Inspired in part by Jonathan Lethem's practice of doing the same, I'm making available the lyrics to a few as-yet-unrecorded songs for musicians (and others) to confiscate, appropriate, obfuscate.  Have at 'em! 

 

"Fountain Porter (This Is Just to Say)" 

for MBM and WCW 

Fountain Porter / without you is torture / just bricks and mortar / and wack tattooed guys

Fountain Porter / such a lonely corner / I feel like Little Jack Horner / with no Christmas pie

I've been a good boy / but tell me where is the joy / in being so game and so good? / So sweet and so cold / I know without being told / even though I wish that you would

Fountain Porter / is full of lovesick mourners / on a different corner / your plum's on the thumb of some other guy

Fountain Porter / without you is torture / I'd rather be drawn and quartered / wanna give it a try? 

Fountain Porter / without you is torture / I'd rather be drawn and quartered / than tell you goodbye

 

"Frankford Hall"

If I never meet another girl / If I never travel round the world / If I never cover "Raspberry Swirl" / I'm cool with that / Just pour me a drink and buy me a brat / That's all / Meet me down at Frankford Hall

If I never crash another car / If I never wish upon a Starr / If I never leave this fucking bar / I'm cool with that / Just tell my mother it was a heart attack / Stand tall / Bury me deep beneath Frankford Hall

The El's no place to raise a kid / that's why you do the things you did / The El's a good place to raise some hell / that's how you know me oh so well / the El's a good place to raise some hell / but then again, who can tell? 

If I never write another book / If I never recoup the love you took / If I never learn to play drums like Sheila E. or bass like Peter Hook / I'm cool with that / Just pack your bags in no time flat / Don't call / Stay far away from Frankford Hall  

 

"Pre (Nothing Old Can Stay)"

Nothing old can stay / now that dawn has gone down to day / and all that glitters has gone away / it's cray

It's hard to hold a hue / now that you're no longer you / nature's first green is black and blue / it's true

Every Eden sinks to grief / but your behavior is beyond belief / you can't be both Jesus and the Good Thief

Every Eden sinks to grief / but your behavior is wack and weak / you can't be both Jesus and a Jesus freak

All I want to be / now that colors mean nothing to me / and black and white is all I see / is...pre 

 

"Change"

Change / but don't change for me / Strange / how madly love can be / Change / but don't change too much / Strange / how badly I need to touch

Change / is all we ever do / Strange / how quickly I've changed for you / Change / but don't change too soon / Strange / how sickly the songs ring true / (and how dickly the dish ran away with my spoon)

Face the strange, or change destroys / a shapeless man, a vivid boy / Wax and wane, or change your plans / a vivid boy, a shapeless man

Change / is all we ever do / Strange / how putrid former blooms / Change / may be the safest bet / Strange / how stupid love can get  

Strange / how stupid love can get / Strange / I haven't learned it yet / Strange / how stupid life can get / Strange / the loves we haven't met

Change / is all we ever do / Will you change for me / if I change for you?

Strange / is all we ever are / Will you lasso the moon / if I shoot up a star?

 

"Question Everything"

You're Linkedin, I'm checked out / my thinking is thin, you're full of doubt

"Question everything," you wrote on my hand  / So I question everything, including your tan

Your face is booked, along with your time / I give you a look like, "Your app or mine?"

"Question everything," you whispered so sweet / So I question everything, I'm on a hot streak

My friends are fiction, you network like Chung / if sex were all diction, I'd be better hung (just look at all the rhymes I brung)

"Question everything," you typed on my phone / So I question everything, including my own

"Question everything," I read in your eyes / So I question everything, including goodbye

 

"(Don't Wanna Be) That Guy"

Don't wanna be that guy who won't leave your bed / Don't wanna be that guy trapped in his own head / Don't wanna be that guy who's better off dead / "Goodbye--please don't be that guy" is all you said

Don't wanna be that guy who just keyed your car / Don't wanna be that guy by himself at the bar / Don't wanna be that guy showing off his scars / "Goodbye--please don't be that guy, so happy to harm"

Don't wanna be that guy won't leave you alone / Don't wanna be that guy no good on his own / Don't wanna be that guy you won't throw a bone / "Goodbye pls dont b that guy" there on my phone

"Goodbye, there's another guy I'm getting to know"

"Goodbye, you're just another guy I've already outgrown"

"Goodbye--please don't be that guy, although you're prone" 

 

"Globetrotter"

Platinum blonde globetrotter / hide my eyes, still I spot her / backpack like a faithful friend / we've met before, can't remember when

Platinum blonde globetrotter / no basketballs, but what a blotter / trade your rupees for my yen? / we've met before--maybe on the Seine?

Platinum blonde globetrotter / the sun is hot, your hair looks hotter / new beginnings never end / we've met before, can't remember when

We've met before, can't remember when / We've met before...got a pen?

 

"Hey Lou Reed"

Hey Lou Reed / dude, I think I need / a long walk on the wild side / a bright new moon to turn the tide / strange angel wings on which to ride / an unforked tongue, not the one that lied

Hey Lou Reed / dude, I think I need / a long walk on the wild side / a polyester blend-type bride / home plate for my head-first slide / unsullied love, not the kind that dies 

 

"Edgar Allan Poe"

Reading every book I own / trying to avoid the phone / listening to my neighbors moan / is how I pass the time

Staying up and sleeping late / filling cups and tempting fate / oversexed and underweight / since you blew my mind

You say you loke me / I say don't joke me / you say you loke me / and now you broke me

Kissing girls I barely know / attending every fucking show / dressed as Edgar Allan Poe / is how I pass the time

Staying up and driving round / my heartbeat is the only sound / undersexed and overwound / since you blew my mind

Raven-haired, why should I care? / Nevermore is what love is for / Emerald eyes, how could I cry? / Nevermore is what love is for

You say you loke me / I say don't joke me / you say you loke me / and now you broke me / you say you loke me / I say don't stroke me / you say you loke me / but now you broke me

 

"One Foot in South Philly"

Put one foot in South Philly, kept the other in the burbs / I know it may sound silly, but I just can't find the words / to describe that guy selling Easter lilies on Washington and Third / my thoughts are willy-nilly, in case you haven't heard

Found a girl down in South Philly, a few more I met online / none of whom seem to reside outside the confines of my mind / not one of them's named Millie, which I'm taking as a sign / my heartbeat's a bit erratic, as if there's static on the line 

Put both feet in South Philly, kept my head up in the clouds / I know it may sound silly, but I'm saying this out loud / I'm still crushing on Meg Tilly, see her face in every crowd / my love life's willy-nilly, if you're writing all this down  

Lost my footing in South Philly, it's not as silly as it sounds

 

"Bedsheets (Resistance Is Futile)"

The bedsheets are twisted, but not as twisted as you / I guess I could've resisted, but resistance is futile

You get everything you want / a mess, this house you'll always haunt

The bedroom is a shambles, looks just the way I feel / There's not much I can handle, I don't know what is real

You take everything you can / For god's sake, get another man 

Lock the door, draw the blinds / wage a war in your mind / lock the door, love is blind / steel your heart, close your mind

The bathroom mirror's broken, I don't remember how / I know the words were spoken, but you stole all the vowels / (I know the spell's been broken, but what do I do now?)

You own everyone you fuck / we're left with nothing but bad luck 

You get everything you want / a test, this house you'll always haunt

 

"Flowers in Your Hair"

Flowers in your hair / I didn't put them there / you ask why do I care / about those flowers in your hair

Candy on your tongue / yet you give me none / you ask me where's the fun / sharing candy on your tongue

Laughter in your eyes / a joke's a good disguise / you ask why don't I try / putting laughter in your eyes

And every time you call my name, my answer is the same / And every time we play this game, I'm the one to blame

Flowers in your hair / I didn't put them there / you ask how do I dare / pluck those flowers from your hair

 

"Showstopper"

At the show, I let you go / you didn't look back, ran with the pack / At the show, I let you go / you didn't come back, plan of attack (even when the bar went black)

And when you say it's better this way, do you really mean it's best? And when you try to meet my eye, is it only to confess?

On the sea, I set you free / you didn't hold back, took a different tack / In the bath, I did the math / didn't check my work, when I went berserk (as if some kind of quirk)

And when you say it's better this way, do you really mean it's best? And when you plead on bended knees, is it only to digress? (Like the perfume from your dress.)

You're such a showstopper, never knew what was proper, Jimmy Dean or Dennis Hopper / you're such a showstopper, never knew how to stop her, Jimmy Dean and Edward Hopper / you're such a showstopper, hair so red, how could he drop her? / hair so red, a real carrot-topper

And when you say it's better this way, do you really know what's best? And when you try to meet my eye, is it only to confess?

And when you say it's safer this way, is it danger that you crave? And when you try to meet my eye, do you imagine that you're brave?

 

"Every Hot Girl in America" (unrecorded Mr. Xquisite track)

I'm having one of those days / I think you know / when every hot girl in America / is out on the road

No traffic jams / no red stop lights / no super-troopers on the turnpike 

I'm having one of those days / I think you know / when every hot girl in America / is out on her own

No holding hands / no googly eyes / no chubby hubbies or trendy guys

I'm having one of those days / I think you know / when every hot girl in America / is off of her phone

No signing in / no swiping left / no posting photos of their pets

No snapping chats / no Finstagram / no Tinder tricks or Facebook flim-flam

No calls to make / no texts to send / just me and a broken heart to mend

Every hot girl in America with their love to lend

Well, a man can pretend 

 

"Treacle (Without a Word)"

One week without a word / Dunno who you saw, dunno what you heard / one week without a word / Spring is almost here, sunny skies and horny songbirds / One week without a word

Two weeks without a word / Feel like a fool who fell for a nerd / Two weeks without a word / Spring is almost here, Easter Bunnies and faded black birds / Two weeks without a word

It ain't real funny, how slowly time it passes / In the bleak midwinter, catching the feels for Irish lasses / Slow like honey, huh, more like molasses

Ghosting me when you should be toasting me / Haunting me when you should be wanting me / Ghosting me when you should be posting me / Ghosting me when you should be boasting about me

Three weeks without a word / Spring is almost here, snow-buried Bunnies and faded black birds / Three weeks without a word / Your eyes are wild, your ink's absurd / Three weeks without a word

I'm your fan but this ain't no fiction / So what's the plan, all diction and no friction? / What's the plan? 

"No News"

No news is good news, but no news from you / is waiting for a stoplight to change red to blue / it's reading your fiction and forgetting which words are true / no news is good news unless I'm old news to you / No press is bad press but bad press feels better / why was that grad student wearing your sweater? / it's not prying if you're lying and her smile's so big in my mind / no news is good news unless you've left me behind / No news is good news but no news for days / is sparking a campfire without watching it blaze / it's filling a novel with cliched turns of phrase / no news is good news unless you've found another stray / It's viewing a blue moon through a blinding white haze / No news is "we're through" news / was I just a phase?

"Dumber"

I feel dumber when I'm with you / and getting number all the time / yet everytime I kiss you / it's something so sublime / I feel dumber when I'm with you /and getting so numb I can't stand / my IQ drops a dozen points / when I hold your hand / it's like smoking half a dozen joints / while working on my tan / I feel dumber when I'm with you / and getting number all the time / yet every time I miss you / I'm like some self-imprisoned mime / if only I could express myself / I just might blow your mind / but I feel dumber when I'm with you / what a bummer you're not mine

"A Painter of Our Time"

He's a painter of our time / "I'll show you yours if you show me mine / That girl of yours is the perfect crime / and trust me I should know." / He's a painter of our time / his head is full but his heart is blind / his hands, they shake by half-past nine / "It's the only way to go." / He's a painter of our time / he'll drink your beer but prefers the wine / "That crap he paints ain't worth a dime." / It's a tricky line to tow   

"Snowing in South Philly"

It's snowing in South Philly / and parking spots are scarce / but the corner bar is staying open / for anyone who cares / me, I'm glad to hear it / because you got a jump on the storm / it's snowing in South Philly / but no one's here to keep me warm / I remember when I first met you / at a barbecue on Shunk / you looked a little like Ava Gardner / but then I was more than drunk / you spoke of Don DeLillo / and a book I hadn't read / and all the time I was imagining / what you'd look like in my bed / now it's snowing in South Philly / and the streetlights just came on / Sinatra's singing on the jukebox / and likely will be until dawn / me, I'm glad to hear it / though the song is bittersweet / it's snowing in South Philly / but no one's here to warm my feet / It's snowing in South Philly / where parking spots are scarce / but the corner bar is staying open / for anyone who dares / me, I'm glad to hear it / because you got a jump on the storm / it's snowing in South Philly / and you're not here to keep me warm / so it's snowing in South Philly / at least the weather's true to form  

"New Taboo"

Your body, an open book of revelation / and public displays of affectation / your mind, a big bear trap clamped round my heart / set me free and the real fun starts / We're crossing lines and breaking hearts / we're tempting fate in a mini-mart / wind up in church but not to confess / swear I just saw God underneath your dress / The new taboo / is me and you / Your eyes, a billboard in a gray waste land / watch me trash a lemonade stand / your mouth, parting lips like the famed Red Sea / empty promises up to my knees / We're crossing lines and breaking hearts / we're tempting fate in a shopping cart / wind up in church but not to confess / swear I just saw God underneath your dress / The new taboo / is me and you / take your time and think it through / the new taboo / is me and you / how high the ocean / how deep the moon / the new taboo / is me and you

"Skipping Stones"

Art for art's sake / sounds so smooth when it's way late / and the girl on your Tinder date / don't know Drizzy from Drake's cakes / but you know the deal / deep in your soul / you're trying to steal / stuff you already sold / Seize every day / sounds profound as a good hook / and that girl giving you the look / thinks Andrew Marvell wrote comic books / but you know the deal / deep in your bones / time, it ain't real / you're just skipping stones / yeah, you know the deal / deep in your bones / life, it just feels / like we're all skipping stones

"The Bride (A Web of Men)"

Nine feet tall / you top them all / made of glass / no tits, no ass / windowed soul / but who controls / all the locks / on your green box? / The Bride stripped bare by her Bachelors, even / three named John, six called Steven / Casanova's so over, Romeo is bleeding / she would if she could but she can't even / Nine feet high / our cloudy sky / shattered glass / no easy task / take control / your windowed soul / change the locks / on your green box /  The Bride stripped bare by her Bachelors, even / three named John, six called Steven / Casanova's so over, Romeo is bleeding / she could if she would but she can't even / The Bride stripped bare by her Bachelors, even / a web of men to believe in / Casanova's so over, Romeo is bleeding / so much blood, and what a waste of semen!

"The Last Bad Word"

The last bad word / the first good kiss / the umpteenth time we dance like this / the last sad song / the first good fight / the umpteenth time we trip the light / Sticks and stones may break our bones /but words will bury us both / sticks and stones are lovers' koans / but words won't bury your ghost / The last bad word / the first good fuck / the umpteenth time we push our luck / the last bad word / the first good fight / the umpteenth time we test our might / Sticks and stones may break our bones / but words will bury us both / sticks and stones and skeleton bones / are no match for your ghost / The last bad word / the first good kiss / the umpteenth time we lie like this to ourselves 

"Scenes from a Suburban Wasteland"

In summer, the lawn mowers / in autumn, the leaf blowers / in winter, the snow plows / it's spring--where are you now? / in summer, SUV stickers / in autumn, lollipop lickers / in winter, the snow is sooo pretty / how's life in the big city?

"Shoot Me Now"

Love's a many splintered thing / thorn in my side / swarm of bee stings / love's a game you play to lose / a two-faced coin / a choice you don't choose / Shoot me now / and I promise not to send you the bill / shoot me now  / and tell all your friends the chase ain't nothing compared to the kill / Love's a ride on a runaway train / short on track / long on blame / love's a late-night bear attack / playing dead / won't bring you back / Shoot me now / and I promise not to send you the bill / shoot me now / and tell all your friends the chase ain't nothing compared to the kill

"Trip"

Is this trip really necessary? / but gee your smile's extraordinary / "Life's a moving dictionary / all the entry words are us." / Will this trip really take me far? / but gee your smile's a shooting star / "Life's a ride in a flying cable car / not some coughing cross-town bus!" 

"Broken Phone"  

Broken phone / no ringtone / no-friend zone / all alone / lost my cool / by the pool / boy's a tool / broke the rules / he was seen / some trap queen / smashed the screen / a bad scene / broken phone / still as stone / way you moan / like my clone / lost my cool / by the pool / boy's a tool / me a fool? / broken phone / all alone / no-friend zone / float a loan?

"The Story of You and Me"

There's more to life than books / was what you said with just a look / but we both know that's a lie / "I gave and you just took" / was what you said without a look / and forgot to say goodbye / so I'm writing you a story / and I hope it helps you get to sleep / it's going to be full of guts and glory / because this is one promise I can keep / "You threw our love away" / was what you said on that hateful day / but we both know that's untrue / I could never be so blase / and for the record I have to say / I never wanted another version of you / still I'm writing you a story / and I hope it helps you get to sleep / it's going to be glorious and gory / but this is one promise that I can keep / yes I'm writing you a story / and what I sow I just might reap / it's going to be full of guts and glory / because it's the story of you and me    

"Skin Deep"

She's a walking carnival and all the games are rigged /you may win a prize and get behind those eyes / but what about that wig? / make-up only takes us so far / drop the act, I won't have no heart attack / if you show me who you are / She's a boardwalk built for two but the ocean's getting close / now, you may hurl from that Tilt-a-Whirl but tell me, who she spin the most? / shake-up only takes us so far / drop the front and all your silly stunts / and show me who you are / Step right up, step right up, everyone's a winner / Step right up to this lovin' cup, with every sip a sinner / You say a sucker's born every minute / but baby girl I'm here to win it / She's a walking carnival and all the games are fixed / you may win a prize and get behind those eyes / but smart money's on the Knicks / make-up only takes us so far / drop the act, I won't have no heart attack / if you show me who you are / shake-up only takes us skin deep / drop the front, no need to punt / girl, my company's to keep 

"Coffee Gurls"

Coffee gurls run the world / and no one seems to care / coffee gurls run the world / from their coffee lairs / coffee gurls run the world / but no one seems to mind / coffee gurls run the world / with their caffeine eyes / Double shots and polka dots / springtime in the air / coffee pots and selfie shots / of your platinum hair / Coffee gurls run the world / and no one even blinks / coffee gurls run the world / with caffeinated drinks / Too much foam, still on your phone? / springtime in the air / we'll take it slow, I'll buy a bow / for your platinum hair / Coffee gurls run the world / from their coffee lairs / coffee gurls run the world / with their fancy hair / coffee gurls, my heart's aswirl / I'm trying trying not to care / soon I'll meet you there

"Swap Meet"

I heard a rumor / tomorrow's today / so I put on my Pumas / and just walked away / Now you're searching for me on every side-street / and constantly checking your phone / I told you before, unlike a swap meet / I never tire of being alone / I saw a poster / "The future is now" / so I jumped in my roadster / to the tune of "Pow Pow" / Now you're searching for me at every swap meet / and constantly checking your phone / I told you before, unlike your cold feet / I got this fever keeps heating my bones / I heard a rumor / tomorrow's passe / so I bought some good humor / and melted away / Now you're searching for me on every side-street / and constantly checking your phone / I told you before, unlike a swap meet / you ain't got nothing that I need to own / It was a fair trade / Time to make lemonade / It was a fair trade / We can go our own way / Now you're searching for me at every swap meet / and constantly checking your phone / I told you before, unlike your cold feet / I got this fever won't leave me alone   

"Handsome Tonight"

Are you handsome tonight? / Is your alibi air-tight? / Do your clothes fit the pose / and your shoes shining bright? / Are you handsome tonight? / Is your stomach skin-tight? / Is your cologne on the nose / and your hair out of sight? / There's more to life than books / like catchy song hooks and too-long looks / There's more to life than books / Are you handsome tonight? / Is your alibi air-tight? / Is it hoes before bros / (even hoes sold at Lowe's) / and might before right? / There's more to life than books / like catchy song hooks and long, long looks / There's more to life than books / just ask all the girls that you forsook / There's more to life than books / Is your life like a kite? / Are you reaching new heights? / Are you handsome tonight?

"She (Not the Sea)"

Cockle Beach, back when we were kids / you were laughing hard, the way you did / bigger than boys, but far from men / my right-hand man, my only friend / then she appeared, and blew our minds / a bikini-ed blonde, maybe twenty-five / singing to herself an old love song / her voice was strong, her hair was long / and along the beach, no one said a word / I remember there were lots of kids, I remember squawking birds / the waves were rolling across the shore like a stampeding bison herd / but it was she and not the sea we heard / The sand was gray, the sky bright blue / you looked at me, I looked at you / I saw you decide the manly thing to do / and watched you wander off to learn the tune / because she appeared, and it blew your mind / a bikini-ed blonde, maybe twenty-five / singing to herself an old love song / her voice was strong, her legs were long / and all along the shore, no one said a word / I remember there were lots of kids, I remember squawking birds / the waves were beating up the beach like bullies fighting nerds / but it was she and not the sea you heard / you disappeared, and it blew my mind / a bikini-ed blonde, maybe twenty-five / singing to herself love's old sweet song / her voice was strong, my old self, gone 

"High Demand"

Why does every guy I meet / try to take me in off of the street? / they don't know the lessons I've learned / how hearth and home is where I get burned / Why does every girl I kiss / tempt me with scenes of domestic bliss? / they don't know the price I've paid / the stuff I've done just to get laid / People who say they want my number / only want to pull me under / people who say the need my address / should be put on house arrest / Ever since I joined a band / I'm in high demand / Why does every stray Helveticat / haunt my life like some ghostly Snapchat? / they don't know the snaps I've sent / the selfies used to pay the rent / People who say they got my number / only want to tear me asunder / people who say they found my address / should be put on house arrest / Ever since I joined a band / I'm in high demand / ever since I joined a band / I've been on the lam / ever since I joined a band / I just can't understand / I'm in high demand