Once a Villain, Always a Villain

headlines boast that we’re out of luck
because this neighborhood’s just not the same,
and when you get that look and turn all blue in the face,
lawyers of the highest esteem couldn’t argue your denial.

what a flattering impression of caring about me,
like the most depressing fairy tale.

so good luck with twenty-two in a most sarcastic way,
and no i’m not your classic gentleman
because when you go, i’ll leave you with that classic hangover,
and some good old fashioned withdrawal.

we’re a slow swing in the spring,
full swing into halftime.
and all that certificate says is “my best days have passed”
and another dose of vaccine won’t keep away the feeling.

all i see is green, it must be the villain that’s inside of me.

we are the skeletons clawing at your closet door,
old habits die hard.

Bad News for Blue Eyes

can you hear the whispers in the woodwork?
or the secrets that are climbing the stairs?
this house hums a cadence, but i doubt you’ve ever heard it before.

so tell me, what will make you shake these days,
aside from restless nights and restless minds?

we are just shadows of our former selves,
whose ghosts seem to wander through these scarred, old halls.
and time’s had it’s way with us.

we’re composed of so many famous last words,
all so genuine and counterfeit,
and where’s all that loyalty you always carried on and on about?

so tell me, what has been your best disguise?
don’t pin it on that hollow-hearted smile.

reading your old notes is having your fossils in my hands,
only no curator gives a damn.

Death, Taxes, and Losing All Your Friends

i’m no more the vindictive type than dorian is vain,
and it’s not really jealousy,
it’s more of a friendly heads up that your idols are false,
and of course that’s a “friendly” with a big pair of quotes.

i’m not going to win any diplomacy contest,
and i’m getting sick of trying.

here’s to you and your ex-prodigy for giving up on me,
lying and cheating in the gloried name of liars and cheats.
they’re all going to figure you out,
whether it’s one way or another.

i hope you’ve enjoyed your coronation,
because before too long, we’re going to forget everything about you
but you know the heart of deceit
is always open to a two-face like you.

every night, i remind myself at least i’m not you,
because your conversations are pathetic in stereo.

Letters From Home

last night i dreamed that you were right where i wanted you,
and you were leaning on me at the bar,
but instead i’m in the corner by myself looking down at my sneakers,
the ones you picked out for me.

wasting yourself like this is such a shame,
and yea i am a child and i’ll never change.

i wonder if he’ll notice the space on your bedroom wall
where our picture used to hang,
but maybe then you’d realize you haven’t smiled like that since.
but what’s the point at this point?

i have to ask, what does your mother think of him?
and by the way, you know that place is a sham?
birds sing to remind you he’s just filling your empty nest,
can’t we just fast forward to where you figure this out?

hiding yourself like this is such a shame,
and yea i am a child and i’ll never change.

You're Killin Me, Smalls

everything is gone, everything has changed,
i punched my own ticket for this guilt trip.
he makes you so happy, i get it.
if this is the plan, then count me out.

to hell with your resentment, it’s got nothing on mine.
so tell me all about him.

don’t let your jaw hang, honey,
you’re so much prettier in poise.
oh nostalgia, i’ll do anything you say.

pace the hallway and wait for him to get home,
we’ve had our last late night; it’s colder, not closer.
you still smell like me, i know it.
it’s lose-lose for me, which means you win-win.

just say it, you’re leaving, or you’re already gone.

Questions and Answers With Childhood Heroes (Flashbacks and Migraines With the Patron Saint of Girls Like You)

we’re a touch medicated, and count on doc to keep us ageless,
but with all the same flaws,
dog-eared volumes of the cheapest fiction
in a flat out sprint down the tarmac
after my sweet sixteen.

cutting curfew and hemorrhaging our days like devouts,
you may have figured out the argot,
but i doubt you have the heart.

i think it’s time you come home,
because we’ve become a bunch of hopeless romantics, minus the romance.
and yes, it’s time for bed, sleepyhead,
get that car up to eighty-eight.

got these prayers down to a science, but put god’s face on the milk cartons,
if the world is a stage, i’m way off the key and a deer in the headlights.
wedded to this crusade, i’ll only entertain bribes in the form of you.

half my friends i recall by some lie or another, or their new time zones,
but i never did recover from leaving you crying in the street.

This Whole Scene is a Ghost Town

since when are you characters in someone else’s story?
and you’re not a solution to our problems,
you’re just another problem.

if you’re wondering why this applause sounds more like crickets,
then maybe you should consider how that white flag hangs
from every word you say.

and it feels like i’m the only kid still kicking,
i’m the only one who still believes.
you all sound just like the folks you hoped you’d never grow up to be,
so i guess its up to me.

if this is just a tomb, then there is only room enough for me,
and i bet that you carry pictures of yourselves inside your lockets.

if you’re wondering why this applause sounds more like crickets,
then maybe you should consider that you’re just imposters
of our former idols.

maybe i’m just renting this whole scene,
but at least i’m not selling it out.

You Deserve This Enough to Make Up For the Fact That I Probably Don't

i’ve been tracing your outline on my wall
because our silhouettes look like the valentine skeletons,
only more sincere.

it seems like everybody’s falling in love, but not like this,
and everybody’s got plans, but not like these.

i want to speak every dialect of you,
and hang you in each gallery.
i will concede, i’ve been conspiring to lock you down forever.

i force myself to sleep just to see you again,
so reluctantly beautiful, like bad news has a gun to your back,
and a grip on your throat.

watch the sun set on our favorite scars,
and take your hand on a crashing plane,
just to make sure we don’t spend another moment apart.

i feel like we should be filmed in black and white
and called a classic.

Someone Who Shall Remain Nameless (You)

at best this is me dodging a bullet and at worst i’m giving myself away again.
but most of the time, i’m just a narcissist in pessimists clothing,
or a string of one liners.

considering all the other stuff i’m on, i’ve got to find a way to stay off you,
despite my pitiful self restraint.

sooner or later, this will all haunt me,
and lately i’ve been the flagship of regret.
take it or leave it, but my reputation says i don’t write love songs,
i ruin them.

i’m throwing the fight, so yea we’re going down,
and i’m like a pin up junkie, and you are my dealer.
it’s so hard not to act dumb and reckless when i’m so young and helpless,
not to mention a liar.

charges are pending and you’re the key witness,
so don’t blame me for doing what i do best.
in due time you’ll think of me as another misstep,
or maybe you’re already there.