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10. Genius Next Door

some said the local lake had been enchanted

others said it must have been the weather

the neighbors were trying to keep it quiet

but I swear that I could hear the laughter

so they jokingly nicknamed it the porridge

cause overnight that lake had turned as thick as butter

but the local kids would still go swimming, drinking

saying that to them it doesn't matter

if you just hold in your breath till you come back up in full

hold in your breath, till you thought it through, you fool

the genius next door was bussing tables

wiping clean the ketchup bottle labels

getting high and mumbling German fables

didn't care as long as he was able

to strip his clothes off by the dumpster

at night while everyone was sleeping

and wade midway into that porridge

just him and the secret he was keeping

if you just hold in your breath till you come back up in full

hold in your breath, till you thought it through, you foolish child

in the morning, the film crews start arriving

with donuts, coffee and reporters

the kids were waking up hung-over

the neighbors were starting up their cars

the garbage men were emptying the dumpsters

atheists were praying full of sarcasm

and the genius next door was sleeping

dreaming that the antidote is orgasm

if you just hold in your breath till you come back up in full

hold in your breath, till you thought it through you foolish child

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11. Wallet

I found a wallet

I found a wallet

inside were pictures of your small family

you were so young

your hair dark brown

you had been born in nineteen fifty-three

your winter birthday

was stamped on the plastic

of a license, so recently expired

I was so tired as I walked through my door

I laid all the contents of your wallet on the floor

And like a holy relic

Or a mystery novel

I thumbed them in the dim light

searching for a clue

A blockbuster card

An old stick of juicy fruit

A crumpled receipt

from a pair of leather boots

I have no wallet

I have no wallet

I keep my cards together with a blue rubber band

and with a free hand

I search in my pockets

for pieces of pieces of paper and change

I'll take your wallet

to my local blockbuster

they'll find your number

in their computer

you'll never know me

I'll never know you

but you'll be so happy

when they call you up

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12. One More Time with Feeling

your stitches are all out

but your scars are healing wrong

and the helium balloon inside your room has come undone

and it's pushing up at the ceiling

and the flickering lights

it cannot get beyond

oh, everyone takes turns

now it's yours to play the part

and they're sitting all around you

holding copies of your chart

and the misery inside their eyes is

synchronized and reflected it to yours

Hold on

One more time with feeling

Try it again

Breathing's just a rhythm

Say it in your mind until you know that the words are right

This is why we fight

you thought by now you'd be

so much better than you are

you thought by now they'd see

that you have come so far

and the pride inside their eyes

would synchronize into a love you've never known

so much more than you've been shown

Hold on

One more time with feeling

Try it again

Breathing's just a rhythm

Say it in your mind until you know that the words are right

This is why we fight

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13. Man of a Thousand Faces

The man of a thousand faces

sits down at the table

eats a small lump of sugar

and smiles at the moon like he knows her

And begins his quiet ascension

without anyone's sturdy instruction

to a place that no religion

has found a path to, or a likeness

His words are quiet like stains are

on a tablecloth washed in the river

Stains that are trying to cover

for each other

or at least blend in with the pattern

Good is better than perfect

scrub till your fingers are bleeding

and I'm crying for things that

I tell others to do without crying

He used to go to his favorite bookstores

and rip out his favorite pages

and stuff 'em into his breast pockets

and the moon, to him, was a stranger

Now he sits down at the table

right next to the window

and begins his quiet ascension

without anyone's sturdy instruction

to a place that no religion

has found a path to or a likeness

and he eats a small lump of sugar

and smiles at the moon like he knows her...

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14. Time Is All Around

Time is all around

except inside my clock

everybody's waiting

for their lover to unlock

You step on all my parts

and then you walk right out the door

And I know that your love

ain't ever coming back no more

Leaves become most beautiful

when they're about to die

when they're about to fall from trees

when they're about to dry up

Time is all around

time is all around

I hallucinate

a cat between my feet

I'm stepping lightly so as not to hurt it

Everybody's wants to say that you have changed

of course you've changed, you've changed

You've changed, your minds been rearranged

But leaves become most beautiful

when they're about to die

When they're about to fall from trees

when they're about to dry up

Time is all around

time is all around

Why am I supposed to love

if I don't want to love

Why am I supposed to

I'm so tired

Why am I supposed to love

if I don't want to love

I don't want

I don't want to

I don't want

Leaves become most beautiful

when they're about to die

when they're about to fall from trees

when they're about to dry up

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15. The Sword & the Pen

Don't let me out of this kiss

don't let me say what I say

The things that scare us today

what if they happen someday

Don't let me out of your arms

for now

What if the sword kills the pen

What if the god kills the man

And if he does it with love

well then it's death from above

and death from above is still a death

I don't want to live without you

For those who still can recall

the desperate colors of fall

The sweet caresses of May

only in poems remain

no one recites them these days

for the shame

So what if nothing is safe

so what if no one is saved

no matter how sweet

no matter how brave

What if each to his own lonely grave

I don't want to live without you

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