Everyone A Puzzle Lover
music: John Lombardo/lyric: Natalie Merchant ]







why are some men born

with minds that earn degrees

the loving cups

gilded plaques

grace their study walls

hide the cracks

while their genius is turned

to works of tyranny then

off to market to market

go selling these



with words so fiery and persuasive

they steal cunningly

riches no one can exceed



and why are some men born

with a fate of poverty

one firm bed

for a swollen back

year by year

the bodies wracked while

their obedience is had

with gradual defeat

by the pace by the pace

and the urgency



through a muddled thought

they phrase it

God knows we're deceived

barter for

what they need



and where they go

disdain and jeering

for fools to call

the noble peasantry



o how it puzzles me



I pressed flat the accordion pleats

that had gathered in his cotton sleeves

while he thumbed

yes thumbed I wouldn't say caressed



the final piece

a mountain's crest

soon to reply assuredly



o for man aged ninety years

no words to waste on sermons

he'd be pleased to answer

short and sincere



girl there's a nonsense

in all these heaven measures

it's a heathen creed

so your grandma says

but better to live by...

drink it all in before it's dry



he ended there with a rattle

cough cough

I took away the long gone cold coffee cup

as a trail of Camel ashes fell

on the floor