Broken Window

from by Nick Teehan

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lyrics

there was a glow in the sky
when I looked up on that broken church on old westmoreland avenue
all the windows were cracked and I caught a whiff of incense
and did something I thought I’d never do
now this is where I go for questions and answers though I never once knocked on that padlocked door but that broken window tempts me in ways that stained glass and guilt and shame
had never tempted me before

I run a route past all the empty buildings that I love wondering dreaming what it was and what if anything it’ll be
for a town they call so dense
there’s a thousand empty spaces
that I’d gladly move into if I could only stay for free
the city stripped away all their symbols
now it’s just stone and brick to the sky
I never cared to much about angels
but they haunt me every time that I pass by they haunt me every time that I pass by

there’s a mural out my window showing chubby children of all colours with instruments
they’re trying to learn my song
but right behind it there’s an icon
emblazoned in orange floodlights
the stars are black they’re playing it all wrong
I’ve never been so scared of a graveyard
but it’s this whole town we’re living in
I’m in the palm of dying churches
their boney fingers scratching at my window-frame of tin their boney fingers scratching at my window-frame of tin

and the subway station bustles with figures darkened by their high lapels
like soldiers with no shelter from the rain
and their eyes are on the floor when once man jumps they all shrug change direction
mutter suicide I’m late again
another funeral procession marches above the subway line
a boy asks his mother what happened
she says dress in black I promise you’ll be fine
just always dress in black and you’ll be fine

there’s plague that spreads like shopping malls
the minstrels lost their instruments
they beg put never look you in the face
and when they do you feel unlucky
cause no matter how you empathize
you know that they can never take your place

and the garbage overflows
you can smell it every summer
in the winter you’re inhaling sewer gas
and at the bar each time you go
there’s a different ancient crackhead shaking hands
and coughing shards of broken glass
he’s shaking hands and coughing shards of broken glass

so thank god we’re all so bohemian
with our dwellings cracked and cold and spare
I only use the finest of shampoos
but that stockyard smell won’t wash out of my hair thank go we’re all so bohemian with out dwellings cracked and cold and spare
I only use the finest of shampoos but that stockyard smell won’t wash out of my hair
I can’t wash this godless town from my brown hair

credits

from There is Not a Snake, released April 20, 2012

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Nick Teehan Toronto, Ontario

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