"Rare Fish"

What is Rare Fish?

And I Cry
Burn Slowly Burn
Chemical World
Christmas in the City
Crystal Soup
Everything Old Is New Wave Again
Green Sprouts
I Fall to Pieces (excerpt)
Indian Arrow
Joey III (I Will Remain)
Martin's First Day of School
Memorial Day
Molasses (The Night You Didn't Enjoy Us)
National Drive
Newspaper Ambience
Patrick Reid
Poor Mouth
Promised Green (excerpt)
Sammy's Tiny Fish Market
Satellite Dancing
Secret Red Canoe
Slap Daves
Soul Glue
The Uptake
Up the Down Elevator
The World Is Fluffy


And I Cry
by Martin Tielli

You know I don't believe in nothing.
I just do not understand.
I don't believe in taking aim,
So I sit upon my hands.
Looking at a point I've chosen,
'Cause it's particularly bland.
But it always turns to something else,
So I fasten up my eyes,
And I cry...

The snow comes down, as though the ground
Has something it must hide.
And it sparkles under streetlamps
As though it's feeling shy.
To have helped a stranger to get by,
I wouldn't be ashamed.
But I like snow, it lets me know
That everyone's the same,
So I cry...

I was at a party,
And I woke up feeling glad (sad)
That I could keep myself aware
As I was going crazy (mad).
So I lit another cigarette,
And put the lamp back on my head,
Jumped up on the mantlepiece,
And back down on the bed.

The first time I felt so damn good,
You might say I felt complete,
That I lost all fear of having fun,
And jumped up to compete.
With everyone or anything
That I could give away
Then I jumped into the sky so blue
And saw how that I'd lied,
Then I died...

Burn Slowly Burn
by Dave Bidini

Sawdust on the floor,
And Axl Rose was screamin' on the radio.
Some truckers union sat in a booth;
The biggest one spat when he talked.
I guess by now you're at the turnpike heading south.
The moon will track you like a bloodhound.

Remove the rocks from under
The wheels of your three year mortgage mobile home.
Tried his best we know,
But his knuckles were bloody bad when he wouldn't give.
The light of the ancient neon signpost was aflame.
You had to flee it, or else burn, burn.

Katie don't cry.
Burn, slowly, burn.
Katie don't you cry.
Burn, slowly, burn.

Your note was empty,
Save for the words you couldn't speak when he was there.
A state fair double pass,
And a zip code of your mom, and battle hymn.
As you crept closer in your Chrysler '84,
You tried not thinking of what he last said.

Ah, the guy said last call
On a night that never ends, that never sleeps.

The dawn's gonna fill soon,
Like a pink folk fallen so repeat it from the summer sky.
I'm gonna make a new ending in a church.
Everybody cheered, I felt so proud; you felt weird.

Chemical World
by Tim Vesely

Things are going out of my back door.
Chemical world sends me to the floor.
Things don't make sense to me anymore.
We're all living in a chemical world.

What is this mess I find in my vein?
Chemical world fills my empty head.
Sometimes i wonder am i better off dead.
We're all living in a...

You can feel it when your dancing,
You can feel it cut your feet,
You can taste it when your eating,
All that artificial heat.

Christmas in the City
by Dave Bidini, 1996

Christmas in city.
They tied a tree against a pole.
But some drunk knocked it down.
A streetcar ran it over.
A mongrel gnawed its stump.
His sap-stained snout foraged through the city dump.
The branches and the needles
Made the pavement smell like pine.
My snow boots snapped when they stuck to it that time.
A cyclist was nearly toppled.
A taxi swerved away.
The tree just lay there sleeping
On Christmas day.

Christmas in the city.
Santa Claus was at the game.
Tenth row grays, he'll get on camera all the same.
His beard is slightly yellowed.
His suit is rented from a shop.
If he gets drunk he won't have to worry about the cops,
Cause who's arrest Saint Nick
At the good old hockey game?
He's only trying to pry the children from their pain.
But by the second period
They are dragging him away.
Santa will have a blind hangover
On Christmas day.

Christmas in the city.
The Salvation Army band,
They play to kids holding their parents' hands.
The corporal plays the trumpet
That learned while in the war.
He'll spend the night serving biscuits to the poor.
His wife has passed away,
His only son promoted south.
The streetcar carries him to his empty house.
But if for twenty hours
He's kept poverty at bay,
The sun will rise on him
On Christmas day.

Christmas in the city.
Where the politicians sleep
Faraway on a hill that rises steep.
A memo sent from China, a fax from up the road,
A big backyard with a rink the servants hosed.
He calls his children in
To pat their mussy little heads.
They hold out their small hands beside his bed
While he wonders why the other half
Aren't happy in this way.
He'll drink the finest scotch
On Christmas day.

Christmas in the city.
Subways spitting subjects out.
Black smoke billows from a buses spout.
Traffic jams and taxi stands
Are fighting for a space.
Cops on horseback quickening their pace.
Elbows and shoulders
And hats hold shopping bags.
Sidewalks with rich women and their wags.
Some think it's a bummer,
Others want them all to say.
But the people run back home
On Christmas day.

Christmas in the city.
And I know this much is true:
Everyday's a holiday with you.
My heart's become a wreath,
My fingers boughs of holly spiked.
The snowfall makes the city small and bright
Where cars turn into sleighs
And people snowshoe through the street.
I'd fly to you on reindeer through the sleet.
I'd build a giant castle made of ice
Where we could lay
Alone and in your arms
On Christmas day.

Crystal Soup
by Dave Bidini and Martin Tielli, 1988

If the world had suddenly been cooled,
Given time to move, grow cold and settled somewhere else,
Then the world would be a field of crystals,
Irreversible, a frozen springtime of quartz.

Then my girl, she smiled and so I kissed her
When she said she loved them bursting into millions, all severed.
All that I can see is a misfortune.
Someone screwed it up and thought that springtime of quartz.

(Yeah), back in those pure days
When mud was all we knew,
The earth without a crust:
Crystal Soup.

Then I smiled and said I loved her jewels (oh).
When, to this day, when I cry, they brush against my memory, all severed.
Oh, but I don't care; I've got my girlfriend,
And her eyes they shine a crystalline gold, green, and blue.

Drumheller (excerpt)
by Dave Bidini

What would happen if he was sleeping?
Would seven years start red supply store?
Would we kill the fattest and skin him
And offer his bones to the gods?
Genie winners eat their own drummer.
But who would/could season the body?
And he's always done this before.

What happens if we don't leave Drumheller?

We'll take you up and tear off your tea leaf.
I'd lay at the top of a mountain.
A billion heroes, young and grounded.
Thinking of the plane when it crashed down.
Miles sat on bass and on Earth.
A huddle, an ear, a piece of plywood.
Breathing from the wake of a prison,
The same one that's crowded behind.

So we took the toilet, wrapped it with hardware,
And I wired up their radial clone.
We ignore him as he is leaving.
Dave will be Canada's south wind.
With testimony, brought it up, drums.
That chicken of pawn, eat a real pie.
Made you want to beat him up for breathing.
The live station with ELO.

Martin ran out of the van. Tim got up and raced after him. I closed my eyes and realized I was listening to War of the Worlds.

We will when he was a man!

Everything Old Is New Wave Again
by Martin Tielli

Everything old is New Wave again...

by Dave Bidini and Martin Tielli

I had the sky on her eyes and horizon
As the speed of light your body crawls.
Icharus tried, but his brother was stubborn,
So am I, and we'll climb till I fall.

All the clouds became wide-open rainbows.
All the stars, they shined, brass bed
As I dreamed I would dive in and have her,
The skies turned the color of horse shit ochre.

On the waves, they spoke to me.
I am floating up in the air.
It's good there up in the air.
We like it high in the air.

In my sun, a black eagle wing coffin.
I was struck with a sadness and fear.
With these two hands I had bought for choking,
With these two eyes, I had bought for tears.

You and I are alike:
We live, we breathe.
You and I are alike:
We're the seven seas.
You and I are alike:
We breathe.
You and I are alike
Till the seven seas meet.

When I'm ahead, then the waves, they are parting.
From the fog, a dark figure appeared.
In his hand he held high a gold sabre.
Fell to my knees foaming as he drew near.

Green Sprouts
by Dave Bidini, Dave Clark, Martin Tielli, and Tim Vesely

Green Sprouts!

I Fall To Pieces (excerpt)
by Martin Tielli

Close your eyes while I kiss you,
'Cause tomorrow I will miss you...

Indian Arrow
by Martin Tielli

"Shoot, sonny, shoot,
And don't you waste no bullets.
Hold your head up high,
And never wonder why."
That's what my daddy said
The day he met his maker,
With an indian arrow stuck between his eyes.

I won't forget the look on his face:
Anger, fear, and pain,
And burning disgrace,
On the day that my daddy died
And he met his maker,
With an indian arrow stuck through his head.

Joey III (I Will Remain)
by Martin Tielli

Joey killed himself in an artsy theater.
He just got too involved,
Just a little too involved,
So he blew it all to hell.

Joey vowed--guess he felt deep and polluted--
That he'd never have sex again,
'Cause he'd been polluted.
Never have sex again.

Can you believe it, in it?

Joey believed that he had to be everything
To everyone to be.
I heed everything,
So he blew it all to hell.

But I, I will not do the same.
I will not do the same.
I will remain. Will remain.

Martin's First Day of School
by Martin Tielli

Martin's first day of school...
I don't want any friends.
Then they called me a fool,
And they used me like a tool.

Took me a long time to learn how to be tough.
Took me a long time to build the world in which I rule.

Fool, said I, "your stupid pool
Would disappear without a cork."
That wrote them all out of the picture.
That's how I won olympic swimming.

I have made a vow to last
I will not go to another gym class.
'Cause the score in my own net
Will be replayed until my death.

Martin's first day of school...
I don't want any friends (not a single friend, friend, friend).
And then they called me a fool,
And they used me like a tool.

I have made a vow to last...

by Dave Bidini, Dave Clark, Martin Tielli, and Tim Vesely, 1991


Memorial Day
by Dave Bidini

The moon is real empty in the Civil War waltz.
The sun shone like diamonds above.
The plane traced a "V" in the sky with exhaust,
Calling all men worth their salt.
That evening I borrowed my mother's Sedan,
And kissed my ex-girlfriend goodbye.
I followed the roadmap to Northern Quebec,
The horizon was empty and dry.

The border patrolman was angry and big,
His face was the color of sand.
I showed him my twin brother's college ID,
And asked him where did Three Rivers stand.
The white highway lines passed in quarter note time,
A tall stand of poplars appeared.
The dawn surged ahead; I would soon see my breath.
The horizon was empty and clear.

The news ran the late Vietnam body count.
The DJ announced "Purple Haze."
I drove past the St. Lawrence seaway and wept.
I had fled on Memorial Day.

Molasses (The Night You Didn't Enjoy Us)
by Dave Bidini and Tim Vesely

The night you didn't enjoy us,
A/The night you'll never forget.
A/The time you didn't employ us,
A/The time you will always regret.

And, oh, what a mess it was!


National Drive
by Dave Bidini, 1987

Down and touch the hand of another faceless man.
Your body's in the distance of another subtle difference.
Gone out, don't recognize me; my color wouldn't disguise me.
Slumber and story's listed... all this good nutrition.

National drive, don't give me no national drive.

Paradise, I'm saying it's not right.
The clock is ticking louder; another is drillin' power.
Don't matter if another country can then afford extinction.
I need the game to play; what the fuck, do they want me to play?

Newspaper Ambiance

Patrick Reid
by Dave Bidini

I've been bred on the Donnely dead,
Too much junk for a young man's head.
My parents prayed that I would wed
A bride of similar skin.

Father swore when I spoke of the war.
He waved his cane and he spat on the floor.
He told me straight how he have mourned
O'Conner and all of his kin.

Now I wish I was far away.
I would not see them with the death mask.
How I wish I was far away.
I would not see them with the death mask.

She was warm in the wood of the barn,
Her eyes bright as the day being born.
My brother pinned me down and warned
If father would ever find out.

We held hope like a hand to her throat.
We hid beneath the stairs and smoked.
When winter froze that night we wrote
And dreamed of trains and ocean.

I wish I were a biker
Rising with the highway.
I'd leave this haywire
And the tractor graveyard.
Oh, but the world isn't big enough.
The center cannot hold the truth of us.
My mind is wired like a feather in the field.

The truck driver looked at me with a grin.
I saw a tear crawl the crease of her skin.
Before I looked at the town that we'd left,
A town just like it appeared.

Poor Mouth
by Dave Bidini

Keep your poor mouth.
It's a long way to Prince George from here.
Back in the tarshack, the dogs are running at dawn.

Keep your hands to yourself.
You'll need them down on Riviera Beach,
Hanging with the gators and the ghouls.

It's time that I striked up the band,
And blew you far away.
It's time that I use my free hand.
I'll stop you in the lay.

Far from the swampline you sit,
Caught in some villain's undertow.
This ain't the United States, we won't hang you for feeling.

Keep your hand on your gun.
You'll need it down in Riviera Beach.
Back in the tarshacks with the gators
And a numbered piece of meat. (Keep it near.)

It's time that I striked up the band.
I'll blow you far away.
It's time that I used my free hand.
I'll stop you in the lay.

Poor mouth. Poor mouth. Poor mouth.
If only you'd listen to yourself...

Promised Green (excerpt)
by Dave Bidini

If countries fall or rise again,
Remove, recede into evil hands.
Will humanity bring dignity,
Or damn those who spoke the promised green?
This fall we wait for new plans drawn,
For it's a hopeful wait they deserve at the church.
Can light be shed upon their lot,
Bring good fortune to them by seasons' change?
Will humanity bring dignity,
Or damn those who spoke the promised green?
For us and those in kind or deeds,
For those who spoke the promised green.
Can we deny the charge is true,
A world in dire need of change?
Not of seasons, but of societies,
Ancient in its ignorant ways.
Will humanity bring dignity
For those and us in kind our deeds?
Talk of this New World Order joke:
Are we to pay for their words spoken?
Are we the April Fools here
To take the fall for fall man's greed?
Will humanity bring dignity,
Or damn those who spoke the promised green?

Sammy's Tiny Fish Market
by Dave Bidini, Dave Clark, Martin Tielli, and Tim Vesely, 1990

Sammy's Tiny Fish Market,
Fishes by the sea...
Bring your family.

(spoken) Why don't you come join us? Sammy's Tiny Fish Market, Suffolk, by the sea, with the smallest fishes you ever will see. We got the goldfish, we got the waterspider, we even got a smelt. We even got one so tiny--it's from Peru, and you can pour it from a pepper shaker. Sammy's Tiny Fish Market, Suffolk by the sea.

Sammy's Tiny Fish Market,
Suffolk by the sea.
Bring your family.

Satellite Dancing
by Dave Bidini, 1982

Everybody's on the dance floor.
I see you still 'cause you're turnin' around again.
'Cause you're looking in another direction,
They point you to the shopping line.
Push the idols, tune, and die away;
You run over and let me in.
Monster stereo's blue and useless, yes,
They just need some projection.
Standin' in line with a plate, you revise it.
Hit me in your microphone... hit me.

Sin idol; the idol made you stew.
Move on over with your tired whines.
Bass parts with you; new, I'll build a truce.
S-S-Soon to be a musical line.
Dr. Nasty's comin' over 'cause
Once I'm well I'll sit by you.
See the massive satellite?
Must be something in my ear.
Stand to the left with a plate, you're a graft band.
Hit me in your microphone... hit me.

Oooh, satellite dancing.

I wanna take you, and I don't know where.
You know high school dormitory.
I have seen the whisperin'.
I bring it in to rock guitar.
So many places, so many memories
Time and a place for everyone.
Shirk temple, screech it for the tease,
Running long all through my brain.
Men who are light, they are all outside, and
Hit me in your microphone...

Stand to the right, 'cause they're all outside, and
Hit me in your microphone... hit me.

Secret Red Canoe
by Martin Tielli, 1996

Why would you drive for the highway?
You look half alive and so tired.
It can be good, but it's just a job.
I am not that big on being manly.
I am not that big on standing one thing on top of another.
But what I do like about this job
Is that there's no one standing around
To bring me down, to bring me down, to bring me down.

I got my secret canoe on top of the cab.
I'm gonna take it down out to the Sault,
When the sun's coming up.
There's nothing I like that's better than that.

I'll write a letter to my best friend.
I'll write a letter to a hip Toronto magazine.
If you're so sophisticated with you sexuality,
What about me, what about me, what about me?

Slap Daves

Soul Glue (Trans Canada Soul Patrol Version)
by Tim Vesely

Two minds tearing me apart,
Two gods dwelling in my soul.
No unity, no soul glue.
I say to myself,
You're a stranger, you.

Put me back together.
Glue these tiny bits.
Send me back to heaven...

by Martin Tielli

I play in the symphony,
Stare into the balconies while I am playing,
Trying to follow the part.
Doing my best while while the crowds are shrinking,
'Cause no one takes solos in this band.

I think that my mother is dead.
You couldn't shake me; my mind is aching
Like something inside, it won't change.
Like Sucker Delila, I curse the living,
And nurse the prod, the good and dead.

So goodbye to the string section,
Goodbye to the brass,
And played the best music ever heard in the west.

by Tim Vesely

We never noticed when you took me to your attic chamber,
Time was flying by, and I was growing up inside.
World took me by the face, planted an embrace upon my lips.
His lips, yeah, as she kissed him on the mouth.
Next to your big, full-color atlas of the world.
You decided where to go to; we would travel by canoe.
But you forsook me as you shook the boat and paddled on alone.
"Bye, bye. Bye, bye." She learned him how to swim.
Undertow took me...

It's been a year or more, or ten or twenty. I don't know.
Old I am since I fell in this current of the splinter world.
I washed ashore and climbed a tree and dried myself.
I looked back down and saw the river-running woman,
Circle-like, sticked out to his tail, and
We never noticed when we noticed one another
That our pictures that are trees that we were growing up somehow.
We took each others hands, jumped aboard an airbus bound for France.
"Bye, bye. Bye, bye." Goodbye.
Undertow took me...

The Uptake
by Dave Bidini and Tim Vesely, 1987

I'm up north for the summer,
And I'm trying to make some dough.
I left my job in the armed forces
As an engineer in T.O.
When the mail came just the other day,
Well, she said it wouldn't last.
Now I know I'm going nowhere,
And I'm getting there real fast.

What's good on the uptake wasn't too good on the takedown...

I'm up north for the winter,
But I'm trying to love the snow.
Rolling smokes up in my booze shack
In Ignace, Ontario.
I read my letter o'er a hundred times,
'Cause I try to figure out.
Ain't no woman in the northlands
But the one I used to know.

(Take it on!)

I'm up north for the springtime.
Yeah, the time goes really fast.
If things go right I'll be a millionaire (right, Cecil?)
By the time my life is past.
Burned my letter just the other day.
Burned my booze shack to the ground.
Got my ticket on the ski plane
Tomorrow I fly for Bafin Sound.

(What's good wasn't too good. Takedown.)

Up the Down Elevator
Instrumental, 1980

by Dave Clark and Dave Bidini, 1988

It seems that it's been some day since your comet arrived,
But now you're burned out bad and you make no noise.
You think you think of peace and love and pain,
So maybe in a thousand years you'll feel the same again.

You can't go back to Woodstock, baby,
You were just two years old.
You weren't even born.

Before they were kissing the earth, now they're washing their cars.
Before they were feeling stoned, now they're feeling bored.
Sure, you'll shed your clothes, but you'll shed no light.
Poor hippie child, go sit and wait for another Summer of Love.

(Intermission! Bummer.)

The World Is Fluffy
by Martin Tielli, fifth verse improvised by Dave Clark

"The world is happy...
Paint a pretty picture on your wall,
And next time you fall drunken in the hall, you'll see it there.
You'll see the world is pretty."

"The world is pretty...
You're so cynical, you think it's ugly, black and white.
You need some perspective in your life,
In your life, need some perspective in your life."

You need a girlfriend...
'Cause you can't be close to anybody else.
You've been looking a little lonely way out here,
Way out here.

"The world is fluffy...
You're so clinical, you think that slimy things are nice.
You take your martini on ice,
Oh, on ice."

The world is puffy...
Touch a fuzzy teddy bear tonight.
Count your fuzzy sheep and you're all right for tonight,
La la la, but tomorrow brings reality,
And you will never know.

"The world is fluffy..."

Coyright (c) Oct 1996 - Dec 2004 by The USA Rheostatics Page