6. lyrics

my first northern lights
lyrics by gloria

shut off the lights.
stop counting calories in every bite.
stop shopping for dresses on designer sites.
stop keeping hours in six minute chunks of time
stop drugging your mind to block dreams at night
shut off the TV. shut off the phone. shut off the laptop. and all of the lights

and once the lights are off, draw back the living room curtains to find
all the streetlights by the house are magically broken tonight
their absence now reveals the truth that you did not know:
you can see the northern lights from your window.

for God so loved the world, he lay his ring upon the sky
while all the busy folks below somehow mistake it for clouds

we don’t have time to look up at the sky
and we cannot see even if we tried
past the skyscrapers, past the streetlights, and the neon signs
there are stories being shown in the night sky
we will not see till we shut off the lights
shut off the lights

(the glare from these screens are keeping you blind)

fault lines

lyrics by gloria (2013)

showing off in your father’s car
chasing girls, you’re the local star
you’re seventeen years old, and your future waits
you’re hanging around, you blast Rick Ross
unaware of the girls’ lives lost
you’re the hometown hero, and mom says you’d do no wrong

these days for you are games to be played
to be conquered and boasted and laid to waste
you were supposed to claim the victory and not the crime

when I woke up, I thought I was dead
they told me walk it off, with these broken legs
because boys will always do what you did to me
you’re hanging around, you laugh with the boys
unaware of the girls you destroyed
because you know that the heroes always win

these days for me are knives to the chest
forced to smile with each laboured breath
and every girl I know lives on a fault line

you left me for dead but i am not yet
i will learn to walk with broken legs

these days for me are incredible miracles
my future waits for me now to live for
and I won’t stay your jane doe anymore

you left me for dead but i am not yet
i will learn to walk with broken legs


on the land

lyrics by gloria (2013)

don’t think i haven’t noticed you’ve been looking disheartened
i know you’re tired from fighting to keep your head above
can’t watch you drown
take my hand, start swimming
we’ll float right out of town

we’ll go out on the land
fishing poles in hand
we’ll run away together

take this day
take this day back for yourself
take this day
take this day and no one will find out

don’t believe those lies you tell yourself
don’t fall into the same routine again
and again
it’ll suck you in
let the land come heal you
this is not the end

and when you think you cannot tread water anymore
hang on to me, we’ll make it back to the shore


the longest night

lyrics by gloria (2013)

i don’t know where we took that wrong turn
but we can’t make our way back now
we better brace ourselves to survive
the longest night of our lives

i know we’re cold and tired
and there are wolves outside
stay strong; we need to fight
to get through this night
get through this night
get through this night

our folks back home will send a rescue team
I know that someone will find me
I need you here beside me now
warm my hands and remind me

because i am scared and hungry
and the wolves are out to get me
and i am losing this fight
to get through this night
get through this night
get through this night

wake up, don’t stay asleep
keep moving, keep moving
do you hear the motors approaching?
shoot your flare into the sky
i’ve got a feeling this time
we made it through the night

get through this night
get through this night


written by gloria (2012)

i thought i was ready to go back
things were still the way they left my flat
closet forced open and emptied
clothes scattered, sheets rip off my mattress
i can’t bring myself, though i try,
to clean the mess they left behind

but they didn’t take the ring you gave to me
and i’ve still got my memories
i’ve still got you, waiting for me, safe across the sea

the cop asks, what did they take
do i recall what stood in that empty space?
the guitar that i played to sing songs about you
the camera that caught my moments with you
the laptop that brought me closer to you
what do i do

i’ve got a list of all that i lost
i stop by every single pawn shop
dear stranger, i’m sorry life has led you
to make the choices you now choose
but i’m gonna follow you in your tracks
i’m going to go and get it all back


written by gloria (2009)
dedicated to my halmuni

i look it up on google maps
i want to take a peek
at this country no one’s ever seen
the famous hermit regime
the barbed wires of the DMZ
are the closest i’ve ever been
to envisioning a unity
since the Wall came down in Berlin

and if their leader’s ever overthrown
i’m gonna drop everything
i’m gonna run to the streets and dance
i’m gonna cry and shout and sing

i’ve got a family i’d like to meet
if they’re still alive
my halmuni left at seventeen
and now she’s eighty-five
i wanna hear them sing arirang
i wanna climb Kumkang’s peaks
reach the city of Pyongyang
dance with them in the streets

gotta fly by in an airplane
drop radios and leaflets
saying hope will come one day

so we’ll send magazines to North Koreans
whatever they may need
revolutions and skinny jeans
the fight to be free


beaver pond forest

written by gloria  (2010)

when the movie stopped, we took a walk
into the woods behind the cinema
you touched my mouth, those words came out
you held me so tight you bruised my fibula
the trees in that spot where my cherry popped
were all removed like they were eczema
now those parking lots where Beaver Pond was bought
flush out my memories like you never saw

meet me at the pond
meet me at the pond

as soon as school was out, we’d bike to Beaver Pond
hidden from our parents and our teachers
there we’d talk of life, and the bands we liked
blissfully untold of the future
sometimes the kids would smoke, sometimes the kids hooked up
we all grew up inside these woods
one day when we returned, it was all blocked off
with the ashphalt burying our childhood

coyotes and the deer
the beavers and the pond
bulldozers came
now my playmates are gone

i’ve watched these neighbourhoods
swell up like a blob from a horror film
eating everyone
all i want to know is where your children go
is it better in malls than in the sun
they’ll never learn to play
just to consume and wait
when you speak of love they won’t understand

they’ll only know beauty as Angelina Jolie
and not the way the milkweed feels when you press it in your hands.

time to riot

written by gloria  (2010)

it’s time to riot: take to the streets
make known our cause as leaders meet
they send their cops; they build a wall
they cannot possibly arrest us all

turn off the radio,
they don’t sing about, they don’t sing about us
these saccharine dreams and vapid love songs distract us while we’re robbed

it’s time to riot: let’s start a mob
no education, no cash, no jobs
they rob the youth so the old can feed
we’ll show our outrage, we’ll show the queen

it’s time to riot: the games are on
rich countries gather to show off their brawn
they cast us off with careless shrugs
we don’t be swept under the rug

it’s time to riot before it’s gone
rally to save our stomping grounds
to save the future, to save the past
they’ll tear down beauty in exchange for cash

it’s time to start a riot
it’s time to fight

we had a plan

written by gloria  (2011)

we locked ourselves in the bathroom at the high school party
hidden from the cool kids, so drunk and ordinary
if we ran the world, we’d do it differently
so we made a pact to fight mediocrity
while everyone sleeps
we’d escape this town
we’d take your mother’s car
make something of ourselves
we’d cross the line
we’d break the barriers
rage against against time
but you forgot

when we were ten, we played pretend
to be mom and dad
one day it didn’t end

saw you years later, you were looking good
waiting at the dry cleaners, dropping off your suit
remember when we spent all night on the roof
you said you’d never stay in this neighbourhood
but you gotta buy a house
you’re a grown man
you know what life’s about
the investment plan
you gotta buy a car
to drive out from your home
to get to the store
to the rest of the world
you gotta get a wife
you gotta have a kid
and get a lot of stuff
like all the cool folks did

when we were sixteen, we had a dream
but you forgot
everybody does

you gotta go to work
to pay for car repairs
to pay the child support
to pay the bank

when we were twenty-one, you made a plan
“i don’t remember how i got where i am.”

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