Words are like photos
Words are like a code
Words are off the cuff
Words are off the beat
Words are like a joke
Words are like straight dope
Words are like sharp notes
Words are whispered in your ear

Words are like a sign
Words are like a cry
Words escape notice
Words betray the lie
Words enhance your aim
Words are on the wire
Words come with dispatch
Words are information

I’m never coming down out of that tree

Do you get the clue?
Do you hear the truth?
Words are far apart, but
Words are to the point
Words were all we had
Words were big magic
Then the words were mine
But the words meant everything


If you have character you have the world by the tail, just doesn’t get better than that. Character is reputation, reputation is character, the kind of reputation you would like to have. Character leads the pack, character is going where the pack only dreams of going. Character is an end game, character is a desire, character is a vision, character is a wish, character is coveted, character is like a new pair of shoes, just feels good having them on your feet.

Just feels good having character in the way you live. You’re never alone when you have character to rely on. Character is a direction, eventually forward and onward. So character is a companion, character is a destination, character is a logic, character is a place. Character is not for the faint of heart, but character is a signpost in the middle of nowhere, maybe the only signpost. Character shows up when you least expect it, character shows up big when you’re losing. Character is under a microscope when you win.

Character won’t lead you astray, but character might just lead you out of the woods. Character won’t cut and run, character won’t leave you flat, character won’t forget your name. Character can’t be lost behind the fridge, or in the garage. Or left in a cab. You can wear your character on your sleeve, you can wear character like a hat. You can wear character with any kind of clothes, you can wear character anywhere you damn well please. Because character, as free as it is, is not common.

So character truth be told is, actually, not free. But character is worth whatever price you have to pay for it. You work for character, you strive for character. You think you are charactered like no one else, but you might be surprised to find character is shared among more than you ever might suppose. Character makes the world a better place, character makes the world go ‘round. Character is a prerequisite to respect, the character comes first, the benefits come later. The character goodness gave a cricket, crickets with character are righteous bugs. The character of a people, the character of a place, the character of a kind. The character that she left in the dressing room, he was some kind of character. Whatever it was it probably was worth it, because character is sublime, and character is golden.

When you need character, character is a breath of fresh air when there is no character to be found. But there is no limit to character, there is no amount of character, you either have it or you don’t. Character is black and white, so there is no quality of character, only confidence of character and that makes you a little taller that day. Character is a sidekick, character is a buddy when you’re lonely, character is a way out of the deepest voodoo. Like a life jacket, like a flotation, like something that will help you keep your head above the water line, so to speak.

Character is essential to a goal of most any kind. Character will help you do another lap, character will help you go the extra mile, character will help you finish the race. Character will help you do the deed, character will make short work of the worst job. Character will stand you when nothing else will, when the shit hits the fan. Character will make you a better leader, character will help you keep that lead. Character will make you a better follower. It takes character if you finish first, or last. Sometimes it takes more character to deal with a loss than a win.

Character might tell you when to quit, character might tell you when to step aside to let another character as worthy as yours take things to another level. Character is a piece of mind, a little character is like a lot of character because any character at all is enough, character times character equals character. If you have character it shows, if you don’t have character it shows.

Character doesn’t stop at the property line, character doesn’t stop at the city limit. Character is what makes it worth a flip, character is a goal to be pursued. Character is not a surprise, character is a surety. If you enjoy character, you enjoy seeing your character work to help, somewhere, anywhere. Character keeps the wheels turning, and the boat floating, the clockwork ticking, and the world turning.

Character will keep you from worrying about character at all. People with the most character talk about it the least. Character is a comfort, character is a confidence, character is an advantage, character is the best advantage out there. Character is subconscious. So it works anywhere, even when your battery is low. Character will help you from regarding character too seriously. You can try too hard to show your character. You can profess to have more character than you really have, even though any is more than enough. And while I’m at it, character beats talent every time. My mother gave me my character, my father tested it.


Better later than to have never loved, better later than to have never tried, better love on that girl, better get off your duff, better stop, better start somewhere. Better quit, better my ass, better be good, better not, you’re better if you’re bad. Better if you don’t sing, better if you don’t say, better if you don’t stay. Better when your done, all the better, better get on out of here, better than the rest, better than none, better because you say so, better if you’re there.

The crust is better than the pie. Better if you have a cat, better if you have a car, better not wiggle, better not cry, better not breathe, better not leave, better if you tag along. Better if you take the lead, better if you settle down, better if you get along, it sounds better, because it is better. Better to bed, better to rise, better to take my hand, better than that, better than the Joneses, better than the rest, better in the warmer time of year. Think better, live better, love better, think better of me, think better of myself, feel better.

Better not shout, better and better, better than not, better than some, worse than others. You better go now, better with a beer, better on toast, better on principle. Better be better, better not pout, better be good, better quit being jealous, better not let them know who you are. Better than, better off, better said, if it’s better, wish it would be better, but that it was better. Better when, better if, better not tell, better and better. It’s just better, for want of a better solution, better seen and not heard, because it better be good, better, or worse, better is better, the original is better, but I’ll never tell.

Better to be on the road, better to be out of range, better to be on top of it, better stay out ahead of it. Better guitar, better piano, it’s better if you think it is, all you have to do is think better of it. Quit fucking around do it better, better stand your ground, better think better thoughts, better stay out of jail, better do something about it, better jump on it. Better in the morning, better when the sun shines, better late at night, better at sundown.

More expensive is not necessarily better, love is not better, or worse, it’s just better, so don’t miss it, feel better, look better, sing better, be a better person, be a better husband, be a better wife, be a better companion. Come on down when you feel better, if you do what I say you’ll feel better, if you do what I want I’ll feel better, maybe. Better hat, better shoes, better than last year, better than you’ve ever heard, better on the face of it.

Feel better inside, I hope your foot feels better, better them than me, better is a feeling, better is a placebo, perhaps. Better get out of the way, better not stand on tradition, better get to moving, mo’ better, better is better, better than that, better than you think, better than you might want, better than you could handle. Think better, live better, say better things about one another, feel better, better than beans, there is nothing better than beans. Better than anything I’ve ever had before, better on the run, better at home, better than you think, better than you know, better for you, better and better again.

Better when you smile, better when you laugh, you feel better when you give it to somebody that could use it. Don’t let it get the better of you, those were better times, these are better times, keep at it and it’ll get better. If you thought you could make it better I’m sure you would, or would you? If you tell me I can make it better, don’t you wanna feel better?

Better hold on to what you got, better make a change in your attitude, better if you try, better things await you. It will just be better, better isn’t necessarily better, if it’s not any better, it won’t get better, he doesn’t think it will get better, but what does he know? Better not miss the boat, better get your reservation early, better show up early, better not be late, though it’s better that you are on time. See you when you’re better, I’d like to go when I’m better, or when you’re in a better mood.

Better is a quality, better is something to strive for, better is how you should think of yourself, better is how you should think of others, and in so doing make the world a better place. So glad to hear that you’re doing better, let’s work together to make it better, because we’re a team it just makes it better, better is a belief, better is a faith, do it even if it doesn’t look like it will make it better, it might just make it right.


Work the program, find work in the city, work it out, work on it, work it down into something manageable. The work was the reason, the work became the reason only after a lotta work. Work place, got it working again, make it work again, make it work one time. It worked like a clock, it worked like a charm.

It only worked, it might have worked, it wouldn’t work unless you did it the right way, lemme show you. Don’t work, didn’t work, stopped working just when…should work. If it doesn’t work send it back. I thought it was supposed to work, that only applies if it works, they got warranties for that kind of nonsense.

The workings of a clock, the workings of the machine, iron works, cement works, rock works, bring a friend to help you get it in the car. If I could find work, work’s not hard to find, doing work is the hard part. If you think about it, it’s more like a fear of labor than the labor itself, funny planet. Work will save you money because you can’t often find time to buy things when you’re at work. At least something works.

Complete Works, Selected Works. Recent Works, abysmal works, required works, test on Tuesday. Work will keep you alive. Work will keep you awake, work will keep you busy, work will keep you involved, work will keep you engaged. Work will pay you for doing the damn work in the first place, eggcellent. Work is expected, work is daily, work is on the books, work is on the way, work is a good time, work is shit, work is on time sometimes.

Work is a drag, work is a pit, work is a dream, work is a daydream, work is a bore, work is a trade off, work is a bargain, work is vacation if you do it right. Work is a job, work is a fire truck, work is hanging on the side of a building cleaning the windows.

Work is building a dam, work is fixing the dam. Work is, work time, work for, it works, but the second hand is off. Worked for a few years, only worked when I thought about it, and that was all the time. It was working so we left it alone, if it ain’t broke.

So I wrote a show of spoken word and musical improvisation in Santa Fe, NM and played it with three other musicians in New York City. Just wrote another one. It’s all over except for the work. Even though it might not work, shit work, funky work. Work that doesn’t pay, work that passes you by, work that someone else does. I probably wouldn’t do that work. But, work is heroic, work is admired, work is for the working stiff, working is the best part sometimes.

Work makes you feel good, work makes you feel wanted, work gives you something to do. Work takes up the time you’d rather spend somewhere else. A little work won’t ruin your life. A lack of work is good work for no one. So honor work, look for work, stand work, do away with work altogether, and the beer is free. Strike work, good work, yeah, do it again. I only hope my work is as good as yours.

Work with your head down, work with your heart, work with what you got, work with determination. Work on your stamina, work on your game, work on that backhand, get back to work, get a better job. A lotta work, a little work. Don’t think this through, just do the work. It’ll take a lot less time.

No work, hospital work, something works, maybe, work both sides of the street. Work both ways, work ethic, work force, work in progress, work into the ground, work like a beaver, work like a charm, work load, work of art, work off, work on. Work yer fingers to the bone. Work yer nerves, work your tail off. Work order, we can work it out, work over, work down, work someone over, work someone out of he picture, now that’s art.

This just won’t get it, but we can probably work something out. But don’t count on it. Work station, work stoppage, work till the end of the set, then you might be looking for work. Looking back at your work, looking forward to work, send the kids back to school. The glory is the work, especially when you do it again, to be able to do it again. Coffee before work, ride with you to work, working at work, imagine that.

Work through it, work it up, play it at your next gig. The work was magic, the work blew me away, the work blew me through the wall. My work, your work, our work, great work, do it again. Do it for as long as you like, do it for as long as you can, same diff. Known for your work, your work precedes you, noted for your work, adored for your work, forgotten works, sloppy work, tired work, slow work, shop work, poor work, top work…stop work.

The most important thing in an artist’s life is the work. The closest thing in an artists life is the work. The most time spent in an artist’s life is the work, the most mysterious thing in an artist’s life is the work. The worst thing in an artists life is the work, the hardest thing in an artist’s life is the work, but the most rewarding thing in an artist’s life is the work. The only enduring thing in an artist’s life is the work. So, work your life away, bravo. Work before play, work before love, work. Work before you eat, work before you put your clothes on, work when you’re trying to sleep. Work before you leap. Work before anyone knows your work. Work if you never find work at all. Anyway, I hope this works.

And unless you’ve forgotten how to do a little work, even if it doesn’t sell your novel, work might still end up in a worthy place like an archive at a University.