Peter Case


four year plan

No snow in Alaska
No bees in the field
No frogs by the river
No hands on the wheel

No leaders in Congress
No brakes on the booze
No magic experience
No truth in the news

No teachers on the playground
They can’t protect themselves
No songs on the airwaves
No food on the shelves

Low wages for the workers
No workers getting hired
No rights & no more unions
Speak up & you get fired

No days off the schedule
No end to the tasks
No answers to questions
that everyone asks

No pause in the battle
No one gets a pass
There’s no break for the poor
& no more middle class

No fire alarms’re working
The fire escapes are locked
No lights in the hallway
The fixtures have been hocked

No whales in the ocean
No robins on the lawn
No colors in the sunset
Firing squads at dawn

No social security
It’s stolen by a lie
No more going bankrupt
You’ll pay until you die

This was the land of plenty
& everyone gives thanks
Now its all gone to shareholders
& the CEOs of banks

They can’t agree to fix the roads
They’d have to raise a tax
They’ll never ask the rich to pay
When they can load it on some poor folks backs

They’ll make it in traffic tickets
They’re raising all the fines
If you can’t pay you’ll go to jail
Put you to work making traffic signs

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fortune cookies

heard the story on the evening news
‘bout the Capulets & the Montagues

ryan’s dream
on a private highway airport bound
the convoy speeds past shanty town

bannon’s vision
dragons on the sidewalk angels in the trees
children on the border cut down like Christmas trees

ryan’s sermon
he’s my rock & my salvation I shall not be moved
& tho a fire awaits you your credit’s pre-approved

miller time
the hate truck that yr driving
the wheels will soon fall off
the other pigs yr riding with
will push you from the trough

the union won the civil war
it ended in a rout
hatred never wins the day
Hitler found that out

yes on no
you lost your taste
for hearing truth
then got lost
in a polling booth

the city is silent
the sea is black
the sun is cold
the cables slack

the sky is brick
the clouds are fake
our votes were cast
into the lake

fortune cookie
“to see what is in front of one’s nose is a
constant struggle.’

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Magic In Reverse (Hwy 62 Out-take)

This track didn’t make the final sequence of the LP. DJ Bonebreak on drums, David J Carpenter on Bass, recorded by Sheldon Gomberg.  I worked on this song a long time,  and at one point it was 45 minutes long. That was too much!

riding in your snow-white car

I never thought we’d go so far

top down we chased a star

     that somehow fell to earth

like Magic In Reverse


on summer days we made up songs

down on the beach beneath the palms

silver fish flashing in the calms

    & I didn’t know at first

about Magic In Reverse


 the crack up  

    on the wall of skin

a mood that seemed to balance

    on a pin

tender voices as the night begins

then a change came over you

& there was nothing I could do


 the door hinge squeaks the staircase moans

the radio plays sugar tones

we’re fast asleep like paving stones

    thrown into the works //of Magic In Reverse


a magic spell but who believes

bouquets of flowers hidden up our sleeves

who cast the spell who was deceived?

the change came over you

this time it got me too


out on the street a drunken shout

this is the hour the bars let out

complete surrender waves of doubt

   I nearly died of thirst

for magic in reverse

Los Angeles, California: Peter Case in his studio (Photo: Ann Summa).




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At The Restaurant

someone keeps an eye on me
someone I’ve never met
I’ve got their dishes in my kitchen
their picture on my tv set

he worked downstairs in the diner
sixteen hour shifts or more
cooking & waiting tables
& when they closed mopping the floor

he came here with his family
they left a world behind
this new land was a mirror
but the sky was redesigned

he never raised his voice at all
at work or in the home
said “what you do comes back to you
good luck is yours on loan”

he wore a grey fedora
tipped back on his head
always fresh & white clothes to work
silk pajamas when its time for bed

his brother Al had problems
started using crack cocaine
went to jail in Columbia
never was the same again

see his grandkids on the dresser
his lottery tickets too
you know if he ever hits it
he’ll be splitting the prize with you

he always kept a postcard painting
of a pretty little town in greece
someday he’ll go back home
Jason with the golden fleece

he came here with his parents
they left their world behind
the new world is a mirror
the skys a rollercoaster ride

he watched his big time wrestling
loved his Jackie Gleason too
play’n’ on the floor with grandkids
was his favorite thing to do

a bad man seeks out trouble
everywhere he looks
the good man finds some goodness
even in a world of crooks

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