Nowhere Road (from This Can’t Be All There Is)

Nowhere Road

Hey, weary traveler
Come with me tonight,
All you have to do is be a passenger.

You can recline your seat,
Roll down the window,
Maybe even get some sleep.

There won’t be anyone on the roads,
Because this is a direction nobody goes.
It’s a way that very few people seem to know,
And the ones who do know better than to take it.

I’ll take you somewhere the lines have faded
And nothing divides us, places
Go by like faces in a crowd,
Faded and drowned out.
You and I and sounds like
Tearing the sky.

I want to see the way the asphalt stretches toward the bottom of the glass,
And how surrounding towns burn down to ashes as we pass.
Watch the fog fight the defroster,
Turn our music up full blast.
And, for once, relax.

Your hands can ride the wind,
And when I want to scream I don’t have to hold it in.
In the driveway or out on the highway, we can cast aside our sins
And leave our virtues in the back seat with our vices and our whims.

If I drive fast enough,
Maybe you and I will blur together.
Maybe time stands still and lasts forever.
We can outrun our pain and all bad weather,
Catch storms in our eyes like your hair catches light.

Hey, innocent bystander.
Take me with you.
I’ll go anywhere your soul is aching to.

I’ll show you places they don’t put on maps,
Hold your hand across old railroad tracks.
We’ll go out to the edge of your heart and back,
Or over and fall forever, if you want.

Just take me somewhere the stars aren’t falling
The buses and cars stop calling
My heart isn’t walled up and cold,
Tone deaf and old.
Here we are and nothing,
No matter how far,
Can tear us apart.

This Can’t Be All There Is

I’ve been sitting on this one for far too long, and I’m excited to finally put it out there.

This Can’t Be All There Is was originally intended to be both a poetry book and a fully recorded spoken-word album. I’ve dabbled in the idea in the past, but this time, I got close. Every song was demoed, and most of them were completely finished, save for a few touch-ups, and one major aspect: the vocals. I never was able to get my voice to a place I liked or could even stand.

But I’m proud of a lot of these poems, so the book is moving forward. The album might come someday. I still have a lot of work to do before I’ll know for sure.

This Can’t Be All There Is contains 27 poems:

Wilderness
The House You Built for Me
We Were
Someday Will Eventually Come
Still
Storms
Graveyard Shift
All My Favorite Songs
Come Back
Variables
At the End of All Things
Take Me Away
When I Went to Bed
This Can’t Be All There Is
Nowhere Road
Worry
I Live Here
I Need You, Summer
Shapes and Spaces
A Long Night’s Conversation
You Harbor
Worth
KALEIDOSCOPE
Noise
Just Passing Through
Hey Sunburn
My Forever

The book will be available November 15, 2019. Its cover might change before then. I’ll also post a selection of poems on my site before release. (Keen visitors will find that a few of them have already been here for years. I promise I didn’t shoehorn them in; they were always a part of this collection. Like I said, I’ve been sitting on it for too long.)

Pre-order the digital edition here:

AmazonSmashwordsBarnes & NobleiTunes

To start things off, here’s “Nowhere Road”.

Nowhere Road

Hey, weary traveler
Come with me tonight,
All you have to do is be a passenger.

You can recline your seat,
Roll down the window,
Maybe even get some sleep.

There won’t be anyone on the roads,
Because this is a direction nobody goes.
It’s a way that very few people seem to know,
And the ones who do know better than to take it.

I’ll take you somewhere the lines have faded
And nothing divides us, places
Go by like faces in a crowd,
Faded and drowned out.
You and I and sounds like
Tearing the sky.

I want to see the way the asphalt stretches toward the bottom of the glass,
And how surrounding towns burn down to ashes as we pass.
Watch the fog fight the defroster,
Turn our music up full blast.
And, for once, relax.

Your hands can ride the wind,
And when I want to scream I don’t have to hold it in.
In the driveway or out on the highway, we can cast aside our sins
And leave our virtues in the back seat with our vices and our whims.

If I drive fast enough,
Maybe you and I will blur together.
Maybe time stands still and lasts forever.
We can outrun our pain and all bad weather,
Catch storms in our eyes like your hair catches light.

Hey, innocent bystander.
Take me with you.
I’ll go anywhere your soul is aching to.

I’ll show you places they don’t put on maps,
Hold your hand across old railroad tracks.
We’ll go out to the edge of your heart and back,
Or over and fall forever, if you want.

Just take me somewhere the stars aren’t falling
The buses and cars stop calling
My heart isn’t walled up and cold,
Tone deaf and old.
Here we are and nothing,
No matter how far,
Can tear us apart.

My Battery is Low and It’s Getting Dark

Good night, my little friend.
It may not be forever,
But for now this is the end.

You had so much to show us,
And we have so much left to learn
Beneath the light of alien moons,
In the dust you did your work.
Now it’s time to set aside your tools,
Sleep for a few decades
Until one day,
We will come for you.

Will you dream in lines of code?
Do you feel the world in gyroscopes?
Measure the distance between two breaking hearts
Refracted by the weight of a rusted world?
Do mysteries disturb your thoughts?
Would it comfort you to know
There are still those of us back home
Shedding tears for dying robots?

The hands that made and shaped you,
The fingers that typed in entries/
Pointed you where to go
Still work to find the secrets hidden in the universe,
Equations we have yet to discover,
Numbers we have yet to name.
All of everything beyond our deep blue ceiling
The laws that we have yet to know,
Began with an opportunity
To step onto another planet’s surface,
Just scope out the scenery.
I will never forget your final words to me:

“My battery is low, and it’s getting dark.”
Yet the same sun shines on both of us,
Though we are worlds apart.
We finally have the answer to one of life’s old questions:
At least, for a little while,
There was life on Mars.

Hyacinths

You held out for me
A handful of hyacinth petals
I held out in return
A handful of dust.

And when time had frozen
And all stars had settled,
All memories fading,
All worlds gone to rust

No words were spoken
No shedding of tears
Just both of us wading
Through oceans of years

What do we find
At the edge of time
But beginnings and ends
The world starting again?

I looked in your eyes
You looked back at mine
We stood at the end
Waiting for death, my oldest, dearest friend.

https://fromanovelist.bandcamp.com/track/hyacinths

Someday Will Eventually Come

Someday Will Eventually Come

There’s never been a storm that didn’t break,
Though there’ve been some we couldn’t see the end of til it came.
There’s never been a night so dark we went to bed but couldn’t wake
Or been a silence so extensive we had nothing we could say.

I know it hurts right now,
But there’s never been a problem so complex we couldn’t figure out
Or been a time so frozen still we couldn’t wait it out,
Or a word so painful you could never let it out your mouth.

And it’s okay to cry,
There’s never been a watershed so wet you couldn’t dry your eyes
Or been a dark so heavyset the sun refused to rise
Even after love so close you thought it too strong for goodbyes

You’re allowed to be happy.
There’s never been a suffering you needed an amount of,
Or been a pain so absolute it couldn’t be healed from,
And I wish that I could promise someday would eventually come

But that’s not fair to say,
There’s never been sincerity exempt from a mistake
Or been a promise so assured it couldn’t possibly break
And I am not infallible, despite how confident I stay

If I could make you better,
I’d do it right away.
But there are no diseases I can cure with my embrace,
Or wounds that I can close with all the words I softly say,
Or history I can erase by putting smiles on my face.

If I could really fix you,
I’d have done it long ago.
But there are no words I can say to force you to keep hope
And I can’t make you believe things nobody can know,
Or send you down a better road if you don’t want to go.

All that I can really do is ask you to believe,
There is happiness out there for you even if it’s not with me.
There’s never been a distance so great you couldn’t try to run,
But I hope you never stop believing someday will eventually come.

You Harbor

You Harbor

I’ve grown so tired of the sea,
This salt-stained deck beneath my feet
The endless shaking of the waves,
That swallow everything I say.

And I can see the shore,
The places that I used to know
Too shallow here to moor,
And will be forever more.

So tie the anchor around my legs,
And help me walk the plank
Watch me fall for fathoms deep,
Into a bed where I might sleep.

The seagulls cry, but not for me
And hold wakes in the foam
My ship won’t be the first to sink
Just miles from its home

I thought I saw you on the sand,
Hair blowing in the wind
I thought I saw you lift your hand,
To wave goodbye again

And I’m a ship that has no crew,
The water gods had cursed
To roam the oceans, far away
For all eternity.

So sing your song for me,
Guide my ship toward the rocks,
Send me to the bottom of the sea,
Remind me what it’s like to breathe.

Oh, Winter Morning (from Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails)

by David J. Lovato

Oh, Winter Morning

Wake to find the whitened light
Sliding through my windows
Creep across a hardwood floor
The chill of morning scrapes at my nose

Crack my door to feel a greeting kiss from the cold
Stare into a winter sunrise as it stretches all the shadows
This is the only friend and oldest friend I’ve ever known.

Listen close as everything freezes
No birds or words or slightest breezes
Only ice as it spreads across all things,
The trees and skin and all my reasons

Fall into the loneliest of seasons, never pause
The air so cold it brings the seconds to a stop
Spend the rest of my entire life inside a broken clock
Stand barefoot in the snow until my toes fall off.
Stare into the dimlit sun til I see God.

Only the winter wind could ever move my skin and bones,
They are the only vehicle my soul has ever known.
The snow will hold all sound to stillness, kill the tone
While I run back to my bed and sleep until I grow old alone.

 

from Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, available now.

Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails Available Now

Happy Leap Day, everyone!

From today my poetry collections Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails are available.

cover art by david j. lovato   cover art by david j. lovato

Build Yourself Better is a narrative poetry collection, meaning the poems tell an overall story while also standing on their own. Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails is a collection of my narrative poetry collections, and includes Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages, A Means to an Ens, Build Yourself Better, and a collection of poems originally scrapped from the above three works, titled B-Sides and Rarities.

You’ll find both available in eBook and softcover, as well as a hardcover option for Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails. Those interested in checking the books out before buying will find samples by highlighting the “Samples” link on my site’s top menu.

Store links can be found below.

Build Yourself Better
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, Smashwords, CreateSpace

Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, Smashwords, CreateSpace, Lulu (hardcover)

As always, thanks for everything.

Now and Then (from Build Yourself Better)

by David J. Lovato

Now and Then

On the ride home she was singing songs to me
I was trying to stay conscious in the passenger seat, and
I was thinking there was nowhere else I’d rather be, but
Now I’m thinking that I’d rather be right there, forever.

Now I’m sitting naked on my bedroom floor
Trying to remember what led you to the door
I won’t apologize for not being good enough,
I know it wasn’t something wrong with me, but us

From the back porch I watch the light from her window stretch across the yard.
It’s the only light in the neighborhood, the rest of the world is dark
My eyes keep trying to adjust,
The way they were always trying to get used to “us”
I don’t think they realize that darkness is the point now.

She flicked cigarettes across the pavement
The way I skipped stones across the lake, and
I was thinking there was nothing we could lose, but
Now I’m thinking I’ve lost everything.

From the office I watch the dog stare out the window and whine
I think she thinks of herself more as yours than she was ever mine
My heart keeps trying to believe
The way it’s always trying to get used to now “just me”
I don’t think it understands that belief isn’t the point anymore.

She slept softly in the bed that I had made
The way I speak softly if I ever have to say her name, and
I kept thinking maybe she’ll come back for me, but
Now I’m thinking we should exist separately.

 

from Build Yourself Better and Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, available in print and digital formats February 29th, 2016.

Down and Out (from Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails)

by David J. Lovato

Down and Out

Don’t think that I have ever held such doubt.
And lately I’ve been thinking far too much
About someone I have no right thinking about.
Is it trite to write about the weather?
Is it too cliché to just forget her?
Well there’s nothing new under the sun
So let’s forget the pretense,
I am done, I’m done, I’m done.

Don’t think that I have ever held such doubt.
And lately I’ve been thinking far too much
About someone I have no right thinking about.
Some local kids smashed my window in and
It’s been getting colder out.
So I will speak your name
And rip it from my lips,
Toss it to the flame
And I might get some sleep at night
But I will never be the same.

 

from Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, available in print and digital formats February 29th, 2016.