Counter Intelligence

by Carl Hauck

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05:35
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(free) 00:25
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credits

released February 24, 2008

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Carl Hauck Chicago, Illinois

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Track Name: They Come in Flocks...
The furniture observing
Nocturnal creatures lurking
As a gentle sir battles worn
Temptations

Whispers from her daddy
Echo in the attic
As a needed cue to maintain
A distance

The seasons come and go
But they never change

The adjustments much too frequent
Recent memories a beacon
But the grade is fairly dicey
And we’re sliding

Brain to limbs, brain to limbs
The busy signal rings
As the target sighs
And contritely ceases fighting

Don’t stay here, darling
You can’t stay here

The doorway’s looking lonely
And the pathway cold and stony
So they peel the bandage slowly
It can’t hurt to bleed again

Skin to skin, skin to skin
This indifference is a sin
But the characters and colors
Failed to entertain

Don’t stay here, darling
You can’t stay here

Are we really here again
Where every detail rings a bell
Are we really here again
Where the word “cliché” describes itself

Uh oh
Track Name: Milt the Stilt
You gouge the right eye of your infants
And seat them high on a cloud
To gaze at one hand of your savior
Is their ignorance what you’re so proud of?
You condemn the rind of an apple
As obstructing your conscience so white
You curse every rib of that first wicked soul
But pity yourself for your providential plight

I want fruit in my garden
A tart behind my wife
I want hell below heaven
I want death with my life
Isn’t the option beautiful?

You admire your children’s sheltered virtue
But they haven’t yet raced through the dust and the heat
Don’t mistake innocence for purity
I say put them on trial, cast them out on the street
Let’s watch their superior reason
Compete with new appetite
I’ll gamble my chips that they’ll side with the devil
Oh, what a fascinating sight

I want fruit in my garden
A tart behind my wife
I want hell below heaven
I want death with my life
Isn’t the option beautiful?

Carnal tongues flashing in a whirlwind of passion
A perpetual complacency
Coveting chattel in spite of the means
A commune in landscape so green
Thick, juicy venison, straight to the ventricles
A mind and a body so clean
Jealousy driving to injure or kill
A temper eternally serene

I want fruit in my garden
A tart behind my wife
I want hell below heaven
I want death with my life
Isn’t the option beautiful?
Track Name: Herrick, You Devil!
I paid to look at silverware with strangers
One forced a dance as I stood still
She opened up, releasing shrill
Appreciation for carnality
We rode to Alcatraz, eating airborne cake
The driver said there’s no escape
The only choice to accept the rape
Awaiting under navy blue covers

Was it a venture for mutual healing or a quest for bragging rights,
A convenient copulation to put the icing on the night?

A salesman brought us buccaneers and strippers
As perception fought the drink
He told me everything to think
Coercing my eyes and mind to wander
In a daze I headed for the coat rack
To leave that brothel behind
But a tug at my arm, a curious sigh
Was determined to follow

Was it a venture for mutual healing or a quest for bragging rights,
A convenient copulation to put the icing on the night?

By request I arranged for her utensil
In strictly unspoken agreement
In movements so vehement
We forgot who each other used to be
In the morning, it was simply all a dream
There was no translator needed
The past just memories created
Oh, the euphemist in me
Track Name: Zhuangwho
A child wrapped in wonder, staring wide-eyed at the sky
Guided by a weathered man quoting billboard lies
Skylarks soar among silver sheets with glowing seams
Over fragments of corruption held aloft by rusted beams

A vendor selling seeds to men to plant for future Eden
While his stock boys in the cellar stir cement
Is this balance perpetual, and progress just conceptual?
Will hunger always call a hand to feed it?

Though scoreboards speak of dynasty
And cracked pillars whisper ruin
There’s a boardwalk between air and sea
That sings a different tune
Give it all the time you want
An era or an instant, but for each
Shot of hyperbole
There’s a pond somewhere to chase it

Pouring through magazines, examining the shells
Forcing study of anatomy, new philosophies of hell
A solid tone blends with many songs of utter dread
Butch and Sundance leave the building, twenty-seven dead

Oh, the joy of riding trains and taking aim at roaming horses
The rationale arcane, unexplained by any source
Is it boredom with contentment or implicit self-defense,
Or frustration with the imagery no longer making sense?

Though scoreboards speak of dynasty
And cracked pillars whisper ruin
There’s a boardwalk between air and sea
That sings a different tune
Give it all the time you want
An era or an instant, but for each
Shot of hyperbole
There’s a pond somewhere to chase it

As ventricles and vessels clog with nuts and bolts galore
Extra condiments and toppings aren’t the problems anymore
Who needs tears or feelings with assurance of stability?
Veins for shielded cables, brains for spreadsheet tables

Only in this place could one score locker room blow
Abstain from lucid inquiry when it would surely hurt to know
An absence of dignity and surprising lack of shame
Unannounced, Unprovoked, not easy to refrain from

Though scoreboards speak of dynasty
And cracked pillars whisper ruin
There’s a boardwalk between air and sea
That sings a different tune
Give it all the time you want
An era or an instant, but for each
Shot of hyperbole
There’s a pond somewhere to chase it
Track Name: Fragility
Persistence, a murderer when reason drops its guard
The flesh of time left ravaged, the hands and fingers marred
Oh, to love a strange face, in its passing brevity
It’s a forced resignation to a voyeur’s tendencies
For fear of all the world’s empty adjectives
It’s our name, it’s our name, that we’re harboring
Candor’s youthful sentiments remain in thoughts unspoken
The fragile is only noticed when it’s broken
Track Name: Detail Man
A photo op, a timely speech
Set upon the carved debris
Of the metal graveyard’s scenery
A wholesale slaughter’s guaranteed

A warning that the enemy
Ain’t your average ass jockey
He wears polo shirts and denim jeans
And an explosive heart up his sleeve

Lock him up, lock him in
Scan the landscape for his kin
Give that worn-out title
New meaning

The sultry scent of evergreen
Diffusing from the gasoline
With a stifled conscience, life is sweet
The outside world is your latrine

The only soldier drafted
Is the prisoner upstairs
And we’re no longer asking
We’re dictating our prayers

The sole thing that we’re certain of is that He’s on our side
But we’ve never thought of His side, we never took the time
So we’ll ask that old library clerk
To find a chapter and a verse
Corresponding with our work
And on our bombs we’ll paint the words
To whom this may concern
Keep turning that cheek
This earth is for the strong
And death is for the meek
Track Name: The Rebel
Bloodshed is glorious – a draftee’s delusion
Fostered by Hollywood and faith in the union
He packed up his scrapbook, said farewell to his mother
Now he had not a home, just a new band of brothers
Sam was his new Lord, whose mercy was phony
A carbine his lover, the trigger her quoniam
Blue waters shrank beneath as Wagner resounded
Yet he was only a pawn, in servitude grounded

Dear young Rebel, bow to your uncle
Raise up the flag, support it from underneath
Don’t worry, Rebel, they’ll bring you back home soon
Parades and medals for your platoon

What are we doing here? He started wondering
With the natives never tiring, the weapons always firing
From somewhere in the distant brush; the Rebel swore he’d had enough
If only he knew what was coming
Deep in the jungle his company was creeping
They saw up ahead a yellow boy weeping
A soldier moved in, and the little boy ran
It was too late by then; they saw the black on his hands
On top of a land mine the soldier was broiled
By gunpowder made on American soil
From the charred melted flesh came a series of cries
Like “Have mercy, Lord!” and “Sweet Jesus Christ!”

Oh, dear Rebel, war sure ain’t pretty
But you must remember the investments of Washington D.C.
Those who die are heroes, but those who run are rotten
Hang in there, Rebel, and you’ll never be forgotten

That same night, the orders came through
From a faceless man over the radio:
“There’s a little town about a mile west
Take supplies, burn the buildings down, and you know the rest”
Well, the Rebel knew it wasn’t his choice
A gear in a machine doesn’t get a voice
The soldiers conserved their ammunition
And slit every yellow throat in sight—a successful mission
It’s a funny thing, killing those you’ve never met
So the Rebel laughed aloud as his insides wept, screaming,
“All you yellow bastards, I hope you’ve seen what we can do
When you fuck with freedom—there’ll be red, black, and blue”

Oh, dear Rebel, I’m afraid you’re going mad
When killing gets personal, you know it’s getting bad
You see, war's a business and your country needs control
Of your mind, of your body, of your heart, and your soul
Don’t you get nostalgic for your welcome mat’s allure
'Cuz home ain’t coming soon, you got another tour

More rounds exchanged, wounds exchanged, and deaths exchanged
The birds exchanged glances, and declared men insane
Morale was getting low on the good guys’ side
The Rebel fighting merely to save his own life
Well, the reaper was so busy collecting all the souls,
That he overlooked dear Rebel, but war still took its toll
You could see the skull behind his eyes, and his words were but a few
When the men in suits shook his hand and said “I’m proud of you”
A nation polarized, each side holding its own
Some blindly waving flags, some blindly throwing stones
The Rebel watched and wondered if there’d ever be a point
In crying out for peace as long as man was minting coins

Oh, dear Rebel, men will be men
The important thing right now is to get back to your friends
And your aging mother too, I’m certain she misses you
Try to smile wide for her, don’t you let her see inside

The Rebel didn’t smile when the landlord gave the news
His mother was evicted when she couldn’t pay the dues
So he interviewed the neighbors, their answers only varied
Yet he found what he was looking for in a brief obituary
“A widow, fifty-two, died from cancer of the lung
Fighting bravely overseas is her single loving son”

And he’s been feeling sorry ever since
Can only place the blame on the Charlies and the Dinks
Those people passing by on winter afternoons
They curse him for his laziness, and drop a dime or two
Once he earns eleven-fifty, he can buy a fifth of whiskey
A temporary blanket from the ever-icy stares
He isn’t proud of killing men, but content with killing time
He doesn’t need your pity, only money for cheap wine

Dear old Rebel, keep telling your tale
Passing sighs and pickup lines, slurred words that seem to sail
It don’t matter where your eyes are, glazed and robbed of rest,
When your mind’s drifting to a dusty heaven in the warmth of the Southwest
Track Name: Selfish Duet
Left a chalk self-portrait on her mattress
Then cleansed my skin in the rain
The streetlamps and lobbies just listen
Must be the moonlight that beckons again and again

Calendar countdowns and train station shifts
White sheets lay under the true candidate
Confession in murmurs and indisposed sighs
Truth’s in the once-blue, now graying eyes

Bindings and bookmarks soiled in the prints
Of covetous fingers dipped in black ink
The authors are harlots citing their shame
As the reason for tossing their works in the flames

A guardian’s ghost framed in the pane
Under rustling of satin, intervention in vain
With the pretext of speakers and lavender lights
A selfish duet crescendos in time

Early April showers and mahogany hair curls
Draw crimson from under the skin
The band-aids and bracelets just masking
The sole thing that ever touched her within

In the darkest of backyards, on sanitized grass
The nurse lays aside her own ailing past
Reception in silence, culmination in gags
With awkward young smiles, this walk is our last
Track Name: Schmaltz
They deployed the cameras, and the world turned kind
It’s easy to be a saint when you got them judging all the time
They wore their masks for hiding, we wore our own for showing
And at 12:01 on New Year’s morning, by God, it started snowing

Remember when we weren’t thinking, honey,
Of consequences, of hidden fences, but everything but?

They hid the truth until the truth turned pretty, then told it every chance they got
Like playing cards at a filthy bar where the frescos tell of Camelot
They studied dictionaries while we read obituaries
Severed tales of ups and downs, neighbors we never cared about

Remember when we were jaded, honey?
We moved like distant globes, and we always came around

They found one facedown in the gutter with whiskey in his veins
He slept for days and days and days until they tucked him in to stay
With discount ink on ragged paper, creased up at the fold
We wrote a letter with bloody prints, he was more than 54 years old

Remember when we were outraged, honey?
We’d pull the car into a parking lot and sort things out

A flutter in the eye of the stranger in the casket
As the sound of youth jingled around the room
It mocked our civil decency, and sent us back home thinking
About forgetting all our deadlines, at least for a day or two

But we returned to yelling mindless insults sealed by rubber grips
And we plotted the death of the man across the hall
We dulled our senses and forced pretension, cursing petty things
But sharpened words spoken out of turn did nothing to the government

Remember when we were drifting, honey,
Away from walks and dismal talks about who was better off?

Remember when we were happy, honey?
Neither do I
Track Name: ...And Their Hair Looks Like Flocks
Let’s not watch the sky, let’s watch the smokestacks
So God will ask us how to earn our wonder back
Well if He can breathe up there, in that ungodly air,
I’d be amazed

We’ll ax the trees, but polish all the flagpoles
Glory is found in skin and bones, not the soul
So my faith is in some government that I don’t really follow
But it fights my wars and prays my prayers, what else should I care about?

We’ll travel to the gallows with our parents
To marvel at all the lovely ornaments
Some are fated to hang, but fortunate I stand
Asking “Why destroy creation?” Because we can

And though He don’t deserve it, it may be worth it
We’ll turn the tables and kill the Lord in man’s name
Well I’m sure He’d crucify Himself for peace to be eternal
A compromise for incompetence, Lord, what a shame

Now that I’m done sinning, I’ll go back to my place
Forget these words, forget this face
Time again to merge with the apathetic chant
I applaud you, Luther, but I for one recant