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Live in Chicago

by Alex Dupree

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Can’t think of a time when your love was true. Can’t think of one kind word that you said. But I got on a plane because you asked me to with a suitcase full of contraband. We met in Istanbul at Taksim square. I thought the plan was suicide: to shake down one of the billionaires at a cafe in broad daylight. But I put my jacket on, and I did my part. Security was swift, and they slammed me to the car. But your whereabouts, I kept them hidden in my heart. Fake diamonds, false powers I gave you. In prison, I did fifteen years, always dreaming of my reward. Then I worked a boat back to the gulf where I heard that you had been holding court in the Spanish moss and the neon haze. From the pool you met my eyes, and by the proposition in your gaze it’s clear you don’t even recognize me. And I remembered at once every promise I had kept while you played you were king of the kingdom of death in a palace you built out of nothing except the fake diamonds, the false powers I gave you. Like branches in a hurricane that fall in disbelief, I came inside and lay across your bed filled with a terrible sense of relief. And the moon flashed in my prison blade as it found your heart of stone, And the look you gave me was pure surprise as we rolled out into the open, And I knelt to put my weight against you where you bleed as the rain goes on to make a mirror of the street. And it’s weird, so many crowding at the hour of your defeat, and not one of them gonna come down here and save you. Fake diamonds, false powers I gave you.
I woke up in a cave. At least I think I woke up in a cave, it was too dark to tell. Pressed against the stone my head felt like it wanted to explode. Oh, you think maybe we went a little far? The air is shadows going by. I never said I wanted to die, just to be where the dead are. Devotion is in my hands. I went on on all fours to look for passage, some kind of trapdoor. To turn my body into love I brought it to the void. I guess I thought it had to be destroyed. How American. I’m shaking in my trance like a planet in a telescope. I know you must be looking for me. The way a planet in a telescope is shaking because it is in your hands. Devotion is in my hands.
Well, I'm not just a fool I sat alone for an hour and thought I know I broke the rules I knew it there on the spot But what I did was alright And I knew all along In spite of the warning I got Cause this time, Dad, you're wrong I'll prove it to you No, I'm not just a fool I'm not just a fool No, I'll prove it to you Well, I can't tell you why Might not know why until after it's through But at least I've got to try And then you might understand too But love is why I go back Like I knew all along The fact is I even love you Cause this time, Dad, you're wrong I'll prove it to you I'm not just a fool I'm not just a fool No, I'll prove it to you
This desire’s all wrong (we knew that much all along), but we could pretend for a while that I didn’t cry for you deep in the night, that you didn’t want me in your arms. Then you undid your coat like a hallucination. You kissed me, and it felt like a curse. See my woman at home, it’s a bad situation. I wish you had got to me first. Your husband was making a movie in Spain, and we walked hand in hand through the park. The autumn had triggered in you, we decided, fondness for a fearless remark. And I’m beginning to see the years wasted on misery like a judgment that you could have reversed. You raise up your drink and say it’s just one of those things. I wish you had got to me first. Now I’m listening above for the whispers of love like one of its true believers (but with miles left to go, and they’re starting to show). I wish you had got to me first.
With a team of professionals keeping me drunk, with a wilderness caught on the tip of my tongue, I want you, or I don’t want nothing. There’s people out there making love’s pilgrimage, but I’ll bet you their friends are probably all rich. I want you or I don’t want nothing. I thought that pain had purified my will, and being immune I went on, I felt justified in my low country swoon. Coulda shown you a good time, she said. But I doubt it. I lost my pride, and I can’t see a damn thing without it. I want you, or I don’t want nothing.


released February 20, 2023

Alex Dupree - vocals, guitar
Max Knouse - guitar, vocals

Recorded at Narwhal by Wesley Reno
Mixed by Michael Krassner


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Alex Dupree Austin, Texas

Music for people who like words / words for people who like music.

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