ENERGY DRINKS FOR THE BROKEN-HEARTED/Their tours are all cross-marketed with energy drinks for the broken-hearted. The corporate sponsors have pocketed the values that once narrated the lifestyle that separated us from them. From vans to buses with televisions, luxury’s the new religion that insulates them from facing up to decisions made to extricate themselves from the moldy, soiled basements we call home. Did you really think that fame and its trappings would rescue you from the cycle of self-loathing and depression? Should we all stop to admire the handiwork of you and your fucking “street team” to disassemble the underground network that’s sustained us through the bleakest days of our lives? You really earned it this time with all that shit about “paying your dues”, like your sob story could change our attitudes. Now you’re alone in your tower and we’re laughing at you. Yeah, we’re laughing at you.
IMPENDING SWOON/The phone is breaking up, you’re on the beach. Softball catcher, fucked up knees. Skipping rocks across the waves. Goddamn I’m waking up to this lonely bedroom in Massachusetts why am I feeling so…it’s safe to say that I’m losing myself to you. It’s safe to say that I’m losing myself. I wanna take a walk with you. I wanna sing a song with you. I wanna rip a bong with you and pass out in the sun holding hands! Make a plan to escape and never follow through. Cut the ties that bind and fuck up somewhere new. I don’t know if it’s safe to say, but, I have to say that I’m losing myself to you.
I AM EATING MY HEAD/We got a problem, I got no answer, just a headache. You take another sip, pull your pants on, light a cigarette. It’s not romantic– just makes me kinda sick. I don’t like you anymore. What’s your problem with you? Are you in there? Are you anywhere? Your responses are so conditioned when your positioned underneath me…I wanna disappear not take you with me. You think it’s “sexy” I think it’s scary the way you’re staring right fucking through me. Should I blame you or those who’ve hurt you for your intimacy issues? You can’t let you’re guard down, you’re never gonna feel safe. ‘Cause you can’t let your guard down, you’re relationship are meaningless. What’s your problem?
DESCENDING THE GARBAGE CHUTE/Woke up with a headache again today. This isn’t really changing anything. I gotta cut this shit out, I gotta fucking get out. I’ve been spending whole days at a time just staring at the ground, wishing things were different, wishing I could fix this. Gotta ride like my life depends on it, like someday I might catch up. I don’t know when the last time was that this life made any sense at all. I can’t remember why I do it sometimes. It barely helps anymore. But sometimes when I tough it out, forget to sleep, make it through to the sunrise, I don’t worry so much. So just light the match throw the bottle and run, leave it all behind you, head to the wind. All these setbacks will be worth it in the end.
LET’S GET ARRESTED TONIGHT/Let’s get arrested tonight! Think up some petty crimes to perpetrate against all these fuckers that we hate as if they gave a shit about us anyway. Let’s be assholes tonight! Drink up some frat boys’ beers over on Pratt St., make a bad Aus-Rotten stencil and paint some fucking chain stores. Do drugs, stumble home quoting Dee Dee Ramone, tell all our friends that we’re better off alone even though we know that we wanna die. Let’s get arrested tonight!
COMBAT SUPPORT/Did you know that wars are waged by women who are underpaid, working fourteen-hour days to fill prescriptions for sons with missing legs? Charlene didn’t get a granite monument, just a fifteen-hour drive from Racine, WI to Walter Reed. Collateral damage still invisible in the twenty-first century. “Combat Support”– there’s a fucking scam. Women prop up your myth so you can keep abusing them. Schools soaked with blood in Afghanistan. I guess “freedom”‘s just another word for “occupation”. When the talking heads start asking “was it worth it” will you be a good citizen and swallow it down? When the men in suits decide it was “worth it” the whole time do you think they bother asking the women turning tricks just to survive?
FOOTBRIDGE BLUES PT. II (SPITED)/Don’t you hate this town when no one is around and all your friends are gone? Children by the million scream for Paris Hilton when she comes on– something is wrong. I sit in my room getting drunk by myself, remembering my mom’s voice saying “if you drink alone you’re an alcoholic”. And don’t you feel spited? I know I fucking do. You weren’t invited, it’s the joke they put on you– but it’s on them too. So screw your courage to the wall. Set them up to take the fall. Nothing good will ever last until it’s buried in the past. We can’t hold jobs or girlfriends, just painful memories and pens to catalog our poor decision-making amidst a life spent going crazy thinking maybe this could change things somehow, maybe I can change tomorrow. And don’t you feel spited? I know I fucking do. You weren’t invited, it’s the joke they put on you– but it’s on them too.
SEX DREAM/Wake up, block out the sun, wave away the birds ’cause I’m already done. Should be getting started but I’m really just getting dumb. Dehydrated but the kitchen’s a wreck. Can’t even bring myself to do one dish. All I wanna do is leave this shit (literal and figurative). Make enough coffee to wake the dead, still I’m a zombie not quite resurrected. That sex dream is lingering. It wasn’t even that cool, just uncomfortable…. I know how to make a mess but I sure as hell can’t do the rest. This whole day is a sex dream. It lingers over everything. Woke up alone. The reality stings.
BARREN/Just walk away ’cause I can’t stand the sight of you right now, the pain is welling up inside my throat (just walk away, just walk away). I’ll walk away until I reach the shore and can’t escape and wonder what the fuck I’ll do to cope (I’ll walk away I swear it). July turned to August and I can’t believe I’ve got this many problems and they’re all my fault (they’re all my fault, goddammit). I’ve got this love inside, your barren eyes they make me hide it. I’m gonna die in this room alone. How many more broken records before the needle fucking snaps? How can we ready for the imminent collapse? That fake apology is your selfish fucking strategy to remind me that I’m the one who fucking blew it. I can’t bite my tongue because all of my teeth are gone, punched out over the years for never learning to keep my mouth shut. I’ll always be that creep insomniac, afraid to sleep and hoping that tomorrow never comes. The only moment of the day when I find any meaning is the last few minutes when I’m staring at the fucking ceiling from the exhaustion of living with uncertainty. The end of my day’s the beginning of my feelings.
YOUNGER KIDS/Upstairs some kids were getting high. Basement kids ignored a band. There was a crummy P-Bass knockoff plugged into a combo amp. No one really noticed them and no one seemed to care. They kind of played a Crimpshrine song and everyone just stared. They didn’t realize what they had. The snare was like a rattle can. It was all just almost slipping through their hands. When you’re fifteen you’re in the best bands. When you’re fifteen you really care. But no one seems to notice it because it all seems so unfair. I don’t want to be fifteen again, but down there with the younger kids reminded me of my first real band before we played those songs to death, before we all grew up and left.
WHAT ARE LITTLE BOYS MADE OF?/It’s uncomfortable to admit where I fit in this, but I was born into a system of ignorance and violence. A shitty white male, the holiest of grails. 25 years spent struggling to unlearn. The adults feeding me winks and backhanded techniques of subjugation…what the fuck!? is a little kid supposed to believe? Taught that women belonged on their knees as willing servants of what I would someday be: a stoic man with rage that’s “justified” to be his biggest source of pride. Since day one we have been growing up in other people’s bodies. Assigned our roles, bestowed rewards for turning into their commodities. Kept in line by their design, offered a pittance for our time, for our minds. Where do you draw the line? Count the ways they taught us to hurt each other, then count the ways we’ve been taught to be ashamed for loving one another. It don’t add up to anything worth believing.
THE TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC HAS HAD IT UP TO HERE/Here’s hoping this will be the summer we finally get all of our shit together. Here’s hoping this won’t be another dead-end-job-no-partner bummer. They must be joking when they say they expect us to exchange all of these beautiful days for their money. Check to check and scraping by. Running out of alibis. Full of excuses. Selling time, feeling useless. For once maybe we’ll live not just survive. Their advertisements try to make us pay for poison, but we’re smarter than that and we vow to destroy them. We’re not buying the bunk solutions they make bank on, perpetuating insecurities they created. They must be joking when they say they expect us to believe their bullshit products are what we need to be happy. We don’t need a thing. Our happiness isn’t determined by their marketing schemes. We’re never gonna choke down the swill they’ve brewed to quell the fire in our eyes, it doesn’t work like that. We’ll always exist beyond the terror they inflict upon us, and the insulting wages with which they own us will cease to mean a fucking thing. Here’s hoping.
STEALERS KEEPERS/Don’t talk to me about landlords. Don’t talk to me about bills right now. I think you need to take a walk to the graveyard and take a good hard look around. ‘Cause the sacrifices that we make to escape however fleetingly from a lifetime of meaningless work are nothing when you realize what your life is really worth. Maybe it’s tough to admit, but, “stealers keepers”. Maybe we should just up and quit, it’d be so much cheaper to submit that a life of taking shit adds up to what it is we want. But we don’t want the life they’ve got. ‘Cause it’s hollow and it’s bought, and we’re so much better off daydreaming our nights away and sleeping through what they have to say. They think they own our destinies the way they own us forty hours a week. But they don’t own us on these nights when we never sleep and watch the sun come up to crush the gears we’ve been cursing at for all these years.
I KILLED 122 IRAQIS AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY ENGINEERING DEGREE/ I never should have turned on the news but there’s this kid in his fatigues, I’m only 25 and he’s only 19. Rhetoric and beady eyes, I watched his cheap disguise implode. He ceased to speak, just salty cheeks across the screen. “I can’t let myself think about these things”. Obliterated friends and endless dreams of home. Diazepam to steady hands unaccustomed to the tasks of war. An 8-year-old with an RPG, blown to shit for God and country, mall, sitcom, six-pack, and masculinity. Just a statistic stacked beneath one-billion pages of bureaucracy, bleached and cleaned. Back home minimum wage crashes through the floor. Carbon monoxide and a garage door. Overseas the kids that called us “faggots” are gunned down in the street, melted into the backs of tanks, molten corpses wed to vinyl seats. And I drink myself to sleep.