Steven Kattenbraker

by Steven Kattenbraker

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1.
I’m waiting to see what you have left My hunger has been whet The envy you show just how it feels But the means it just kills Do I have to live like that Just promise you won’t pull that stunt again You scared us to no end Your no different, just can’t stop when you start And it tears you apart And the ones that hurt with You were climbing out when you fell back in In the basement again It’s okay to not want to display The quiet pain your in It figures the ones who say most Can’t see the results, when crowds are listening You’re in control, don’t have to prove it now You don’t believe it anyhow An old friend, one that you’ve just met Won’t ever know your name But know you just the same
2.
“Cloven inclinations” Sit up act right I see right through you Rough ride last night, I almost threw you Tie my hands back, paint my eyes black before you light me You only rhyme when you’re lying Couplets stinging I think you made your point Sharp and shining Your dusty old proverbs you quoted to me You unwrapped my trust and you fed it to me Tie my hands back, paint my eyes black, before you burn me Street lights knocked out Glass in your mouth Truths up for bidders Think I’ll lie down Made your own rules, then changed them to suit you Saw me as your fool Proved your foresight to you Tie my hands back, paint my eyes black before you burn me You chew on the ruin Hope you bite your poison tongue Your lonely days are beginning My days of playing fool are done
3.
Union 03:03
“Union” Falling sky look to the ceiling Watch words that fly and names lose meaning Watch the door calls on commitment Swept the floor of foul resentment It’s living proof feigned moral truth Dug up reveals its phobic roots Small-minded ways are no excuse When fanning hate is your abuse Windows rusted shut and locked down Drafts now gust unjust will blow down Curtains long and wide to hide Are raised to feel the break of daylight Semantic games transparent names Spur private fears for public gains A vicious fight for moral stakes By witless fakes and selfish snakes Where did you misread your book that sets your creed to prevent from those who threaten your close-minded view the same sanction allowed to you
4.
Hold 'em 04:56
“Hold ‘em” Dig your hole deep you can hide it all Enough to get you through when you hear your call Gather it up and perch high on your peak Target the dissent before you allow to speak It’s working all right, just don’t spite Or displease the might You’ll be sure to fall You can give the names, or you can risk it all Disgrace, displaced blame, certain prey to fall You don’t stand so tall I want to gratify, standing on heads Just to see up high So focused on my prize Don’t see anything at all Can’t carry much with your fists in a ball Isolate expect to see through your wall I’ll write you talk and I’ll wait while you knock I won’t say anything at all Hand tint the past to enrich the truth Handprints that last and still grip with their proof
5.
“Ask for nothing and…” His dreary routine is ended and brings his demise His eyes never opened, his face was a disguise He perished in the waves of his obscurity He never could read the tides The ledgers still filled with the lists he’d made Line by line one fiction at a time Each night he slept in any doorway he found Wouldn’t get trapped or have to go out Couldn’t keep a promise so a promise he never made And he expected the same His foes were windows and his comrades were mirrors He pitted the unknown with the mundane His mirrors returned his questions as answers And he knew he could expect the same He circled the globe with no stories to tell No treasures no damsels no dragons to fell Waiting around for his timer to go off He’d been dead for years when his heart finally stopped He buried himself when his time came The water did fast work and he didn’t feel a thing He had no debts or favors owed and not a bit of shame No slights, no condemnation, and no one to blame
6.
Santiago 04:49
“Santiago” The jaws are biting down and the rope is burning your hands You have nothing to show but bones and fins On the next turn you’ll surely have him In the dark of night the sharks come You fight them off one at a time Worked the wells and found nothing You’d know the score if you had a radio Use his strength as if it were yours against him You sleep in your newspaper bed The boy is watching and crying Same dreams the ships at the moor You’re watching the day give in And your shirt is patched like your sail Same dream the lions walk They walk the shore and wait for you to give in Your hand is cramped like a claw Warm it open with the sun Use his strength as if it were yours against him You don’t recall when you Began to talk aloud when you are alone You’ve chose to ignore Your common sense in place of your pride Salting cuts on your hands You’re too far from shore The wind will surely blow you back in
7.
Tubetalk 03:16
“Tubetalk” Too much rain I’d take a walk, Broke back cracks in the sidewalk And the vicious packs run untamed So I guess I’ll sit and mock The garbage lines from the tubetalk But I’m tuning in just the same Self-deprecation is so insincere, just fishing for praise From the dry docks attempt to drown And jump in vain, inane Done the work you came here for Still open ends, open doors Kicked out of your own game Maybe it’s a touch unfair That you don’t know that no one cares I’ll be the first to blame I don’t recall a thing that I don’t write down So I lied again, just pretend Recall the first fall, just a misstep that’s all Just a presage to recast, not a curtain call Not at all Scratches, scrapes, and bites Dirty mouth dirty fights My fearless view is tanked again Drink some more hope for a change I swear I don’t feel a thing Just one more and I’ll turn in When the morning comes, try to explain Why my head just spins, again
8.
Pinus 04:07
9.
Penstemon 02:53
“Penstemon” You think you’ve made up your mind On the straightest route you find Eat your idols every meal Can’t swallow your own polished stone ideals Too late you’ve doused the fire In the closets of your desire Fit yourself into the mold And you’ve filled yourself full of all the fury you can hold All the mud that you’ve thrown to absolve your sins Collect it all and plant your penstemon Your arms ache and your faith breaks But you’ll be, stubborn till the end Never chaste until you’re tried And you pass on every ride Scream out now or keep your quiet If only you could see yourself from the outside
10.
Finally 02:48

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released January 1, 2004

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