Praying Mantis

Meadow Song

In the meadow across the road
From my childhood home
Where I wondered off alone

In the meadow, INARRATOR – anonymous co-lead who, along with Pellapetisimo, relates much of the story first-hand to the listener.

Appears in: Meadow Song, Dandelions, Every Alcove, It Warms The Cockles, Stems & A Green Leaf Still, Two Houses Pt.1&2, Sally’s House, Daisy (2nd-half), Compound Eyes, Pellapetisimo.
heard him call
Where the grass grew wild and tall
His song like a crack in wall

In the meadow across the way
Where the slight and unsightly pray
Where the sun shone round all day

Look carefully, I heard him say
There’s more to this overgrown place
Pellapetisimo’s the name

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Dandelions

Waggled leaves and meadow blades
Scattered greens that twitch and sway
What it seems is not always

Leaflets, stems and stalks abound
Some stand-up and walk around
Others just sit there all day

[Refrain] Dandelions are curling round my spine
Little yellow flower petals climb
Out from my eyes

Stirring in the thicket there
Little things that stop and stare
If we’d only take the time

See the forms, become aware
Floral shapes will dance on air
Often more than meets the eye

[Refrain]

Listen for the melody
Whispering amidst the reeds
Is it just the wind, no more?

At the edge our universe
Can expand, for what it’s worth
We need only to explore
The prospect of something more

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Every Alcove

[Refrain]
If you come a little closer, let your eyes adjust
And open your mind up, the whole of the hillside
Will come into focus
Let the flowers and the grass grow up around you there
The locals are waiting in every alcove
And anticipating

Meet Miss Tropicanna Black
Her friends call her Lily
Not that sheTROPICANNA “LILY” BLACK – leafy social outcast with perhaps more to say if only given the chance.

Appears in: Every Alcove, Pellapetisimo.
has anybody
Whom she could really call a friend, per se
Sweet Miss Tropicanna Black
Some say she's a little off
Not that anyone has much of anything to say at all 
To Tropicanna Black

[Refrain]

These weeds echo with the sounds 
Of Christopher Cricket 
He leads a chorus that surrounds us
Here in the thicket
We count on it
"Three cheers," we joyful!
We exclaim, "Here comes Mr. Cricket" 
Fingers snapping to the songs heCHRISTOPHER CRICKET – an unending source of good cheer for the “towns-folk” (so it seems).

Appears in: Every Alcove, Pellapetisimo.
sings 
We wave and stop to say, 
"There goes one swell guy"

[Refrain]

If you come a little closer, get to know the folks
That scuttle along on the overgrown lawn
There’s so much that goes on
Let the clovers and the canes grow up around your brain
The natives exchange subterranean claims
So glad that you came

Earthworm, face-first in the dirt
Leave him to his folly
He works all the day and night
With nothing but plight to show
For Wally Dearth
Earthworm Wally, what’s the point?
You wallow and dawdle
Each and every day the same old mess
Of sweat and soil, inanely toiling away

Lily Black, she stares down at the grass
Watching ants share information
She has a rad collection of acorn-caps
And thoughts on why some folks are so numb
And Chris Cricket wishes each song were his last
Perhaps he could at-least sing in a minor key
No one saw as Wally worked to solve
The meadow’s arid-soil situation

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It Warms The Cockles

Now see the drunken bluebirdHANK THE BLUEBIRD – the town drunk with a secret crush, inspired by the Charles Bukowski poem “Bluebird”

Appears in: It Warms The Cockles, Sally’s House, The Fool & Earl
.
Watch it collide with a tree in mid-flight
Now see the drunken bluebird
Stumbling around in the pale moonlight
How it warms the cockles

For the second time this evening
He’ll challenge a soda-pop can to a fight
How nice, see the drunken bluebird
Follow his heart again into the night
How it warms the cockles

Enough to make a man weep

Spreading his wings without a care
Of what they think down below
If only I too could be that rare
I’d show them the same

There, stranded in the rain
He’ll stagger and shout at the worms on the ground
“Please, I come to make amends“
“For the times when I’ve eaten-up some of your friends”
How it warms the cockles

For the second time this week
He’ll curl-up to sleep in a neighbor-bird’s nest
Now see the drunken bluebird
Profess his love for the girl Sally Tess
How it warms the cockles

Enough to make me weep

Spreading his wings without a care
Of anything down below
If only I too could be that rare
I’d show them the same
Somewhere inside I’ve hidden away
Someone as pure and free
A drunken bluebird of my own
That no one ever sees

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Stems & A Green Leaf Still

[Refrain]
Somewhere, passing the time until
Stems with a green-leaf still
Sun through a hundred eyes can reveal
What lies, a world concealed

When I was boy
We used to wake-up early in the morning
Saturdays
So hot you might have drained off breakfast
Before you were halfway up the road
But we didn’t care
We were after the one thing in life that made us truly happy
At the time anyway
We were searching for a Praying Mantis ?

[Refrain]

My friend and I
The girlHOLLY – the next-door neighbor girl of the unnamed narrator.

Appears in: Stems & A Green Leaf Still, Pellapetisimo.
who lived next door
Well we’d get lost in those fields
Lost in the light of youth, innocence, discovery
Sometimes we’d sink down
Beneath the surface of the tall grass
And uncover things about ourselves
About each other
Things we’d never known in our most colorful dreams

[Refrain]

Waifs in the woodland wet
Ways we wound around in the grass to forget
A world that never seemed to look much further
Than that which collects on the surface
We found each other there
Soft summer air
And nary a watchful eye to bare
Save for those of the Praying Mantis

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Two Houses Pt.1

Two houses in the meadow
Side by side
Two houses in the meadow
So alike

Two houses painted yellow
Two green doors
Two matching cherrywood swings
On the porch

Two houses, so alike on the outside
Though they contain within their walls
Two all-together different takes on
Passing through the gates of dawn

On the left, lives Sally Tess
See the bluebird sitting on her sill
Maybe we could have ourselves
A closer look, this night we’ll get our fill

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Sally’s House

SallySALLY TESS – woman who lives in one of the two identical (on the surface) houses in the meadow. Her husband spends more time in the backseat of his car than he does at home, if you know what I mean.

Appears in: It Warms The Cockles, Two Houses Pt.1, Sally’s House, The Fool & Earl, Pellapetisimo.
can’t stop crying
Waiting on her man
Lately, he ain’t never home on time
She’ll pass out in the kitchen
When she’s had all she can stand
Of second-rate promises and cheap wine

[Refrain]
If you catch my meaning
Then you get my drift
Paper hearts aren’t cut out for this shit

She’s always had a fondness
For the wrong kind of man
This one ain’t much different than the last
He’s holed up in the backseat
Of a blue sedan
Groping at the glory days that have long since passed

[Refrain]

Headlights cast her shadow
Hard against the wall
The gravel churns as he pulls in the drive
And for a moment there, her clouded stare
Clears to see his face
And somehow she feels happy just to have him back standing there in her doorway

But then he stumbles on past and hurries down the hall
Muttering some bullshit about how he got called back to work
And she can smell this rat a mile away
So she pulls out a pair of brass knuckles from her purse
And chases him down and grabs ahold of the collar of his shirt
And then she bashes in his face

[Refrain]

It’s best he sleeps this one off
He’s out-cold anyway
And Sally, she sits back down to calm her nerves
And the bluebird at the window
Opens with a new-day song
And for a moment, Sally wonders if it’s for her

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Two Houses Pt.2

Two houses in the meadow
Side by side
Two yellow painted shells
They do belie

To the right, the morning sun
Comes crawling in across the carpet there
Then the bed, the new day calling
These folks aren’t likely going anywhere

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Sunrise House

Sunrise doesn’t apply
What to get up and do?
These eyes wade through the light
Softly fade into view

We could shuffle round like zombies
Turn knobs and try-on shoes
But why to waste the dawn
We-twoSUNRISE COUPLE – the unidentified pair of humans living in the other of the two identical (on the surface) houses in the meadow.

Appears in: Two Houses Pt.2, Sunrise House.
removed

Sunrise, we could comply
But why for to fucking move?
Held tight, I could just die
Lying here next to you

We could shuffle round like zombies
Shout things out, room-to-room
With all the fruit flies longing
To see you soon

Sunrise, another time
I’d spend the day, it’s true
Seems like Heaven’s alright
But what do they have, if not you?

We could shuffle round like zombies
Shower-caps, coffee brew
But why to waste the dawn

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Daisy

Hey Daisy
Maybe by mistake
I never noticed it before
When the wind takes-up
Across the range
You seem gladly out-of-sorts
Grooving around
So graceful, so demure

Hey Daisy
I just want to say
What a lovely dissident you make
With your soft white
Petals out of place
Hanging down across you face
Grooving around
So nicely disarrayed
A colorful flout
Of light against the gray

Hey DaisyDAISY – the inimitable flower to whom Pellapetisimo takes a liking.

Appears in: Daisy, Pellapetisimo.

Maybe by mistake
You haven’t noticed me around
The stems and green leaf
Wavering in-place
Atop the honeysuckle sprout
I’m much obliged
Of course, I’m sometimes brown

It might sound crazy
Daisy, as of late
You’re all I ever think about
Your mad sashay
Amidst the tussled gray
Your soft white locks that ruffle out
Grooving around
The rhythm yours alone
The best thing I’ve found
Daisy, you should know

She says there is a dead thing
In the ground beneath her feet
It tells her of a time, not so long ago
When the days would run together
Like a reoccurring dream
And this field of green poured over everything

Down by the lilac clusters
Not far from where we’re standing now
There once was a farm of strange renown
A precious fur could there be found
Housed in the back a little colony safe and sound
Of caged chinchillas

Well this farm became a prison
The chinchillas all death row
As they soon learned of their intended turn as winter coats
And this one who lies beneath us now
Telling of a hidden past
He lost his life by a farmer’s scythe
As he led his friends to freedom through the grass

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The Fool & Earl

???THE FOOL – unidentified speaker in conversation with Earl, he offers-up a most seductive plea for ignorance.

Appears in: The Fool & Earl.
?????EARL THE SQUIRREL – observant rodent who witnesses something unexpected at Sally’s house and later recalls it in conversation with his friend, The Fool.

Appears in: The Fool & Earl.

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Compound Eyes

Dazed ubiquity lies
In kaleidoscope highs
What a beautiful sight
Staring into your eyes
Praying mantis
I see your splintered mind
And I know

Flash a myriad glimpse
Dazzled images entwine
Travel with them inside
Staring into your eyes
Praying mantis
I see your splintered mind
And I know

This façade of green comes apart at the seems
Fractures into weeds, tall grass and leaves
Further-in we see insects, birds, rodents, seeds
Sprouting new life from the soil beneath
The dirt, the worms, the roots as they squirm
In their relative time-flow, down through the earth
Soaking up the nutrients, moisture, air
Delving further through microbial fair
Bacteria, algae, fungi all give way
To molecules, atoms, photon rays
Electrons spin in an orbital stay
Around nuclei boasting in electromagnetic sway

Like a pendulum king
Lost in rhythm and allure
Soft hypnotic we sway
Lulling all of us away
Praying mantis
I see your splintered mind
And I know

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Pellapetisimo

I caught a glimpse and it shot through my senses
Like nothing that I’ve known before
Standing in front of a canvas, so wonderfully lost
In the luster and lure
I reach out my hand as the brushwork commands
And am sucked-in and shown something more

The light breaks
Pellapetisimo
Soaking up the sun
Of another day
Somewhere in the maze
Of brambles and bright green foliage

My heart aches
Pellapetisimo
Our time together
Nearing over and done
Soon the sun will fade out
Forever on these summer days

[Refrain]
I caught a glimpse and it shot through my senses
Like nothing that I’ve known before
Standing in front of a canvas, so wonderfully lost
In the luster and lure

That’s all folks
PellapetPELLAPETISIMO – the praying mantis, main character, and active guide for both the (unnamed) narrator and the audience.

Appears in: Meadow Song, Dandelions, Every Alcove, It Warms the Cockles, Two Houses Pt.1&2, Daisy, Compound Eyes, Pellapetisimo.
isimo
Kicking up his heels
And pedaling back
Farewell, that’s a wrap
Spin the cane and wave the skimmer-cap

Daisy waits
At the top of the hill, she sees
Spilling over with
The rush of the red-orange tide at sunset
A shadowy figure all stems and leaf

[Refrain]

[Refrain]
Standing in front of a canvas, so wonderfully lost
In the luster and lure
I reach out my hand as the brushwork commands
And am sucked-in and shown something more

The light wanes
Pellapetisimo
Saying our goodbyes
To WallyEARTHWORM WALLY – oft-dismissed drudge who’s up to more than most will ever know.

Appears in: Every Alcove, Pellapetisimo.
and Chris
Lily Black and those kids
Nestled together in the tall grass

Sally Tess
Wishing you all the best
Lest we all forget
As one awakened
From a beautiful dream
He’ll be there whispering in the reeds

~~~~~~~~

The End

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Songs For My Cat

Aria Darling

Red lung my darling Aria
Tread Harley Quinn we, Aria
Oooooh Ooooh Ooooh Oooh Oo-ooh
Stale eyes have torn your heart in two

Now, if you're freaking out
You should know
Thick as thieves avow

Take my hand
We can wake the ragtime band

Red lung my darling Aria
Dead rung my darling Aria
Oooooh Ooooh Ooooh Oooh Oo-ooh
Cans of coiled worm cavorting through

Now, if you're freaking out
Don't be slow
Thick as thieves, we shout

Take my hand
We can wake the ragtime band
Circle and bow
Let you're hair stream purple now

Oooooh Ooooh Ooooh Oooh Oo-ooh
When the bones in hand don't feel true

Now, if you're freaking out
You should know
That I'm freaking out

Take my hand
We can stir the ragtime band
Yielding dawn
Hit the floor headfirst come on
Our brains spill out
And mix like paint together now
We circle and drown
Let your hair stream green and brown

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Bob

Bob Bob Bob Bob Bob
He's the creature from my childhood dreams
Long ago
Bob Bob Bob Bob Bob
In the stories that were told

Bob Bob Bob Bob Bob
He's growing old and you know
Bob Bob Bob Bob Bob
In the stories that unfold

Each notebook leaf, a new adventure
His sidekick Imp, waiting in the wings
Arch nemeses at every turn
He's unearthly and free

Umbrella cloak in red & black rows
Spectral torso trailing as he goes
Swelt eyes caught cross, or so it seems
Old-time rocker in themes

Find a flame-thrower or machine-gun
Just lying around, glinting in the sun
Take aim and say fuck-all to this
Amassing dismay
Start blasting away

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Birthday Song

I'm rubbing cake all over my face
I'm rubbing cake all over my face
Mama says it looks a disgrace
I'm rubbing cake all over my face
I'm gonna smash these bottles and plates

I've got on lipstick and my swim trunks
I'm gonna take a bath in the punch
I want to take a bath with the girl
Who smiles to herself as I run amuck

[Refrain]
It's my goddamn birthday
It's my day to shine
It's my goddamn birthday
Maybe I could make her mine

I'm gonna take a gun to the bank
I'm gonna have some fun the old-fashioned way
Press the barrel right up against
The bank teller's forehead and say
"Some for me and some for the girl"
"Who smiles every time I say her name"

[Refrain]

[Bridge]
And when the day is done
Things may feel different
Maybe I'll hold on
To that wild mane
When tomorrow comes
Lost in the distance
With the Earth it spun
Off and away
Now come and gone
Soft reminiscence
Maybe I'll hold on
To that smile she gave

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You've Got The Madness

Mind spun like a top
Shot through the attic
Walls to climb and then some
Thoughts light up across
Midsummer night skies

Mokey I'm afraid
You've got the Madness
Call me in the morning
Once you've had a chance
To sleep it off

Mind spun like a top
Flung through the front room
Jaws unhinge and claws glint
Gone off like a flash bulb
In the snow

After examining your chart
I can see that you're suffering
From a severe case of the madness

Twine voices they talk
To you in visions
Tearing flesh and torrents rain
Stood so alonev That fateful day

Mokey I'm afraid
You've got the madness
Should you care to join us
Once you've slept it off
We could be friends again

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Catatonic Blue

The music swims around in furry-head
Its monsoon season for my tabby-cat
Well, he's half siam

The violins shred clouded thoughts.
Light stratifies the shock
And my cat twists and twirls.
To dance deranged
A typhoon ballet

[Refrain]
He's watching, corner room
Catatonic blue

The music cracks and glistens in furry-head
Refracted whims imprisoned.
What a mad little kitten I have

The blurry mind's eye dilates
Azure skies dissipate, as Mokey lies in wait
For his typhoon ballet

[Refrain]

Then he jumps up out of position
Whirling around like a gale apparition!

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Hairball Shimmy

Mokey's doing the Hairball Shimmy
Doing the Hairball Shimmy all around

He'll meander along till the feeling comes on
Stealing the rhythm and seething the song
Shrug your shoulders, stick out your tongue
Cough the hairball up with your lungs
And say

Step out from
Behind the velvet curtain, you're on
Jive with the spasms as they come along
Shrug your shoulders, stick out your tongue
Cough the hairball up with your lungs
And say

Mokey's doing the Hairball Shimmy
Staring me in the eyes all the while
He's doing the Hairball Shimmy
Carry the hairball up and out in style

If you can
Embrace the demons, you'll set them free
Clean out your closet. Scream and shout all along
Shrug your shoulders, stick out your tongue
Cough the hairball up with your lungs
And say

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Mokey's GloveBall Quest

Mokey woke up late one day
Sun ran through the window pane
Warmth to flood his fuzzy mane
Will it incubate his brain?

In his mind he'll float along
Waves of golden Siren song
Stirring molten visions up
Careful not to touch the cup

Lift the eyelids drifting black
Sunlight surging cataract
Rack the senses, back-to-the-end
Close your eyes and stretch and then...

Thought's philosophy and zest
Mokey sets out on his quest
Off to fight the spirits squall
Find the one-and-only Glove Ball!

Telephone's a-ringing wild
Swells of sound and vision pile
Up inside a waking dream
Mokey sheds an aching scream

Scamper all along the couch
Swing from claws, hung upside-down
Dart through doorways, slash and stir
Dander dash confetti blur

By the window, finds a clue
A shiny string that he once knew
Tied around the Glove Ball then
Lift the latch and spring from the den

Oh the Glove Ball, gone astray
Mokey's explorations take
Our blue-eyed hero down the path
Violet darkness falling fast

All around the crickets chirp
Fireflies flickered mirth
And Mokey moves through sticks and brush
A mystic quest, press on he must

Now the moon is shining bright
Spiny branches split the night
And splintered twigs close in on all sides
Mokey spins and shucks and jives

Then suddenly, Mokey stops!
His claws sink in the soil plot
Off in the distance, shimmered bright
A pair of simmering-yellow eyes

They vanished quick like sinking stones
Mokey sat there all alone
The darkness held unyielding plight (unending doubt)
And Mokey bedded down for the night

When he awoke, all lay still
No stirring mice or whippoorwills
Mokey turned, to his surprise
He met with simmering-yellow eyes

He leapt back with coursing fright
Another cat as black as night
And in his mouth the Black Cat held
The one-and-only Glove Ball, well...

In that second split so fine
The torrents lit his wintered mind
A glint of Taurean design
And Mokey leapt forth, feral-blind

He sunk his claws deep in the black
Alas, he felt a surge come back
It shot through every bone he had
And brought a vision slow and mad

He saw a giant purple cube
A perfect monolithic ruse
Comprised in scores of tiny ants
They moved together in a trance

And in the cube, which gleamed so bright
He saw himself, he shimmered white
He saw that he too was comprised
Of tiny ants, to his surprise

These ants were white and black and gray
They moved together in that same way
And they were he and he was they
All one within the cube display

Then Mokey came out of the dream
With smoke and ash all across the scene
The Glove-Ball now was in his mouth
The Black Cat nowhere to be found

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Monsters By Sea

And if monsters come, they will come by sea
And if monsters come, they will come through walls around you
With terrible eyes rolling, terrible teeth
Gnashing, they cry to the moon and their king the Mongrel

[Refrain]
Bedposts grow branches here
Tangled groves for dance and cheer
They know to find you, dear
Cross the sea over a year

So wildly gone, they will crack their smiles
In spirals and song, they can tap their toes for miles
Now frolicking on, in the moonlight guiles
Like spires at dawn, freely dance in fireside styles

[Refrain]

And if monsters come, they will come by sea
If monsters come, they will come through walls around you
They'll carry you off on shoulder tops, through trees
Then ferry across in moonlight dreams abounding

[Refrain]

They show their razor-sharp
Brazen claws that clink and spark
Wild Mokey staring stark
Let the wild rumpus start

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Border Town Song

In a little border town
South of Chiricahua ground
The lustful seek forgiveness
From old familiar friends

Mariachis cull the sound
The desert sun is going down
Some may search for new lines
In the same old songs they're sent

Have you nothing to spare for a tired old man?

In a little border town
Sorrows for a quarter drown
In cups of warm Tecate
And mescal-tonic vials

Firecrackers in the wind
The dire thoughts come creeping in
Dark curls on her fair skin
Disarmingly, she smiles

Have you no one to care for you now that she's gone?
Lavender heavens stare sorrowfully down upon

In a little border town
The dark drifting angels go dancing through you mind
In a little border town
The shadows keep secrets of every sordid kind
In a little border town
The traces are tangled in melodies that wind
Round together lithely bound
To still-born notions of a life now left behind

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Brain Acre

There he goes, the village idiot
About on a stroll, with his hollow head aglow
And everyone claims that his brain's been carved away
Long ago
But they don't know
The idiot's off in a daydream promenade
Attic space
Where flowers grow
The idiot's roaming about by orange flame
A great escape

Brain Acre Farm
A braided light-blaze lines the countryside
Brain Acre Farm
To find your way, wind round your second sight
Living with the vegetables, alright
Brain Acre Farm

There he goes, the village idiot
He will carry on unaware, through the carriage-driven square
Whispers, "Where does he go?"
With his vacant slang, wait there
But they don't know

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