awake in soft light of pacific grove
where pine trees line sea cliffs and coves
and dark gulleys and gulls cry shrill-voiced and sharp-billed
float in mid-air and the wind comes up from watsonville east

from lettuce fields and artichoke fields
strawberry fields, onion fields, find sanctity in fields
find sanctity in sur, the big sur, big crag cliffs, surf spray
and the soil of indian california

the clamshell cracked tooth and acorn shoe california
we have cars and we have maps to san fran
crescent city, oakland and the gilman, monterey
san simeon, salinas

sleep under stars and steal cigarettes
campfires we are poor, beachfires we see heaven in moonlit waves
inspect a fire glow
our faces are like aztec gods

we visit oakland warehouses where j.s. sits candlelit
and lives forever in bonds and healthy robust
laughing princelike telling stories of chicago squats
where you see your breath on hard mornings

we stay in l.a. for a month
and walk beach avenues and feel dead
we sleep on the sand in santa monica
woken in chill dawn by lifeguards in brown shorts and red jackets

we get drunk and throw rocks and parked cars in san diego and wake up feeling guilty
but in marin there is fog and rotting cottages and thistle weed mornings
mason jars, lining windowsills

and in bakersfield small town high school girls suck off their dealers in the backs of old buicks
spit out the window then tie off and belts fulfilling and joyous into the upholstery
while the radio plays soft

and it is dark
streets are empty and wet
and we race below light at overpass
our cars like rhinos and sharks

and onward we move into where?
a job where we feel bare and picked apart and misunderstood
or those schools where teachers talk with cadaver voice
no, no, no

no we want and pray and sweat for nothing more than to stand our one pulse race to the next
to run all our days and find finally in the promised land
(to run all our days and find finally in the promised land)

Lyrics submitted by anonymiad

Hymn California song meanings
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    General Commentisn't there an episode in 'Generation X' by Douglas Coupland where the main character throws a rock at a car and wakes up feeling guilty? or maybe i'm grasping at straws. i need to read that book again soon.
    anonymiadon January 05, 2010   Link

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