I Walked The Streets at Midnight

https://open.spotify.com/embed-podcast/episode/6D6dDkoyCvPdyqYihPhSZD

I walked the streets at midnight
I knew that you were near
I can walk these streets till I die of thirst
I know you will never appear
Everyone tells me to settle down
But I know I must persevere
I will walk this endless road forever
As a lonesome pioneer

So when it’s Saturday night in the city
And you sit there all alone
And the tears stream down your lovely face
I pray you don’t pick up the phone
To try and reach me in your hunger
From your opulent penthouse throne
In the center of 5th and Broadway
Never again will I hear you moan

Now all the noise in the world
Could never take me away
From my purpose and vital passion
Where to succeed is to be led astray
I stay true to the work of wandering
And my torn shoes are my resume
I submit them to the proper authorities
Who send me on my way

But loneliness comes around again
And some nights it will not leave
The morning will come but in too long
On these nights I cannot believe
In God or Man or in myself
All I’ve lost I will never retrieve
The lonely heart is a hunter of yearning
It does not need permission to grieve

I get up and walk the streets at midnight
And there’s nowhere I need to go
Nowhere is as good a place as any
I’ve been there before, I would know
I will not stop; no, I will not rest
‘Till Truth rests deep in my marrow
With an empty wallet and an empty heart
I walk on the way rivers flow

Prayer: Sing, Creator of song

Sing, Creator of song, to the wholeness inside which my soul is aching to bring itself forth in these orphaned days. The rain pours with relentless force, and the mind tortures itself in forests too dense to take comfort. And though I flee to the desert in a seven-year drought, I go drenched in this rain. I enter the black hole of fantasy, racked with dreams of fantastic rescue. Never have I been reckless enough to wreck my old ships in search of new lands, yet here I stand, floored by the actual. Let me seek with reckless indifference to cost the intangible treasures that can never be lost, and let me reckon now with how I will raze my towers to brave my mortality. Do not rock my landlocked body to sleep tonight until I have prayed with the urgency this daily emergency demands. 

“Nothin’ To Say”

The day has ended, but the cars do not cease
I sit at this desk, wondrin’ if anyone is at peace
I feel so far away from the only one I ever knew
I sense tragedy ahead, but what else can I do?
I need to move on, I got nothin’ to say
To stay’s to wither, and let the soul decay

The heart’s a labyrinth, the mind’s a black hole
You can get trapped in either, lose sight of the whole
To capture the foal soon to grow into a magnificent steed
You’ve got to go after what you want, and know what you need
I need to move on, I got nothin’ to say
To stay’s to wither, and let the soul decay

There’s never enough time, and something is always lacking
You’re not hungry, you’re not cold, but loneliness is attacking
In the heat of the summer, everyone’s ravaged by lust
Like a self-propelled incinerator, about to combust
I’ve got to get outta here, I got nothin’ to say
To stay’s to wither, and let the soul decay

Must my skin be touched for my passion to manifest?
Can I not touch it within, where the heart finds its zest?
What can I do when this restlessness never leaves me?
What song can I sing when even singing grieves me?
All I can do is move on, I got nothin’ to say
To stay’s to wither, and let the soul decay

Let me find a quiet place where I can think and chop wood,
Where I can feel the peace of morning, and say that it is good,
Where the fires that now consume me, can lead me to the light,
Where the one thing I’ll never touch, calls to me through the night
I hear the call to move on, I know there’s nothin’ to say
To stay here’s to wither, and let the soul decay

“Before Dawn I Tremble”

Face feels hollow, chest collapsed in
Lines appearing through my sallow skin
Who’d want to pass these traits to their next of kin?
Before dawn I tremble

Terror returns like wind with a shiver
Let it be or flee, float down the river
Each man carries a message to deliver
Mid-morning I crumble

A race paced for impending fall
Heard the breeze in the trees, heard the call
As a chill ran up my crooked spine
I asked her how she was, she just said, ‘fine.’

The sounds of sirens remote and aligned
With the ghostly whimpers I’ve left behind
What is the thing I was born to find?
At high noon I question

In times mindlessly mundane
Callous jesters feebly entertain
Thoughts of weeping to the falling rain
After noon I envision

The thunder rumbles on inside
No one can see, there’s nowhere to hide
The emptiness remains, within and around
Hidden weight takes you to the ground

Neither soft nor easy, often I writhe
Faces around me look unworried and blithe
The women are graceful, lovely and lithe
In the evening I envy

The one I thought was The One she knocked
On the door to tell me I wasn’t, I locked
The door to ease my heart, it balked
At midnight I cry out

“Hard Hot Summer Blues”

Well, I’ve been walkin’ down the city street
July heat’s been makin’ me sweat
I’ve been walkin’ down the city street
July heat’s been makin’ me sweat
Tryin’ not to look at a single face
Every glance bears the hint of a threat

The hard heat of the sidewalk
It burns the soles of your shoes
Yeah, the hard heat of the city
It burns the soles of your shoes
And the hole in my soul man it’s burnin’
From these hard hot summer blues

Well, I’m walkin’ down the city street
Lookin’ for a place to dance
Well, I’m walkin’ in the merciless city
Just lookin’ for a place to dance
Longing for a mystic gypsy woman
To put me in a walking trance

The nights are torrid and lonesome
And the passion is never real
Nights so torrid and lonesome
And the passion never real
I’ve got a need to dance my way
Through these feelings as strong as steel

Walkin’ down the city street
Burnin’ the soles of my shoes
I’m walkin’ down the city street
Holes in the soles of my shoes
My soul is hungry, a hungry ghost
With these hard hot summer blues

“The Day The Music Ends”

I dance to move into the stillness,
To lose the thing that must be lost,
To choose to live, to thrust my self
To where trust counts for more than cost.

I caught something, I catch it each time
I dance in time to music that never ends.
Yet why when silence returns, do I fall apart?
Why when the body stops moving, does the heart
Fill with sorrow and grief, with the tragic jewels
That adorn the dances of sages and magic fools?

The heart fills with what always returns,
And until I am empty, will I always yearn?
In the silence of this movement, lend me a moment,
Turn to me, Lady of rhythmic serenity,
Lend me the key to see into your heart,
The gift that shatters what it later mends,
The soul still dancing when the music ends.

I dance to admit the gift, and to give it,
To give the thing that gripped is lost,
To live at last, be stripped of self,
Throw off that whip at any cost.

I held something, I hold it each time
I loosen my hold on what holds me under,
On thunder road I forget myself and stagger,
I trip over my feet, and a man with a dagger
Wakes me at sunrise on solsbury hill;
I look into his eyes as he goes in for the kill.

I have no things, and I have no home,
And until I find her, I will always roam
In this movement of silence, through the noise with the word:
I will write, and I will dance; my voice will be heard.
I will search for the key to see into her heart,
The gift that shatters what it later mends,
The soul still dancing when the music ends.

I dance to turn my sorrows inside out,
To earn the thing that has always been lost,
To learn how to move within my doubt,
Spin closer to the thing that has no cost.

I felt something, I feel it each time
The music takes my feet away from me.
I cannot say what it is that keeps touching me,
Or why I move like some demon is clutching me,
Or why when I return to the silence of my room,
I hurt like a man dragged by his hair into her tomb.

I will die someday, and who knows if these words will endure?
They may stay unread, unsung and obscure,
But the unsung can still sing, can still dance in their way,
So when the last hour strikes, on the day before decay,
I pray I have found the key to see into her heart,
I pray the gift that had shattered has healed, and transcends
And that the soul still dances the day the music ends.

“Take From Me This Need to Flee”

When she looks away from me, my heart’s encased in ice
The moment her gaze returns to me, I’d take her worst advice
This dependence forms a bed of coals, it walls me off from her
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

The fire within, it needs a way out, and so I write these words
To find the way, I need to be led, at least that’s what I’ve heard
I’ve got no new solution, all my problems, they always recur
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

I always see her from across the street, walking the other way
She always pretends I don’t exist, to my undying dismay
Today I swore I would enjoy my time, the entire day was a blur
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

Far I traveled to a lonely isle, to leave all my troubles behind
All I found was a mermaid lover to caress me then rob me blind
My friends they tell me to take it easy, and man I wish that could occur
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

She’s never so alone, she told me, as when she’s out in a crowd
Her soul is pure, she rarely speaks; to be true she cannot be loud
I think of her from time to time, and can feel my heartstrings stir
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

The thirst for liquor is a thirst for spirit, this I know deep in my blood
On thorn-filled trails I’ve tripped and stumbled till my face was caked with mud
I’ve drank away my share of days, like Kerouac at Big Sur
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

Other people: that’s hell, wrote a man skilled at expressing his own
On many days I agree with him, and wish I were miles from a phone
But I know I’m slipping when I start thinking that others can only deter
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

Well, the snare was set, and I walked in, thinking the trap a boon
The one I love she loves another, though in my arms she once did swoon
I’ve walked the sands, I’ve been to sea, every shore falls short of her
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

“As The Day Begins”

The day begins with a fire that cannot be seen
like a young girl who does not speak
for fear of losing what burns within her.

The day begins with birds that cannot be seen
singing like those who know better than to speak
and so lose what gives them song.

The day begins with doors that cannot be closed
allowing what has lost itself with yearning
to find itself as it burns.

As the day begins,
everyone needs to get something out
to let something in:
By the end of the day,
no one remembers what it was.

No one knows
everyone needs
to get out
and let in
the same thing
in their own way.

What feeds the ember
feeds the hungering soul —
rootless — seeking its own root
in flames that grow invisible.

The hard wood crackles in growing flame
inside invisible growth
as the heart withstands the splintering
forced upon it to remain soft.

As the day begins.

Already the day begins, but
the bottom of the root has not reached
the top of the stem, and I
am not ready for beginnings.

The day begins
only when I begin to listen
to each moment ending
and each moment beginning.

I hear the unheard as the day begins:

I hear the pressed down sobs of young children
setting up lemonade stands
to cool the mid-July heat of unspoken divisions
and prove their own grown-upness,
prove their groundedness
to intoxicated parents,
who are like children in their pettiness.

I see the unseen as the day begins:

I see the homelessness
that hides behind estate gates;
I see the clenched souls
that hide behind open faces;
I see the wrenching sorrow
that hides behind too-wide grins;
I see the yearning for purity
that hides behind drunken eyes.

And I feel the untouched as the day begins:

I feel the push for contact,
and I feel the pull back;
I feel the pain of the one
who does not know how to be
with another,
and I feel the pain of the one
who does not know how to be
alone,

And I feel the pain of the one who knows she is alone,
I feel her struggle to make contact;
I feel what she feels
when she finds herself
unable
to touch the truth
of her aloneness.

As the day begins.

Longing For No One Still

A whole multitude of birds part me from sleep this morning. They sing me awake but they cannot sing me to stillness; still, I do love to hear them sing; for a few moments I give myself over to the listening. I do not want the sun to rise but would like Time to stop moving so I can remain in these moments that flee from me as the sun finds its way into my room. When the sun rises the people also rise, and whatever peace I had felt within me will turn to conflict, what clarity I had felt will turn to confusion as surely as the day begins, whatever light in me the darkness had helped to rise will fall again with the rising sun. But perhaps I will have a few moments shortly after the sun has risen when the other light lasts past its usual time. That is all I can ask of the other light this morning. Then I will willingly return to the darkness from whence I either came or willingly walked into one time, having heard that only there is one truly lit.

And who was it I heard that from? Someone who had been lit then burned and then finally cooled? Or someone whose burning slowly grew and was not extinguished? Was it someone at all who told me that? Or did no one itself tell me that?

I can be told nothing by those whose passion, though it does not have to be visible and outward, I can nevertheless clearly see has cooled or whose fire has extinguished completely. Would you believe that I can be told nothing by most people? For instance, would most people tell me to “wait for no one”? No, they would tell me instead to “seek out someone to love, seek out your soul mate, find happiness in love, find satisfaction in work, spend time with others, get out of yourself, pursue your desires and your dreams, live in the moment, do not think of the past or future, sleep well, eat well, work hard, hold on, be free, be still, find comfort and shelter, keep moving, be moderate, let go, dance with pretty young women, talk with wise old women, laugh with women always somewhere from ten to seventeen years older than you, and above all do not wait and allow all opportunities to pass from you. Above all go after what you lack, do not wait for it to come to you.” But I lack no one, and how can I go after that?

Would they harass me to speak before I am ready or would they allow me to be silent until the words arise out of me on their own accord? When finally I find someone who will tell me nothing, then I will be willing to listen. This is why I am waiting for no one. Someone is always telling me something. I have the feeling that only when no one can find me will I be told nothing. I am always listening closely to be told nothing, and that is why I wake up early when only the songbirds are up. They sing of nothing and I listen closely to their song. They tell me nothing and if I could listen to them telling me nothing all day and night as I wait for no one, I feel I would soon be given all the wisdom of the ages, which I would keep within me until the one I wait for, who is now not a one, finds me and in doing so becomes no longer no one but also still not someone.

Still I am not sure if I am even someone at all, and moreover I am not sure if I want to be someone, if in being someone I no longer wait for no one. Actually, I am quite sure I do not want to be someone. “Sure you do,” I hear from those ones who are always telling me something, “Use your talents, go after success, receive the credit due for the work you put in, give people hope, give them a reason to live, inspire them to greatness, inspire them to be someone as well. When people say to you, ‘now you are someone,’ then you will know you are someone. When people say to you, ‘you have given me the freedom to be someone, and who I have become has provided security and certainty in my life,’ then you will know you’ve done what you were put on this earth to do.”

But still I say I was not put on this earth to do anything of the sort; I was not put here to inspire anyone but rather to wait for no one. Certainly I was not put here to provide certainty for someone! If you do not understand that, you are probably someone yourself, hoping to be provided with certainty, which may well be the end of all hope, which I am not certain even exists in the first place. You’re probably always telling me something you’re certain is true. When I say I wait for no one, I am not telling you that. I am telling no one that. Remember that no one is my audience. Remember that I hope (oh yes!), yes I hope that no one reads this and comes to meet me in the place we decided on before it was decided by all those not me that I should become someone—like them. Then I was still no one; now, still not yet myself, I wait here for no one still. I feel like I’ve waited for many years, even when I did not know I was waiting. I have been waiting for no one long before I was told to be someone, and I will wait for no one long after everyone has given up on me, convinced I will never become anyone at all. By all means, I would say to them, go on being someone; I will continue to wait for no one.

I used to think I was waiting for someone. There were women I thought I longed for. Perhaps when she returns, I thought, I will be able to be myself again. She let me be myself, she loved me for the whole of who I was and also for the splits within me. If she returns I can again be the someone I no longer am. But although she brought out the someone in me, when I was with her I was no longer waiting for no one. I would forget about no one in her presence, forgetting also that before my search to be someone began I had been waiting to meet with no one, who was absent; I had been waiting for no one until I was sure I could meet it everywhere.

When I was with her, everything seemed indeed to be all that I had dreamed of and more; it seemed she was the one I had waited for, though she was not at all no one; she was someone, and someone as beautiful and fleeting as the purest snow falling in the night before the desert sun melts it the next morning. If I could not be with her while still waiting for no one, then I could not be with her at all. But it took me some time to understand the longing, time I spent longing for some woman, or other, time I did not yet know what I truly longed for, which I came to understand was for no one, in time. But how I still long!