Chocolate and Bourbon

from by Fiona Chamness

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My mom is sleeping, she's sleeping on the couch
Heartbreak day's a long cage & she's not crawling out
I'm worried that she's sick because she's sad to be alone
& worry makes me sick, I gotta gnaw that bone

I had one great-grandfather worked in a candy store
The other drank himself corroded & blamed the Civil War
Oh chocolate & bourbon & however you get free
My grandmother had a little dog named Whiskey

& she says Here's some fudge for the road, for the road
But she means Be careful what you're carrying
We like to say Dynamite comes in small packages
But we mean Watch out don't explode

Mom says moderation is gonna keep us safe
But I've seen her leaning towards him, I don't think she's escaped
We still got that looming night-brain, you just hide it where you can
In the salt, in the sugar, in the glass, in the hand

& I gotta watch my fuses, I gotta watch the chords
This bloodline's a tripwire, I was born through a trapdoor
We like our chocolate & bourbon & our dangling over hell
I took my first sip & said Oh I'll sleep well

& we all need our sleep, gotta ease off the load
But you can't be too careful what you're burying
We say If you can't say something nice don't say anything
But we mean Watch out there she goes

& every family's got its curses, got its sparking choke & copper
But I don't think ours is the bottle, no, I think it's the stopper
I wanna care for my black hole, wanna let it howl & holler
Wanna yell Get off the couch, Mom, stop wearing that collar

But at the end of the day, you know, you're in charge of your own cup
& she looks almost peaceful, I don't wanna wake her up
Just give her chocolate & bourbon, make her feel at home
Every family's got its poisons, every family loves its own


from Dispatches From the Well, released October 3, 2012
Harmonic Guitar: David Tisel



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Fiona Chamness Ann Arbor, Michigan

Fiona Chamness is a poet and songwriter from Ann Arbor, MI. She is coauthor, with Aimée Lê, of Feral Citizens, published in 2011 by Red Beard Press. She belongs to the poetry ensemble Ann Arbor Wordworks and two bands, Helicopter Parents and The Cutting Room Floor. She has performed poetry and music in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Oberlin, Hanover, Boston, St. Louis, Berkeley, and Sevilla, Spain. ... more

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