no hard rain

by peter j hochstedler

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released April 5, 2017

fabric patch by zoe jackson, for whose friendship and love I am deeply grateful and who should not be held accountable for my own design choices.

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peter j hochstedler South Bend, Indiana

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Track Name: I don't even need your love
friday night on the avenue
you don't know this city like I do
all the roads laid out like limbs
and the past is the past and I know we can never win

but I've had enough
had enough
I don't even need your love

put it down in a country tune
cold sweat in the soft glow of the moon
and my bed is a carousel
I get nowhere turning all night the thought of you

maybe there is a mystery
some voice from the void that could render it happy
but I work my world in a livery
I got no god who can mend miraculously

and I've had enough
had enough
I don't even need your love
I swear now I had enough
spent up
been chewing this one over a while; it's tough
there's a trombone on the radio
there's a band of angels singing in my ear
and I've had enough
I don't even need your love

all the signs are pointing home
go back to your room, peter
think what you've done
with a bottle of booze and a fine comb
funny as hell the lengths we can run

for the same old days
in the same old sun
I'm the same old child
with my same old loves

I could tear it up!
I could smoke it out!
I could cut this cord!
it could be undooooooooooone
yeah!

saw your face on the morning news
they were asking what you make of a war we were bound to lose
and your eyes light up like a live wire
cut from the roof of a house we would never use

maybe there is a mystery
some grace in the heart of the God of our Family
but I know your love--I feel it keen
it rots by the side of the road I'm walking

and now I've had enough
had enough
I don't even need your love
had enough
spent up
been sleeping now on this one a while; it's rough

there's a soft bleed in my memory
there's a little demon hovering at my ear
and I've had enough
I don't even need your love
Track Name: it's true, I am one of them
meet me where the mouth meets the icon
meet me there--I want to feel your skin
there where the carcasses stretch around the orifice
it's true, I am one of them

call me up when I am feeling horny
in the hour between the dog and the wolf
help me to remember it's the ritual that renders it
it's true, I am one of them

meet me in the middle!
how could I believe in anything unclean as resurrection?
but I can meet you bodily
grasping at anomalies
it's true, I am one of them

though I am so far away from family
am I still the fruit of that proud tree?
would you meet me in the shame I feel
the country and the name I steal away--
but I am one of them

meet me in the shadow!
take me by the skin!
feel me up in blessed dissolution!
the poet is beset by form
the sculptor does away with words
it's true--and I am one of them

what became of jesus?
you shepherd with a knife
you gardener with nuclear abandon
I WANT TO FEEL YOUR FEELING PLEASE
THE SPECTER OF YOUR SOFT DISEASE
IT'S TRUE--AND I'LL BE ONE OF THEM
Track Name: I'm out on the edge of town
I'm out on the edge of town
it's where I feel it most--
the life in my limbs
the glory of my ghost

I left behind
almost all of my kind
will I cut the cord?
will I watch you die?

do you talk to jesus?
does he make you smile?
does he call you on the phone?
does he call you his child?

my sister is a mother now
my brother is a priest
but I ain't looking for a family
or a god to give me peace

I made my line
I cut it into the membrane
and it tells my feet where to wander
and it gives my heart all it needs

do you talk to the devil?
he isn't real you know
he's just a shadow that you cast
in the good lord's glow

I'm out here in orbit
at the edge of a worldly sphere
I don't know if forgiveness
can reach me out here

I've been unkind
but I ain't never been untrue
I wield my tongue like the weapon you made me
but I wouldn't lie to you

do you talk to mary?
tell her hi from me
I used to need her love
now I don't need anything

have you heard from joseph?
no, he ain't really around
I mean, I know he did his best and all
but he was clumsy as a clown
Track Name: whatever grace
(take what you want from me
whatever grace I can give)

I've been setting down my boundaries
desire to the north, skin to the east
your hands at the west, your face to the south
wayward tongue, open mouth

what you want from me? I am cellophane
you can see right through the membrane
and the plastic void where we love each other
I will share with you in the heat of the summer

(take what you want from me
whatever grace I can give)

my god, I know, who can compare?
there's a hollow in my heart--leave it there
where we work magic out of nothing
it's a new sorrow, an old beginning

whatever grace I can give in the moment--
the moment's a desert; the portal is open
and I shroud myself in comedy
brave laughter, an underpinning

(take what you want from me
whatever grace I can give)

I've been working out my old beliefs
it's a price we pay to get free
and I've pruned it back and I've burnt it out
and I've let down my family

what you want from me? I am copper wire
I transmute the wave of your desire
and I hide myself inside your walls
and eventually I spark a fire

(take what you want from me
whatever grace I can give)
Track Name: no hard rain is gonna fall
no hard rain is gonna fall
no hard rain is gonna fall
there is no inevitability to it all at all
there is no hard rain gonna fall

not everything that rises will converge
there may not be a dancing at this dirge
our work may be too weak, too slow, too small
there may be no hard rain gonna fall

we must move swiftly, they are propping up a wall
and it threatens to enwreathe us all
though we work uncertain or darkly underground
we built it, we can burn it down

there may not be a rider on a horse
let this sink in: there is no matter of course
and regardless of what victories befall
there is no inevitability to it all at all
our work may be too weak, too slow, too small
or ripple out in tongues from the scratch of a scrawl
our giant may be wakened, mad, and tall
our chickens may return to roost at the mall
where there may be no hard rain

we must move swiftly--
they are propping up a god
they are puppeting his rage, his reck, his rod
we must feed flickers wherever they be found
we built him, we can burn him down

we built him, we can burn him down
you can hear all hell, how sickly it is sounding the call
and the hunger of a hopeful flame for a pall
and there will be no hard rain