Icicles and Sand

by Michael Macrone

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credits

released April 19, 2016

Written, arranged, and performed by Michael Macrone.
Produced, mixed, and engineered by Rob Seidenberg.
Recorded at Waller Sound (East Austin, TX) & at home.
Mastered by Justin Weis at Trakworx.
Fiesta Red Records FR-010.

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Michael Macrone San Francisco, California

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Track Name: American Story
With New York City in the rear-view mirror,
I say, “Lord, You saved our souls, amen.”
She laughs and says to me, “Hold on, dear,
don’t celebrate having bailed again.

“What paradise will we chance upon,
crawling through Jersey on I-95?”
I grin back and say, “I’ve heard that song.
Turn up the volume and let’s harmonize:”

It’s the great American story
of rebirth and regret.
If a lesson’s learned, it’s one we soon forget.
So in the end, we’re just sorry.
(Sorry. We’re sorry.)
Track Name: Summer Sun
Summer sun beats down on the sand.
Can’t remember where it began.
I was somewhere colder
and five years older.

Seagulls diving to shore,
distant shouts blend into the roar.
Scattered mind,
thoughts unwind,
darkness seeps in from before.

Elsewhere on twilit streets
the crowds rush into the ground.
But here as the waves rise,
nobody cares why,
and lost resolutions are never found.

Time to get out of bed
if you won’t get out of your head.
Raise the blind,
strip your mind,
all the dreams you can’t forget.

Elsewhere on twilit streets
the crowds rush into the ground.
But here as the waves rise,
nobody cares why,
and lost resolutions are never found.
Track Name: Strange Courtship
She flips her hair.
He slips off the edge of his chair.
Even though he’ll never kiss her,
he already knows how much he’ll miss her.
Oh, anticipation!

She’s charming, disarming,
she’s all the words he couldn’t say.
Whatever his future once was
isn’t the life he can see having looked in her eyes.

She has a smile that slays
and a catch in her voice that betrays.
In her laugh is the epigraph
to a volume of unwritten plays.
His plots looked fine in an abstract line,
but in practice they played in reverse.
Now it’s all frustration!

Strange courtship, strained friendship,
mixed signals, awkward interludes.
Whatever he thought he knew was
clouded, unspoken, confused, and mostly untrue.

Strained friendship, strange courtship,
mixed signals, awkward interludes.
Whenever he hears her laugh he
turns and discovers that nothing is where it should be.

She’s charming, disarming,
enchanting riddles in her eyes.
As soon as he thought he knew her,
that’s when she changed and was strange and then wasn’t at all.
Track Name: Falling Leaves
The pages turn, the days grow short;
the branches shed their summer coat.
You watch them waste, and grieve.
Does time seem so unfair?
Do you cry from loss, or fear?
They’re only falling leaves, falling leaves.

Your childlike hand upon a limb,
your unpierced heart is like the spring.
You’ve yet to test belief,
but you’ll learn how few things last.
Loves unloved, friends you’ll lose
will be like falling leaves, falling leaves.

They’ll fall all year till you lose the sense
of season’s change or future tense.
Joy and pain reduce to ache,
green and brown combine to gray.

One day on paths of red and gold
you’ll think of this and know you’re old,
and curse life’s heartless thieves,
then cry for crying’s day,
what time has swept away,
with all the falling leaves, falling leaves.
All the falling leaves, falling leaves.
Track Name: Cap & Bells
The morning light in her long blonde hair,
a princess fair of the parking lot.
I got off the bus as she locked her car;
I stood still, dreaming up hopeless plots,
in my painful shoes, and my cap & bells.

She looked right past me like I wasn’t there
to the cocky knights of her suburban court,
who were armored with pride, and shielded by scorn.
I thought I should kneel, but I wasn’t sure,
in my poly plaid pants, and my cap & bells.

I hadn’t the sense to stay put in my place,
thinking masquerade was my path to grace.
So I aped their tone, and assumed their pose,
and dressed in a fancy of superior clothes.
But I couldn’t quite hide the cap & bells.

I was dizzy with want and knotted with ache
as I mounted the stage and approached the crown.
Trying to stand where I only could crawl,
I was acting the part of an oblivious clown,
a would-be hero in his cap & bells.

The vague politeness of a well-bred girl
seemed almost like honor, though cruel.
She let me play a fleeting leading role,
but the farce proved me even more a fool
for trying to twist out of cap & bells.
Track Name: Mortal Cupid
What I have done,
or what I remember doing,
pounds like a drum;
it sounds like a distant booing.

Half of it all was stupid;
half was the channel for a ghost,
the ghost of a mortal Cupid,
whose arrows would break, or bend at most.

I have a closet full of feathers, shattered shafts and twine.
And while nothing can bind them together, if it’s not divine,
they’re all that’s left of what’s mine.

How do you pray without kneeling?
How do you feel not feeling?
How many questions plague your mind?

There are sixty million Web sites
with a billion different insights.
What special knowledge can’t I divine?

I have a closet full of feathers, shattered shafts and twine.
And while no one can bind them together, if she’s not divine,
they’re all that’s left of what’s mine.

So I’m nearly blind and dumb;
all I have are my ears.
At the core I’m really just numb,
but for the melodies.

Oh I can talk and talk,
and talk and talk and talk.
But my words are only just stock—
the very clichés I used to mock.

I have a closet full of feathers, shattered shafts and twine.
And while she might bind them together, if she had the time,
they’re all that’s left of what’s mine,
of what’s mine.
Track Name: Here or Nowhere
It’s the spark that shines in your eyes,
That makes me feel something real has been recognized,
And at last I can lower my guard,
Strip the faded wrapping that covers my heart.

It’s the way you do what you do,
The quiet careless gestures and the soul that shows through,
Make me feel there’s really nothing to fear,
The past is far behind and the future is here.

In your dreams, am I there?
Are you here, or nowhere?

It’s the way you look at the world,
The pictures so alive and the colors so bold;
It’s the way you look straight ahead,
Never turning back for the lost or unsaid.

This time, I can’t be wrong,
I’ve never got this far with a feeling so strong.
Up till now I’ve been practically blind,
And half the things I saw were just in my mind.

What you see, can you share?
Are you sure, do you dare?
On your heart, do you swear?
Take me home, anywhere.

This time there’s a difference.
This time there’s a difference.
This time there’s a difference.
There’s a difference.
Track Name: She Wants Everything
She’s a girl who wants everything.
If she plays, then she plays to win.
And she knows all the standard ploys and warning signs.

Here she comes with her shot and sling,
taking aim with a wicked grin.
And you know you’re not getting out of here this time.

Oo-oo-oo, she’s set her sights on you again.
It’s getting old jumping from hole to hole
then dropping on your knees.
Maybe it’s time to stay.
Maybe it’s time you met her halfway.
It’s a worn-out play.
It’s not your day.

You’re a guy with a high IQ,
but with her you don’t have a clue.
Spinning ’round, you’re like Hamlet in a puppet show.

When you’re trapped, she’ll strip off your mask,
and you’ll crack like a looking glass,
as the little fragments of your ego fall like snow.

Oo-oo-oo, she’s set her sights on you again.
It’s getting old jumping from hole to hole
then dropping on your knees.
Maybe it’s time to stay.
Maybe it’s time you met her halfway.
It’s a worn-out play.
It’s not your day.
Track Name: Springtime
Springtime is spreading out a wing
with half-closed eyes and the other in a sling.
But to anyone who’s been trapped in ice,
March is almost paradise.

When I found you frozen to a chair,
your breath so still and your hand held in midair,
it seemed like a hesitant command,
or a sign I couldn’t understand.

Everyone’s longing for flowers and sunshine,
some scent of hope in the air.
After months of fatigue trailing years of decline,
you’ll take any change anywhere.

Each time I offered you my hand,
I found myself holding icicles and sand.
But someone who’s been mesmerized
Can’t tell appearance from disguise.

Everyone’s dreaming of sunlit evenings
And mornings safe from the frost.
But while promise of change can be so relieving,
We forget that all change has a cost.

Months cascade into years,
Years stack up like a wall,
Winter locks us in time,
Spring arrives as we fall.

Each time you offered me your heart,
I had to choose bewteen sincerity and art.
But to someone who’s been paralyzed,
Choice itself is a surprise.
Track Name: Free Fall
If you think we’re in a free fall,
you haven’t seen anything yet.
Wait for the moment we hit the wall;
then we’ll talk about guilt and regret.
Even now it’s too late,
for we’ve lost all our faith.

Our big dreams lie on the scrap heap.
That’s the story for most our friends.
Time has driven us down so deep,
we can’t pretend to care where it all ends.
All our aching is pure faking;
it’s one big emotional zero.

Here’s the truth:
we’re not going anywhere soon.
Closed doors everywhere you look,
one for every risk you took.
In the mirror you see your own foe,
whose mouth mimes “No.”

No, they won’t humor your despair.
’Cause you should know
that when you turn back they’re not gonna be there.
They’re not gonna be there for you. They’re not.
Wherever you stage this drama,
it’s a one man show.

Tell me, come on, tell me,
tell me who you were looking for.
There’s not gonna be a scene;
I’m not really here any more. You see:
When you drop expectations,
that’s when you’re gonna find some way to be free.

But now you keep on falling.
I’m not falling for you.
I’m not falling.
Track Name: Even Your Shadow Is Gone
All of the snapshots cleared off the shelf.
Sealing the last box all by myself.
Waking without you beside me at dawn,
even your shadow is gone.

Once we were spellbound, then we were cursed.
Facing a breakdown, staying was worse.
Once you were ev’rywhere, now you’ve withdrawn.
Even your shadow is gone.

Dust in a sunbeam, drifting like snow;
Lost in a daydream, numb as a stone.

Sure as a sundial marking the pain,
missing you told time, it gave me a frame.
Where do I turn to be certain I’m strong?
And now that your shadow is gone,
where is the place I belong?
Track Name: The End of a Year
Here,
at the end of a year,
as we meet to reflect back
on our doubtful career—
unclear—

it’s so blurred.
It’s like nothing occurred.
We’re inscribing a new page
With the same old words.
Meanwhile,

Cold resolutions are trails streaking the dawn
Old revolutions spin on and on.

Yes, it’s strange,
a disconcerting refrain,
but we’ve lived out the music
that made sense of the pain—
no shame.

Now here we stand,
with confetti in hand,
pledging drunken devotion
to some unformed plan.
Meanwhile,

Cold resolutions are trails streaking the dawn
Old revolutions spin on and on.

Raise a glass
to throwing dirt on the past,
and reaching out for the pale ring
just beyond our grasp.
Because

Cold resolutions are trails streaking the dawn
Old revolutions spin on and on.
Track Name: Sing, Memory
Sometimes, wondering how things changed,
I look for patterns of light and shade.
Pencil on paper to crayon on wall,
I trace my way back before the fall.

Sing, memory, soothe my worry,
carry melodies long unknown.
Most times I can’t make the journey.
Sing, memory, lead me home.

Walking alone past the trolley track,
drugstore-bound for the spinner rack.
Happily sad as the days grow cool,
pale gray skies and it’s back to school.
Standing at dawn in the spitting rain,
dreading the bus and those laughs again.

Sing, memory, soothe my worry,
let me lie here content, alone.
Most times I can’t make the journey.
Oh, memory, lead me home.

Sunday bells play a mornful hymn,
stained glass virgins and seraphim.
Black of night and there at my bed,
a guardian angel points at my head.

Sing, memory, soothe my worry,
sing the melodies now unknown.
Most times I can’t trace the journey.
Oh, memory, lead me home.

Pencil on paper to crayon on wall,
I trace my way back before the fall.
Sometimes, wondering what went wrong,
I catch an echo of childhood song.
Track Name: Someone Else's Fantasy
Echoes of the day fill my dreams with anxious melodies
Sirens wail in a minor key.
I’m trapped in a crowd, and lonely.
No one hears me.

Pushing through the bodies I reach a clearing
Open space and a black frontier.
I turn around and a light snaps on me
As people stare, I have this feeling.

If you pound the floor in an airless room,
Does it make a sound? Can you see the humor?
The key to the door is right in your hand
You’re where you chose to be:
In someone else’s fantasy.

I’m not ready for auditions or confession, so I’d like to go.
Everybody seems to think I want a part in the show.
There were times when I knew what dreams are for.
Once I made a good talker, but not anymore.

When will I sound from the silence that contains me?
Would you hear me? Could you speak to me?
Voices over voices overlapping in a harmony,
Sirens wailing like they knew what would become of me.

If you pound the floor in an airless room,
Does it make a sound? Can you see the humor?
The key to the door is right in your hand
You’re where you chose to be:
In someone else’s fantasy.