| by Kenneth Chase | No comments

Apartment Sessions – Empire Liquor Mart (9127 S. Figueroa St.) featuring Gabriel Kahane


When the black and whites arrive I am lifeless on the floor. Crumpled dollars in my hand In my hand, in my hand. The lady in the fishing vest Has dropped the gun. Who wears a fishing vest When they’re working at a liquor store? I float up to the corner Just above the ice cream And the frozen food. I perch beside the surveillance сamera… Only days after the trial You could feel the tension rise. In the streets and in the rhythm Of despair, of despair. It was war after a while In each neighbor’s tired eyes. There was nothing to persuade them To stand down, to stand down. I float higher and higher Friendly with the clouds
that cover Southland… I watch the tender skyline dancing oh the terror – On the long night, on the long fight Blood, glass, burnt hair. These angry armies quick advancing in position: On the rooftops, in the culverts, Stores are sacked while there’s no one there. Now two kinds of light – from fires and fixtures They fill the sky It was never so bright when I was young I was too young to die. On TV sets, in houses Effortlessly done in fancy colors All the righteous, all the newsmen Speak of end times Why should they give a fuck Some angry little black girl took a bullet? Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy On the ones who’ve done the crime Now two kinds of light – from fires and fixtures They fill the sky It was never so bright
when I was young I was too young to die. If I float even higher Pattern and procession are uncovered Flood and fire, flood and earthquake Keep folks unmoored And the occasional celebrity car chase Woo woo woo woo! Just to keep God, just to keep God from getting bored, getting bored Now two kinds of light rom fires and fixtures They fill the sky. It was never so bright when I was young I was too young to die. When my grandma was a young woman in East St. Louis She thought the town was no good to us She took a Greyhound just as far as it could take her Felt her maker in the waves You know, how God moves through us I was six years old when we followed My mother was twenty-two The light was magic, the light was true She thought we’d moved
Beyond a sharecropper’s debt But we were just a pawn in the accuser’s bet Nobody reads from the Book of Job At the church where me and my grandma go Nobody sees the trouble I know But I know that trouble’s gonna find me Three years later on a Thanksgiving The light turned bitter My grandmother didn’t know what hit her We got a chill from the cold white sun Momma found herself staring At the barrel of a gun That weren’t enough, my uncle died too Shot through the chest back in East St. Louis So one fine day my grandma lost two Took me in her arms and said, It’s just me and you Nobody reads from the Book of Job At the church where me and my grandma go Nobody sees the trouble I know But I know that trouble’s gonna find me Nobody reads from the Book of Job At the church where me and my grandma go Nobody sees the trouble I know But I know that trouble’s gonna find me It will find me It will find me It will find me It will find me Find me Find me Find me It will find me It will find me It will find me It will find me It will find me It will find me It will find me It will find me It will find me It will find me Will find me… It will find me It will find me It will find me It will find me So when I say that my untimely death was Something certain What I mean is that these tragedies Are a kind of a family tradition So when I walk into the liquor store that morning Bright and angry In a daydream of a boyfriend I was fifteen Pick up a bottle of orange juice And put it into my backpack Head toward the counter with dollar bills And she accuse me of stealing that She pull my sweater and so I hit her Put down the bottle don’t want no trouble Now two kinds of light From fires and fixtures They fill the sky It was never so bright when I was young I was too young to die. Now two kinds of light – from fires and fixtures They fill the sky. It was never so bright when I was young I was too young to die. I suppose it’s no surprise To find myself about to die But how long that silver moment From the bullet To the floor There, right there was a lifetime

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