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This Time This Year

by Scott Gesser

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Man Alive! 03:35
I am spending literally every moment Shaking and swearing and sweating Browbeating my psyche, its tenacity wearing I’m flaring up the way a dragon warns Against its metaphysical forms Smoke rising from the horns To arms, it’s time to start a war Listen, battle to battle stations set in the realization This is not what I signed up for When I planned a vacation I’m living in a house with walls unstable Able to cut the cable, it’s less than a fable Having supper huddled under the table There’s so much to digest That no matter how good you are You’ll never be the best So I’m not going to stress the vibe If I’m not six feet under, I’m the luckiest man alive Now I’m flying off the handle Oversupplying demand’ll light a fire under your ass Until you can’t hold a candle To the hordes of whores enforcing stores On corners and borders They’re lapping up the killing floor Just like an eating disorder We should not be allowed to be withheld Forgot how to yell like a mind-meld If you’re thinking what I’m thinking Then we’re thinking: what the hell? We’ve gone out of control Slipping ever further from the goal Who knows where the fuck you’ll end up If you started in the hole? Last time I tried this shit I said I’m not afraid of dying And in retrospect that’s half-correct But also kind of lying I’m afraid of getting dragged down With the lifeless hags and garbage bags But if we survive our lives will drive From rags to rags to rags to rags To ragging on the people in power even for an hour Won’t put food inside your mouth Or give your kids a place to shower You can glower and scowl and you can let out a howl But you’re still one in a million wolves Who doesn’t know where to prowl now
By the time you hear this, I will already be gone With a cloud of perseverance Drifting downward to the lawn If I hold my up too high everybody’s gonna scoff But I’ve got my bullshit meter and that fucker’s going off You can try another sly move Eyes up, angled to the sky All the filler in your villa willing out another lie Get a record of effect, overcorrect and then you crash Rebuild the wreck into a second wreck A flaming pile of cash Here come ol’ flat top, here Here come ol’ flat top, flat top Here come ol’ flat top, he come Maybe there’s a soul in there that’s trying to escape But I’d make a bet it came and went And left your mouth agape Every time you take the stand And you unhinge your jaw to speak All the junk that clunks the podium comes crashing over me I don’t understand the mental image of your obelisk If your monument to arrogance comes with an asterisk You will never be clever, forever weathering lies Until your final endeavor forever severs your ties Now, in the words of one of the greats What we all love about you is you’re easy to hate You’ll be left as a monarch in a kingdom of rust As your legacy quickly blows away with the dust
Stir Crazy 03:12
I’ve got a whole lot of time on my hands There’s nothing like an afternoon on the countryside But I wouldn’t know because it’s not safe for me to drive I’m stress-eating, completing puzzles, stacking building blocks That ate up three minutes, now it’s time to tug my I flip the pages of the calendar up on my wall The time was flying ‘til it spun into a crawl I used to clamor over the American dream First and last on my list, now I’ll take any dream As long as I don’t wake up to more of this I’m going stir crazy I’m not the biggest fan of going to the grocery store Even that beats staying in and making up a list of chores But I’d be insane to hop a train or hitch a ride There’s no way in whatever hell we’re in That you would even catch me outside I pet my dog, then I circle back and pet my dog again Between making calls and figuring out how I might pay my rent ‘Cause suddenly everybody’s got a license to ill But I mean actually ill, so I guess I’d better chill, huh? I’ve got a whole lot of time to put together music I’ve got this mic and this computer, I should prob’ly use it I’ll write more songs, make more albums than I’ll ever need Slapping the bass and playing guitar until my fingers bleed Maybe all this isn’t a curse Maybe it’s all some kind of blessing Maybe I should write instead of stressing, overly obsessing Guessing if my actions are the ones to be forbidden I can conquer this mountain No, I’m totally kidding, because
I’m a little bit lost today But I guess that’s nothing new If I’m tethered to someone else I could do a lot worse than you I threw the anchor overboard Or I might have let it slip Because I found me a cinderblock That I can curl up in my grip Right now we’re stowing away in each other’s arms Somehow we’re weathering all of the constant storms Too late to pull us apart with a meek regret Our fate was sealed on the afternoon we met We’re drowning together, drowning We’re drowning together, together You’re a little bit lost today And you’re looking for some help The dial lands upon my hands To come and save you from yourself I see you found a brand new job Then you blinked and it was gone Now you’re at the end of the rope You use to pull yourself along I can’t imagine what it’s like inside your head Distant unless you’re codependent instead I fail to stop myself drilling a hole in the boat So bail just enough water to keep us afloat I thought a message in a bottle Was delivered to me, oh yeah Except the bottle only held the pills That help me to sleep, oh yeah I fear the moment we both get overwhelmed Can’t steer, we don’t have a captain at the helm Grab on and whatever you do, please don’t let go We’re gone, caught in each other’s undertow
Gobsmacked 02:56
Gobsmacked like an old hat rucksack Kick back in a green Adirondack Staring down at the creaking hands Too late to negate them best laid plans Follow through as the times get rough The quip flows zip when you’ve done enough Time to count blessings, one, two, three Then they all fall down eventually Clever, clover, drink until it’s over ‘Cause the light in sky makes everyone sober Monkeying around with the iron fist Who’ll pat you on the back ‘til you slip a disc Up on the docket is a meaningless task Time to rally and fling on a hunting mask I know you’re savvier than me I saw your ad on my TV I know I’m living in a dream within a dream But I don’t care how the time is not random And I’m gonna run a marathon now Air out the difference of feeling And halt the agenda when we hit the ground Oh, now you’re spinning, spinning Spinning all around Band together through the fog of ether Stand out, shun the nonbelievers Take turns sifting ill-gotten funds And hitting each other with finger guns The stakes lower than they’ve ever been Until we heighten them up again Cling to the feeling like an heirloom Or a sad child swiping at a loose balloon Hunkering down with the temporary Feeling that’ll fade when we learn it’s scary The time is nigh to make it die Fire before you see the white of its eye Clamoring around, that’s all she wrote And if that’s the case, she’s got my vote
Waking up in the middle of a monsoon Laid flat, splayed and lifeless like a pontoon Hide the scratches you acquired in the alley How the hell you gonna get back to the valley? You almost exploded, and once you get decoded It’ll take a time bomb for your mom not to notice You got half a mile to go, you might as well do it slow And if they ask you where you been, say “I don’t know” You can do this, you’ll get through this Even though you’re feeling helpless and stupefied When it’s blurry, not to worry ‘Cause we’re all feeling helpless and stupefied Look around, almost like you’ve been forgotten It’s like an alternate reality you’re not in Reaching out to sink your claws into the family But they turn stark white like they ran into a banshee You got some explaining to do, mentally draining You can practically hear all the fear when it’s waning You let out the demons you chugged You swept them under the rug It’s too bad it’s too late to go in for a hug There are people all around you But they’re walking through you They’re walking through you All the waterworks could drown you ‘Cause you thought they knew you They thought they did too Time out, you’re half bloody and you’re all dirt Nobody’s even asking if the fall hurt Suddenly, everything begins to make sense Surely as the day begins, you know the day ends You, not one of them anymore, got something new to explore For one last time, you slide through the door And you fly into space as if you’re in a race Hoping everybody down below can see the look on your face
Standing O 02:56
They said, “Don’t bother trying to cobble A bunch of music that makes you sound horrible You’re a white guy from the suburbs Shouldn’t you be hosting a cookout And quoting from Proverbs?” I wasn’t brought up with skills by my side ‘Cause my mommy got sick and my dad, he just died I never balanced a checkbook Changed a tire or learned to tie a tie I’m tired of trying to get it across It’s harder to win when you start at a loss Because nobody wants to bereave And I did it so much that my family tree is a leaf You go hard in the paint so you’re better than me? I’ve been doing the same but without the T But I’m coming back with a vengeance All of you sad motherfuckers, you better remember this I’ve got a plan, a plan so perfect That it won’t need planning, no So understand that when it’s done You’ll all give me a standing O I’m finally doing great, I’ve been holding it down Independent of you and your hate Your ilk coming out of the gate way too late You’re so mush-mouthed, but I can enunciate Out of eight times I keep it victorious Running amok like a warrior You only run to your keyboard to spew your vitriol Hashtag: You’re a total asshole You must be joking, but it’s not your fault You can’t help that you’re choking on all of that salt Insulting me, it won’t do a thing Cut me down like a tree and count all of my rings If I’m over the hill than the hill must be you And I hate what you do and I hate your whole crew So please don’t stay in touch I feel like a record that’s broken in half While you rally and cry and I stifle a laugh ‘Cause you’re staring as if I’ve got multiple heads While I’m staring at you ‘cause you’ve gone off your meds The crowd that you draw can’t believe what you’re saying And you’re playing dumb, but you’re not really playing But I’m hyperbolic, I’ll say it aloud I didn’t mean when I said that you could draw a crowd Your comedy is nothing short of a tragedy You can’t retort it’s a masterpiece You’re a casualty, you’re thwarted by the menagerie You have to be unraveling from the sport of aimless traveling The scoreboard is a tapestry Of you falling short compared to me
This is nobody’s favorite song Nobody sings it all day or starts humming along Nobody finds it inspiring to help them be strong Because this is nobody’s favorite song Nobody likes to crank the volume when the beat is dropping Nobody dances on the floor to get the party popping Nobody calls around their friends To bring some forties, roll a spliff And kick a tune or two to make it through the weekend Nobody switches down the dial, driving in their car Nobody sings at karaoke at their local bar Nobody wants to escape Fire up a jam and light a vape Nobody’s lining up to put it on their mixtape Nobody blasts the stereo for when they hit the scene Nobody needs to hear the sound to fuel their dopamine Nobody liked it when they heard it For the first time and their blood essentially stirred Thump-thump-thumping to every word Nobody plays it day and night ‘cause they can’t get enough Nobody uses it to motivate when shit gets rough Nobody’s falling in love with someone new And hoping that against all odds That someone’s falling for this song too Nobody’s always gonna have the memories Attached to every little experience They went through when they heard this song Nobody’s gonna look back on their whole entire life And think of the failures and the triumphs And reflect on where it all went wrong
Sliding down the hill into purgatory Reflecting on how you’re gonna tell them your story Lackluster belly dancers opt to show you their moves Amidst the far-off clopping of cloven hooves You like it, you like it so hard You open up your wallet and you offer your card There’s a man in a suit talking what sounds like backwards Gesturing in the direction of the heart attackers, he says Give me one chance to get under your skin Anthropomorphic beings from the furthest of reaches File into the pit in as Beelzebub teaches You try to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes Contesting the significance of little white lies You like it, you like it so hard They play into your hands because their own are too charred You’re the king of the castle You’re the prince of disaster Then Satan taps you on the shoulder Telling you to work faster, he says Does it count as an Occam’s Razor If the bodies stack up through no fault of your own? Does it count as an Occam’s Razor If you barter with the damned to leave you alone? You like it, you like it so hard But you’re in over your head and they caught you off guard The devil warns tomorrow’ll be another scorcher As he scans the perimeter for somebody to torture, he says
At this exact moment there’s no light At this exact moment we’re not right We know the steps toward the precipice Hovering over what puts an end to this But we’re still too afraid of falling Though the voice down below is calling It’s a miracle we’ve even come this far Despite never knowing exactly where we are I don’t want to run in circles again The pressure keeps piling on Though we’ve already said “when” Live by example, live unshrouded by fear Thinking where do you want to be This time next year? Amidst all the violence and hatred There’s something shining and sacred We need to sift through the debris left by the past So that tomorrow won’t kick our ass Our health might be depleted We could even end up defeated But we have to move in for the kill Even if we run the entire race uphill I can’t imagine anybody Wanting to watch the world fall to pieces But the type of shit I see from our leaders Makes me want to pray to Jesus ‘Cause I can hardly believe this We need to abandon the life rafts we’ve been seekin’ And start to paddle to reason


released April 10, 2020


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Scott Gesser Phoenix, Arizona

I'm the guy who records all of this.

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