1. 24
  2. Medicine Bottle
  3. Down Colorful Hill
  4. Japanese to English
  5. Lord Kill the Pain
  6. Michael


1. 24

so it’s not loaded stadiums or ballparks
and we’re not kids on swingsets on the blacktop

and i thought at fifteen that i’d
have it down by sixteen
and twenty-four keeps breathing in my face
like a mad whore
and twenty-four keeps pounding at my door
like a friend you don’t want to see

oldness comes with a smile
to every love given child
oldness comes to rile
the youth who dream suicide

2. Medicine Bottle

giving into love and sharing my time
letting someone into my misery
i told it all step by step
how i landed on the island
and how i swam across the sea
and it crosses my mind
that i may wake to a knife in me
no more breath in my hair
or ladies’ underwear
tossed up over the alarm clock
blood dripping from the bed
to a neatly written poem
a heartfelt last line reading
there is no more mystery
it it going to happen my love

it’s all in your head she said
morning after nightmare
you’re building a wall she said
higher than the both of us
so try living life
instead of hiding in the bedroom
show me a smile
and i’ll promise not to leave you

it happened under a rainy cloud
passing through the dark south
we went into a big house
and slept in a small bed
i didn’t know you then
as well as you of me
we talked of our sad lives
and we went off separately
i found your overseas souvenirs
holiday greeting cards
and some long forgotten high school fears
it’s all in my head i said
banging a piano
i’ve not been so alone i thought
since kicking in the womb
i drank so much tea
i wrote my letters in kanji
around the block i walked and walked
pretending you were with me
not wanting to die out here
without you

the hurting never ends
like birthdays and old friends
we forget what is flesh blood and bone is human
turning phone lines to airlines
unwilling to face
the love is found on the inside not the outside
and like a medicine bottle
in the cabinet i’ll keep you
and like a medicine bottle
in my hand i will hold you
and swallow you slowly
as to last me a lifetime
without holding too tight
i do not want to lose
the thrill that it gives me
to look out from my window
and scowl at the houses
from my world in the bedroom
it’s all in my head she read
in her girlfriend’s self-help book
it’s all his own making
a war with himself
like two sides of a wall
that separates two countries
he shuts out the world
and wants only to love you

not wanting to die out here
without you

3. Down Colorful Hill

out of the box
down colorful hill
wind lifting tired feet
skin sensing challenge ahead

prayers prayers prayers
for success
prayers prayers prayers
always die in time

losing the dream
face to face sleeping
losing the dream
open mouth breathing

where unadmired beings
dread the due changes ahead

prayers prayers prayers
for success
prayers prayers prayers
always die in time

like empty roofs above
life for poor doves
like empty roofs above
rid of our love

4. Japanese to English

i went as far as losing sleep
i went as far as messing up my life
unloving still strike me different
a million miles away from home
and fifteen from a payphone

where we sat lonely on the sand

you’re ten years older
we translate japanese to english
and english to japanese

it’s not that simple
this dictionary never has a word
for the way i’m feeling
it’s nothing plain for me
of a different god and moral
what if i laid my head down on your stomach
or put my mouth to your hand
i cannot translate
japanese to english
or english to japanese

what i had to say is unsaid
what i had to do is undone
and if it was done
i’m sure it would have killed our hour

where we sat lonely on the stand

above the water the awful gray
our current from japan
didn’t sweep away

5. Lord Kill The Pain

lord kill the pain

don’t want to ask you again
kill my girlfriend
and kill my best friend sam
cause i saw them making eyes again

lord kill the pain

don’t want to ask you again
kill my neighbors
and all my family too
they doubt my direction

lord let it rain

don’t want to ask you again
drown my country
drown everyone but me
so i can live peacefully

or put me to sleep here
and wake me in japan
i want to speak a new language

drop me a line and pull me out
but do not find me
amongst dead underground
let me hear the whining sound
of a pig drown

and lead me over summery hill
to a place i like to think about
and sedate me with tylenol pills
oh how i love to dream about

drop me a line and pull me out
but do not find me
amongst life on the ground
let me see the burning down
of my home town

lord kill the pain

6. Michael

michael, where are you now?

somehow in my excitement the last time you called,
it slipped again to ask your hidden whereabouts
i got a lead from your old triple ex-girlfriend, she said
“i heard he lost his mind again”
“again?” i said
i didn’t know that you ever did

michael, where are you now?

sleeping through the morning in flannel impaired
getting high in southern air
shoeless, sandy eveing down the unfamiliar
last whiff of salt-water freedom
skipping shells in the dead zone
with the ghost on your side
of the state borderline
“take it. . .”

do you remember our first subway ride?
our first heavy metal haircuts?
our last swim on the east coast?
and me with my ridiculous looking pierced nose?
i remember your warm smile in the sun
the daydreaming boy without a shirt on
the birmingham barfly father
left the mother of three sons
you’re the oldest juvenile delinquent bum
my best friend