Songs for the Long Lonely Drive (2004)


Lord I am so sorry if I let you out of my mind all red inside. You are pretty for an angry one but you’re turning ugly in my eyes. Tonight I am lettered. I am marked with a cold glass eye, all dead inside. There’s nothing said here that I haven’t heard before. I have my ways and the reasons for. I can quote them well enough to believe. I can twist them up enough to tie my hands to my feet

Make me lighter than all that I’ve forgotten. I’ll catch up with all my force to trying to be something I am not. Oh lord I am so sorry

I will travel like the bullet in my right, cross any lines. Over land I’ve seen in photograph and water deeper than the wise. I will travel. I will move like my mind does now past many times. At speeds they say do not exist I will not stop for anyone. When I’m told there’s something wrong with this I will not stop for anyone.

I will not tire. When I move I will not tire. It’s only sitting still I fear I’ll atrophy and watch myself grow weak, and for that I am so sorry

Able Glass Note

If you come to California, I can offer up my room. The light is bad and the phone is dead but I’ll be here with you. When you cut away the postage and you read the words I write, I hope you’re safe and in a place where you can listen right

When I tell you you’re a fighter and a staying hand and both can’t hold the same sword, Maybe if you realign your heart and mind neither will belie you

I watched the mile markers passing while your friend just played a muse, from Burlin-game to San José and on to Santa Cruz. I thought about you leaving and the way you said goodbye like I was best a love note left for someone else to find

Let me tell you that I have regrets but I will let you in before I shut you out. ‘Cause when the stabbing’s done and the blood has run you’re still all that I think about. We’ve been so unwise and compromised I don’t know how to let things fall. So it’s your turn now to speak or let fate decide it all

If you come to California, we can give our life some thought and never to each other do the things that friends do not

Draw You In

Night on the take, the halogen bees buzz and make a little melody. Come into sight of all those shining city lights

I peak down the lanes behind me, let the trusses roll on by me. Tune through the radio, hum along with a song I used to know. Breathe a little easier. Five minutes and I’ll be there leaning in, cup your chin and show you what I’m thinking of tonight

Rapid as the shadow of a cloud. I’m trying to hide my sense of urgency. Hoping with my hand around your flowers that these cool spring hours draw you into me

You’re on the stairs, watching stars come filing through the twilight air.

Something on the air tonight has conjured up this lullaby two bottles of red wine and a dream of you being mine. Past the turn to your door we both need to drive just a little more til that sun brings the dawn and sets that lovely fire in your eye

The Verge of Breaking Completely Down

In back of the station six feet of overhang above. Puddles deepen, right in the fight we are. It’s a sad little ending, children clamoring over their seats. All the old little hungers come clamoring into my sleep

I was told when I wore a younger man’s clothes keep myself in line, but the world don’t come at you straight on any more than it ends on the horizon. I was told when I wore a younger man’s clothes these roads do not end, and the old man whose words those were ambled on in tattered rags

This town is broken, the next one broken and on down the line. From the black ocean you see smoke but you don’t see the fire. I’ve been thinking of what I’ve been looking at every night. The faint glisten of the shotgun in the dashboard lights

Oh my soul where did you roam while I towed behind? On the long lonely drive nowhere on the roads of my life. Where I told when I wore another man’s clothes lies I can’t rescind and the man that I have become will only lie again


Where the wheels have come to rest they come to turn again. I have had to let this out since I first held it in. When the resolution came and fastened me awake. Wondering if I felt what this commute was going to take. I had no vacancy to further on this fight, but I hear the whistle clear and ringing true tonight

Hangers on, climbers off and drifters on the bars. One long chain of evidence stretched out along the cars. Everyone’s a story that they never want to tell. Our legends run the rail and dry up with the well. I do not want to be forgotten on the ride. Lay the track for me and I’ll be the ties

When tonight I roll away I’m stronger than I’ve been. Where my heart has come to rest it always comes again

This Hotel Room

Your confession is written neatly on the gas receipt from Van Nuys, but you’re not leaving this hotel room until I see some truth in your eyes

If I woke up 10 minutes later would you have left me this Hallmark goodbye? You can love me or you can hate me but you owe me a reason why. I’m not one to talk you down from whatever ledge you have built up inside, but you’re not leaving this hotel room until I see some truth in your eyes

When the snow came and the hard rains pushed us both to the drawing line, we drove so long together I forgot that the car was mine. I could drop you at the station, you could finish this on your own, but the road east is lonely and I won’t make Utah alone

Wait a minute. Are we talking or am I just saying this for myself? I’ll get a chair for you to stand on and get your words down from off of the shelf. Has the mood not hit you yet? Well I’ve given all that you’re gonna get. Maybe this is already over, there is no more to confide, but I’m not leaving this hotel room until I see some truth in your eyes

Circle Up

We are walking to the side of the road, and all the way down
you smile like there’s something you know, and I don’t doubt.

What’s the summer for if not a new man and new respect? We spend ten months in the draft of old plans, then come back. By the farmhouse door, laying in the tall grass. Every blade is semaphore to what will pass, and I bring the message down.

I wonder aloud do you have regrets? You say every year turns out for the best. We sing a roadbound song. You know the words by heart about how we’re all swept along, not apart, and we pass the lessons on

The memories I hold dear when I come home are written alongside all my fears in the same tomes Fear of losing ground, fear of comin’ around, fear of learning how to live without the solace I’ve found in your green morning light, the rain on the reservoir at night and this sweet pain of saying goodbye

For Bad Days

I waited for a moment as you walked out to the car. Just a note of hesitation or a thought of what we are. Then I locked the door behind me and I watched the screen door close. We backed out of the driveway and we took off down the road
As we left the city the sun was going down. I finally pulled the map out and we fingered through the towns. You asked where we were going, I had wondered that myself. You said just give me a direction, and take us somewhere else

All of a thousand rusty dreams have blown their petals here. I wonder at how natural and easy all this seems as I watch our dust blow by in the rearview mirror

The night passed like a letter cast into the sea. Aching in the bottle and waiting to be freed. Crossing the Dakotas we made our way Northwest where there is no more double yellow line, just one lane and the edge. Driving through the hours, more tired than we could tell. So we stopped up at the border and checked into a motel. Our eyes were something weary from the words we left unsaid, but the darkness pulled them under as we lay down into bed

I dreamed of lakes and forest roads and fields of maize and blue. I knew all these things long ago, but they washed away as memories always do.

Days into Alberta, my conscience no more clear. We begin to falter and you ask me why we’re here. I felt like I was losing and I knew I could not stay when there’s nothing in Ann Arbor that can make it go away. Clouds of indecision had slept upon the hills, drifted through the valleys and now began to spill. The rain came with the darkness of atmospheres above. The windshield a reflection and the mirror our resolve

We may drive forevermore and never know the way, but I’ll hold you like I’ve held these thoughts and save them for bad days.

You looked up at the mountain shaking from the cold and I knew that you were crying all the same tears as my own. The sun burns through the heavens and the hills assault the sky and we just stood there dying from the wonder in our lives. It’s hard to find direction without a place to end, but knowing where you’re going is knowing where you’ve been. The clouds went with the thunder, gone without a sound, life spent passing over and falling to the ground

Rocks are torn by waterfalls and shattered by the wind, but change does not come from without for those that live within

The heart of every journey is beating in us all. A pulse without a body, an answer to a call. So somewhere on this journey out into the unknown we found why we were searching and we knew the way back home. Flying by the shoulders, wind across the grain. Love and hope and mystery forever be the same. I watched you for a moment as you walked out to the car. I called to say I love you and I know now what we are

Stonewalling the Purpose Trip

A doll, you’re just a doll. You sit on your hands. You puddle your rage but will not fight. You’re waging a war with fetters tied tight on. I am not your kin but I have seen your kind enough to have already heard this bullshit line that I have nothing real

We all wrestle with thieves to claim our beliefs and I’ve had my shoulders to the floor. I won’t be pinned here anymore. No more. Here’s the key you gave me to the old disguise. Thank you for the time it took to recognize that I am something real. What I could be. In time, what I could be

The Booty Don’t Stop

I tell you that you’re special, that you’re the only one
And I say I love you though we haven’t been together long
I take you to the movies and I show you all my moves
And you know when I play basketball I bust that J for you

I buy you flowers and candy, and I call you every night
When I drop you off at home I stay ‘til you turn on the light
I do it for one reason, I won’t feed you any line
When I first saw that ass I knew I had to make it mine, ‘cause

Damn the booty don’t stop girl (3x)
What you gonna do, what you gonna do yeah

Your mama won’t let me in your room no matter how I plead
And your papa says when to have you home if I want to keep my knees
Shorty tell your family stop frontin’ on my game
‘Cause if I don’t get to touch that ass I’ll never be the same

Other girls may have it and even more may try
But baby I don’t love them hos and let me tell you why
‘Cause I wanna warm that ass up and tap it like a phone
And call it on those nights I’m cold and feelin’ so alone, singin’


David and Goliath, Moses and the sea
Noah and his punk ass ark don’t mean a thing to me
But mighty is the crescent, and holy is the hole
So baby let’s get biblical and I’ll show you the score

Other boys may covet, and others may be meek
But other boys don’t get to watch you turn the other cheek
‘Cause you are mine forever and you will be mine tonight
And we’ll be getting’ freaky while I treat that booty right