Roger Manning (RM3)

by Roger Manning

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gazing at freezing rocky mountain stars listening to coyotes and calling out the names of people i died for pathetic but true poetic too so dark there's sparks coming off the flat pick singing myself to sleep in the back seat a lot of water gone under you're on another planet by now things could be worse and they used to be when i was a broken stepping stone to your self-esteem i should just be glad i got away it's what i really wanted anyway i called out, you proved untrue now the happy couple dances on my grave you know more than you understand you could of changed my mind i was always changing yours in old notebooks - the river just before the rocks in old pictures - the canoe just before the falls coyote bites off his leg to get out of the trap pathetic but true poetic too i know you're glad i got away it's what you really wanted anyway driving day and night screaming at the radio antique store heart - full of costly memories a lot of water gone under... gazing at freezing rocky mountain stars singing myself to sleep in the car now the bottle's empty may i never be a wretch again poetic but true prophetic too looks like despite myself i get away it's what i really needed anyway
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it's a song you gotta play the fucker not let it smother like so many sad beginner guitars deserted in dusty closets by unrequited lifers across this fat nation i've got a pile of guitars, but no vcr i want to be a movie a good one the kind you want to see over and over again the book store shelves heave with sex the isles are strafed with intriguing women (i don't notice the men so much) poet girl is who i fancy i'd like to be beautiful girl is who i fancy i am either way i'm not searching for my mother (i think i'm looking for my grandmother) am i "chasing you to get the rib back?" who knows, but maybe someday i'll tell someone everything i like your company, i love your body i like you liking me, and being the best again for a little while sure you could break my heart, but first you gotta climb the death mountain, swim the burning ocean, cross the lonesome valley and still there's no guarantee angels who've ridden shotgun through the worst of my shit will tell you it's not worth it but they all quit so no-one can know for sure, can they? water from the rusty pipe comes clean eventually and maybe someday i'll tell someone everything she ain't afraid she knows everything is temporary (me, i never learned this) she calls me a "major coquette" when i reel 'em in, toss 'em back, piss 'em off sure i care, but so what? i've died a million times myself and besides, what attracts people usually turns 'em off in the end, so i'm putting music first it won't desert me like that i won't shave and you won't forget that it hurts to hold me don't worry, i won't do anything to you that i wouldn't do to myself expectations fouled you up but you think having feelings is the problem i guess that's why you party the way you do and your heart seems so young i see the fly of truth hovering for your windshield face i'm not sure if i should say anything but maybe someday i'll tell someone everything tonight life is the black sky way out over the empty ocean i circled 146 hundred hundred miles then did it again in the other direction just to be here last spring "thin white rope," throwing seeds into barren soil when the big red flowers didn't come out i knew i was in for it naked on the kitchen floor, if god forgives them who forgive themselves then i gotta lotta work to do in a sad world where you can't win having never lost it seems you can turn anything into story and maybe someday i'll tell someone everything ------------ note: "angel" as meant here, is a person who becomes your best friend just when you needed one. frequently, they are someone who desires you sexually. in any case they often become a major catalyst in you life
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she likes me, i guess i'm lucky but it keeps me off the street and then i'm broke but, what would i do if i had the world at my feet? i dunno, guess i'd take a walk the cops let me go i guess i'm lucky i was flexing one of the weaker muscles of free speech it may be "the law" but that don't make it right ask jesus christ if you pray to him tonight years ago musicians would eat by singing for nickels beneath dripping tenement sheets now, they say it ain't ever been better, and that may be but it ain't enough, no, not for me the junky didn't shoot i guess i'm lucky he had his thumb on the hammer we surrendered money that zombie takes in more than we do then he wastes it all away, the bloody fool still we got east side fun from tompkins square to rivington sunday-go-to-meeting at "bohemia central" she likes me, i guess i'm lucky i've got sweet in my sheets, roses on my pillow her husband's got his green card but i'm with his wife so at least there'll be love on the wedding night yeah, we got east side fun from tompkins square to rivington oh yeah...
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6am me and bobby avenue B three part harmony "bury me beneath the willow" up to her sleeping window angel-sister-mother, it's your brother-father-lover ah man, i done my best friend bare shoulders proved too much one missing may evening a missing long time ago for the the angel-sister-mother, brother-father-lover down in the willow garden my true love and i did sit beneath her magic sage and oil quilts and candles window a horny long time ago ...on me deep she sat arching her pretty back that i'd rubbed in her bath before pressing her to her bed on and on a steamy long time ago... angel-sister-mother, brother-father-lover she sat in her full bloom garden window thinking of "blue eyes, lips, the scent of soft sweet skin and how long it had been" and waiting for me to return now bury this beneath the willow that grows up to the empty window if everything was a long time ago and if it's not too soon to be too late for the angel-sister-mother, brother-father-lover
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look out, look out, look out, look out look out when you're up against people who ain't got much more to lose big pow-wow, little big horn look out, watch your back when you back people who ain't got much more to lose into a corner the calvary blundered despite TONS of arrogance they were way out numbered ran like hell died on a hill clutching money in their hands ma ma ma ma ma ma montana the cops sure got their ass kicked here! big horn, little man little man, big stick dead uniform in the glory battlefield loser museum jingo-junkie visitors gotta comment on how small the man was sure is a glorious place alright... how dare the indigenous insist they know best on how they should exist! send in cops clear the way for greed but watch your back when you're up against people with nothing much left to lose! ma ma ma ma ma ma montana the cops sure got their ass kicked here! the cops work for whoever pays them the economic elite pays them with your money and * aren't we all too ready for neglect, prison, and police action against a population that we've been conned into perceiving as disloyal to our interest? you don't believe that hype do you - that custer's calvary died in glory? just a bunch of cops who fucked up government wiping out culture for profit got held up for a couple of days in the furry little big horn hills of ma ma ma ma ma ma montana the cops sure got their ass kicked! ++++++++++++ * paraphrased from an early 90s article in Downtown Magazine ( by Bill Weinberg i believe)
8.
bullshit come at me like a tidal wave i could lay down and drown or jump on top and surf away riding them troubles like a wave to the next chapter can't see nothing but grey but the sun is up there somewhere motion feels good find the freak i always wanted to be driving without headlights through texas moonlight riding them troubles like a wave i do love this road and the feeling i live for all night talking romance with alice one word followed another - stampede some nights are too cool for sleep listening to julianna, midnight across alabama "the lights" in spanish moss rest-stop this just might be "the best time of my life" i sure get a lot from music and certain people i know i do love this road and the feeling i live for beauty is so sexy i want someone who blows me away - the feeling i live for someone who can look at me like that that's who i want sit in some cafe and trade stories walk each other off the plank into a sea of honesty she kills me and she knows it the ultimate attention is to be understood ride that feeling like a wave i do love this road... i want someone who blows me away but it's timing as much as anything musical chairs, the one sitting there when the music breaks is it driving with out headlights through desert moonlight one dream follows another - stampede i sure get a lot from certain people i meet it'll all come at you like a tidal wave you can either lay down and drown or jump on top and surf away ride them troubles like a wave i do love this road and the feeling i live for
9.
why's this jet coming straight at me? gonna land on my head looks that way alright ...ah man, it's just an extra big bright venus teasing the sunrise, seems like venus is always in my face these days man, i gotta pull over it was the last they were to see of each other don't always know when you're saying goodbye but at least he found the meaning of happiness which is appreciating what you have it's as simple as that. ...this picture wouldn't be as disturbing if i wasn't in it but why strap myself to that bed of nails? don't know your heart till it breaks don't lose what you give away first for once it's gonna end at my convenience cross that bridge just before i burn it but first i'm gonna pull over for little while yeah, venus in my face i never gave any worse than i'll get everyone's just looking for someone to blow off the rest of the world with but all the friction keeps the glue from setting perfect what you wouldn't change (as if you could) walking shoes are new on me and it seems like venus is always in my face these days man, i gotta pull over
10.
on the mirror a silver chain visions of milk and honey, visions of where it used to hang yeah, you can break my heart but you can't put me in my place i guess you know that by now i could carry this torch forever but looks like it's gonna bet blown out yeah, i'm the friend you thought you wanted to make but i could know you better i've never even seen you cry i'd like to open you up like a can of soup i guess you know that by now what am i doing, drinking my baby's poison? going crazy with all the henna-headed hipsters it's all neal cassidy's fault and i could carry this torch forever waiting for you in the floor by your door back against the wall a piano plays "lover man, where can you be?" down the hall i'm here waiting for you! on the mirror a silver chain visions of milk and honey, visions of where it used to hang yeah, you can break my heart but you can't put me in my place i guess you know that by now and i could carry this torch forever but looks like you're gonna blow it out
11.
she wrote a pen dry in 2 days the good stuff'll get people listening to themselves bucketful up the the old well fresh as it ever was "can't step in the same creek twice" but it's always wet can only sort-of take credit mostly a happy accident don't know for sure but, then no one's really supposed to flashlight spotlight crumbling basement full house, crank the mouse it don't get any better monologue, dialogue, tri-alogue, smile-alogue, waxing sarcastic "cannery row" doc "loved the truth, but it wasn't a generally shared love, and could be and dangerous mistress" no, not everyone's driven to "live the question" maybe it's time to pick up an oar and walk inland it's a long hike to who you really were all along, to get born again nothing really better to do anyways flashlight spotlight crumbling basement full house, crank the mouse, people listening to themselves it don't get any better go ahead, ignore everyone's encouragement to quit go ahead and write you're pen dry nothing really better to do anyways the diamond in her head is the song in your heart all you have is all you've done, better get started
12.
cafe scum dis the smiling bum he says, "don't get mad, go find some good people" flavor of the month sit and pay to talk the night away meanwhile we're over in the park waiting for midnight tasteful prison, roots of discontent in L.A., main is a one-way street in ny, we're in the park waiting for midnight our country feels very small our city feels very small our loisaida feels very small.... about as big as emma's* old bench loaded with friends who know what time it is meanwhile, millions trade in life for "law and order" and end their day at midnight most everyone's either selling lies or buying them or maybe you're dangerous because you've got your own head NO SALE if that's true, then we love you we're in the park waiting for midnight +++++++++++ * Emma Goldman
13.
false prophet radio says, "god is writing on the walls of your heart" watch the cops haul her away while the religious right rushes in to scrub it off false prophet radio says, "god and communism will never happen together" they don't see the light where there's no profit that's right... everyone's dying to carry a torch but look at the shit they get handed it's got people looking up instead of looking in and taking their dreams more seriously fascists in the name of god the religious right is wrong driven to ruin by fear and guilt fear is the root of all bullshit that's right... jesus is alright but these hate preaching fake "christians" are a bunch of fucking pigs! afraid to get laid afraid of gays "pro-family" profanity! if they want to offer wisdom i'll listen but when they try to control the law, fuck 'em guilt is cheap, get your fear out of my face we think for ourselves around here ain't that right?! hypocrisy radio says, "god is writing on the walls of your heart" believe what you will, then find the guts to enjoy people for their differences ain't no keeping the truth from eventually blowing down your door fascists in the name of god, your religious right is wrong...
14.
when we couldn't hold any tighter she put me inside her soft strong deep dizzy fever it's the closest i'll ever get to being her you all are so much cooler letting go enough to want someone in you come come, forget who's who that's the closest i'll ever come to being you wanna do who you wanna be oh oh yeah i liked you best as a poet secret manipulative sex letter in the chicago night it made me hot when you'd spill your guts i could come to your voice wanna do you oh oh yeah i don't want anyone who's never poor don't want anyone who's never had their heart broke don't want to be anyone's problem if you ain't best friends, than what's the point? i laugh just like you now so when she laughs like me i sort-of have you back soft strong deep dizzy fever looking for me inside her wanna do who you wanna be oh oh yeah oh oh yeah
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she don't wanna be a honeydog no more she don't want to be my angel-whore no more singing in trucks for frenchmen sleeping in the wild on the cool cool ground she don't like that i think of you but what the fuck am i supposed to do? forget your thighs and beautiful eyes just like that? no way! you know - i love her and I miss you ... less and less but she seen me daydream remembering you in black tights and ragged dress smiling in the long hall way to your bed cat hairs on my black coat might of given us away to the world but it really didn't matter did it? i carried your purple rock in my fist till it disappeared in the blue sunrise of ios in the lonesome dawn, she was beautiful calm, still asleep i lay awake listening to music and watching her sweet lips and trying to love her despite her bitterness and missing you less and less a time to forget naked in the sun sex on a boulder by the blue blue aegean being thankful for being thankful and walking on eggshells ...singing hitchhiker harmonies in france sleeping in the wild on the cool cool grass she didn't like that i'd think of you but what the hell could anybody do? these days i try to love her as much as my fears allow and miss you less and less - try to love her despite her bitterness and miss you...
17.
for Guy D and FAIR fresh morning papers crackle with news based on a true story i find the truth in the street, spray-painted at my feet rebel talk left on the sidewalk, stickers on ads non-vanity graffiti it really helped to keep me going they've gotten you to dig your own grave don't mean you gotta lay in it with that long weary wait for nothing i'm somewhat of an escape artist myself though, "sometimes god burns your bridges for you" gravity sure is a drag, but it gives me direction really gets me thinking scary dream police-light in my face turns into the rising sun before he could pull his gun i reserve the right to be different, i reserve the right to not ingest, no vice is gonna take me where ruby slippers can't and stupid white culture makes me feel suicidal and isolated from nothing really gets me spinning fresh morning papers crackle with news based on a true story it's a compliment to the people that they feel they have to lie so hard i find the truth in the street spray-painted at my feet encouraging the converted and tugging on sleepy sleeves if can really get you thinking it can really get you spinning it can really help to keep you going

about

roger records 009

Released on Moll (Moll 10) in Germany 1995 and on Shanachie (Shanachie 5718) in the US 1997. This online version is the Shanachie version with track 12 coming from the Moll version.

Related press archive and other info: rogerm.net/press/mollpress.html

This recording was made by Joe Folk on Ken's 4-track cassette at Sasha Forty's place in Billyburg and on the Broome Closet 4-track in Manhattan September 1994. Shanachie version edited with Richard Joseph. Moll version edited with Joe Lambert.

The Soho Valley Boys:
Ken Greenboy - drums
Laura Elmina - bass, word
Conrad Cooper - bass
Amy - voice
Sasha - fiddle

Artwork and design by FLY
(peops.org)

Dedicated to MOM who gave me the machine on which this was made. Special thanks to Moll, Laure and EVERYone

All songs by Roger Manning
Art Because it's Made in Soho Pubishing, ASCAP

credits

released January 1, 1995

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Roger Manning New York, New York

The first Roger Manning album was released by California punk recording label SST (Black Flag, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.). I toured the US and occasionally bits of Europe for over 10 years performing wordy-solo-rock accompanied by bass-heavy amplified 'acoustic' guitar. There's been a bit of re-emergence since 2007 and the album release in December 2014. ... more

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