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One Happy Island

1. Intro

2. Cave City Sunrise
Cave City sunrise
covers up the stars.
Early morning blue skies –
time to find the dinosaurs.
Hey, brontosaurus!
Hey, plesiosaur!
Hey, tyrannosaurus,
we are not scared anymore.
Stand up and join us,
‘cause this is what we’ve waited for.
Let’s free ourselves from
the tyranny of every dinosaur.
Too tense to sleep well.
Eating’s just a chore.
Buckle up your seatbelt,
it’s time to find those dinosaurs.
Stand up and join us,
‘cause this is what we’ve waited for.
Let’s free ourselves from
the tyranny of every dinosaur.

3. Elegant Elephant
Annette, we met and
then my mind was set:
I’ll become relevant to you, Annette.
Annette, get set for
more than you’d expect:
I’ll be so elegant for you, Annette.
I was a loner in the corner
for what seemed like forever,
invisible until you turned my head,
Annette.
Annette, I bet, I could
keep this thing fresh:
I’ll be like cellophane for us, Annette.
Annette, I’ll never
let myself forget:
I’ll be an elephant for you, Annette.
I was a loner in the corner
for what seemed like forever,
invisible until you turned my head.
Now I’m just a goner when
I’m lost on your direction.
Oh, Annette I bet you’ve
never heard it said:
I’ll be a relevant, elegant,
cellophane elephant.
A relevant, elegant, cellophane elephant
for you, Annette.

4. How To Hurt
Forget that we are tired.
Forget about working, please.
Forget about asking why are
we together, and why we shouldn’t be.
I want the world to end.
I want the world to end with you.
Right here and now.
I’ve forgotten how to hurt.
How did we sleep two hours
with all of that wrestling in bed.
Forget about asking how our
two tomorrows ever will make sense.
I want the world to end.
I want the world to end with you.
Right here and now.
I’ve forgotten how…
I know I haven’t showered.
You haven’t shaved,
my cheeks sandpaper-red.
Forget about all that’s outward,
let our love govern us instead.
I want the world to end.
I want the world to end with you.
Right here and now.
I’ve forgotten how to hurt.

5. The Bike Song
We took a ride on my bright pink
two-seat Cannondale down
down busy streets and
jogging trails tonight.
Should have been fun but
we hit the slow incline
and you complained most of the time
and I started to wish that
I’d bought a unicycle.
Love is not some flat mid-western state:
my heart is hill-shaped.
Once I was fine but
now I’ve changed my mind and
I just want to go home,
lock up my bike, and watch
the season premiere of Project Runway.
Love is not some flat mid-western state:
my heart is hill-shaped.

6. Texas Toast
Oh, you’re a misplaced Texas woman.
I’m the homeless man
on winter holiday.
Please forgive me,
but I hate how every day
the dawn is certain.
“Out of my way!”
I’m yelling at the curtains.
On the outskirts of a posse…
On the edges of a one-bedroom war…
In the whisper
between the windows and the door,
that’s where you’ll find me.
When you sweep the floor
just sweep behind me.
Wintertime,
I think of calypso.
Summers I wish for snow.
When you’re around
you kind of bug me
but when you’re gone, I feel so low.
Two in the morning,
I stagger back to you
drunk on waffles, Texas toast,
and home fries.
My right pocket
holds a left-field surprise:
cheap plastic jewelry.
Behind my eyes,
there lies tomfoolery.
Behind my eyes,
there lies tomfoolery.

7. Patience and Better Days
Patience and better days
cushion her fall.
Her boyfriends make her wait.
They’re always late,
if they come at all.
She asks me why,
and I try to explain
why we guys all treat her the same
Patterns in sand begin
then fade away.
Patterns in stone sink in
and there they stay.
She’s waiting on a call.
All over again,
and I try to explain
why we guys all treat her the same,
and we’ll never change.

8. Horse Cave, Kentucky
I’m feeling lucky but
I don’t think there’s a reason.
Going to Kentucky to find
what hive the bee’s in.
I’ve got a curtain rod and
seven silver ashtrays.
Twenty miles from Horse Cave
and two days to my last day.
Now they want something.
Now they want something.
Quarter for a sweater,
I found it at the stuff sale.
I miss the better weather, but
I’d had enough there.
Impossible to realize,
it's almost two years later.
Two days from my last day,
and Horse Cave’s on my radar.
Now they want something.
Now they want something.

9. Faster, Sunshine
You put the pedal to the floor
the second I close the door
and buckle in.
First dates always move so slowly
but not this time.
Faster, sunshine.
On the day after we met
I got insurance and a helmet –
but when I look in your eyes,
I don’t mind
I’m hurtling to my demise.
Right through a stop sign.
Faster, sunshine.
Cornfields, broken glass,
dead skunks, and maple trees.
The roadside hurts my eyes
when you’re chauffeuring me.
Won’t you let me breathe?
Taking corners at top speed
puts a tremble in my knees
and a hiccup in my heart,
every time I’m in your car.
I fear that fourth gear will take us
way too far
past the mall, fruit stands,
beer cans, and factories.
The roadside hurts my eyes
when you’re chauffeuring me.
Won’t you let me breath?
You’re gonna know how it feels
when someone steals
your steering wheel
and siphons your gas,
and leaves your car
dangling from an overpass.
Now you’re just a punchline.
Faster, sunshine.

10. Xmas Song
Going home for holiday,
late-December getaway.
Family is all asking what
the city’s got that we don’t.
Uncles and the aunts arrive,
whiskey drinks and apple pie.
It’s not the same since grandpa died,
so drive out to your old high school.
Debating crayon versus crayon,
cousins and a minivan.
Brother doesn’t understand that
Super-8 is silent.
Filming grandpa’s neighborhood,
broken houses understood and
everybody’s asking what
the city’s got that we don’t.

11. Every Winter
Out here for the first time,
steering over what was water.
Feeling for a fault-line,
hoping that my feet won’t falter
while you’re circling so certainly.
You did this every winter.
I’m fighting shakes and shivers.
I’d love to take your hand and
move over this perfect surface
but I can barely stand and
motion mostly makes me nervous.
Were this summer I’d be wonderful,
but you did this every winter.
I’m trying hard to picture you
learning how, getting up, falling down.
Now you’re reaching out, pulling me
from a crouch to my feet, to your side,
as we move over the ice.
Out here for the first time,
steering over what was water.
Looking into your eyes.
Knowing that I shouldn’t bother
feeling awful
‘cause you’re here with me
and you did this every winter.

12. Tangelo
Safe on the lifeboat.
No brown blouse blues.
Sink in your seat, slip off your brown shoes.
A gin and tonic.
What have you got to lose?
At the chamber of commerce
on South Main,
my fly was down and I felt the same.
You’re through the ceiling, I’m in the rain.
What do you say?
There’s got to be a middle seat to spare.
I don’t breath much air,
I’ll just watch the clouds
blow by past my window.
And down below there’s lipstick
and a dozen snotty kids.
Just exactly what they did I don’t want –
I don’t care to know.
Fluorescent lightmare.
A paper jam.
My sloppy boss, all he says is spam.
A parking lot is who I am.
Wipe up the white board –
you’re free to go.
Ten after one, a pizza and a tangelo.
You’re wearing that sundress:
the one that glows.
What do you say?
There’s got to be a middle seat to spare.
I don’t breath much air,
I’ll just watch the clouds blow by out my window.
And down below there’s lipstick
and a dozen snotty kids.
Just exactly what they did I don’t want –
I don’t care to know.
They’re just like me – they’re too much like me
and I gotta put up with myself every day.
Whatever I need is something farther away.
Safe on the lifeboat.
No brown blouse blues.
Sink in your seats, slip off your brown shoes.
Vodka and tonic.
Whatcha got to lose?

13. Kudzu Girlfriend
Well, it seemed like a good idea
at the time.
I was looking for someone to
settle the dustclouds
blowing through my mind.
Then you came along and
I knew I was wrong
but I thought that you might be
someone to comfort me
like a sweet perennial vine.
Then things got out of control and
I should have called it off but
by the time I found the nerve
you had gone way over the top.
Kudzu girlfriend,
I was too blind to see.
Kudzu girlfriend,
why you suffocating me?
I never meant for it to be as bad as this.
I never wanted more than a girl to kiss.
Now you’re taking over geographical zones.
So make like a tree, and please go away.
Kudzu girlfriend.
Kudzu girlfriend.
Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time…

14. Flounder
I mingle.
I mingle with my unsweetened tea.
You swindled –
swindled me out of uncertainty.
Don’t take that from me.
I flounder.
I flounder by the kitchen sink.
The counter…
The counter is higher than you think.
Maybe I’ll take that drink.
I insist I’m not insisting on anything.
I insist I’m not resisting what is happening.
It’s just happening.
I linger.
I linger aimlessly tonight.
The screendoor.
The screendoor shuts and I’m upright.
Now it’s just you and I.
I insist I’m not insisting on anything.
I insist I’m not resisting what is happening.
It’s just happening.
You’re gone now.
You’re gone and I can’t even tell.
If I am…
If I am happy or in hell.
Maybe it’s just as well.
I insist I’m not insisting on anything.
I insist I’m not resisting what is happening.
It’s just happening.

15. Nomi, You’re a Star
Just a smalltown girl
in a world not your own.
Should I call you Nomi
or is it Ms. Malone?
You want to make it as a dancer
but they say you’ve got a lot to learn.
But I’ve seen you on the dance floor
and I know you’ve got talent to burn.
Wipe the makeup off your face.
You’re beautiful to me and
you don’t need the Versace.
When I saw you at the strip club, I knew:
Nomi, you’re a star.
Oh to be Zack Carey
I’d do anything for you.
I’d even lend you my floaties
so you won’t nearly drown in the pool.
I like the way you move.
You give it all you’ve got
and then for no reason you throw up
in the parking lot.
I’ll be there, to hold your hair.
I’ll be there.
Nobody wants to fuck a Penny.
They want to fuck a Hope or a Heather.
I don’t want just any old girl.
I want Nomi Malone always and forever.
Could have hired anybody,
but they chose you as the understudy.
When I saw you at the boat show I knew:
Nomi, you’re a star.
Nomi, you’re a star.
Nomi, you’re a star.
Nomi, you’re a star.
Doggie Chow.

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