sub-morphine alt-country songwriter

Dead Flower Motel

CB & Dead Flowers Show Tuesday

Dead Flowers and life goes on… Alt-Country showcase Tuesday at the Mean Eyed Cat. We’ll start after the clock hits 8.

30 Miles to Mexico

30 miles to Mexico…
by dirt road only
dead in the cab. lost track of the dogs
burn out sunlight dream..
the dogs were happy to be out of the car.
my eyes are burned by the sun.
bought some $3 shades from the
Mexican lady at the gas station…
grew side burns
put on a Cream record
to talk about Ginger Baker.

Colorless eyes all around Javelina territory.
Went to the border and kept on to Terlingua.
And had drinks at the Starlight Theater.

Never saw a Javelina.
Never killed the

Ghost Room April 3rd

Dig.. Chris Brecht and dead flowers.. the lonesome heroes.. and telegraph canyon.. i’ve never met telegraph canyon but i guess i will this night.. or that night..

I love having no free time.. days are made too short. nights are made too long.

2 days into Marfa and the west texas majesty

Sent Dead Flower Motel off to mastering last monday, which means it’s time to move on. Begin a new wander. With a new stride. A new ear. a new eye. so i’ve traveled south west to Marfa for a few days to take photographs, journal, do laundry, walk deep into the hills, drink new wines, eat in new restaurants, then disappear and write.  bought 2 pounds of locally roasted coffee. and spent most of yesteday outside. drank wine late. then i woke up early and the hotel room was cold.

We’ve just added some new shows. We’ll be at the Ghost Room with the Lonesome Heroes and Telegraph Canyon April 3 at 10. probably a $5 cover.

And we’ll be at the Mean Eyed Cat April 13 8PM Free.

SX Finale (doors at 6:30)

Rumors have it that you’ll want to get on the guest list by RSVPin’…

Scoot Inn Skeet Out

CB and Dead Flower Motel are doing a set Wednesday with Mike and the Moonpies… or maybe it’s just the Moonpies now.. come and scream all the lyrics while playing skeet ball and drinking wine.

Scoot Inn
East Austin Slow Dive
4th and Navasota

Skeet out

and you just give yourself away

i sat on my sofa there looking down into this book and began to wonder.. is art is dying a slow death. … maybe. maybe not, but it’s changing. because of how artists and people are living these days. with all these distractions and cellphones and internet and email and all that ….the empty canvas and the open mind have a lot to compete with.  this was all just thoughts, but  a few hours ago, I got real confused and scared because I started feel real isolated in this world and don’t really understand art at all and the living people wanting it. and i got to thinking about how long it has been that i have seen a piece of art that expresses something true and wasn’t manufactured simply just to be sold. And i missed it. i got sad and wondered how long it has been since i have heard someone sing a song and been affected by how real it was. and how new the ideas were. and how hard it was to understand where that artist was coming from, but i could see the light in there. and i was gone. and still it was easy for me to think that nobody really completely understands art at all anyway. not even the artist, and art isn’t even really created for that purpose anyhow. it’s the mystery that binds us.  and then I waited, trying not to be tormented by the thoughts and all the words going around in my head because i can’t breath very well when I’m trying to figure why people have become so insensitive to art, …even the artist themselves.

but I was just sitting there and I got to thinking all this and that i am trying to find that moment when i dull my mind into creation and exist momentarily in breath without the need to check a telephone or answer an email. and I started to think that that’s where art has changed. that need to check, that need for something else. that’s what’s changed. I could only tell myself then,… don’t live in check.  check is moments before checkmate. check is the moment of unrighteous holding when your consciousness mind is not working for you because it is working against something else. some other forces of distraction.  cause in check you answer someone else’s needs and not your own. and i told myself to not live in check, even though I already know this. but I had to remind myself over and over as I sat there on my sofa, blown away, reading a memoir about the 1960s Greenwich village streets. and I’m lost in it.. and you’re just giving yourself away. goodbye art.

against naked sky

….like a couple of broken bottles in far reaches of the desert, a hollow piano
bleeding against the setting sun.
Where life is..
is where madness is.
everything is woken by morning light
traveled across the open sky in the tethers of the first winks of naked stars
life is not television
and a plate of eggs
sometimes I spend a day looking for one chord…
just so someone can say “once a chord killed a man. Once a man killed a song with sleep.”

don’t forget to touch the sky on the way up.

tracking keys

Matt tracking keys


Hey lookit Ratso! You can play a song with one chord.


outta context

one fast move

austin town

the city is split by the river
    at dusk the river is divided by the sun
  people keep crossing the bridges
in a hurry getting’ things done
some are left behind
  standin’ on the side of the road
  by nightfall I could see what was happenin’
    and in the water the moonlight glowed.

land of the seagulls

morning thoughts on the great depression

does anyone know when this great depression is gonna end?
 Yes i do feel like it’s 1920. the sky scrapers look gray and sad over the city.
 Abandoned cars ready line the highways.
 “Shit man, sometimes it’s hard to even smile.” 
if you’ve been lookin’ around at the violent city and getting that naked feeling in your gut that questions what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been hangin’ on so long, I feel your pain. 
Staring out the cracked view of yer window shield.

So someone wasn’t looking
and you were looking at me.
the morning was full
but my pen was empty.
When is this depression gonna end?
I heard someone ask
I heard another person laugh.
And me… I’m been runnin’ out of gas
this is already my second
pass through this town.
I’ve traveled up and now I’m travelin’ down
Still waiting for that good luck to come around
see I got a good pocket full of poems
coat full of laughter
waiting for a night of beers
and it’s rainin’ all over the ground
my boots are muddy and when I walk
I hear this groaning sound in the wind
that is blowing past my ears
the storm is dancing on the hillside
the overflow drains are already making waterfalls
the thunders are all lined up
a steady rain is about to fall.

I’m gonna check out for now.

christmas lights and a pay phone

christmas lights and a pay phone

if I only stay awake a little while longer
I’ll remember how she was tender to me
and sweet
but that our time is done
I might say that love got the best of me
her love is gentle like a flower
but dead petals blow over the cold ground.
I could still make her smile,
that is all that tonight’s gonna take from me
you can have her
just give me a little while.

been lookin’ so long

“And so, as I sleep, some dream beguiles me, and suddenly I know I am dreaming. Then I think: This is a dream, a pure diversion of my will; and now that I have unlimited power, I am going to cause a tiger.” – Jorge Luis Borges, Dreamtigers

music and words
I’ve been lookin’ so long I can’t even find my eyes.
don’t matter what anyone else says
do what you want
even if it gets you know where.
sometimes it’s the only thing that means anything?
see. I’ve been bustin’ it…
I’ve busted it.
and I’ve put it all back together.
sometimes you wonder if there’s a girl on the other end
sometimes you wonder if she’s just a lover
sometimes you wonder if there’s anything real in yourself
and sometimes you find out that you get exactly what you want
exactly the way you never expected to get it.
 the outcome is,
you’re there. Where ever you find yourself
right in the middle of a song.
And that’s why I write’em.
I’m just a slag bag wip wop in and out down
and in kinda thing when I really get
 down to it.
and so here’s my shirt, my coat, my bag,
wear it
and carry the slack.
it’s time to go home.
It’s time
 to leave.
it’s time to put some music on the record player.
gotta be at peace
and that first demon goes down. hard.
it’s time to give yourself something
Somewhere down the line.
somewhere in the next room pirates are drinkin’ and swapin’ stories.
That’s the way it goes.
But what ever you want to do, just know you’re goin’ out fast.
Fast as a candle under a flame.
So make yourself famous.
Sing a good song or learn to count.
see yourself in the mirror or go be yourself.
ruffle up or find a cheap motel room.
And paint a masterpiece.


When I think about that day
that day when things in life are better
and you’re with me
but not really with me. And I’m alone for five minutes
but altogether filled up in a new place,
a new place in mind
a different street in a different city
a different glow from the streetlights
a different laugh heard across the street
from a different person. Someone I don’t know. The snow falls desperately
from the sky. I am here now.
And I don’t get sad or tremble.
I pull my ungloved fingers out of my pocket
and grab my collar and take a few steps
away from lit the doorway
out into the cold snowy sidewalk
I feel the burn of frozen slush around my boots.
I slip and remember the way coffee sits on your lips
I look down to the footsteps in the wet sidewalk.
I slip again and remember your knit cap pulled down
over your eyes and foolish grin. I slip one more time to a mess of laundry
on the floor and nearly lose my balance. Then I reappear
And return home to some apartment
on some 43rd and Juniper Street while the snow hugs the bricks
and the pavement teases my footsteps and my scarf murders my breath.
I slip every now and again. I go back on the clock like it isn’t true,
and everyday was yours and mine, and I reappear again, eyes wide open
even today, and it hasn’t reached 10 am. My days, my days, my days… where are they alive.

good luck piano

you cannot judge a wine by its label, but you can definitely buy one because of it…

tonight Syrah/Grenache.

Good Luck piano.


mountain poem

Somewhere in the hills
where the snow climbs up the mountains and tree tops, and the isolation speaks
a quiet breath of hollow spirit. There are only a few who know how
to listen anymore. I am going. I am gone. Where a man is not judged
by the lack of control
he has over his own destiny, but instead by his soul. My mind like the landscape,
my madness is the road
that winds deep into the hills, far beyond Christmas. I am looking for peace. But first I must go where there is no difference
between the wash of blinding snow in front of my eyes and
the darkness of my own mind. I must know
that I am in good company
when I am only with myself. And everyday I have to relearn to trust
and forgive myself for that. Like the drifts over the road, my course and my footsteps,
the engine, the coffee, the exhaust, scarf and gloves. I’m not afraid to be out there. But eventually, the tree limbs will break under the unbearable weight of ice and snow. Silence screams
and naked as I am. My mind beams. I wanted to come home.
Sorry if I let you down. The train came
the bell rang, the whistle sounded and then the cars, very slowly
pushed away from the station. My suitcase is there. I am there. I am gone.

sight for sore eyes

cause you get drunk all the time
you smoke cigarettes all the time
lose your keys all the time
fly your scarf all the time
bundle up all the time
take me laughing all the time
play tricks on me

winter windows
mountain motel toes
when you remember to brush your teeth before morning
but forget your clothes
walkin’ moonlight
barefeet in the snow
burn candles all night just to watch them glow
I’m lookin’ for the way to kingdom come
I’m lookin’ for the way to kingdom come

cause we’re driving straight through
so afraid that
I was born to love you

pile on the blankets
lay next to me
turn down the volume and call it a silent movie
sight for sore eyes
pouring milk in your ice cream
you hear yourself think but I know what you mean
I’m lookin’ for the way to kingdom come
I’m lookin’ for the way to kingdom come

cause I’m drivin’ straight through
so afraid that

I was born to love you

get drunk all the time
smoke cigarettes all the time
play cards
you take baths all the time
make love all the time
I fall in love all the time
drive it north all the time
sleep in cars all the time
drink coffee all the time
it’s every mornin’ all the time
nights of stars all the time
miss exits all the time
burn it bright

I was born to love you (with a Gminor)

cause you get drunk all the time
you smoke all the time
tell bad jokes all the time
you play tricks on me
we fall in love all the time
lose your scarf all the time
miss your exits all the time
you lie with me.

winter wind froze
mountain motel toes
when you remember to brush your teeth before morning
but forget your clothes
walk barefeet in the snow
light a candle by the stove
and let it burn all night by the window
just to watch it glow
we’ll drive it straight through
we’ll drive it straight through
I was born to love you

we get drunk all the time
make me laugh all the time
bundle up all the time,
play tricks on me
we make love all the time
steel coffee all the time
make me laugh all the time
you lie with me

jigsaw puzzle

Matt and Chris Oregon Tour

Me, I’m waiting so patiently
Lying on the floor
I’m just trying to do this jig-saw puzzle
Before it rains anymore ~ the Rolling Stones

Good morning. Here I am. It’s 6am.  What good is this? I’m awake. America. Early Morning, I’m talkin’ to you. It’s freezing in my apartment. I woke up in the middle of the night with the windows open and the heater off. What happened?  My mistake. Was I supposed to have known you were going to turn cold over night? Last I remember I was reading with fresh air blowing through my apartment. Did your mood change? Should I have known we were not going to be friends today? Why do I feel more like your parking meter sometimes than you mine? Time expired. Aren’t I the one who’s renting?

The morning is still very dark. I don’t even hear the hum of the highway yet. I know it’s early. I’d like to sleep late but my switch flipped. Now I’m curled up in front of this page and perched next to the space heater. I have a blanket over my shoulders. My socks have holes in them. My sweater is thin. I pressed a cup of coffee in the darkness cause I needed company.  Now I feel better. Had a terrible dream. I won’t say anything about it. I’ll just say that I woke up with my eyes fixed out the kitchen window. The silhouetted trees swayed in the breeze and the leaves danced in front of the black night.  It was beautiful. It was harmony.  Is this fate? Who is it that you want me to be? Have I been cursed? Or is this part of your plan? When do I know if I’ve been blessed? When I take a walk, is it safe to go back inside? I think I’m going to move to Lake Tahoe.

It seems that everyone these days has got some good advice. Was it always that way?  Is any advice ever really that good?  Why do we need it to get along? It might be better to live without it. Like credit cards. Advice is like a loan. No one really wants it. Banks would love to control it.  And it should collect interest. What is the difference between advice and good suggestions? I’m sure someone is really trying to help. Next time someone gives me good advice I’m going to say, hey, that’s a good suggestion. That way, when they come back around to collect I won’t have defaulted on my promise and have to pay some 35 dollar fee. Bank on it.

Austin town. Late night town. You’re still sleeping now. I know you. I’ve known you well. But we’ve never really been great friends. I think we’re both gamblers. But I’m the rambler. You’re the charter. I’m the ticket holder. When do I get my money back if we haven’t gone anywhere? I’m not impressed. Wonder what it’s like in Chicago right now.  16 degrees. Negative wind chill. A bunch of people sifting through the city.  I stayed in last night and hunched at my piano. I’ve been playin’ this Joni Mitchell song, “River”. It’s a darlin’ tune.

The morning has started turning grey blue now. It looks the way I remember the ocean. The trees are still black with night.  The light above the garage is still fighting for darkness but the morning will win. I’m in favor of morning now.  I pressed another cup of coffee and am ready to settle my debts. I’ll do this actively. With a lunch box, a cup of coffee and a daydream. Each key pieces in my jigsaw puzzle.

blackness lit up the night

Dead Flower

A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake~
Carl Sandburg

I looked up
and the light shined down from the streetlight
into my eyes. The snowflakes fell like feathers
so slowly from the blackness lit up the night.
And your face appeared in my hazy vision
when I was weary eyed and tired.
I looked out from my hood.
And you. Where were you? If I were to ask, would do me no good.
A few lonely strands of hair fell out your knit cap,
to rest quietly on your scarf. And I looked through the cold smoke
of our frozen breaths. They collide in the air between us. And you,
your frozen lips, your frozen cheeks
your frozen nose. I froze too.

Burn out

Ninety-nine percent of the world’s lovers are not with their first choice. That’s what makes the jukebox play. ~ Willie Nelson.

When in doubt, make coffee. Let the sky rain. Burn yerself out.
Take a spill and curl on the floor.
Lay about the bed. Look up at the ceiling.
Say, it’s been rainin’
Guess rainin’s where it’s at.
Even if tomorrow is about as far way as the rainin’ outside. And
the rainman’s been puttin’ an ear up to your windows. Listen’n in to
your footsteps, and your coffee pot, and your snorin’. Feelin’ isn’t just feelin’.
And outside, it’s lookin’ real cold between the sounds of the wind and the black street and the trees. Midnight Howls. Midnight silences.
And there you are runnin’ your fingers over the edge of yer life.
I spent about 20 minutes at the piano.
And I spent about 20 minutes sleepin’. Before I raced out last night
to play some guitars in this house full of players. Banjos, Fiddles, Guitars, Keys, Whistles, Thistles, Mandolins, talk, chatter, eatin’, drinkin’. And you know what, man?
It felt pretty good to be playin’. People got so many conversations in their ears
that they might not be hearing what they ought to be listen’n to, but it feels good to
pass through that door. And sling beer, wine, food, and a few good laughs. And pass back out into the cold. With my jacket up.
My hands in my pockets. My guitar over my shoulder. Feeling a little better.
Feeling a little colder. A little freer. A little more in tune. And my senses are a little sharper…. a deer runs by. And my feet hit the pavement. And my toes are cold. And my fingers grip. And my mind holds on to the ideas. And my cheeks shiver. And my eyes water in the edges. And the mist of the sky falls onto my jacket. And over my knit sleeves. And my skin turns from cold, but burnin’ about the lift in my spirit, and the rise in my mind, and the heavy freeze of the earth on my body. I know that somebody out there is sleepin’. Somebody’s dreamin’. Somebody is giving. Somebody is takin’. Somebody’s drivin’. Somebody is tellin’ a lie. And somebody is just findin’ out. Yep. There I am. Standin’ under that misty haze of tear drop sky. Just after midnight. With the darkness all around and it feels good to be human.