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Faulty Gems

by Hank Stone

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1.
All the love we see is the love we show All the love we see is the love we show Don’t go, don’t go Don’t go, baby don’t go All the love we hear is the love we say All the love we hear is the love we say Please stay, oh stay Please stay, why don’t you stay Heaven lets the love fall down We sweep it up right off the ground The world needs another love song like it needs a hole in the head. Will the night sky even notice One more star? They may be beautiful They may be inspiring But inconsequential is what they truly are Still I love you I love you It’s a drop in the bucket in the ocean of love But I will sing I love you in hopes it will be heard by the stars above Heaven lets the love fall down We sweep it up right off the ground All the love we take is the love we give All the love we take is the love we give Let’s live, let’s forgive Let’s live, and forgive
2.
I don’t believe in ghosts Or things that I cannot see But what scares me the most Is that ghosts seem to believe in me So when I climb the attic stairs I always turn on the light. I don’t want to be caught unawares By things that go bump in the night. I’m not superstitious, but I’m not taking chances the devil he dances with those who are unaware There is a story in my hometown. They tell it on Halloween. As the crescent moon went down. A hand in front of your face could not be seen Two brothers, aged twelve and thirteen Heard a blood-chilling sound Like a steam-driven zombie machine Then they fell into a hole in the ground I’m not superstitious, but I’m not taking chances the devil he dances with those who are unaware We live in enlightened times Demons have been cast out Reason suffuses our rhymes But we are nursing this lingering doubt Shadows conceal motion In the corners of our eyes Sometimes I get a great notion Something’s yearning to materialize I’m not superstitious, but I’m not taking chances the devil he dances with those who are unaware
3.
I woke up with a headache Heard a commotion like falling dominos Felt confused, One thing is for certain: That little Irishman punched me in the nose Now you can say it’s a lie but I’ll swear it was true on the fingers of my left hand Last night I played rhythm guitar in the band of Van the man… I looked around for some sympathy all I got from the bassist and drummer were shrugs maybe he thought i was unprofessional maybe he heard I was on drugs Now you can say it’s a lie but I’ll swear it was true on the fingers of my left hand Last night I played rhythm guitar in the band of Van… I’ve always loved his music don’t know why he would treat me this way and I still love his music and I’m hoping he’ll still call me to play If it’s any consolation He picked on the piano player too Smacked the Steinway on his way to the microphone shouted out “No sevenths!” as he grabbed his saxophone This is more like heavy metal than rhythm and blues Broken strings and blood on my shoes Now you can say it’s a lie but I’ll swear it was true on the fingers of my left hand Last night I played rhythm guitar in the band of Van the man…
4.
Pieta in New York 1-Figures in the stone, The chisel reveals What his eye has seen, What everybody feels With glory to Him above It’s a sin to seek fame The sculptor regrets Signing his name Mary holds him With a marble arm How can a mother Keep her child from harm? Oh Pietà, Exemplar of grief A gleaming foundation On which to build belief 2-The nations gathered In a meadow park To demonstrate progress And banish the dark The venerated icon Conveyed to the world of youth Parading before me As unprovable truth 3-The statue made the journey Four thousand miles by sea Michelangelo’s creation In the land of the free Once he walked on water As a fisher of men Now in a waterproof tomb He’s sailing home again Mary holds him With a marble arm How can a mother Keep her child from harm? Oh Pietà, Exemplar of grief A gleaming foundation On which to build belief
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Astral Mole 08:26
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You might say she’s 2/3 of a devil: She lives at number 66, Ubering with daddy’s master card Usually a Honda, sometimes a Mercedes Benz Eyes fixed on her Samsung Photo apps with all the filter tricks Using the roadhouse wi-fi for her instagram Unfriending the unfriendliest of friends At the roadhouse on the turnpike At the roadhouse on the turnpike It ain’t quite heaven or hell Just a place the devil seems to like Here comes her future boyfriend or whatever Mini Cooper crammed with Sam Ash gear He bristles when he’s called a Clapton-wannabe There’s 30 years of chops behind that axe Now if this was a movie they would meet cute She would whack him with a pool cue, sorry dear She’d help him from the floor, both seeing birdies Then nurse his tender bruises with ice packs At the roadhouse on the turnpike At the roadhouse on the turnpike It ain’t quite heaven or hell Just a place the devil seems to like Who says generations cannot get together? Bartenders see it all the time You’ll never write the best-seller story of your life If you stay at home playing with yourself He will surely give her tips at 8-ball She’ll inspire his rhythm and his rhyme The devil’s in the details, in the bottom of a bottle And no-one here is paying for top shelf At the roadhouse on the turnpike At the roadhouse on the turnpike It ain’t quite heaven or hell Just a place the devil seems to like
10.
Oh my children hear my tale Danger lurks in the rivers and lakes Sparkling lures will dazzle your eyes What I’ve seen still gives me the shakes Swim carefully Don’t take the bait It will pull you from the water to the fire to the dinner plate Oh my children, listen to me Don’t dismiss what they teach you in the school Sinister lines dangle in the tranquil pool You’ll be raptured through the surface into an unknown world Swim carefully Don’t take the bait It will pull you from the water to the fire to the dinner plate Up there, there are monsters of a walkable sort They call it “fishing,” they call it a sport Oh my children, if you should disappear Don’t expect us to wait here by and by If you’re caught and released, It’s just because they’re looking for bigger fish to fry That’s why we swim carefully We don’t take the bait It will pull you from the water to the fire to the dinner plate Swim carefully Don’t take the bait It will pull you from the water to the fire to the dinner plate
11.
Gasoline Bill He’s gonna take his fill Without him you may never get up that hill Gasoline Bill “Get a horse!” Said the lady with the boots on her feet Wading through the horseshit covering the street “Your evil machine is belching fumes; It fouls the air that it consumes!” “My dear lady, your bonnet’s a-buzz With my beeswax! This vehicle does what it does In superior fashion to your vaunted beast! Our city’s commerce shall be much increased!” Gasoline Bill He’s gonna take his fill Without him you may never get up that hill Gasoline Bill This character says we’re unsafe at any speed! Have you been on an airplane? That’s where you’ll need To strap things down so they don’t fly about, As all the passengers flail and shout! Senator if we’re forced to put seat belts in our automobile Folks won’t feel safe when they’re behind the wheel It’s an alien conspiracy to stifle liberty Here, take this packet, it’s a little something from me. Gasoline Bill He’s gonna take his fill Without him you may never get up that hill Gasoline Bill We have filled in the marshes and dammed all the streams It’s the fulfillment of our utopian dreams Trains followed the rivers and the Indian trails But highways are less restrictive than rails I can drive anywhere that I goddamn please In my all wheel drive I can even climb trees… I ain’t goin’ electric even if it’s built Ford tough, “Cause you ain’t got a power cord long enough Gasoline Bill He’s gonna take his fill Without him you may never get up that hill Gasoline Bill
12.
The Straightened Question (9 July 2021) My shoegaze shuffle, my muddled mark My every move a slouching question While from the rafters like a lark Exclamation was his suggestion ! CHORUS:A question mark is a crooked exclamation Like a scarecrow unsure of itself in the field No-one expects a perfect explanation Stand up straight, your purpose will be revealed His finger pointed at the moon His language was a loving labor Our singing saints are gone too soon Why must I miss my distant neighbor? CHORUS The cattle stampede through the thorns We are not cowed by their expression  We take the bull crap by the horns We are an answer not a question  CHORUS
13.
Civic Allure 04:53
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15.
I Confess 02:57
I confess, I stole them: Those beautiful bubble gum cards With photos of our heroes In candid shots, or posed With guitars at the ready, Those mop top British bards, I left the five and dime in a rush, Pirated booty undisclosed. I confess, I scotchtaped them To the Masonite pegboard That hung above my basement desk Where homework was done with haste Before I investigated the usefulness Of a well-placed 2 chord They made a marvelous Mondrian mosaic Alongside the 45 sleeves I defaced and now the statute of limitations has long ago passed and two of our heroes have also passed and so i will confess that I would not be the man I am today if it had not been for them It’s been a hard day’s night here comes the sun it don’t come easy but i’ve just seen a face I can’t forget the times or places in my life
yes it is oh yes help me believe in yesterday I feel fine and and I will confess I would do it again I confess quite easily I’d take a thing that isn’t mine and display it in my lair for it feels like i am part of them and they are part of me and when it comes to art and love everything is fair

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Demos , works in progress, etc

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released January 28, 2023

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Hank Stone New York

Most excellent songwright. Interpretive singer and guitarist. Harmonica hobbyist.

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