Water Bodies

by Sister City

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1.
The Night Life Each night I take in our city’s song Sirens, horns at stoplights, barking dogs You could call it hopeful; call it bleak I don’t care. I just want to fall asleep Radiator humming on and off right by the stove Small device suffice to heat my tiny home My good ear to the pillow to muffle the sounds So why can I not sleep now? Liquor, pills, and sheep None of them can keep me From wasting away my life Staring at ceilings My old best friend told me all about her dreams She lived another life beneath the sheets She got scared some nights and she’d forget to breathe Ring me up at one A.M. and so I’d leave My dad claims to commune with the dead Barbeques with lost relatives and friends He tells me what they did and what they said It must be nice, even though they’re just chemicals in his head Liquor, pills, and sheep None of them can keep me From wasting away my life Staring at ceilings And it goes on and on And on and on And none and none And none and none And none anon And none anon And John Gay’s grave © 2009
2.
Definitions 03:50
Definitions Ten thousand dollars, a car, a degree To get out of this State, that’s all I need Goodbye parasitic friends, bigotry Thanks for using me to make your lives more interesting I’ve suffered a gradual drastic change I’ve lost my faith, my place, and my name Every inclination of who I wanted to be I’m gonna need a change of scenery I’m homeless in the house I grew up in I’m lonely in the hang-outs I defined myself in My friends are content to stay where they’ve been As for me, my patience is wearing thin I gotta get out It’s not that the late night diner lost its fun Coastlines signify my best is yet to come But there’re a few years left to pass before I go So don’t worry, this isn’t the end of the rock and roll I’m homeless in the house I grew up in I’m lonely in the hang-outs I defined myself in My friends are content to stay where they’ve been As for me, my patience is wearing thin I gotta get out © 2006
3.
Vinyl and Old Men Told me about this book you like That shares its title with a song by The Smiths I really like it too, but didn’t tell as to not kiss up to you God, it was so hard to resist Together went to see some films French New Wave double-bill, Godard and Truffaut You said you liked them both I said maybe but nothing beats The 400 Blows I’m so glad you exist Even if we’ll only ever just be friends Sat out on my porch and talked Of confusion and lust and rock Passing flavored tobacco Born at the wrong time 1950 and we’d have been alive When our favorite shit happened Drugs and sex made manifest In song but for us all that’s left is Vinyl and old men Down on the street where the faces shine Iggy Pop, man, blows my mind How the hell’s he still alive? It’s nice when you’ve got nothing to prove Just talk and drink and watch pictures move ‘Til early in the morning I swear I’ll never make a move That is, unless you want me to So feel free call me up at one A.M. When you get scared I’m so glad you exist Even if we’ll only ever just be friends © 2009
4.
Pablo Communal We stayed up late drinking We started way too early in the evening Chemicals in our brains got us to thinking Maybe we should drive out to the lake by the power plant Make our presence known to the neighbors Light up some roman candles and dance around like ravers Some nights this house is a sarcophagus Other nights it’s the end of a pilgrimage But mostly as a symbol it is meaningless Just a roof under which we sometimes purge and binge We stayed up late and slept in Until noon or one and not just on the weekends My own bed never satisfied my longing To wake next to foreign bodies and stare at foreign ceilings Made my presence known to the neighbors Broom handles demanded quiet but they could never make us They could never make us Some nights this house is a sarcophagus Other nights it’s the end of a pilgrimage But mostly as a symbol it is meaningless Just a roof under which we sometimes purge and binge We stayed up late drinking We started way too early in the evening © 2008
5.
Basement Couch I believed in romance. And how it all played out Over hours and hours spent On your basement couch Parents sleeping Couldn’t be too loud Bodies aligned Parallel to the ground Only shoes off Being watched by God Oh, our dirty old high school Held hands in the hall Studied you only Let my other grades fall Took you to all the dumb dances With our prettied-up friends In a tieless dress shirt Not tucked in We were fucking punk rock Or so we thought Only shoes off Being watched by God © 2009
6.
Good Things and Loads of Suggestions We sat silent by the hearth in the light of the woodfire But I could tell what you’d been thinking Nothing we try works We’re undeserving of each other’s attention So I poured us another glass of something stronger Because the wine, it works too slowly I tripped and spilled it on your favorite shirt Permanently staining So I peeled off your shirt And beheld the edifice we’d corroded Our bodies aligned Unconfined by our real lives, warm and loaded Warm and loaded The month went by too fast because we just partied Perhaps a bit too loudly Those within the rooms adjacent, how they hated it And with broom handles demanded quiet When school starts up again, it’s back to our old friends And no more prolonged weekend Let’s ignore that, Sadie Lose ourselves in the sound of your spinning favorite LP Every Picture Tells a Story Keep turning it over until morning Side A to Side B Keep turning it over So I peeled off your shirt And beheld the edifice we’d corroded Our bodies aligned Unconfined by our real lives, warm and loaded Warm and loaded Side A to Side B to Side A © 2009
7.
Squabble 03:30
Squabble I got a friend who needs me by her side But she’s too afraid to ask, afraid of what could be implied She says there’s just too much snow out on the road for me to drive through Baby, its cold outside but you know that I’ll walk it if I have to Let me see you tonight Put our squabbles away Let me see you tonight Let me be your friend if that’s alright If that’s okay My phone rings again at one A.M. “Hello, are you doing well, ‘cause I am not and I was hoping Maybe we could talk, I’m so sorry if you were sleeping.” I said “Can you wait ten minutes? How about we do this in person?” Let me see you tonight Put our squabbles away Let me see you tonight Let me be your friend if that’s alright If that’s okay You’ve not got much to say But that’s okay with me I’ll stay ‘til morning And hold you while you sleep I’ll hold you while you sleep © 2005
8.
Stolen Red Wine Ran out of money and we’re living on the beach Drinking stolen red wine every night until we fall asleep Maybe moving from Missouri wasn’t such a great idea She said, “Hold my hand, look in my eyes, hear my words… baby, don’t be scared.” Fifteen hundred miles have passed beneath our feet We’ve consumed our last few slices of sandwich meat Shared with kind new friends made on the streets Our last possession a shopping bag concealing six bottles fermented with yeast Yet she still fails to find a reason to head back east Not that we have the means Saw a man jogging in the morning on the public sand Starting his day like my dad would; with headphones and an armband Maybe moving from Missouri wasn’t such a great idea She said, “Calm down, you know you don’t mean it. Calm down, you know you don’t mean it.” Maybe moving from Missouri wasn’t such a great idea She said, “Nonsense honey oh you know it never gets cold here… don’t be scared.” Fifteen hundred miles have passed beneath our feet We’ve consumed our last few slices of sandwich meat Shared with kind new friends met on the streets Our last possession a shopping bag concealing six bottles fermented with yeast Yet still she fails to find a reason to head back east Not that we have the means Hey, Dad. I found a café that let me in despite my dirty face I explained my situation; I need to get on a plane That’s right; I’m going to ask if you will pay for my ticket back You know I’m good for the loan © 2006
9.
The Olympic Pool Slightly impaired on a Sunday night “How the hell’d I get here, up on this high dive,” I thought As I bounced gently on its spring Sadie behind me looking too sultry So much so that it’s inebriating And I’ll do anything she says Shiny wet skin and cutoff jeans On the top wrung, patiently waiting She doesn’t think I’ll jump But to our surprise I bend my knees Gather my courage and fling My body from the board And the water is warm but the water cannot not cleanse me And the water is not holy, but nor is it unholy Not holy nor unholy, not holy nor unholy Sadie showed up to confiscate me Late at night as I was brushing my teeth Preparing for sleep The air outside about 90 degrees She asked to ride bikes despite the heat Of course, I obliged Pedaled by the University She saw a lit sign that she deemed intriguing It said The Olympic Pool Passed a flask out in front of the door She reached in her jeans and produced a stolen key She’d planned this in advance And the water is warm but the water cannot cleanse me And the water is not holy, but nor is it unholy Not holy nor unholy, not holy nor unholy I am merely a device Through which she often likes To have a real cool time And I don’t really mind Sadie, Sadie, Sadie She is not my kind © 2009
10.
Highway 60 05:04
Highway 60 Told me you were back in town, I didn’t know you’d moved Home for the weekend, maybe we should get some food A year and a half had passed; I guess we went our separate routes You grew up a little bit; I guess I grew up too That summer, our summer, I told myself that I was cool just being friends Sit around and drink and talk about vinyl and old men Maybe put a movie on, or two; we both can pick one It doesn’t matter what we do to me, with you it’ll be fun And this is what I want every night of my life But Highway 60 separates me Instead I’m drunk, walking down State St. to another party A party where I don’t want to be Because since you re-entered my life It’s been incomplete And I know it sounds so fucking cheesy when I say it But goddamn if I don’t mean it I fucking mean it My mom would say that I need to cut it out with the cursing But dad would say strong language for strong situations Told me once that he was proud of me for being romantic like him I would like to see his face if I could bring you around again I wanna bring you around again But Highway 60 separates me Instead I’m drunk, walking down State St. to another party A party where I don’t want to be Because since you re-entered my life It’s been incomplete And I know it sounds so fucking cheesy when I say it But goddamn if I don’t mean it I fucking mean it Walkin’ out of the welfare theater in the cold, we can see our breathe and Something’s weighing on my mind that I just have to tell you That summer, our summer, you left on me a permanent impression Yeah, you became the girl by which all others are measured And nobody stands up to you It’s not even close And Highway 60 can’t fucking keep me I’m no believer in destiny But I believe in you and me Because since you re-entered my life It’s been incomplete And I know it sounds so fucking cheesy when I say it But goddamn if I don’t mean it Please know I mean it Please let me prove it © 2009
11.
Wasted Midwestern When kicked out of bars that have lawfully closed Where do those wasted Midwestern kids go? House parties, backseats, and warehouse shows Having the best time they can before giving up the ghost Sadie in the back of a parked car With some guy she just met at some gnarly bar Parallel to the floorboards the two of them With chemicals pulsing through systems Sadie has to be to work by six A.M. But she’s already decided to call in This guy, he has certain expectations And she can’t bear the thought of displeasing him When kicked out of bars that have lawfully closed Where do those wasted Midwestern kids go? House parties, backseats, and warehouse shows Having the best time they can before giving up the ghost When the house lights come on the kids go outside And stand in the street until they decide Where to head next and who’s giving who rides Knowing all too well that nobody should drive The guys in the bands are still stuck inside Gotta haul their shit back to their homes tonight Girlfriends get impatient and leave them behind It sucks, but the guys, they don’t mind It’s a small price to pay and it’s a pretty great high It’s no price to pay and it’s the best high It’s a small price to pay and it’s a pretty great high It’s no price to pay and it’s the best high When kicked out of bars that have lawfully closed Where do those wasted Midwestern kids go? House parties, backseats, and warehouse shows Having the best time they can before giving up the ghost Sadie comes out every time, to every show Wakes up the next mornings still in the same clothes She knows the best kind of nights bleed into next days Even if sometimes they come with some shirt stains When kicked out of bars that have lawfully closed Where do those wasted Midwestern kids go? House parties, backseats, and warehouse shows Having the best time they can before giving up the ghost The best time they can The best time they can We’re having the best time we can © 2009

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released April 28, 2010

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Sister City Springfield, Missouri

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