Wonder Worry Wonder

by Julian Cartwright

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released July 11, 2017



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Julian Cartwright New Jersey

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Track Name: Bewildered
I am bewildered by my life.
I am stumbling in the light.
I don’t know what’s left,
and I can’t turn right.

I built a false mind out of sticks.
Four years on, I’m taking it apart.
I’m not flesh, but only bones and skin.
Life has built me up, now it’s taking me apart.

I found an eraser sticking in the mud.
I thought it might help me to un-write.
So my diary is writ in smears and rips.
And I don’t know why I’m in a rut.

I saw a stranger in the sky.
I look up every time she coughs.
So I go quicker when I ride my bike.
And I get lost.
Track Name: Another Year
Another year grayer, another year older,
another gray folder to submit to my peers.
I’m destroying evidence of my phases but deploying
the phrases I’ve stored up through the years.

Another year thinner, no one is the winner.
I’m watching things get out of hand.
Watching the worst of humanity storm the stage
as people cater to their demands.

With every new chart, I think I’m leaving my mark
like I’m setting the future right.
Littering my lyrics with petty complaints,
as if the future will be basically bright.

We’re preparing and preparing to try to proclaim
the one thing we’ll never know.
If we’re proven right, the result will be
the same as if we just let go.
Track Name: Just Like Me
You, you’re just like me.
We both have the same disguise,
the same people to meet.
Your eyes, they look right through.
But they can’t see me at all
from what I say and what I do.
And I totally neglected
to consider your point of view.
I thought I already knew.

And I thought you were so strong,
and I thought you were so wrong.
And I made a big deal
when I thought you were
either weak or right.
You heard me counting sheep,
and on the third night of losing sleep,
that’s when you believed that
I was beginning to see the light.

And you, you’re just like me.
We’ve got the same pair of eyes
on the TV screen.
And we still like sharing life
by comparing what we’ve seen.
Track Name: Leave New York
A painter before the Renaissance
sees only how and when he wants.
But later, he’ll be a better painter,
do a series of Italian restaurants.
And even though I live in Jersey,
every time I go,
I know I gotta leave New York.
I gotta leave New York.

Expensive divorce,
on a Clydesdale horse.
Expensive divorce, I say.
And what is it that drives us?
Say, what is it that drives us all away?

In any case, I’ve got to leave New York.
So Jersey can return to being second rate,
to meditate on the reality of rich and poor.
No time to consider when you’re
still living in New York.
Track Name: Standing On Their Ground
Writing on a shard of tile.
Fighting a losing battle
while four children run amok.
History is on your side
if you’ve already messed up.
And now is as good a time as any
to remember the many
whom so few of us want to touch.
And if you’re proud, you’d better watch

Cause you’re standing on their ground,
we’re standing on their ground.
And we will always be around.

Watching “Touched by an Angel.”
Touching a live cable,
heating a frozen bagel.
Your grown sons will stick around
just as long as they are able.
And now is a decent time to pause
to remember the shine-less stars
who never made it to the books.
And if you’re lost you’d better look

Because you’re standing on their ground,
we’re standing on their ground.
And we will always be around.
Track Name: The Fog Sets In
You can’t see anyone through thick and thin
when the fog sets in.
Tonight I feel that there’s a fog.
Even I have gone myopic.
And the land is dominated
by what we can imagine,
which is a dangerous, dangerous topic.

The stillness in the air is existential
because we can’t see our potential
through the white and silver fog,
through the ancient, ample fog.

All good ideas could topple,
and death would be unstoppable in the fog.
I’m winding down a country road
to a future still unknown,
immersed in sorrow and the unavoidable traffic.

The sky is made of glass, condensation turns to rain or ice.
The sky was built to last, we’re sheltered by it for a price.
Track Name: Cavemen
Like boneheaded cavemen witnessing the miracle of birth,
we were so confused and inspired.
Trusting a greater power, and in a couple of hours,
we were saddled with a babe to burp.

Steadfastly trying to provide,
we pooled resources and farmed the land.
Then and only then, after an exhausting ride,
we sold our horses and formed a band.

Now we play ‘Taking Care Of Business’,
instead of taking care of business.
So many men......

We think cause we can think
that we’re something more than a caveman.
But with every second spent in a man cave,
we are cavemen!

There doesn’t seem to be anything
for which to atone,
when you’re Fred Flintstone.
Eating meat off of the bone,
then sitting down on your throne,
then eating meat off the bone.

Like boneheaded cavemen witnessing the miracle of birth,
we have no clue how our children will survive.
We just tell them it’s a wild ride.
Track Name: Country House
We’re staying in a country house
where we’ll see old friends.
We’ll try to forget the distance
or see it through a different lens.

It took hours to drive up,
so we can’t turn back now.
We’ve got five minutes left
to wise up, but I don’t know how.

We used to spent so much time
laughing and joking around.
Now it feels like we’re driving to a stranger’s house,
so tightly wound.

Am I scared I might make a mistake?
Look around, there are so many left to make.
I just keep asking myself if my life’s complete.
Every time I’m supposed to relax, I turn up the heat.
Turn up the heat.

We ended up talking about Zen out in the yard.
We all felt like taking it easy cause life is hard.
We stayed up late and sipped till we were soused,
and took advantage of a night staying in a country house.
We took advantage of a night staying in a country house.
Track Name: Smokers
We were cruising through a smoky city,
wearing our backpacks out.
You thought the dense smoke was pretty.
It never came out of your mouth.

Your tone was clear and serious.
You didn’t want to drink a beer.
But your mind was still, mysterious.
It feels good to have a peer.

While I may long for an inner circle,
you know what community is.
And there is no instant portal
to take you where the closeness is.

But navigating sleepless subways
seemed to me a lot more real
than staying up in secret enclaves,
where you don’t know what to feel.

And it all resets in the morning
when the sun dispels your doubt.
There are a dozen smokers boarding,
wait till they’re inside to let it out.
Track Name: Splinter
Almond and silver,
cloth and golden gloss.
I wish I could deliver to you
all that you lost.

Deep red wine flavor,
white lights rippling on the sea.
I wish you could savor
all this instead of me.

Days of lost wonder,
days between the dust.
I wonder if that’s
when I really learned to trust.

Sweet basil
in the bottom of the ladle.
The fabled face
just outside the cradle.
That’s what I’d want to give you,
if ever I were able.

Now I’m building a model
with Kindergarten blocks.
I’m running it over
in two pairs of holy socks.
What I’m making is wasteful,
but I’ll do whatever I must
to get a splinter to you.
That how you’ll know I learned to trust.
Track Name: Flexible
I used to be flexible,
becoming more brittle each year.
What now seems like a mundane fact
used to be a wild fear.
And I’m no longer in love with praising
the absurd face of the high life
by wishing to be ravished by it,
by comparing it to my life.

I used to have nothing to say.
I wasn’t brave enough to say I’m brave.
And when I’m put to the test of what to say,
I say “What good is talk anyway?”

Maybe next year
I will lay down in the street of my convictions.
Maybe next time
I’ll pay no heed to your predictions.
I could be elegantly plain,
styled by relevant pain, and breakable.
A loon in flight, using and losing my brain.
I would be calm, crippled, and capable.
Cool, compromised, and sane,
I’d be a broken blade
that had to cut across the grain.

I used to be more flexible,
used to bend toward the will of the earth.
But I’m still unfit and fallible,
waiting till I fall back to birth.

I used to be more flexible,
but it didn’t do any good.
Everyone had to adapt to where I bent,
because I always thought they could.
I was given all facility to help,
but I could only think of myself.

I kept wishing I would break,
thinking I was a fake,
feeding on a false sense of immunity
or on the mistakes I didn’t make,
due the the actions I didn’t take.
Skin all creped and eyes shut.
I used to be more flexible, so what?
Track Name: Metaphors From Nature, Soon To Be Rare
Must be a thousand frozen things
from which the river springs.
Now there’s a hundred falling boulders.
But it’s not over.

We may have spent our years in clover fields,
but we just found out it wasn’t real.
It was a symptom of misplaced frustration
in a secretly afraid nation.

We traded in our dignity, that was the deal.
So we could forage in a blind manner.
Me, I’ll keep track of everything I feel
and record it in an orange planner.

My heart is building a sandcastle,
my mind an office block.
Spirit’s abandoning the battle,
soul is fleeing from the flock.
And that is when I’m able
to realize who I am.
I was born into a fable
and then drove off in a van.

Sea waves are washing away
everything we know today.
And what we would never ever want
seems to be flowing from an eternal font.
Not to speak of what we love,
and what we still think fondly of.
They’re disappearing at a rapid pace.
It’s a fact that I don’t want to face.

And I’m not normally an alarmist,
but I wear no arm-band of normality.
And I can hear waves crashing down on the forest,
washing the seeds back to the sea.