Everything But The Jokes From Bob's Notebooks

by Julian Cartwright

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released August 12, 2017

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Track Name: This Time
All this time
I appeared to be a spider
scrambling up a wire of desire.

All this time
and I’m still kneeling at the shrine
of the daily grind,
when the situation is infinitely more dire.

All this time
I’ve been wandering around the kitchen
of a dollhouse, where the food is made of wood,
painted up to look good.

All this time
I misunderstood the concept
of a decision
But I will decide because I think I should

All this time
I let my bicycle rust
in the blinding heat and frost
of loss.

All this time
trying to keep away from me--
It’s been a bust.

All this time
I was in a glamorously urbane
cellist’s selfie, accidentally deleted
from her iPhone 12S.

All this time’s
the time it takes
to live and die and come back to life, I guess.

All this time
there were Marigolds growing in the Senator’s lawn,
withered by a poison spray.
And I said it was ok!

But this time I will be sure to look away.
Track Name: I'm Thirty
I used to stay indoors,
seeking out Stevie Nicks floors.
Now I Tarzan.
Now I don henley.
Now I carry a field microscope with me.
I’m thirty.

I used to eat ingredients raw,
sipping coffee through a straw.
Now every day I get more lucky.
Cause ten extra years taught me
not to be twenty.

Why should I waste my time
thinking “I wanna go back”.
Cause you have to go forward
and that’s a fact.
But it’s an awareness that I used to lack.

I guess we kind of think time travel possible,
or not an obstacle,
if we can get a popsicle at a skating rink.
But a teen has no right to think,
and in your 20’s, you take thinking to the brink.

I used to sit in bars,
collecting scars,
now I select used cars
at a price point.
Although my vision is a little blurry.
I’m so unbelievably lucky.
I’m thirty.
Track Name: American Dinosaur
Moving men yawn,
kids drop their scooters on the lawn
and run in for chocolate milk.
Their friends are gonna move on,
their bones are gonna get strong.
Ah, what do they know..

Of all the long days spent at school,
the hours logged in at the pool,
what have they learned?
They’re dreaming of the world beyond,
feel like big fish in little ponds,
memories bronzed.

Growing up in the suburbs,
soccer ball in locker,
physically ashamed posture.
You live in fear of the rejected offer,
indescribably awkward.

Come take a look at this ring, just for a minute.
You can see the future in it.
But it only stays dark green,
which it has since the Pleistocene.

I know your dream was to destroy the set
of Top of The Pops, a teen triceratops.

And you’ll take Chemistry in the Fall
if your back’s against the wall,
if Clarissa explains it all.
You didn’t have the time to dream,
but on the debate team
you sure could create a scene.

On Memorial Day,
you bought a set of drums to play
with the help of Mel Bay.
The next day you see your crush
coming toward you in the hall
like an asteroid trying to end it all.

Now strong men are packing up your stuff.
They pack it up tight in a box like a harlequin.
You won’t see that old junk anymore.
It’s only interesting to kids, like a dinosaur.
Track Name: Celebration Day
Smelling the tar,
going a little too far
on Celebration Day.
Explosions and fumes,
we’re using up our pay
on Celebration Day.

Whistling a tune
for comrades marooned
on desert islands
soothes on Celebration Day.

Those who could not be
discovered by science
are not forgotten in truth
on Celebration Day.

Distant parts of the family
join with us soon
on Celebration Day.
Signal cannons boom
as Wisteria bloom
on Celebration Day.

Glasses of water
clash with cups of champagne
on Celebration Day.
Fallen soldiers, face up,
lie down in the shade
on Celebration Day.

And Julia gets a new rocking horse.
We join together for cartoon films
on Celebration Day.
And uncle Bill, a Rhodes Scholar,
sucks down a spliff on Celebration Day.

Some of us look up to the sky
to try to say goodbye
on Celebration Day.
A vacation day. A school and bank holiday.

Charcoal brickettes, ice cream and cake
keep us awake after an adult dose of sun
on Celebration Day.

So it’s that time again.
A time to reflect--
what the heck?
At the end of the month
will I get my health, spouse, job back
on Celebration Day?

And how did ants manage to get into that?
And why is my entire backside wet?
The back door is open, now where are the cats?
And the neighbor’s pyrotechnics mixed with Francis Scott Key
are all triggering PTSD on Celebration Day.

On Celebration Day.
Track Name: Routine Visit
Just a routine visit,
it’s just a routine visit.
But as I was driving through the woods, the trees
looked more beautiful than they should be.

It’s a routine visit,
just a routine visit.

Well, I remember when I’d get anxious
and freak out about the little things,
and I miss it.

It’s just a routine visit,
just a routine visit.

I used to get up, 10 am in the aftermath
of a hurricane.
I would aspire to do something
that's out of reach
and then go to the beach.

It was a routine visit
It was just routine

Do I feel fine?
Do I feel fine?
I’m not so sure this time.
And if you don’t feel fine,
do your best to describe.
Now please, what is it?

A routine visit, just a routine visit.
Except I’m not doing fine.
I hope my visit will be more routine next time.
Track Name: Mornings In July
Getting up another day with the seagulls.
And I tie all of my troubles to their wings.
Now they’re flying closer to the ocean
and when they drown, that’s when the country singer sings.

I’ve been waking early in the morning,
making cups of coffee for no one
cause as soon as it gets to be 6 o’clock, I’m leaving.
And my gut don’t know about rising with the sun.

Couldn’t sleep last night, so I’m crying
to the radio and driving slow.
I want to turn day back to night, and I’m trying,
but it beats me no matter how far west I go.

And I’ve got more than one reason
for striking out solo.
I like to be on my own. As far as bands go,
they never came back after the show.

So I’m getting up early-morning every morning in July,
so my hair never really getting dry.
And I’m sweating through all my clothes,
but I’ve got to give another try.

And I have no regrets, cause I can’t afford to.
I’ve got to hustle through June and July.
And after that I can’t really claim to
know what gigs on which I can rely.

I’m hanging on another man’s say-so.
Could be eating out of cans till late next May.
At this rate, I’d better move my capo
cause I feel a little high-strung today.

So I’m getting up another day with the seagulls.
Reading a dime store novel with eleven sequels.
Flying in a lonesome, heavy way.
I’m not flying here for pleasure, but for pay.
Track Name: Advice for Bobby, 16
I know you want the truth
and I know you wanna win,
but don’t try to build a roof
until you’ve put the basement in.

You want to be an extraordinary man
at the age of sixteen,
but you need an ordinary life
to make your ego lean.

On thing at a time, my friend,
just one thing at a time.
You don’t have to do everything
just because you’re in your prime.
But when it’s time to sand,
by all means sand.
If something’s meant to wear you down,
just take it as a lesson and
the texture of the wall
shows through fifty coats of paint and all.
It’ll be there fifty years on.

The friction’s really calling you to move on.
The friction’s really calling you to move on.
So move on.
No need to quit, just keep moving on
and sand and sand and sand
and sand and sand and sand
and sand and sand and sand
and sand and sand and sand
and sand and sand and sand
and sand and sand and sand.
Track Name: Keeping Pace
I ride the rails
with the snails.
I raise the stakes
with the rest of the fakes.
And I bail when I lose sight of the horizon,
and I bail on clear days when the horizon shows its face.

But every night I see the stars come out and dream.
It’s such a free thing.
And on cloudy nights, imagine lights,
but find that just the dark is pleasing.

I move my tent
and pay no rent.
I raise my stakes
when the day wakes.
I waste no time,
no salt, no lime,
and spend no dime
on sweet pancakes.

But every night I feast my eyes
on the many stars revolving in the skies.
Actually they stay in one place.
What a difference education makes.

And I wonder why we have to keep on moving every day,
but less and less. I can see it’s not a race.
This whole thing’s just to remind me
the value of keeping pace.
keeping pace, keeping pace.
Track Name: I Get The Picture Slow
Me, I can’t appreciate a lotus
A crow smelling a rose
I’m not supposed to go
to the far side of the garden
where the crazy plowman hoes.

And it’s not appropriate for me
to fly the flag of victory
as far up as the flagpole goes.

I’ve been warned
and I’ve had my chances,
so I know, I know, I know.
I get the picture,
but I get the picture slow.
I get the picture slow.

I’m drawing a wavy, halting line,
holding up my homemade sign
only to find the crowd had left the day before,
that justice has since been ignored,
and we’ve moved toward a subtler form of protest.
Then I'm fined for loitering,
a hundred dollars no less.

One of these days I’m gonna learn,
so one of these days I’m gonna know.
And I’ve learned that I will come to know,
but till then I get the picture slow,
until then I get the picture slow.
Take a seat and watch me go.
You’d have to be inert to observe my progress.
But I will process regardless.
Track Name: Take Heart and Eat Hearty
Heavy rain soaked us to the bone,
so I curled up and made my own.
But I flinched when I heard the sandbags hit the ground
in this hot air balloon skyward bound.
And when mammoths stomped around us like bullies,
they didn’t have to be wooly's.

But we eat sadness, banish fears
like leeks and carrots, radish spheres.
And we drown thoughts tossed with anxiety
in vegan sauces sweet and briny.

It is a kind of therapy.
It helps to ease your mind.
If you are what you eat,
then make it more sublime.

If the thought of violence makes you red,
switch out what you put on your bread,
and if you wouldn’t harm a dog,
then don’t kill a hog to eat.

May you eat hearty and take heart
that this shift will be the start
of a brand new life for you and me,
and for everyone who’ll be allowed to be.