Detroit Velvet Smooth
(for Bob Hicok)
I’d been uttering words I hadn’t used in years and got to thinking about the center of the universe. But there was a guy across the street with a million mile stare and what could only be his wife. Anyway, how could I think about myself with a preacher consoling them over there? Where I’m at the state song’s just a whistling wind and the state flower’s a chained up factory gate. If only you could only see it. We keep asking ourselves “What did We do?” Our providence keeps us wishing for something to keep.
Track Name: Q: Have you ever watched Judge Mathis on Daytime Television because nothing was on and do you think he seems like a nice guy?
Q: Have you ever watched Judge Mathis on daytime television because nothing was on and do you think he seems like a nice guy?
I drove home through the state street district today and was headed north, past the Circle K--where all the girls in that neighborhood stand around looking sad. When in the time that it took to buy myself breakfast, my neighbor shot himself in the head. He painted the wall. His girlfriend wasn’t home. I fumbled through my door to find a glass for a drink and got exhausted from overexertion and I started thinking. Is there anyone in this town tired of bruising? Tired of covering veins up over the arms they’ve been using? Feeling uninvolved and thinking apathetic? Who’s been buried so deep underground and used to know but now forget how to keep kicking the rocks home, to keep digging your way out?
Track Name: Checked Out
I put my hopes on a plate at the windowpane. Made the bed up nice. Felt the sun set down on my face and decided I could leave it right. I've got nothing else left to sell, still, the Jones say I owe them more. Jumped a train around Lake Michigan looking for somewhere to score. Felt a tear run down my face when I whispered to the wind, "Goodbye." The train pointed back to Minneapolis. Guess I could give her a try. My family's concerned I've been gone too long. Something's not right. If this doesn't work out, 'think I'll find myself a red-eyed flight.
1. Every train track's got a bouncer.
2. Every hitchhike, there's a statesman with a gun.
3. I'm tired of looking over my shoulder.
When the hues start to change, I think I'll shave my beard. I think I'll change my name. I'm "Checked Out." There's nowhere left to fall. Cashed checks. Checked out. Didn't change my address. Closed my bank account. Wished Mike well. Then, he hugged my and cried. I guess there's shoes to fill. Left ______ ___ her keys and a letter in her Schoolcraft (MI) P.O. Box. Wrote a clincher poem to myself. Got sad, "So I tore it up" (see: Mark Twain). A million times I said I'd go on. Now, all that's left is to go on.
Track Name: Lonelytime
All her avenues are vanishing and I can't believe in anything she says. My losing streak's back in full form. Her night's in a little bag a guy sells her out on Westnedge Ave. Anymore, it's the only place she goes. I'm sure she's too high to come down and I thought about taking off, still, I hang around. "Lonely Time" is the only time I know. She's just a silhouette. I'm just a stand-in. I chase her in circles through the plot. I'd pray, but who's there to pray to. I've run out of metaphors to cling to: She's a worn out girl, She's a piece of bruised fruit. I know that the heart flows through the breeze if it's wrapped up right in her little bag, and if you wait for the right time to throw it up it won't be coming back. Watching her fly's like watching her crash, now. Wish I had a one way ticket westward out of this town. I hope she won't die, I just can't stick around.