The Obscene Gravity Of Silence

by Paulie Lipman

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This album represents the last 3 years worth of poetry I have written. It also showcases my other discipline, which is music. All the poems have music and/or a sound scape behind them. It is meant to be its own experience separate from my live performance.

This album was made possible by the donations of sooo many generous people through Thank you all for believing in me.


released March 15, 2011

All words and music by Paulie Lipman
Vocals recorded by D MacKinnon
Album artwork by Mar



all rights reserved


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: A Quiet Meditation On Art
Poets and punk rockers
age worse than gov't cheese and Thunderbird
And I'm both
So, fuck it
sour grapes and shitty macaroni it is.

Some friend's tell me they wish they had my job
or at least the hours
and I
give praise to the Great Sky Conductor for
every day I've never had to origami myself into a cube
but the clock I punch jabs back
below the belt

This occupation consists of
constantly putting your heart and balls in front
of the world's swinging knuckles
But I can't quit it because
there's not much else you can do when
your inner child is a spitting brat
and your power animal is
Joan Jett

My resume might as well read:
Jack Off of All trades
Master of jack shit
I can think of a lot of worse things to be
like World War referee
or fluffer
but glory glory
this kind of living is killing me

These days, my sex drive
takes the corners like a spastic Datsun
Which is perfect 'cause
I got game like Pong.
Worse yet, Colecovision
outdated, dusty, and with a shit load
of useless buttons

All my get up and go must of
done jetted and stuck me with the check.

if I shook the devil horns out my mouth,
took out all the fuck you's put just one back in
wrapped up in dumb down
I could touch what my mother might call success

Maybe, just maybe
if I stopped shouting to, from, for, and at
all the fringe's reflections of me, I could be happy

I've seen friends hit it so big,
it has splattered my clothes like John F Kennedy's brains,
back and to the left out, pity party army of one
But I'm not bitter
You can ask any of my guts dead butterflies,
but all their brittle little skeletons will tell you is:

At least we died for a reason

I love my job, aching balls and all of it
If I didn't, I would've gone
full trip twiggy up a clock tower
after the millionth missed meal ago
I may have less than some, 3 hots, a cot, and the
alarm clock's static reassurance that this day
will have no more or less challenges than the next
I got a lot more than a lot, like the music
screaming that it will not stay my creaking jaw's secret
for one
and shares itself full throttle, damn the honesty
or the hour

When a cigarette is all that's keeping me going
and 5 twine rope thrown over a crossbeam is
the only thing that could hold my head up,
I just gotta giggle, step down off the chair
and remember
am Hope's biggest bitch
Track Name: Gray Is Too Dull A Color For My Anatomy

I am not made of limbs
a loose arrangement of musicians
They have no discipline
so my bones are all intuition and elbows
knocking an awkward rhythm
and a face
that only my mother could call classical

The only note they can agree on
comes from my spine
When bowed slowly in the key of remorse
its tiny vibrations are barely enough
to keep my head up
when struck with purpose
it resonates up through my eyes
in a tone that is anything but minor

This is the same chord that
echoes through the
empty opera house of our insides
plucks our tongues and choirs our teeth
to powder
are gap mouthed whistle kids
keening off time and outta key
to form the most disjointed smiling chorus
this side of rapture
singing out every dissonant ghos
until all that is left
is the most cracked note ever uttered
that we pray at least one person
thinks is beautiful
Track Name: Alex Chilton(I'm Afraid There Will Be No Parade For Us)
You died
2 days this side of Caesar
and the first thought anyone had
was how the Replacements sang
not of you
but a childish interpretation
of your idea

I'd like to think that your last thought
held the same circuitry that
lit your neurons in the shape of your band’s name
convinced that it was an echo of fate
and not a talisman shaken at the specter
of obscurity

Does it burn you, even now
that most of these people
despite every eulogy, tribute, and cover
still don’t even know your name?
That your headstone
casts its shadow so much further
than any of the shattered 12 watt sparks
you bothered to leave behind?

Most of us, as artists
will never be Orion
but forgotten constellations, sought out
only by a few who know what they are looking for
Brilliant victims
of a callous astronomy

No millions of children
will ever sing emperor unto us
No arenas
The empty seats screaming Brutus into our backs
hunching shoulders into humble influence
Unwilling muses
forced into the modesty
of inspiration

We, have a choice
Either we see the way fame has
gnawed away the sinew of
every Caesar before us
leaving only bones to be crushed underfoot,
and run
or we
welcome the feast
all too eager to charge 10 times Judas' price to Christ
to eat of our body, refusing
to be ripped screaming from the spotlight
scared that the halo it gives us
will be the only one
we will ever wear

I fear
that I might be asking this all too late
like a regretful son,
begging forgiveness of his father's casket
but before you sleep
Alex, answer me this:
As your circuits flipped tilt
would you have traded your last 30 years
to finally overthrow Orion and scrawl your legacy
into the ink of night
are you happy
with the tiny corner of sky granted all of us
simply for surviving?

I’ve never been suited for royalty
My head hangs heavy enough without a crown
My needs are simple
food, clothing, shelter, and the breath it takes
to keep their threads spinning, simply
from my throats spun stories
As long as I got mind, heart, a gut, and a mouth
I will keeping shouting them out
and if even a fraction of these people
can recite them back after my passing
will be my legacy
and if I shuffle off this coil with
less than
dust lining my pockets and
my name stopped just short of celestial
I will still
call myself
a success
Track Name: Isn't Anybody Going To Listen To My Story?
John Lennon

I am sorry

You told us to imagine and now

all we do is day dream

Not of a better or united world

but one of separate countries, heavens, and religions.

The only time we come together now is

wrapped in the safety of internet’s distance.

I am sorry

We never listened,

twisted your lyrics into a hollow karaoke

The only words we can recite with any conviction now

is your eulogy

You laid out the difference between need and want

Love is all and war is over and we ain’t done a god damn thing

to bring about any of them

Mind Games

that’s the only one we ever got right


moves a lot slower than you thought

Jai Guru Dev Om

“I give thanks to heavenly teacher”

Heaven is the cruelest burden to

lay on anyone’s shoulders

We were so quick

to tack the cross to your back

Christ you know it ain’t easy

We are followers

selfish and scared

We couldn’t hear you over our screaming

and tearing at your robes

We couldn’t care less for your

marriage and children

We needed a father

I’m sorry we

are so small


is only begged of gods with

hands clasped and heads bowed


are what people ask of each other

looking them straight in the eye

I’m sorry that even in death

we couldn’t just let you be

a man

We were too jealous of

the balance you’d found between

fame, art, and family

If you refused to be our messiah

we could just as easily make you

a martyr

Our envy

cracked the sky seven times over Manhattan

leaving 2 sons fatherless, a wife a widow

and the rest of us with nothing

Our karma cannot come quick enough

Mercy is the only thing left

to plead for

You gave us so much

but your songs are only half finished

if all we ever do is listen

Until we all understand and sing back with

even half the love you put into them

only then will we be forgiven

We can finally be more than an audience

We can be human

and decent

It’s the very least we can do

I apologize that this

is all I have to give back to you

heavenly teacher

I know I can call you that now

because even though you hoped

that there was only sky above us

I pray that if there is a Heaven

you are there now

Jai Guru Dev Om
Track Name: Clara(Mohammad, WIFE of Elijiah Mohammad)
My husband’s first mistress
was neither woman or man, but
and for that
I am grateful

introduced them
In a dusty Detroit basement
I presented my husband to
our only god
and when their eyes met
I felt myself shift
from the warm center of his heart
to an icy field whose only residents
are the wives of prophets
and their children

I became a widow of prophecy
and a mother
to all

Allah saw fit to bless us with a brood of 8
and a fold into the thousands
While men spread The Teachings,
my holy charge
was to educate our children

In the final days
even those who walked this earth
slouched in sin, will be stood upright
and made ready
for Judgment

I am faithful
but not even the holy mathematics
can explain why I only have 8 children
but my husband
has twice that many and
3 mothers between them

O Great Benevolence
I have taken so many steps toward you
so please
allow me this moment of blasphemy:
How is this divine?
How is this
I would beg you
to forsake me
and watch over these women
show them that their children
are not merely the bastards of history
that you are their father
that you
still love them
had it easy
I only lost a husband
lost their belief

As we lay here
and wait for Judgement
I can only think of all our children
and the thousands brought to us
a garden grown flush in the service
of Allah
and we
divorced from earthly emotion
and laws of possession
betrothed only to God
and for that
I am grateful
Track Name: Lynetta(Jones, MOTHER of Jim Jones)
I molded with my fumbling art, a young child’s soft and yielding heart
–Lynetta Jones

I never had much use
for the bible

I never saw God in there
just a dog eared relic that my husband
clung to by the dead light
of our radio
witnessed the Lord and his works nowhere
but in our boy

God gave us the clay
but I
carved his heart

No one ever bothered
to notice the soft, kind sculpture in his chest
just pointed to the dark corners, blackened
by kiln fire

You try to tell me
that Jesus was free of soot
after his 3 days in the pit and I
will laugh and envy you
your ignorance

may have groveled in the sins of this life
but, like Solomon
his great deeds far outweigh
his trespasses
my son gathered unto him
the animals, children, criminal, and infirmed
and led us, eyes open
into Paradise

is sifted from the ash
of martyrs

The only things we left behind
were our bodies, this unforgiving world
a fist sized piece of clay
Inscribed on its husk,
our final testament
and from its black, kiln fired cracks
has bloomed
Track Name: Squeaky(Fromme, DAUGHTER)
When I was 13
my father shut his mouth so hard
his last word to me
was the hissing breeze through the
delicate bayonets of his teeth
After that he would only part his lips
to grin flint at me
like a spiked redwood tree
Its only relief was my mother all willow wispy
limbs nowhere as strong but forgiving enough to
let the light through.

The few neighbors I’ve met
call me Ms. Fromme
Nobody calls me Squeaky anymore
except for the reporters
I like it here
There are more trees than people

I’ve stood in the long, cold shadows of 3 redwoods
but only one let me be
his daughter
His family
more loving than the one I shared a name with
and there is far more blood between us
was soil and sky
brush fired me back to nothing
and then truly
raised me
shaped us into the sirens
for His Divine Armageddon
We would fell Jericho

I have lived
almost 2 of Christ’s lifetimes
and wish
I had his sense of purpose

The last redwood
was as indifferent as the first
All I wanted was to tell him
that he and the rest of his kind
were tipped on the brink of extinction
If I had learned anything
it was that laying blood at their feet
would not even stir the leaves of these
ancient leviathans
but the menace of death
will bleed their rings
into surrender
I stood at the very roots of him
and gave him the barest glimpse
of the axe

I am 60 years old
My only husband, the forest
I am a weathered sapling, grown crooked
in the shadow of 2 fathers long left to mulch
and the third, a preserved oddity
for the tourists
My mother’s weakened branches
long withered and returned to dirt
I am not a murderer
I’ve only ever loved one
I am a parolee
I am a ward of the state
I am now no one’s daughter
but yours
Track Name: 60 Seconds To John Lennon
Charles Manson
would envy my distance to you

Five feet and one minute
between you and divine alchemy
wine to blood
lead into scythe

Bigger than Jesus?
Your fame is equal,
gospel as misunderstood
though your martyrdom,
is better publicized

I had
only one question
but what came out
was all exclamations:


All I wanted to know is
where the ducks go in Winter
I know now
I’m already there

I’m just waiting for you
to join me
Track Name: Unfortunate Son (a persona piece)
(a persona poem)

There’d be no use in skinning ya
‘cuz I wouldn’t have your hide
for my boots

Your pinched face
seem to form the same old fucking questions
I’ll take 2 minutes to explain myself
but then, you’d better run ,because my .38
ain’t as fussy as a knife

There ain’t no one reason for the way I am
Mommy never beat me, Daddy
didn’t soothe me to sleep with Mein Kampf
and I ain't never had no burning cross for a night light
That’s something those tin shit psychiatrists
can't seem to rap their precious Ph.D.’s around
They always mistake me for one of
Hitler’s bitter little bastards, ‘cept
my folks are American, god damn it

I am born of an honesty that
we as a country have abandoned
Don’t Tread On Me
clenched between our teeth, knowing
that atrocity is acceptable, if paradise is the reward
This honesty is inside every one of you , ‘cept
I got the balls to walk it and talk it
in the daylight
My hate is not a precise Charles Whitman hollow point, but
as widespread as founding father buckshot
I am a rattler, coiled in the heart of the American Dream

But my birth certificate
is as false as the president’s
Those 2 names at the bottom
are no more my parents than
the stars and stripes are yours
My family
is the truest of trinities
I am the dirty hate fuck of
Bedford Forrest , Byron De La Beckwith,
and the holiest of holies
I am made in my fathers’ image
Righteous, wrathful, and avenging
the Old Testament made into skin
fucked it up with all that love talk
Why you think it is Daddy put him up on that spit?
I am the child that God got right
and need no army or apostles to carry out
his judgment

aint nothing but monkeys with thumbs
unworthy of God’s green earth and He
has deemed you all damned
That is why he has sent me
but unlike the last Armageddon go around
He will hold the floods until
I have made crosses of every telephone pole
and nooses of every power line and
all the billions of sinners of every color
are hangin’ high, then
he will let slip the sea
and finally wash this world clean
will not mind the quiet
It’s the only reward
that I have ever asked of Him
Track Name: Bill Hicks
Humorist MarkTwain said that

there is no humor in Heaven

Comedian Bill Hicks replied that Hell

will always have the best musicians

The only difference

between a comedian and a humorist

is that a comedian is more




called you angry


were always in good company

Even Jesus

embraced rage's jagged blossom

as he evicted every thief squatting

in his father's house


is a gift

The cracked glass spark

that bursts in the chest of every great leader

doomed to the enlightenment that we

as humans, are capable of so much


but we run from every opportunity

to realize it


is the fact that they never stop trying

to tell us

Laughterand Happiness

are two jilted lovers

at best


It's been 16 years

since Cancer's soft ravage

devoured your voice

Your mantle has grown dust

and your every heir apparent

knows only bitter,

cynical indifference mistaken for

righteous Anger


for gullibility


counted myself among them

but there was no heart

to our hands

only dull, blustering thunder



too clumsy for incision

It tookyour sharp fingers

to slice through my sternum

and choke throttle my heart

back into lightning again


but illuminating


and hopeful

They call me



am in good company
Track Name: Thomas Of Pomona
Sorry, Big Guy but due to your rigid criteria

and lengthy application process, sometimes

we just have to make our own saints

We slapdash them in stained glass paint

mixed with our daily frustration,

wind and whimsy


protector of blown tires

Philomena, champion of

cracked back, side walk mothers


the patron of broken harmonicas


custodian of sad melody


are stamped in ink blood

wrapped in the merchandise necessary

for modern day martyrs

Che of Rosario

Martin of Atlanta

Ian of Manchester


John of Liverpool

But mine still walks

singing golden whiskey razors

cloaked in thrift torn shroud, swaggering


spider woven windshields


blown out Chevy’s

drunken pianos

box car jumping and

late night heart break


are all his province

St. Thomas of Pomona

His anointment is black coal and greasepaint

His altar, a Bally tent

No one speaks side show anymore

We are too timid to

walk the back alleys of our own deformities

Our hearts

have ceased to story

imaginations gone hard ‘round the edges

leaving us nothing but cold analysis, banishing

all of the shadows

Our sin

is all evil and no lesson when

dragged back to the guilty light of noon

We congregation, are ready to leave the

rough hewn repentance of this boxcar confessional

and be reborn, bathed

in the night flare of Alabama 3 am

High priest

of Pork Pie Hat


have come to sit in the flicker of

your trackside tire fire

Cast your crooked light into the

black boogie dark and

report back to us

Regale us with song

and watch over us in this,

our time of conformity

Protect us

the true freaks, on the wrong side

of the geek’s cage

Track Name: Scream Glory
I have a statue’s sense of grace

late afternoon light paints me heroic

If forced to move, my stoicism

is reduced to a stilted two step of

cobwebs and marble dust

I hope

you like random dance parties

The art on the walls

is all still life and could use a little more…push

These floorboards deserve different echoes

less ballroom and bayonet

and more joyously fist thrown

bossa nova

Leave me on the mantle

I’ll watch from here

If your feet need

more lift than my clucking tongue

and drill bit teeth can whistle

I’ve still got records, wax straining

against the dust of their crates

Don’t let all the Joy Division scare you

That’s only one side of it

Take solace in the Stax 45’s

Stevie Wonder, Bare Naked Ladies,

Sesame Street, and all the musicals

Spin them across your fingernails

let the vibrations bypass your tongue

and scream Glory

I won’t stop you

Half the time,

I want to tie up the wind chimes outside my window

and strangle their beautiful, random song


so I can sleep

The other half of the clock

is caught up between tip toes

and pounding out anti-mute rhythms

on my chest with all its

sunken fingerprints

If I happen to check out early

you’ll at least

have a short list of suspects

This is not a place you want to vacation

yet these walls

could use some more bend and bow

your 3 pm shadow, cast

into thousands of dancers

a thud rumble and damn the neighbors

Throw the curtains into a surprised smile

of early afternoon, sing and spin the room taut

into a single bass note, tremoring

seismic and delicate, until

I fall off the mantle and shatter



Leave me smashed and wonderful

don’t bend your exquisite knees

and disappear me into structure

Leave me to the waltz of the open window

and in this one movement, momentarily

achieve grace
Track Name: This Is Where We Used To Live
I dug out my old leather jacket

Its gleaming grin of epaulets and buckles

smiled to me from behind too few reminders

of battles, waged righteous and infantile

I tore through the pockets

searching for scraps of

all the late nights, screaming my

uninformed philosophies into the moon face

of God and the Ghetto Bird

but found only rawhide, lint,

and an address:

West of Refinement

Up the block from Anxious

Forever past 2 in the morning

and always 1 month shy

of 25

My eyes couldn’t recall the direction

but these worn feet

and 34 years of slumped shoulders

knew the way back to this place strictly

from muscle memory


is where I found him

A simple studio, white walls bare

to better reflect himself

A futon bed post, notched into splinters

from every one night stand, propped up by pride and

eyes too free of experience, but

he doesn’t look surprised to see me

That’s my jacket, old man

You look kinda stupid in it

I don’t where you found it

and I don’t have much, but

I’ll trade you

What do you want for it?

All right


I’ll take that middle finger out your tongue

It ain’t nothing but a limp digit if fear

is the only reason it ever flies

and while you’re at it,

pull that curled lip back over your canines

they’re nowhere near long enough

to bite with yet


I want that anthem in your throat

and every notebook you shout it into

It reads like a ransom demand,

all faded edges and stolen letters

wringing the ink from headlines to

fill your vulgar pen and pockets

You can keep

the Neverland in your irises

the dilated Lost Boys of aborted brain cells

the whole Morrison/Nietzche/Fellini

mystical death trip

I know where that leads

I’ve seen that road tread free of gravel

by every shock haired, steel booted,

leather clad, jack booted jerkwad this side

of fuck all and back

Death is boring

until you’ve lived some

Gimme the lust in your guts

the cauldron in your chest

the bellow of your lungs


finally know how to use them

They’re going to waste while you

sit here and bullshit the universe

the way we always did

I didn’t come here to trade

I came to lay this time and place

to casket

I am leaving you buried between these walls

bereft of blood boil and balls

stripped shivering

Armor is meant to protect the living

not adorn the dead

And this jacket

Well this motherfucker

is coming with me