google analytics

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Frank's Wild Years

This painting of mine - painted earlier this year - makes me think of Frank.  Frank first showed up in the song Franks's Wild Years on the Tom Waits album Swordfishtrombones (Island Records, 1983).  He appeared again later in more of Waits' work. 

Frank's Wild Years isn't one of the songs that I'll be talking about this weekend when I give my presentation - Tom Waits: Singing for the Least of These... but it's a song that I really like.  It's a dark song.  It's sad and cruel.  But it's funny too. 

Well Frank settled down in the Valley
and he hung his wild years
on a nail that he drove through
his wife's forehead.
He sold used office furniture
out there on San Fernando Road
and assumed a $30,000 loan
at 15 _ % and put a down payment
on a little two bedroom place.
His wife was a spent piece of used jet trash,
made good bloody marys,
kept her mouth shut most of the time,
had a little Chihuahua named Carlos
that had some kind of skin disease
and was totally blind. They had a thoroughly modern kitchen
self-cleaning oven (the whole bit).
Frank drove a little sedan.
They were so happy.

One night Frank was on his way home
from work, stopped at the liquor store,
picked up a couple Mickey's Big Mouths,
drank 'em in the car on his way
to the Shell station, he got a gallon of
gas in a can, drove home, doused
everything in the house, torched it,
parked across the street, laughing
watching it burn, all Halloween
orange and chimney red then
Frank put on a top forty station
got on the Hollywood Freeway
headed North.

Never could stand that dog.

(as always, click the picture to see it full sized. that is all.)


  1. best of luck on your presentation this weekend jc


  2. thanks. it went well. i'm posting the text of my presentation next...


Jeff Carter's books on Goodreads
Muted Hosannas Muted Hosannas
reviews: 2
ratings: 3 (avg rating 4.33)

Related Posts with Thumbnails