Dictionary Crimes

by Mumblin Deaf Ro

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Martin conneely
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Martin conneely Great guitar picking, mind-provoking lyrics. Favorite track: Sister Ill, Better Now.
Jeremy Jensen
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Jeremy Jensen If I could write one line as good as "Cheer Up, Charlie Brown. Your family still loves you while you're letting them down." I could stop writing music and watch even more television. Favorite track: Cade Calf Call.
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1.
I never sleep the night before work starts So I flick through the pigs on the calendar bought As a joke gift for my wife who’s asleep Exhausted by the children Our little boys and me I stand in our kitchen Catching cold through my feet And stare at the milk In the fridge for ideas Preoccupied with work And the household depending on me Cheer up Charlie Brown Your family still loves you while you’re letting them down It’s like long division There’s a process to repeat That’s how routine divides The big things in life And the remainders collect As the lees of my school-night sleep It takes emotional stamina To match all these demands And a reservoir of love in your life As your debt grows in its sleep And your mirror ages ‘round the eyes Cheer up Charlie Brown Your family still loves you while you’re letting them down The house is asleep The boys breathing easily The universe creeps along cold but aligned As I reread the opening page All the Russians blend into A confusing soup of names But mostly I just sit here With a picture of my Dad And his leaky old watering can Immersed in his garden By nature a nurturing man Cheer up Charlie Brown Your family still loves you while you’re letting them down
2.
On the beach With the waves in pleats My sister ill, but better now, Calling me a spoilsport For staying and minding the coats While she dips in and tries the cold Still though It’s good to see her outdoors again A little thin but fit to swim And browse among the rock pools Wearing a candy stripe top And looking like a lighthouse lost Safe and almost carefree now After the strangest time Apart from the family overbite Sharing a pact to worry And take your side She stays the night Too tired to drive My sister ill, but better now, Colluding with my wife by Cheating at Scrabble in turns But for once I don’t contest her words It’s just nice Dictionary crimes aside To talk so late about how great Our parents looked at our age Proud of my aubergine veins And the blood that carries both of our names Safe and almost carefree now After the strangest time Apart from the family overbite Sharing a pact to worry And take your side
3.
The Harm 04:16
Deep in the night Deep in a man’s chest The Harm is alive and it grows To the sound of an old Asthmatic accordion That drifts through a window Too high to close A man medicated Sleeps through the dose The Harm is red like cod roe Or white like a cauliflower rose And works through the night Deep in a man’s chest Under rosaried knuckles Latticed in hope Tired and jaundiced His eyes moved and spoke: “Where to begin? It’s hard, but, at the same time, There is no rest like sleep And no joy like relief As I reflect on the comfort of family life With its magic and chaos In Brownian Motion And of course the visitors Who are so kind to come And the children who climb and ask questions And bring you a love as simple as potatoes” There with the television blaring An afternoon passes itself As the Harm makes progress Blind, dumb and determined Quiet and violent Acting alone It works under principles True but unknown Beside the bed on a locker A candle is lighting the prayers To St John of Hospitals “Provide for and pray for us” St Albert of Science “Remember and pray for us” St Jude of ‘What next?’ “Tell us, what should we expect?” “And so here I am Having failed to defy The actuarial bets on my life I’m to set, I suppose, Some kind of final example Of how to suffer with grace and patience But all men dying, howsoever devout Hit the knot in the grain of the wood Caused by doubt And sleep with a fear unconfided”
4.
In a gallery run by the State For exhibiting paint There’s a picture of a partridge In off-white near the arctic And so capturing the unease That comes with filial grief And all its heavy boredom So restless and awkward Feeling the kiss of the mother I miss A love that’s now in exile Sad and swallowing a cade calf call Sorry and small Strange but alright now A painter young and untrained So the panel explains And sure enough the portrait Stares like a lay saint But something happened this boy That he can make angels from oil Yet clearly feel as I did So lost and unguided But you can’t advise a passionate mind A fire lights its own way Sad and swallowing a cade calf call Sorry and small Strange but alright now From the weird little seats they provide I make a plan to survive Relying on horse sense To tell what’s important While looking into a choir Painted in twelve feet by nine A requiem altar So serene and awesome Human voices in rows and rows Commend a new and bare soul Sad and swallowing a cade calf call Sorry and small Strange but alright now
5.
Little Mite 04:12
Here where the guidebooks are wrong Here where the side streets Are thronged in a daze Of either touring or trade We came to hide But capitals all seem alike It’s not as though architects only design Toys for empires I explained on the phone From our bed Lying prone That we’d come away to get close The hangover wakes me on time With you on the balcony Sorting the drying Ringing down tickets for A cathedral tour Where we fell behind from the group And sat in a side chapel Sharing a pew Bought a candle from new But ours didn’t light Just like our Little Mite Miscarried into the quiet I say ‘Hi’ With a squeeze of your hand The both of us feeling As sensitive as Two small peeled oranges Just finding our way The calendar gets a new date There are things to unwish for And plans to unmake Two hearts feeling their weight As the wind from the bay Blows a bend in the rain Soaking our intimate pain
6.
7.
The car is all quiet We pass the sweets The luggage in the boot I can see the airport towers My brother is leaving He sits there calm At the window Next to my Mam You can tell her heart weeps like Oil on a beach He’s no clue about clothes Or living alone No concept of how far money goes How to fail and come home Some lives churn along like buttermilk Some like Stations of the Cross There on the concourse A family confides its own goodbyes Better go then Better start your change of life A family gets close Through all its shared little episodes and jokes But its centre of gravity holds Onto a mother coping It’s time for him to board Our words all sound together like a chord Mam digs in the hand luggage for St Christopher’s Water A wave at the gate Begins the mistake With the presumption of good luck Unprotected but safe Some lives churn along like buttermilk Some like Stations of the Cross There on the concourse A family confides its own goodbyes
8.
In my plot-driven life With a Spiderman motorbike I buy my own weight In batteries Just to keep my home at peace The days of the week Recur like a drum machine But the boys bring a life [note change to line break] And a circus of affection to the house And bull’s-eye certainty To how I hope to spend my life expectancy Stooping to clean Beans from a DVD Try to explain That we don’t stuff tuna in our trains Get help from my wife But I snap at her make her cry Instantly wrong But then tiredness has a temper of its own And its range is close and deep I wonder if it’s changing or just revealing me Thought I’d be a mix Of Bill Cosby and Atticus Finch Turns out the kids are the ones With the formative influence They’re finally quiet Sleeping with zips for eyes When you work out that life Is as simple and difficult as it looks And has no steady state A day can drag but a year can just evaporate
9.
Out after work Visiting Mam Who’s home for the last stage Of palliative calm We chat away She tells me that I'm too rough Shaving her itchy head A practical love So I help her out Into a comfortable chair She's thin as a boy now And finished with stairs So we're settling Into the latest routine Watching 'The Birdcage' Then Scrabble till tea Hoping the day Can last till the night Hoping the night Can last on its own Sitting with eyes Red and resigned Watching 'The Birdcage' Months afterwards While loading the boot The grief overwhelmed me Subduing my mood It came unannounced As suddenly as a sneeze Unresolved sadness Unwrapped and released And though I accept My share of life's randomness My part in its pities And all of its pains I've been too long Moping in my own gravy With life in the background Like a radio play Hoping the day Can last till the night Hoping the night Can last on its own Sitting with eyes Red and resigned Watching 'The Birdcage'
10.
The man who broke my leg Has apologised again So I’m spending my sick cert reading Middlemarch Until my fibula connects Enjoying life slowed down To a pace I can absorb The children poking fingers under my cast And asking if it’s sore Life gets serious When you’ve more thoughts than brains And you find that all the while you were lost Real life never changed I get to see what my life’s like When I’m not around The made-up rhymes and murder at meal times With my wife acting out The food she overcooked That I then overate My leg beside the love of my lifetime Beauty and the break Life gets serious When you’ve more thoughts than brains And you find that all the while you were lost Real life never changed I remember as a kid When sick days were a gift Time at home with my folks to myself I mean, who knew couples kissed? My new broken leg Is a lesson I forget That healing Though it’s hidden Is still happening A fracture is a friend Life gets serious When you’ve more thoughts than brains And you find that all the while you were lost Real life never changed

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released September 14, 2012

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Mumblin Deaf Ro Dublin, Ireland

Mumblin’ Deaf Ro is a Dublin-based songwriter who has released three albums to date. Ro's third album 'Dictionary Crimes' was released by Popical Island in September 2012. The album decsribes what it is like to be part of a family. It was selected as Irish album of the year by Nialler9 and the Irish Independent and was nominated for the Choice Music prize for album of the year. ... more

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