Clock

 

Some people jot down in a little black notebook. All the dates and the times with the name and the place. And if they’re running late, they don’t even think to hit the brakes. But the clock doesn’t talk to me that way. Some people see their hours and they add twenty minutes. Just a safety net, to hurry up and wait. But the hours that you post mean less to me than most. No, the clock doesn’t talk to me that way. Some people see a casket and know that’s what they’ll get, whether later tonight or some long distant day. That’ll make a man get a move on, but still forget to keep his shoes on. Me, I ain’t missing much, so I don’t see a need to hurry up. No, the clock doesn’t talk to me that way.

 

Short Ride

 

Walking along down a familiar street, new blacktop just put down. The cars are too quiet and my head’s too loud. So I quicken up my pace, chewing raw my bottom lip. Scrape my tongue on a tooth I chipped. Watch the seconds floating by like ash, piling up behind. Not sure how many were really mine. Well I’m tightening up all over and my breath is short and sharp. I think I went a block too far. It’ll be a long, deep, sleep when I get home. I’ll wake up fine. I just might wake up alone. Without doubts whispered by an angry one, whose work it seems is never done, no. Walking along a stair too narrow with the people crowding in. Say ‘Bless you’ to a man with his headphones in. And I know that they can see my hands shaking at my side. Guess I’m lucky that it’s such a short ride.

 

Dog

 

Run down to get the mail barefoot and blinded. Nobody’s drinking coffee and the sun is high. Run down to a deli, it’s chips and root beer, Black & Mild and Tylenol. Crack a breakfast stout and you grin at a bin past full. No, they didn’t call, but fuck em all until... Even the Dog thinks you’re an asshole. Leave your shit where it lay and get on downtown. Nobody’s drinking water and the moon is high. Tuck a flask in your waistband, yell at a bar band, dirty lips and dirty taps. Crash into a table, laugh it off, take a pull. They can kick you out but you ain’t really down until... Even the Dog thinks you’re an asshole. You pass the hot dog cart and they only got yellow. It’s a savage move, but you eat one and bring one home. Pop open a MacBook, just a quick look, and then it’s thirteen dirty tabs. But you hear a scratch at the door, leash him up and take a walk. ‘I’m a total letch but I’ll be damned if I’ma let... Even the Dog think I’m an asshole.’

 

Bar and Bottle

 

Sleepless soreness sets in again. I crawl from the sheets to the sink. Lies might not be right, but the truth fucking hurts. Lately I can’t seem to lockout. I get so close just to fall to the floor. My spot’s long gone and the pins don’t help anymore. And you might please a girl with whisky in your veins. But the bar ain’t a girl, it won’t take any blame, and you can’t put the iron on your back with a bottle in your hand. I try to sit back but my chest caves in from them bogies I bummed last night. The promise of a good time pulls my knees away from the fight. So I roll up when I should be rolling out these tired legs of mine. My chalk worn hands don’t resist, they do it all the time. And you might please a girl with whisky in your veins. But the bar ain’t a girl, it won’t take any blame, and you can’t put the iron on your back with a bottle in your hand. I dig my heels in, cut the shit, my head spins and I push. Rack it.

 

Powder

 

Never thought I’d leave here feeling like my luck had turned, better off than I was when I arrived. But something ‘bout the first day of spring and Stax turned up to 10 makes you feel alive. Thank God for powdered confidence. Leave the dusty table, tipping toe around the cans. A friendly dance and now you want to leave? Well I was gonna stay here, but you got a name I never heard and the people here are boring me. Now I got a love that rings true. If there’s anything my love can teach you, it’s thank god for powdered confidence. Now here I am sitting like I’m a bird who just prefers to sit and perch and drink his dollar draft. You climb on a table and I laugh while you try to not spill or fall on your ass. Thank God for powdered confidence. Driving home the next day, you should've seen me nodding off, swerving through the deer. Thinking of a sweetheart and smiling from ear to ear. Thinking that a love was near. The kind I thought had disappeared. Let me be clear... Now I got a love that rings true. If there’s anything my love can teach you, it’s thank god for powdered confidence.

 

Birds

 

It’s 4am, I done it again. Birds are chirping out my window and I should be out cold. You’d think with all these songs about wasting time, we’d start to know better. We never knew better. So much in bloom, spring came to soon. I’m thawing out. The going’s tough, but I’ll get there soon enough. Spent a season watching leafless silhouettes. I wish that they’d stay ugly. I’m not ready for ‘em yet. We’re young enough to hope, old enough to regret. Some friends are growing up, some are already dead. The spark is gone it seems, the excuse for every breath. One drink for every dream I kiss and then forget. Kiss and then forget. The pictures remind me of where I’m never at. There’s that one from Sebago, a smile and a bag. It was bought in a country I’ll never see with money I’ll never earn. And it’s no one’s fault but mine. I’m running low on hope, stocked up with regret. Feel like a fucking joke, but it sure beats being dead. A punch you never threw, a line left in the dirt. Well wake the fuck up son, it’s 5am and it’s time to get to fucking work.

 

Drank

 

You’re leaving tomorrow, headed out of state. Set your alarm, don’t want to be late. Just one more night of loving with you. The next thing I know, sun’s up and it’s through. When I drop you off at the station, I’m gonna drive home and cry. Pray that you get there safe and sound and when I pull into our drive, I’ll take a deep breath of the stale July air, take a quick moment to think. Cause as soon as I get in that door, I’m gonna drink. There’s a liquor store next to the railroad tracks. I made sure to stop on my way back. For the first couple miles I could still taste your lips, with the windows rolled down and the radio hiss. I’ll remember to call, I’ll remember to write. I just need a bit of forgetting tonight. With a cold drink for a cold heart and a cold bed to fall on. Spin round in circles till it’s all gone. When I drop you off at the station, I’m gonna drive home and cry. Pray that you get there safe and sound and when I pull into our drive, I’ll take a deep breath of the stale July air, take a quick moment to think. Cause as soon as I get in that door, I’m gonna drink. There’s a letter you wrote the last time you left home. It started with a joke and ended in a poem. A warm reassurance I wish I could find, ‘The whole time I was dreaming, I knew you were mine.’

 

Buildings

 

Rattlesnake

 

Little Boy’s walking on down the road, comes across a Rattlesnake and the Rattlesnake was old. ‘Take me up the mountain, please!’ the snake cried. ‘Just one more sunset before I die.’ Little Boy said ‘No, if I put you in my hands you’ll bite me and I’ll never breathe again.’ Rattlesnake said, ‘No, I give you my word. Just take me up the mountain and no one will be hurt.’ So that Little Boy he took that Rattlesnake to his chest, took him up the mountain and watched the sunset. That Little Boy knew the snake meant no harm, so he brought him down the mountain once it got dark. Rattlesnake, he says, ‘I'm getting very cold, won’t you do me a favor and put me in your coat?’ Little Boy had trust enough and soon he did oblige, walking down a mountain on a moonless night. Just before Little Boy laid Rattlesnake to rest, Rattlesnake, he turned, bit Little Boy in the chest. Little Boy cried out and said, ‘Now I will surely die!’ He turned to Rattlesnake and asked him, ‘Why?’ So that Rattlesnake he turned and looked up from the leaves at a Little Boy now begging on his knees. ‘Before you even picked me up, you knew who I was and what I do.’

 

Good Moon

 

Starts with a good moon, a shivering piss, a trip too long and a turn we missed. When we hit that dead end, we turned back around. We caught a good fight at the end of the night. She ripped his shirt, I laughed, he cried. I don’t know how he goes back into town. You complained about the cold outside as if you didn’t know before that night. Kept stumbling along like something was wrong. No shit it’s cold, it’s the middle of the fucking winter. No shit it’s cold, it’s February, where’ve you been? No shit it’s cold, it’s the middle of the goddamn winter. I’m more worried we’re just lazy or we’ll get stuck in acid crazy. You said ‘Hey, I think I know that house. I puked in the bushes and they never found out.’ I said I’d been away with so much worse. Like the time I stole a pastor’s car. It didn’t mean much and I didn’t get far, but I never felt like going back to church. I was trying to make you see that there were bigger things than you and me. We’ll get swept off our feet and then dropped on our heads. Get mad at our kids, get old and then dead. No shit it’s cold, it’s the middle of the fucking winter. No shit it’s cold, it’s February, where’ve you been? No shit it’s cold, it’s the middle of the goddamn winter. I’m more worried we’re just lazy or we’ll get stuck in acid crazy.

 

Training

 

When I return what I have borrowed, and this old paper calendar is out of tomorrows, will it be run down and busted? Ridden to hard with the insides rusted? Seems the only obligation is to get where I'm going. Might already be there, there's no way of knowing. Fighting for strength as if it mattered, but a couple extra days don't replace what you've shattered. When I return what I have borrowed, will I find that the bottom the hill was hollow? I guess your eyes can deceive you. Your heart and your hand and your gut and your knees too. When she asks you how you're doing, say 'Never been better.' She offers you a hand, it feels good, so you let her. Open your eyes and hope it's behind you, but all it takes is two short steps to remind you. Can you believe we called it 'Training'? Just a couple days of aches and straining. Have the tops of the trees been trained for the breeze? When I return my lanky framework, will I get some relief or just the same hurt? Will the director throw his back out, curse me, feel guilty, make me pretty on my back now? Well the white tastes like piss, and the red tastes like cigs, but I swear to you that it ain't a crutch. But if it's only one hit, why's the lighter still hot to the touch? Can you believe we called it 'Training'? Just a couple days of aches and straining. Have the tops of the trees been trained for the breeze?

EUGENE TYLER BAND