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Mouthing Off


Clearinghouse Lyrics





1. The Web

2. Prisoner of Lace

3. Obsession

4. Baby Truce

5. John Milton

6. Meteor

7. Drone

8. Warm Hands, Cold Heart

9. What Kind of Woman is This, Man?

10. Why'd You Break My Heart Again?

11. Forever and a Day

12. Karen Says

13. Lullabayou

14. Low Rain

Her room is dark and fragrant. Once I'm in, its atmosphere envelopes me. The tin foil spread across
her windows shuts out all the sunlight of a day in early Fall.

Her bureau groans beneath a mirror's weight, a sleeping cat, some crystals bought of late, small
pentagrams and gryphons, pins and rings - all manner of assorted magic things. Dry roses hang between
collages she assembled from: her life, her mind, and me, some works of Baudelaire, and Klimt's "The Kiss."
Three beaded lamps glow over all of this.

Her closet, when I chance to look within, contains strange art on half a mannequin, and all her clothes;
of velvet, silk or wool, all black. The mingled odors often pull my nose in different directions, since its
contents soak the room with changing hints of incense, perfume, henna, paint and wax; whatever has a scent has left its tracks.

The walls looked singed from candles, and the floor as well wears spattered wax from many more. 

And in the middle of this room? Her bed, on which she lies, half-naked, pale and dead asleep beneath a
canopy of lace; long, wine-red curls surround this angel's face. 

She sighs, and dreams escape her parted lips. I place a kiss upon her fingertips - she stirs - and I am
gone, before she knows or sees who left the single yellow rose.

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Talked to a very good friend of mine today
She said she "L"-d me in each and every way
I'm hooked - I'm the prisoner of lace

A spider's daughter, a Renaissance witch
A ghostly flame dressed black as pitch
I'm hooked - I'm the prisoner of lace

With candle-drip letters, she signs her name,
And tattoos her phone number into my skin
I'm hooked - I'm the prisoner of lace

Living for stolen moments
With someone I'm not supposed to be near
She smells like something burning-
Like something you can't quite define
Little black riding hood, stealer of roses
This wolf is on your heels. Run inside! Lock the door!
I'm hooked - I'm the prisoner of lace

Talked to a very good friend of mine today
She said she loved me in each and every way
I'm hooked - I'm the prisoner

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I look for you, everywhere I go
It's not that I'm obsessed with you, though
But I'd rather have my head cut off
By an axeman with a rasping cough
Than to have to see you walk away

See you in everything I do
It's not that I'm obsessed with you - no way
But if all of the girls in the world were stacked
(And a lot of them are, as a matter of fact) up
I think I would rather be with you
In fact, I know I'd do

Walk through a garden, I think I smell your perfume
Is it because I'm obsessed with you?
I want to stay in the shower with you
'Til our fingers turn into prunes
Then I'll lick you dry and we'll do it all over again
To me that's what you do

Want to ...

Do you know what I'm going through?
Did you know I'm obsessed with you?
I'd get familiar with a gun
I'd shoot your boyfriends one by one
I'd walk on water (on skis) if you'd give yourself to me

But it's not as if I'm obsessed with you
But something screams with such a voice
It's in my head - I have no choice
I fall on my face and my knees and I pray to your photo!

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Black-eyed Peace, still wet from War, 
Cries out for the milk of restoration
Stares at her parents, and wonders which one hit her- 
She resembles both in their confusion

They can't apologize for damage to ears that are still ringing
From birth and tanks and insult and deception
Her mouth is full of blood from a throat worn raw from screaming
Where the shrapnel of a handshake made connection 

But her parents simply hope that she will grow up happy, healthy
And unlike each other: hateful untrusting factions
Because they're here to beg her pardon and get her blessings for their wedding
In hopes that she will cater the reception.

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John Milton was a Puritan
John Milton was too blind to have much fun
Too much Il Penseroso and not enough l'Allegro

John Milton was a righteous guy
John Milton was not afraid to die
He knew where it was he was going and why

John Milton had a wife or two
John Milton didn't do what I would do
I'd try to get lost in Paradise with you

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Vroooooom!!!  (Use your imagination. It's an instrumental!)

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We were lying where they usually keep the statues
Wearing painters masks and echinacea, too
When a teaspoon full of honey came between us
And asked us what we wanted to do
(Cuz there was blood in the ointment
And lipstick in the glue)

I said, "We might as well make ourselves into a family
And build ourselves a well made of doubt
Seal the bricks with guilt and with money
Then try to claw ourselves a way out."

The teaspoon laughed and wiped at its sweetness
Then plunked down a golden dollar bill, 
Saying, "Next time doncha be such a stranger.
My beehive is right up the hill."

Anyone with two legs knows birds don't eat scrambled eggs, and
Bumblebees aren't only stung by fools.
Prescriptions aren't the best thing for an afterthought
And poison's just a little too cruel.
The only cure is to buzz inside your overcoat
Or float face down in your swimming pool.

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Same planet, different world
Same woman, different girl
Same woman, different man
Different future, different plan
From the one I conceived
When I first laid eyes on my queen
Now it's back to sleep
Back to a brand new dream

Same partner, different crime
Same place, wrong time
Same place, wrong name
Not different, but not the same
As the one that she used
To whisper to me alone
Now it's back to the drawing board
Back to the telephone

Same neck, different tie
Same drug, different high
Same breath, different sigh
Same words, different lie
As the time when you wished
You'd always be in my heart
Though that much is true
I didn't know we'd spend "always" apart

Warm hands, cold heart
Old haunts, new start
Warm beer, cold feet
Lots of stuff I don't want to repeat

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Got this crazy girl at home. Listen to me, brother
She don't act like you and me, no, she is like no other
What kind of woman is this, man?

She likes Pepsi, I like Coke, but that's just small potatoes
What kind of woman is this, man?
I like colors, sounds and smells, she likes ones and zeroes
What kind of woman is this, man?

I get home late Sunday night, she leave early morning
What kind of woman is this, man?
I yell Hey look out below, she give no one warning
What kind of woman is this, man?

She's real smart at spending dough that's not hers to begin wit'
What kind of woman is this, man?
Ask the girl to pay it back, all of a sudden she's a dimwit
What kind of woman is this, man?

She say "I will never leave you. I'm not putting you on."
What kind of woman is this, man?
Close my eyes for just a second. Holy smoke! She's gone!
What kind of woman is this, man?

Swears she loves every kind of animal - wouldn't hurt a bee or spider
But if a barking dog keeps her up at night, you see the murderous rage inside her!

She goes to church every Sunday, and all week she swears like a sailor!
She wears all kindsa clothes that don't fit, then she tells me I need a new tailor!
What kind of woman is this, man?

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I face a sullen mirror, It doesn't understand
It thought we had the whole thing planned
I should have seen it come. How does it feel, my friend
To make the same mistake again?

You'd think I'd learned from that mistake,
You'd think that I'd've gotten wise
That I'd see you through different eyes
But no, I thought we'd feel the same, 
That we'd forgive and then forget
But you're not ready for that yet

Why'd you break my heart again?
You cut the string, it starts to rain
I'm left alone, now who's to blame?

Am I everything you've wanted in a fool?
How well did I play the part
When I thought that we were cool?
I can't go out after the rain anymore
Without you ringing up bad news
I'm bits of snail beneath your shoes
Once more, you gave me the boot
I've been kicked out of the aeroplane
Without a parachute

Why'd you break my heart again?
Which was easier? To deceive me
Or to love and then to leave me?
I'm trying to understand
I'm so confused, would you explain
Why'd you break my heart again?

Before I fall in love again
I've got to make sure that she'll care
That she won't leave me in the air
Now I've begun to sleep again at night
It's time for you to play your part again

Why'd you break my heart again?

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The past hadn't even been invented yet
The last time I talked to you
I'm a thousand years younger than the third world war
And a month to me is like an hour to you

Now I sit in the dark, not a sound not a spark
Not a penny or a fortune to my name
We broke up before the dawn of time
Even if it's only been a day

How I miss our days of joy; you happy girl, me happy boy
When we shared a love that never could be beat
Now you and I don't want to call, place the blame or take the fall
And our miscommunication ain't so sweet

Yeah it's a mess, what a shame, and I know we're both to blame
Ain't it funny how pride can get in the way?
Both awake and in my dreams you were with me so it seems we were
Together for forever and a day

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(Oh, Karen, what's the reason for the lies?
I've been thinking about us for oh too long a time.)
She staggered into my life, weary, black and blue
Hurt or cheated by people she loved and some she never really knew

Karen says when I ask her that she knows
Who she is, what she's doing, where she goes

Karen tells me, she thinks I didn't care
That I needed anyone, and it just happened to be her
Sex and protection, is that all she thought of me?
The warmth inside of two more arms to hold her in her sleep

Karen says, and I'd ask her, but I don't dare
Is she happy, does she care about me, does she care?

I didn't know something was wrong when I called her up one day
I tried to run to her side but too much time had slipped away
Somewhere in these years together I think we both lost track
She's turned around, I'm writing love songs to her back

Karen says, she can't breathe when I'm there
I'd forgotten she's a doll, and she needs air

I think about the things we did that made each other so upset
This perfect hindsight of mine won't ever let me forget
In a few of my stranger dreams, she dies smiling in my arms
I join her with a full full heart just a minute or two behind

Karen says, "Maybe New Zealand is where I should stay
I'm getting married soon. Happy Birthday, by the way."

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My water lily, she sleeps in the pond
I watch from the trees overhead
They sway a silent lullaby over her bed
I watch her fall asleep

My water lily, asleep in the pond
Frogs and crickets sing her to sleep
Floating lilypads the warm water blanket keep
My water lily asleep

Should her dreams be troubled
Fireflies light her face
The summer will come when she wakens
And steps into a bath of sunlight

My water lily, asleep in the water
Cool breezes stir her cheeks
Warm undercurrents keep her floating for weeks
My sleeping mermaid dreams

The moon above reflects her face
Her dark brown eyes are closed
So still she breathes, and quiet she lies
'Til she awakes I wait, forever

She whispers a word, a name: not mine?
Still, one familiar to me
And as I hear her quietly whisper it again
I slowly walk away

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Dressed all in black, scarf to pointed boots
The rain she comes
Thunder is her music, lightning up her way
The rain she comes

Her eyes are candles, burning deep in the fog
Hair is the color of a dying day
Her tears are storms and are drowning me
Slipping on the streets, I wave her on

Roll, roll on, low rain

You've spent too much time on me
Windows to my heart wet with your tears
There's another season in my life right now
Come again come winter, when
Christmas lights flung across your shoulder
Light up your face, make you look younger and warmer
Your face is the pale moon in my window
You cover it with clouds before I really get to see you

Roll on, low rain
Roll, roll on, low rain

Rain I love you, you depress me so
Rain, you depress me because I can't have you

Watches over me, disturbs my reverie
Gifts me with her showers
I love you rain, but I ask you please

Roll, roll on, low rain 

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Copyright Pungent Records 2002