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The Yard Sale

mp3 [3.49 MB] | Appears on Open Mic at the Peliculum Attic Door

labeler armed with fresh ink and new tape
he put a price tag on all that he owned
made a flyer announcing a yard sale
just months before selling his home
curious neighbors converged on his lawn
nothing was quite as it seemed
he never set out to mislead them
not once

welcome, dear friends
peruse my possessions
cutlery, cookware and china so rare
a gargoyle statue it pains me to part with
farewell, sweet gargoyle

here comes a gambler desperate for gifts
to win back his eight-year-old’s love
material objects, too little too late
wind up in the garbage
that life-sized stuffed lion has caramel gunk
caramel gunk in its mane
and that radio biplane wants a propeller

ladies and gentlemen, browse my belongings
humanoid sunflower with comic strip eyes
jack-in-the-boxes and samurai swords
watch for sharp edges

a woman on business chanced to drive by
a collector of others’s junk
she left for the seaport, rental jam-packed
her ship sunk
that grandfather clock came from the dollar store
just look at the pixelized grain
and that family Bible was the Complete Short Works of Mark Twain


Yodeler Mark One

mp3 [4.16 MB] | Appears on Yodeler Mark One + 3

write what you know
leave over what you don’t know
you don’t know something why write about it?
authenticity is the key
three cheers for authenticity
these corduroy wannabes makin’ me lose my mind
too many songs about railroads, not enough songs about wine

believe it or not, there was a time before trains
a time before outlaws, bankers and chain gangs
invent that wheel
slice that bread
do you believe what Darwin said?
evolution’s too fast for a rebel like you
strum them chords on that guitar, strummy
as if you had something to prove

you’re Yodeler Mark One, handcrafted in the USA
you got a coonskin cap and a harp rack and that country twang
your instrument’s a weapon
you hold it like a gun
that high lonesome Appalachian sound is an atom bomb

a billion years ago volcanoes still a-blowin’
against all odds there was a little protozoan
crawled up out of the primordial ooze and let one fly
Old Testament God never knew what hit him
he said "say buddy do that again, that’s my jam"

Alpine mountaineers could not make calls or read the news
they yodeled ’cause they had to but tell me why do you?
you’re phonier than wrestling though you sure can play and sing
you’re a wind-up toy in the gift shop of the Hillbilly Music Hall of Fame

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