A Likely Story
2002

i go to pieces

When I was born
Mother set me right side up
So I could look around
And see what I would miss
It's not a perfect life
So why do I, why do I, why do I go to pieces?
Why do I, why do I, why do I go to pieces?

And when in school
Teachers told me I was smart
But I was not as smart
As they had wished I'd been
I'll never measure up
So why do I, why do I, why do I got to pieces?

Now on the train into town
I'm coming out of my skin
I find as I'm looking back
I don't know where I begin
And when I try to relax
My heart is breathing so quick
There's something stuck in my throat
There's something making me sick
Oh - - Oh

I found a voice
But what did I communicate?
The kind of song and dance
That made you turn away
It's not a perfect world
So why do I, why do I, why do I go to pieces?
Why do I, why do I, why do I go to pieces?

 

building an empty house

Walter, how does it feel to die?
To leap and to underlie by slipping through yourself
And Walter, know when I say good-bye
You'll never make me cry
I've got it figured out
The wall goes up, they're plastering
So I might never feel a thing
The truth or consequences
Of an endless waste of time

Oh -- I'm building an empty house
I've sent away for the plans
A hollowed out home
Where there's no pain or suffering

Lost it, all that you've meant to me
They're chopping the family tree for lousy firewood
And I let tenderness dissipate
The tumble down real estate
That used to be my heart
The wall goes up, they're plastering
So I might never feel a thing
The truth or consequences
Of an endless waste of time

Oh -- I'm building an empty house
Where company can't come in
A hollowed out home
Where there's no comfy furniture

Oh -- I'm building an empty house
I've sent away for the plans
A hollowed out home
Where there's no pain or suffering

Oh -- I'm building an empty house
I'm building an empty house
I'm building an empty house

 

broken

I never cried, though I sure as hell tried
And the silence made quite a commotion
As I was weak, I attempted to speak
Without showing the slightest emotion

Though daylight tore through my secret
And made me tell
I'm still slumbering under
The same old spell -- where I look well
But I'm broken ain't I?
Broken --
Broken ain't I now?

Broken down by the elements
By the hammering hurt that is rage
In a snow white storm
Never mind anonymity
I reluctantly see that it's me
I must save myself from

After dessert, as I spit out the hurt
That I came to confuse with affection
I'll be apart from my head to my heart
When I mercifully cut the connection

Asleep still hovering horrible
Half in life
I swear over and over in this dark night
That I'm all right
But I'm broken ain't I?
Broken --
Broken ain't I now?

 

stumble and fall

Take it, I can't take it
One more jolt and I'm coming down
Maybe I'm not standing
With both feet on the ground

I don't know what happened
I just knew I've been busted through
And sometimes I start running
'Cause I don't know what to do

So when I stumble and fall
Into your arms in the wide open spaces
You know I stumble and fall
Into your ether, but nothing erases
The world from me
The world from me
I take it on --
Take it on

Lord knows I got troubles
I don't know how to let 'em go
Before we get closer,
There's something you should know...

That when I stumble and fall...

With my confidence broke in places,
You could fill in the empty spaces
When I come for my saving graces
Will you be waiting?
Will you be waiting?

When I stumble and fall...
When I stumble and fall...
When I stumble and fall

Will you be waiting?
Will you be waiting?
Will you be waiting?

 

sitting in the big chair

In the time it takes for me to tell you
That I've been feeling sorry for myself
You'll affix a tidy diagnosis
Saying, “Now let's move on to something else”
'Cause there are times
In our neverminds
Where we draw the blinds
At the breakdown
Sitting in the Big Chair
Sitting in the Big Chair

Now that I am somewhat out of balance
How will I know if any tilt is true?
You were kind to acquiesce to counsel
Someone who's not appreciative of you
And can't you see
When you look at me
It's a third degree
It's a breakdown
Sitting in the Big Chair
Sitting in the Big Chair

To relate a myriad of problems
Well, there is only so much I can say
When I sit beside myself I wonder,
Why do I feel I'm always in the way?
'Cause there are times
In our neverminds
When we draw the blinds
At the breakdown
Sitting in the Big Chair
Sitting in the Big Chair

 

ecstasy

Are you waiting for me ecstasy?
On the brink of some catastrophe
When I drop behind the drapery

Are you waiting for me loneliness?
In the silent night of your caress
When I'm walking through the wilderness
I confess

I'm yanking off the necklace
My heart is beating reckless
I cut myself to show you the scar
Your robe will not receive me
I know that, but please believe me
I only want to be where you are

Are you waiting for me ecstasy?
I'm alive and I don't want to be
Death is sending a facsimile

As I become a bother
I move to meet the Father
And tarnish the immaculate text
I'm selling off the crystal
To buy a loaded pistol
But can't remember what to do next

Are you waiting for me ecstasy?
Are you waiting for me ecstasy?
Are you waiting for me ecstasy?
Are you waiting for me?
Are you waiting for me?
Are you waiting for me?

 

putting it alright

Sometimes I'm wanting you to understand me
I keep it moving, but I'm inarticulate
My life is something less than what it could be
Putting it alright

I fought the little pill before it took me
into it's metaphor and made me less afraid
I came around to where you thought I should be
Putting it alright

I can't go out there
When I feel so awful in
Cowardice requires a certain
Morbid discipline
Putting it alright

Now in a temper, I shall tame the outburst
Whatever rattles when I plainly fall apart
I may be better, but I seem to feel worse
Putting it alright

 

phenomenon

Suicide use to be temporary
As desperate measures go
Now everlasting
What's a little breakdown?
Why be so unhappy?
Look around you now, it's good to be alive

We're a Phenomenon
Phenomenon
And it doesn't really matter what they say
We are

What a shame, everyone sees their likeness
Turn away from them
As they are passing
Don't they understand how
Near to gone we all are?
With our little voices talking to ourselves

We're a Phenomenon...

In the after hours, with my superpowers
I'm a super fake
At the intersection, giving you direction
I could never take

What a shame, everyone sees their likeness
Turn away from them
As they are passing
Don't they understand how
Near to gone we all are?
Who'd have thought I'd say
It's good to be alive?

We're a Phenomenon...

 

the button pushed

And there they were all dressed up
To lie in faith, to dream their desperate dream
Inculpable as they waved
His motorcade across the tiny screen
It must have been long ago
The film was slow and blood was black and white
And holding his coffee cup,
My dad stood up and cried with old Cronkite

The button pushed, the picture popped,
The image sucked in on itself...

I wanted the Sinbad belt
On Captain Delta's famous cartoon show
And I wrote in every week to hear him speak
My name was never called

The button pushed, the picture popped,
The image sucked in on itself...

And setting our counter clocks
By that small box that we turned on at night
Did mangle our memory such
That what we watched is what because our lives

The button pushed, the picture popped,
The image sucked in on itself...

They sat in the window seat
Across the street, the Golden State Air Show
A party in its flight path
Their paper hats went up the fireball

The button pushed, the picture popped,
The image sucked in on itself...

 

stay

I want to wish you were here,
And then you're gone
Though life is pitifully short,
The day is long
I want to make you a perfect memory
I want keep you forever with me

Stay, stay,
Stay red robin
By my cottage door
Stay, stay,
Go on living like you did before

The awful after a storm,
A branch has dropped
I'm just beginning to live,
Where you have stopped
When you decided the world at random,
You needed something you cold abandon

Stay, stay,
Stay red robin...

I know I'm dragging the past,
Your death, indoors
I'm always dredging the hedge
For what was yours
So evermore in the grey December,
I won't forget you, I will remember

Stay, stay,
Stay red robin
By my cottage door
Stay, stay
Go on living
Like you did before,
Like you did before,
Nothing matters more

 

joy

It's not the way I am,
But it's the way I thought I'd like to be
Intermittently
To sing my little song, To know my heart is resonating clear
So that I might hear
The perfect intonation of my Joy

It's not the way we are,
But it's the way I'd always wished we were
Stranger things occur
And I'm hoping that they will
Whenever sorrow snaps the balustrade
Whenever we're afraid
And we're standing on the precipice of Joy

Don't leave me now
Don't turn away
'Cause I'm in love with you
Don't break my heart
'Cause I don't know what I'm prepared to do

It's not the way it is,
But it's the way I wanted it to be
Through adversity
Just to run the race,
No matter when I cross the finish line,
Don't worry I'll be fine
'Cause I'm taking home the blue ribbon of Joy