Reach The Top

from by M. Lockwood Porter

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lyrics

It’s a psychopathic isolation daydream come alive:
The worker drones still serve their queen though she’s destroyed the hive.
Instead there’s bigger houses and some better cars to drive,
A screen to feel connected
A pill to kill the pain,
A ladder to convince you that your climbing’s not in vain,
A mortgage and a mouth to feed that keep you up at night.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say, “if you play your cards right.”

First, they took the farms, and then they built the factories.
But then they took the factory jobs and they sent them overseas.
They raised all the tuitions and told us all to get degrees.
Now we’re deeper into debt,
Deeper in despair,
Deeper underwater and we’re running out of air.
But if you want to see the rainbow, you must put up with the rain.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say. “There’s no need to complain.”

There’s something percolating in the poorest parts of town.
There’s new cafes and restaurants and new money all around.
And everywhere you go, you hear the same familiar sound.
From Detroit to San Francisco.
From Brooklyn to the South.
In everything that goes into or comes out of your mouth.
In the shirt upon your back or the very bedroom where you sleep.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say, “but it ain’t coming cheap.”

The suicide is sprawled upon the bloody bathroom floor.
A policeman shot another boy and no one knows what for.
I try to listen to the wind blow, but you can’t hear it anymore.
There’s only smoke and static.
There’s only noise and fear.
There’s only so much talking until you tune out all you hear.
There’s only buried bodies trying to shout up through the dirt.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say, “but someone’s getting hurt.”

Our new path to heaven’s paved with hundred dollar bills
And a hundred ways to justify the people that we kill.
We have now more than ever, but that won’t satisfy us still.
Every drop of oil.
Every drop of blood.
Everyone who fights back lying facedown in the mud.
Everything belongs to us no matter what the price.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say, “but you’ll have to sacrifice.”

credits

from How To Dream Again, released September 16, 2016

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