A Small Universe

by Bill Michalski

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1.
In the small universe of your apartment and your office and the empty bed you once shared You’re losing light as it spirals inward to a mass from which nothing can escape And it appears invisible to your office-mates and the mailman and the television but not to me She’s falling, falling, falling hard into her little black hole And even hope and faith cannot escape the gravity of her little black hole I worked so long to recapture my gravity and levity through years of spinning on this earth But when I talk you don’t listen Just another white male An authority, with quick fix A prescription So I fall back helpless trying to understand, trying to comprehend your theory of negativity that’s pulling me in I’m falling, falling, falling hard into her little black hole And even hope and faith cannot escape the gravity of her little black hole You open up your textbook, You’ll believe anything you read Except for what you need, ‘cause that’s what makes you bleed In the small universe of your apartment, front room, and the empty couch you once shared The compact glow of the TV collapsing any idea how you got there She’s falling, failing, falling hard into her little black hole And even hope and faith cannot escape the gravity of her little black hole
2.
We emptied all the bottles in your beautiful apartment With the snow outside and the dying Christmas tree We emptied all the bottles, we were feeling good and strong And I was playing you songs on the guitar all night long All night long, we were singing All night long, and you said, If I had a boat, I’d invite you on it And we’d sail out on a frozen lake Don’t know how far we’d go Take it easy and slow You could learn to live with me I’d learn to live with you Walking to the train from your beautiful apartment Bundled up but a little embarrassed Trying to read into your looks Trying to read into your glances Like paging through a book, It’s all that you can do When you’re not taking any chances Looking out on your sparkling city Gently swaying, softly rocking Trying on a new life Trying on a new start So far away from home, Could you help me play that part?
3.
A warm hand on a cold bottle from a fridge in a neon-lit store Warm light on a dark road I’ve been driving all night The store smells like coffee and Pinesol They’ve got pills to keep you up all night But I only have a few hours more Roll down the window, doing fine Girl behind the counter Underneath the cigarettes She’s pretty, kinda, she mostly looks lost As she sips on a coffee And pages through a magazine Well it’s the same old story with me But it’s the only one I’ve got so I’m gonna tell it I’ve got her voice, but I lost her face, Somewhere out on the road Faraway, but I hear her music It’s hard to sing the blues when you get a break So if you’re blessed, you better take it So i’ll drive it as far as it can go Girl behind the counter Underneath the cigarettes She’s pretty, kinda, underneath the makeup As she opens up the register And never even looks in my face Nights like these Everything is open My life lays before me so I can see it East to West Left to Right Years go by in a night All the stations on the left of the dial Fade in and fade out of the static
4.
I should have been born eight years before Written on the wall or a dorm room door Chiming through a stereo cassette All my hopes, my fears, and regrets And how much better it would get When I was young and full of grace I’d steal away to a sacred place Of older sisters and faraway towns Bad neighborhoods and brand new sounds The first step onto holy ground Morrissey and Michael Passed down on a mix tape Natalie and David played for you The mistress of the floppy bangs I always wanted to be like you To have your friends, your shirt, your shoes Make it up as you go along In the basement, your own songs There’s no question you belong Is this heaven where we are? Driving around in your mother’s car Tell me about your cousins’ band You’re the only one who can Only we could understand I should have been born eight years before I wouldn’t be lonely anymore See the bangs fall in your eyes Feel that song begin to rise RISE Natalie and David played for you Emily and Amy, Kate and Cindy sang for you Robert, Kim, Andy, and Billy did it too Paul, John & John, Black Francis they all knew...
5.
It’s you and me and my conscience makes three Wanna meet you in my bedroom window I’m over my head, let’s just talk instead Wanna meet you in my bedroom window All day long I’m humming a song for you Your face drifts away no matter how hard I try to make it stay Who’s that laying next to me? Wanna meet you in my bedroom window Is it up to me to get your buttons free? Better meet you in my bedroom window You’re humming my song but your face is wrong, it’s true But, baby, I’ve got imagination for you Plump in the middle, rough around the edges Wanna meet you in my bedroom window Is this more to you than it is to me? Won’t you meet me in my bedroom window? It’s you and me and my conscience makes three Wanna meet you in my bedroom window It’s over my head, let’s just kiss instead Won’t you meet me in my bedroom window What do you see when you look at me Tell me! But you just lay there sleeping next to me It’s you and me and my conscience makes three one, two, three
6.
04:33
Girl, someday, you’re gonna be fat Yeah, you’re gonna be fat Can you believe I said that You can tell by your arms A little flabby and slack Yeah, you’re getting old There’s no turning back And it’s a given you’ll end up looking like your mom A terrible trick to find that your youth is gone But who’s gonna love you then? Could it be me? Who’s gonna love you then? and let it all be Who’s gonna love you then? Could it be me? In our easy chairs, could we be company? Some guys like a girl who’s curvy and tall Some guys like a girl with no chest at all And the girls don’t mind our growing gut Which grows a little bigger every time we hit this rut And it’s a given you’ll end up six feet underneath the ground A terrible trick to look around and find a friend gone Here’s where it all starts On wooden chairs Reading magazines in the TV glare Waitin’ for the word to come on in Hey little champ, now your game begins Girl someday, you’re gonna be fat Yeah you’re gonna be fat Can you believe I said that You can tell by your arms A little flabby and slack Yeah you’re getting old There’s no turning back And it’s a given you’ll end up looking like your mom A terrible trick to find that your youth is going going going going going gone

credits

released April 1, 2011

All songs by Bill Michalski
Produced by Bill Michalski and Steve Hoover
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Steve Hoover
at Steve Hoover Productions, Edwardsville, IL
September 2010–January 2011

All sounds made by Bill Michalski and Steve Hoover except where noted.
Generally, Bill played guitars, harmonica, various percussion, some synths, and sang.
Generally, Steve played bass guitar, keyboards, and
programmed the drums as Bill looked over his shoulder.

Promotional photos by Darren Snow

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Bill Michalski Saint Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, MO songwriter Bill Michalski exorcises his demons in his new EP, CRANKY. By (almost) entirely eschewing the acoustic guitar in favor of electric and working with a crack live rhythm section, Michalski's songs reach a new level of energy. Mr. Michalski has been recording and performing music since his high school days in 1993. CRANKY is his first non-single release since 2013. ... more

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