything the Japanese are taught not to be.
You are a limousine. You're what lilts in my head at night.
You're why I bathe three times a day. You're why I have to dance.
You're why I spin in the wind. You are Latinized, patron saint of devil girls.
You're what I stare at and don't know what to do with.
You're what I smell during sex. You're what gives me crazy fever.
You're what I hold when the earth seems dull. You're why I consider voodoo.
You're why I lose it if I think too long. You're why I...


Lightning bolt: mute, before the thunder. Like lovers are dumb before a kiss.
Out of chaos, skies emerge, wanting us to capture them. We're sick of snubbing the chill.
We are wet. We have no shame, it has us.
We wear the bones we're sure to die with. We hope that they remember pleasure.
We hear the ghost of our mothers' voices telling us to be flawless, to be very, very clever.
Our skin can't take the ache of the hunger for other skin. We crave it badly, hanker for it fiercely,
Think of it when we're bathing, dream of it when we're drunk.
I'm still waiting for proof that says it's safer outdoors than not.
In translation, the Chinese call wind "moving air." It moves viciously, teasing us,
Bitter that we aren't as stupid as the trees.


Angels sing and I am deaf. Across the field, birds are waking,
Looking forward to food and sex and making noise. Sounds good to me.
I just felt a flurry inside me which I thought would change my life, but it didn't because it stopped.
I recall a night so thick you could faint. A combo of now and not, that and there,
And darkness crowned with flowers that inflated my heart.
We filled ourself with so many good things, we thought we'd never stop.
We hypnotized each other across a table, we thought we'd never stop.
Although my love is pristine and secure; is filled with whatever I can give,
Can accept what can't be there.
I'm logical. I'm analytical. I know when to take my turn and when one won't be given.
I know life's too short to think about things too much. Give me a fake name. I'll give you mine.
I can give my skin up. I can keep my mouth shut. I can pretend nothing happened.
Touch me now.

One Night I Fell In Love

One night, I fell in love and I took a bus home, filled with mangy people
Who all looked mentally deprived, depraved, and they all smelled like nanny goats, but I didn't care
Because I had fallen in love and was dizzy with it.
I think it was cold, but I didn't care if I caught triple pneumonia, my lungs hardening
With so much scar tissue that I wouldn't be able to breathe. I couldn't breathe anyway.
I was holding my breath, I was so much in love, and I turned a lovely blue,
Although I don't know if it was from holding my breath or from being cold
Or being so very, very much in love.
At home, I took a bath to try to get it off of me, then a shower.
Then I started praying to help me fall out of love, but soon found myself praying to always,
Always feel that giddy. Praying that the object of my affection, my affliction
Bite his tongue again and again, then have his right ear ring and think of me.
Then I prayed that he'd trip and fall down in public and think of me,
Being very, very glad I was not there to see it.
Then I went to bed and I couldn't sleep because I was so very much in love,
So I got up and drank a fifth of gin and smoked a million cigarettes
And thought about all the dead people I knew to make me drowsy, but that didn't work
So I watched the most beautiful movie on TV about a combat during World War II
And I took a thousand Alka-Seltzers,  then I went to sleep and dreamed I was on that bus again,
And despite the heat wave, all the people riding were smiling and trying to give me their seats,
And quoting Descartes, and they all smelled like lilacs and laundromats.
And when I woke up, I realized I was still in love...
But not as much.

Loose Change 

Sometimes, I think of money and curse the country that first coined it.
At parties, at reunions, out on the street, everyone you bump into asks, "So what are you doing now?"
What they really want to know is how much money you make.
Then they want to know your sexual preference, but only if you make enough money.
Money scares me. It deals with numbers and I am not linear-brained. 
It bears portraits of presidents, and I am politically unconscious.
On the back of every dollar bill: mystical Latin words and a pyramid with an eye in it.
That was the monster under my bed when I was a child. There's the fear of not having money:
Caught downtown at midnight, five cents short of bus fare,
Caught at tax time owing the country two thousand dollars you don't have!
They'll come after you! They'll put you in jail!
You'll lose your job and you'll never make money again!
Your life will be ruined! And no one will rent you an apartment.
Sex and money: both needed to prolong civilization. But you can survive without sex.
Not without money. I had a friend who once borrowed my life savings to pay her rent.
I never got it back, but she always smelled of designer perfume. I had a friend.
Forgive me for being petty, but it's a matter of lifeline.
Take my money and you take my food and shelter away! You want me to die! How can I like you?
Grandma always told me, "It's as easy to marry a rich man as it is to marry a poor one."
But grandma came from a communist country where such fortune cookie proverbs hold true.
A penny saved is a penny earned sounds backwards, and a penny for your thoughts is so insulting!
Wads of bills for the headwork of thinking!
Or instead, give me a haircut that makes me look like I couldn't have a job.
Like I have some secret income. Like all my "starving artist" friends. I hate money.
The root of all evil, which spelled backwards reads "live." I am living to circumvent money.
I am living to find a new method of measuring success.

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