Tag Archives: holiday

On a Rooftop in Cicero

Because a lifetime ago something happened on a rooftop in Cicero
And no one ever really got the whole story
So we filled in the blanks ourselves
Ours was a much better story anyway
It was all about this guy one summer night on a rooftop in Cicero
His mother was taking him back to where he came from

When he saw her face in the drunken haze of the shameful moon
He wanted to push her off of that rooftop in Cicero
She moaned and reached for his throat as she opened her eyes
There is some truth here – some of this story is true
She looked in the eyes of her own son and didn’t know what to do

Now his oldest son looks just like his best friend
It is uncanny how much his kid looks like his oldest friend
No one here seems to want to talk out loud about it

Now I am mostly tired

I don’t miss anyone who walked away
I don’t believe in miracles anymore

I caught my soul on a crescent moon
And I tugged a little harder than I should have

I was strong – until I wasn’t
Now I am mostly tired

Standing alone amongst the smoldering embers
An absurd superhero in a black and white melodrama

Standing along amongst the smoldering embers
Another long lost hot dog forgotten on a holiday grill

I am standing here with my chin up
And my finger in the air like I just don’t care

I just don’t care is the lie
I just keep selling to myself

The Sun Struggles Up

The most natural feeling as the sun struggles up is my bones grinding against yours
You are jarring and crushing and breaking your promises to the ghost of my childhood
Still a whispered breath trapped within your vena cava keeps me cold and you alive

The ribcage forged of your love protects the soul of my past and memories of my father
Washing the bony joints of our crippled fingers the dirty water runs down the baby’s face
The weak understand this is a baptism of desperation and consolation but not redemption

The charred remains of a dream I couldn’t afford and you couldn’t live without haunt us
Our bones have been put up for the first thaw and there’s something burning on the stove
We argue His presence in the room but we don’t deny it as we watch the sun struggle up

Your World is Pink

You want to color your world pink now
Don’t you know your world already is pink
Fresh and new like a beautiful baby
The time to sit back and enjoy the pink is now
The time to bathe your body in the wet pink is now
You can warm your heart in the hot pink now too
Your world is not gray and it hasn’t been for many years
Your world surely isn’t red I took care of that myself
Nor are there greens or browns or whites in your world
There is only pink and pink alone
So take off those big dark glasses
And dip that beautiful face into the pink
And never ever be sad again – not while I’m alive

She Makes It Like Christmas

Eileen is raining pennies from Heaven
On this typically breezy summer night
I haven’t felt this good
Since I don’t know when – maybe longer
And she can sing it like nobody’s business
I hope she keeps singing
Because she makes it like Christmas
And I can use a little Christmas
Right about now

This is Not Glenn, Michigan

This is not Glenn, Michigan
But I am trying to recover the words
The words that we dropped into the water
On that late summer misdirected trip
Where all the girls wanted one dance
With the traveling wordman – the beer fan
But those girls disappeared into the night
Hiding in the dark between dances
And the words – for what they’re worth to me now
Have slipped away like the good German beer that
made this trip worthwhile
And the kid – the poet – the martyr to his own self-destruction
He found us a hotel room at the crack of dawn – hammered
He found us a place to crash – to hide from the unforgiving night
While I inhaled a river of the good German beer
Throwing the bottles out the window
To crash along the Blue Star Highway
I smoked one cigarette after another and cracked bad jokes
Come winter now and I miss the bubble machine
God – I miss Glenn Michigan
For all of the uselessness of wishes – mine is that I were there tonight
With the nameless sweaty girl who hid in the darkness
After every frantic dance surrounded by empty beer bottles
And I want to find the place where we finally let the words go
The place where the dark hairy men in the tiny bathing suits
Snapped our picture standing in the lake
There on the shoreline that recalled my childhood

August 2000
We never found our way.

This is Where Love Lives

The aroma of bread baking in the oven
The tear welling up in the corner of the baby’s eye
The old men singing perfectly in four-part harmony
This is where love lives.

The ancient grey Sox hat wilted with wear
The unlabeled bottle olive oil from the flea market
The cracked and faded Christmas card in the dusty box
This is where love lives

The broken zipper on your favorite coat
The renegade ringlet that tickles your left ear
The crescent moon red wine stain on the white linen
This is where love lives

The long, stray eyelash stuck to your glasses
The burnt lonely sesame seed under the coffee maker
The lonely rivulet of water in the steam on the kitchen window
This is where love lives

Reflections on Bluesfest 2000

At Chicago’s Grant Park

It’s a time of joy and time of cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year

The L train was crowded with blues music lovers
Chicago’s Bluesfest is isn’t like any other

The trendy vendors were all in a row
T-shirts and posters remember the show

The heat was almost more than I could bear
The thick smell of rain cooled the evening air

The lines at the food tents were typically long
While the band on the side-stage wailed out their sweet song

The band shell was next where the stars got us high
The ones on the stage and the ones in the sky

Miss Taylor was there and so was Willie King
The crowd danced around while the queen did her thing

Lonnie and Lucky and Diamond Jim Green
Cats playing guitar like you’ve never seen

The tribute to Wolf brought a tear to my eye
When old Hubert Sumlin lit up the night sky

When that sky finally burst – we ran under a tent
Where I heard someone say this is Mayfield’s revenge

The lovers of blues – the lovers of fests
All seemed to agree this one was the best

And when it was over the night turning dark
I swear I saw Wolf walking out of Grant Park

It’s all about music and paying your dues
And proving again that Chicago is home of the Blues

It is almost a White Christmas

It is almost a White Christmas
Behind the old library where
I used to go when I needed to be somewhere

I never needed to be somewhere
More than I do tonight
But the library is closed
And all of the children are blurry-eyed

It is almost a white christmas
Tuesday night opera is on the radio
I need the heat up and the volume down

I remember when I needed the heat up
As much as I do tonight
I turn the radio down
Korsakov can make me a careless driver