Sluagh

(begin chorus)
A horde of slaving spirits
Rejected by mother earth
Howl across
The occidental sky

A flutter, a scream
Whatever the means to the end
To find the way
To make the dying dead
(end chorus)

How did the ending start
The worse of the best
Or the worst of the worst
Now the ending never ends

So mend your fences
And lock your doors
When the shadows run deep
And the soul longs to sleep

(chorus – solo)

(begin bridge)
When light goes away
The night comes out to play
And brings the host of the lost
Outracing the dark
The soul before the heart
Forever to bear the cost
(end bridge – chorus and end)

Bad For Business – 1/20/2014

Everybody cheered when the walls came down
And we could see the other side
Both sides saw the common ground
And evil had no place to hide

But the only thing we had in common
Was that both of us had all forgotten
It’s all about the status quo
It’s good for business, don’t you know

Remember the end of ‘eighty-nine
It felt just like a rising tide
All the Johnnies marching home
All the prophecies denied

Peace at hand, worth two in the pot
Isn’t that for what we fought
Each living in fear of the other
Justified to hate our brother

But it’s hard to sell a horror story
Hard to sell the gore and glory
When there’s no bad man over there
It’s bad for business, don’t you care

The tree of martyrs must be watered
With blood no matter bought or bartered
We need heroes, they need villains
So gird your loins and kill your children

That brief moment of winter’s night
We’d seen the end of years of fright
We thought we had a chance for peace
But the destruction line cannot cease

…it’s bad for business.

One Second Back, 09/02/2013

A stitch in time
The clock unwinds
It spends itself
Without remorse

But here we are
Gone on so far
Secondhand lives
With no recourse

Fumbling, we’ve spent our days
Stumbling through this maze
Of falsehood and deceit
The illusion is complete

In a flash, immeasurable
I said these words, incredible
To take the toll, to see the pain
To see our lives forever changed

One second back
I saw the end begin to start
One second back
I hadn’t said the words that broke your heart
It’s over now
It’s time our paths begin to part
But I want that
One second back

Is this shock
Or sweet relief
To see the tolling
Of the hour

But in my soul
Not bittersweet
The pain I gave
It seems so sour

Funny how it feels
Like time has stopped cold dead
But I know time goes on
Even after what I said
So even though I lack
I want to heal the pain
I want one second back

Spinning Wheels, 5/26/2013

Keep that motor running
Love those spinning wheels
Taking me to what I need to be
The where is not the answer
And we’ll never know the why
Just get me out under the open sky

Find yourself in getting lost
If you don’t want to pay the cost
No one can explain the way it feels
And even if we could
You wouldn’t understand
What it means to ride the spinning wheels

(chorus)
I intend to die from living
All that I fear is regret
Turn the crutches into torches
To light the way ahead
Time enough for sleeping when I’m dead

Once bitten
Ride high
To feel, to be alive
Rock n’ roll and roll until we die
(end chorus)

Push it over, trust in friction
No gravity, a benediction
Set a course and ride the line
To another place, in other time

Spin the wheel, see where you land
For those who know, you understand
There’s more to life than what has been revealed
That’s what it means to ride the spinning wheels

The Living End – 12/31/2012

No one left before me
No one to follow me on
Freedom is the surest bond
Unfettered, left alone

Universal feelings
In a spiral descending
In a world everending
All we have is all we have

(chorus)
I am the living end
I am the final cut
I am who remembers why
I am who remembers what

I can’t even bear
The end of the line
So the story goes
I am the end of time
(end chorus)

Times, places and faces
Feeling separated
Feeling negated
Feeling frustrated
What am I being here?

In the end it’s all the end
Entropy a friction brake
The love you give, the love you take
Love knows not fear or hate
Love knows not death or end

(repeat chorus and end)

Paul N. Jordan, 12/21/2012

This was the man who is closest to being my surrogate father. He came into my life in my adolescence and taught me much that I treasure today. From him I learned the mysteries of auto mechanics and the secrets of building muscle car engines. I learned about the majesty of Led Zeppelin, the reckless, drunken abandon of AC/DC, the brilliance of a young Sammy Hagar teamed with Ronnie Montrose. We drank, we smoked, we laughed, we made bizarre comedy recordings. I was introduced to Hunter Thompson, Frank Zappa, the folklore of ’70s rock ‘n roll. And most of all, to singing. The fire, the drive to perform that still burns in me was sparked by him.

I had the blessing of being with him while the voices in his head weren’t yet the dominant force in his life. Poring over catalogs from auto performance parts suppliers, writing endless notes about this configuration versus that, his was an analytical mind, devoted to building a car worthy of his imagination. Things never seemed to go to plan, given the financial and emotional constraints of the situation, but he always had the plan under refinement, waiting for the right opportunity.

Frustration was a constant in his life. The holes in the walls of each apartment bore witness to this. He never stopped reliving the glory days of high school, and didn’t seem to want to accept that that phase of his life had passed. Music was a part of this deferred adulthood. He was constantly making plans with his high school band buddies Ken Lewis and Bob Butler, writing lyrics that would never be put to music, practicing for rehearsals that would never come.

Through it all were the voices. Intimating, belittling, insulting, commanding. Throughout it all, an assortment of medications were his bulwark against the terrible voices, but they never were an adequate defense against his demon-haunted world. The medications were almost as much of an impediment as the psychoses they were purported to treat. Between the two, they cost him countless opportunities to do both the good and the great things of which he always felt he was capable, and perhaps could have been.

It was with all this in mind that I saw him many years after we parted ways. I’ve spoken in the past about the cruelty of seeing people after a long absence, hoping that the time apart has been kind to them and that they have accomplished a clarity of understanding that perhaps you can understand and adopt. I had been warned that he had had further progression of his mental health issues, but I was not prepared for the zombie before me. Despite my anger for all the things to which he had subjected his family, I was overcome with shock and pity. A man from whom I had learned a million things, who now probably couldn’t spell his own name.

I suppose there’s a certain justice there for those who were victims of his cruelty and selfishness, people who I love dearly and who never deserved an single moment of these horrors. But I am informed by the foundation and groundwork of my beloved Order of Elks. which states:

“The faults of our brothers we write upon the sand,
Their virtues upon the tablets of love and memory.”

Now – November 20, 2012

Another day, another bother
Daylight finds me
Despite my best efforts

Dawn breaks and so I don
The clasping bonds of consequence
They enrobe me, they enfold me
They inform my every move

To move, always to move
From thought to thought
And place to place
Always with the shrouded trace
Of promise and regret

The time, the date
Are always late
Every now becomes then
And then becomes when
When?
Then?
Or now?
It must be now
It is always now