My New Book - Greg Brown

    Lipstick on a thermos cup,
    lust and whiskey fill it up
    and smoke blows from the chimney to the moon.
    It's much too cold in the Midwest -
    chilly hands cup chilly breasts.
    Things not said fill up every room.
    As he stands there in the door,
    there's no room for him anymore.
    She lies there saying,
    "Honey take one last look."
    I'll tell it all in my new book.

    Above the city 300 feet,
    a derilict in a penthouse suite
    packs his suitcase for the midnight train.
    The rich girl could not face her dream.
    He's bitter coffee, she's sweet cream.
    She pulls on her shirt, outside it rains.
    And later in the rambling dark,
    he'll unwrap her broken heart
    and smile the weary smile of the crook.
    I'll tell it all in my new book.

    Coyote sleeps with everyone,
    but in the morning he's long gone
    and it turns out that he was a she.
    Tales grow tall around the fire.
    Where there's no truth, no one's a liar.
    There is a hole in the day
    through which we make our gateway -
    I make mine every time I'm shook.
    I'll tell it all in my new book.

    We sift through culture run amok
    but our rhythm is still boom-boom-chuck.
    The whole world to us is now a theme park.
    The tourist takes the traveler's place,
    buys a new body, a new face.
    A hymn is not a hymn sung with no heart.
    And I turn to the Man of Woe
    and ask him where there's left to go -
    he points down with his shepherd's crook.
    I'll tell it all in my new book.

    When they lead you to the wood,
    remember that you always should
    leave a trail of black-eyed peas behind
    so I can find my way to you,
    whatever you may get into -
    you are the one I always long to find,
    and when this crazy time is gone,
    we'll a home down by a pond.
    I'd make you a good mate - I love to cook.
    I'll tell it all in my new book.

    On old Cape Cod, it blows agale.
    I'll be Jonah. You be the whale.
    I want to  dive as deep as we can go.
    Your ship is sailing for the dark,
    leave your suitcase, take my heart -
    hold me, stow me, love me very slow.
    Why must this hour come to pass?
    I look at you and raise my glass.
    Our kisses cannot stop the scythe, the hook.
    I'll tell it all in my new book.

    I heard a young man sing a song,
    just that one, and he was gone
    off on the journey we allused to make.
    It was a song like rain and wind,
    reminded me of where I'd been,
    and that wild feeling I can't seem to shake.
    I'd like to go into some shack
    and wait for that kid to come back
    and sing untill the walls and windows shook
    and tell it all in my new book.

    The soldiers meet between the fights
    to drink and gamble half the night
    while waiting for the fresh troops to arrive.
    The battlements will always stand,
    according to the ancient plan,
    not a one of us gets out alive.
    And as we huddled in the smoke,
    I began to get the joke.
    I laughed and kissed you
    while the whole world shook.
    I'll tell it all in my new book.

    Copyright © 1994 Brown-Feldman Publishing


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