The Minimum

from by Paul Kerschen

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these keys don't fit the locks
the locks don't fit the doors
the doors don't keep anything out
who's got an eye on the kids?
that back step is a deathtrap
can't be responsible
I was carrying on like I owned the place
they'll send you a form for that

I got nothing against the neighbors
guess it takes all kinds
to till the earth and tune the engines
never judged a man by his creed
what'd you bring from the war?
a handshake and a nightmare
he said I saw black rocks on fire
it was the other side of things
hollow and cold
the devil is a word
but the devil's a state of soul
and there's no sleep at night
and there's no rent for June
and there's no pills in the bottle
and there's no sleep at home
and there's no work at the agency
for love or money no love
and there's no sleep on earth
and there's no sleep in heaven
no there's no sleep on earth
so let me tell you something

I think we're down to minimum
twenty years to pay off a roof and a water line
you show me the minimum connection
between what they said and what they had you sign
force is a shepherd
the path of least effort
hammerheads in the tank
working out the minimum compulsion
to man a rifle on a riverbank

no less no more


from Minimum Country, released December 15, 2013



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Paul Kerschen Berkeley, California

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