The Simplest

by Jo Kroger

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1.
Smoke 05:14
You made me feel like a catch-phrase unspoken, waiting for design You made me feel like a forgotten table for two with a “reserved” sign I’ve been engaged in a game of “Mr. Cellophane” waiting for you to make up your mind You made me feel like a plate of leftovers stuck in the back of the drawer You made me feel like a napkin phone number stuck to the barroom floor And I’ve been quietly contemplating why I’ve been waiting to walk out that door It’s a slow burn, watching the flame flicker out There’s a hiss as I tip the water to douse the dying ember still trying to remember that once we were on fire It doesn’t know, nobody told it you’re gone - that you’re smoke on the rise. You made me feel like slice of truck tire brushed to the side of the road. The kind you swerve so you won’t run it over, knowing your own might explode. But I am not full of spikes and metal. You run, you bet you’ll be sorry when you get home. It’s a slow burn, watching the flame flicker out There’s a hiss as I tip the water to douse the dying ember still trying to remember that once we were on fire It doesn’t know, nobody told it you’re gone - that you’re smoke on the rise. Hush little darling, don’t be shy. Mama’s gonna sing you a lullabye. I got two strong hands and no good plans. It’s a slow burn, watching the flame flicker out There’s a hiss as I tip the water to douse the dying ember still trying to remember that once we were on fire It doesn’t know, nobody told it you’re gone - that you’re smoke on the rise.
2.
hey mom, got a problem on the other line. Yeah, mom, I'm doing fine. Someone's waiting. I'm hesitating. Call you back when everything's all right "Everything's okay. Everything's fine," you said when we woke up. Clay chips on the table. Wet glass on the floor. Everything's okay. I got a problem with last night. I got a problem with last night. I got a problem with your suicide attempts and the way they break my skin. It's sinking in. Do you remember, mom, that June through September when I tasted gravel. I tasted gravel. And Jamie had to sneak out in the night from the man with the double tall, double wide trailer and such bad intentions? Hey, I got a call on the other line... Now you got tears Now you're so sorry You broke your own heart, babe. But it's my teeth on the table It's my hands on the floor Everything's okay. I got a problem with last night. I got a problem with last night. I got a problem with your suicide attempts and the way they break my skin. It's sinking in. Gotta move on, move on, before you try to prove one more point with your joints up in the air and my hair against the wall. Gotta take this call 'cause tomorrow I'm gone to any other hell but this one. Hey, mom, hey. Got on a plane. Headed out to L.A. Be back home in December. Tell the kids I miss them. Hope you're having a good day.
3.
Simplest 03:57
Simple as syrup Simple as syrup Crystallizing and breaking to pieces in my hands Add a little heat and see what happens if you add a little heat to the sweet, it will crystallize and break apart in my hands Take a number and jot it down jot it out you’re gonna find out I’m a little bit more than a smile Didn’t you hear, I thought that you heard, there ain’t nobody still calls me Johanna I left Johanna back in Cincinnati with a worn out copy of “Blonde on Blonde” Take me back to California where the girls are pretty and the boys are pretty And the sun is pretty, but you don’t need a soul, so I fit in And get me back to New York city where the streets are pretty cause the streets are gritty And the sun in the sky sets the buildings on fire and I can’t win. But I’ve always got hope once I get to the Coasts cause I can always jump into the ocean and go down … I don’t know how to do this any other way So you got the number. You had your luck, you called it up Well now you’re fucked, cause it’ll break apart in my hands Take me back to California where the girls are pretty and the boys are pretty And the sun is pretty, but you don’t need a soul so I fit in And get me back to New York city where the streets are pretty cause the streets are shitty And the sun in the sky sets the buildings on fire and I can’t win. But I always got hope once I get to the Coasts I always got hope once I get to the coasts yeah I always got hope once I get to the coasts Cause I can drown. Oh I always got hope once I get to the Coasts, cause I can always jump into the ocean and go down … Simple as… the simplest. The simplest.
4.
I’m a cold, cold sliding glass door I’m a February 2nd saying, “6 weeks more” I’m a rainfall falling down your window pane I’m a patch of black ice and a red wine stain But you. You’re a radiator hot enough to make me slide the window up at negative nineteen Melt me Melt me down Break me open til the snowdrops come climbing out the ground Melt me Be my spring Be my summer Make me feel something. Make me feel something. And you. You’re a thousand shattered colors from a chandelier You’re the sun through the clouds when the sky starts to clear But I. I’m like mercury, the metal that’ll never be settled in one solid piece again Melt me. Melt me down Break me open til the snowdrops come climbing out the ground Melt me Be my spring Be my summer Make me feel something. I wanna feel. And oh, I know, it’s gonna hurt. You’re just a child with a magnifying glass and it burns. And oh, I don’t know. Will I turn from a cold block of coal to a fire? Will I learn? Will I ever learn? Melt me. Melt me down Break me open til the snowdrops come climbing out the ground Melt me Be my spring Be my summer Make me feel something. You make me feel something.
5.
Well I woke from a dream last night where the hills were in color and you were made of straw You just needed one thing to make you feel better just needed a brain that would not throw a clot Well I woke from a dream last night where the trees were in color and you were made of tin You just needed one thing to make you feel all right just needed a heart that would not cave in So I’m ready now, I’m ready now to click my heels three times Oh are you better? Are you better? Are you all right? So I’m ready now I’m ready now to click my heels three times Oh are you better? Are you better? Can we go home? To before the storm Well I woke from the dream last night and the colors faded with the morning and the world was black and white. You bore me in August. You thought I’d be strong. You thought I’d be strong. Well, you thought wrong. Turns out that I’m just a coward and a liar. So I’m ready now, I’m ready now to click my heels three times Oh are you better? Are you better? Are you all right? So I’m ready now, I’m ready now to click my heels three times Oh are you better? Are you better? Can we go home? To before the storm. Behind curtains in every hall are old fools with blinking machines who say they know what you need, but I know what you need was lost long ago in the storm in the wind in between in the dream So I’m ready now I'm I'm ready now I'm ready now, I am I'm ready now I'm ready, can we go? So I’m ready now, I’m ready now to click my heels and go Oh are you better? Are you better? Can we go? Can we go? To before the storm. To before the storm. To before.

credits

released March 25, 2016

Jo Kroger- Vocals and Acoustic Guitar
Dalton Deschain - Vocals and All Other Instrumentation
"Smoke" Intro - Niall Connolly
Produced by Dalton Deschain and Jo Kroger
Recorded and Mixed at Kill Infinity Studios by Dalton Deschain
Mastered by Oscar Zambrano at Zampol Productions
Photography by Todd France Photography
Design by Mark Larson
All Music and Lyrics © 2015 Jo Kroger (BMI)

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