A Bird in the Crocodile’s Mouth

Feels like it’s been a while
What am I waiting for?
Your empty-hearted smile
I don’t care anymore

The slow descent
Into the madness of our fears
You know I meant
To do it better this time, but I’m not really here

You went the extra mile
Am I supposed to be proud?
You’re in denial
I can’t stand by watching you drown

I know the game, don’t wanna waste another day
Just grinding our gears
There’s no one to blame for all the pain
You’ve felt all these years

Feels like it’s been a while
What am I doing wrong?
Tooth of a crocodile,
I guess you were right all along


Hungry Ghost

Go back inside
There’s nothing here to see
Don’t try to describe
Me to me,

‘Cause if you can think it,
I’ve already said it
In a meaner way
And anyway the thing is
I try to forget it
But it’s here to stay

And I’m sick of everybody leaving me for dead
All I hear is people grieving
Even in my head
They say that what you give is what you get
I gave you everything and all I got
Is a lot of regret

Come back inside
It’s getting cold out here
I want to survive
Another thousand years
And this is the reason
I can never tell you
What I mean to say:
The sounds I’m making
You’ve already heard ‘em
In a cleaner way

But I’m sick of everybody leaving me for dead
All I hear is people grieving
Even in my head
They say that what you give is what you get
I gave you everything and all I got
Is a lot of regret


Let Me Stay
Sister, where’d you go?
I’ve gone and fallen off my horse again
Summer’s ending, I’m remembering
Everything we could’ve been

But those forever feelings never stay
I had a center once, she went away

Was the weight of my darkness too great?
Call me the light, I will drive those demons away

Brother, where’d you go?
I’ve wandered off and lost my way again
My feeding frenzies
Leave me feeling empty nine times out of ten

Those phosphorescent petals always fade
You said you loved me once, but something changed

Was the strain of my sadness too great?
Call me the rain, I am here to clean the slate

Brief moments of bravery,
Relapses into cowardice
Glimpses of profundity,
Dances with the precipice

Retreating back into your slippery shell,
Safe within the dismal diving bell

Well, instead of going into hiding
And pushing everyone who loves you away,
What if you opened up your doors
And let me stay?


The Blessing / The Curse

Tie the tourniquet tight
Bathe my eyes in angel light
I never believed a word I said was true
I was abusing language to have power over you
And I know I’m the devil, I know I’m a mess
But I’m not a broken record, I learn my lessons fast

Push that feeling down
You’ll scare them all off if you let it out
But I don’t want to not have anything to say
Nothing in my body’s telling me this is ok
So I will find the part of you that I can love
My blessing and my curse, I am what you are made of

She painted me white
Changed my bandages and stayed the night
And I am here to learn all that she has to teach
I will swim towards her lighthouse, always just out of reach
After all I wanted nothing if not love
The blessing and the curse I can’t stop dreaming of


circlenot astraight

The answer comes as a question mark
And I can’t be bothered to remark
What did I know but wasn’t ready to say?

I am your sister, don’t pretend
I don’t know your tricks
You were my only friend
I never thought that we would end up this way

My addictions make me hate,
But my afflictions make me kind
I’m a circle, not a straight line

Then we get swallowed by the abyss
What is the meaning of all of this?
You might act like you’ll never die
But you’re getting old

Don’t act like you don’t love the sting
I know you’re capable of anything
You were the most convincing lie I ever told

My afflictions make me hate,
But my addictions make me kind
I’m a circle, not a straight line


There is a Light

Buried alive, we got sucked down the funnel
But there is a light at the end of our tunnel
So don’t waste your time giving up when you could be forgiving
Don’t lose your mind; don’t forget this life is for the living

Here is the girl you don’t remember meeting
To show you the love you’re so afraid of needing
You fight so hard just to make them all think that you never struggle
You say you see how it is; what you’re looking at is a piece of the puzzle

And we could put it together, or disintegrate—
You know it’s now or never, but it’s never too late
To give it all away
So give it all away

Well I know the world is in all kinds of trouble,
But you can’t live your life in some aseptic bubble
So don’t lose sight of your worth and the infinite wealth of gifts you’ve been given
Open your mind to the world and the intimate well of truth that lay hidden

Well we could lie down and collectively seal our fate…
You know it’s now or never, but it’s never too late



Sickened as I am by my own behavior
I cannot seem to make it change
You’ve given me all the chances I deserve
To prove you right and clear my wretched name

Why do I fight
All that I know to be good
And true and holy and right?
And what is this drive
To drive you away
When your love is what keeps me alive?

Bittersweet pill
Promise me you will
Be here still

I believe my sadness has served a purpose,
But I see how bad it fucks with you
I have had my fill of feeling worthless,
And now I’ve got better things to do

So no more doubt—
Slit my belly open,
Pull that stubborn stuffing out!
And fill me with light—
I think I’m finally ready to be alright

Bittersweet pill
Promise me you will
Love me still


Little Red Lines

Well, here I am
I wish you would look away
I’m not the man
I thought I was yesterday
I always change,
And you stay just the same
You don’t get angry,
You know I’m not to blame

You say, “You’re caught in a war
That you’re not gonna win,
But if you knock on my door,
Baby, I just might let you in.
I know shit can get real
When you stay in one place,
When you sit there and feel
What no amount of thinking can erase.”

But I’ve been doing my best
To be doing ok
So lay off, man
I’ve had a long day

I was afraid
You would see through my smile
And know I can’t wait
To be alone for a while
You know I love you
And hate to cause you pain
But you’re bound to get a little roughed up
Playing in the lion’s mane

From the little red lines
To the wolves at the door
I gave some warning signs
That were not so easy to ignore
You say it’s easy to change
But I stay just the same
Fickle and strange
With one too many tigers to tame

But I’ve been doing my best
To be doing ok
So lay off, man
I’ve had a long day

Yeah I’ve been doing my best
To be doing ok
So try to understand
I’ve come a long way

White Owl
In my dreams I will come to seek you out
When I sleep, I’ll become a white owl
And fly out of my window
And into your window,
And re-materialize
As myself
And wrap my snowy, naked limbs around you
So, so happy I found you
I used to think I was a one-of-a-kind
Then, in the blink of an eye
You appeared to show me I was blind
And now I can see everything
And it’s all beautiful
You made me realize
All the stories I told were just lies
That used to sound true
So, so happy I found you
Out of the black foreboding skies
You are the sun that never fails to rise
And when the shadows cover me
You’re the moon, I am your faithful sea
Rising with you as you shine on me
Through your eyes,
I’ve learned to see myself clearly
I used to despise the poor girl inside the mirror
But now I just pretend
That I’m looking at you
Looking right back at me
You show me the beauty
that I never could see
So, so happy you found me

~* nūmūn ~*

Black Moss

Fear is the weight we carry
from the cradle straight to our graves,
and love is the treasure we bury;
pain alternates with pleasure in beautiful waves

and you’ve been watching me—
you say I emanate some strange magnetic power,
but don’t be drawn to me;
I may be here today, but soon black moss will cover

over my dead body.

You’ve been a lot of places—
left me forgotten by your side—
and maybe the feeling’s baseless,
but something still stirs in me when I look in your eyes,

’cause you’ve been kind to me;
I never quite believed you when you said it’s over.
Well what is wrong with me?
I trusted you—you watched me open like a flower

over my dead body.



I think I know who you are,
and I don’t know how I let it get this far.
Also there’s this girl I met at a bar—
she burned as bright and as unattainably as some distant star

and from within her fragile flesh, where I lay my head to rest
I could feel her heart hammering in her chest.
Then and there I swore, by the blue light of her celestial glow,
I would follow her where no one else dares to go.

I know we’ve been here before;
I never had less than one foot out the door.
I know you expected more from me,
but I’ve given up, so I don’t know what it is you’re waiting for.

I don’t even know her name, and maybe that’s for the best,
but I feel her heart hammering in my chest.
I know I’m no good, and I hate to say that I told you so—
why’d you follow me where no one else dares to go?


True Colors

I walked into the jaws of the lion.
She stalked under the belt of Orion.
We caught and disemboweled our disembodied prey.
She shot like a bottle rocket into the fray.

I crawled into the mouth of the river.
She called; her silver voices made me shiver.
We spoke; I posed, she painted my reflection.
I awoke without the faintest recollection.

Wherever you are, you’ll never get where you’re going
if you’re wound so tight.
Forget the duality of wrong and right.

Wherever you are, you’ll never get out alive
if you got no light.
You can’t see your true colors in black and white.

I fell into the arms of my father.
He knelt to kiss the shadow of his daughter.
I heard she, having taken quite a beating,
Found words true enough to bear repeating.


Figure 8

What have I got myself into now?
Who’s gonna save me when you’re not around?
And what if I get myself in too deep?
Will the angels come down to carry me off in my sleep?

Who put all these words in my mouth?
What are these warped, wayward thoughts all about?
And what’s with the guy in the bulletproof vest?
He’s just a metaphor, but we should probably go—
I think it’s for the best.

Tell me something I don’t already know:
Are you a mistake, or everything I’ve been looking for?
Are you the meaning of life?
Tell me, Figure 8, is everything alright?

What if you’re wrong and nothing’s alright?
What if it’s me and not you who’s ruining my life?
So what if I got my head in the clouds?
Up here it’s not half as bad as it is down there on the hot, filthy ground.

Tell me something I don’t already know:
Was I a big mistake just like all the ones you made before?
Was I the love of your life?
Tell me, Figure 8, was everything a lie?



She turned to me and, with a smile, said, where have you gone?
You’ve learned to see, but, all the while, never saw that we are one.

But time will close your tired eyes,
and truth will grow over the lies.

So let your yellow-bellied brethren burn to death or drown.
Your fellow tethered devils never learn; don’t let them keep you down,

For time creates as it destroys,
and truth will cancel out the noise.

You see, God has his plans, but I’ve got mine,
and little good will come to those who stand in line.

I can’t hear you ’cause of all the voices in my head.

Humble dirt would turn to vapor every time she spoke.
We’d crumble like her ever-burning paper turned to ash and smoke.

But time creates as it destroys.
One day we lost her in the noise.

Shallow, rolling holy water rose and slowly fell.
Swallowing a foreign body—rose red holes to show and tell—

She was washed away with the tide.
We saw the water in her eyes

When she said, “God has his plans, but I’ve got mine.”
The white hot heat in her hands melted her mind.

And the truth will bear its fangs, and you and I will be just fine,
But she could never seem to understand these things take time.

I can’t hear you ’cause of all the voices in my head.


Less Traveled

We were in the woods. It was getting dark;
you fell asleep on the ground at my side,
suddenly awoke and, with a shudder, croaked,
“Mother, won’t you let me back inside?”

Little one, if I were in your shoes,
I would take the road less traveled.
Then again, if I were really you,
why would I be seeking counsel from me?

Don’t seek counsel from me.

Triplets pitter-patter in pretty patterns,
stippling and spattering my empty mind.
If you clear a path, it doesn’t matter
where you wind up—who knows what you’ll find?

Myriad are the guiding voices
if you take the road less traveled,
but you’re the only one who can make those choices,
so don’t take it from me.

Why would you take anything from me?

There is a time
and a place in your mind
more perfect than this world will ever be.

You locked the door,
don’t live there anymore,
but check both your pockets—maybe you still have the key.

We built the walls—
they were strong, overall—
but now the barriers all start to fade away,

and damn, it feels good:
something we understood
a long time ago but forgot somewhere on the way.


Pin Oaks
You knocked and I let you in
(unlocked the door, led you under my skin)
but hate lay like a snake in the grass,
waiting to strike at our heels as we passed.

She kept the key to my dark room;
she left and warped the weft of my loom.
I saw hordes of gray eyes and dark, hungry mouths;
Lord knows what they were mumbling about.

I lost hold of the rail I was grasping—
ghostly pale, quaking like an aspen.
Now this thick rope encircles my neck.
Whisper, “I hope you’re quick to forget.”

Grief warms the back of your throat;
greedy wind snatches at your threadbare coat.
Pin oaks and old rusty nails—
pinafores rustle and fill like sails.

This is Why
Hey, would you wanna go with me to a party?
It might be dumb, and I don’t know anyone.
Sure, I know there will be nothing there for me,
but let’s go anyway—I’ll drive you home when we’re done.

We could sleep, but haven’t you heard we’re all dying?
Living fast is much more fun!
And I think deep down we know there’s no point in trying,
but all we know how to do is run, run, run, run, run…

And this is why I cannot be alone anymore.
I miss the time when I knew what my time was for.

Oh my God, is it me, or is it getting harder
to believe you were ever really anyone?
I’m not sure, but I think I used to be much smarter
back when I used to walk instead of run.

And I could say what you wanna hear if it would stop your crying—
that way might be much more fun.
And I would tell you the truth, but I would be lying,
’cause even I don’t know what I’ve done.

And this is why I cannot be around anyone.
I miss the time when I knew how to be alone.

Found I Lost
why’d you go?
why’d you stay
so long if you know
i’m insane
even though
it’s a game i play
you say no
body’s to blame
but you don’t have to soften the blow

well why
should i care
if i die
you know life’s not fair
so come on, no more try
ing let’s sit and stare
at our indescrib
able, deep despair
call me a li
ar and a coward, tell me you know I wouldn’t dare

once in a while, things get bad
i found i lost something i never knew i had

you know
the deal
it’s all for show
you know nothing’s real
but let’s try to pho
tograph how we feel
find the mo
tor behind the wheel
are we in mo
tion or just still frames projected from an endless reel?

once in a while, things get bad
i found i lost something i never knew i had

and i’m so sorry

The Wheel
Old pain, why are you here again?
In vain I have fled from where I’ve been—
where am I?

Tied to the chariot’s ever-turning wheel,
or high in the shattered tower of burning steel—
where am I?

How much more are you willing to take?
Do you think you’ll bend, or will you break?

We try, but we never really go anywhere.
Why am I the only one who ever seems to care?
What am I?

How much more are you willing to take?
Do you think you’ll bend, or will you break?



Both Worlds

“A” was the letter he carved in my heart
With his cold metal instrument
And red was the blood that rolled down my forehead
After I had another incident

Gray was the color of our dead skin
when we exfoliated thoroughly,
And clear was the water that washed it all
Down the drain so we wouldn’t have to see

Take my hand in your two hands
I’ve got no one
You’re the best of both worlds

Deep was the hole I’d lain myself down in
Before you came to my rescue
Now, deeper is the ocean I’d swim across
Holding my breath just to get to you

Take my hand in your two hands
I’ve got no one
You’re the worst of both worlds


We Fell

How can we get so lost in the light?
I’m waiting to make up for lost time,
‘cause I’m awake for what feels like the very first time

How long have you been hiding here in plain sight?
I’m trying to resist your gravity, but for naught—
I’m a luna moth drawn to your light

You fell into my life like a jet engine through a roof
And I fell down a mountain—I got this broken heart as proof—

So tell me, where did you go so late last night?
I woke up without you next to me; I wandered out
like a crazed ghost into the moon light

You fell into my life like a coin a wishing well
And I fell silent as a snowy field and instantly under your spell


My Storm

You think you know that it is, but it’s not.
You got away with it ‘til you got caught.
It is what it is, but it’s not what you thought.

Savor the scent of a fruit cracking open,
the sound of the soft, sacred words that were spoken,
the spindle prick and the kiss by which you were awoken,
the taste of the blood from the glass that was broken.

You were gone before I ever even got to know you,
so what should I do with this song?
It was for you, but now I’ll never get to show you.

You told me you’d always protect me from harm—
rock me to sleep, keep me safe, keep me warm—
but I wondered, while wrapped in your strong, stubborn arms:
are you my shelter or are you my storm?

You think you know what it is, but you don’t
You’re gonna get over this but I won’t.
You’re gonna get over this but I won’t.
You’re gonna get over this but I won’t.

You were gone before I ever had a chance show you
that I could be true, but I was wrong
when I said I never even got to know you,

‘cause I know you better than the red apple knows the green worm,
better than the yellow jacket knows the swarm,
but one thing I don’t know and may never learn:
are you my shelter or are you my storm?


Everyone I Know

Pitfalls surround this humble home, and
I was awoken by the sound of the wolves
Howling at my door

Two words hung trembling from her grayish lips
and I felt ashamed to have been a part of this
After all was said and done
After all was said and done

So I know you think you’ve got it bad but
You’ll be alright
Everyone I know has got it wrong
But I think you’ve got it right

Footfall down the halls of your consciousness
Drives you mad and bludgeons your budding confidence
How will you win the war?
How will you win the war?

So I know you think you’ve got it bad but
I like you fine
You’re the only one who’s ever yours
But I want you to be mine
I want you to be mine


Your Glow

My malaise was molten metal
twisting into golden petals.
Kiss me softly like a sparrow.

Suck my soul like mellow marrow.
Your glow, yellower than yarrow,
burns me like a stinging nettle.

Oh, what a harrowing ordeal
to have a brain and have to feel
love and pain and fear and sorrow.

Buried below freezing barrows,
bellows billowed blazing arrows
blowing birds in noisy kettles.

You send my signal through your pedals;
sad sediment slowly settles
behind your gray eyes, so cold and narrow.

Steal what you cannot borrow;
Soon today will be tomorrow—
throw away whatever is not real.


To the Bone

True love never waits
for the opening of the gates;
it rattles in its cage,
spills its blood over scribbled pages

and staining your sad prose,
spreads like a rose.

I misplaced my friends—
hands were shaken, chapters ended.
Call me what you will;
I could have kept them all and still

be stranded in this strange,
terrible place.

True love never waits
for a verdict from the Fates;
it shakes you to the bone,
throws you on the street and gives you a home.



Lost in the woods,
with every step I took,
I felt you there with me

I raised your kiss
to my thirsty lips
and laughed as it ran down my throat

I’ll never forget
the Payne’s grey day we met:
a dove with a bell in its beak

A strange, ancient song
that blossomed on my tongue
led me to a hidden stream

A cold, fickle breeze
knocked me to my knees
and the salt on my skin turned to smoke

But the memory still lingers
in the valleys of my fingers:
a cut paper heart, a broken bell

So I raised my hood
and walked into the woods
to gather flowers in a basket to bring home


Past Tense

I went away for months, or maybe it was years;
my house was overrun by fears.

But while I was not home,
I left a faucet running
and i wont call it “hope,”
but I’m still alive, so that’s something

One thing I learned after so many months or years:
regret is the past tense of fear

And I know memories
are like running water
and I don’t want them to freeze,
but I could use something to hold on to

Strange faces in the crowd…
and you walk around like you own this town

In my kaleidoscope heart,
you’re a shard of fire
and I won’t call it “love,”
but there’s more to it than desire


Have to Lose

With forsythia bursting into bloom,
I first set foot outside of my cobweb-covered room

O, lonely road
O, lovely road

All roads lead nowhere; it doesn’t really matter which you choose.
The more you love, the more you have to lose.

O, lonely road
O, lovely road

Take what you want
I will keep what you don’t
Just don’t leave before you’ve said
Whatever you came to say…

Because you’re never coming back home
Once you go away.