Temporary Things (Lyrics draft)

In the darkest hours, which is always, whether sun, or nighttime, or rain,

I toss and turn in my bed, through my days, in my brain;

For those of us who struggle to express

a single sentiment

without jokes or double meanings or

A lifetime worth of sadness in a pack on our backs

Always hunting for that one true sentence or word…

Try to write it down, find it in the keys, strike the right note,

Try to show it in a perfect shuffle step or grand jete

Or something not muddled in French, one sharp angle,

that bends to Fate.

Well, what I mean to say…

If I crumple it all and light it on fire

Would it be bright enough for you to see?

Would it purify the words and notes and tones of my voice,

Or the sharp movements that bend and wilt with a single word,

An hour of your time, the spell of lifted darkness —

These temporary things.


As above, so below, the tree full of good and evil

so ripe it will drop on its own in the

shudder of leaves with sunlight

playing across the skin of fertile ground.

If God walks in the garden, will he spy?

We will peel off the layers of truth and lies.

How long since we walked together

naked and unafraid into the bruised elbow of night?

How long should I carry the blame of sin on my shoulders

only by listening to slick whispers of the serpent

who opened my eyes wide?

He said I would walk in dumb silence

with words that disappear into the sky like spent bullets.

So all around I watched the garden crumble

into cities and worlds no one believed,

green all turned gray and grids of mechanical men,

my story scrawled on a bathroom stall with numbers.

The heartbeat smack of the el trains — a ballad and a dirge —

where a million sit alone in windows, stark outlines

against some cheap bulb, watching trains go by,

thinking of me, or a mother, or the Holy Virgin

or nothing at all.

Where your lust became the hunger of myriads

who dream, hate, blame,

unzip shame in front of dark windows —

a release and a curse

blacks out the sins of the fathers

into misogynist trails of glowing lies,

spent seeds on the tile.

Graffitti psalms fall on deaf ears, blind eyes…

It all comes full circle like spinning swords of seraphs at the garden gate.

Too late.

Take me back, or all the way forwards, you who really see me.

East, west, back and forth on the rails of time

to a beginning or a revelation.