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Half-Sabbatical of Gun-Metal Black

mp3 [9.65 MB] | Appears on Tedium of Life on a Space Colony

Gun-Metal Black took a half-sabbatical
dean of the art school had a heart attack
Sky Blue was not pleased nor was Hot Pink
baby with the bathwater
kitchen sink
Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow were crying
they thought Gun-Metal Black was heaven-sent
in any event
gone for seven semesters
putting best foot forward hundred ten percent

watercolor professor had to rewrite the syllabus
filed a formal complaint
lack of that color is killing us
administration said technically black is the absence of light
second complaint said still we can’t paint
and technically I’m going on strike
such is the plight of the academic
say it again and again till you’re red in the face
ceremonial decoration of a didgeridoo
olive green, magenta and blue

a painter sat staring at a blank canvas
the burdens of life weighing heavily
sketched a unicorn tearing pages off a calendar
this piece de resistance belongs in a gallery

Lime Green had a crush on Gun-Metal Black
GMB was a one-eyed jack
played a double-neck guitar through a half-stack
a wolf on track to get ahead of the pack pack pack pack pack

watercolor professor wasn’t messing around
wrote a letter lickety split that weighed 15 pounds
an hour later it showed up at the department chair’s door
manila envelope tore open and a tome dropped to the floor
was it worth the wait?
here’s an excerpt

I sliced an orange by rigging a knife to a door hinge
colors spill from an artery
rainbow syringe
loud teal sport jacket over ink-stained slacks
left sleeve of green t-shirt held a cigarette pack
elbow patches which time faded light brown
cut of a motley cloth for a night on the town
we share the same paranoias
underappreciated and overfed
when we celebrate it’s joyous
the subtle differences between maroon and red

and then Gun-Metal black came right back


Halloween with the V.C.C.S.S.

mp3 [6.41 MB] | Appears on Summer Jams of re-Itori Jones

for Halloween I was gonna be Jye Stids
but no one even knows who Jye Stids is
well let me clue you in
he’s my least favorite imaginary friend

my first imaginary friend was named Michael Joodgy
he had a big sister named Crystal Joodgy
I invented her ’cause I had a sister
they must have been orphans
no Mrs. or Mr.
they lived in the treehouse behind our house
until they tried to move to a townhouse
they moved to Foxamill
that’s a shopping center

what kind of a shopping center makes imaginary friends move away?
I mean what kind of a child makes imaginary friends move away?

another of my acquantances is Ridiculo Yarmuve
he’s on trial for not being likeable
I should have invented him a public defender
unfortunately that’s not on my agenda

solipsistic thoughts to the Nth degree
if I survive my real friends they’ll live on in my memory
but if I die first there’ll be no more re-Itori
re-Itori Jones is my alter ego

my real friend Z and I visited our real friend B
who was home on break from his first semester at the university
we parked in the driveway but I stayed in the car
the driveway may or may not have been covered in wet tar
it wasn’t
then I heard "REINFELD we’re going inside"
I said "sorry it’s that in my head there’s an irrational child"
"oh yeah, what’s his name? "
"his name is"
I got out
there was a doormat that read "Season’s Greetings"
I said "his name’s Sezun
S-E-Z-U-N and don’t you forget it"
ever since that day I’ve blamed Sezun for everything


Halo Eyes

mp3 [7.51 MB] | Appears on Album, Overrated

halo eyes
you’ve got a mask on
halo eyes
you’ve got a grasp on me
I told the truth but you won’t hear it
I showed my hand but you can’t see

halo eyes
you’ve got a mask on
halo eyes
you’ve got a grasp on me
I told the truth but you won’t hear it
[I told the truth but you won’t hear it]
I showed my hand but you can’t see
[I showed my hand but you can’t see]

halo eyes
you’ve got a mask on
halo eyes
you’ve got a grasp on me
[halo eyes
you’ve got a mask on]
I told the truth but you won’t hear it
[halo eyes
you’ve got a grasp on me]
I showed my hand but you can’t see


Hammock Song

mp3 [17.28 MB] | Appears on Bookbinding and Other Songs

I emerged from the coma unscathed
and, having lost all talent for language
found myself starting from scratch
sittin’ in a hammock
conjugating verbs
sipping lemonade
the noun spiffers where it wants
a ring is what you put on a finger
a king is a man with a crown
head on pillow means I’m sorry
to say nothing is to wish good luck

I built and staged it most fluidly
lives and dies in the trenches of common sense
preserved or not on the movie sets

pushing formations from the top down
some stick
some don’t
I seen subjects crushed alive by predicates

I spew racial epithets not yet existing
consonant vowel consonant
a little slot machine

I whup imaginary friends in homemade spelling bees
and get high marks in grammar at the pie-eating bee
best of all is the silence bee
you just zip up your lips and wait



mp3 [4.39 MB] | Appears on Bookbinding and Other Songs

how do I explain my misery without it sounding like I’m whining?
for the sake of discussion let’s call it discontent
honesty was never my strong suit
when people ask me how I’m doing and I say fine chances are I’m lying
it must be unpleasant to know someone’s depressed so I toe the party line

I give myself till New Year’s Day to sort out my affairs
if I can’t, death it is
no more ultimatums
my arteries are venetian canals
I’ve lost my way

if life is worth living I remain unconvinced
I’m only sticking around for the sake of my parents
their every attempt to talk me out of this funk
comes through like a sales pitch for a used car
my dad could just as well not have nancied my mom
I’m here by happenstance
a cosmic accident
yesterday a carpet come out from beneath me
I went from haha crazy to mentally ill
origami unfolded

I give myself what’s left of March to tie up all loose ends
after that April Fool’s
I’m playing hooky forever
the question’s not if, it’s when where and how
you’ve been warned


Hating on the Multinationals

mp3 [5.58 MB] | Appears on Autumnal Jams

when you swim with a shark you get bit
when you sit in a waiting room you get sick
when you sneak up on a mule you get kicked
when you walk in rush hour traffic you get hit
what’d you expect, kid?

everybody here is in with the mob
with the MBAs a job is a job
like Robin Hood except the poor get robbed
victims of a mail-order catalog
oh, forgot to say it’s family owned
law enforcement tapping the phone
enemy corpses sink like a stone
Atlantic Ocean, court date postponed

let’s stop worshipping Mom and Pop
who’s to say they don’t run a sweatshop?
beyond the jurisdiction of a plainclothes cop
tossin’ bodies off a rooftop
profit motive at a smaller scale
get a load of this: hardware storekeep’s in jail
whatever you do don’t post bail if all you got is a hammer
like we said it’s family owned
corporate spies tapping the phone
quarterly earnings sink like a stone
change of venue court date postponed

you use the word conglomerate like it’s a swear word
it’s an honorific, haven’t you heard?
litterbug condemns the purveyors of industrial sludge
hypocrite holds a grudge

on the business end of a major corporation
your only defense is righteous indignation
junk food marketed as good clean fun
as opposed to alcohol, tobacco and guns
at least you know what you’re dealing with what with the nutrition information
I hate to be an apologist but you’re hating on the multinationals for no reason

another question: why do poor people have pets when they can’t afford ’em?
buy something that eats and starve to death or else you’ll die of boredom
you’re hating on the multinationals for no good reason

wolf she ma mom
wolf wolf she ma mom
synclonized spimmers

wolf she ma mom
wolf wolf she ma mom
synclonized spimmers

can’t afford ’em
they can’t afford ’em


Heartbreak Run

mp3 [4.12 MB] | Appears on Greg Reinfeld & the Opinionettes

when I broke out the Erie County jail
there was no one in my way
with a sawed-off shotgun and a .38
I was invincible
I wanna bash my fuckin’ head against the wall
the wheels of justice chewed me up and left me paralyzed

stopped at a diner by the side of the road
had flapjacks smothered in milk marmalade
the dishes were clean but service was slow
you’d be better off eating on a fishing boat

as a kid I hated strangers
pinch my cheek and ask what grade I’m in
adulthood so far’s been about the same
now the people on my case all wear a uniform

the forces of nature conspire against me
you’d think at this age I’d be used to seasons changing
I could tell where I was by the slope of the farmland
cops were sending ilegales whence they came

I lost sight of my original goal as the body count multiplied
that is to say, I saw the forest from the meadow
and the forest from the lake
but then when I got there

a wanted sign’s a perfect souvenir
nine-star generals taking aim and acting dignified


Here Come the Lawyer in the Pinstripe Suit

mp3 [22.43 MB] | First track on Winning Is Rhyming (continuous mix)

you tried to call me on the phone but I wasn’t home
wipe your tears off
leave a message at the tone
I might not be here
I might be asleep
whatever it is leave a message at the beep
get it through your thick skull that I don’t wanna talk to you
you’re dead to me
you’re see-through
if I’d have known that it’d get like this
I woulda put all my money in a mattress

I was born with a prick that was longer than it shoulda been
sometimes I wish it had grown since then
I came home from the hospital five days old
pissed on my sister or so I’m told
I had a lump in my sack by the age of one and a half
the doctor pulled it out and then asked for my autograph
I scribbled my name and that was that
little did I know it was a child porn contract


High School (Makes Me Wanna Cry)

mp3 [3.94 MB] | Appears on Music for a Snuff Film

high school makes me wanna cry
it’s like I’m a dog in heat
and my owner lost the keys
the bullies always pick on me
and this is what they say

go join the chess club
go join the chess club
go join the chess club
stop messing ’round with my girl

she was cheering at the game
she would look at me
with her boyfriend on the field
the other team was killing us
so I stood up and screamed

let’s try a field goal
let’s try a field goal
let’s try a field goal
hey, we’re too far behind

I’m so smart
I won’t get caught


Higher and Deeper

mp3 [3.6 MB] | Appears on Las Vegas or Bust

you devoted your life to base-10 mathematics
you never even questioned it once
your only mistake
you took too much for granted
now somebody’s paying the price

you’re waging war with bows and arrows
you’re trick-or-treating in Beverly Hills
someone should put you in your place
you’re an idiot savant
a grown-up child genius
nothing’s there to break your fall
of course you got it right
you pick only easy targets
and it’s too late

now you’re going grey
retirement’s upon you
your stamp collection’s gathering dust
you’re talkin’ awful big
you’re gonna paint yourself into a corner
think before you speak

you’re waging war with bows and arrows
you’re trick-or-treating in Beverly Hills
someone should put you in your place
you’re an idiot savant
a grown-up child genius
nothing’s there to break your fall
of course you got it right
you pick only easy targets
and it’s too late now


Hindu Freddy

mp3 [8.36 MB] | Appears on Autumnal Jams

Hindu Freddy used to be a skateboarder
he sold every earthly possession of his each for a quarter
Hindu Freddy grew up in Bed-Stuy
it took us all by surprise
he was such a nice guy
he said "take your creature comforts
stick ’em where the sun don’t shine
I’m moving to India
sleep on a bed of nails at bedtime"

Hindu Freddy was the Bishop of France
he said "I’m tired of doing this bishop dance"
he’s so good at doing skateboard tricks
ollies 180s and kickflips
he’s probably good enough to get a corporate sponsor
that’s a lot of money, Freddy
what you walking away for?
he said "I just discovered Eastern philosophy
I just read about a prophecy
like a skateboarder from New York named Freddy is gonna be an important mystic in some distant city"
so he took a direct flight to New Delhi
with no money in his pockets and no food in his belly
Hindu Freddy was the Bishop of France
he gave Mass one last time in a trance
then said "stick your ony hat where the sun don’t shine
I don’t need it where I’m going"

sleeping on a bed of nails dreaming about sleeping on a bed of nails dreaming about
sleeping on a bed of nails dreaming about showing up naked at the first day of school

his spinal cord
that strand of spaghetti
passersby avert their eyes and say enough already
whereby contortions of the body you might show in the mind what is possible
beyond the realm of the physical
his thinking wishful, he felt a cosmic force pull

basically, there’s like two schools of thought
the idea the universe matters or that it matters not
physical matter
sense data
sacred cows
atta boy Freddy
take a bow
by varying nothing you push the mind to its extremes
magician’s banter

sound of mosquitos buzzing
the buzzing echoes
Hindu Freddy’s got a rusty nail tuxedo
he wore a tuxedo to a benefit made of rusty old nails
’cause everyone and everything’s for sale


Home Recording Boogieblues

mp3 [5.1 MB] | Appears on Autumnal Jams

neighbors complaining it just started raining
I’d rather not put my microphones away
put the tube amp on standby and take a break
hot tea with lemon and honey
nobody told me there’d be so many obstacles
gotta finish before Dad gets home and watches the news
should have spent my summer money on a bicycle
that mic is so sensitive

I didn’t even know the windows were open
it’s September already
fingerpicking my hands are cold
you can hear the traffic come in from the road
crisp autumn air is why I’m playing so slow
so far I’ve done two songs acoustic
one more and let’s make it a hat trick
to absorb the reflections I pin sheets to the ceiling with thumbtacks
then add reverb artificially

what’s that, a helicopter out there?
a firetruck siren?
what’s that electrical noise?
does this room have faulty wiring?
I don’t know
all I know is my coworker asked "what do you use your paychecks on?"
I said "mind your own beeswax"
no, I said "bedroom recordings
what do you spend yours on?
want to listen?"
"some other time," she said
"I have a doctor’s appointment"

here’s why I make music in mono
here’s why simplicity is my MO
these songs are meant to be listened to when people drive
so why should the passenger get more of the hi-hat and the driver get more of the ride?
see that’s what happens when the final product is in two-channel stereo

whatever you do don’t drink milk
it stuffs up the vocal cords
when you finish your album you can sell it to local stores
in my software I call the vocals vox
got no mixing board
I mix it in the box

I turn up my headphones ’cause I can’t hear the backing track
I turn down my headphones ’cause I’m getting bleed and feedback
back to square one
I used to do this for fun
I’ll need a new hard drive before the project’s done
in the long run I’m no better than when I started
it’s all smoke and mirrors
smoke and mirrors anyhow


The Hollywood Ecology

mp3 [3.65 MB] | Appears on Skeletons

I met this girl named Caroline
who say she wanna be a model or an actress or an anchor on TV
but in the meantime she’s waiting tables
as I scramble for a twenty dollar bill
she’s never had a steady gig and it seems she never will

’cause life’s an awful movie and the world’s a vcr
that is broken and malfunctioning in a million pieces on the floor
but it may seem like I don’t give a rat’s backside but that’s just not how it is

now she’s a dancer in the slummy part of town
can’t pay her way back home ’less sleazy businessmen come ’round
so on the way there I bought her flowers
’cause I know all the heartache she’s been through
the flowers cost me 14 bucks
and now I’m broke too

oh life’s an awful movie and the world’s a VCR
that is broken and malfunctioning in a million pieces on the floor
but it may seem like I don’t give a rat’s backside but that’s just not how it is

she finally found her way onscreen just not as she had hoped
got snuffed out by a pervert with a camera and a rope
at the graveyard I gave her flowers
I stole ’em from somebody else’s stone
said goodbye to Caroline
saddest face I ever known


Honeymoon Make-Believe Boogierag Blues

mp3 [3.57 MB] | Appears on Recording Artist

honeymoon make-believe boogierag blues
we were wed out of birthlock
playmates as toddlers but a lot has changed
time shared a fraction of the time since
now we’re distant as pen pals
rolling around beneath the baby grand
imagining babies
making plans
I’ve acquired a spouse or a parasite?
can a white make-believe wear white?

I could just as soon love you as lean on a wall
it’s something I could do or not do
some songs are easy to play
others are easier not to

they had a truth-teller’s convention but no one came
prior commitments, traffic, rain
stadium rented
deposit slip signed
event planners sittin’ around crying

we got so much in common but don’t get mad
I think we share the same mom and dad
I was adopted, you were not
when we play make-believe things sure get hot

let’s dress up as mannequins and go to the mall
sneak into department store windows
stand stock still till the joint closes
then shoot a sexy movie

I’m the prez of your fan club
you’re the prez of mine
but that alone won’t pass the time
beat me senseless
steal my shoes
honeymoon make-believe boogierag blues


Hoopy Is the Pits

mp3 [22.43 MB] | Seventh track on Winning Is Rhyming (continuous mix)

Hoopy Hoopy
Hoopy is the pits
Hoopy Hoopy
Hoopy is the pits

I wanna wring her neck with a nylon strap
I wanna get her pregnant pregnant and give her the clap
I wanna slap that girl and call her names
I wanna get real drunk and play video games

I wanna peel her skin off with a razorblade
I wanna lock her in a room with a hand grenade
I wanna put dirt in the pudding in her lunch
or fake blood in a juice box and tell her it’s fruit punch
the first time I saw her with her ears pierced
I was like "what are you, twelve?"

take a cue from amateur pornstars
see jewelry makes it look like you’re for sale
are you a hooker or just a masochist?
odds are you’d look better with a rattail

I wanna pull her hoops off and watch her ears bleed
make powder out of her cartilage and put it in birdseed
or panfry her earlobes
eat ’em with steak sauce
that’ll show hoopy who’s boss


How I Learned Arithmetic

mp3 [11.02 MB] | Appears on Skeletons

when I was ten a 120-year-old lady took advantage of me
I was too young to say no
we stayed up all night
she told me about the Great Depression
I was into dinosaurs so I showed her my fossil collection
she showed me hers

back in ’93 it all turned upside down
what’s a boy supposed to do?

back in ’93, I said
it all turned upside down
what’s a boy supposed to do?


How Not to Tell a Story 101

mp3 [2.58 MB] | Appears on Bookbinding and Other Songs

it was a porcelain statue of the three little pigs
a man and a woman in an antique shop
the man was Genghis Khan
the woman was Madeline Hitler
they’d both chipped in to buy a time machine
to conquer all space-time

whenever they saw an antique shop
Madeline Hitler made them stop what they were doing
staring at the three little pigs
she said "Genghis, aren’t they just the darlingest?"
said he "there’s no room left in the trunk, you know
maybe we’d best just go"

historical figures don’t get along
they’re always bickering
have they no people skills?
they’re not exactly full of good ideas
always overreacting
mountains from molehills

"if she’d just lose that silly mustache," the Mongol whined
"I’d make Maddy Hitler my concubine"
a face perked up at the register
the geriatric there somehow heard

God put antique shops in the universe
to keep the Khan and Führer from ruling all creation
as long as she’s got money in her purse
Madeline will keep them both eternally distracted


How to Play Egyptian Ratscrew

mp3 [3.76 MB] | Appears on The Great Communicator

the end is not quite here, but still
there’s not too much to laugh about, not now

no no no no no no
I don’t wanna be an american
no no no no no no
I don’t wanna lock up every Muslim
and I don’t want peace if I’m the only one who’s left alone

"insubordination leads to death"
said the unsuspecting butcher to the chef
"that’s some knife, where’d you get it from?"
"get back in the kitchen or I’ll cut you like I cut him"

no no no no no no no
that ain’t the way it’s supposed to be
no no no no no no no
you’re the one who’s sleeping with the enemy
your dirty sheets make me think that you belong out there

she’s a vicious creature when she’s mad mad
see civilized behavior was just a fad, that’s all
and we don’t care
we don’t

la la la la la la la
it’s so sweet to be oblivious
la la la la la la la
for God’s sake someone shoot the octopus
I don’t want peace if I’m the only one who’s left alone



mp3 [4.13 MB] | Appears on The Great Communicator

oh Humanzee, you’re so ugly
I never wanna look at you again
oh Humanzee, you’re so ugly
you look just like my girlfriend’s mom

see if I saw you on the street I’d say hello
but if I never saw your face again I’d not be angry

oh Humanzee, someone’s listening
I recommend you be careful what you say
since they’re listening
you’ll be lying
so what’s the point of asking anyway?

see if I saw you on the bus I’d say hello
but if I never heard your voice again I’d not be angry

oh Humanzee, why’d you have to ruin all our fun?
I’ll call the police and tell them it was you
what you gonna say with a tranquilizer pointing at your head?


Humpty Dumpty National Parks

mp3 [2.41 MB] | Appears on Live Inside an Active Volcano

Humpty Dumpty got tired of sitting on a wall so he went to the National Parks instead
his travel expenses were what you would expect for an egg
first he went to Yellowstone, saw Old Faithful the geyser
got on it and rode it and rode it until he was boiled
there was a forest fire and the park smelled like rotten eggs

next he went to the Everglades
rode in a canoe while a park ranger rode in a canoe alongside
the park ranger was a good guide
then he went to Glacier National Park to ride the triple continental divide
he couldn’t find it and that made him so angry he nearly fried

he went to Shenandoah, Mammoth Cave, Wind Cave, Great Smoky Mountains, Yosemite and Mount Rainier
he climbed Mount McKinley, saw Acadia, Zion, Hot Springs and Seqouia
Mesa Verde reminded him of cliff-dwelling hens
the lava was Hollandaise sauce at Lassen Volcanic and Humpty Dumpty was Eggs Benedict

Humpty Dumpty went to the Petrified Forest but because of jet lag, he couldn’t tell it apart from the Grand Canyon
the only thing he remembered from the Grand Canyon was that if he fell into the Grand Canyon, he’d be scrambled
better yet sunny-side-up sunny-side-down, deviled eggs, poached, over easy

then he repeated the trip this time as the National Park Service’s mascot
the photographer told him to imagine he was sitting on a wall again
that’s why whenever you see a picture of a National Park
there’s an egg posing at the entrance
Humpty Dumpty National Parks



mp3 [6.85 MB] | Appears on Skeletons

everybody that I’ve met is so plain and ordinary
it makes me feel that I’m not well
then I get the guts to get up and go to the doctor
this is what they tell me

get yourself some medicine
get yourself a clue
it’s not in our realm of training to tell you the truth

I’m a hypochondriac
I’m twice as sick as you
I tried to cure myself but I’m not really here

the psychic on TV said my luck was temporary
and in a way that’s how I feel
who’s to say what the future holds?
so far it’s all the same to me


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