LE CENTRE

GINGER
Red, ripe on the vine, alive. Write in the vein you like. Best not sign away your right; sip it to make the cell divide. Kill I meant to vindicate? Trouble I don't remember it. All said, put another way: It is something to forget. ("In our arteries and eyes...") Run that kid into the ground, run that color all the way. Bought that better place to sit, get out from under it. Bone set, settle into it, fit in a modern memory bank. Sign out before you leave. Is it a global point of view? We keep making all the waves, wet as you never want to be. Ain’t nobody asking you, ain’t nobody asking me. (Unfortunate oversight...) Ginger’s coming back to life, and the bar is open. Your bald folly’s tantamount to giving a dead love up. Get out from under it.

DON'T NEED SHADE
You ought to know what I know but don’t want to say. How do I tell you—I need shadows, don’t need shade. Rode on something, a wounded wind made it blow away. Come on, raindrop, let me make you a tear. Come on, moonbeam, let me fill you with fear. All you wrong things I won’t see yet. Appear it won’t fill the stomach, it won’t cut the knotted rope, the axe of sad sacks, advantageous to your event horizon. so ashen, thinking I'm a fake fireplace, you kill these with your breathing. Dead buds frozen, blackened by bad water, hastened by direct absorption of dark blue dead blood dead. Never need it. I don’t need shade.

WHITE CAR
Water sign, average height, separate your peace from its seed. Take the road, peel it back and soon settle into teams, to be defeated. Love belongs on a side, never in-between. And if who you are is what you drive, then you were never right for me. Rule out everyone. The road, the side, the white, all that you know. The kind of ride you like, go it alone. Rule out everyone. Oh my god, oh my little god, it’s funny who you’re punishing. Did you find, did you figure out how to get away with anything?

DEFENDER
Were you led in by the hand of so-called May-December? Young as who you run to, tall as you reach up.
You were talking to a visible touch. Hey, paraded bodies, envious of the unattended, prone to cancellations. Call on the day of? Do you miss me? Does it even add up? I remember falling over myself.
Hit the water like a guaranteed fit, doubt all the way down. Where you came in, where you figured a fix. Feed the sequence, "who to follow" like some lesser evil. Overstated, I know. Call it a highlight. I would hate to skip a generation. If you paid up, I would give you something to believe in longer than a season. Would you defend it like a planet? Like you really mean it? Put us in the politic (to pick it up), lifted to the crucial top. Leapt to get a piece of it (to pick it up), fit to put a ring around. Folded into sympathy (to pick it up), you don't know the half of it. Listen to the people talk (to pick it up), only caught a little shot. But notice: We always understand it. We always hold a candle. We always feel the same as. We always come around to the glass-encased collective, appended to "the latest." We always understand it. We always understand. This is a philosophy to cover up what you couldn't take apart. Scenery, you dream of it to cover up weather on the other coast. Looking for a shin to kick to cover up the friction that you tolerate. We were in the paper once upon a time. Now we just deliver it. But notice: We always understand it. We always feel defended. We always understand it. We always make it out through the failing of the fences. We always get the message. Defender of our exits. We always make it out.

LONG VIEWS
What I want to say comes out in black light, something in mid-taste. Comes out in far sight, comes out in bar fights, then holds out for it, an "understanding the whole picture,” the so so very long views. Do you read the news? Do you actually? Do you clip the quotes? Or are you like the fakes? The paper airplanes, parchment pedigree in wax and sand debris? Scarlett, can’t you see the real sea? I know that a lot of friends would have chopped off your knees just to make sure you knew the fees have become astronomical, out of the angels reach. But not me. Trust me on that alone. I know that a lot of friends would have celebrated your supplanted heart, your new false start, out of the gate head start. I will be faking it alone.

TONS
Someone shut the pilot up. We can feel the drops all on our own. Central to a thesis, social to the point of lost. Given, it’s a machine, it’s a cradle, it’s a shock. Kiss it, kids. I tick a box off, false upended essence —what you see, what you’re not. It's a machine! it’s a shock to the lots of, tons of... Someone get the atlas, send it on a broken node. Ritual’s a weakness. Read up on the stuff you stole and called your own. Honey, I'm a captive audience. I’ll hear you out. Baby, I'm a pistol. Perishable. Overwrought. Undue negative attention. Is it any wonder? What you see in the end, you see what you’re not. What you see, what you’re not. It’s a machine! it’s a shock to someone.

COSMETICS
Eyes of does — the kind that don’t close. At rest on tender feet. The crest around your big plan be found is a stewardess with an arrow in its beak. It's easy to paint a face with no account for its own taste and live together with two cats and 26 red letters. And the hearts of palm to let you know you don’t belong. Or do you belong? Keep it to yourself: a color unlike lips, it's discreetly locked up and tucked away. It's a measure of your cup and of my common sense, and it’s old. So old. So I’m not coming over. The checks that came made out to your maiden name put bloody knuckles to your cheek. Blush and bleed in the shapes of lakes. Forget about the while it takes. It’s a drink till you drink it, it’s a debt till you pay it down. You were born into waves of infinite white light, raised by ex-heads of state whose cells surrender. They're old. So old.  So I’m not coming over. Have you been out? Seen in circles as expected, as it happened Walked a ways out, let the red sun, follow us down, faces made up.

TEMPER
Temper it, it’s gonna come as a shock (not a long shot). Tongue it twice, dug in but stopped. Persist, I’m making up for a lost load. Unloved but hung and cherubic as fuck. I wrote the one about the hen who walks in looking for someone, says, “An egg’s all well and good, but who do you rely on?" Can you make it all up to the organization? Can you shed the rust of what you said when you rushed into us? I did a little research into how the sun sets. I did a little research, all right, it’s not a contest. I did a little research, all right, your lover knows best.

PASSPORT PAGES
In the beginning there were planes and a place of interest. We kissed the natives, traded salt from the sea. We kept the clever ones in line for their own protection. Behold, the benefits of residency. We never had to ask permission or forgiveness. We just showed up in the pages and extended our lease. And if you need it repeated, you know where to go. You do and you did it (o where to go?). Fell out of favor (o where to go?). Taped to the edges (o where to go?). Wanted to show it where to go. Hope not to slow down. The wrong love awaits and pretends it’s intended. When you set out on your own with no celebration, you kept your promise to his excellency. You set your prejudice aside, tried to stay in focus, drew your blade and braved the cynical streets. Looking back it doesn’t seem quite as courageous. Your record made you famous, but you were already free. And if you need it repeated, you know where to go. You do what they tell you. You talk about the human condition, your paradox. The dark of the corner, you swallowed up the last of the money, and here we are. Your friends of your friends have the keys to the cages, the passports, the pages. You fought on the wrong side, chemicals. I've got your opportunity.

YOU TOOK
Late as what? Reminded of a year on, yet dependent. You revealed it, too my even tone. Even took my deep red. You took my deep-set. You took my sure foot. You took my sea life. You took my easy out. Eager, you took my sweet side. You took my high sign. You took my die-cut. You took my brittle tin. You took my faithless tune. Favored, you took my full bleed. You took my whole team. You took my land speed. You took my heavenly. You took my cooling card. Save it, you took my slow drip. You took my shivaree. You took my heavy gauge. You took my long game. You took my only stone. Fade up, you took my top step. You took my test case. You took my '98. You took my food chain. You took my favorite son. All in, you took my unknown. You took my primitive. You took my shell toes. You took my Gold Coast. You took my future-proof. Sealed in, you took my featherweight. You took my fair shake. You took my brutal youth. You took my good look. You took my bended bough. Come alive, you took my delicate. You took my devilish. You took my don’t stop. Time is a wheel, right? Your secret, I've got your secret. I could see through sick. Believe in what you needed, but the thing is: I've got your secret. I've got a skinny wrist. I've got your secret.

IN BANDS (Bonus Track)
Your children are better off sad, dolled up and living in bands, and they say, "ooooh!" Pour on the miles, stay up for anything, wave from the roof and feign a connection. The hometowns are giving in fast, chalked up with shatterproof glass in their frames, calling you back, telling you what to think. Ribbons and wire in a rush to release. The least of us believe we will never outgrow what the least of us believe. It’s gonna be all right. You say you're afraid to sing, but you never sold out to the least of us. It’s gonna be all right. Your children are permanent waves, quick-set in salt from the lake. They love toeing the lines, waking the enemy. They play to the room in states of deception. They gunned down the imminent threat in a blaze of observable trends, but I say, "ooooh!" You don’t have to lie. Just own up to everything. Soak up the night. Sing in the glow from a fire of a horrible wreck that your children are running to. The least of us believe we will never outgrow what the least of us believe, but it doesn’t make you right. The fates are amazed to see that you never stood up to the least of us. The least of us believe we’re all living in light, and the pieces of your busted heart believe you were only in their way. You think it would change a thing if I said it enough? Would you hold on to your only son and see he’ll never outgrow what the least of us believe? Is it gonna be all right?


All songs by Halloween, Alaska. Published by Heartshapes and Handshakes (ASCAP / More Punchier Edgier Music (ASCAP) / Franz Kline in the Dunk Tank (BMI)

"Ginger" contains an excerpt from the poem "From a Finished Basement" by Graham Foust, used with permission.