In town the earth is paved strips of green maintained with effort Fertilized, trimmed, shorn of luxuriance Spaces on the sidewalk reserved for trees chosen, doubtless, for their tractability, Their tendency, proven to the planners, to grow without buckling the sidewalks. Cars -- the city is made for our cars air for their carburetors asphalt for their wheels filling stations for their thirst And the town is full of the sound of their effort Which is the shifting of gears the purr of a late model import the husky rumble of a healthy domestic the emphysemic labor of a degenerated sedan with a dead cylinder, missing loudly as it accelerates down the main drag Sit at a street window and listen to the systole and diastole of traffic's pulse regulated with changing lights and the unheard clicks of unobtrusive grey boxes Accelerating and braking all day long, rubber tired, gas powered, water cooled well-upholstered, shock absorbing thermostaticly controlled steel envelopes with chromed adornments ferry the vulnerable cells to and fro carry them here and there on strange fleshly errands ... breathing and seeing creatures of skin -- soft eyes, rouged cheeks and businessmen's hats and neolite heels inspire pity in mechanical hearts --- they turn off with the ignition key and do not notice when the officer fits a parking ticket under one eyelash They sit outside in the rain as people sweet to each other nestle up in restaurants and fill up on sandwiches and cold drinks They sleep under the hood while high heels wander through the mall and from store to store over the sidewalk by the dripping trees in their reserved spaces Their batteries run down helplessly while their lights stare blankly at a wall, and when their owner comes back they just won't start.
Trust old Bak to steer you right, I've burned the oil into the night To find the scrap of evidence To prove what should be obvious That everyone is quite obsessed, In a clinical sense And needs to go to detox In a computer-free space. The statistics are in, Your brain is burning dim, And hitting that space bar Isn't going to take you very far, And posting just one more reply Just isn't going to get you by. The sun is calling, But you don't hear it. Your son wants to play ball, But you won't go near it. Just admit it, You've got to quit it, God forbid Your mother should see you like this. Just look at this place, The beds unmade, There's dust on the table And there isn't a maid, So look that face in the mirror, And don't turn away, It's the face of addiction Every day. People are polite Too polite to say what they think That your mind's on the blink If you were clicking for dollars they'd all approve, But you were just following the spiritual groove And in all that time You left but one impression On the seat Of your swivel chair.
Somewhere between the gold and the black I lost you -- You fell from my hand Like a card from the deck, And you're gone-- I can't retrieve the things that we had I can't reclaim the hours that have slipped away-- There is nothing left But an empty horizon and you.
Like the sun coming out from Behind a cloud-- A dream that couldn't be true, You were a vision in sunlight and lace, Never was there another face Like the one That you wore--
But now that you're gone I sit alone and I wonder, Is it the sound of the rain that I hear? Is it thunder?
Come back again in my dreams if you can, You're welcome if ever you choose To join me there, I don't have much company These days, I stay in the same old place, And I sit alone and wonder, Is it the sound of the rain that I hear? Is it thunder?
(Dedicated to my mother, Eloise Carreon and the Choir of the Sacred Heart)
It's Gonna Get Worse (Before It Gets Better), by Charles Carreon
Well the flood came down Took the house away Wouldn’t you know That the porch would stay On that beat up couch With the cigarette burns I can just sit here While the world turns
And it’s gonna get worse Before it gets better I heard the guv’mnt lady say Before she drove away In her guv’mnt car She was a real go-getter But she never came back this way I hope the neighbors didn’t catch her
Well eventually they brought some trailers in Of formaldehyde, plastic and tin I moved indoors one summer day Now they wanna take it all away I signed all the forms And said what can I do? They said maybe you can stay A month or two
But it’s gonna get worse Before it gets better Money doesn’t grow on trees And people aren’t honeybees Yeah it always gets worse Before it gets better That’s what they always say Forever and a day
Like Napoleon said at Waterloo When the story’s wrote Then you’re through You can bitch and moan You can cry and weep Sign a gov’mnt loan Get a repayment sheet
But it always gets worse And it rarely gets better There’s a bigger force in play I heard that preacher say Before they burned his church And the weather got wetter There’s always hell to pay At least ‘till judgment day ‘Cause it’s gonna get worse Before it gets better So I take five shots a day And now you’ll hear me say It was worse But now it's gotten better