Suddenly Courageous

by David Clemmer

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Outtakes and Demos from 'Sins and Triumphs'


released August 12, 2014

Written and performed by DC; Mike Chastain plays slide guitar on 'The Locals'

Recorded and mixed by DC, except 'The Locals,' recorded and mixed by Mike Chastain

Turned up by DC

Photo by DC



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David Clemmer Portland, Oregon

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Track Name: The Locals
Show me glimmering smoke
on high brick chimneys
that spew the memories of things unwanted.
Show me shimmering glass
from a bottle that raged
in a battle upon asphalt and paint.

Show me blackening hilltops,
the sun clinging behind them,
desperate, yearning for the chance to shine.
Show me flickering streetlights
that choose and choose not
to illuminate the street's garbage and grime.

Ripped jeans, daiquiri stains,
the living dead in this town.
New shoes, white-blues,
the living dead in this town.
The living dead are all around.

Show me wires of fortune
that transport voices
and carry them speeds upon speeds.
Show me carcasses of spiders
and webs holding carcasses
to show me the chain of dead.
Show me shirts in good shape
sporting colorful words.
Show me human being is as is.

The living dead in this town
and all around.
Track Name: Return to Me
In the safest town,
they sell it by the pound
and you can't lift a finger.
You sign your name and then
you give the man your pen
and you're declared the winner.

The pushing never shoves.
The lusting never loves.
And once you're in, you're in, man.
Good harmonies will sing
a burned-in offering.
Catch a keeper if you can.

Return to me
return to me
return to me
my fantasy.

A marketer will chase
a smile across your face
and you won't be the wiser.
And you won't mind a bit.
A widening of wit.
Try to welcome the enticer.

Cleaned and claustrophobic.
Saturday aerobics.
And a jump on entertainment.
In the safest town,
your worries are inbound
for angels and arraignments.

Return to me
return to me
return to me
my fantasy.
Track Name: Sins and Triumphs (original concept, 2007)
Hold up your hands,
call out into the graying day
before the candle smoke
coalesces with the clouds,
before you beat senseless
the chain-link nets,
before the debts that none can pay.

And the taxes on our hearts are steep.
The deposed are mud-caught in the deep.
You sleepily creep to the weeds,
climbing up the interstate
so you can hide away.

You wax with the daylight.
You find a bench in a park, you sit.
The TVs are still on,
they’re blue on all the lawns,
and you think, My god,
my god, my god, my god.
An emptiness so lovely.

The sky weeps and the ground seeps
and the car alarm in the ‘94 Chevy beeps across the street.
You want to be there to greet it.
You want to be sweet.
Your hands open, your clothes drenched in blood.

Someone’s jazz piano is still on autoplay;
they don’t get around much anymore.
You find a rosary, wood, beaded,
sheathed in golden leaves in the lawn
of a house you recognize.
And you move your feet.

There you sit in the shopping strip
while the cars all burn, while the banners all burn,
while the old rose bushes burn and burn and burn,
and the windows shatter,
and the looters batter,
and you welcome it.
You embrace it.
You think it’s kind of beautiful.

But you really thought some of this would matter,
yeah, it’s hard to admit, but you’re still sitting here.
You’re still watching.
The sun is blotched out,
covered in oily rags,
and the stars have all gone stage left.

Static in the morning after.
No more insects in the grass.
Only snakes.
Here we go.

And you’re terrified.
The bridge drizzles with headlights.
Your steps do not echo.
I can’t hear you try.
God shakes at you
and you hang on that chain link.
The train yard stains the riverbanks
like cold, parted lips.
And you were wrong.
You were wrong.
There’s a trigger in your finger every minute.
Your chalk, it makes no mark.
Terrific regrets.
There’s a mask of a man.
It’s a bird-faced god.
He dances in the starlight
like trees in a thunderstorm.
There’s the thunder.
Here it comes.
And you’re suddenly courageous.
You’re suddenly courages,
Hold up your hands,
call out into that charcoal night,
where the screams fall through in pricks of red light,
and let fly into the slow rapids,
and meet the cold sheets beyond the glass.

And I was there
twirling with you to that jazz piano.
We don’t get around much anymore.
The final darkness drew,
our sins and triumphs forgotten,
and in our last breath, we laughed.
Track Name: One Thing in Common
Everyone had one thing in common.
I never thought my house would burn.

Come on put your shoes, we’re going.
Put on your coat, we’re not driving.
I’m through sitting up at night,
watching televisions in no light.
Don’t wanna let her go.
Don’t wanna see my vein.
Don’t wanna see it snow
ash without her hands and refrain.


Hold this close to you, you’ll need it.
There’s one for you, and one for me.
If things connect and let us down,
I’ll trust you to let us both free.
Got my measured distance.
Got my seal and cane.
Got my leather bible.
But I got no love in prayin’.
It waits for nobody, it waits for nobody!


See her withered taillights.
See the running ditch.
See my numbing ankles.
Jaw cryin, God, you son of a bitch!
I just have to see you, just have to before the end.
The sun stopped coming up, there needs a torch.
My eyes are bulging like gluttons.
My heart and skin begin to scorch.

God have mercy, God have sense,
God have love, please let me see her again.