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Hand To God

by Scott Gesser

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Dress Me Up 04:00
I don’t know what normal’s supposed to look like But it’s a long, long way from here Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane No, it’s just me and I’m going insane Because I’m losing my grip on what I’m supposed to feel I left behind a trail of bread crumbs when I ditched my ideals My mind is candy for consumption, it’s like I’ve been drugged There’s a gear that’s gone rogue, or a switch that’s unplugged I used to look at potential as all mine for the taking But rest assured, if I seem confident, it’s just ‘cause I’m faking When I was only a toddler I was handed a slab And told to carve deep into it with everything that I had A list of rules so imposing that you could heed them in space To keep the commoners locked down and running in place I spent my whole entire life just learning the craft But you can’t use a stone when you’re in need of a raft And so I sank into the bottom of wherever I’m at But on the bright side I’ve got hindsight so I guess there’s that You can dress me up however you want I still won’t be the man you can take out You can fill me with the time that you bought The grooves are aligned and there’s no way out My backstory’s been written to the end You can follow your heart but you’ll be faced with the fact That there’s a whole lot of nothing in the back of the pack So let your heart guide the way if you feel like you need to But you better make sure it knows Where it’s supposed to lead you
Curled up along the backseat of your Accord My lips are chapped, my hair a matted mess Whatever dreams you had for me are done for I’m not immune to convolutedness And I imagined how your voice was trembling But I could call out for a century and still hear nothing And if this game catches on And your will be dead and gone If you’re so benevolent, then try to prove it tonight You know, they say the tunnel must end sometime The beacon of the future sears my brain And when I finally bask in my own limelight I can’t be sure the light’s not from a train And you beam down to the earth I will consider putting in the work
Minerva 03:14
I’ve got fixtures, I think mine’s broken I need suppliers of accidental apathy And I’ve got features, at least I’m hoping To frequent fliers who watch our western trilogies And this is what I’ve got to say when I forget to pray This is what creeps through my brain when I’m forever changed I’m on fire but still soft-spoken To reckless dressers that hoard away my secret thoughts And I’m so tired of all your groping A second-guesser to hunt for all the pride I’ve bought Minerva, I’m sorry I forgot to pray I’m choked up ‘cause I feel unopened I’m tossed aside like a Christmas gift that no one wants And I’ve got plans made to ease my coping I ask Minerva to just pretend that I’m gallant
Move on to the next one I am not a perfect soldier, I’m not a steely diver I’m nothing but a mind running on fumes I am looking in the mirror, my face is like a specter As if it’s burrowing into its own tomb Sorry if I ask you to repeat yourself to me I couldn’t hear you over the sound Of my screaming internally I am waiting for the answer so I can learn the question And what if there’s some kind of correlation I am not holding my breath, I’m just escaping death Blockaded from my own emancipation There must be something above for me All I crave is an honest word Like something analog, tamping down the dialogue I need to soak it up before the next transmission is blurred I won’t be ignored by my inner half, now that’s a laugh Oh, everyone wants to find the truth But no one wants to read the map
Caffeine 04:08
Life on your own has proven to be mostly terrifying You never know what kind of risk you’ll take by even trying To crack your shell you must be crazy but that still seems fitting Your private hell, a balance of foraging and sitting Now you want what you want Now you don’t, now you got it But it pays to let go of today when you’ve shot it And now I’m watching goodbyes Like the cellophane in use, averting your eyes I’m watching goodbyes Like the misery we feel when somebody dies Chalking it down to one more day of rambling in circles Fucking around, holding your breath until you’re turning purple There’s nothing gleaned From being discontent from discontentment Some more caffeine should clear your mind of the resentment I can’t swing it, ooh, I can’t swing it I only ever wanted to believe in you
A bad day for Mr. Steinbaum He’s dragging his heels today He knows that something ain’t quite right But what it is, he can’t say Normally he’s happy but there’s a feeling in his head Did he leave something at the house Or did he just wake up on the wrong side of the bed? A hard day for Mr. Steinbaum Watching everyone move along Everybody’s marching to the same old drum But he hears a somber song The sun is shining but in his eyes The skies look gray instead Did he forget an important date Or did he just wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Tussling, fighting, his vexation knows no limits Struggling just to keep up for a few more minutes A poor day for Mr. Steinbaum One for the record books You might say he seems okay But that’s only the way it looks Even as he watches the world, he’s feeling half-past dead Did he get himself a bad night’s sleep And did he wake himself up on the wrong side of the bed?
I had a near-death experience last night And I can tell you that the media didn’t get it right I didn’t go through a full mental rewind Or watch a sped-up movie of my waking life And I damn sure didn’t get to swim Toward a giant glowing light You won’t reach me, the sun’s glowing dark Now you’re flailing around in the back of the car Don’t tease me, you’re falling apart And you won’t get away ‘cause I know who you are I know exactly who you are I had a near-death experience last night And I can’t point my finger at what might have happened then There was nothing to run from and no ground to gain But the fear and the dread masked all of the pain Because even when you make your escape You can easily fall back in Going forward, I have no idea how to thrive But at end of the day, I’m still fucking alive And I will keep pushing to see to it that I survive Release me, I’m lighting a spark And I won’t see the day when I know who you are
You’re making about as much sense As screaming at the top of your lungs in a restaurant You’re making about as much sense As chipping away at the cracks in your bedroom walls I’m not gonna ask you twice But I’ve asked you once and you won’t play nice I’m not gonna go kicking and screaming In fact, I’m not gonna go with you at all You’re making about as much sense As an after-market spoiler on a Hyundai You’re making about as much sense As celebrating your rehab by taking a drink I’m not gonna fall for you And the lies you tell with no reason to I see through all your fallacies And you can’t condition me to think the way you think Let’s go I’ve got what I want now I’m a projectile heading right for your front door You can criticize me, openly despise me That’s exactly what I came here for
Wailing Wall 03:39
Once there were nomadic roamers One by one they lost their way They bounced back over and over Over the course of a hundred days Life was their wailing wall And some imagined slumbers were their grave And it all piles up, another metaphor On the way to another milestone ringing in my ears Later on TV at midnight Some kids shot through the room Rose up like a stray satellite ‘Till they grabbed hold of the moon Life was their wailing wall And some intrinsic summers were their grade Huddle down in the ground, this freeway’s far from over Finally you’re for me, this cryogenic chamber I can’t stand looking like I don’t know what I’m looking like So press a little harder And then maybe we’ll get out of this place Life was my wailing wall And some amazing runners bore my name
Darling, you’re my dream come to fruition And I hope we can live forever and beyond But if one day we find we’ve left it behind Then it won’t be the end even after we’re gone If there’s something to feel and a world to pursue If eternity’s real then I hope it’s with you So let’s meet up in the afterlife Darling, I can’t entertain a guess As to what sort of beauty and joy could be found Maybe we’ll be hoisted up onto thrones Watching over our empire from deep underground You can say that I’m mad, but my eagerness springs Because if you’re what I have, then I have everything When we finally reach our posted limits Surely we will learn what we get out Fits with what we put in it We will open up our chests and pull in wonder On the other hand, it all just might stop When we’re six feet under When my ticket to ride leaves me rocked to the core I’ll treasure you by my side loving forevermore
Half Of It 03:53
You don’t accept the problems that you solve If you cannot face the future, there’s no way you can evolve And the moral of your story you will never figure out When you run from possibility, you’re only left with doubt Blossoms shining in the moonlight Open arms of allies just before they hold you tight You don’t, you don’t, you don’t know the half of it And I won’t, I won’t, I won’t hang my head at all When you feel low and the burden befalls you I will shoulder half of it And you don’t find faith in miniscule success Every step you take toward action then habitually regressed It’s okay to shy away from what you cannot comprehend But you can’t expect improvement if that’s where you let it end Kettle corn beside the bonfire Proof that good surrounds us If not something even higher There’s still so much left to see to You pushed me to finish So I’m not giving up on you
Now I lay me down to have insomnia and stir And toss and turn for endless hours ‘Cause my life has been a blur A torn-up tapestry of zealous Ne’er-do-wells compelled to sell us On ideas that those who experience hell Are unable to tell us And life is like a toilet paper roll The further you get, the faster it goes Nobody comes out with the scent of a rose And where it stops, well, nobody knows And so I cannot reconcile not sleeping in I’m busy conditioning myself to fear the end When I should be out making that shit begin Goodnight little one, sleep tight I am not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of dying alone To relinquish to nobody all the shit I happen to own I don’t condone looking for something that isn’t there Something not hovering in the air But when laid bare in my own despair I suppose that I’d rather be sort of prepared But now I’m awake and it’s 5am And I’m thinking of family I used to have The quotes that I never wrote From dear old mom and dad But I remember every single thing Every single person said They looked me dead in the eye And they told me the only perfect people are dead This is where it starts to get a little bit out of hand I’m on my knees beside my bedside For my backup-backup-backup plan I’m not addressing anyone in particular I’m just afraid to pull up from the mattress And lay in the bed I’ve made And now I still have wicked dreams Of you flying out from in between the seams It’s kind of like my own personalized brand of PTSD And then I wake up in a cold sweat And it’s back to counting sheep But that only means I’m counting on myself ‘Cause I can’t fucking sleep


released December 20, 2019


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Scott Gesser Phoenix, Arizona

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