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chuck leary
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the dead wear white hats on the devil’s birthday

by chuck leary


don’t talk to me
about love and hate

i know all about
love and hate

i used to wait on the corner
for the school bus

cars went by
in the wind and rain

there was a police lady
who directed traffic

she had red hair
and a blue uniform

with a blue cap
and i loved her

and there was a newsstand
run by an old man

and he was ugly
and i hated him

so don’t tell me
i don’t know

about love and hate
i learned early


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street scene

by chuck leary


if you see a traveler with a weary load
help him before his head explodes
he may be one, he may be two
but he is more than me or you

he mat be three, he may be four
he just can’t take it any more
the mayor asks him for his papers
he runs away making funny faces

they are all so many things
plunked on a million piano strings
they flow through the streets like purple gerbils
crawling over bubbling hurdles

a prophet stands in the window above
murmuring a message of love
but nobody pays him any mind
as they are all being shoved from behind

a bag lady stands on the sacred stones
a golden light pours through her bones
her words rush out in a steady stream
but nobody knows what any of them mean

i have a key to lenny’s room
if all goes well, i will see you soon
we will get to the bottom of this
we have one more chance and can not miss

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born


from the day you are born
they hand down the rules
you want to pick flowers
they make you go to school

you want to run naked
but they make you wear clothes
you want to make love
and they punch you in the nose

your dog spot was your friend
now he sits home alone
they fill your head with numbers
until your brain turns to stone

from the jail of school
to the prison of work
the media follows
with its menacing murk

you want to wade in the water
and watch the waves roll
but they deep fry your dreams
and slowly slice your soul

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a cloudy day


have you ever risen from the dead
looked around and scratched your head
said, this world can not be saved
and crawled right back into the grave?

have you ever wondered why
no meteors flash across the sky
to announce your passing by?
i know you have - because so have i

what would this world be
without you? without me?
in a very sorry state
left to its own fate

why do you all hate me?
and fail to appreciate me?
lies rule the earth and the truth is hid
is it something that i did?

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