Wednesday, February 27, 2008

246 : 12/12/98 : Despair

It’s said the sickness unto
Death is called despair
They said it’s temporary
I know because I’ve been there
I would give a lot for fifteen
minutes of anonymity
The vectors of the possible
shrink to one in the face of infinity
Bad philosophy is
anybody’s game
But this feeling I’ve got
does not have a proper name

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Monday, February 25, 2008

245 : 12/11/98 : Function Ghost

1,031 : 21 ?

My house of flesh is haunted by a function ghost
It plays the violin, I play the host
Form in its function the function in its form
I can’t live without it and I can’t stay warm
It’s about the size of an appleseed
It makes me worry and smoke too much weed
It makes me write but I don’t know why
I envy anyone the function ghost passes by
I’m trying to make peace with my function ghost
I’m trying to work when I’d rather coast
I’m trying to make it on my own terms
If that doesn’t work there’s always the function worms

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Sunday, February 24, 2008

244 : 12/10/98 : Thrall

Ghosts doppler in twilight
You don't know the half of what goes on
Gone but not forgotten
What do you expect to learn that they've known so long
Hound howl for water
Cats yowl for rain
and I've got a feeling
You'll lose what you gain
I haven't got a nickel
I'm happy as I am
I'm smarter than your average crab
I'm happy as a clam
The dogs bay at the setting sun
The cats pray to the moon
I do believe the hunt is on
not a minute too soon
Darkling in the moonlight
Watch me change my stripes
Watch me change before your eyes
Watch me blow my pipes
Crimson clean and gorgeous red
Crawling up the wall
Everything looks better when you're dead
Dappled in the twilight thrall

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Friday, February 22, 2008

243 : 12/9/98 : Virtue Is Its Own Reward

No good deed goes unpunished
virtue is its own reward
I am not afraid anymore
In a world like this I’ll never get bored
I woke up with a taste in my mouth like rum
I remembered the feeling that I had
When my little boat was sucked into the maelstrom
I remember well it was very bad
And someday I’m going to die
I hope it’s not in some dismal hospital bed
But I guess what difference does it make
It’s all the same place when you’re dead
I guess it all comes down to a sense of style
A day is the longest thing there is
And a year is a long roll along a miracle mile
I guess the whole crazy world is part of the biz
I have become so very silent
I think I’ll practice being asleep
I guess I ought to consider my options
I’ve got a caution about the company I keep
You think one more line is gonna fix anything
You think you can prop it up another day
You think the same old lines are gonna set you reeling
I tell you a man ain’t nothing but clay

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Thursday, February 21, 2008

242 : 12/8/98 : Am I Fooling Myself?

Am I fooling myself?
To think that things work out
For the best all the time
And asked to explain what I’m about
I find I’m straining to reach the shelf
If I am I wish you’d tell me now
I think I have a right to know
I really wish I knew
why I’m always sad and blue
I wish I knew where to go
or who to call to tell me how
A man is meant to answer
The questions that defy us
That rattle round inside our skulls
The answer to this dread that pulls
and tries to crucify us
I’m just a singer and a dancer
Trying to make a living with my la di da
trying like every living thing
Pushing through to foregone conclusion
Hoping it’s not an illusion
Hoping I’m not fooling
Myself as I swing on my parabola

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Friday, February 15, 2008

241 : 12/7/98 : Seven Lines

Seven lines strung taught in steel
six plus one inside of me
Strung too tight it’s all I feel
Tension and the wish to be free
One end’s pegged on what is real
Wound and winding humming slightly
Other end points to the center makes me kneel

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Thursday, February 14, 2008

240 : 12/6/98 : The Change

It wasn’t what was expected
it was something so strange
it wasn’t anything simple
this new thing, the change
it happened everywhere at once
everybody knew when it came
nobody was sure how to feel about it
nobody knew how to give it a name
the scales will tip the scales will tumble
the scales will fall down from your eyes
when the change is complete
no one understands it; everybody tries
Everything is always changing
everybody needs a little push
a bird in the hand is worth exactly
the same as a bird in the bush
And he’s counting every sparrow’s fall
of that you can be sure
when the change is reckoned
You will be counted if your heart is pure

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

239 : 12/5/98 : Revolution

The revolution will not come
when the computers crash
The revolution will not be
paid for with cash
The revolution will not arrive
riding on the millennium
You’ll all be surprised
At how the revolution will come
The spirit’s in the blood
that’s the fuel of revolution
so keep it in your veins friend
The dead won’t be part of the solution
There’s revolution every hour
We all get one once per day
Our blood ebbs and flows with the tide
And we ride this thing together
there isn’t any other way
the future is no one’s possession
no man holds time in his power
it’s just a thing we all reach at the same speed
sixty seconds every hour.

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

238 : 12/4/98 : Complications

Life is filled with complications
cul-de-sacs and limitations
Laying bets on shaky chance
Big Magnet guides our jerky dance
I get slayed by hesitations
second-guessing my creations
when the day is done
Trapped in orbit like the sun
I am filled with indignation
want a bigger daily ration
Guess you call that covetousness
But it’s simply restlessness
When I accept my situation
I’ll be fit to lead a nation
out of false economy
and finally to autonomy

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Monday, February 11, 2008

regulary scheduled programming

Back to business, after briefly giving everything over to promotion of the album. But before going into a (I hope) long stretch of uninterrupted song posting, a little conversation.

I've had a little post-project depression with the release of the album. It's the culmination of an intentional process of archiving creative output of the last decade or so (mostly - some of it goes back as much as 20 years) that first surfaced with establishing the text archive over at (warning - prominent f-word alert) It's Rome, Baby!. It started out with just wanting to tame what had become a tangled mess of computer files, but over time I suppose it became a sort of protracted contemplation of what I've been about, artistically speaking, from a bit of a height.

And it ends with perhaps some inevitable let-down. I generally try to view the reward of what I'm doing as being intrinsic to the process and primarily in service of my own clarity. Writing and making music does something salutary for my brain, and it is for this benefit that I continue. Even so, after putting a significant amount of time into organizing and presenting these little exhibitions, there is small but vocal part of me saying holy hell, man, what in the world are you up to?

But vocal or not, it hasn't stopped me, so I guess, there you go.

I recently started the first really long conceptual series of the second songs of days project. It's based on the Tao Teh Ching, that curt and enigmatic book of ancient Chinese philosophy I've read so many times with little wisdom penetrating my brain, as far as I can tell. The writing goes easily, but I'm not sure how I feel about the product. As is usual with the songs, though, this is no reason to drop the concept - there are 81 sections in the Tao, I've been at it a few weeks, in a couple months it will be done, regardless.

I've been doing much better writing the songs on their assigned days, which is ever the fundamental and elusive goal of the project. I haven't fallen more than a song or two behind for a while. But I'm still tending to slip and miss a day at least every week or two, mainly on the weekends. Still don't quite have that continuity down.

Nevertheless, persist.

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

237 : 12/3/98 : Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

1,017 : 7 ?

I’m a great big man
I’ve got great big ideas
About the way the world should be run
About the way the truth can free us
You can see I’m sincere
You can see I’m well adjusted
You can see I’m a fine catch
You can see I can be trusted
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain
That little guy’s not important that’s for certain
I’ve got my finger on the pulse
I’m a visionary man
You can see I’m larger than life
You can see I’m special yes you can
My head’s a floating archetype
I’m a diamond in the rough
I’m a poet and a profit
And all kinds of special stuff
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain
With his crazy bells and whistles he looks so uncertain

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here