COUGHING ON THE F TRAIN

i just saw you in your apartment
you just took a shower 
you smelled like your old shampoo 
i threw out all those memories 
all those things that remind me 
now i’m standing here before you 
what would you say if i still adored you

i told myself i would never talk to you 
i told myself i would never reach out to you 
falling asleep on the subway 
coughing on the f train out to brooklyn 
i wonder where the homeless go when it rains 
all these faces aren’t worth looking i wonder why 
i bought a ticket to this game

can you give me a glass of water 
do you have some medicine 
you still have that picture of him 
has it really been four years 
breakfast at the place you think’s great 
is this all the life you know 
are we friends or on a date

i’m cold my health is feather 
whether it's up to you i’m cold my health is feather whether i reach out to you 
falling asleep on the subway 
coughing on the f train out to brooklyn 
i wonder where the homeless go when it rains 
calling all my peeps on sunday 
texting on the f train out to brooklyn 
wonder why i get no service explain 
all these faces aren’t worth looking 
i wonder why i bought a ticket to this game 
girl why can’t i forget you

 

 

AMY’S FRIEND

amy can you blame me for asking you 
more about your man and his shark skin shoes 
stay in your hotel room and not his place 
pretend the mascara's not running down your face

amy can you paint me a portrait of love 
can you tell a story with creatures made of 
goodness and affection compromise 
instead of superstition doubt and lies

if you stare into the sun for too long 
you could believe you could have been someone for anyone all along 
if you read your leaves from just the right angle 
you can make believe 
love can’t be wrong

amy what’s right for you is right for amy 
what’s right for you is right you see

amy can you play me a song i don’t know 
fill it with your voice so soft and low 
i can listen with my ear against the floor 
float upon the waves and washed to shore

 

BILL YOU FOR YOUR TRASH

they will kill you with the reddest tape
they will kill you if you’re not in shape
do you like 90's tv sitcoms
it’s a double date
they will kill you if you try to touch
they will kill you if you ask too much
don’t you hate those beautiful people
why do they make us hush
they will bill you to forget your trash
they will bill you to hold your cash
better spend it on nothing you need
it’s a cannonball splash

maybe we were not made to figure out
did it really hurt so bad you had to count
maybe there is little we can do but live in doubt
i swear i’ll make you proud
save me from the bigger rain cloud
who’s calling all the shots now
it’s too late to figure out
did i really cry out loud

they will bill you for the radio
they will bill you if you drive too slow
what’s the matter with the money i use
that’s my buffalo
they will fill you with the things you own
they will fill you like mindless drones
are you gonna stand and take it complacent
spilled my ice cream cone

maybe we were not made to figure out
but i swear i’ll make you proud
maybe we were not made to figure out
did it really hurt so bad you had to count
maybe there is little we can do but live in doubt
i swear i’ll make you proud
save me from the bigger rain cloud
who’s calling all the shots now
it’s too late to figure out
did i really cry out loud

 

FORGIVE ME DARLING

forgive me darling for all i’ve done wrong
i tried my best just couldn’t wait that long
i want you to know that i wanted to stay
i wanted to hold on for just one more day
but an airplane was waiting i just had to go
so now all that's left are your little notes

forgive me darling

got a box of your letters packed under my coats
can’t stand to read them though i keep coming close
i check every day to see if you wrote
you never do so i’ve given up hope
a lifetime of waiting is a lifetime too long
so i’ll keep on searching for a place to belong

forgive me darling

 

 

I CAN'T BELIEVE IN MYSELF AND LOVE YOU TOO

what can i do
you tell me that you need me
is that the worst lie you can feed me
even if i believed it
i’d still be hungry
you tell me that it’s easy
is that a truth you think will please me
maybe the mountain top is too cold a place to be

what can i do
i can’t believe in myself and love you too
i wish the pieces we built had more glue
i can’t believe in a hell where we can't choose
i’m pleading i don’t win and you don’t lose
i feel my shoulders sinking lower
is it just the ocean pulling me under and under
maybe i should learn how to swim buoyed by another
i just called because i felt guilty
is it just our city crumbling and filthy
even if we had hammers the nails would pelt and stone me

what can i do
i can’t believe in myself and love you too
i wish the pieces we built had more glue
i can’t believe in a hell where we can't choose
i'm pleading i don't win and you don't lose
i only wish you could walk in my shoes

what can i do
i only wish you could
if only we could
i can’t believe in myself and love you too
i can’t believe in a hell where we can't choose
what can i do

 

SUNNY DECEMBER

love is a disease
it infects what you believe about yourself and the others you need
and love is not kind
it won’t smile and it won’t shine
it isn’t there when you need it
you can’t save it and you can’t delete it
and love is cruel and unforgiving
and love is usually unwilling to give you back what you’ve been building
it will scorch the earth just cos you’re tilling it
and like a cat you’ve been petting for every day of every single week
but when you need it and when you’re feeling weak all it really wants to do is fall asleep
because love is vicious and love is spiteful but love also just doesn’t care
so you can fight it but when you strike at it it’ll just vanish like it was never there
but believe me it’s still there
not in your shoes or heart or hair
cos i’ve looked in all the obvious places and still haven’t found it anywhere
but when i find it i will kill it
so that i can get on with my life
and regain composure of my posture and control of the thoughts in my own mind
because love will break you apart
but now hate is accessible and jealousy is free
bitterness is easy and blame comes even easier for me
and lust is a game that you always will lose
but who minds losing when each level has new contestants for you to choose
and you can yell out
ok i’m finished
now i want to win
well too bad cos winning’s not up to you
all you can do is choose when to begin
to start losing something different
shaped vaguely like pride
but much bigger and much heavier and much much easier to find
and once you give that away you will know
by the sickness in your stomach and the numbness in your toes
because love will break you apart
and love is hard

 

FRAMBOISE

tu es bourgeoise
presque comme une framboise
i can tell mademoiselle
that you’re too red to be sunburnt
what it is i can’t discern
and it makes you uncomfortable
to think of yourself this way

tu n’es pas fait main
rassis comme le vieux pain
i can see c’est la vie
that you’re quiet and you’re pure
and now you hang your head demur
and it makes you an atheist
to think of yourself this way

sitting on the bottom of the shelf
she’s missing all the pieces of herself
am i patient am i kind or am i wasting time
counting out her blessings one by some
she’s rounding down to several minus one

am i patient am i kind or am i wasting time

tu es dans un pot
la fleur fane trop tot
i thought you knew c’est du deja vu
you demand to know how far
but you never left and you’ve been starred
and it makes you feel infinite
to think of yourself this way

 

LOVE YOU TOO MUCH

day by day
the months turn to years
and i slowly start to think
that my love for you has disappeared
but when in the morning i am dreaming
it’s your face i see
and they’re your tears i’m drying
as you pull your body close to me

oh god will i ever be past you (passing on by)
oh god will i ever feel strong at last (too strong to cry)
oh god will i ever move on from your touch
i don’t think so but i do know that i love you too much

day after day
side by side
now all my pictures
show me your light blue eyes
and though i can’t stand to see them
you’re still on my shelf
cos i can’t stand to realize
that i’m by myself

do you remember
when fire filled the sky
early september
we watched the people running for their lives
and i turned to my right
and asked you “how are you so calm”
you said “i’m not afraid to die as long as you’re by my side”

well you said that you’d give me love forever
and i believed in you
and i believed you too
so what makes me stay by your side once you’ve turned away
i don’t know but it kills me every day

 

RHAPSODY IN BLACK AND WHITE

i was talking to my one black friend
realized she was gorgeous then
i thought we’d be a perfect couple
too bad she’s got a nice boyfriend

we lived in the same apartment complex
i kept meaning to tell her day after next
i am sure he's cool and probably no trouble
but i think i am better for you now watch me flex

could you wrap your cocoa arms here
i can’t keep on waiting
am i gonna have to show you some tears
pump up my heart to get respect

we moved apart as people often do
off to the city when school was through
i thought i’d see her much more often
she’s working as a lawyer up by nyu

grew up thirty minutes from each other
in the southeast dirt and humid thunder
i always thought we were quite the same
now she's tying the knot with a new white lover

could you turn your midnight eyes here
i can’t keep on waiting
am i gonna have to show you some tears
pump up my heart to get respect

don't be hating
hating on a boy thinks you're the best
waiting on love just like the rest

wonder if i’ll go to the wedding
destination in a summer setting
will i speak or hold my peace
forever is the wrong direction to be heading

can i talk about our love in old age
would we be widowed and out of place
even if i’m in a rocking chair
i’ll drop my cane at our first embrace

 

HONEST

what does it cost to be honest
to be loyal to be true
what does it take to be frank
to break the heart of the one who loves youplease
what do you need
what can i do so you’ll believe that i slept with her
because i’m insecure
and i felt like i deserved
the right to be a jerk
and now i’ll never give in
i’ll never forgive
you for making that stupid so-called joke
when you said you wouldn’t care if i slept with other girls
cos your words are important
and i’ve wanted to be important to you
since before i gave you twelve of the orangest roses in two thousand two
and that’s a really long time
when you’re twenty-nine
over a third of my whole life i have spent wishing you were mine
so if you think i’m unwell
then you can go to hell
if you think that my head’s not right cos i couldn’t read your mind
then you can fuck yourself i’m telling you i couldn’t tell that you were for real
that you were in it for keeps
that you were in it so deep deep down from your earlobes to your feet
you say the things you did had shown me so i really should have known
but where the fuck was i to go with what you told me now i feel like we’re stuck
we’re in the land before time
and i’m coming down to tell you where i lost my mind
that i lost my mind
off highway 79

 

SETH (GUESS I'LL KNOW WHEN I DIE)

i have thought
i had learned lessons i’d been taught
what can be said what is passing
take my picture i won’t be back
hug me once goodbye and look me in the eye
it feels it’s just beginning
guess i’ll know when i die

i have lived
i have shifted but have i ever gived in
what is the truth what is passion
burned at the woodpile release me to the wind
write me a poem that reminds me of the sky
it looks warm to me
guess i’ll know when i die

i have sung
i have gone but what have i become
move on over angels i am coming
i will stand for no one i will stand for nothing
judge me on a lie that will fall where i lie
it looks bright to me
guess i’ll know when i die

i have patience
i have tasted but never turned the pages
let me go in peace let me go in anger
i will go on my terms leave me like a stranger
listen to my heart beat it stops when i sigh
it feels it’s just beginning
guess i’ll know when i die

 

LOVE IS SIMPLY

love is simply
something simple
throw it across the water
watch it skip and ripple
we can hold each other
wouldn’t that be simple

love is never
one thing forever
better tend your garden
kick the frost pick the peppers
the ground dries and hardens
winter can’t last forever

talk is complicating
tongues are obsolete
books that are overrated
tell us we should never meet
should i repeat

love is hardly
something hardy
step with quiet feet
in our own dance party
listen to hearts beat
you can hear it hardly

love is easily
something easy
burn fried in a pan
can you smell the smoked hickory
the egg in your hand
to crack up is too easy

talk is complicating
tongues are obsolete
books that are overrated
tell us we should never meet
should i repeat
who told you that