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Can I call myself a “songwriter” if I’ve only written one song?  And can I get away with calling that one song “a song” if it hasn’t been recorded?  Or set to music? And what if I have no intention, whatsoever, of getting someone to compose music for it?  Hmmm…maybe what I actually have here is a poem.  (“Hi, I’m a poet.”  Yeah, I like the sound of that.  Now all I have to do is buy a black turtleneck sweater and grow a Van Dyke beard.)

Anyway, while I’m busy inventing an alternate, bohemian persona for myself, please enjoy the nervous tale below.  (I think I was trying to write a Tom Waits song.  If anybody could save it, he could.)

Waco

When you see me at the depot,
Turn and look the other way.
Just cough into your hand,
And I’ll know that we’re okay.
We’ll get as far as Houston,
Then it’s safe enough to talk.
We’ll meet inside the dining car
And take a little walk.
Unil then, you don’t know me, and I don’t know you.
We’re gettin’ outta Waco on the 7:32.

I’ve been renting out a single
At the Tipperary Inn
On the highway by the Fina
And I’m almost out of gin.
I haven’t touched the money
Or the you-know-what.
A deal’s a deal.  I wouldn’t ever
Disrespect your cut.
Don’t get followed to the station, whatever you do.
We’re gettin’ outta Waco on the 7:32.

There’s a waitress that I met,
And I got a little loose.
I might’ve said too much
Drinking Tanqueray and juice.
So now I got a problem,
’Cause she thinks we’re getting hitched.
I had to tell her that,
Because she just about snitched.
The funny thing is, she looks a lot like Sue.
I’ll let you see her picture on the 7:32.

She likes to come to bed
Wearing little silver spurs,
Serenading me in Spanish.
She thinks half the money’s hers.
But it’s okay; I didn’t let her
See the yellow box.
Wouldn’t matter if she did, because
She couldn’t pick the locks.
She wants to go to Paris.  I didn’t tell her ’bout you.
She doesn’t know I’m leaving on the 7:32.