Tuesday, August 16, 2011

By An Ocean

by CK

Sometimes I drive just to drive,
and clear my heart of foolish notions.
I'm there -- barely there -- when I arrive,
but in my mind’s eye,
I’m still somewhere by an ocean.

And I remember what you said
about what I had to offer,
about being my own doctor,
and trying to get ahead,
and becoming my own man.
But I don't know if I can,
and even when I do my best --
I'm a mess -- still a mess.
I'm barely alive, barely coping,
but thank God: I know where I’m going.  I’m going.

My body’s getting older; my mind’s getting slower.
I wish I could start all over again.
Are you sure that I’m still family? Sure that I’m still in?
Is it me – or are the standards getting lower?
Are you sure after knowing
I was broke when I was broken?
And actually I don’t know – still don’t know -- where I’m going.

Yeah, I heard about her; she's bad news
in New York. Nevermind – in my mind,
I still adore her.
I remember her in '09
back before she had the blues,
and where she’s going – I’ve been there before her.
Yeah, I heard the whispers
about her fall from grace -- 
but how can you fall if you fall to the same place?
Seems to me she fell to -- not from -- grace;
and is it grace if you choose it?
Is it grace if, when you're lost, you can lose it?
I still believe in her,
and the grace that holds her.
She can start all over
all over again.
I know she’s still family, and will be to the end.
Is it her – or is mercy getting colder?

And I think of all my friends: where they’ve been,
and where they’re going.
Sometimes in my sleep, I swear,
I can feel them growing.
Did they get back together?
Did they have another child?
Did he ever write that letter?
Did she go – was it worthwhile?
Did he get married after all?
Will they ever take his calls?
Like I miss them -- do they miss me?
Did they miss the trees for the woods?
Can they see -- like they should --
everything is working for their good?

Sometimes I ride out to Hartwell,
and run beside the blue lake.
I run to the tune of Tillman's bell.
I run all by myself;
I run till my legs ache.
I run from the future, more or less to cope --
then the wind whips the water wide awake,
and I hold on. I hold on to a little hope.

Sometimes I drive just to drive.
In my mind’s eye, I’m somewhere by an ocean.
And I remember what else you said,
like the words had just been spoken.
You talked about being alive,
about breathing; about hoping.
And thank God: I know where I'm going. I’m going.

And the truth is that I'm faking
just to keep my heart from breaking.
I'm barely here; hear and barely coping.
Is it showing?
Actually, you know, I don't know --
I still don't know where I'm going.

So, I guess I'll start all over, all over again.
At least I’m still family. At least I'm still in.
How can I fall from grace --
when I land in the same place,
back in the same embrace? 
I was broke when I got here,
and I'm still broken.
And the truth is, that's where I've been,
and that's where I'm going. I'm going.

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