Three on a Match

by Scotty Houston

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1.
When I lift my feet up In my swivel chair Both feet up off the floor I can spin around A wave that’s churning backward Bring me back to town If I could pull in closer Get the timing right Jump and land upright on shore Got a slapback echo And a strobing light Drop the shadow to the floor There’s always time to travel But there’s no time travel My only wish is one wish more I’d ask for brighter lights A more careful process A gentle start, a better day
2.
Time makes you stronger Crying makes you weak The scars on your hands from the fire make you weep Try to control it The shaking of your voice Five minutes to showtime You’ve run out of choice You know it’s a fact You’ll open your mouth, it’ll turn up slack The birds in the black, they always fly back for more Again and again They say they’re going to promote you With a plan they have conceived Oblivious to injury, the problem they can’t see Time makes you weaker Crying makes you strong The shock from the microphone Will clip you if you’re wrong You know it’s the truth You’ll open your mouth and it’s full of hoof The birds in the black, they always fly back The birds in the black, they always fly back
3.
Bright Blue 03:22
Had enough of the radio news Lady pulled a Britney choosing the wrong shoes Out of the dark blows a black balloon Took you to town crying Papa Calhoun Whatever happened to The time we burned bright blue Had a good bickering But what about the truth What about it? Fill up your tank with a cold despair Sputtering engine sputtering hottest air Whatever happened to The times we burned bright blue Had a good bickering But what about the truth What about it? My baby don’t care about the horse race My baby don’t care about the horse race What about truth? What about justice?
4.
No Receipt 03:44
My conversation skills are a mess I attribute this to many broken words I’ve memorized the length of your address And all its curls Someday, maybe We’ll talk about the way we used to laugh Count it down, baby Fill the list with anything you lack One by one you know I’ve got your back We stayed up late and talked about the past Put a spin on anything too dark Our memories no longer what they were Amber sparks When you feel a cold dark forming No glare to mark your way Out of spite, the sun is going to find you Burst and blind you We figure out our method to survive Tangled knot tied tight with baling wire Stride to stride much shorter than before Feet to floor Ch2: Someday, maybe We’ll talk about the way we used to laugh Count it down, baby Fill the bag with anything you lack With no receipt, there’s nothing to take back
5.
Daddy died of too much love In an avalanche of snow Ma's around but they don't talk Step daddy took a toll She asked me to write a letter To myself, as if she were me I did it, and in it I drew her my chart Told her how I longed for love to be She's got glass in her blood, this woman of mine She's got glass running through her in vines Forever and endeavour She's stubborn as they make 'em Can't do enough right She springs back with a smile After a fight And when there is a darkness In the middle of the night We lay up, stay up, welcome, welcome To welcome the light She's got glass in her blood, this woman of mine She's got glass running through her in vines Forever and endeavour
6.
Cards on the table in the Monday morning light A game left unfinished from the previous night I never meant to hurt you but I took some delight That's the very worst part of a very good fight I’m not going to tell you That I did everything right (‘cause I haven’t got the right) All I’ve got to levy is a promise of brevity All my bones are aching My throat is dusty-dry We’ll count the same stars Til the days that we die If a cockroach can survive a nuclear war Then you can hang on just one year more What’s it going to be, all the billions in the sea This is it. If you choose, could be sorrow for days, sorrow for days You can be so free and name the birds in every tree That’s a promise baby A promise of brevity
7.
Iceland 03:16
Turn down, turn down the light Surrounded by water we wait The snow on the mountains is icing on gold Roll away slowly, we roll I’ve heard it before the fight to survive How it tangles the heart And generates drive I miss you already In parallel lives In Iceland, everything is fine In Iceland, everybody cried No wonder the old men drink like the British Fall into the brine, the longest way home Three doors will open, a fourth draws you in Roll away slowly, we roll, away
8.
A box flammable And rectangular Open it slowly, let the secret of opposites Infect a life Tired of ambivalence And perfection Ignite Light the fog and Lift it higher, it’s the Nighttime mist Captured to be A box flammable A star chartable Constellation angular Trace it slowly The parallels of opposites Tie your life To such ambivalence Imperfection Ignite
9.
Working every hour of the night in the flour and the SAF yeast Poppy seed and cream cheese The knocking at the backdoor is distracting it’s fast acting I am rising Visitors surprise me I'm a midnight bagel baker It's what I do thank you and please You hold the lox and I can sing off key There’s no escaping This hole-y moly love I’ve never seen the sun rising cuz I’m always in your heartbeat Stomping on my aching feet Boil it and bake it double whammy got a Grammy ™ for this bagel song Bitter doughnut savory breakfast bomb I'm a midnight bagel baker It's what I do thank you and please You hold the lox and I can sing off key There’s no escaping This hole-y moly love Got to sleep sometime
10.
A seed buried in the underground At the edge of the warmth of the sun Could have blackened Could have fell to dust But it busted out Found a pathway Through the loam Exhaled deeply through stomata Clouds soon parted after rain Sprout and flower A hundred inches high Spread its arms out Like it could fly Check the horizon, see how far you’ve come Let your petals relax and wave Hush a moment, hear the whisper of your name Between the breeze and the pain And through the loam

about

Note: Many of these songs are included in the aurally improved compilation "Flash of a Smile".

Made at ChezFly February/March 2017. Three down in a fat year.

"...when the first soldier lit his cigarette, the enemy would see the light; when the second soldier lit his cigarette from the same match, the enemy would take aim at the target; and when the third soldier lit his cigarette from the match, the enemy would shoot."

credits

released April 12, 2017

Words and music by Scotty except lyrics on Glass in Blood by Cherie Chavez and Light the Fog by Melanie Holt. Cherie sings on "Bright Blue" and "Light the Fog" and also snapped the cover shot.

With many thanks to Guy Capecelatro III for keeping me in it when I nearly fell out of it.

Assembled on Linux with KXStudio, Harrison Mixbus, Guitarix etc.

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Scotty Houston California

“In the dark times. Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times.”

- Bertolt Brecht

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