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I used to think I knew what to think
Reading too many books and stuffing my opinions
Never having lived them

But then you'd meet me in my basement
And you coyly asked me how my day went
Shyly loving the attention

I'm tired of playing chump
Every time that you hook up
FOMO as God's playing favorites
From my place down in the pavement
I know that nice guys finish last
Chivalry's best left in the past
While you SIMP for all them
I'm a shmuck but a gentleman

I give you my coat
Hold you close
Provide you comfort when you're crying
Let you get drunk
Drive you home
Each time you break up with that guy again
I'd jump out the shower
Just to buy you flowers
When he forgets your birthday, he's no gentleman
You deserved better than him

Since we were 17 we were always such a team
Just like Buffy's Scoobies
or too many John Hughes movies
And over the years when we'd lose touch
I just wasn't friend enough
For both of us to keep up
With all our changing scenes

I hope you don't feel something missing
With your second husband and your children
You don't find a missing laugh
When you cant find that photograph
I was just a place and time
Best left only to my mind when you've forgotten me
The gentleman, your best friend

I'd still give you my coat
Off my back
In the middle of a snowstorm
I don't even know you now
I'd still pick you up when
your car breaks down
Deliver you safe home
From wherever you roam
I'd jump the next flight
If you call and say you need me
No matter how far we may be, I'm still your gentleman

Hug your husband, kiss your kids
You are still a piece of me and until my end
I'm your gentleman
I wish we were still friends
Some cliche about lost time
Another dumb story or bad rhyme
Insert lame joke here, my dear

Darker lines
Less and greyer hair,
Maybe I'm a little more distinguished
I got this far
Because you were there
I took too long to say I still care
I'm soaking towels every hour
to stop my burning bridges
and I am missing you
my friend
Signed, your gentleman
I swear I have your birthday gift on my amazon
Was gonna dress it up pretty just to get your smile on
I swear it just fell off my radar
I can have it here next week if you just wait a little more

Too many bad days made the nights long
And I fell off beat like a bad song
Hit the fast forward button with a 12 pack
Every moment for the last two weeks
I wished I had Tivo on this life TV
I wish I'd rewind and take them moments back

Just to see you smile again
To not be this ****** boyfriend

Sorry I was late tonight picking you up
But I was still working off last night's drunk
Rage cleaning the house
So you'd have something to be proud of me about

Said you had a headache and went to bed early
I stayed up late getting lost in drowning my angry
In too many cups, rhythms, and beats
Trying to make myself tired enough to sleep
Next to you not wanting me

I wanted to meet you in the middle
And we could agree I **** just a little
I'd give you some private time
To maybe get your sync back with mine

Just to see you smile again
And not be this ****** boyfriend

Everything I did I said I did for us
But I was deaf to your screaming its too much
And no matter which way I slice it now
I ****** it all up and we found out

And I'll never see your smile again
Because I was that ****** husband.
In all the apologies I could put in a letter
The thought that keeps clawing at me
Is you should've known better
I used to wear my heart on my sleeve
You knew what to expect of me
Until the day you chose to leave

I thought I left you buried
Beneath barrels of ***
Hundreds in sums
Meters of shame and grief
But you keep visiting me when I sleep
I cant even bear to dream
Soaked in sweat beneath my sheets

And now you're the spectre I see in the mirror
A poltergeist waiting for me to fear her
But I knew who you were all along
And I'm left with your memory
Someone you quite never were
But what I've made you to be
Who I wanted you to be

I used to think I was clever
Blowing out candles before the shadows
Could make me face forever
I knew how to bleed
In lines of poetry
Scattered on the floor in front of me

And each one of you is a wraith
Endlessly screaming your name
Speaking tounges in my brain
Ruining my headspace
But I cant usher you out
My body's become your haunted house

And you wont leave me
Or leave me be
Some apparition in between who you were
And someone I imagined
The walls keep moving
And the shutters keep the lights out
You've become the ghosts
In my haunted house

I kept my skeleton in my closet
But you had the master key and unlocked it
And when you bailed on me you let the monsters out
Left me to be alone in my haunted house
A ghost stuck in a meat machine
With perfect imperfect memory
Of how the victim must have been me
But like Amityville I drove you out
To justify the things I feel right now
They may have been creeping on for far too long
Saying let me haunt my ******* house
Its been far too long
Since I was left to learn to love myself
What did you expect
If I cant love anyone else
You never once told me love is like a song
That if I whistle or hum
It doesn't matter if I woodwind or drum
Someone will play along
I played to my heartbeat
But the arrhythmia was wrong

But Im a rogue line stuck in the refrain
Im a rogue line stuck in the refrain
Coda, Coda? [Jim, take out the bottom and reverb]
And I feel it in my pulse
I know that I'm alone
Stuck between my teeth
Its no wonder I cant speak.

In every block you hit,
You turned me into coin
When I burn it down, every pitfall
Couldn't catch that vine
The 8-bit ******* was meant to die

Put up with every danger
Too many times to be clean
I bleached blood off my sheets
From our injuries
I invited "you" to inflict on me

And for all my knowledge
Brought by books and bruises
"You" unrequited me... why?
Justify an existence when no one should be this..
In every "the end" you leave me...
Lady Chatterly...
My conscience cant decide
Who suffered more in this

I can not convince you
I'm the one you're looking for
You will always look me over
Like the Ducky you must ignore
You cant be persuaded
I was better left for dead
But you still find me
Dig-dug me up to bind me
In our "pet" semmatary
I cannot imagine
The suffering you've survived
To be patient enough
To surprise me.

One day when the photographs start to fade
We'll look on the patina
And reflect
"At least we made them"
"Maybe they'll be better than us"
We'll say, to the Polaroids and our progeny
And they will be our legacy
Reflections of you and me
Tattered negatives of wishes
Viewfinder images of the kids
I wont live long enough to leave

Stained curtains and ruined sheets
Stained curtains and ruined sheets
Stained curtains and ruined sheets

Only because
Only when
You could love me.
I almost called this "sepia" like the image tone, but I really liked the physical dynamic - that everything is spoiled, rugs, stucco, and curtains are ruined by the stains of these decisions.
I had heart surgery when I was 38, OK
I was actually 37 but somehow 38 sounds better
As if those few extra months arent walking me to my demise
I didnt expect to live past 20 so I've been on borrowed time
For the last 10 years I've been an alcoholic
Misanthropic, and full of vitriol
Sometimes you made me laugh but I get why you dont call
Some days I can forget you, sometimes I cant at all
Its been two years since you ghosted and somedays I still wake up and wonder why
Then I look in the mirror and I know that you were right
For all the pain and how much I bury the dark
You saw right through me and knew that I was lost
And things arent good now but they're getting better
I keep searching for a new you and a way to be put together
You were the glue that stuck the little pieces
Im a ******* humpty dumpty and all the kingsmen cannot retrieve me
So I keep moving forward because I dont know what else to do
I have sleepless nights soaked in sweat and I'm askew
Its hard to go to work buried in anxiety and depression
If I believed in god I'd be asking what's the lesson
6 more years until I return to the last place I was happy
I hope somebody wants to join that adventure
I spend too much time in my feels and know I'm sappy
I'm too pragmatic and know I'm a bad investment
Im a middle aged angry alcoholic
I stay up late hoping somebody will call
But I wont answer my phone, I dont deserve to feel alright
I've stolen hours from too many others and I am on borrowed time
I see threads
Leftover tokens
From where she wept
And you keep giving side-eyed energy
As if you weren't the one to leave

And I remember each sad line
Read from her diary
Every time
Reaching out
Desperate to breathe

I've known more than
A thousand sunrises,
Ruined by sunsets
And a hundred melodies
Ruined by your need to leave

When we met
Bards and satire were unequipped
You breathe deep
Life into all of your stories...

I keep trying to find my worth
And I haven't found its place just yet
Somewhere destined for your memory

And someday when youre asleep
Long after you've forgotten me
I will remain, alive
Within your damp sheets

And you can be brought
To screaming through the night
But the ride of your life
Will die with me
Your favored enemy.
I keep coming up to that line
And I cross it every time
Because you cant force yourself to regret
What you dont know about you yet
Its taken everything from me
Stolen every one of my beliefs
But when everything's empty
You are finally honest

Let the pain rise
Like a tidal wave
When you survive
Its a good night
Let your feet wash in the undertow

I keep chasing that horizon
The just over yonder
Through forests and the fields
And wherever I wander
In every ancient ruin
I get why they stopped moving
Not ***** traps to behead
We just don't deserve the knowledge yet

Let the pain rise
Look to the skies
Sacrifice a ******
Maybe we'll be worthy
To keep crossing the line
Chasing the divine
Maybe its a sign
That we haven't found it yet

Let the waves rise
Like a tidal wave
Erasing all our mistakings
And giving new life
To the same flawed morons
Who will disappoint us everytime
Who are we to have survived
When we keep
Crossing the line
I'm still workshopping this one
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