from by January Zero



You turn out behind the Tastee Freeze,
it's 3 AM but you don't feel like sleep.
It's a world of darkened parking lots,
the Seven Eleven is lit up across the street.

You drive out late at night
to lose yourself and catch the life
collecting in the exit lanes
and liquid light along the empty streets.

And your belly is full,
but your heart is a hole,
and it shows up around the eyes,
but there's no one there to see them
past the glare of headlights
pointing into nothing.

What do you want this time?
What do you want, you don't know.

Notice, when you lean against the pedal,
how the cardboard cutout skyline drops away.
The sounds of passing traffic hiss like water.
They must be out escaping nothing,
but what their nothing is you couldn't say.

And at the intersection, will you
bite your lip through sitting still,
or another not quite accidental stunt?
And it isn't that you mean to make yourself
more difficult to kill,
it's just your way of saying no to everything at once,

because after all this time, it turns out you've been underground, unknowingly, we have all been living
in a private underground,
and you're quite the scarecrow in designer clothes,
though it's likely no one even knows,
the way you hide. Besides,
no one has a body in a car,
and after all the things you've bought,
you still don't feel quite real. After all,
you still don't feel quite real.

Wind thumbs through the windows,
and the shutdown shops slide by,
it's three again, but nothing settled with the sun.
All of us out there rolling over
in bed's, in cars, where no one really sleeps,
not you, not me, not anyone.

And in the raving heat of engine fumes
along the tarry street,
the day is one fermata, not a run.
And in the hazy sleet of iron light,
the night is not a rest,
it's just eternal decrescendo,
maddening, it lingers just outside
the edges of your hearing, and a whistle
sometimes blows across the mountains
to hang outside your curtains,
like the whining wings of mosquitoes in your ear.

Smoke another cigarette, another soft pin
stuck in, releasing seconds
from a time-swollen dream.
And there's a burn inside your lungs
to tell you you've become
a little more, a little more, a little more machine.

If a car could crack and open like a yolk,
and bleed you into a telephone pole,
if a car could crack up, like an awful joke,
and release you through a median wall,
then you might learn to breathe again,

and all of this could finally fall away,
and every buried thing, and then
for once, you'd really get some sleep.
Then for once you really get some sleep.

You don't have to get out of your skin
to lose the shape you're in,
and you can keep your face
and keep your tired little name,

but you have got to lose those
nonexistent camera crews
that never fail to follow you
from place to place, since they
replaced the heavy eye of God,
that used to hold us down,
now we're nowhere to be found,
so we simply drift around, listening
for some long expected sound.


from The Long Radio Silence, released March 9, 2014



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January Zero Appomattox, Virginia

January Zero is an indie folk rock outfit based in Appomattox, VA.

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