© I Am Casting 2018

Charmer

goodbye

we’ve come undone

we know you don’t let truth map its way into your run

and when scared men define you

they cure you of your hiccups

but blind you

 

how was the flight?

was the wind behind you?

let’s talk about those bootstraps

and how you didn’t need the money you never gave back

come on down below

don’t know the way

so we’ll just take it slow

 

you could say hi, but don’t

he charms, but this snake isn’t complicated

you could say hi, but don’t

and once in the bed you forget how he got there

you could say hi, but don’t

remember you loaned your mousetraps to the neighbors

you could say hi, but don’t

 

so here we are, the curtain’s up

don’t bite your nails, don’t try to go

there will be an effigy

made of straw

ignore its pleas

who said things could go too far?

he wasn’t speaking for the show’s stars

 

we’re younger

but you’re hungry

and your point man is sort of funny

he’s a jester, but he courts the crown

and your prospects look better

with him swimming around

but if you let scared men define you

they’ll cure you of your hiccups

but blind you

 

 

Flood

they love the way you make them feel about their homes

lose hope, lose face

you do what you can to win a race

 

here comes the flood

to wash the banks of blood

come out to the capitol steps

slow down, you’ll need your breath

and say something’s wrong

but you only know what they look like

 

so what’s the harm in selling time

to those whose time has come?

shame the victims

move some paper

seize the assets

of the traitors

 

here comes the flood

to hide the holes you’ve dug

come out, there’s no barbed wire fence

slow down, your knees are spent

can’t point to anything

just feel they don’t belong

but you only know what they look like

 

you just know what they look like

 

you’ve been screaming for so long

why pretend we’ve heard you wrong?

save your song and dance

 

here comes the flood

to wash the banks of blood

come out to the capitol steps

slow down, your knees they’re spent

and say something’s wrong

but you only know what they look like

 

you only know what they look like

 

Window

lock the car

put the pits in the windows

hold the jewels in the boxer briefs

there’s nothing they won’t do

 

he’ll be gone

find a crack in the window

crawl outside

the breeze, the lies, what’s new?

are we strong?

then stop looking through the windows

 

maybe you’re betting there’s a limit

there’s a lesson – wait a minute, it’ll be hard won

maybe we stop looking to hide

from dreamers that frighten

in spaces that tighten at night

 

follow the rules

get a perch on the window

grow the jewels in your boxer briefs

everything will feel true

 

now he’s gone

found a crack in the window

climbed outside

said I’m good as new, I look strong

that’s my reflection in the window

 

maybe you’re betting

there’s a limit

there’s a lesson – wait a minute, it’ll be hard won

maybe we stop looking to hide

from dreamers that frighten

in spaces that tighten at night

 

 

Wolf

you heard Bob

come on down

off the sofa

take your best guess

then kindly egress

 

give them a moment to hide

did you get close enough?

if you get close enough

are you going to take another one?

how are you going to make another one love you?

 

if you put a wolf at the door

that’ll keep his meddling to a minimum

and put a smile on your lips

hide what’s growing in the crib

it’s dirty as it flows

out of his artificial nose

 

scan for threats

encased in lead

exactly right

encrypt and fit them

smile on the lips

hide what’s in the crib

don’t throw it a line or spend too much time with it

 

how are you going to take another one?

how are you going to make another one love you?

did you get close enough?

 

if you have a white lie

come on down and flaunt it

come on down

 

 

Clay

better think about what you’re going to say now

wind them up til trouble comes

tell them that you’ve always won

get a thrill

and if they figure out you’ve put them on

well you’re made of clay

so we know you’ll find a shape to use

to come back anytime you want

to fill your heart

 

they said the job would sober you up

but you’ve gotten older without growing up

why stretch to reach when they’re right behind you?

they said the job would sober you up

but it’s not enough

 

and your memory is ripe

to mold into a little town to spend the night

you’re made of clay

so we know you’ll find a shape to use

to come back anytime you want

to fill your heart

there’s a featured part

 

they said the job would sober you up

you’ve gotten older without growing up

we stretch to leave, but we’re deep inside, too

and there’s no master plan

so you work on your sleight of hand

you’ll reach until they fight

 

there’s no aftershave that wipes away the stench that’s on you

 

so little down

so little fight

watch them spin in the room

like they know what you’re doing

they get a thrill

though they’ve figured out you’ve put them on

to make a name, they know they can find some ways to use

so come back anytime you want to fill your heart

there’s a featured part

in a show that ends with a shrug

nothing more

lo and behold

it’s about money

money is what you know

 

 

Anchored

the road only bends

her way

when dreaming is ripe

then leaving’s in sight

but anchored to the day

disarm the plow

drag the lake

hide what’s found

it’s safe if you know what to shove below

 

he thought he’d

been given enough

to wash it down

mud and dust

hints of rust

an old watering can

that’s all he’ll find there

you want it fair?

steal the plow

siphon the lake

can’t swim anyhow

 

so they figure they’re better off

taking the dare and lying

faking it for the smiling goons

flattered when they think you swoon

who undulate through hip cafes

and find the shards of your younger days

keep your head up

in case someone thought to poison the low-hanging fruit

 

from deep in the lair

you curse the town

siphon the hate

can’t love anyhow

safe if you know what to shove below

Helpless

stay low, out of sight

there are things you don’t want to breathe tonight

if you needed to see it through

could you talk them down safely?

 

now gone

marching in straight time

now fixing the reigns

to be clenching tight

sure we’ll need them to choke off

the red pull

the restless right

 

do you feel helpless?

are you trying to find another way to feel?

do you feel helpless?

that’s how he wanted to make you feel

 

arms out, head alight

frame this with the glow from the miners' lights

as if what they need is somebody to walk them through the steady lies

 

won’t ever find that path

looking’s no fun

and the cynic has passed out

on the bed he made before some sick old men killed the core

are they calling the cops yet?

 

do you feel helpless?

are you trying to find another way to feel?

do you feel helpless?

that’s how he wanted to make you feel

 

how about we stuff it in the attic?

with the boxes and the taxes and the sounds of mice scratching

or drown it in wine

it’s a burial

but we’re bound to have a good time

 

do you feel helpless?

are you trying to find another way to feel?

do you feel helpless?

that’s how he wanted to make you feel

 

 

Almost

a bit of struggle breathing

a sense of coming unglued

a bit of the sense that they’d lost

what they worked hard to lose

 

he waits

an hour or two

then ten

to call

she thinks of the words to say

but then can’t find her phone or pen

 

 

Lullaby

we can reverse engineer anything

take a look at this striptease

it’s the bee’s knees

so if your friends leave you now

you don’t have to worry about a thing

it can keep you company

just let it take you to the diner

it knows what’s in a chest

cacophony, loneliness

and if you come down with mononucleosis

it knows to rub your back

call up your mom

pick up the slack

 

and sing you a lullaby…

go to sleep my little angel

stocks are up

walls are high

games await you

shhh, power down

let’s start your update now

 

so you can leave it all behind

it will pack your bags

and you just have to meet it at the diner

it knows what’s in a chest

cacophony, loneliness

 

and filling it in on your medical history

will give it the more precise ability to tailor its care

to your every need

and this way when you come down with mononucliosis

it will know to rub your back

call up your mom

pick up your slack

 

 

Muggers

we hold a grudge that’s weighed down many years

and though no one’s saying we should stay here

we grow married to small routines

grow married to what might have been

 

it’s always best to give the muggers what they want

 

the phone is still ringing all the time

the kids, they look like laundry

there’s nowhere left to hide

at home the water has welled up to our knees

wading through

because it outgrew the recipe

 

it’s always best to give the muggers what they want

 

so come on down and leave it all behind

pretend it’s yours

but know what’s yours is mine

you can fool all those people all the time

but I know you

I know

now, they’ve thought of everything

don’t be scared

they’ll take up the lion’s share, the scarecrow’s bluff

dangle on a wire

walk onto the wing

this bird likes to sing

 

so soothsayer call the shots

rake the speakers off their pots

hey! the muggers, they’re just leaving

why did the muggers leave you breathing?

now what do you believe in?

 

 

Seams

they’re coming to steal them

hold on to your feelings

lean in

out spills the fight

 

ready now

he’s dealing

with open eyes

we’re dreaming

lean back

talk fast and smile

 

you don’t look like

you’re coming apart at the seams

 

no fine lines

for these heady times

outsized, cartoon-like

draw in

map out a plea

 

ready now

you’re bleeding

can’t bear to watch him eating

climb fast

steady your grasp and smile

 

you don’t look like you come apart at the seams

 

why look out the window, at the cars crashing down below?

he knows you can’t look away from this

you can’t look away from this

you can’t look away from this

you can’t look away from this