Marionette

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Tugged from the box where her wrappings protect her
Carefully placed on the stage
Strings on the joints that will make her an actor
Fit for the part she will play

It’s a clever surprise
It’s a perfect charade
Not a soul would suspect
All the nights she has cried
With this sturdy disguise
And a smile that won’t fade
She is dancing in time
But she’s empty inside

Held up by ribbons and strings to support her
Well rehearsed lines and replies
Looking so much like the girl they have ordered
But for those colorless eyes

It’s a masterful turn
It’s a desperate act
To protect what is left
Of a magical life
But she packs it away
When she exits the back
And the smiles are gone
When she’s down for the night

Little marionette, you don’t have to pretend
You were made without strings
You were born into tears
Little marionette, you have color and skin
You can mount up with wings
You are stronger than fear
Little marionette, let the audience wait
They can come back again
You don’t have to perform
Little marionette, it is never too late
If you really must dance
Would you dance in my arms?

In

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Eyes threaded like needles
Sewn up with crude little stitches and sealed
Lips tied up with ribbons
Beautifully binding the passage of sound
Barbed wire and fences
Guarding the secrets we never revealed
Lashed, knotted and twisted
Under these cables that hold it all down

But, underneath, the rest of me
Is struggling to breath
And it may be the death of me
But I would like to leave
If only it were safe to be
The things that I have been…
I want them to unfasten me
And let the sunlight in

No Reply

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I found the tears
They were waiting for me
In the driver’s seat
On an empty street
Parked over the line
Where no one cared
Jill Phillips told me
“If we danced like this everyday”
But I cannot breathe
And just barely move
Enough to push it out
All of it out
This God-awful pain
But I don’t complain
I can be civil and sweet
Faceless and obsolete
I just wish that life
Could go away
Stop nursing me back to health
Just leave me here
To slip into the dark
In the car
With a guitar and a bleeding heart
Beneath blinking red lights
Can I come home tonight?
“I want to go home tonight”
I. Want. To. Go. Home.
But there is no reply

If Only I Were

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If only I were bulletproof
The words they shoot could not offend
If only I were bulletproof
I would not be afraid

If only I were bulletproof
Opinions would not break my skin
If only I were bulletproof
I would not feel a thing

If only I were diamond cut
I could not shatter easily
If only I were bulletproof
I could endure the pain

If only I were hardened steel
These arrows could not puncture me
If only I were bulletproof
My shoulders would not strain

Alas, I am not bulletproof
But wounded here upon my back
If only I were bulletproof
But no, I am too weak

I never could be bulletproof
And so I fell to these attacks
But though I am not bulletproof
I still refuse retreat

Healer

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Down is not where you belong
A creature of such grace
Should never need a cage

Though your body is not strong
And sometimes misbehaves
The molecules betray you

I would take the very breath out of my lungs
To give you one more moment
If I could be your healer

I would break the hands of death to keep you warm
And give you one more moment
If I could be your healer

I would siphon off the blood
And steal the beats from my own heart
If I could save the ones I love
Is it too late to wake them up?

I would trade my fading pulse
And break my hourglass apart
If I could give the grains to you
If there was something I could do

I would forfeit all the smiles that I am losing anyway
To put the stars back in your sky and for a moment make you safe
Do we have to be so helpless? Does this distance have to be?
I wish I could be your healer

How I miss you here with me

Wake Up Screaming

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It’s been too long
Too much on my mind
I don’t recall myself at all
It went so wrong
Too much undefined
Before the last of me dissolved

Asleep
I thought that it was real
I thought that this was life
But I must have been dreaming

I keep
Noticing the threads
Starting to unwind
Someday I will wake up screaming

It’s cut too deep
Too close to the heart
I feel I’m slipping down a hole
What I can’t speak
Is tearing me apart
And I’m afraid that if I go…

To sleep
I’ll think that it was real
I’ll think that this was life
But I must have been dreaming

I keep
Noticing the threads
Starting to unwind
Someday I will wake up screaming

Somebody please
Won’t you pinch me and wake me
Something in dreams
Is attempting to take me
I once believed
All I needed was right there
I want to live
But I’m living a nightmare

Oh, sleep
I thought that you were real
I thought that I was right
But I must have been dreaming

I keep
Tossing in my bed
About to lose my mind
One day I will wake up screaming

Vampire

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Feel, oh feel the blood congeal
The organs stutter
Heartbeats flutter

Feel, oh feel the thickened skin
Eyes recolored
Breathing smothered

Maybe I’m alive
Or maybe I am living dead
Apathy impaled and disenchanted

Maybe I’m infected
Maybe I am the disease
Am I too far gone to understand it?

Am I a vampire?
I feel like I am burning in the light
This transformation…
I can’t see my reflection anymore

Am I a vampire?
I suffer but I never seem to die
Am I a monster?
My bed feels like a coffin on the floor

Heretic

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Lash it on, lash them tight
Light the darkness tonight
With the kerosene of flesh
From the hands of heretics

Bring them out, bring them down
To the center of town
Tie them up without a sound
Burn the wicked to the ground

God, I feel the singe on my skin
And the ropes around my wrists
Where is the evidence for this?
There is no evidence for this

God, I feel them breathing down my neck
As they set us all on fire
Take my spirit if you must
But I will not be a liar

Oh, the truth shall set you free
Free in flames; free in flames
But they see no fault in me
Unashamed; I’m unashamed
Spread my ashes to the wind
Tell them I would not repent
I will suffer for the crowd
But I am not a heretic

How can everyone who knows me
Think that I would be so ugly?
How can even those who love me
Think that I am so unholy?
Will these ashes bring redemption
If the crimes are your invention?
Prove me guilty here, I dare you
There is nothing to confess to

God, I feel the smoke attack my lungs
And their words upon my back
Would you leave me so unarmed?
So unready for attack

God, I know you led me to this place
If you leave me for the flame
I will stand beside my choice
I will not repent for pain

The truth shall set you free
Free in flames; free in flames
But they see no fault in me
Unashamed; I’m unashamed
Spread my ashes to the wind
Tell them I would not repent
I will suffer for the crowd
But I am not a heretic

Fallen

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In league with painted angels
Enfolded visage scarred
From catapults of stars
We are fallen

On fabricated leaflets
These borrowed pagan hearts
And accidental wars
We are fallen

Disfigured in appearance
Majestic though we are
The oracles are marred
We are fallen

Abandoned to our bleeding
Our wings so torn apart
In agony of art
We are fallen

In Absence Of Tears

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When I could cry no longer
My tears became a fire
A brand upon my passion
To set the world ablaze

When I could cry no longer
My eyes abandoned color
Abrasions from the anger
Impressed upon my gaze

When I could cry no longer
The shadows in my corners
These denizens distorted
Invaded my respite

When I could cry no longer
My life became my torture
My waking turned to anguish
Which followed me to night

When I could cry no longer
The emptiness and hunger
The stresses I was under
Became a prison cell

When I could cry no longer
My grief became the sulfur
My pain became the chamber
My mind became a hell

The Band Played On

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Oh God, we’re sinking slowly
Cold and lonely
This is a tragedy

These icy depths below me
Rising slowly
Witness calamity

Oh God, where are you now
We will drown and
What will they say of you?

The lights are going out
All around me
What are we meant to do?

And the band played on
A melody
A sad sad song
Hear the horns and strings
And the whole world crashed
Down on me
While the band played on
Through the final scene

Oh God, we die so soon we
Don’t have time to
Say our last goodbyes

This gaping wound that makes us
Doomed before we
Ever close our eyes

Oh God, I wanted this I
Don’t have strength to
Point the blame at you

But as we’re going down these
Fates appear so
Cruel and undue

And the band played on
A melody
A last surrender
To the deep
While the whole world crashed
Down on me
But the band played on
And so did we

Razor Wire Heartstrings

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Spun with the greatest care
Patterns woven gently into hearts

Embedded firmly in our tissue
Scattered stains of love so torn apart

Wounded memories
Captive on serrated edge

Silent, the tragedy
Played out in crimson agony

Razor wire heartstrings
Dazed from being so entangled

Strands of jagged metal
Wrapped around our chest

Razor wire heartstrings
Digging in from every angle

Twisting our emotions
Tightening with every breath

Visiting Hours

The windows are clean
The pillows are soft
The sheets are pristine
The TV is off

I miss you so much
Won’t you come around
We haven’t heard a whisper
We haven’t heard a sound

If can hear me
If you are awake
I came to see you
So you don’t forget

I don’t have a lot
But I brought you flowers
I’m only allowed
For visiting hours

The medicine is stronger
The treatments are longer
Than we could have dreamed

I know that you’re tired
And you don’t belong here
But I still believe

One day the doctor
Will tell us you’re better
And you’re ready to leave

But I will keep coming
And sitting beside you
Until you revive

The bed is adjusted
The magazines placed
My fingers are warm
On your quiet face

I miss you so much
I wish you were here
Just wanted to say
There is someone who cares

Suture

Piece by piece
Needles repairing me
Faded from sight
Drawing a line
Crisscross the wound

Stoke by stroke
Strings pull the edges close
Sealing the gash
Healing at last
Here in this room

It won’t take much
To tear this all apart again
Sensitive touch
To save a broken heart again
Sometimes I slip
And bleed from all these scars again
I bite my lip
And go back to the start again

Maybe in time
I’ll hold together well
Toughen my skin
Harder within
Fend off the world

Stitch by stitch
Coming together now
Struggle to stand
For all that I am
Spirit unfurled

This therapy
To exercise my thoughts within
Is there in me
To reach out for a closer friend
So bear with me
The stains are all on accident
I tear and bleed
But one day all these wounds will mend

Coming Forth

Close me in a warmth
Like a blanket in the cold
That never loses heat

Quiet in the dark
With a tiny beating heart
And your arms around me

All I ever knew
Floating peaceful in this room
As I rock myself to sleep

Every day I grew
Hidden safely in the womb
With my head between feet

Then it was the day
When my world began to break
Like the walls around me

Taking me away
To an unfamiliar place
How the lights were blinding

Pressing on my bones
For the burning in my lungs
And I cried for mercy

Suddenly alone
Skin exposed to all the cold
I was tired and thirsty

Somewhere through the pain
I can hear you call my name
And your arms surround me

Nothing I could say
But I’m grateful for the way
I was not abandoned

Maybe here again
When my world is caving in
And the walls collapsing

I am coming forth
In a different kind of birth
As I cry for mercy

Even through the pain
I can hear you call my name
And your arms around me

Nothing I can say
But I’m grateful for the way
You have not abandoned

Fashion And Fatalities

You wear your skin convincingly
As if it’s where you want to be
But I can see, oh, I can see
And nothing here is fooling me

You wear your smile so finely peeled
As if it’s how you really feel
But I can see, oh, I can see
And nothing here is fooling me

You wear that dress so confident
As to impress with elegance
But I can see uncertainty
And nothing here is fooling me

You wear your Jewelry like a charm
As if it keeps you safe and warm
But I can see you’re disbelief
And nothing here is fooling me

I don’t intend to condescend
As if I don’t know how you feel
I can see, oh, I can see
Because you look a lot like me

I wear my heart out on my sleeve
As if that’s where it’s meant to be
And we can leave, oh, we can leave
Because none of them are fooling me

Oh So Still

The teeth are out tonight
Just be motionless and quiet
The eyes are on the prowl
Making fearful sorts of sounds

But I learned early life is scary
Everything out to get me
Don’t disturb the silence
And stay oh so still

I learned early no one knows me
Everyone is cold and lonely
Don’t disturb the balance
Just stay oh so still

The mob is out tonight
Just be motionless and quiet
With torches held as swords
It’s a vicious little world

I learned early life is scary
There are secrets you should bury
Don’t leave any footprints
And be oh so still

I learned early life is scary
This disguise is necessary
Never let them see you
And be oh so still

But maybe just maybe
If I don’t move a muscle
The eyes will not see me
The teeth will not bite

And maybe just maybe
If nothing can find me
My silence will save me
And I will survive

String In My Chest

There’s a string in my chest
Attached to the mess
We left unswept
The day you left

And I keep it all in
Away from the friends
And prying eyes
That ask me why

There’s a string in my chest
That will sometimes catch
On certain songs
Or random thoughts

And unravel the seams
That spill all the things
I try to keep
So nice and neat

And the string in my chest
Is hanging from my heart

It’s a dangerous game
I’m sure it’s not too smart

For a valuable thing
To be so quickly torn

But it wasn’t my plan
It’s just how I was born

There’s a string in my chest
That sometimes comes undone

When the threads are snagged
On fragments of my love

There’s a string in my chest
That makes me think of you

It’s a beautiful mess
We got ourselves into

Tragedy Is In Love With Me

Tragedy is in love with me
And I’m in love with her
Can you see what she’s done to me

Tragedy is my bestest friend
I take her everywhere
We can be what we want to be

Tragedy is in love with me
And she can be so sweet
Everything is a fantasy

Tragedy is my nearest kin
I feel her in my blood
We can be what we want to be

Tragedy is in love with me
She likes to hold my hand
We make up when we disagree

Tragedy is my mirror mask
She always understands
We can be what we want to be

Tragedy is in love with me
She never wants to leave
Every evening she follows me

Tragedy is my better half
She helps my heart believe
We can be what we want to be

Second Plan

Was I brave or was I reckless
I can’t decide as I look at this
Mess I’m in with only me to blame

Was it wrong to think that love is
Bigger than the walls around us
Nothing here will ever be the same

Clouds roll in and I roll over
In my bed but it’s not over
Questions linger hanging from
These ceilings where the pain began

I don’t know how to recover
Grasping just to face another
Day where I can understand
To love without a second plan

Was I brave or was I reckless
I can’t decide as I look at this
Mess I’m in with only me to blame

Still I must believe that love is
Bigger than these walls around us
When it comes it changes everything