Lighting Damp Matches
Lit a match under the world
To see if anyone was still prepared to burn
Or whether we’d all just given up
Killed off all the great leaders
Been led back into the swamp we crawled out of
all those years ago
Before television, before ipods
Before you’d film someone getting beaten
in the street before you’d ever help them
Before the clouds started dropping acid
Before looking for faces in mushroom clouds
And it’s so easy to be negative,
To not want to feel the pain around you
Shut up in a hole pretending
there’s nothing left to do
but wait for the final fall
It’s so easy to let it all go
But is that really what you want?
Write your poems in the dark
Write your last will just in case
Hide from your neighbours
Switch off your phone
Just you and 8,000 pictures of minor celebrities
Is this what it’s come to?
Don’t you ever want to scream?
Raise the volume just for
the sake of lowering the tone?
Don’t you ever want to tap someone on the shoulder
Ask them what the hell is going on?
Catch a bus to somewhere you know no one
Just to be erratic, to cause a stir
If only in your own mind because
You’re tired of being stuck in the
smallest part of such a large world
This is not prison, turn it off, walk outside
Smile at a stranger see if you get a response
It’s not that hard
Nine out of ten times you will
Some days it’s so damn hard
the panic rises in your stomach
up to your throat, your head spins
Wanna run right back inside
Too much too much too much
The devil went down to Georgia
Found out they thought he was already there
Blamed him for the mess
Always has to be someone to blame
Don’t you ever just want to scream?
Run naked through the streets
To see if anyone notices
Make Moose noises in place of words
Start your own talk show with no guests
The Tonight Show featuring an hour of total silence
No bad jokes, no laugh tracks,
You can watch TV in your car now
Is that healthy?
Why don’t you watch the fucking road
before you kill someone
Put the phone down someone’s talking to you
Look up something is falling from the sky
You’re missing the show
Are you walking the wire
or is the metaphor becoming too confusing?
Let it out, don’t hold back
What is the worst that can happen?
Everyone’s too busy being afraid of everything
to notice if you scream
We used to pretend to knock each other down
in the street, raining fake blows and kicks
to see if anyone would stop to help
the man that was fallen
No one ever did
Some days you can be luckier than others
Most days you have to make your own fortune
There are creatures in the forest
you’d be better to avoid
But it’s the quickest path
What do you do?
If you lived in the forest wouldn’t you eat you?
Have some empathy for another creature
Put the gun down
There’s been enough blood spilt
Don’t you think there’s been enough blood spilt?
If your rifle backfires they’ll call it friendly fire
Oh it’s way past half-past more than e-fucking-nough
So what do we do when all the screaming
has left us hoarse and all the wire we walked
is being used to garrotte us?
All that’s left is to smile, laugh out loud
As you spit in the eye of your oppressor,
Or someone else’s if you’re feeling generous
This is the last call
The bar is shutting, it’s cold outside
Find someone to get warm with
This is the huddling season
Love may not be all you need
But love and country songs
are a pretty good pair for a lonely night
You, me Willie Nelson, your daddy’s shotgun
and a box of matches
If you don’t like Willie Nelson
I have Lyle Lovett
Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline?
Mork and Mindy Save Christmas
Is that a porcupine in your pocket
or are you just going to stab me?
The apocalypse is coming to town
and you’re not wearing the nice underwear
You never dress up for me anymore
We’re getting closer to that swamp don’t you think
Our leaders have abandoned us
We’re walking along a path that has
Many holes and low-lying branches
and it’s dark, the river waters are rushing
One slip and you’ll fall in
Won’t you take me with you?
I’m tired of this shit
But what do you mean I’m exaggerating
and you really don’t like Willie Nelson?
Say, my matches are damp
I couldn’t light a phone book
You’d scarcely describe this as poetry
The masterpiece I promised has not materialised
Now you’re wondering if it’s all been a waste of time
The things you say in my mind
make me want to scream
I’m afraid I’m too afraid
My voice catches in my throat
I light a cigarette because I’m addicted to clichÃ©s
Use the last match, inhale
And begin to write