I’ve been told 

To walk straight and give thanks

I’ve been told

Not to look at certain houses along the way


And it is

Insatiable and


That old lactic acid dream

To build things out of sand

So long as there’s someone to be buried in it


We fed you starch

Let you march

But when asked for water, left you parched

Coca-Cola stains on bedsheets



How alive am I? 


Now he came down on a horse

She was bathing the kids

She was parking her car

He was holding a book


Bandana over his mouth 

Then he was laid on the ground

And now

Who is in sight?

Look right


And it all funnels down 

To just this one thing

Is my safety what will separate me?

Is my safety 

What I’ll allow to continue to separate me?

Is my safety really that important to me?

In the not-so-distant present

In the fields of gold

There’s a rail-rattling story

That must be told

Of a once-small devising gone awry

Adolescent in the scope

But a tarpit to our time


The mover and the shaker 

Sit at the table alone

It’s just a hungry baby and a bad jawbone

Guzzling progress

Guzzling speed

Making plans to eradicate the chicory weed


But don’t forget, we’re doing this for you

I think I’m gonna ride it through

Everybody grooving 

To those breadbasket blues


They’ve got an army

Can’t be seen or caught

Making post on every school of thought

Stretch-fingered mission

Pointed overreach 

Into the acres and the bellies 

Of every chum like me


But don’t forget, we’re doing this for you

This mass on my neck, it grew and grew

Everybody pulsing and convulsing 

To those breadbasket blues


We are spitting in our napkins

We are asking why

A hundred years 

Since we’ve seen the finches fly

All that I’m asking is to untie

The cables from the tables

To the ladder in the manmade sky


But don’t forget, we’re doing this for you

Intubation time is through

And a shot rang out across the prairie

Can’t you hear

Those breadbasket blues

Who killed the conductor?

Who sent the spy? 

Let loose from the cabins

While we slept overnight


Our parcels still rolling 

Set to arrive on time

But who killed the conductor 

And I want to know why


Who spilled the honey?

Who robbed the hive?

White glove bespattered

White linen wrapped knife


The body still humming 

Tho’ the sound be denied

And I’m trying to find some peace of mind


Who tore the pages?

Who rewrote the rhyme?

The sonnets ushered 

Though at a different time


They’ve blown out the lamplight

Steeped their tea in brine

And I’m trying to find some peace of mind

I am trying to find some peace of mind

I am trying to find some peace of mind

When I got to Jackson, I was sleeping

My hat, the angle it should be

Dined on a table spread with muslin

Jawbone, fry bread, and cowpeas


I was soothed by the grooves of epic etchings

I was a boy in blue and had a steed

And the cavalry

Will carry me

Wherever these inflated shoulders lead


With only as much as suggestion

I’d take down whichever pigeon flew my way

And come in from the north, just like before

But found the tempt of gold as my pay


I’m a man, not unlike any of my subjects

Who took a leap in haughtiness and haste

As my pockets raged

I met a distant face

A chief and his nation ‘cross the bank


Doubled as an end and a beginning

The stream of fate began to swell

And to understand is beyond me

The tendency

To heroize the way that general fell


He’s just another tender, screaming baby

Convinced by himself and those in lead

And felt the crushing blow

Undeniable force

Of a stoic beast, provoked finally

Come down to the shoulder

Forgiving and wide

Everybody’s growing hoarser

From talking at the same time


That mean old general’s just retired

Away on some lake

And all the people that started fires

Had a downpour last week 


And the snakes at your heels 

Are now coiled and asleep



Look on

Look on

All of this will be gone

Look on

Look on 

Nothing ever lasts for long

By and by


Everything that you know

Know to be true

Is green and black

Or brown and blue

And stares back at you


So here’s to bushels, cords, and bales

And landscapes hung in rooms 

German shepherd


And the Strawberry Moon

Oh, the fawn that is always born

Knowing what to do


Look on

Look on

All of this will be gone

Look on 

Look on

Nothing ever lasts for long

By and by

Tell me about yourself 

What’s good for your health and 

Do you believe that Greek is a language


Are you free

Are you mean

Is Florida green and

Does lightning strike

The people that it doesn’t like


Do you wake up in the middle of the night 

Was your meal made right

And served with ultimate politeness


Do your begonias thrive with cyanide

And when your lady lies, ah

How you gonna keep her in line?


And how what you are

Is what everybody else 

will have to learn how to get used to 

Oh, I count my loss

It’s not some idle cost 

Can’t you tell me?


Are they doing it wrong 

Are they taking too long

Who’s got your money 

And how are they gonna spend it


And what is your stance on immigrants

Maybe your policy is one that we can use


Oh, tell me

I’m dying to know

Tell me

Tell me about yourself


And how what you are 

Is what everybody else 

Is just gonna have to get used to

Oh, I count my loss

It’s not some idle cost

Can’t you tell me? 

The bile in the rain 

Dissolves the home on the range

Destination: fork and plate

A tendon in all

We wouldn’t dare to pull

Prepared for gripe and delay


This is the year of the balded gear

And the sureness of the blade

Move down the line by undoubted design 

Each person a link in the chain


And the tails no longer sway 

And the grass is no longer grazed

For who’d ever think to give thanks to

The born to be aborted


One dirty peek

And it’s all we’d need

A whiff from the trucks as they pass

Meet at the gate of anaerobic fate

Just how long will this last?


They come out billions in number

Incubated and casually plundered

None bear a name, nor hold any claim

To a life, stripped of all wonder


And the tails no longer sway

And the grass is no longer grazed

For who’d ever think to give thanks to 

The born to be aborted


I cannot describe the crime

That lies beneath barcode lines

Driven into green homeland

Responsible for weakening 

Our once efficient hand


What is the cost of the living lost?

Deeper in each decade, questions growing

But I’ve figured it out

It is relieved by doubt

But I’ll shout within my knowing

I will shout within my knowing 

They signed the papers today

Both sides of the room, red-faced

One walked away

I’d be lying if I said 

I didn’t want it this way


I’ve seen aircraft crowd my sky

And the markets boom and die

Blue air for sending bullets through

But I didn’t know I’d choose for you

I didn’t know I’d choose for you


The grain that fed the hungry mouth

Grew in lines of only north and south

This, the grist that I’d share with you

But I didn’t know I’d choose for you


I’m tired of talking about crime

All this acid and lye

Oh, but I’m from the country

And I don’t know any better


Thought I had my little dogies in a line

Thought I had my little dogies in a line


Now the story told

Of Caiaphas

And Maribel in the bush 

Are now colliding

I’ve simplified 

On a single dime

And gone without

But never into hiding


I’ve heard legend of you

I have heard of what you do

I heard somewhere there’s a place for you

But I didn’t know I’d choose for you

I didn’t know I’d choose for you

Shoot ‘em up, shoot ‘em up

Shoot ‘em up, shoot ‘em up

Hats off, blast off, faster, while you can

Gold top of the land and


Ride along

Ride along

Over, over, water, woods, be damned

Light the torch of their clan


And if you’re getting dizzy, well

A horse will always have to stand

And shoot ‘em up


Comin’ out, comin’ out

Comin’ out, comin’ out

Backwoods backbones aching with the pain

Needing something to blame, so they


Run ‘em out

Run ‘em out

On discomfort, risky color

Good riddance to where they once stood 


Let loose the collar on this mean old dog

‘Cause someone finally said I could

Yeah, run ‘em out


Growing tired of waiting 

‘Round a rusty gate

And your lamplight is so clouded

That you cannot see straight


Ringing out loud through every

Snapshot page

Is that only the unloved and the unnatural

Have to hate

So they


Tune ‘em out, tune ‘em out

Tune ‘em out, tune ‘em out

Hand-select whichever text may suit

The visceral pursuit

And stack ‘em up

Stack ‘em up

Numbers, numbers, 

Plunder, plunder, now

Gonna take them downtown

Unholy, rolling off the wagon

But that’s nothing to feel shame for now

Yes, they’re rolling off the wagon

And I’m trying to figure out how

If survival came to electing bait 

Just as it’s seeming to today

I’d say take all or no one 


And if the speed of man

Should be quicker than

The coldest creek

Then you seek yourself out a new one


We’ll still raise and reap

In the clouded heat

So give me hideable

But also prone to aging

Even on a sunny, sunny day


Well, I don’t have a problem

Hiding in a cabin

Thumbing through the better books

And drinking

Drinking lemonade


I knew a girl

We worked the dirt

But the only word she knew

Was her own name


She’d twist and turn

And scheme and stir

But she got rope burn

By trying to pull out my braid


And comes a time

Even if you deny

You’ve got to find the line

Before it’s drawn 

Right on your forehead

‘Cause none of this is going to go away


But I don’t have a problem

Hiding in a cabin

Thumbing through the better books 

And drinking 

Drinking lemonade