Here are all the lyrics to my new album, "Home Life," out July 16.
Sometimes in our lives
we all have pain, we all
have sorrow, but if I
keep on at dollar beer
night I'll also ruin tomorrow
so barely I swallowed my
pride, rode the train home
past solo trees and houses,
a snake in every garden
where nothing depends
on anything anymore
but you leaned on me
when you were not strong
and I tried to be kind for
wanting to be loved, but
it wasn't long till I had
but a beer and nobody
to lean on.
Just call on me, brother, if you need a friend; we all need somebody to lean on.
Tiller of Lawn
And with a new season
some wild affection, wild
geese in stormclouds
above my lawn, my friends ...
still I go out and get some
in the moonlight; then it's
tomorrow and I am a mess.
Still I cling to that old
midnight hoot-owl as if
I could ride from night to
the next — how everything
seemed to me from way up
there to be so sweet, so
sublime; down here seems
all everybody's got is a little
hard luck sometimes.
I look back and see the dead
grass and it feels so good
but everything seems to
me from my train window to
be getting so much worse
Come on, save me love.
Moving never soothes my
worries, so come on! Oh,
come on and save me love.
In the dark of the night
my star shines bright,
awake in my bed,
The sheets are
in curls and beside
me my girl, her chest
heaves as she dreams;
oh how I love her
with my cicada-shell
I need you but don't
know how to get there;
my soul's not at ease.
It's like I need my dog
to come when I call but
there's no dog to call
when you need it all.
Despite our hopes let's
try to be well, knowing
we won't, and invest
our hopes in beating
hell although we won't.
Ask not what you can
do for your pain; ask
what you can do with
What fool looked at
two points and saw
a little dog? I guess
all things bright and
low need what thought
you can give them.
But that, friends,
looks like true love:
the rounding off of
two things with
anything. Oh, to love
me dream with me!
Heap of Trash
Sometimes I wonder
if you remember August's
day and the cricket hiss.
We listened where
or maybe sometimes.
There was no end to
the drinks and to the
daylight, sad music —
we were living by the
river at the time.
Thought I needed that
cool, cool, cool water
because I couldn't cool
down from wanting ...
to losing, Jesus,
I wanted you ...
And I remember,
how the kudzu coiled
over everything —
the old buildings
where we found
three paintings of
Jesus in a heap of
trash. People kept
saying, "It's alright, it's
alright, it's alright,
have some more, be
secure, ululate —
whatever, just be
alright." I've got the
wrong kind of energy,
Jesus, things are
better now we left.
needed that cool, cool,
cool logic, though I'm
still not true now from
wanting ... to losing,
Jesus, I had you ...
Jesus! Let us eat
when we're hungry;
let us drink and drink
when we are dry, and
let's try to keep ourselves
wandering beyond the
quiet of our little lives.
And oh, if you find you
really need someone
to always lift you up,
Jesus, I cannot ...
Train Window Man
Haha rain! I'm the train
window man, anywhere
traveling as far away as
I can from anything,
licking up valleys, in
search of a new word for
the then-trees but "sad,"
and feeling better, mostly,
about where I don't know
where I am, but it feels
like I'm getting there,
and when I get there
again I just hope I
Just then my car passes
the old memory yard,
heaped tall with old
friends and empty cans.
I pull the thing to get
off but I can't get off. Oh!
I couldn't tell you where I come from
but to say it's where human kindness
is overflowing. To some that leaves
nothing unsaid — to others, it just means
nothing. But I made a sad attempt to
get back again. Ah, yes! To be a kid again
I licked the spoiled nectar of youth, got
sick, shit my shorts,and lost my shoes,
hoping that a sweet need to create
could savage a sour to disapprove,
but it did not — it didn't — but nothing could.
I'm going home.
The taste, the taste, sometimes comes back to me
the taste of how youth so sweetened reality tea ...
we suburban basement boys kumbayaed so sweetly
before packing like stock to the auction in sedans from 1990
to the city, through the Meadowlands, in their evening glory,
and the next day's rainy waking to the smell of the Nabisco factory ...
and oh, how our cups were running over with just about everything
for our pots were all full and so hot nightly ! ...
Do you remember how it felt when the next scene was revealed?
Light shifts, factory closes, everything's shuttered, town is empty,
and just then something mounts in your gut, a kind sickness for
want of need, indeed, I'm soured and sick, don't follow me.
I'm going home, I'm going home, I'm going home to nothing.
Back on Home
Never forget to give due praise to the old masters,
to recognize the genuine article, and, when doubting,
to please breathe, and to listen to me: everybody
needs a chance to feel so low it feels like you can't ever
Keep holding my hand through the crisis of taste: There's
no time to read, no will to make something to be proud of,
and it's nothing to be proud of, my love, to be nothing,
and I'm nothing, oh!
God, one goes and goes and hopes
the getting there will even feel good.
Come on, how should I know? I wanted to learn
and bring it all to you back on home. Come on, how
could have I known, once you go you can't go back
But I remember what I said: That if we could skip these
few hard years we'd be set. Yeah, I remember what I said,
now I regret it because once you go, then, you know, you
can't ever come back. Once you go, then, you know — you
can't ever — you can't ever come back.
Autumn Leaves (Again)
The falling leaves pass by my train window
in reams of dead old red and gold. Will the
getting there then cure me of the sunburned
hand that I used to hold?
Once where there was a bed, we would lay in it;
Once where there was food, we would eat it.
And in having what we needed we forgot how
it's supposed to hurt to love.
So Sunburned Hand, come on, that's how you
know that it's working: If you're not hurting,
then you'll know it's not working.
I miss you most of all, my darling, when
I can see the autumn leaves start to fall. I miss
you most of all my darling when I can feel the
autumn leaves start to fall.
Meanwhile memories of "my darling" become
acid-damaged negatives of memories of memories
of memories of memories, ah!
Men in Jail
Now we live in an old fleabag apartment
where pigeon shit is copied and pasted
all over. It's ugly, otherwise we like it: You
can almost see the river, there's a good
bar near, and we know a couple people.
But if we were food, this is how we'd be
farmed: In sky-scraping brick cages with
windows to expensive stuff. And if they
milk us for a little bit more, baby, that
could be ours! Well, listen! Nobody's
here to make any friends. And I just
want to be your lover; that's all I ever
wanted from this place that wants
nothing from us.
I wish I could say that I moved to New York
for a dream, but it was on a lark. The world
has no use for another fuckin' idiot who aims
to do no harm but can't help anyone. All is lost!
Jail couldn't be worse suffering ... but I couldn't
I walk around rapping my tin cup, just
a-wonderin' what I'm a-gonna do ...
and I wonder if, in jail, men dream too?