by Paulie Lipman

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released April 2, 2013



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Paulie Lipman Denver, Colorado

Paulie Lipman has been a part of 8 Denver National Slam Teams(including '04's second place and '06's national champions). His work has appeared in The Legendary, Borderline, and the Write Bloody anthology: The Good Things About America.

In addition to Spoken Word, Pauile is also a musician/composer and is available for hire for commercial/video game/soundtrack work.
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Track Name: Prayer
I know a kid
who left Catholicism behind
but he carries chalk in his pocket
Every once and a while, he'll stop
and draw a steeple on the wall behind him
This lets people know its not graffitti,
he's just praying

There's another
who got sick of gone green skin
from electroplated fool's gold around her neck
so she up and tattooed a crucifix on her chest
Now she doesn't have to to take it off before sex,
and every time she screams
"Jesus!" it means
a hell of a lot more

One thing I learned being homeless
was how to sleep sitting up, shiver swaying
in the Denver winter night
In those dreams, it was never cold
I was just dahvening

These days
we take prayer where we can
but we never call it worship
God has come down off the altar
and talks to us right at eye level
The fading Mosque brick
and crumbling stone Synagogues
have set new foundations
in the air five feet around us

Before there were churches
and printed words to be misinterpreted
we prayed in glottal stops and melody
Only now there's keystrokes in our gospel
divinity and digital, synthesizers and god hollering
not up or down but out
Out of our throats, out of our limbs
spinning eclesciasticly
Out of our eyes red and watering
Outside of ourselves, inside prayer
is the chance to be

This thing we give no name to
It don't care for manners
It don't punch a clock and it don't take attendance
It don't take to preachin' and I'm sorry if this
seems that way
This is just my way of an explanation
Us thumbed monkies
fear a lack of comprehension
but we don't need to understand
just accept, isn't that what faith is?

singing, dancing students of I don't know what
do not apologize for our convulsions nor
deny you yours
And if your brick and mortar
your wood, nails, and rooftops go flames up
or come tumbling down, leaving your worship
in ashes, we invite you
There is so much room out there
and yeah
It gets cold, sometimes
The wind and grit will whip you blind, sometimes
We all have to wander shut eyes and compassless, sometimes
We'll all have our lost moments but faith will find other flailing hands

this world ain't pretty, but god damn
is it beautiful
Track Name: Day 1n/Day 0ut (B1nary Remix)
A handgun is a machine
moving, interlocking parts
The barrel and cross hair
resemble the modern electric
symbol for power
It is a marriage of one and zero
A gun is binary
bullet, one
barrell, zero
A gun is power

Suicide is binary
A noose is digital
a one (straight rope)
and a zero (looped knot)
Suicide is a switch
Ian Curtis
was analogue

A spun gun cylinder
is a random number generator
A freely lived life is analogue
A fish net is digital
The Zodiac killer
signified himself with a crosshair symbol
a mandala, carving a zero
with a series of ones
The Zodiac was a switch

A halo
is a zero floating above a one
Angels are digital, servants
to a program
Humans, carved from angels
Mankind is a glitch
DNA is analogue
God is binary

A gulliotine frame
is a one and zero
the blade, a relay
Execution is digital

A surveyor's compass
is binary, cross hatch
A vacant lot is analogue
A sailor's compass
is a one and zero
Maps are a random number generator
Magnets are analogue

Death is death is death
off off off, death is an error
A gun is a switch
A noose is a relay
God speaks disaster
A hurricane is power
An earthquake, analogue
Lightning is power, Electricity, digital
AC/DC, digital
Reproduction is binary
Trans is analogue
Church, digital
Prayer, analogue
Murder, binary
Man Woman, flesh
War, 011101110110000101110010

Humans are strung code
We are moving, interlocking parts
our open mouths, a zero
Body Mind Heart, one
are a circuit
Track Name: To The...
To the hipster dipshit who took my haircut
for something more than it is

Captain Fixed Gear
Mr. Mustache Handlebars
sucking down overpriced organic micro brews
at the local vegan bar

You cracked spit
your underbreath joke about Zeig Heils
and goosesteps so low only me
and your colonial throwback beard
could hear it

Well, allow me to retort with a coupla facts
that will (hopefully) make you choke on your
red and black pack American Spirit

I'm Jewish,
Russian, Polish, German
and Queer
What say you now, Mister Bluster?
Blew your Howard Zinn/Noam Chomsky quoting, never
actually read either, mind a little bit
didn't it?!


you might take me for self loathing
forcing myself to look at the bald headed
black boot image I was raised to fear
in the bathroom mirror every morning

Don't read so much into it
Mr Cliff's Notes Un-informed Limp Little Pencil Dick
Spare me your overwrought
first year armchair dream psychology
It ain't that deep, son!
Its a hair cut
Not an ideology

I live cheaply
$30 hair clippers, Ramen, and black
20 pack t- shirts DOES NOT make
a National Socialist, just a
art minded, hard time economist, dearie
And these boots, these
$4 thrift picked
no brand shit kickers with
laces not red or white but black
in fact
they're not even laces, they're $2 a foot
parachute chord


What's that you didn't say?
If I'm not a Nazi, how do I know
about this coded language of laces, braces
and bomber jackets
Well, since you didn't actually bother to ask
I'll tell you, you slackjawed

Know your enemy
or you're doomed to be conquered again
I can never forget Birkenau, Auschwitz, Dachau, and
the millions and millions of mine
sent to burn down in the ovens
So I don't sweat the uniform, kid
just racist intent, thoughts, and actions

Never again

narrow your little doe eyes, Bambi
I'm not the huntsman who shot your mother, just
a loud barking, well informed pacifist
Take away from this
at the very least
the one lesson I've learned from 37 years of
hard fought intelligence:
Next time
know what the fuck you're talking about
before you speak
Track Name: Camouflage
will reinforce your idea
of white privilege like
a trip to Texas

Forget the jokes,
the wise cracks about
pick up trucks, inbreeding or secession
Far too often humor
gives ignorance a place
to hide, but
so does Jack Daniels
and Lone Star
and unsubtle 10 year olds
throwing shade at each other across
a soccer field, the epithets
slipped in beneath every
"Good game."

You can try to flinch
Can try to feign surpise
Try "Not me."
Try "color blind"
Try "one sixteenth"
Try "some of my best fr.."
Fuck it
Try "post racial society"
and see if it don't catch
on the frayed noose stuck
in the back of your teeth

This is yours, this
cellular inhertance
Its not the Atlas boulder you
claim to have cast off, but
an unfortunate pedestal
whose thin air height
can hoodwink even the best of us
into revisionists
I know, because
its mine too

I used to think that
I had the right to deny it
That my blood, cursed since
we were framed for the spear
in the side of a messiah
That my people
hounded out of every inch
of good dirt this earth holds
arrogantly convinced me
our holocaust was the first,
only and since, that
the barbed wire Star of David
lodged in our veins branded us
"Other" and "Entitled"
The blue and white borders I fly
have since bled into the rainbow banner
of the men and women I choose
to bring to bed and so many
"Other" flags flown that
my common blood red beneath
all of this, has been bleached
into gray

I can choose
whether or not to
show you this, to
split the stitching and spill
every bit of bi-polar, queer
little Jew boy of a man
at your feet
Never forgetting that
I have the privilege
of camouflage
I can...pass
Even in Texas

The process of owning this
starts with questions
genuine and concise


try silence
try listening
try shutting up long enough
to hear
try realizing the difference between
appreciating other cultures and
holding them hostage
try more questions
try thinking
try learning
and then
if your own camouflage
tricks ignorants into thinking
you agree with them
try facts
try reason
try educating
try reminding them
of every chain rattled
of every blocked border
of every auction block
of every internment camp
of every holocaust
Try taking every run together color
underneath your skin
and paint their pedestal
so bright they can no longer deny
that it is there
Track Name: Lupine
Predawn is all canine
Reminding you of
all the cowards you've been
and not nearly enough angel
I have thrown so many
thoughtless fists to the dim lit air
as to blacken both of god's eyes
fighting to pull profound
out of 2:30's greedy a.m. teeth

My fear is that
I will be struck down
at the dull end of 3pm
gasping ashes, lightning-less
and statufied
regardless of its speed
is always sudden

The undertow of
all of last year's mornings
is still pulling at my feet
to think one can
run so fast you will
change the direction of
tides past is suicide

I will not be buried
before I'm dead
I can't quit this bloodstream
holy boiling
caffeine and neon
I got a club foot
kicking behind my incisors
A hunchbacked tongue, beautifully
awkward and dripping with vocabulary
carved out of evenfall, like
this city's field hollers sung
out of spray cans
Lawless and sanctified

My God
lives in grafitti born moonfall
and we are wed, bound by
the same pin burning punctured sky
that delivered us both
A marriage made not
in Heaven or Hell, but
in Love, a resident of neither
Hell knows not of it
and Heaven too prissy perfect
to allow it.

In every dusk, I
wake again erratic
awkward holy vocabulary
Burning blessed
lawless and sanctified, shouting
prophet crazed until The Dawn
sets my body to walking while
my essence goes back to zero
waiting infant new and howling
for the dark
Track Name: Signs And Signifiers
is one of the first things
I remember being programmed
and for good reason
If I saw a red
and therefore
didn’t get my brains dashed
on the hood of a Buick

the side effect
was that now Red
meant Danger
Dread Fear

Before that, Red
held only the meaning
I gave to it

“Changing someone’s mind”
When you marry
image and name, you
create identity
a liquid tie between the two
but you propose
different name/same image
you change someone’s
A new neural link
Next time they encounter
the same image, they think
and then
they will question both
and will never see that image
the same way ever again

At birth
we are Tabula Rasa
but then we are
All of it
A Man watches sports
A Man doesn’t dance
Man shows no weakness
Man equals Pride
Man is Control
is Red
and God help the woman
who loves him

The only difference?
One offers a way, amidst millions
to think
The other, only
Once a symbol’s
name and meaning
provoke action
without language, you
have removed thought
The only organism
that can thrive without the mind
is Hate


An image
with no definite end
is boundless
Track Name: Radiant Children
Fame changes everything

If you're a musician, you can practice
umpteen bone bent hours, fingers bleeding
shouting ivory keys to the third rail
and never be heard
But if you're a famous anything else
they'll give you the ear of the world

If you're a musican, they'll grant you a book
An actor, an art show
A dancer, a photo exhibit

All these opportunities, bestowed
for your other accomplishments
A whim, perchance to dabble
They'll call you Rennaisance
and you'll believe it

For every hobby you are indulged, there
are those who wrap themselves in
the plainest of brick and inexquisite bars
banging their life given tin crown against them
praying anyone
will find the din transcendent and
the sparks they shed

We will fight you
for those ears
Those are our walls and eyes
Give us back the bandwidth and pages
are taking back the dance hall

for real