Radical Face Sad Business

Little boy at your mothers side

Watching on as your daddy comes to die.

As they rope his neck, his hands both shake

Then they kick the stool from the wooden deck they made.

But as he’s strangling there

He says he’s sorry for his sins.

You watch him worthlessly

Until the struggling finally comes to an end.

You fought the crows from your daddy’s flesh

You dug a hole and you laid his body to rest.

Your mother cried and smoked cigarettes

She cursed his name and said “It’s what the bastard gets.”

But no one ever came

To see if you were still okay.

You stood there in the rain

Until you mamma finally dragged you away.

Radical Face Welcome Home

Sleep don’t visit, so I choke on sun, and the days blur into one

And the backs of my eyes hum with things I’ve never done

Sheets are swaying from an old clothesline

Like a row of captured ghosts over old dead grass

Was never much, but we’ve made the most

Welcome home

Ships are launching from my chest

Some have names but most do not

If you find one, please let me know what piece I’ve lost

Peel the scars from off my back

I don’t need them anymore

You can throw them out or keep them in your mason jars

I’ve come home

All my nightmares escape my head

Bar the door, please don’t let them in

You were never supposed to leave

Now my head’s splitting at the seams

And I don’t know if I can

Here, beneath my lungs

I feel your thumbs

Press into my skin again

Radical Face Rivers In The Dust

The sweat cuts rivers in the dust

On your face

While the wheels beneath complain

The wind still whistles through the haze

The sun shines like a razorblade

And the bones of crops and banknotes pave the way

The highways are lined with graves

Like the fingernails of giants

Like blood pulled through a vein

We rush the west in silence

And I am not the one you wanted here

But I will fill my post

Heaven’s touch is often out of reach

To those who want it most

You wear a rose from yesterday

Like the world is green and overgrown

And I wear a handkerchief around my mouth

To keep the dust and ashes out

I’d dream a glass of water

With you dreaming of the sea

And I’d watch my feet and you would watch the sky

And we would wonder why our eyes no longer meet

It was hard to call the thing we saw a storm

Like it had climbed from the pages of some novel

And the sheets of dust hit everything like waves against the rocks

It was morning but I’d be damned if I could tell

And you would hold my hand and close your eyes

And I didn’t mind

When hell bears its teeth

You learn your face and this god forsaken sun could be the moon

For all it provides

Eyes are on the roads

Before it disappears again

Radical Face Letters Home – Aftermath

Well, the men arrived as the sun began to set

And they pulled a wooden crate ’bout six feet long

I could read the news in their downcast eyes

My boy had passed away

So I stepped inside

‘Cause there was nothin’ left to say

Radical Face Family Portrait

So we start with my father as a boy, barely spoke a word of English

Fell in love from a distance. He watched her working from the back fence

He learned some words and some clever turns of phrase from his father’s book of poets

She wasn’t taken in that instant, but grew impressed with his persistence

They met each other out by moonlight, made love in the nearby woods

Then her folks became suspicious when her cycle broke and settled it

They stole away without their goodbyes, got married in a foreign town, made their way as best as they could

Found jobs and settled down

And then time moved on

I was born in a river of blood on sheets from the wedding day

The room was dark and the stench was thick

My father couldn’t stand the smell of it

Mama died in the night cause the nearest doctor couldn’t stem the blood loss

Father cried out on the back porch

My sister held me at the neighbor’s house

Oh my, there was a storm then. There was a flood of a different kind

Father’s eyes were often vacant, but his hands were rarely quiet

Sister learned to take her hits well, both from life and the physical kind

But I was never one to lie down, despite who picked the fight

So we designed our Hells

Father turned into a drinker, a dark bastard with a wooden heart

Sister learned to be a mother, before she ever played another part

And I became a little terror, I lashed out at whatever’s around

Took some time before I settled, and found a mind that was somewhat sound

And like it always does, time marched on

Six years later father died in the very same bedroom

Many said it was the grief that did it

I have to say it’s cause he hung himself

To be honest, neither sister nor myself ever much regret his passing

But I admit it was a nice thing, to always know that we could feed ourselves

Radical Face Eclippse

Head above water

Now the waves have some space in between

And I can see the words up above me

Were just some trite advice that said “remember to breathe”

Well I guess you got what you’re after

If you’re after a life on your knees

Everyone just wants to be blameless

To have a place to point to say “it wasn’t me”

And then we rinse and repeat

Afraid to stay and scared to go

Until I found a road where nobody knew me

And my name was just a word that tasted strange

And I finally got to pick what it meant

Take a breath

Clean yourself in the river of time

Cause somewhere the sky’s always falling

And sometimes it’s just your turn

Let it go

Let it go

Let it go

Let it go

So now you know the hell

Of wondering if a change is gonna come

It don’t mean much

Don’t hold your breath

They will just have to save themselves this time

But you

You

You will be just fine

Radical Face A Pound Of Flesh

My feet plow on

From light to dawn

My empty belly and my body aches

Ain’t hard to take

Next to the weight

I carry in my chest

A pound of flesh

Could never tip the scale that I’ve made

I should have stayed

But I was never wise

I hear your voices in the wind that cuts the night

And I pray to whatever is listening things’ll be all right

Oh, my boy, you’re alive

Your heart’s still beating

So don’t you mind, don’t you mind

We all drift sometimes

I can still hear your feet as you ran from the house

Knowing you won’t be back doesn’t mean that I will stop waiting

You told me then, hold me down, hold me up to the fire

But don’t you dare hold me back

Whoa…

I see your face’s in the clouds that scar the night

And I pray to whoever is listening things’ll be all right

Then today I wake up feeling easy

And find I’m on the more familiar roads

I got a darkness wrapped inside me

But now it ain’t so hard to let it go

So keep a candle burning in the window

I’m almost home

Radical Face Nightclothes

We crept from the room

The moonlight spilled down the hall

And I tiptoed with you

Then we climbed out the window

And there in the yard

Our nightclothes blowing in the breeze

And you looked up at the sky

And said the moon would be ours

And all this time I hear those words like bombs in the distance

And oh my mind, I can still smell the rain in the air

But time’s gone by

And I’m not the kid I was on that evening

And somewhere inside

I hope you still see me just the way I was before I walked away

Mud on your dress

Blood stains on the knees of my pants

And we went in search of the moon

’cause you said that you knew where it slept in the day

So we gathered up our tools:

A sling-shot in case it ran for the sky

And a blanket from your room, the one with no holes

So we could drag it all the way back home

And you said when we got it back

We would cut it in two

And we’d wear the hide so magnificent

And then I could control time for you

And I still hear the way that you laughed

When you found I believed you

And I could still feel you pull on my arm

When I was too afraid to go

And all this time I hear those words like bombs in the distance

And my, oh my, I can still smell the dirt on our hands

’cause in my head

You’re still alive, you’re still alive

And I know that it’s a lie

But it’s one I like, it’s one I like

Radical Face Sunn

I watched the sun across the furniture,

And I didn’t flinch when it all got burned away

And while in the middle of those fires,

I always find myself with nothing much to say

And I used to wish my boy would travel,

Then my genetic line, it wouldn’t end with me

But in the light of all that’s built me,

I see that some dead ends are probably for the best

Well, come find these thoughts and pull them out of me

‘Cause they’re nothing I have asked for

Sometimes when sleep becomes your enemy,

It feels better to dream while the sun is accounted for

Sing the song I swore I would

Until my voice was gone,

Now I’m just listening

While the sunlight cuts its name in my skin

And I left my ghost along the shore

To find a port to harbor me,

But I ain’t so young

To believe a home is ever very permanent

Save yourself a little breath,

We don’t often change what were scared of

And we just paint the scars

And pretend they were never there

You can save yourself a second guess

When it’s all a cycle

Well, come find these thoughts and pull then out of me

‘Cause they’re nothing I have asked for

Sometimes when sleep becomes your enemy,

It feels better to dream while the sun is accounted for

‘Cause I only wanna let this go

Radical Face Video Games

Swinging in the backyard

Pull up in your fast car

Whistling my name

You open up a beer

And you say, “Get over here

And play a video game.”

I’m in his favorite sun dress

Watching me get undressed

Take that body downtown

And I say, “You the bestest.”

Lean in for a big kiss

Put his favorite perfume on

Go play a video game

But it’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you

Everything I do

I tell you all the time

Heaven is a place on earth with you

Tell me all the things you wanna do

I heard that you like the bad girls

Honey, is that…?

It’s better than I ever even knew

You say that the world was built for two

Only worth living if somebody is loving you

Baby, now you do

Singing in the old bars

Swinging with the old stars

Living for the fame

Kissing in the blue dark

Playing pool and wild darts

Video games

He holds me in his big arms

Drunk and I am seeing stars

This is all I think of

Watching all our friends fall

In and out of Old Paul’s

This is my idea of fun

Playing video games

It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you

Everything I do

I tell you all the time

Heaven is a place on earth with you

Tell me all the things you wanna do

I heard that you like the bad girls

Honey, is that true?

It’s better than I ever even knew

They say that the world was built for two

Only worth living if somebody is loving you

Baby, now you do

Now you do

Now you do

Now you do

Now, now you do

Now you do

Now you do

It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you

Everything I do

I tell you all the time

Heaven is a place on earth with you

Tell me all the things you wanna do

I heard that you like the bad girls

Honey, is that…?

It’s better than I ever even knew

You say that the world was built for two

Only worth living if somebody is loving you

Baby, now you do

Yeah baby, now you do