Four Winds

Your class, your caste, your country, sect, your name or your tribe
There's people always dying trying to keep them alive
There are bodies decomposing in containers tonight
In an abandoned building where

A squatter's made a mural of a Mexican girl
With fifteen cans of spray paint in a chemical swirl
She's standing in the ashes at the end of the world
Four winds blowing through her hair

But when great Satan's gone, the whore of Babylon
She just can't sustain the pressure where it's placed
She caves

The Bible's blind, the Torah's deaf, the Qu'ran's mute
If you burn them all together you get close to the truth still
They are pouring over sanskrit on the ivy league moons
While shadows lengthen in the sun

Cast on a school of meditation built to soften the times
And hold us at the center while the spiral unwinds
It's knocking over fences, crossing property lines
Four winds, cry until it comes

And it's the sum of man
Slouching towards Bethlehem
A heart just can't contain all of that empty space
It breaks, it breaks, it breaks

Well, I went back to my rented Cadillac and company jet
Like a newly orphaned refugee, retracing my steps
All the way to Cassadaga to commune with the dead
They said, "You'd better look alive"

And I was off to old Dakota where a genocide sleeps
In the black hills, the bad lands, the calloused east
I buried my ballast, I made my peace
Heard four winds leveling the pines

But when great Satan's gone, the whore of Babylon
She just can't remain with all that outer space
She breaks, she breaks, she caves, she caves


Reinvent the Wheel

My friend you were the model
A priceless work of art
Boys would fashion their emotions
To the pattern of your heart
And I heard you wrote that record
For a girl you loved but died
I'm here sewing mine together
Just hoping you're alive
And I know you'll never come back now
To the world where people are
Because you never understood
What they loved you for

Now ghosts, they have their secrets
And they'll tell them to a few
So you could never pay attention
When they're whispering to you
There were many talents you possessed
That I wished myself to have
But the way your eyes would gloss over
Well, I never envied that
And I doubt you'll ever come back now
From wherever it is you are
Because you never understood
What we loved you for

I'm sure the TV sets will tell us
When someone reinvents the wheel
Until then I'll have a million conversations
About shit that isn't real
But I've tried to breathe in meaning
Dig deep to every gasp of air
Because I know you did the same thing
For as long as you could bear
I guess everything just circles around
To where it was before
So I hope I see you soon
In some other form


Smoke Without Fire

Come on in, my weary friend
The welcome here is endless

These fears of yours, like painted whores
They will not stay the night
If all your life you've done what's right
Dont say you felt obliged

Come on along, is your timid tongue
Too shy to tell your story?
This pain in you so far removed
From anything youve known
So I wont condone another moan
When everything is fine

So when in drought, learn to dance
And pray the dead would return

Dream smoke without fire
Just come see me again when it burns

Somewhere along the way
Well, I was led astray
By a wolf in no one's clothing
It was a brilliant disguise

And I forgot that life existed
I thought it was just some kind of game
That's what brings me to your doorstep
Though I dont know why I came today

Standing still in the dust
Giving up on the rain
As with smoke without fire
I've already laid in the flames

I've already laid in the flames

Brother, be afraid of the flames


Stray Dog Freedom

There's a skinny dog
In a dirty parking lot
And he doesn't bite
But he begs
And he knows what's true
So if you are, he'll follow you
If you're headed home
All the way
So we let him finish
Every dinner plate
And we watched his tail say thanks, thanks, thanks
And we tried to name him
But he ran away
Once he knew his freedom was at stake

This same old shit
So it's how you deal with it
It's the glove that fits
That you wear
So when the wind blows strong
I put a few more layers on
And I tell myself
I don't care
I might make a phone call
To a better man
To ask the questions that I have, have, have
Like how do I get started
And where's it going to end?
Why should I treat a traitor like a friend?


Cartoon Blues

I listened to a lecture of nonsense until dawn
By a plagiary poet with dark glasses on
He said, "How did you ever dream up that song
The one where the baby dies?"

I said, "I'll tell you the secret, which one's your good ear?
Yeah, people are made up of water and fear
If there weren't women present we wouldn't be here
So let's make like we're friends"

And the pot turned to powder and soured the mood
And the people I'd come with were gone from the room
So I asked like a child, "May I be excused?"
And disobeyed them all

Into that late-night latrine, rain soaking through my shoes
I tried walking backwards to get less confused
Working off the theory I could never prove
That it was life itself to blame

And time ruined the world
Like a failed revolution
A tumor we could not remove
An old friend, a constant, the blues

Now my days are distractions, sit wringing my hands
Solitaire, crosswords and films on demand
When you turn from a cartoon back into a man
You start to smell that human smell

So I sleep with the fan on to drown out the street
And the noise rising up from the bar underneath
But for that inconvenience all my drinks are free
So I guess it's just as well

Why do I envy the ending right from the start
Just get it together to take it apart
Watching the horse as it follows the cart
I sweep up my broken spell

And I felt something changing the world
Like a new constitution
A thief I would have to pursue
At all times, at all costs, the truth


Tourist Trap

It's not the road we used to know
They tore some buildings down
The traffic's like a pack of dogs

There's fewer trees, windows, fleas
There's concrete on the lawn
There's people here but you are gone

And I find still swimming through time
Afraid some days I've reached the shore

"Make yourself free"
Man said back to me
Now my heart is like an open door

And the road finally gave me back
But I dont think I'll unpack
Because I'm not sure if I live here any more

It's not my weight that makes me faint
Or the sugar in my blood
But the way these strangers stand so close

They say my name like a guessing game
"Is that really you?"
No, I dont think it ever was

In the spring
When the world's turning green
I only think about the fall
The frets on the board
My progression of chords
Oh, how I want this to resolve

And the road finally gave me back
But I dont think I'll unpack
Because I'm not sure if I live here any more

Now the road finally gave me back
But I dont think I'll unpack

Because I'm not sure if I live here
No, I'm not sure if I live here
No, I'm not sure if I live here