Monthly Archives: February 2013

Leaving Lookout Mountain

There was a single star in the Tennessee sky
We followed it north to Nashville
And then on toward Bowling Green
Before we moved on homeward – Chicago
Still my heart is winding around that scenic route
Flying off of Missionary Ridge
And bouncing back toward lookout mountain
Like the union soldiers did 100 years before my birth

I am charging up the side of that mountain
And like a good confederate soldiers
I leave a part of myself up on that mountain

Now I search the autumn Chicago sky
To find that lone Tennessee star
If only to let her know
That I have not forgotten her
And that I will be back to see her
As soon as I possibly can

Thinking of You

The first cold burst froze the sweat on my brow
as I stepped out – leather squeaking – snow crunching
somewhere a dog in a yard barked at nothing
a siren whistled past the front of the house
I thought of you for a moment

I saw you in that black sweater
The one with the pearls on the front
You were wearing that black felt skirt
And your shiny Paul Simon shoes

I took a step
Looking down
I took one more step

Night Falls; Bringing With it the Darkness

Night falls hard around my shoulders
Like a yolk I am forced to wear
It crushes the miniature bones
In my fragile, twisting spine

The darkness limits my vision
Putting my precarious journey in peril
I would try to smile for you
But you might know me by my pointed teeth
And the blood on my tongue

May 19, 2010: After Mixtape

For the Butterfly

Before rum turns to beer and that I trip on a tear in my heart – or my shoe or a thought
About nights like tonight when there’s soul in the fight and the love in the drink that I bought

So I sip and I trip and I laugh at the jokes that fly by on untenable wings
They thrust and they parry and the liquor will carry them into this cool night in spring

Will you write words tonight that you hope will ignite the next troupe of young dreamers you meet?
Will you crawl into bed – words still trapped in your head – while you typer stares back in defeat?

Somewhere at the crossroads of William and Shel
I find that my words have all aimed me toward hell
But if they can get me one more minute with you
I’d gladly consume them and that heart and that shoe

We try to be clever – whenever – we endeavor to put all these thoughts on a page
But it’s tends to be liquor – a little bit quicker – that now has me showing my age

So I’ll say good night to the slow fading light as I wait for my old phone to ring
Tomorrow will be here – but wait just one more beer – and then one more minute to sing…

May 19, 2010
2 a.m.

Women and Tall Trees

Reaching bravely for the top
Some things slow but never stop
Been here since the day you learned to crawl

Holding her warmth close to you
Feel her heartbeat pulsing through
Leave here on the day you show them all

You can take all they have got
You can take their best damn shot
You might stagger but you’ll never fall

There can really be no mystery
When you review your history
The past cannot elude you
The future must include you

Reaching up to touch the son
Love her like a smoking gun
Stand there like the man you need to be

Hold her love close to your chest
Know her heart just needs a rest
This is what you’re waiting here to see

You can take what they dish out
Together you can tough it out
You’ll walk away together now you’re free

There can really be no mystery
When you review your history
The past cannot elude you
The future must include you

E.’s First Piece

Miles Davis and an ice cold Old Style and a promise that you are not bound to keep
But words that resonate in your ear when you held her under the sweet moonlight
You were played – she played you – but you won and when you win it tastes better

Sure she let you win – that was her plan – it wasn’t going to be easy but there it is
So you retire to the writing garret and you pull out Miles because no one else gets it
No one else gets that you can win even when you are just learning the rules to the game

You grab a cold one because the heat is emanating from your shoulders and your heart
The world spins by you – as it is wont to do on these air-conditioned early summer nights
It spun fast when you were together – slower later – but soon it won’t matter – will it?


(We were close tonight)

The long cold drive home is a constant reminder of you and what almost happened
Your smell on my shirt mingles with the whiskey reminding me that I am destined
We were close tonight – I was happy and sweaty and you understood what I said
But you left in the heat of a moment that I could not control – yet had to find a way to

The last sweet soft cocktail is the messenger who will not be killed tonight for the words
Your voice rings in my ear – a promise you can’t keep because maybe I’m not destined
We were close tonight – you were quiet and beautiful and your language intrigued me
You have to know I took a stand and sacrificed our moment – I can’t regret that

The notes on that old guitar resonate with clarity in this place where radiators whistle
Your taste lingers on my mustache like a joke I never said to a crowded room of friends
We were close tonight – we only danced once but we believed it was enough for now
I just wanted to tell you that destiny is overrated and I can only give you the love I have