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"THE UNREACHABLE DISTANCE"

Hunger

I hope I'm never not ornery. I hope I'm never not fey. I vow to always be feisty. I vow to always be risqu. In the morning when waves lap softly at the rocky shore, I will slip out of bed, and you won't stir as I take the keys from the drawer. In the dappled light underneath the pines, I will lose a high-stakes bet. It's a rough road that we've traveled thus far, and you'd just like to forget. I hope I'm never not angry. I hope I'm never not brave. I vow to always be hungry. I vow to never behave.

And when you finally have my ashes, my friend, and give them to the sea, they will dance as the wave around them crashes. They will sing an everlasting plea. Are you ready, my friend? Are you ready?


Orchard

Memory is a sparrow or a basement without light. Dreams are an orchard or an airport without flight. Family is a pine cone or a thick and choking fog. God is a cool pond or the tick that killed my dog.


Dreams

Gear in park, and turn the engine off. Headlights dim, and sink into the song that's on the radio. Afterglow that lights up your mind. Tell me now: is this how you wanted to find out?

Tell yourself the caterpillar dreams of taking flight and seeing all her useless friends beneath her. Wreaths around your ankles and wrists. Crowned in, drowned in cold mountain lakes.

Evening light that softens up the creases that line your eyes now. Crescent moon that ornaments the tree lines in pinkish purple. Winter air that floods our lungs and colors our faces like a secret.

In your eyes I see all nations crumble into dust. In your smile I see the corpses of our enemies. In the gesture of your hands I see religion ending. In the slope of your shoulders I see animals set free at last. Take me there. It's a long way, it's a long way home to keep the right at bay. It's a rough road, rough road ahead to keep our bodies in one single piece now. Oh how the gloom is gathering in the corners. Take me there, everywhere we've seen in our dreams, we've seen in our dreams.

Evening light that clouds up our eyesight and blurs the details. Crescent moon that cuts deep and draws blood from our veins. Winter air that stings us and chokes all our dreams of how it could be.


Prayer 

Any day now, the branches of the tree out back will be filled with white fountains of flowers and heavy with leaves. Any day now, I will close my eyes and inhale the scent of blossoms and breezes and freshly-mowed grass. Any day now when you move out, I will lie on the couch underneath the fan and stare at the ceiling. And I hope that you too will pause to admire the slender trunk, the leaves, the holy seeds, the ground they grow from year after year with striving and patience, with striving and patience. And I hope that you too will pause to admire the way I smile and give you all the space you need day after day. And I will sing. I will sing a word of thanks. I will sing a prayer for all of us. And I will sing. I will sing a word of thanks. I will sing a prayer for all of us with striving and patience, with striving and patience.


Honeycomb

Christ never said, Find your own way home. She never had to; it was understood. Swimming in slow motion like a honeycomb. You say you dont want to, but I know you would.

Saw with my heart, blind to the warning signs, Ive made a mistake thats too big to fix. Led by my heart into a foreign place so strange and familiar. Theres no going back on this.

Christ never said, Youre on your own. She never had to; it was understood. Forgetting why we bother and forgetting all of the things that made your heart race in a fever dream.

The things you dont see about me are the things that could damage you. The way you disarm with a smile is the thing that protected you from me. I packed up my clothes, put them all on the lawn, and set fire to them tonight. Ashes and sparks and embers and hopes for all three of us, for you and you and me.

Saw with my heart, blind to the warning signs, Ive made a mistake thats too big to fix. Led by my heart into a foreign place so strange and familiar. Theres no going back. Im never as alone as when Im with you. Its your warmth that leaves me cold. Take his name and number. I thought that by now Id have this figured out. Im the same, Im the same, Im the same as Ive ever been. Im the same, youre the same, were the same, were the same, were the same as weve ever been.


Endless

River washes the stains, bleaches out the memories. Holding hands under the water. Knowing how and when this all will end.

Tear the petals one by one, singing something you forgot. Lives are short, and time races on leaving you and me behind.

Help, help me see the beauty right in front me. Find, find some way to keep the outside world away. Know, know in your heart that everything we've carefully built will fall apart.

Peace is a dream that drowns us downstream. Future is a lie they tell us to keep us quiet.

Love never ends. Fear never ends. Joy never ends. Disgust never ends.

Sadness never ends. Trust never ends. Anger never ends. Delight never ends.

Bliss never ends. Grief never ends. Trouble never ends. Thrill never ends.

Outrage never ends. Cheer never ends. Loathing never ends. Elation never ends.

Luck never ends. Sorrow never ends. Kindness never ends. Wrath never ends.

Revulsion never ends. Goodness never ends. Wonder never ends. Regret never ends.


Silence

If you could know the careless beauty of the sounds that follow me around, Id take your arm and lead you inside. If I could know the easy silence of a friend who needs nothing from me, I would rest as easy as the dead.

Deadened to all the things we used to know, we will be new again now. Shuffling off these empty shells like clothes that no longer fit our new frames.


Moonlit

When the nights get warmer, we can sit outside, watching the sparks in the summer sky. Something that you murmured keeps me up at night, missing my marks and your strange hands, strange eyes. Strange looks you give when words give up their sense. Strange lands, strange skies, strange lies you tell when attitudes get tense. I'm asking who I thought I knew to get me through. I'm thinking of you now, and even now you break my heart straight in two.

Oh, this is for when there are no words inside your mouth. So sing the birds. This is for when there is no sleep inside your bed. Distraction instead.

Wreaths on the front doors, houses dark, trees lit. Aching for some tiny gesture, one spark, moonlit.

Soft hands, soft eyes, soft looks you give when mercy has a chance. Quick tongue, quick thighs, quick to forgive when given circumstance.  The rope you wound in rings around this sacred ground protected what I knew was always true, the best of you. Strange hands, strange eyes, strange looks you give when words give up their sense. Strange lands, strange skies, strange lies you tell when attitudes get tense. I'm asking who I thought I knew to get me through. I'm thinking of you now, and even now you break my heart straight in two.


Breath

You were there on our wedding day at the end of the night when the lights got low and the guests were gone and the booze ran out. You were there on the warm spring day when I quit my job and brought the boxes back to my car and couldnt drive away. You are there when the credits play, when the prodigal son comes home to an empty house, when the janitor locks up for the day. You are there when the cruelty takes our breath away, when the wedding dress falls to the floor, when the words of comfort run out again. When dawn is the hollowest word, when my will is finally cured, when my hope of feeling the thaw is forgotten, you sink in your claws. When I feel like Im never alone, when the day seems to never be done, but my time seems to slip by and struggle to stand, I never see you, just feel your cold hand. You are there when the credits play, when the prodigal son comes home to an empty house, when the janitor locks up for the day. You are there when the cruelty takes our breath away, when the wedding dress falls to the floor, when the words of comfort run out again.


Knots

The snow says nothing to you. The trees, something you already knew. The landscape is endlessly aglow and calling you, a timeless and empty ebb and flow in lurid hues.

To speak a word, there must be silence before and after. To know a heart, there must be pain. To untie a knot there must be penance, joy, and laughter. To smell a rose, there must be rain inside your core.

A black heap, motionless in the white, the crows around it taking flight. "The end  has happened," they all sing. "A renewal of life, a kind thing."

To speak a word, there must be silence before and after. To know a heart, there must be pain. To untie a knot there must be penance, joy, and laughter. To smell a rose, there must be rain inside your core. To leave now there must be reason we can't see, a kind of forgiveness, a way to remind us of our shared past.


Thorns

Will you open your throat among the thorns for your own reasons? Will you mind if we pause and listen in and learn something? When youre done, will you bow your greying head, your frightful bright eyes? Will I love you more than yesterday? Can I? Can we?

There is no end to conversation. There is no end to passion songs. There is no end to melodies that say we belong here, that say we belong here. You and I, we belong here.

Will you climb a tree and claim this patch for you and me? Will you sing the words I wrote for you last night?

Your clocks, you say, are always ticking. Your boss, you say, is always talking. You phone, you say, is always bleating. You dont have to listen. You dont have to listen. You dont have to listen. You dont have to listen.


Shallows

Drag the shallows, fall apart. Call on kindness for a start. Show me what art can teach me. Take the arrow from my heart. Take my blindness, let me see all the debris of you and me. We thought we were bulletproof, unbreakable. I do not live comfortably with cleverness. I'm not immune to thinking we're free from consequence. They come on many wings, the carrion birds that follow us down to the shallows.

I want to sing something so simple about love or about ache that even you will hear it and understand. I want to tear down this house that we've built. I want to know all of you. I want to see you and me clearly. We thought we were bulletproof, unbreakable. I do not live comfortably with cleverness. I'm not immune to thinking we're free from consequence. They come on many wings, the carrion birds that follow us down to the shallows.

Take my pride. Take my arrogance. Take my anger. Take my nausea. Take my horror. Take my sleeplessness. Take my hatred. Take my reticence. Take my kindness. Take my compassion. Take my pity. Take my empathy. Take my mercy. Take my selflessness. Take my courage. Take my gentleness.


Songbird

Behind the brush and sage, within the coolest shade, in the darkest corners of our field, the songbird makes a bed where I can rest my head. All the weeks of slumber that I steal come back, come back to you one day when I leave.

Seeds that we sow will make the ground, once fallow, come alive. Thunder clouds will quench our thirst and reach our roots. Once shallow, they will thrive. Your hair will slowly turn the color of the clouds and your eyes.  

In the garden that we keep, the bats and songbirds sleep. Roses guard their hearts with thorns and our blood.


Willow

I could find a willow tree with leaves so feathery. I could hide inside its arms. I could keep a vow of silence forever here.

Forget me there. Hear my prayer. It's all inside your velvet skin. Once is never not enough for me. Hope is never not a wistful dream.

I could know the morning light that scars my thoughts at night. I could find us our new home in a burrow dug in fields so overgrown.

It's not a simplified mistake. It's not an easy path to take. It's not a rope around your heart. It's not the place for us to start. It's not a weight that you can bear. It's not the flicking of your hair. It's not the time for me to show. It's not just something you can know.

Sleeping like the dead in series. Floating all your nonsense theories. Keeping safe the tender-hearted. Hair is brushed and neatly parted now.