Viceroy

by Mark David Ashworth

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about

recorded 2006 in Mexico City, Lima, and Texas

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released September 18, 2007

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Mark David Ashworth San Francisco, California

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Track Name: Several Afternoons at Once
(instrumental)
Track Name: Airplane
i know when your plane landed.
i saw it from my window.
it peeked through the gaps between buildings
to the east of my hotel.

You watched the city grow near
as the jet made its descent.
did you feel i had watched you
when the seat-belt light went off?

A neighborhood is farther
than continents or oceans.
How can i hope to find you
in a city of twenty million?
Track Name: Eggs
You’ve got no basket for your eggs

You thought that that would be the end…
but it wasn’t.
Track Name: The Dirt
Go ahead, interrogate
i’ve nothing to confess
yet the dirt under my fingernails
is enough to suggest:

that I’ve been somewhere that i shouldn’t have gone.

From the subway exit
turn around and take ten steps
take the stairs up to the fourth floor
mine’s the first door on your left

but if i’m not there, then it may be a while.
Track Name: Something we can Hold in our Hands
Of the shore, we can see very little
what might be stones, what might be skulls
but its worth the risk… put down the anchors
here we might find:

something we can hold in our hands

A village burned. They were unhelpful.
They answered arrows to our simple question:
“where is the gold that we were promised?”
we will not leave untill we’ve found:

something we can hold in our hands
Track Name: On the Forming of Routines
on the forming of routines:
you eat somewhere one day
you eat somewhere two days
and the waitress now knows you

to the old washer woman,
to the cook and the cobbler,
to the newspaper vendor:
your face, it takes form.

on the sidewalks of this earth
and on those of the next world
your feet will still wander
and your gaze still turn inward
if the cracks in the sidewalk
seem deep and familiar
its because they are time warps
that we walk upon

one again in the neighborhood
where you have a history
your feet know the way and
they take you there quickly

and when the man on the corner
flashes his recognition
this could be any day of
the last three years.
Track Name: Wordless Script
A wordless script for one moment of peace
ecstatic blink of the freedom from need
the noise of the city embraces my chest
and my clamor is tamed and expelled with a squeeze.

From marble steps and from fetid lagoons
withered hands, they are selling balloons
and the dark side streets echo
as empty guts bellow some unpronounceable truth.
Track Name: Silver and Gold
Down with your bulldozers!
the mines will exploit themselves
they will spit
a worthless shine.

This hunger is made to last
the world fits so neatly
upon our backs.

but oh, sir. no, sir!
today we will decline.
and it will be fine.

And now what will we eat
that the feast of stone of iron
is complete?

We’ll eat silver and gold.
Silver and gold.

And when this day it is done
one rest will be followed by a less restful one
and when they serve us
our plates of gruel,
we will refuse.

We will eat silver and gold.
Silver and gold.
Track Name: We Built a Levee
We built a levee for a flood that never came
bullied by the fear of a false hurricane
and the waters have stayed on the other side
and our throats are parched and our kids rub their eyes
as they run, raising clouds where the sunlight hides
and the plants take their bows and then fall to their sides

what we’ve done to our river, what we’ve done to our land
we decided to undo by our very same hand
and just as we’d feared – or expected, some say -
the rain came around the very next day.
and the wind shoveled water like the dirt on to a grave
and we went down swimming with smiles on our faces.
Track Name: Elevator, Battle, Distance
Someday we will share an elevator
never to exchange a single word
and we’ll part ways -
having known love.

There were days when writers went to battle
to see a mirror in the eyes of a dying man.
there’s no need for that now -
now we just sleep.

There’s a secret passion in this distance -
bigger than the space thats being filled,
and we fill it best, when
we are far away.
far away, far away.
Track Name: Carillon Song
(instrumental)