Vandaveer Music
 

Divide & Conquer (2009)

All lyrics by Mark Charles Heidinger

01 divide & conquer.

when you wake in the morning does it feel like a warning bell has rung? are you having fun? when you gaze out your window does it faze or envelope you? have you lost your sight? or is it just too bright?

i think you’ve got a thinly veiled directive, but i can’t be sure of your intent so i elect to hold my tongue… i’m not the only one who sees in your sketches the lonely number one… i think i’ve got a fairly unique perspective, but i would hesitate to offer up a new direction… this compass of mine has a mind of its own, always searching for a new start, a heart to call home…

when you crash for the evening do you laugh? do you feel things? does it cross your mind when you cross the line? when you dream is it simple? is it calm? is it visible? does it make a spark? does it leave a mark?

you think i’ve got a thinly veiled directive, but you can’t be sure of my intent so you elect to hold your tongue… you’re not the only one who sees in these sketches the lonely number one… i think you’ve got a fairly unique perspective, but i would hesitate to ask for new direction… that compass of yours points to a distant shore, i’ve got a home and a hearth worth more, and i adore it so.

02 fistful of swoon.

the stench of sulfur climbing up the drain… open up your chest, your heart would smell the same… got a lot of nerve defying your old man’s word… mud on your boots, you’ve got lust in your veins… the shriek of sirens singing out of tune… a dozen black roses in hideous bloom… you’ve got a swagger, got a fistful of swoon… blood on your hands, steady that silver spoon…

though your towers were tall and your powers were grand, you could not understand how you fell from great heights… you burrowed with speed… a kingdom you did lead from heaven to hell…

cast from the garden with cunning and rage… biding your time through dark and empty days… traded your canons, your tenets and rules for pandemonium, high capital ruse… ashes to ashes, dust to dust… all for naught, if not for all of us… a mighty king, you held the reins… you drove your chariot right down the drain…

though your towers were tall and your powers were grand, you could not understand how you fell from great heights… you burrowed with speed… a kingdom you did lead from heaven to hell.

03 resurrection mary.

i want to meet resurrection mary… stand before god, speak in tongues, hear her stories… worries and fears all locked behind your door… mary, on the contrary, i’ll be on your side and more… but you don’t trust me… that’s fair… but you can trust me, i swear…

beautiful maiden, don’t forget your dancing shoes… strike up the band, the band shall play, our feet shall move… moved by the beat like a fiery revival… we want answers, but all we do is idle… you don’t trust me… that’s fair… but you can trust me, i swear… mary, mary, i’ll be true… i’ll keep your secrets too… for one dance with you, what i wouldn’t do…

i want to greet resurrection mary… outside her gate, stake my place, i’ll be ready… i’ll steady my hand… i’ll offer her my arm… mary, i’d be honored if only for one song… if you’d take my lead, i’ll lead… or i’ll follow if you choose…

mary, mary, i’ll be true… i’ll keep your secrets too… for one dance with you, what i wouldn’t do.

04 a mighty leviathan of old.

i’ve found that i find the things that you find important rather peculiar… the space in between – between you and me – has grown darker and deeper and bigger… were it not for the knots that we tied long and taut, we might not be hanging around at opposite ends of a towering span over troubled waters below… down the raging river with a deadly undertow… we circled the moat, and you rocked the boat like a mighty leviathan of old…

with cracks in our feet we beat foreign streets… we got stranded, we canvassed for answers… but the prayers we prayed fell silent and strayed… no, a savior won’t save when commanded… so we marched through the dark with cast iron heart and all the strength we could muster… with torches in hand we surveyed the land… then stumbled one after the other… damned with blind ambition to a glass house miles below… the garden did grow, sent roots down in droves, and blocked out the sun while he shone…

you tied a rope ‘round my finger… you hoped for a dead ringer… you draped it over a towering oak… but the rain came down with a furious sound and rusted that bell ‘till it broke… so i clawed through the dirt that soiled the earth with bare hands that barely could shovel… the canyon did flood with water and blood from a thunderous storm up above… god spoke clearly for the very first time in my life… the sounds he made were glorious and grave… it was a tidal wave of rhythm.

05 woolgathering.

i will find my love way, way out on the edge of town… i will join the race, i’ll lace up my boots, i will wear them down… you can never be sure… well, one thing’s for sure… you can never be sure if you’re right or wrong…

i will chart my course… by fate or by force, i will steer my ship home… with sirens you tempt us, storms you upend us… your tempests, they swallow us whole… drifting under a dark, dark night… when stars aren’t clear they aren’t very bright… can’t tell your left from your right, or right from wrong…

i will stand my ground with hand-me-down saber tooth scars… i’ll circle the wagons, i’ll round up the knights, i will muster a mighty last charge… you can never be sure if your actions and words will be forgotten or heard after your fires all have burned out.

06 turpentine.

i crossed the tracks, i crossed the line… i doused my heart with turpentine… it stings a bit, i must admit… i wore too many coats but none that fit… i’ve been squared, i’ve been around… i’ve been everywhere, i’ve been upside down… by sleight of hand or height of slander, i was damned to lead but born to meander…

it’s a solitary fare, it’s a feast for thieves… when you dance with the devil you don’t walk scot-free… hold me to the fire, i’ll weep and wilt… i’ll scald the earth with the tears i spill… brick by brick, wall by wall, i’ll make my clarion call with a wrecking ball… stuck in the middle between fire and ice… don’t look like heaven waiting on either side…

lock my wicked heart in this rickety cage… it ticks out of time, feels old for its age… i’ll curse my blessings, i’ll curse them twice… i’ll file my nails and gouge out my eyes… i’ll see the light in a different shade… i won’t fear the night when it’s black as day… i crossed the tracks, i crossed the line… i doused my heart with turpentine.

07 before the great war.

you were born before the great war… born again when you were two… you stood strong, though you were wronged… wouldn’t break but you broke through… your daddy was a singer, but he never sang to you… he lashed out, he cashed out… and he left your mamma too… he was going to be somebody new…

your mother had a good heart, did the best that she could do… she let your hair down when no one was around… she was lost, she was hurting too…you kept secrets for a living… you kept quiet to stay alive… you told stories – shrewd stories, and every ending ended right… you were going to be somebody soon…

you stood fast through the roaring twenties… you stood still in ’29… you found a good man, found a very good man… he was gruff, but he toed the line… you built a home… you willed a family like the one you never knew… you made children… you gave children all the love your daddy stole from you… you were going to be somebody new.

08 long lost cause.

he may stretch, but he won’t tear… he may give, but he’ll never care… he’s got sunken eyes and a head full of static fears… and when he dreams he hears a dreadful smear of red and black and a choir of tears that haven’t cried out in so many years… and though he may catch on with practice and reprieve, i do believe he’s a long lost cause…

she may bend, but she won’t break… watch her give what she’ll never take… she’s got wounded knees and a heart that aims to please… and when she dreams she hears the peaceful sound of quiet nights… but quiet tears run down her cheeks… she whimpers and veers off course… of course, he wants to be near her, but i’m afraid he’s a long lost cause.

09 the sound & the fury.

your song and dance routine bears all the markings of a machiavellian scheme… the shadows you cast over your shadowy past do the trick for now, but you know they won’t last… the curtain will fall with the crumbling walls… like a dirty rat, you will scurry and crawl under cover of night… but your cover’s been blown by a mighty wind… you will howl and you’ll moan… you’re shit out of luck, down to your last dime… when the thunder cracks it will rattle your spine… you’ll drop to your knees… like a prodigal son, you’ll long for your home, but you’ll find you have none… and you’re done, done, done… so done… so very done…

your cat and mouse charade boasts all the fanfare of a single float parade… the ballot’s been stuffed with envy and lust… the vices you groomed pushed you right to the cusp… but you can’t shake your past, your flag’s at half mast… your pillars seem strong, but you know they won’t last… you’re riddled with holes, you’re riddled with words… speaking in tongues, but you’ve never been heard… you fall down on all fours, then you slither offshore at a deafening speed… with a deafening roar you crack and you strain… the poisonous rain comes down with the sound and true fury of pain borne from the lake of fire… you’re home…. home sweet home.

10 beverly cleary’s 115th dream.

ramona, forever seems like such a very long time… but time is the one thing that’s never on your side… but i’m on your side… yes, i’m on your side most of the time… and it’s a very good side… that’s a very good sign for peace and love and harmony, and all the things that lovers need like hope and health and clarity and time… precious, precious time…

ramona, heavens to betsy! you’ve got to try to smile more often than you do… it’s the healthy thing to do…

oh ramona, yesterday was difficult for me, difficult for you… so you kept your distance too… and though i don’t blame you, i could really use you now… i could use your company now… if we keep our wits, somehow, we just might pull through…

ramona, for goodness’ sake, we’ve got to make the most of our time for peace and love and harmony, and all the things that lovers need like hope and health and clarity and time… precious, precious time.