April 25, 2008
When I rode off into the sunset
there was no blackout
or camera behind me.
I did not recede into the distance.
I was still very much present
with what I had left behind.
My horse was thirsty
from how far I ran him.
And your God as my witness
I ran him
until I rode into town here and realized
I am not the end of a movie.
I am done playing sunsets for lonely.
My best days are the days I see clearly
so I had hoped
to come clean here perfectly
for you and the whole saloon
but there is no polish on the table tonight.
Expect rough spots then
when I show you my cards.
These hands we were dealt
The spades could get under your skin.
I was livin’ with’m under my skin.
They were diggin’ up into my film strip.
I was ridin’ with’m stuck in my heart.
It is work to ride head up and holy here.
It is painters with slack in their brush,
painters all jacked up
on stampede dust
just tryin’ to get it right.
I’ve been trying to get it right.
I’ve been learning here how to grow larger
than the monsters alive in my dreams
swinging a crow bar
out of my whistle
and grand pianos out of my rust.
I shot typewriter keys out of cannons I keep
aimed at the bandits alive in my trust.
There were bandits alive in my trust
come to burn down the verbs
left alone in my blood
barkin’ like dogs in a combine.
My horse head sweat
like a war on a land mine
jawbone chomp at the bit
like a bear trap telegraph.
I know I look
like a bleeding dot
by now from where you stand
where there is mad dash
and such wild west
and it is raining down locomotives on a horse
who might not have a name
but who carries a trough in his chest
empty as it may be today
from feeding bandits disguised as the Pony Express
comin’ up spades and splinters,
my workhorse spittin’ out hammers and ink.
There is a colony of bad fathers
who built this place
still alive in the way I was led to think
like a snake
who can shed its own crucifixion
or a midnight rider
who leaves his beast
under whip of the daylight sky.
It’s why I looked like gallop cursive
when you held me under the horizon line
every single silver screen I stole
riding high on my filthy electric whale
like a bullet through a junkyard ghost.
Ya know, I don’t care to be good, Sheriff.
I care to be whole.
So read what it says in my buckles boy
Take your sunset out of my rise.
I will not send you sailing if you came here to drive
and I know you came here to drive.
That’s why it reads won’t give up on your saddle
like I wrote don’t give up on my life
like I’ve been typing my name
on a horse I drove
through the desert as sure as a river he ran
and I swear on my shadow
he wouldn’t turn back
no matter how much slack I typed into his neck.
Not everyone wants to go home
to get the sunset painted back into their bones
to have the law with all that slack in its love
pretending to save me
you don’t need to save me
I already did that myself
when your god as my witness
never turned up
there was a typewriter
buried alive in that horse