Joanna Newsom

In California

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My heart became a drunken runt
On the day I sunk in this shunt,
To tap me clean
Of all the wonder
And the sorrow I have seen,
Since I left my home:

My home, on the old Milk Lake,
Where the darkness does fall so fast,
It feels like some kind of mistake
(just like they told you it would;
Just like the Tulgeywood).

When I came into my land,
I did not understand:
Neither dry rot, nor the burn pile,
Nor the bark-beetle, nor the dry well,
Nor the black bear.

But there is another,
Who is a little older.
When I broke my bone,
He carried me up from the riverside.

To spend my life
In spitting-distance
Of the love that I have known,
I must stay here, in an endless eventide.

And if you come and see me,
You will upset the order.
You cannot come and see me,
For I set myself apart.
But when you come and see me,
In California,
You cross the border of my heart.

Well, I have sown untidy furrows
Across my soul,
But I am still a coward,
Content to see my garden grow
So sweet & full
Of someone else's flowers.

But sometimes
I can almost feel the power.
Sometimes I am so in love with you
(Like a little clock
That trembles on the edge of the hour,
Only ever calling out "Cuckoo, cuckoo").

When I called you,
You, little one,
In a bad way,
Did you love me?
Do you spite me?
Time will tell if I can be well,
And rise to meet you rightly.
While, moving across my land,
Brandishing themselves
Like a burning branch,
Advance the tallow-colored,
Walleyed deer,
Quiet as gondoliers,
While I wait all night, for you,
In California,
Watching the fox pick off my goldfish
From their sorry, golden state--
And I am no longer
Afraid of anything, save
The life that, here, awaits.

I don't belong to anyone.
My heart is heavy as an oil drum.
And I don't want to be alone.
My heart is yellow as an ear of corn,
And I have torn my soul apart, from
Pulling artlessly with fool commands.

Some nights
I just never go to sleep at all,
And I stand,
Shaking in my doorway like a sentinel,
All alone,
Bracing like the bow upon a ship,
And fully abandoning
Any thought of anywhere
But home,
My home.
Sometimes I can almost feel the power.
And I do love you.
Is it only timing,
That has made it such a dark hour,
Only ever chiming out,
"Cuckoo, cuckoo"?

My heart, I wear you down, I know.
Gotta think straight,
Keep a clean plate;
Keep from wearing down.
If I lose my head,
just where am I going to lay it?

(For it has half-ruined me,
To be hanging around,
Here, among the daphne,
Blooming out of the big brown;
I am native to it, but I'm overgrown.
I have choked my roots
On the earth, as rich as roe,
Here, down in California.)

Autor(es): Joanna Newsom

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