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Self Evident
Ani Difranco

(inspired by the wtc disaster)


Us people are just poems

We're 90% metaphor

With a leanness of meaning

Approaching hyper-distillation

And once upon a time

We were moonshine

Rushing down the throat of a giraffe

Yes, rushing down the long hallway

Despite what the P. A. Announcement says

Yes, rushing down the long stairs

With the whiskey of eternity

Fermented and distilled

To eighteen minutes

Burning down our throats

Down the hall

Down the stairs

In a building so tall

That it will always be there

Yes, it's part of a pair

There on the bow of Noah's ark

The most prestigious couple

Just kickin back parked

Against a perfectly blue sky

On a morning beatific

In it's Indian summer breeze

On the day that America

Fell to it's knees

After strutting around for a century

Without saying thank you

Or please

And the shock was subsonic

And the smoke was deafening

Between the setup and the punch line

Cuz we were all on time for work that day

We all boarded that plane for to fly

And then while the fires were raging

We all climbed up on the windowsill

And then we all held hands

And jumped into the sky

And every borough looked up when it heard the first blast

And then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed

And the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar

Looked more like war than anything I've seen so far

So far

So far

So fierce and ingenious

A poetic specter so far gone

That every jackass newscaster was struck dumb and stumbling

Over 'oh my god' and 'this is unbelievable' and on and on

And I'll tell you what, while we're at it

You can keep the pentagon

Keep the propaganda

Keep each and every tv

That's been trying to convince me

To participate

In some prep school punk's plan to perpetuate retribution

Perpetuate retribution

Even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution

Is still hanging in the air

And there's ash on our shoes

And there's ash in our hair

And there's a fine silt on every mantle

From hell's kitchen to Brooklyn

And the streets are full of stories

Sudden twists and near misses

And soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters

With tales of narrowly averted disasters

And the whiskey is flowin

Like never before

As all over the country

Folks just shake their heads

And pour

So here's a toast to all the folks who live in Palestine



El Salvador

Here's a toast to the folks living on the pine ridge reservation

Under the stone cold gaze of mt. Rushmore

Here's a toast to all those nurses and doctors

Who daily provide women with a choice

Who stand down a threat the size of Oklahoma City

Just to listen to a young woman's voice

Here's a toast to all the folks on death row right now

Awaiting the executioner's guillotine

Who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads

To find peace in the form of a dream

Cuz take away our playstations

And we are a third world nation

Under the thumb of some blue blood royal son

Who stole the oval office and that phony election

I mean

It don't take a weatherman

To look around and see the weather

Jeb said he'd deliver Florida, folks

And boy did he ever

And we hold these truths to be self evident:

#1 George W. Bush is not president

#2 America is not a true democracy

#3 the media is not fooling me

Cuz I am a poem heeding hyper-distillation

I've got no room for a lie so verbose

I'm looking out over my whole human family

And I'm raising my glass in a toast

Here's to our last drink of fossil fuels

Let us vow to get off of this sauce

Shoo away the swarms of commuter planes

And find that train ticket we lost

Cuz once upon a time the line followed the river

And peeked into all the backyards

And the laundry was waving

The graffiti was teasing us

From brick walls and bridges

We were rolling over ridges

Through valleys

Under stars

I dream of touring like Duke Ellington

In my own railroad car

I dream of waiting on the tall blonde wooden benches

In a grand station aglow with grace

And then standing out on the platform

And feeling the air on my face

Give back the night it's distant whistle

Give the darkness back it's soul

Give the big oil companies the finger finally

And relearn how to rock-n-roll

Yes, the lessons are all around us and a change is waiting there

So it's time to pick through the rubble, clean the streets

And clear the air

Get our government to pull it's big dick out of the sand

Of someone else's desert

Put it back in it's pants

And quit the hypocritical chants of

Freedom forever

Cuz when one lone phone rang

In two thousand and one

At ten after nine

On nine one one

Which is the number we all called

When that lone phone rang right off the wall

Right off our desk and down the long hall

Down the long stairs

In a building so tall

That the whole world turned

Just to watch it fall

And while we're at it

Remember the first time around?

The bomb?

The Ryder truck?

The parking garage?

The princess that didn't even feel the pea?

Remember joking around in our apartment on avenue D?

Can you imagine how many paper coffee cups would have to change their design

Following a fantastical reversal of the New York skyline?!

It was a joke, of course

It was a joke

At the time

And that was just a few years ago

So let the record show

That the fbi was all over that case

That the plot was obvious and in everybody's face

And scoping that scene


The cia

Or is it kgb?

Committing countless crimes against humanity

With this kind of eventuality

As it's excuse

For abuse after expensive abuse

And it didn't have a clue

Look, another window to see through

Way up here

On the 104th floor


Another key

Another door

10% literal

90% metaphor

3000 some poems disguised as people

On an almost too perfect day

Must be more than poems

In some asshole's passion play

So now it's your job

And it's my job

To make it that way

To make sure they didn't die in vain


Baby listen

Hear the train?

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Lyrics by Ani Difranco

  'Tis of Thee   1,000,000   2nd Intermission   32 Flavors   32 Flavors [Live][*]   4th of July   78% H20   78% H2O   A Spade   ¿Which Side Are You On?   ¿Which Side Are You On?   Adam and Eve   Aids   Ain't That The Way   Akimbo   Albacore   Alla This   Allergic to Water   Amazing Grace   Amendment   Angel Food   Angry Any More   Angry Any.   Angry Anymore   Animal   Anticipate   Anyday   As Is   Asked You First   Asked You First (live)   Asking Too Much   Astronaut (feat. Radiohead)   Astronaut (Ft Radiohead)   Back Around   Back Back Back   Beautiful Night   Bliss Like This   Blood in the Boardroom   Bodily   Born a Lion   Both Hands   Both Hands (Live In Austin, Texas)   Both Hands [Live in Austin, Texas]   Both Hands [Live in Austin, Texas]   Both Hands [New Version]   Brief Bus Stop   Brief Bus Stop [*]   Bubble   Building And Bridges   Buildings & Bridges   Buildings and Bridges   Callous   Carry You Around   Christians & Pegans   Christians and Pagans   Circe of Light   Circle of Light   Cloud Blood   Cloud Blood?   Cold & Mean   Cold And Mean   Cold And Mean (Answering Machine)   Come Away   Come Away From It   Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd cover)   Coming Up   Company   Cradle & All   Cradle & All   Cradle & All   Cradle and All   Cradle And All (Live)   Crime for Crime   Decree   Deep Dish   Dilate   Diner   Distracted   Dithering   Do Re Me   Do Re Me (Woody Guthrie cover)   Do Re Me (Woody Guthrie cover)   Dog Coffee   Don't Nobody Know   Done Wrong   Educated G.   Educated Guess   Egos Like Hairdos   Egos Like Hairdos (Live)   Emancipated   Emancipated Minor   Everest   Every Angle   Every State Line   Evolve   Evolve - Album: Evolve   Face up & Sing   Face Up And Sing   Fair Weather   Falling Is Like This   Feakshow   Fierce Flawless   Find A Fire   Fire Door   Fixing Her Hair   Flood Waters   Forest For the Trees   Freakshow   Fuel   Fuel (spoken Word)   Garden Of Simple   Glass House   God's Country   Going Down   Going Once   Good Luck   Good, Bad, Ugly   Grand Canyon   Gratitude   Gravel   Grey   Half-Assed   Handsome Musician   Happy All the Time   Harder Than It Needs To Be   Harvest   Hat Shaped Hat   Hear The Train   Hearse   Heart Break Even   Heartbreak Even   Hell Yeah   Hello Birmingham   Here for Now   Here For Now - Album: Evolve   Hide & Seek (is The Zygote Song!!)   Hide & Seek   Hide And Seek   Hide Seek   Hour Follows Hour   How Have You Been   How Long Can It Last   Hurricane   Hurricane (Bob Dylan cover)   Hurricane (Bob Dylan cover)   Hypnotized   I Know This Bar   I'm No Heroine   Icarus   Icarus - Album: Evolve   If He Tries Anything   If It Isn't Her   If Yr Not   Imagine That   Imperfectly   In Here   In or Out   In The Margins   In the Margins   In the Way   In The Way - Album: Evolve   Independence Day   Itch   J   Joyful Girl   Joyful Girl (Danger And Uncertainty Mix)   Joyful Girl (Live With The Buffalo Philharmonic)   Joyful Girl (Peace And Love Extended Mix)   Joyful Girl (Peace And Love Mix)   Joyful Girl [Live]   Joyful Girl [Live]   Jukebox   Kazoointoit   Know Now Then   Knuckle Down   Lag Time   Landing Gear   Letter to a John   Letting the Telephone Ring   Letting the Telephone Ring [*]   Life Boat   Light of Some Kind   Little Plastic Castle   Looking for the Holes   Loom   Lost Woman Song   Lullaby   Make Me Stay   Make Them Apologize   Manhole   Mariachi   Mariachi   Marrow   Millennium Theater   Minerva   Modulation   Most Of The Time   Most Of The Time (accompanied On Violin By Cregan ...   My I Q   My I.Q.   My IQ   My Name Is Lisa Kalvelage   Names & Dates   Names & Dates   Names and Dates and Times   Napoleon   Napoleon [New Version]   Napoleon [New Version]   Nicotine   No Reason To Come Home   North Main Street   Not a Pretty Girl   Not Angry Anymore   Not So Soft   O My My   O My My - Album: Evolve   O. K.   O.K.   Oh My My   Old Old Song   On Every Corner   One More Night   One Times One Times One   Origami   Origami - Educated Guess Album   Out of Habit   Out of Range   Out Of Range (electric Version)   Out of Range (Electric)   Out of Range [Acoustic]   Out of Range [Electric]   Outa Me, Onto You   Outta Me, Onto You   Overlap   Overlap [New Version]   Overlap [New Version]   Pale Purple   Paradigm   Parameters   Perfect Fingers   Phase   Phase - Album: Evolve   Pick Yer Nose   Pixie   Pixie (Be Nice)   Platforms   Present Infant   Present/Infant   Prison Prism   Promiscuity   Promised Land   Promised Land - Album: Evolve   Providence   Pulse   Rain check   Raincheck   Rainy Parade   Reckoning   Recoil   Red Letter Year   Reprieve   Reprise   Revelling   Rock Paper Scissors   Rockabye   Roll With It   Round A Pole   Rush Hour   School Night   Second Intermission   Second Intermission - Album: Evolve   See See See See   Seeing Eye Dog   Serpentine   Serpentine - Album: Evolve   Served Faithfully   Shameless   Shameless (Bathtub Mix)   Shameless [New Version]   Shameless [New Version]   She Says   Shroud   Shroud   Shrug   Shrug - Album: Evolve   Shy   Sick Of Me   Silver Ingrid   Sistersong   Slide   Slide - Album: Evolve   Small World   Smiling Underneath   So What   Soft Shoulder   Sorry I Am   Splinter   Star Matter   Still My Heart   Studying Stones   Subconscious   Subdivision   Submerged   Subway   Sunday Morning   Superhero   Swan Dive   Swandive   Swim   Swim - Album Educated Guess   Swing   Swing (Radio Set)   Swing [Album Version]   Swing [Radio Set]   Talk To Me Now   Tamburitza Lingua   That Was My Love   The Arrivals Gate   The Atom   The Boys In Blue   The Diner   The Internationale   The Million You Never Made   The Million You Never Made [#]   The Next Big Thing   The Slant   The Story   The True Story Of What Was   The Waiting Song   The Whole Night   This Bouqet   This Bouquet   This Box Contains...   This Box Contains...   Tip Toe (outtakes)   Tiptoe   To Be Free   To the Teeth   To the Teeth [Shoot-Out Remix]   Tr’w   Travel Tips   Trickle Down   True Story Of What Was   Two Little Girls   Unforgettable   Unrequited   Untouchable Face   Unworry   Up Up Up Up Up Up   Used Cars   Used to You   Virtue   Waiting For Susan   Way Tight   Welcome To   Welcome to :   Welcome To:   Welcome To: - Album: Evolve   What How When Where   What How When Where (Why Who)   What If No One's Watching   Whatall Is Nice   Whatever   When Doves Cry   When Doves Cry (Prince cover)   When I'm Gone   Wherever   Which Side Are You On   Which Side Are You On?   Willing to Fight   Wish I May   Wishin' & Hopin'   Wishin' And Hopin'   Woe Be Gone   Work Your Way Out   Worthy   Wrong With Me   Yeah Yr Right   You Each Time   You Had Time   Your House   Your Next Bold Move   Your Next Bold Move [New Version]   Your Next Bold Move [New Version]   Zoo

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