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Permanent Phase

by Scott Gesser

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One day we can look around At the legacy we’ve got The creative wake we leave behind Will mostly fade to naught All the art in that book you read Doesn’t mean what they say it means And the music that once shaped your world Will be torn to smithereens We wasted all the chances that we had to be okay The losses cut collectively, we all call it a day There’s only so many chords And only so many ways to play them And everyone’s getting bored Of the lyrics and how we relay them I’m so sorry now that I have to be The bearer of bad news all the time Backtrack to the very start The discoveries in your room Of a billion neurons filled with love It’ll all be over soon Suppose no one listens in Does it mean the project failed If it wouldn’t have made a lick of difference Had the creator bailed? An underwhelming map of words Is darker than you’d think The looming urge to wipe the board Can drive a man to drink
Do As I Do 03:20
Whatever you say, whatever you do Do as I do, uh huh Hey, I’m living the dream Got a silver lining pulled up on my screen If you don’t look me dead in the eye Then the light in your eyes will surely die And I’m proud of being bored, oh yeah I will not be ignored All y’all will end up floored, oh yeah As I reclaim my just reward It’s time to fly, I’m counting on you landing swiftly Through the mires, I let go of my inhibitions I can drive so far that no one knows we’re missing We’ll retire and live off of the grid Hey now, get to the point ‘Cause I’m on both sides of the same damn coin And the whole place is crumbling in But I’m happier than I’ve ever been Together we’ll crash but we’ll walk away From the wreckage and come out better for it The lighter we get, the heavier our love sits On the planets we’re terraforming So just this once, do as I do
Gotta keep on moving, that’s all that I’m saying Gotta keep on moving as long as I ain’t caving And I can’t stop it now Breaking my silence in the middle of the night The excess seems too much for me to fight Gotta hold on just a little tighter Wait until they’re watching and smile a little wider One of those days, no more like one of those lives Sliding around until the moment arrives Stepping out, I’m stepping out And I won’t be back until a little beyond now These tracks I make stay in my wake for all to see One day I’ll veer right off the rails and then I’m free And when I go, don’t bother chasing after me I’ll be on my own rail Kill the lights, they’re making noise again I’m back for a while and I don’t know where I’ve been Maybe the bar where the kids say “Word up” Mainlining drugs that I’ve never even heard of Danger, danger, don’t be a stranger There’s nothing safer than a holiday in the manger Stepping out, I’m stepping out And I won’t be back until I get through it somehow Crestfallen, I’m an artic chill Spreading through the waves, rising over the hills I’ve got a plan, I’ve got a map I’ve got my love tucked into my lap And we’re ready to travel and we don’t know where But surely things are going to be so much better there I’m stepping out, I’m stepping out And I won’t be back at all so just pull the shades down
Hammer Shot 03:10
He slips into his little cubicle world A seven-by-seven reproduction of hell His supervisor asks him how is he doing And he’s feeling like shit but he says that he’s well This will repeat five times this week And that will repeat five times in a row But something will give and the next time they speak He will plow through the lobby in his Chevy Tahoe Declaring war You’ve got yourself a war She sees a chiropractor every off-month The stress on her back is becoming too much She gets the nerve to ask him out on a date But she’s short on finances so she hopes he’ll go Dutch He says he can’t, but it’s not her, it’s him He’s been trotting around another patient of his She stares back at him shooting flames from her eyes And she growls and she hollers, “Oh, I see how it is And now it’s war” Each time I look back at the life that I’ve led I’ve passed myself off as being civil at best But every now and then we all end up crossed When it feels like a hammer bearing down on our chest We go to war
The morning shatters in the fog The parking lines and the barking dogs An arm is grasping at the phone Deciding to be left alone But everybody and their mother wants you To put the smile back on their face So they can fight a losing race It’s still too soon to play the role The button detonates control But everybody and their mother wants you To pull them back to earth A nail protruding from a tire Another wicked little fire And one by one you let them fray Until the smoke all fades away But everybody and their mother wants you Everybody and their mother wants you To pull them back to earth The evening lingers, cold and wet But still the sun won’t seem to set A gentle breeze against the gate Coveted slumber must await But everybody and their mother wants you The TV set, all static shrieks You haven’t gotten rest in weeks Your timecard punched, the dread sets in You’re never going to sleep again ‘Cause everybody and their mother wants you To pull them back to earth again
I spoke, but then I guess I misspoke You laughed and called me childish I fought to put myself in reverse But couldn’t undo the mileage I pay attention to the details But usually the wrong ones You pulled the wind from each of my sails In light of that I’ve run dry on strong ones We come undone like an origami crane unfolded And I was wrong but I was only doing What I thought was right You asked me what the fuss was about So tired of being lied to The words that tumbled into my phone You felt they had defied you As though I’d trampled over the line You started playing defense And slouched alone, betrayed and benign Malfunctioned to the point I couldn’t be friends I spent so long ashamed of myself Then it dawned on me later Behind the vague façade of a crane We had a ball of crumpled-up paper We bend and turn like the origami crane you molded We get along until a misstep climbs abruptly into light
There once stood a barrage of brownstone colonies Through the alley, ‘round the corner The cement blocks piling up in vivid colors Drowning swiftly is the former Can I get just a little something? Maybe just a little slice Otherwise I won’t belong to anyone I want the life of a yuppie in paradise So I’ll view all the new as a step in the right direction As a child, the pharmacy diffusing lollipops Through the cross streets on the corner Standing in its place is a chain coffee hole Burial ground of the former And I was wondering If I could peer inside the past for a minute To see the world again as if I didn’t know What I didn’t know Headed west ‘til the horizon and I shake our hands Going somewhere, getting warmer My feet can’t carry fast enough from the promised land Take me back down to the former Could I get just a little better at taking my own advice?
Sidekicks 04:09
I’ve never been too spry or agile Nobody bothered to sing my name It seemed so strained to take a leap I’d rather catch up on my sleep Oh, you’re beautiful to me Oh, so beautiful And then a flash of radiant wonder My psyche driven to collapse on cue The moment that our lips first met A million rockets screaming “yes” We try not to stare at the world out there Let’s just waste the day, nothing gold can stay Memories entwine as our hearts align When you’re here with me There’s nowhere else that I’d rather be We walk along as each other’s sidekicks Mutual heroes all the same Beside the fire we’ve met our fate The cold and hardened earth can wait Oh, too beautiful Oh, you’re so beautiful I won’t live alone, day by day I’m shown Heaven’s offered view was a glimpse of you Maybe this is fraught, not what I was taught But I never would question when the going is good
This is a letter that I’m piecing bit by bit together From previous discarded notes I thought I could rewrite better It’s not a question of election, no suggestion It’s the impetus I must discuss But my foggy mind always gets the best of us, honey I know there’s a message but it’s not coming clear I try to decipher but my exhausted brain Won’t fill in all the gaps I wish I could hold you and drown out the fear By chalking the whole thing down To another momentary lapse I’m getting worried But I’m not sure why I’m in a hurry I’ve been stuck after hours Long since the world has gone beyond blurry If you were here you’d point and laugh, my dear At the disjointed gaffs I steer, we’d wax poetic My pathetic empty rhetoric Oh, I would love to turn you on Oh, thy will be done and I will be gone Oh, I want to coexist Oh, but I swear I didn’t sign up for this
You’ve been hit over the head Your face went violent red when you heard what he said And time is really all it takes To reconcile mistakes and heal the wounds they make And you’re floating around this contraption you’ve built Just seething and mired in each pang of your guilt Why can’t you just deal with it? He’s your daughter and he’s still all yours Don’t peer with your half empty view The love you once harbored for him He’s still defending just for you And now, a crossroad you have met Will you forgive and forget or live with one regret? You know he didn’t want to choose To leave this mental bruise, a parent he can’t lose But you’re letting the physical swallow you whole You’ve sentenced yourself, at least give him parole You know that he’s feeling it He’s your daughter and he won’t go back Don’t toss this bond in the fire ‘Cause no one gets away without Once being told to go higher Your baseball wars you had indoors And the racecar bed on which he slept And the kitchen sink he never dared to clean They’re all still there, my friend And just because you’ve lost your trust That’s only your angle And you alone can put a stop to it, put a stop to it If you’d only accept him and turn the hurt loose Then maybe your insides would stop the abuse Your conscience is withering
I’d like to raise my glass and offer up a toast For all the people who are living stagnant So many bust their ass for half a chance to boast Like they exist inside a beauty pageant By the time you’re twenty This is what you should have done I don’t want to admit, I’m not a millionaire The way I’m going, I won’t ever be one But I could never fit with those who truly care To end their voyage when it hasn’t begun By the time you’re thirty By the time you’re forty This is what you should have done We gather today to form the dream in question They all look away ‘Cause everyone’s running out the clock Somewhere there plays a song, it hovers over all And if we’re lucky we might even hear it We try to sing along, follow the bouncing ball But even then we can’t retain the lyrics By the time you’re fifty By the time you’re sixty By the time you’re ninety By the time you’re dead
When nothing else will come tomorrow And everyone you love has gone their separate ways If it leaves you feeling hollow We’ll have to wring the drops of joy out of our days So won’t you dance with me one more time? Hold me close and let the background Fade to nothing, nothing I don’t know when there’ll be a chance For us to dance like this again So dance with me one more time When the nest is finally empty The ambiguity the future holds in store At least tonight we’ll still have plenty With you between my arms as my heart melds to yours So won’t you dance with me one more time? The band, it drives along Outside the world means nothing, nothing I don’t know when there’ll be a chance For us to dance like this again So dance with me one more time


released December 3, 2021


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Scott Gesser Phoenix, Arizona

I'm the guy who records all of this.

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