sweet, sweet sensation
slip down my tongue
you’re like that sugar cube
i can’t dissolve
stirring around, sweet sweet
sweet feelings
swim in my soul
you’re the tea in my cup
and you make my heart warm
you warm my heart
to the tip of the vein
you sweet, sweet love
of mine

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

No Smoking Please

Excuse me, everyone
Can I get your ears my way?
No smoking please
In this waiting room
We’ve got patients of all kinds
And I’m having trouble breathing
Now don’t let me keep you
From enjoying your smog
Just enjoy it where smog belongs
And as far as I remember
It doesn’t belong in my room
Out, out, get out of my room
You’re like a fire I can’t put out
All the water in the world
Couldn’t douse out your flame
Glowing yellow flame of hate
I hate you and your lungs
I can live without seeing your coughs
So I beg of you, no smoking
I’m a sensitive soul
And I need a space to breathe
Your smoke is all that keeps me
And the patients that are complaining
From going on with my life
So no smoking please
If you want to live
If you want us to live

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

The Roses

What’s with the frown
He asks me today
You don’t have that glow
You get when you’re happy
Come on, come on
Let me see those dimples once again
Like cracks on china,
You’re precious so why look so glum?…

Step up step up step up step up
And smell the roses
Chin up chin up chin up chin up
How can you not smile?
You’re walking through the flowerbed
So wipe your tears away, my darling
When you’re life’s a growing garden,
you’ve got nothing to worry about

I said to him, I don’t know why
My mouth won’t turn up today
My teeth want to stay in their hiding place
And my lips are too tight to move
Come on, come on
Don’t force me to laugh now
I"ve got no reason for laughter
When the rest of the world is blue

Step up step up step up step up
And smell the roses
Chin up chin up chin up chin up
How can you not smile?
You’re walkin


I thought I heard you
When I made my way
To home from the cathedral
But it must have been the voices
Of those sinners and saints
I’ve been listening to
Forever, they drone on
Bleeding into my thoughts
Couldn’t be you, I said
You’re no longer in my dreams
You’ve made your way to other side
Why do you have to stay with me?…

I hear you laugh
And for a second, I turn
See nothing but the dark
To greet me
Yet I feel the spirit
As it embraces me tonight
But it must be the warmth
Rising from the ground
Cold to heat, it couldn’t be you
I said you’ve done your time
Move on up to Heaven
Instead of staying behind

To home from the cathedral
I swear you are with me
But maybe I’m daydreaming
About another man
Cause in my head, I still see
Him by the cathedral
Standing there, waving at me
I swear he’s still with me
But I think I’m in


Like when a candle loses wax
I think I’m losing you
You slip through my grip
As I grow smaller and smaller
Into my puddle, I become the puddle
The water where snow used to lay
Oh, the winter is melting
Away with me
Goodnight, dear summer
I’m afraid I won’t be around
To see you grow again
I said I won’t be around
Since you made it clear last time
As the winter turned to dirt
You want nothing to do with me

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa


sometimes it is a dream
to watch a life come undone
my eyes will not look away
until I see the body count
and I know the total…

my mouth twists upward
like it’s an automatic reaction
but it’s the wrong reaction
still i cannot help myself
there’s something beautiful there

drama, oh drama
what a load of drama
to bathe myself in
and I’ll wash myself
wash away, wash away
a feeling of pleasure

I opened my eyes
and saw the rubble
And my eyes stayed dry
while I held down my laughs
I want to scratch them out

I feel a thrill running
As I hear the crying voices
There’s something funny
About dwelling in sorrow
And finding a smile within

drama, oh drama
what a load of drama
to bathe myself in
and I’ll wash myself
wash away, wash away
a feeling of pleasure

wash me in guilt
wash me, wash me clean
wash me in guilt
wash me, wash me c

Middle of a Crowded Room

So easy to lose a soul
In the middle of a crowded room
You pray for a helping hand
Since you’re new to these places
Your innocence makes you a victim
The target of the spree
God doesn’t come for you
And you try to make it alone

This is a flesh-eat-flesh world
Where we can’t survive
Without tasting the blood
Of those who know no secrets
We lose them in the battle
we all keep a piece of the prey
To each their own, we say
We try and make it alone

All the while, in the middle
Of this crowded room
You can’t help but hear
The voice of slaughtered one
Pleading for his life
Till searching for survival
And praying to a god
Who abandoned him the dark hour

Where were you, God?
Where were you, God?
Where were you, God?
Where were you, God?
Where were you, God?
Where were you, God?

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

Decade Old Bridge

Down by the river
Cross the decade old bridge
I’ve seen wars come and go
And once in a while, I see laughter
in the pockets of dark times…

I drive past the old stores
thinking how they stood so long
after the riots and the rage
I wonder how I’ve lived like this
and how my thoughts are still sane

Do those soldiers come home
And see what I see?
Do they come back around
And feel how I’ve felt?
When was the last time
they’ve stood on the bridge
instead of walking away from it?
Did they leave a memory behind
On this decade old bridge?

Sometimes, I believe
That it all boils down to a sense
Then it disappears into insanity
And sometimes I think
I see the shadow of happiness
In the corners of silence

Does anyone re-live
All that I want to re-live?
Or do they fade away
with yesterday’s news?
When they pass the stores
do th


my feelings fit in a thimble
squeezed till there is no more room
to put my faith in
to put my dreams in
to put my life in
i leave them on the side
in hopes that i’ll never
have enough room to fit them in

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

Blue Star

once i caught blue star
thought i didn’t hold it for long
it melted in my palm
before i knew how i could
keep it forever
it came down like a raindrop
froze the feeling on my tongue
i thought i misheard it
or i went to the wrong place…

still i know i’m wrong
still i’m holding out
for a laugh and a smile
waiting, waiting
and the star fell in my hand
and the star fell out of my hand
i guess i wanted too much
just like the rest of the world
since my blue star melted
and turned into the rain

new winter brings bitter news
dug up from the past
you think they’d have respect
and wait until all was cleared
from sugar to salt
that’s all that remains now
i guess we all tried too hard
to forget where the end comes from

still, i’m wishing for a lie
still, i know there’s a chance
that we were mistaken
hoping, hoping
and the star fe


red rage caught with yellow confusion
stirred up in my coffee cup
the green envy looks back at me
dripping with purple pride
and the blues, oh the blues
they sing through the painting
is that all i have become?
colors running together
is that all she sees in me?
just colors that make a person
a person that she used to know
but he has no shape
and he has no life
he’s not what she wanted
she wanted the picture
all she got was colors
all i am is the colors
of a person she once loved

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

Dark Cloud in Your Heart

Night floats off, day emerges
As you make your way to her
Taking my soul away with you
I knew it the moment I learned
When there was no music that day
And that band you got for her
Was made out of gold…

But what she won’t know is
I’ll keep myself in you
I’ll keep myself inside of you
I’ll be that cloud
Dark cloud in your heart

The needle pricks me
And I fall into a deep sleep
Knowing that Prince Charming
Is not around the corner
But holding the vows of another
Of the princess he wasn’t destined
To fall for in this fairy tale

But what she won’t know is
I’ll keep myself in you
I’ll keep myself inside of you
I’ll be that cloud
Dark cloud in your heart
The rain that will fall upon you
Will be enough to make you drown
Drown you with me inside
The dark cloud in your heart

Stars dissolve, sun grows old
As she awakens


Oh, how I used to miss your face
When it was on the periwinkle pillows
And your body covered in matching sheets
That was then, when I used to miss you
Now when I look at it
And I come home to find nothing on it
I can’t help but wish to throw
Those periwinkle pillows out
And send the sheets out the window
and your memory with them

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa


When the stars come out
I find myself in the dark still
Ever since your memory was buried
Ever since I last saw you
No words exchanged
No waving goodbye
All I know is that I miss you
And I miss your words
And I miss it in your eyes
I miss your twinkle, twinkle
little twinkle in your eyes
I know I’ll never see it
Tomorrow or the day after
Twinkle, twinkle
I pray you still twinkle
Up in Heaven
Into the next life
And that the twinkle in your eyes
Never goes out

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

Bring Me Your Winter Solstice

You say the temperature’s falling
And icicles are painting the porch
Tickling snow on my sleeve
Such a pretty sight for a sad occasion
The birds are hiding for the winter
And I feel it coming down now
You’re drawing closer and closer…

Bring me your winter solstice
It may be the easiest way
To get over a heartbreak

I’ve come to know your snowflakes
As they sprinkle on the grass
I can watch the kids run by
While I close the window drapes
You said winter was your favorite
So I see why warmth is something
I’ve learned to dread over time

Bring me your winter solstice
It may be the easiest way
To get over a heartbreak
Sweet winter solstice
You’re coming around now
To stay forever

I will never need an umbrella
Since I’m so used to your cold
I will never need a coat now
I won’t need anything


heart diamonds
not shaped like them, he says
but are found within you
dig deep, dig deep
it glows warm like topaz
but valued above that
you can’t wear it, girl
i said you can’t wear it
and i can’t buy it
it’s already a part of you

sweet as the sugar
more rich than honey
that diamond, precious diamond
you are my precious diamond
diamond in my heart
i can’t sell you to anyone
but i will keep you safe
safe so your shine won’t dull
safe so your shine won’t go out
let me into your heart, dear
into your diamond
and i will keep you safe

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

I Got a Lady

Sorry for missing your call
I’m afraid I’m a bit tied up
Between the cord and the work
I should be doing
If you leave a message
I might get back
But I promise you no guarantees
Tonight may be the best or worst
night of my life…

Cause I got a lady
Who handed me a one-way ticket
To a meltdown
I got a lady who sent me down
The boulevard of heartbreak

Please excuse me for taking time
There’s nothing more I’d like to do
Than answer back my phone calls
But I’m stick here, stuck like glue
Stuck to her with no way out
I hear everything you’re saying so
Leave me a message after the tone
I’ll get back whenever
If I can get back at all

Cause I got a lady
And she’s taking up my life
Making each day a little struggle
I got a lady with those fire-red lips
One kiss and I’ve burned off my tongue

She’s my heartache in stockings

Oh, Mother

Long ago, you were the world
Made of ocean and sand
You were the ground we stood upon
Go up, we’d always come down to you
You made up our trees and mountains
Your face was our prairies
Your body was the shore
You had it all and you had us
Never knowing where we would lead you…

Oh, Mother
Look at where the times have gone
Look at what you’ve become
Were you always such a wasteland
And we didn’t know till now?

You made the ground for us to stand on
Not the wall we could lean on
You made the breeze that blows by
But not the words we choose to speak
You were the earth
Nothing more than the dirt
Once you were precious
Now no one cares to know your name

Oh, Mother
Where has your grace gone?
Where do you hide your compassion?
When the small feet run over you
Do you wonder where they’re going?

You were the quicksand

This Little Fire

Forgive me, if you please
I’m a bit of an attention whore
This little fire within me
Is desperate to become a blaze
I’ve got dreams in my pocket
I’ve got the future in the sky
I’ve got a glowing ember for a soul
And I’m ready to take on the world…

Don’t turn away from me
I said don’t turn away from me
I’m desperation in the form of a human
And I need a little more of your time
Please, sir, give me some time
I’m a broken celebrity, you see
I’ve got the talent but I don’t roll in dough
Help the talented, help out the talented
Give them a little more of your time
I said give them more of your time

Burn, baby, burn
I’m burning up now
Burn, baby, burn
Don’ t you try and put me out
You picket the line but you won’t cross
To see the talent on the other side
This little fire is a desperate star
Desperate to streak the n

The Maize of Love

he passes the street corner
into the maize of love
from cornfield to cornfield
moving in secret, shifting with the stalks
shifting with the seasons…

they say that he has no wife
but never goes to bed alone
there’s love found in the cornfields
where he spends hour after hour
yet they never saw her with him

what do you say? hey hey
can this be right now?
he’s in love with someone
that’s not his wife now?
he’s in love with someone
who can’t bear his child?
what do you? hey hey
to someone lost in the maize

he knows how to keep silence
so only few will bother to pry
they wait in the cornfield for her
yet she remains invisible
from now to never

what do you say? hey hey
can this be right now?
he’s in love with someone
that’s not his wife now?
he’s in love with someone
who can’t bear his child?
what do you? hey hey
to some

Touch the Sky

I tried to touch the sky
Except I couldn’t hold onto it
It seemed to slip away
Along with the memories of him
They said that he was found
Alone and afraid, that look
Of shock still frozen
And the crowds stood aside
While they rolled him out…

I wish I had been there
Cause I’m a masochist
I like to drown myself in pain
From those who hurt themselves
From those who hurt me
I let the water over my head
Don’t say I should not
Don’t say it anymore

I feel him when the wind blows
Almost sweeping me away
The winter comes in too soon
my world becomes a fucking icicle
My face is like glass in a storm
Dry and cold, tossing back and forth
I’ve been thrown so far up
I’m surprised I haven’t broken

I wish I could feel him near
When I go outside and look up
Is Heaven what it’s cracked up to be
Or only existing in our heads?
I like


Soft crying
from one ear to another
That sound of terror
I’ve come to know it well
I knew it the day God
decided it was my turn
To take in some air
The feeling of struggle
Everything tearing asunder
Just nonsense
That comes to make sense
That gives reason to tears
That muffles the sobbing
Deep within
Six feet in smoke, I hear it
What a wonderful understanding
To a sound I never understood
Six feet and smoke, I still hear it
Under and under I go
It follows me and my shadow
As I dive into the unknowing
Funny how it becomes
The only thing I know now

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

6 On a Saturday Morning

She kicked our bucket on the way out
As she step from the steps to the streets
Maybe she knows the way to Heaven
And she wants to get a head start
There’s no one she trusts out here
To be spend another with them
WIth herself, with anyone
So what else can you do
On a lonely night with your devices
But make use of them?

6 on a Saturday morning
Where does the daylight come from?
I can’t find myself in bed
Cause I lost myself
Where I see nothing
I promised her the whole world
Yet I didn’t keep her alive
Should I call myself a killer
Or the victim of a victim?
It’s only 6 am
Where does the rest of the day go?

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa


I watch the fish swim past me
like silver in the stream
they make their way from north
to the south where they will sleep
into the mouth of the south
where they know they’ll fall asleep

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

1010 Washburn Way

Screams in the night
From the spiral steps downward
She’s running from her demons
In her mind, she’s far away
She’s where no one can hurt her
But herself…

He can see no one but her
And how she mocks him in silence
So he teaches her a lesson
That he feels she forgot
He teaches her the lesson
The most important life lesson
To learn living on Washburn Way

She grows smaller before him
And smaller within herself
She knows what her tears taste like
She’s had them time and time again
He makes sure she never forgets
The taste of them or the blood that spills
From inside to the front step

Down Washburn Way, they say
They can hear the arguments ringing
And they can smell the beatings
That leave stains on the rug and marble
Still, no one questions why
They see the problems they can’t fix
House 1010 is the house of shrieki


Moonbursts open the sky
And it brightens up
For a little while now
Black to white to nothing
Still it tears me to pieces
Tears me apart
Takes away my breath
And turns my dreams to ash
My future is now dusty and dank
Moonlight cuts into me
And I come apart

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

Your Island

Sometimes, it’s a chore
To strangle a smile
When I feel you in the room
My heart goes upside-down
You’ve cut out my cord
So I can’t make the call
No letters to be exchanged
No hand to hold or body to lay against
When the nights go cold
I just have you and your frozen air
Bound against my will
Left to drain myself of pleasure
And I’m stranded on your island
Waving my arms in despair
For the rescue that will never come

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa


i step out on the sand
foot before foot
i leave myself behind
buried before washing away
my toes dig in
and i steal a little land
over my nails
while the waves slip in
cover me, God
i’m alone with the ocean
so as i leave shore
my memory drowning in her
i turn to let the waves crash
so they take me below
cover me, God
cover me with your waves
it’s only me versus your ocean
what are you afraid of?

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

Me and Sylvia

From flesh to fire
I once knew you and your pages
You sat on my shelf at night
Thumbed through you and kept track
Of your verses and lines
I knew you word by word that I’d exclaim
Proud with my big head high…

Me and Sylvia are best friends
We’re bound by blood and books
I’ve got her from hair to my shoe
They’d just stare like I’m in the gutter
While I’m looking up at my star

From womb to oven
Moving from one confined space
Straight into another, you died
Of shock, I’d tell the crowds
Your life was poetry to memorize
But I have each word etched on my soul
When I tell people that pass by

Me and Sylvia are best friends
We’re bound by blood and books
I’ve got her from hair to my shoe
They’d just stare like I’m in the gutter
While I’m looking up at my star

From hair to nail, tooth to tooth
I had you down to a singl


Carnival lights
Surround us with the music
String us by our souls
Our hearts clink like glasses
Raising a toast for our good luck
Our good cheer
And the air above us

Circles a few times
Cotton candy lips greet me
As I get off to head for the Ferris Wheel
He drags me to the Fun House
Where I lose myself in his reflections
And for once in my life
I don’t mind the way I look

He charms the laughs out of me
Stepping around the sights and sounds
Ringing in my ear, I feel dreams coming through
My fingers cupped in his palm
He says my name as the lights go dim
There’s no greater joy in this whole wide world
Than living in this carnival with him

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

Drops of a Gray Cloud

Drops of a gray cloud
Feel them run down my skin
Cold clouds cleanse me
As I stand between the fog and the freeway
I hear them roll by as it pours me
Sometimes splashing me with more
Drops from a gray cloud
So I brush the pieces of sky away
And turn to see it falling

Oh God, I don’t believe it
The sky is falling

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

The Ex-Wife

Well, I ran into the ex-wife today
Between the canned yams and the peas
She told she had moved on from me
With some chum she picked up overseas

I told her it was fine and went about
To where the spaghetti sauce was at
But she stopped me and to my surprise
She said her new husband was a cat

I fell in love, she tells me as holds him
Aside from the furballs and messy litter
He rarely complains or makes a sound
And in bed, he’s a hell lot better

Okay, I said, and went about my way
SInce they were already so smitten
But the ex-wife threw me one more loop
She’s now pregnant with his kittens

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

Sweet Sting From a Butterfly

Such a sweet sting from a butterfly
Seeping down my veins
Wings beating down on me
So I never forget your words…

Such sweet words you spill
Sweet words, stinging words
Warm me to the core
Until I burn out my soul
I’m burning you out
I said I’m burning you out
I’m burning you out, babe

You float to me in dreams
And I run screaming the other way
Primadonna of my nightmare
I try to cut you away
I said I’ll cut you away
I’m gonna cut you away
Till I can’t cut you anymore

Bit by bit, you took my blood
And you stole my heart
Such a butterfly, I let you in my hand
And let you out the same way
Let you into the sun
Where you can burn out
I want you to burn out
I said burn out, babe

Such a sweet sting from a butterfly
Seeping down my veins
Wings beating down on me
So I never forget your words
Or the taste of the poison
That s

september smoke

Upward on its side
Like a
Flicking, licking, sticking
its tongue against the blue
red and white too
i watch as it
turns into an angel before me
and she flies away
with the september smoke
her halo glows
a piece of
lost within september
i wave goodbye
i see her no more
as she disappears
with the
s m o k e

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

Black Market Lady

So slow, they said about me
When I fell before I stood up
Lost from the grace
I learned sorrow before learned
To say happy
I could not count on myself
To lead him into freedom
I failed him from his first breath
I guess that’s why they said
He’s better off not knowing you…

Oh God, don’t judge me that way
I grew up to be a black market lady
I can’t help how I am
When I’m in my cocoon
I do no harm
Crack the shell, you will find
I’m just the black market lady
Labeled bad from birth
I will do you no harm

You can run away, as fast as feet can go
Turning away so you will never see
What a shame I am, a sham I scheme
Charlatan, you say, is my middle name
You have no interest in knowing me
The other girls make better conversationalists
But I’d carry you from here to the grave
No woman you love can take my place

Oh God, don

Two-Way Mountain

Slippery slope, they say
It’s a hike that few chose to make
Sex is such a complicated action
Boys at the left, girls at the right
Pulling me in the middle
And away from the top
Of this two-way mountain…

Lipstick stains afterdark
And a dab of aftershave
It’s all good with champagne
And it goes down well
But up or down, fast or slow
Someone help me out
I’m climbing a two-way mountain

I like both sides, they’ve got a view
I like both plates, they’ve got good taste
Am I coming or going, it’s all the same
I can’t help it, honey
I attract them all like pollen attracts the bees

I want curls in the morning
And deep voices to croon me to sleep
Or maybe we can switch them up
Cause I like what they offer
Boys at the left, girls at the right
I’m in the middle and far from top
Of the two-way mountain

Such an exercise for lu

When I'm in Pain

Well, I’m a little waste
But I’m still a waste
It’s the way I feel around you
That makes me ill
Happiness doesn’t come around, you say
Well, I say that you’re right
Cause people don’t look at me
Even through the rose glasses
Cause they want the pain
When I give the pleasure
Still, I can’t deliver beauty
No first class beauty
Unless I’m in pain…

A closed front door brings visitors
More often than the unlocked windows
They whisper as they float on
Yet the laugter never draws them close
Always the tears, you say
And I’m a little ugly
That still makes me ugly
When I surround myself with you
I never stop being ugly
I can draw up conversations faster
Than I can draw up with smiles
No pleasure on this cruise, dear
You only like it when I’m in pain

I become worthwhile
When I complain
I am something
When I cry
I lose it all

White Ribbons

White ribbons running
she’s letting her hair down
I watch as she crosses roads
to live on the other side
Girl to woman overnight
she’ll learn pain firsthand
A butterfly, she’s flying
with her wings clipped
Out of the cage but not the world
Her white ribbons come undone
As I watch her cross roads
to live on the other side
Of her cell

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

The Solitary Ones

The solitary ones
Have no home to live in
Have no shoulders for cying on
Have nothing in their hands
Nothing but grim to wash off
No one to wash it off for them

Little restless, little helpless
Cogs that they can’t get to work
Cause no ones got the wrenches
And the screws are loose and invisible
No can fix the broken houses
Of the solitary ones

Silence fills the halls and roads
They hear the music no one else can
They have empty beds to sleep in
And no one’s hand to hold onto to
Just another day in the empty world
Of the solitary ones

No homes to live in
No shoulders for crying on
Nothing in their hands
But grime no one will wash
Just grime mixed with misery
For the solitary ones

-Copyright 2008: Carter Tachikawa

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