Dollar Movie

by Goner

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released June 1, 2002



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Goner Raleigh, North Carolina

Goner crafts great songs, combining a poetic eye for detail, a cinematic sense of place and character, and an encyclopedic love of rocks both classic and indie.

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Track Name: This Side Of The Bridge
This type of town is famous for rows of unlocked doors and sprinklers seeping orange into sidewalk cracks of moss. Fathers glad to huddle families on the safer side. The quiet settles on the drive across at five. He said, “I will come back to you if you keep dinner warm and lawn chairs on the back porch. I’ll report. The house and olive trees are ours. It’s a tight knit. I promise someday we’ll fit.” Glad enough to try for a son.
Track Name: A Tuesday Afternoon In May 1975
The only sign of life today: a screen door slam a mile away. Dead spots on the back lawn, a brown and goldfish pond. Beyond the whitewashed boundary fence, I make up stories, make no sense. A thousand yards on high, breeze and braches battle cry. And I might’ve already been bored. The neighbors’ kids all grown and gone, the dog barks echo far and long. The cars and houses empty and all the windows bright. Between the blinding yellow-white of the aluminum side and sun-bleached pock marks of the old cement drive, a flower garden barely grows in a one-by-four foot row. Pruned and plucked and just for show, a pretty space I’d come to know. But I was already bored.
Track Name: Battleground Park
She was 17 and sickly and two quarters short. I was 24 and fading fast. It’s a dollar a daisy at the beverage store, tawny port with a screw-off cap. And lonely rental properties, bay window lights, glove boxes full of exes’ mix tapes. We danced to “Rebel Yell” in the changing degrees and told stories from our marching band days. Crawling to the surface cross from Battleground Park, out where everybody weakens and cheats. The supposition of flowers and virgins falling like timber. The moon and the drizzle surrounded the porch and she met me out behind. And I took off her glasses for old times’ sake and I let her take off mine. But I don’t miss anybody. I don’t miss a soul, just the way your dozen bracelets clattered. Saying, “Work? Work sucked. These customers are fucked.” Never talking about nothing that mattered. And now your rage is sponsored and so’s your machine, and so’s everything else you cherish in between, as sweet imaginings of teenage happenings keep me switching the station, hungry but patient. Sara, they got us surrounded.
Track Name: The Night The Lineman Died (Norman's Gone)
I was watching TV in the basement when the red of his brake lights hit the shades. He screamed at the top of the stairs words I’d never heard that made me sore afraid. Shaking in his navy coat, his beard trapped the tears as they came. Her arms were trying to soothe his head. Her arms were trying to wave me away. The son of the lineman was roaring out. So this is how it all crumbles down? She served him up some sober food and coffee and lit a cigarette. So black beyond the kitchen window. She stared through it, eyes wet. He couldn’t look up at me, so he looked down at his toast and whispered, “Come here.” A wet sandpaper kiss goodnight, the smell of Old Spice and sour beer. Tired as a beaten horse, so beat down tired, losing his roar. So this is how it all ends now. The son of the lineman crumbles down, down to me.
Track Name: Think Fast Run Faster
Red faced thick little racer, summer rec wrecking your summer, with the diving board trembling under. You never think about finishing last. You’re running past and thinking after the fact. You’re thinking fast and running faster than that. You saw her first and you wouldn’t lose. Your handed down cologne and suit, you showed off the chin-ups that you could do. A ride, the sprawling almost-countryside, she tried to quiet down your insides. But it never seems to be enough to try when you cut yourself shaving and you fuck up your tie. It never seems to be enough to try. It’s second shift and you’re standing on line with your civilian’s soft decline. You’re building up engines and marking off time. You’re working hard and drinking after. You’re drinking late and staring past her. You’re thinking fast and you’re running faster.
Track Name: Stars Over Avon
I got some poems bound and a picture, the nose a little red from gin. Clippings from an Idaho paper, pages of verses from when he’d be hitched to a pole eight hours a day, insulating lines. Then home to dinner and beer and Jean and a walk among the tall pines. There were stars over Avon. There were kids on the village green. 50 to 60 to 71, what’s it mean? Sparking awake to smell of dust, he’d creak past the icebox. Some nights it was hard to get started. Some nights he didn’t want it to stop. With the moon melting into the back porch, staring white off the notepad, how do you fill in the spaces? How can you ache so bad for the stars over Avon and the graves on the village green? Hitching from Christmas to Christmas, what’s it mean? He thought it all had to rhyme. I picture my father’s father back to bed. Picture him not sleeping and the stars over Avon and the kids on the village green and all those young dead poets buying jeans. Ah the stars over Avon and the graves on the village green. They’re cheering on all the Henry fools like Norman and me. How you gonna make it rhyme? You’re running short on time. So on my porch across from so-called heaven, I throw away my tonic and gin. A breeze pushes east from Idaho and school’s about to begin.
Track Name: Liking Longing
The best kids in the world, in twisted brick and asphalt, were praying for snow. Permanent hopscotch marks and miles between each monkey bar, I was coloring wrong. They let me know before too long. He’d be up for first shift, dressing in the dark. She’d be in her housecoat, staring across the yards. I wanted closer constellations but it was early for such expectations. Remind me again how lucky I am. With my three Top 40s and a tape recorder, stuffing my pillow with a cheap transistor. Echoing up though the courtyard, in my desk it gripped me so hard. I’m colored in and kept awake, longing for firework nights and spaceship days. Flying over the town, the smell of burning leaves as the grid of streets unfolds beneath. Every house spills light onto muted green, the dullest lawns I’ve ever seen as my Walkman screams. And every saccharine chorus is broadcasting a promise: you will change and you will leave.
Track Name: Lifer's Lament
So Autumn’s gone and you’re getting scared as retail outlets command the air. You pace your hardwoods and watch the streetlights dim. Tonight’s a good night for giving in. So you can’t go back to “So. Central Rain,” when every Friday sundown was Armageddon again, cold denim and bleachers, corn syrup and cul-de-sacs. Soundtracks in soft focus you can never play back. And friends call from New York City, making movies and wedding plans. You’ve got your thin hair and weathered hands. And lately all your daydreams are about staying in bad, but you’re dancing with all ages at all hours, eyelids red. And you wonder how much promise can the night hold anymore. And if no one’s even listening, what the hell’s the anthem for? What’s it for? So you wanna watch the crumbling camaraderie fall. You wanna up and go punk and show them all. You want the patrons to notice you haven’t been coming around. You wanna pack up your crates and try out another town. But Midwest, Boston, Seattle, South: it’s similar kisses from similar mouths. You can quote the same movies while you’re drinking the same merlot. It’s the
same distractions, no matter where you go. Like the playgrounds packed with crippled angels in black vanilla skirts, swinging ’til it hurts. While the barstool prophets bicker, second guessing books and bands and rotting on demand. But you don’t get off that easy. There’s a canvas to tend to, so dig your heels in. Brew some instant. You got your work cut out for you. In a scene full of early faders, in a room full of past-due bills, you don’t exactly feel blessed. But just give it time. You will.