Tag Archives: songwriter

Houdini’s Last Words

From Appleton Street
In Milwaukee
To East 79th
In New York

I was a child flying
From a trapeze
The prince of air

I’m tired of fighting, Dash
I guess this thing is going to get me
You & I always knew
What we had to do to get ourselves free
And every eye could see
Whether astounded bourgeois
Or enchanted children of poverty
There are no odds that overcome mastery
Except this thing
Is going to get me

I met you
When you were sixteen
A Floral Sister
At the Sea Beach Palace
Coney Island

The one & only
Theodore Hardeen
A strongman within
Broken chains
Fed my secrets to his flames
My brother introduced you
To me


But for the absence of magic
In the conditions of fate
This charge
I cannot evade


#20: Intimate Secrecy

It’s a casting call
For the bourgeois
My motivation’s alienation
Expressed demographically

Assigned a file
On destiny
A subject in denial
Like we’re meant to be

Well I want to find
The right leather gloves for me
I’m going to blindfold you
So I can finally see

Concrete never sleeps
Does it turn you on?
It turns me on
Our intimate secrecy

In the meeting
The boss said we’re a team
I’m a sense-maker
On a cheap salary

I’m just lucky to be here
We talk about TV
Before we burrow underground
For our next place to be

Well I’m in a bind
Too many promises to keep
Gonna gag your mouth
So I can finally speak
Does it turn you on?
It turns me on
Our intimate secrecy

The price we pay
For pleasure’s
A step too steep
Does it turn me on?
It turns me on
Our secret intimacy

John Dillinger

It’s a simple point
In a simple plan
You take the money
Like slaughtering a lamb
A farmer watched his family starve
And only the rich can steal
So the fedora covers your eyes
And you forgot how to feel
They dropped you in a hole
Long ago
John Dillinger
Destroyer of the world

The police shoot, too
The police can shoot you
The nonviolent citizen
Who reads the news
So Dillinger went cold
After suffering in jail
Who’s the tormented and tormentor
Who’s the dragonhead and dragon tail
He liked Chicago
He liked to disappear
But to anyone paying attention
He’s still right here
At your side, tonight
Outside the Biograph
Strolling the sidewalk
Before the bloodbath
The G-Men scream
See! See! See!
See the color of the flood
The truth is red and mean
They dropped him in a hole
Long ago
John Dillinger
Destroyer of the world

And are they going to bury you
With that money
You know innocent got hurt
Innocent got slain
Over all that fame
I guess you’d say
You don’t care

Christmastime in New York


It’s 5 AM in the morning

And Johnny, well Johnny

He’s stumbling down the boulevard

With a stolen piece of italian bread

Hanging out of his mouth

Me and A are quick struttin’ ahead

Steamin’ toward the deli

I’m starving for a bacon sandwhich

He’s mumbling about caserole

And how he can’t stand it

Adam’s already beat us inside

He’d been flirting with the bar tender all night

When he asked her what time she’d be free

She said, “Boy, why do you keep lying to me?”

On the search

For home

We were together

We were alone

And our bodies

Were on loan

Searching for a truth


Well these artificial tanned girls they look like mermaids

If you’ve plied yourself with enough alcohol

And there’s these junkies and creeps haunting the third bathroom stall

Well we have each other, and our familiar acidic laughter

We play dirty jazz

And form broken chords together

And they all have a good laugh

When I cue an obscure soundtrack

We laugh at life and intimidate death

And say, “we’ll never fade to black.”

During the search

For home

We were together

And we were alone

And our bodies

Felt like they were on loan

Searching for a truth unknown

Well, it’s closing time

And suddenly I’ve realized

We’ve built a beautiful friendship around poison

And it’ll never be the same

We played such a foolish game

Well, we can’t have this time back

We were so close to being known

Now even when we’re in the same room

Our dirty eyes feel alone

Well, file out

The taps are shut

The windows are boarded

Too much will never be enough

Well, I never needed to escape

I just needed to love who I couldn’t

That was myself, and I knew she


Well, we’re on the search

For home

We were together

We were alone

And our bodies

Felt like they were on loan

And the truth I searched for, it was always written

On your face

While I refused to see

You were me

I was you

And all we needed

Was Us

The Gathering Storm

The sage disguised 
As fool 
Warned against 
The gathering storm

The stage improvised 
Mimicking tool 
Ignored the 
Gathering Storm

The wage idealized 
Imitation jewel 
Danced in the 
Gathering storm

Are we all hypocrites 
Hoping for something more 
We’ve all been blamed 
By someone certain they were sure 
No one is guiltless 
From shore to shining shore 
The words do not condemn 
But plea for empathy now 
And forevermore


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