The Twelfth House on the Left

Hey hey hey hey hey hey
you know the sun never
goes


down


That’s right
that’s true

And hey hey hey hey hey hey
The sun -
you know it never comes up

It’s just a trick
tricking you

So hey hey hey hey hey hey
get over
the center
piece
view

Can do
Will do

Yeah hey hey hey hey hey hey
It’s a billion years of crying

White cliffs
brown shoes

When I look into your flirty eyes and all I see is wonder I cannot but hypothesize the firmament’s been sundered by some tattooed God of old who pillages and plunders all the little boys and girls who think they have the secret of living in a magic world but magic means you speak it

LOUD!



Hey hey hey hey hey hey
you know the moon
never hangs
straight

That’s right
that’s true

And hey hey hey hey hey hey
The moon -
it only wants to make waves!



When I look into your flirty eyes and I see pure desire I cannot help but kiss your lips and turn heat into fire that burns an ancient effigy calling holy powers to blind the seekers and the tweakers wasting precious hours looking for an explanation to this magic world but the magic is the magic is the magic is the magic is the magic is the magic and the magic means
you speak it

LOUD!

you gotta speak it

LOUD!

no one’ll hear you

no one’ll know

no one’ll understand

all them magic spells

all them wild thoughts

all them lovely words

all those things
you gotta say
about the things
you gotta say
about that

The Twelfth House on the Left

Excuse Me, Are Those Bugle Boy Jeans You’re Wearing?

You say you know me
– Love me
– Need me
– Want me
But you keep stealing all my clothes.

And I say, “Girl,
there ain’t nothing
in my closet
for you.”

Got my heart in your hands
and my shirt on your back.
You can’t control it.

You don’t control it.

It’s in your blood.
It’s in your blood.

Yeah, I see it in your eyes.
Looking at my shoes and socks.
I feel it in my bones.
You wanna be inside my jeans.

I feel it in my soul.
Oh God, I know it in my soul.
Girl, you keep stealing all my clothes.
You can’t control it.

You don’t control it.

It’s in your blood.
It’s in your blood.

You can’t control it.
You don’t control it.

It’s in your blood.
It’s in your blood.
Yeah, I can see it in your eyes.

Excuse Me, Are Those Bugle Boy Jeans You’re Wearing?

Cowboys in Love

Everybody’s a tale to tell backwards
Everybody’s somebody you know
Everybody’s looking for light’nin
Everybody’s a cowboy in love

Yeah, everybody wants a rodeo, baby
Everybody wants small miracles
Everybody needs some sorta healin’
Everybody’s a cowboy in love

Everybody’s a poetic nightmare, too bad
Everybody’s complaining and high
Everybody’s a blind motivator
Everybody’s a cowboy in love

Yeah, everybody wants a rodeo, baby
Everybody wants small miracles
Everybody needs some sorta healin’
Everybody’s a cowboy in love

Didja ever think we’d be together?
Sitting under a million bright stars?
Didja ever wake up still dreamin’?
Didja ever think we’d get this far?

Yeah, everybody wants a rodeo, baby
Everybody wants small miracles
Everybody needs some sorta healin’
Everybody’s a cowboy in love

Cowboys in Love

An Irresponsible Jubilee

Sky dark, smothering clouds

Rain rain rain pouring down

Streets empty, no one found

Ghosts of spring haunting town

Leaves fallen, feeding ground

Trees barren, spindly rungs

Wind screams with freezing tongue

Winter’s dry reign has begun

Darkness plagues, still within a light

Angels’ blood, Elioudic wights

Fires breed new, blighted hearts

Wicked warmth through frigid nights

World wrought, deepest cold

Hopes held high held hopes

Light behind, blind eyes behold!

Fire fire fire calls us home

An Irresponsible Jubilee

Looking Out the Window

You wake
You move
You fall the fall that’s all
You see

You fly
You sleep
You fix the fix for what
You need

You look
You bend
You fight the fight until
You end

Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah!
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah!
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no!

You know you know you made me cry!
But who’ll believe we’re breathing fire?

Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah!
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah!
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no!

Why are you looking out the window?
Why aren’t you looking at me?

Why are you looking out the window?
Why aren’t you looking at me?

Why are you looking out the window?
Why aren’t you looking at me?

Why are you looking out the window?
Why aren’t you looking at me?

Looking Out the Window

The South Pole Is Empty Tonight (A Krampus Carol)

Tonight’s the night Krampus comes to town.
He’s leaving the South Pole, making his rounds
With a sack full of switches (no toys)
To beat all the bad girls and boys, oh joy!

Oh, the South Pole is empty tonight.
Santa’s list…was double-checked twice.
Krampus knows that you’ve not been that nice.
So the South Pole is empty tonight…

He’s got a scraggly beard, a face that is feared.
That click-clacking above ain’t no kinda deer.
He’s got hands filled with chains and a headful of horns.
Oh, if you’re a bad one: be warned!

‘Cause the South Pole is empty tonight.
Santa’s list…was double-checked twice.
Krampus knows that you’ve not been that nice.
Now the South Pole is empty tonight…

So if you want to stay on the nice list
You better behave and do what you’re told
Or Krampus might pay you a visit
With a switch and a poke and a scold!

Watch out!

Oh, the South Pole is empty tonight.
Santa’s list…was double-checked twice.
Krampus knows that you’ve not been that nice.
So the South Pole is empty tonight…

Yes, the South Pole is empty tonight.
Santa’s list…was double-checked twice.
Krampus knows that you’ve not been that nice.
So the South Pole is empty…
Oh, the South Pole is empty…
Yes, the South Pole is empty tonight…

The South Pole Is Empty Tonight (A Krampus Carol)

Value

The Lifesavers showed up to Sherri Hill’s apartment bright and early the morning of June 21st. Though her mother argued and protested, “She’s only 10,” both she and the Lifesavers knew that arguing was moot. Sherri was a match. That was that. Lifesaver KS-392 looking Sherri’s mother in the eyes and used her empathy training judiciously, “I understand how you’re feeling. My mother-in-law was matched last year and she took it like a true patriot: steel-eyed and stoic. You can trust us. We deal with this every day. We’ll have —” here KS-392 paused to look at her phone, “— uh…Sherri…yes, we’ll have Sherri back here tonight. It’s the Lifesaver guarantee. The clocks are always ticking for us.” 

Sherri, for her part, did not struggle with the Lifesavers. She sat in the back of the blue and and white striped van and quietly watched the trees and the joggers and the cars go by. KS-392 looked at Sherri in the rear-view mirror. “You’re doing great, Sherri. Nothing to be scared of.” Sherri replied, “I’m not scared. We learned about matching in school. Plus, momma says in our family we have take care of each other.” “Hey, that’s a great attitude to have. I’m real proud of you. We’ll have you back home in your own bed tonight and I’ll be sure to tell your momma how excited you were to give the gift of life.” “Well, I’m not excited. I’m just not scared.” Sherri turned her gaze back to the window. KS-392 said, “You know what I mean. I’ll tell your momma what a good kid you are.” “OK,” said Sherri.

KS-392 eased back in the passenger seat while KS-876 drove in silence. He was always quiet. He didn’t seem too thrown by the fact that they’d had to pick up a ten-year-old. Truth told, he’d never seem too thrown by anything as far as KS-392 could remember; the pregnant lady, the quadriplegic, the young woman so neurodivergent that they’d had to tranquilize her first. The law was the law. If you matched, you slashed. Macabre meme, but inescapable. KS-392 hated when she had to pick up kids. She’d always felt ten was too young even though they were always right back home as promised. Since becoming a Lifesaver she’d picked up 1-2 thousand matches, maybe. Only a handful of kids. No, she didn’t like it. But KS-876? Just another day in the van. She’d long-since learned not to talk with him about it.

392 had been matched herself last 4th of July. Perfect timing. Duty to God, Country, fellow Citizen. Home in time for fireworks. Her mother had been a donor before conscription, when recovery could take 4-6 days. But her mother hated the ruling. Congress knew that would be a non-starter when it came time to legislate life-saving. The impact to productivity allowed for too much corporate pushback. 392 didn’t know where her kidney had gone. Medical privacy rules and all. 392 had done what her country had asked. No complaints. No regrets. She stared at the road ahead then glanced in the rear-view toward Sherri. I wasn’t ten years old, though, damn it. God, she hated when kids got caught up in this. It complicated what she thought she was doing.

*****

Lucille von Klempf had elected to have the procedure at home. Most recipients elected to have the procedure at home. Lucille waited without a whisper, surrounded by staff, family, and the familiar soft, silky sheets that adorned her four-post bed. The hospital’s operating crew were en route as were the Lifesavers. So convenient. When the doctor told Lucille that her kidneys were going sour fast, they’d not even discussed dialysis or other available options for maintaining function. The choice was no choice and that was the right choice; to live, to live, to live. A transplant. It’s what Lucille wanted. It’s what her doctors recommended. Had the situation been reversed, surely she would have matched with a salute and a smile.

The surgery team arrived first and started by setting up their mobile station in the modest alcove that adjoined Lucille’s bedroom. The team begin to prep Lucille’s body: swabbing and sticking, taping everything in place. All activity carefully timed just for this particular instance of lifesaving. The surgery team arrived only a few minutes ahead of the Lifesavers (measured by a next-gen location tracking algorithm). This allowed for prep, sanitization, and sedation of the recipient before the surgery team split into an extraction team and a replacement team before the Lifesavers arrived. In ideal conditions, the matched were only under the knife for less than 15 minutes, since the law stipulated certain time constraints, based upon the recipient’s existing health condition, the matched’s occupation, and other such variables. Standard protocol had the procedure team sedating the recipient within 45 minutes of arrival. Standard protocol had the matched arriving between 14-23 minutes after sedation. Clocks are always ticking.

Surprisingly, today the Lifesavers were late and that meant a dock of pay for this run. $100 a minute. Clocks are always ticking.

*****

The tracking units had no visual explanation for the van’s route deviation. The van’s internal cameras had been on the fritz for over a month now. No explanation at all. And that’s how 392 felt: without explanation. Something had driven her to take over the wheel from 876. Something that she’d describe as an intuition, but which she could never explain to a court of law. Now 876 was on the floor of the van, unconscious, while 392 drove and Sherri Hill stared at her. 392 didn’t have much of a plan either. She was taking Sherri back home, albeith by a very circuitous route to avoid tipping off HQ altogether. Once HQ found out, 392 would lose control of the van. 392 wasn’t the first Lifesaver to get cold feet.

392 called out, “Hey Phone: call Mom.” The phone complied and 392’s mother answered.

“Hello, Cassie. Aren’t you supposed to be working?”

“Yes, I am working, Mom. I had to pick up a little girl today.”

“Oh – oh no. That’s – oh no. How did it go?”

“Umm…well, she’s still in the van and I’m running about 2 minutes behind schedule – aaaaand, after we get off the phone I’m going to drive her home and then I’m going to have to run. And I wanted to tell you I love you because I don’t think this will end well, however it ends.”

“Cass, this whole thing was never gonna end well, was it?”

“No. No, I suppose not. I just wanted to do the right thing – want to do the right thing. But I’m not sure I understand what that is.”

“It’s a piss-poor understanding of how right and wrong work that got us here and that’s the shame of it. Get that little girl home, Cassie. Then run. Run fast.”

“I will. I love you.”

“I love you, too.” 392 hung up the phone and looked in the rearview. “Ready to go home?”

Sherri nodded. “What are they gonna do to you?” she asked.

“I guess we’ll find out when they catch me.”

“Do I gotta run too?” Sherri asked. 

392 didn’t answer. As the van approached Sherri’s apartment, the dashboard lit up with a blue/white light and a soft voice filled the vehicle: “Auto-pilot engaged.” 392 put the van in neutral, killed the engine, and steered the vehicle to the side of the road. She jumped out of the van and into the street. She pulled on the passenger door handle but found it locked. “Climb out my door, Sherri!” 392 yelled at the deeply tinted windows. The front door slammed shut and the van’s engine sprung back to life. 392 banged on the windows and screamed. The van pulled away from the curb and 392 ran alongside it, then behind it, until the van vanished into traffic. 

From afar, 392 heard the sounds of sirens. She ran. She ran fast.

Value