The Bootstrap Gospel

by Jonathan Hamlow

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These songs were written for the RPM Challenge 2009 and are dedicated to the memory of Bill Holm. I am still really missing your words, Camerado!


released February 28, 2009



all rights reserved


Jonathan Hamlow Minneapolis, Minnesota

Upon the rumor that he hatched from an egg laid in a dunghill and brooded by a toad the Artist vehemently denied. Upon the charge of being a semi-autonomous text generation engine, no comment was issued.

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Track Name: Reed
When the reed had bent
as far as it could bend
when the moving finger writ
its message and hit send
I felt bruised but it
appeared it wasn't broken
and couldn't deny the
last word I'd heard spoken
Track Name: Failing Inspiration
Failing inspiration there is nothing but persistence
fate may show you mercy if you lower your resistance
Track Name: Pushing
It's a fine analogy:
pull with all your might
your own pushing
while all the while
gravity presses you
firmly to the ground
and if you think it's fear
that keeps me
from pushing every
of every button you've got
well it's not
neither lack of desire
or inner fire
in fact that sounds just fine to me
but my pushing spirit's
bound by courtesy
Track Name: Suture
How in the world can I still be expecting
after something like twenty years
spent in reflecting
Is there anything really left there
or just an image bound up in
steel strings and coarse hair
You could theorize that we hope because we must
just enough to kick us into low gear
shake off the rust
never enough to escape gravity
or shake the bitch up
a suture in time
and every rhyme it's going to stitch up
I crudely sew one disjointed season to another
pretend a whole is coalescing
fake it till you make it brother
this time I'm a quit while I'm ahead
but this stone's been thoroughly bled
Track Name: Persist
Why persist? why persevere?
It's not as if I'm getting anywhere here
Not like it's not obvious I'm not one of those
who fate or God or chance or whatever chose
these days it looks to me like pure defiance
I'll rub your face in how I never had a chance
I will just churn it out till I cease to exist
never knowing if it really matters if I persist
Track Name: Over
Nothing’s really ever over
so it appears
Not a dozen not a hundred
not a thousand years
not ends of days
of city states
no end of deadlines
or apocalypse dates
Though it all be drawn
into the swollen sun
yet still it will not yet be done
Track Name: No Tomorrow
There is no tomorrow for
the one you failed to say goodbye to
here I am struggling to finish
something I said I wouldn't
even try to
Another poet struck down
more sweet words are lost
Sometimes I wonder if
even God pauses to count the cost
There's no tomorrow I've
been waiting 37 years
and every greater ecstasy
came with its batch of
bitter tears
And if we had a thousand years
we still couldn't say enough
I hope at some strange angle
I'll be called upon to call that bluff