Imaginary Country

by John Alan Kennedy

/
1.
Is it the moon or is it something with a dark side? Is it the sun or is it something you’d rather not shine on you? Is it your life or somebody’s plan for you? Is it your time or everyone else’s time too? Is it your blood in your veins or is it your father’s blood? Is it your father’s blood or the apes and the stars? Do you desire to reach destiny or does it feel much too far? That’s the charm That’s the choice That’s no crime That’s curiosity Is it love or just an excuse to hurt half the time? Is it to fuck or is it to share every inch every time? Is it a tragedy or is it something that happened to somebody else? Is it your first or your very very last time? Is it heaven or just hell for devils? Is it to die or to see the light for the first time? Is it heaven? Or just hell for devils? That’s the charm That’s the choice That’s no crime That’s curiosity
2.
when the sky lays down and the lights go calm when the moon gets high the night birds sing but they won’t sing until the morning if they’re lonely the palm wine flows til the moon gets low there’s a whistle in the distance coming home when the sun comes up and the train rolls in and the wheels get slow i hope i see you in the window when your eyes see mine and the whole world fades i will hope you smile i hope you'll take my hand when we stumble when my heart gets hurt and my throat goes dry and i can’t remember ever loving any other i will hope you smile til the sky lays down i know that dreams so rarely do come easy when the sky lays down and the night goes calm when your eyes see mine i hope you smile
3.
smelled smoke, saw a wolf-yellow sky the yellow turned black just before it caught fire the old family farm fell black to the ground my baby girl asked me where do we go now? i thought she asked me are we gonna die? found a bunch of thorns in my rosewater candle bailed some water from the roof of my well tried to mop up the swell of the currents in my cupboard the same black swell left my horses nearly drowned mama always told me there was only one boat so you better get real good with all your swim strokes i want my baby girl to eat apples like candy i want my baby girl to grow up i want the stars to shine on her smile every night i want this all to be so
4.
you always walked on the cold side of the avenue you always hid down deep in your coat you always took steps so quiet and well-measured i never thought that one day you’d keep going quick down the avenue, past the alleyway and bodega, softly through shadows as dark as your hair you reached the corner, i watched you turn your head you blew me a kiss, and then you let go slower than slow undeterred by the engines egged on by indifference or maybe your tears crushed in the intersect of horror and fear i never thought that one day you’d keep going i never thought that one day you’d be gone i never thought that one day you’d stop trying i never thought that one day you’d be gone
5.
There they go fifty tons of rose into your stove a kiss-off in smoke all fifty rows that my grandmother sowed. maybe i was too much? i know i’m more than most or maybe i was never even close am i deaf? am i dumb? am i way too slow? i tried to watch your show the hours flowing like tears they’d roll i guess that’s how it goes i know, i know, i know, i know who has time for this? i know, i know, i know, i know it’s so so phony there i go fifty pounds of way too slow i guess i’ll never grow i know, i know, i know, i know i’m so so phony i know, i know, i know, i know so so phony
6.
all of 16 in a town with a checkerboard start dreaming of dreams that are bound to fall apart Mamaw had a still where she fell in a molotov dress Granpa’s got a claw for a hand, tried to beat the flames dead girls are the most crazy when their sisters are most shy i spied one at the picture show so i told her a lie i told her i was superman, i swore i could fly she said “that’s just a dream boy” --still she smiled she was the first dream that i wish was all mine sweet tart cold beautiful like lemon icebox pie now i’m 21 in a city that claims to be everything to everyone from everywhere that’s made it lights tend the sky higher up than Granpa ever climbed people line the streets falling down dirtier than dimes my dreams seem most crazy when i take ‘em out on the town they’re the most popular with the folks beat most down but still these are the dreams that i’ll dream for all time because they’re beautiful
7.
i can tell that you care about me about as much as you care for yourself and that is not a helluva lot as i can tell by the way you wake up every day so tired every day so tired with your eyes deep in debt and they’re pink and sorry as you squint at the sun, and moaning roll over you reach out and then you pull down the shades until you’re hidden in the loving arms of shadow until you’re folded in the loving arms of shade and you reach for your cigarettes it’s the third pack since early last night and you shake til you shudder you shake til you shudder and you pick up your cell to see what you’ve missed and you shuffle to the toilet to sit down and piss then it’s off to the fridge empty as ever empty as ever and it’s cold but it feels alright for someone... ...pink and sorry now it’s half an hour later and you’re back from the deli sippin’ at your regular before you remember i’m there and i can tell that you care about me about as much as you care for yourself and that is not a helluva lot as i can tell by the way you wake up or by the way you don’t every day so tired every day so tired pink and sorry pink and sorry...
8.
02:35
and if i sleep too close would you tell me before you roll over? and if i seem too cold would you touch me before you roll over? and if my dreams come too close to you i am sorry and if my dreams feel too fast for you i am sorry i’ll be gone before the sun shines through your window
9.
it ain’t all about fault sometimes it’s about the stories the ones that you tell yourself to keep your hands clean it ain’t all about what they done to you you probably let ‘em sometimes you wanna see what you can take and you end up dirty where there’s a quake there’s always a fault and we all get shaken nobody gets to be a hero until someone gets broken. it ain’t all about you sometimes there really are others they are the ones that you walk on by to make your life easy it ain’t all about you, my friend it ain’t about me neither it’s about the life that we make together no matter our intentions where there’s a quake there’s always a fault and we all get shaken nobody gets to be a hero until someone gets broken.
10.
my mouth is coming around my mount, she’s coming to town my mental get-out is starting to calm down my mouth’s taken a vow, my mouth’s coming down my mouth is coming around my countess is milking me deep down i measure her rout by drowning the town she pleasures my pout by building a clown
11.
you can relax in the valley of your hope you can dance at the funeral of dreams that are no more you can watch the roll of the credits that are your life and you can watch while the mouth of the world takes you whole to an empty whore of a town you can cry til your eyeballs ache you can cling to your lover but you can’t escape you can cry bloody murder for the things you made but you’ll never leave this town you haven’t tried yet
12.
03:53
i found a bottle in the corner of your closet it was empty but it surely wasn’t broken i filled it up with some beleaguered shade of bourbon i placed a feather on the seal that you had broken belly up, belly up, belly up she’ll take you home but it’s a favor for your girlfriend cuz she’ll feel better if she thinks you’re built the same she’ll spin the bottle every time you run an errand she’ll spin a story every time you look away belly up, belly up, belly up (this ain’t speakeasy, no no speakeasy) if you believe that bottle’s never used for heavy drinkin’ you can look away look away look away but if her kiss tastes like another shade of bourbon you should run away run away run away if you believe that beetle’s on his back just for singalong i’ve got a bottle of some bourbon, you should try it and you can swing your legs until you’re done forgettin’ and you can spin the bottle til the bugs are dead and gone belly up, belly up, belly up it’s gettin’ mighty late you should make a real decision

about

Over the years I've spent a lot of time turning simple songs that I'd written on acoustic guitar into more elaborate productions.

This album features two new songs, plus the original acoustic versions of several "big productions" that were released on the albums 'IF AND WHEN' and 'THAT'S CURIOSITY'

the original mid-1990's recording of "IF I Sleep" can be found on its own eponymous EP

johnalankennedy.bandcamp.com/album/thats-curiosity
johnalankennedy.bandcamp.com/album/if-and-when
johnalankennedy.bandcamp.com/album/if-i-sleep

credits

released May 17, 2020

cover art by Carson Schottie
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all songs written & recorded by John Alan Kennedy,
all rights reserved, BMI

recorded February and March, 2020

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John Alan Kennedy Houston, Texas

Brains like music. Take advantage while you can.

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