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Agnostic’s Hymn

mp3 [4.7 MB] | Appears on No Destination

if there’s a god then why are people killing in his name?
it makes no sense to me
or am I too blind to see the way it is

if I died tomorrow I wouldn’t care
maybe I should but I haven’t started yet
oh well
oh well

self-righteous bastards own the world
seems like ownership ain’t due
laugh at them, break the wicked calm
run from them ’cause faith is like a bomb
it serves you well till you got nowhere left to hide


Ampume, Ampuyou, Amputee Love

mp3 [19.4 MB] | Appears on Tedium of Life on a Space Colony

this story goes back to when I was 17
this girl I liked when I was 15 liked me
or so it seemed
it’s no stretch to say she was the girl of my dreams
for propriety’s sake let’s call her Darlene
now Darlene was sarcastic, pretty and spoke in a monotone
much like the monotone I use today when I’m in front of a microphone
I digress
she described herself as bookish
an outcast
was I smitten with her?
I think so, yes
she had a boyfriend and I knew that and she knew that I knew that
but we were shootin’ the breeze, talkin’ it up
chewin’ the fat
it was as chatty as any monosyllabic conversation can get
not so hot that you needed to turn down the thermostat, not yet
she said I was like her long lost brother
which looking back was awkward ’cause I was crazy about her

rewind two years
she’d written me a note that said love ya lots
which made my stomach turn into knots
over the next 22 months the seed she planted grew into vines
I was helpless
not a victim, just stranded behind enemy lines
in the throes of adolescence
becoming a young adult
a babe in the woods tossed into the fray by a catapult

I woke up one night in a cold sweat
the feeling of my bare arm against the blanket
I knew I was madly in love with her and couldn’t help it
I was out of my element

we were goofing off in a barn on haystacks
she was joking about a weed stash
I saved a baby goat being crushed by a gate after I heard a metal crash
it was an animal park
we were doing a service project, as you could probably guess
once again I digress
get this
fourteen years later, same place
they euthanized a wallaby
by drowning, allegedly
now back to the story

Darlene and I had a mutual friend
let’s call him Darius
are those two names related?
beats me, they’re made up and I’m not a linguist
this Friday night she and visiting family went to see a superhero movie
and invited Darius and me
and I went even though superheroes bored me
truth is I found ’em kind of corny
Darius and I were in the front of the theater
they were late or we were late and didn’t even meet her
she gave me a ride home
it was raining
then it got crazier than ever

Darlene got back from vacation
Ocean City, Maryland
Darius told me she liked me and I said she has a boyfriend
he said, yeah but she cheats
I thought, okay, well I’m not sure what that means
so I called her up and said Darius said you liked me
then I made the mistaking of asking don’t you have a boyfriend
she said none of your business
but we just broke up
and then I choked

some time later she asked me if I was gonna ask her out
I said, alright do you want to go out
she said that was corny
well maybe, but not as corny as a superhero movie
everything about her was intriguing
she let me kiss her on the cheek, I think
in junior high she tried heroin
she showed me the pinprick
she used to date a dealer
when she lived in Atlanta

she told me I was the 42nd guy she ever dated
I felt so small
unmatched, raw, naked
I didn’t know how to act around her
I didn’t know what to do or say
we commandeered walkie-talkies and yakked up a storm all day
it was the private moments that made me cringe
sharing a soda
peeling an orange
eye contact

we were watching a movie with Darius at Darius’s dad’s house
a lousy horror movie remake about a haunted house
it was so bad
Darius went upstairs to talk to his dad
alone with her in the basement I had a panic attack

as far as I could tell I thought we were a couple
she’d say, if Big Eighties knew we were together would we get in trouble?
cut to the chase
Big Eighties was this older guy who wore sunglasses that were bigger than his face
he was an authority figure, sorta

the circumstances of our being near to each other ended
who was this mysterious person I had just befriended?
could I have learned then I wouldn’t see her again?
and so the first stanza of my romantic ballad comes to an end

ampume, amputee, ampuyou love
ampume, ampuyou, amputee love

next is where it leaves the realm of innocent fun
it would have been news to me then that we were doner than done
overwhelmed by my feelings, in the war of common sense my feelings won
I called her every Mon Wednes Fri Sun Tues Thurs Sat Mon
calling her house her grandma would answer
she’d yell LENA
I was a pest at best and at worst a salamander, a neanderthal
I should have been playing pinball in a pizza parlor
not trying to keep things going with her

then one day a friend told me he saw her at a party making out with some guy
I called her out
me with no right to do so
me, the small fry
I couldn’t describe her in the slightest
my memory was a sieve
at that point the most civil thing I could do was stay out of her biz
I apologized for my fit of jealousy and she said that’s okay
I was as clingy as peanut butter and honey yet still miles away
what was I thinking accusing her like that?
I should be mowed down by gunfire
rat a tat tat tat tat
honestly, I regret every single thing I’ve ever done or said
I wish I could disappear
I wish were dead
before long the situation came to a head
I rang her up one weekend
fingers crossed
freshly picked four-leaf clover
and as fate would have it she said "oh, so-and-so is over"
we’re making baked goods
baked goods, what does that mean?
is it over between me and Darlene?
wish I had a time machine

she sent me an email
it was a raincloud
she said I probably knew where this was going by now
I didn’t
it was inconceivable
I couldn’t even imagine
she’s been dating her boyfriend since months before my episode with her began
she complimented me saying I’m a standup guy
but if I knew what was good for me I would put her out of my mind
yeah right
was that a threat?
I screwed her over royally
did I deserve it?
did she deserve it?
tears came to my eyes
this was a turn of events I couldn’t accept
I don’t remember if I sent a reply
end stanza two

ampume, ampuyou, amputee love
ampume, ampuyou, amputee love
ampume, ampuyou, amputee love
ampuhe, ampushe, amputee

in love with an imaginary version of a real person
I’m gonna kill myself soon

reenacted a hundred years from now I’m the villain of this period piece
in which my hubris and delusion are the central conceits
embellished with techno CDs, carphones and ecstasy
oh, a sidenote about the wallaby
the plot of land changed hands since the earliest part of my story
the weirdest thing I ever said to that girl was I have a wah wah pedal and I plugged it into my portable keyboard
I told her you should hear it
I wasn’t trying to be sleazy
I didn’t know it connoted porn soundtracks from the 1970s
reflecting on my actions now I’ve done irreparable damage to my self-esteem
I’m a total creep
I can’t sleep
there’s nothing redeeming about me
my defining characteristic is a complete lack of agency
I bet the only time I’ve talked to single women is from 9 to 5 during the work week
anyone who’d give me the light of day must be broken
like there must be a catch
I’m not even joking like
it’s a spectator sport
I’m on the bench and I’m batting a thousand
I’m an all-time great
never step up to the plate
I deserve a medallion
to put it more charitably no one’s ever gone steady with me and lived to tell about it
in college my nickname was the assassin ’cause I was so quiet
well, the truth is I wouldn’t hurt a fly
I’d swat myself to kingdom come but I’m too much of a coward to even try

an eternity later I went on a bike ride
a bike ride
bike ride
see I was a couple hundred yards from the spot where I met her
crashed into a drainage ditch or a bridge
might have been caused by a seizure
or was it a flood of a flashback from the past I wonder?
ambulance came and took me to the ER
dislocated my elbow
banged up my head
crushed the top half of the same arm
I bled
I was stumbling around the hospital in a hospital gown concussed beyond belief
a broken record
a jukebox looping the same three questions on repeat

what happened?
who knows I’m here?
was I in love?

what happened?
who knows I’m here?
was I in love?

what happened?
who knows I’m here?
was I in love?
was I in love?

amputated, amputated
will I be amputated?
amputated amputated
will I be amputated?

in love with an imaginary version of a real person
the damage adds up over time



acoustic - mp3 [7.15 MB] / electric - mp3 [7.49] | Appears on Autumnal Jams and Wintry Mix

you’re burned into my retinas
your words are on my tongue
I hear your song when there’s dead silence and my curtain sheets are drawn
with my head sunk in the pillow as I’m drifting off to sleep
your ghost it haunts me but I know it won’t be long
till I see you again with your colors so radiant
I won’t exaggerate
I think about you every day
Alexa, you’re too good for me

you’ve been the ruin of many men before
I’m just the latest on a list
I’m a queue outside the door
I’m a line at the county fair to shoot pigeons made of clay with a potato gun
you never have much to say
Alexa, you can be so cruel

baby, you’re a like a record company
shower me with compliments then take all my money
if I had any funds left I’d put ’em in a time machine
and go back to right before we met

I hear you’ve got a roommate with exactly the same name
I do too
we oughtta trade
please let me live with you
but optical illusions are illusions just the same
I can’t tell how well we’d fit from far away
if one of us might get hurt I’d just as soon not try

I’d like to take you camping
introduce you to my friends
but you’d much rather stay put and not embarass me. you or them
oh you’re such a homebody
a strange bird indeed
despite my wandering flights of fancy you’re all I want or need
Alexa, can I win this game?

lately it’s like we’re playing Russian roulette
except that the revolver isn’t loaded yet
if I should be so lucky as to get what I deserve
I’d be spared the burden of this misery


All Aboard the Combover Express

mp3 [3.05 MB] | Appears on Las Vegas or Bust

I could give my two weeks’ notice
I could burn the building down
but then again I might stay
I could scrounge up all my money
find a new place to live
sometime soon but not today

the feds are closing in but I got too much on the line
I can’t quit now

I’m drinking blood and shredding papers in my room
someone’s tapped my phone
I’m getting paranoid
I bought a ticket in case I change my mind
wouldn’t be the first time

I could list ’em one at a time
I could roll ’em off the tip of my tongue
but I don’t wanna
just take a look outside
I say give it two months and I’ll be livin’ in some hotel
with just a suitcase
and nothin’ else

the feds are closing in
still they’re a couple steps behind
I’m on my way


All They Teach Us in School

mp3 [3.42 MB] | Appears on Music for a Snuff Film

everybody wanna pretend they’re so detached
but they’re not
everybody think everything’s ironic
but it’s not
I promise
all they teach us in school is "be yourself"
what a waste of air

I try to tell the truth
but the words just come out wrong
that’s the price I pay

the waitress doesn’t like you
she’s just trying to make a tip
she tells you that she’s lonely
but you know she doesn’t mean it
we grew up on arcade games
now we’re drunks
make of it what you will

I couldn’t get that loan
the bank thinks I’m a Jew
I should change my name
all they teach us in school is "be yourself"


Amoeba Jenkins, Amoeba at Law

mp3 [2.42 MB] | Appears on Live Inside an Active Volcano

Amoeba Jenkins, Amoeba at Law
opened a practice in Little Rock, Arkansas
he keeps to himself most of the time
’cept when the doorbell rings
he’s not too bad at solitaire
put the red jack on the black queen there
three cards a deal
he never cheats
Earth to Amoeba, the doorbell

technically, he’s a private investigator
why the mixup I’ll get to that
anyhow, so the doorbell rang
and in walked a dame

she suspected her husband of infidelity
Amoeba suspected her of not paying the fee
she handed over some cash and he jumped into a petri dish
said "scrape me into your husband’s milkshake or sandwich"
as to the husband’s actions there remained no doubt
Amoeba was swallowed then sweated out
he could have sworn he’d seen that man before
it was the one who sold him his smoked glass door!

the husband was a specialist in smoked glass doors
also a specialist in smoked glass whores
Amoeba was a specialist in not offending his clients
that single-celled fella had it down to a science

"I need to fix the door," Amoeba said
but he let his mind wander to the dame instead
the only way he could afford to have the door replaced was to use her money

you’re bound to wind up in Little Rock sooner or later
and needing a private investigator
look for a shopping center with a gym and a spa
go see Amoeba Jenkins, Amoeba at Law


Astronaut Letter Goodbye

mp3 [10.2 MB] | Appears on Tedium of Life on a Space Colony

I’m past the point of having anything to offer
as if I ever did
I’m crushed so easily
I’d hate to drag you in

did you hear they found deposits of water on Mars?
I wonder if there’s life up there

I came down the spiral staircase and that’s when I knew
the gulf between us is too wide for me to reach you
I’m in a free fall backwards

what’s wrong with me for not fixing this?
setting things right might have been worth it
but still I’m too fragile and you’re too fragile too
no matter what I’ll feel inadequate
wish I’d just get scooped up by a comet
whisked into the ether

by the time you read this, I’ll be a shadow of dust
removing my helmet when the perfect moment comes
and unwatched by even a single soul I’ll disintegrate

two hundred civilizations from now they’ll find some shred of my time capsule
go ahead and laugh
a copy of this note and a picture I drew

I wonder if in the last split second your life flashes before your eyes
but if time is relative how much will I see before I die?
will it just be the good parts?

by the time you read this, well you know the rest
I searched the aeronautics database before I left
my query: cheap ways to kill yourself that don’t hurt
I never could have done it on the surface of the Earth

they say that space is the final frontier
why could I face that but not my crippling fear?
fear of myself and how I relate to others
I’ll admit it now
you’re stronger than I was


Atheist Debate

mp3 [4.59 MB] | Appears on Wintry Mix

no there’s not a god
yes there is
fuck you
fuck you
hey pal, fuck you tw- sideways

no there’s not a god
yes there is
fuck you
hey fuck you pal, sideways

to say there’s no god is like saying there is a god
and to say there is a god is like saying there’s no good
so the way you frame the question really influences the way it goes goes goes

your dogmatic skepticism really has me worried
what are you eating, birdseed?

st tommy a said beware the man of one book
i say beware the man of no books
i’ll have you know that’s an ad hominem attack
i wish you agnostics would get off my back
you atheists should really cut us some slack
you’re gonna get what’s coming, jack
hedge your bets
atheists in foxholes
religious paraphernalia in center consoles

no there’s not a god
yes there is
fuck you
hey pal, fuck you twi-


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