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Degraw Avenue

from Stowaways by Paul Mark & The Van Dorens

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    Paul Mark's 10th album release, taking his roots rock and classic pop sensibility out into the next wave.

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(Words/music by P.Mark)

There's a semi-influential barber cuts hair down on Degraw Avenue
Wraps your neck and trims the ends of last night's evening news
Claims the city blacktop out in front should every year be shaved down and redone
Avenues paved over so the sins of the fathers won't be revisited upon the sons

Next door the A&P register girl don't give a rat's ass she looks right past like you's a baseball card collecting man-boy
Her earings rattle as packs up your commodity meat, loneliness, and lemon fresh Joy
The REO Speedwagon hit parade hums along with the overhead florescent tubes
She towels the blood from the conveyer belt like it was Jesus's face and says, Mister you want one bag or two?

Once a semester Dame Rectilinear invites the Lit majors into her ocean front home
Living off her affliction memoir, she MC’s past the Renoir sketch that keeps her from having to live all alone
Over mint juleps she laments “Why wasn't Sylvia Plath ever declared a saint?”
As they file out she reflects how orange sherbet sunsets can never outweigh the artist's life of pain

Reverend O'Mann rebooted his sermon schedule once the diocese declared its investigation closed
And anyway the charges were an internal matter their lawyers said, so none of the evidence will ever be disclosed
Now Rev. O's thoughts on gender confusion, barefoot women and god's intentions once again ricochet off the frescos above
All heads are down in the pews when he instructs that it's just one more mystery, the marriage between crime and love

Professor Moresworth wears his Ph.D round his neck like a soup-stained flea market tie
His mortarboard reflexes keep the noonday sun out of his eyes
In the lecture hall, the way he discusses music and the human spirit you'd think he was dissecting a frog
Afterwards the silence rings with vindication,
“History'll show I was right and they were all wrong”

The commission l found Judge Dividend in contempt, a pretzel-twist of election chits and contraband
Now each evening he rocks alone on the porch, a Flintstones jelly glass of Dewars in his hand
Refuses to acknowledge the phone, his wife's call to dinner or the flash bulbs in his eyes
“It was them not me that brought on the horror, swear I'll be strong till the day I die”

After 16 years writing tele-inventive claptrap Ms. Fleet bulldozed the landmark at 1040 Degraw
She built a gated trophy home that the zoning board suddenly claimed was well within the law
One April morning after a Wagnerian two-week storm a sink hole swallowed her and the entire South Wing
Now the neighbors go to sleep hungry while her reruns flash in pixel poetry across a sea of midnight flat screens

There's a quasi-influential barber holds court down on Degraw Avenue
Trims your ears then revives a soul speech he heard on last night's cable news
He waves his scissors and demands that citywide the blacktop should all be redone
Pave over the avenues so the sins of the fathers can't be revisited upon the sons

© Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.


from Stowaways, released April 9, 2020


all rights reserved



Paul Mark & The Van Dorens New York, New York

Triple-threat songwriter-musician-producer Paul Mark has been mystifying critics and barflies for decades. With a striking lyrical edge and an encyclopedic facility with American roots music, NYC-based Paul Mark has built a top-drawer original song catalog that tugs on the ears of the literary as well as the liquidated. Mark is principal owner of Radiation Records. ... more

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