I want to be invisible
and lurk around the world for good
sleeping CEO’s 
I’ll creep into your gated hoods
whisper whisper in your dreams
and tell you how to right your wrongs
and if I come three nights
next morning you’ll be sleeping long.

Can’t face the flood by ourselves
we will join with the weather

When the nighttime crashes in
look around beside you babe
we’re your friends.
When you need some oxygen
jump into the fire with us.

When 8 figures sleep
there ain’t nobody left to haunt
the kids are smoking in the street
hot and heavy talk of fonts

Can’t face the flood by ourselves
we will join with the weather

When the nighttime crashes in
look around beside you babe
we’re your friends.
When you’re feeling powerless
jump into the fire with us.  

—-Ancient Mars—-

In Heaven

At intermission
we meet outside
a grin of a hug
you blow your cigarette in the other direction
we laugh at the same jokes
but she pops the balloon when she walks through the room to you
in heaven.

Who can control
the bitter blast
we know we let in the cold when we defenestrate the past and now
she’s not at the other end of our telephone calls
she’s in a desert on the surface of mars
with you in heaven.

Knot In My Heart

My friends are wilding
how winter loves wear thin
they’re cut to kindling
when summer hits our skin.

We’re like a seedling.
suck tears out of a vase
a forest fire knows
Something will take its place.

So why do I need
something more
you’ve got that secret knock to my door.

I wake up some days with a knot in my heart
Where oh where, where are you?
It’s hard and weird not to know how your day begins
though I’m lying next to someone new.

Calm and collected. 
I’m feeling nothing in the world can shake my bones.
These new distractions like growing grasses
hide the path between our homes.

Ancient Mars

I want to believe in time travel
that one day I’ll come back for you.
find you in the campus library aisles and I’d say 
Oh my ancient Mars.

when the rusty rocks were covered in groves
and the pyramids foretold acidic snows
all was still breathing like my hands on your toes and I said
Oh my ancient Mars

Several billion golden years ago
I lost a planet that I loved to the cold
civilization blooms and then it erodes. And that’s it
Oh my ancient Mars.

Strange Girl

You were the deep well
in earth-and-ocean class
and on the days you showed
I’d try to make you laugh.
Cliques drift and
converge in with a crash
And there we were, desk to desk
a young mountain and a strange girl.

And then we met again at university
you said I came to you in a heavy dream.
Life in a Glass House, you said was your secret theme.
Sometimes you creep me out
have I ever told you you’re a strange girl?

We were silver moths
around a naked bulb
on my parents’ porch that night
it was love
and it kept moving.

I know you oh so well
since we were 15
so well I feel my joints
when your weather’s shifting.
I’ll be your confidante
across the continents.
You may one day be queen
but to me you’ll always be that strange girl.

Escape Artist

My alter-ego.  He’s an escape artist,
he’s only truly happy when he’s under arrest.
oh how he handsome, scheduled to hang to death
He’s only truly happy at the precipice.

He’s like a mirror.  He sticks into our ears
a stethoscope to the chest of the vacant years.
I can’t escape the chair, I’m etherized with fear
that my only talent is in hanging here.

but then it’s
Hey boy, I’ve got your man he’s right here
putty in my hands
ice cream and sweets,
coming in the sheets
he got no excuse to leave.

and in the real world, an intertidal cave,
I ride a desk chair waiting for a tidal wave
I feel like dancing, but that is miles away
I’m feeling hard and  hollow like paper mache.

My alter ego.  He’s in a jailer’s cage
he sits and waits for the devil to abet his escape.
I’m sorry pastor, I can’t be pasteurized.
All of the bibles in the world for a metal file.

At every clock strike, he hears the jailer’s keys
and the doubt starts to sprout til he’s on his knees.
but he is singing, when the night is black
“All I am is whatever I’m aiming at”
and he remembers like it’s his mother’s call
to feel his hand find a grip at the top of the wall.
I want to feel it, I want to feel the fire
of the leftover sun on the roofing tiles.


We broke in where
we’re not allowed
and found a station
from a dead undergound.
And there you kissed me
as if goodbye
on the dusty platform
like my train had arrived

Oh we hold with the grip of a sifter
and we smile with the teeth of a comb
we can fake what we want to belong
but if we don’t show our faces
we can’t be wrong.

Hands in the air, listen to me
this is a stickup at the observatory
we’re gonna look at just what we wanna see
this is a stickup at the observatory.

The blue beneath your skin is like
an atlas of the sky
I want to read your book but I
don’t want to break the spine.

We left the concert on skid row
and looked up at the building face
office workers in the sky constellate
In our ordinary moons
we can’t see the part we play
all the windows in the sky constellate.

oh we know we’re living in a tumour
or we know we’re living in a coral reef
who can say what’s the way to believe
but sleep beside a window
and you hear it breathe.

Local Swan

In Montreal’s tiny pond
she and I we smoulder
the local swan, my amazon
with coathanger shoulders

My god, it’s a mirage; she’s booking to go.
I’ll swim the St. Laurent cause I lost her and I succumb.

When all your nights are starry blurs
will you remember me?
When all your friends are photographers
will you remember me?

I refuse
to reminisce
needle cracks and tape hiss.
Blue tattoos of the things I miss
are they bruise or cicatrice?
oh no, fear the plateau
there’s no up or down
costars and Hollywood tsars they flood my mind and I drown

Walking by your window, I called you for the first time
“yeah, the one who spilled my drink on you last night.”
and in my underlit apartment, you let me paint you by the flame.
I’ve painted you a hundred times and still can’t sign my name.

When all your nights are starry blurs
will you remember me?
When all your friends are photographers
will you remember me?
the scene is set to see your face
on every silver screen.
When all you need is a hiding place
will you remember me?

Euphrates and Tigris

I bet she’s rail-thin like a heron
over the phone she talks and I just listen in
“we’ll never meet until it’s just too late for us
you’re the Euphrates and I’m the Tigris”

Talk talk, the tang of exhaust
the mystery’s gone again
I threw the light on you
the way that I always can
conquest dredged the loch ness
and the mystery’s gone again.

She left her Braille open to my fingertips
Her pockets weighed down because they’re littered with
cigarette lighters from all the boys she’s ever loved
despite them all she still can’t stay warm enough.

Talk talk, the tang of exhaust
the mystery’s gone again
I threw the light on you,
the way that I always can
Zoom zoom, streetview the moon
and the mystery’s gone again.

Cold Moon

The paint is dry, we’ve closed the vein
to rinse the brush and go again
but still I know I’ve got the stain
and maybe you do too. 

I found the stomach to deny
the urge to look you up online
don’t want to creep on your profile
but sometimes I still do. 

Maybe I’ll see you on the cold moon
we’ll meet again beneath the cold moon
thin windows fill my room
with silver from the cold cold moon.

In the mirror here and there
I catch a flash of silverware
I shake my back to try to clear
the table set for two.

Cultured Man

I want to be your cultured man
who doesn’t jump off of the bus you were riding
run as fast as his legs can go
to return the previous night’s video

then sprinting to catch up
by the next bus stop

Just to impress you my love
just to impress you
just to impress you my love and sit back beside you.

I want to be your talented man
who doesn’t wake you in the morning having cooked us something strange
and when you go for supper at his folks
doesn’t burst in through the door and announce to them

you’re never gonna guess
who I brought as a guest.

Cause your blood is family too
so come to the table
your blood is family too now sit down beside us.

Pouring wine and pushing opinions
taking drags, ignoring the dishes
the worlds we unwrap off the top of our heads
you and me and my folks between dinner and bed.

When months they pour into years and more
will he still be holding car doors for you?

—-Tic Toc Tic—-

You’re Too Cool

Love don’t live at home, oh no, it slithers in the wild
I met her at the Biltmore, she was cold and over-styled
Took all my money and took all my pride
She may not be a pharaoh, but she guzzled down the Nile.

I can tell we’ll never be safe 
‘til the walls fall down.
Every morning chipping away
‘til the walls fall down.

Won’t you cry on my shoulder, won’t you laugh at my jokes?
It’s okay to relax in this forest of folks
Cause nobody’s aiming a stick at your spokes
So won’t you cry on my shoulder, won’t you laugh at my jokes?

I’m wide awake, I’m wide awake, I’m wide awake
And now you’re back in town
To show your New York crown
But now you’re much too proud, 
You’re too cool.

On the road I dream of home and when at home I dream of action.
Our apartments are all haunted by the ghost of satisfaction.
Cause we all want something that’s bigger than fashion.
So spill out your heart brother, show me your passion
Spill out your heart sister, show me your passion.

The Great Collapse

I dreamt about you the other night
We were there when people started to die.
The seas rose to a terrible height
but we survived, yeah we survived 
(I don’t know why).
We watched the grass pry open the cracks.
The birds returned, the nights went black.
Yeah, we were lovers in the great collapse.
The seasons came, the seasons passed.

So free what you love cause it’s gonna die anyway.
Those golden days will be fossilized and we’ll scream
“Oh, back it up, back it up” but it’s not the same.
No, it’s enough just to say “I knew you well.”

Now I can’t sleep and I can’t say no.
Civilization ain’t got no soul.
The tick tock ticks out of control.
I’m on a roll, I’m on a roll
(He’s lost control).
And though when my dream ends
It’s true we’re hardly friends.
I can’t forget those seasons
The world as one, the world as one.

Marlaina Kamikaze

Oh Marlaina, you are something special.
Please believe me when I tell you so.
I’m a lion when we are one
but without you 
I’m a kamikaze, I’m high strung
I’m hanging up inside the hot sun
But think about you and I’m undone
Oh Marlaina, kamikaze life is not fun, no it’s not fun.

You’re like a ghost to me
On every corner.
You’re like a ghost to me
On every man’s arm.
I know you’re somewhere in the city.
You’re like a ghost to me.

Ran into your friends as they went to meet you
I was a landmine they had tripped across
I could see it in their eyes
They could tell that I’m a kamikaze… 

I’m breaking into sweats just trying to forget
All of those young men there to comfort you.
They work on film sets and message you online
And I know I know I know I gotta get this off of my mind.

Body Ash

My balls are coals in the bottom of our bed
That sags with the ash of our passion spent.
I kicked the coals to see if they’re still lit
Oh how much more can I take of this?
I don’t know how much more I can take of this.

You get undressed and I watch the show
You lie beside me but I stay cool
Then the next morning again we go
You dress for work and I watch that too.

I know this tunnel will end with light
But I can’t see it, I can’t see it.
Must be a reason to stay polite
But I can’t see it, I can’t see it.
I keep the fire alive in the night.

I’m sick of sleeping in body ash.
Our bed is heaping with body ash.

We go for coffee and comfy chairs.
Your pen is to your lips but I don’t stare.
You lean over the table and between your hair
I can’t pretend that I don’t see what’s there.
Sure sure I’m a gentleman but this just ain’t fair.  

Cab Driver

I’m gonna hold your eye an extra beat
You’re gonna lean towards me in your seat
And though I know it’s a feeling I should shake
I’m gonna love you to cancel my mistakes.
I had a girl until just one week ago
And every day my misery just seems to grow
But for tonight I’ll suck it up and play the rake
I’m gonna love you to cancel my mistakes.

My friends in the back room 
sit like children in a ring.
When the bottle’s empty 
then the game gets dizzying.
Crawling all over eachother
What would mother think?
My friends in the back room 
Singing come on, come on in.

You invite me up, dishes piled up in the sink.
I ask myself have I had too much to drink?
I’m gonna break every window in your place
I’m gonna love you to cancel my mistakes.

I don’t want to be the cab driver,
When all the love is in the back seat.
I don’t want to be the cab driver,
Someone else can be the DD.  


Sometimes an empire doesn’t fall
As masked invaders climb the walls
Or spreading fires or rising floods
Sometimes it dies within.
The king and queen, they go to bed
On years of quiet neglect
To find the coffers bare but with
The musk of arrogance.

With me, you’re making the same mistakes I made with you.
I couldn’t convey I felt the same.

It’s true, we’re marionettes
But we pull the strings
And here as we dance, we tangle.
I’m spinning you round and closer we’re wound.
We’re marionettes.

There’s comfort in a holding hand
A schedule on which you depend
A cage in which you’re snugly penned
That’s what we have become.
A cyclone in a glass of wine
We both have wishbones for a spine.
But how long will we play this record’s tattered side
Afraid to change the song?  

I’ve Got Leeches

I am a crab from the sea of black
And you’re the barnacle on my back.
Yeah you’re the tooth that I can’t extract.

I am the crow from the building juts
And you’re the tinfoil in my guts.
Yeah no one struts like a blackbird struts.

I’ve got leeches under my clothes
And I can’t reach them.
I’ve got leeches under my clothes
Nobody can see them.
I’ve got leeches under my clothes
And ooh, they’re achin’.
As they suck the blood from our conversation.

I used to go to school on Saturdays
The ladies told us god was in everything.
But one of those ladies had to wear a wig,
And then one day she was gone, and she didn’t come back.

Bottle depot man with thalidomide hands,
Tells me that I’m looking like a right gentleman.
He walked like a ghost in the halls up and down
In the hospital where they wear their paper gowns.

Well my hands are strong and 10 keys wide
But in my mother’s body I was lying on my side.
My face came squished like my father’s pride.
I came squished like a cartoon cat.  

These Days

It started with a sandcastle
Today washed up my tomorrow.
But one night the mark was made,
Seared in your flesh with canola oil.

These days are piling up, 
Piling up like bricks.
Walls blocking off the sun,
I miss you.
Oh call it what you like,
My shaky memory.
We knew it from the top,
We’re deep sea.

On every bus I take there’s an empty seat.
There’s an empty stare in every streetlamp.
And the city nights are full of colours,
Colours dormant in the day.
Trashy light in the sky and a rainbow of greys.

The one thing that silence brings.
These empty-house evenings.
My dreams are haunted by
ghostly pages that I can’t fill.  

You Better Watch Out

You better watch out
cause one of these days
I’ll turn and ask you on a date.
Cause every bus ride 
you sit beside me
I kill myself for things to say.

I’d take you to a film or maybe to a party.
We’d mix and mingle with the cityscape of youth.
They drink their Stellas and they,
They wear their getups that say
They believe in something, but they don’t at all.

You’re not a one-stop, baby let me tell you.
You’re not a one-stop, baby I swear.
Oh driver don’t stop, don’t stop, never stop.
Cause here beside me sits the girl of my prayers.

“Caw caw! You can’t conquer them all,
You can’t conquer them all, so don’t try, no don’t try.” 
Mister Meek speaks, 
And from my shoulder he squeaks,
And I can’t get up the cheek to just say hi.

We seem so far away 
In this knock-off of a heyday.
There are handshakes and that’s okay,
But it’s nothing like the touch from knee to knee.  

No Talking

So tell me mama cause you know it’s true.
Weren’t you talking about a revolution?
Just postponed by the phone and forgot about it.
And tell me dad, do you remember this pearl:
“This generation’s gonna change the world”
Took a doze, I suppose, and forgot about it.

Time is not on our side so
No talking about the past.

The single saddest song you ever did sing
Burned like kindling ‘til tomorrow weighed in
On the lines that “the times are a-changin’”.

Ain’t love just the strangest thing?
We waste it on diamond rings.
Too late now to turn back time
So come on and do the lame duck jive tonight.  

Queen of Relax

You spend your days with this inside cat
Who goes out when you take her out and no more than that.
She’s got her usual perches and she sheds in the bath
But when you’ve worked hard all day, she’s the queen of relax.

See the girls go by, 
See the stars at night,
See just what it’s like to be lonely.
Come on clap your hands and forget command,
Don’t you think it’s time for a car crash?

Get out while you can.

You got your future lined up like it’s string on a loom.
You’ve got a nice batch of shows you can TiVo on your honeymoon.
You keep yourself busy, keep yourself wombed,
Thought you’d think about it later, but later is soon.

I’m not saying I’m doing any better,
But all that I wanted is all that I got.
I fucked up and screamed “Give me whatever!”
And all that I wanted is all that I got.

Yeah, she’s the Queen of Relax.  

Pyramid Scheme

Take a vow.
Take a vow of jealousy.
Falling strangers calling your name but
Take a vow.

It never was you,
The one to come through.
You keep me subdued with painted tongues.
And I get darker as you get lighter,
And I get smarter as you get dumb.

I don’t mean to disappoint you,
But I won’t be your little guy.
Cause you know I’m gonna fight
Through the sunshine and through the night.
I’m coming! War!

I smell the blood of a Caucasian.
Be we alive or be we dead,
He’ll grind our bones to make his bread.
One day I saw one while climbing a tree.
He said, “I’m gonna let you in on my pyramid scheme.”
I said “Thank you for the offer, but it’s not for me, see
I’d rather be a man in the skin of a beast
Than be a beast in the skin of a man.
And then he knocked me out!

Shake me from this wretched dream,
Staring at the great unseen.
We ain’t got nothing because nothing’s clean.
We ain’t got nothing because nothing’s free.

© 2012 The Zolas