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from Items from 2008! by Brooke Abbey

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I have lived most of my adult life in apartments with views of alleys or busy streets. I have come to prefer them to the post-card views of mountains and forests and beaches that more expensive balconies command. Clotheslines and discarded dolls and used condoms and garbage bags splitting at the seams tell you that people live here. Comforting and gritty and condemned and homelike. Mistigris means "alleycats."


I make my home between the ocean and the graveyard E Bm E
And as I fall asleep one ear hears the quiet of the harbour Esus4 E Esus4 E
And one ear hears a silence more profound Esus4 E B

I make my home between the dockyards and the taverns E Bm E
And prostitutes patrol between, and pigeons linger overhead Esus4 E Esus4 E
And heroin and rice roll up on shore Esus4 E B

My home is dressed in sheets of corrugated metal E Bm E
And stucco made of broken glass coats timbers brittle with the years Esus4 E Esus4 E
Of drinking gloom and fog in to their bones Esus4 E B

But when the sun slips through the clouds and makes the gutters shine like diamonds E Am E
Then every rusted chain-link fence encloses pieces of my heart Am E B

And every oil-stained patch of asphalt, every faded blue tarpaulin E Am E
Every rat's nest on the seawall, every traffic cone bleached yellow Am E Am E
Every splintered alley gateway overrun with morning glory Esus4 E Esus4 E
Reminds me why I'll never leave my town E Bm E
Reminds me why I'll never leave my town E Bm E


from Items from 2008!, released December 31, 2008




Brooke Abbey Vancouver

Brooke Abbey (formerly Brooke Lunderville) is a banjo-playing pharmacist from Vancouver, BC.

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