The Company Song

Here are the lyrics to a song I wrote many years ago when I was part of the workaday world:


By Melanie Anne Phillips

Every morning I cling to my bed,
While lost opportunities dance in my head.
No time for problems or pleasures or life,
I gotta win bread for the kids and the wife,

Race through the door so the card gets its punch,
Open my locker and throw in my lunch.
Hundreds of papers and thousands of parts,
When they blow the whistle the whole damn thing starts,

Every two hours a ten minute break,
But don’t fall behind on the things that you make.
Meet all your deadlines, your quotas and goals,
And maybe you’ll get a small raise, but who knows,

When I was younger, I used to wonder
What would I be when I grew?
I never considered the way its turn out,
I would’ve stayed young if I knew.

Privateer politics, cloaked in good will,
Backstabbing rumors that wound more than kill,
Lack of respect and the pain that it brings,
These are a few of my favorite things,

Don’t make suggestions and don’t act too smart,
Or thirty-year fools will take you apart.
Humor the fools and buy them their beers,
And you’ll be a fool in thirty odd years,

Now that I’m older, sometimes I wonder
How it turned out this way?
But somehow the answer becomes more obscure,
Or just matters less every day.

Now, I’ve got security, you understand,
In a ten percent vested retirement plan.
And if I should die, well there’s no need to grieve,
They won’t let me go ’cause I’m out of sick leave,

I’m singing the company song.

— From my “Tarnished Karma” album

Wish List

All that I want are ill-gotten gains
and an alibi tight as a drum,
and a well hidden place to stash the remains,
of the enemies under my thumb.

And when they protest, I’d send them away
to a gulag or work camp where I’d make them pay,
and I’d lie in the grass and eat bonbons all day:
that really is all that I want.


In a war with no name,
a Foe with no face,
struggles to capture,
an unknown place.

That nobody needs,
and nobody wants,
save the bloodthirsty,
Ruler Class cunts.

Inspired by the conjunction of the movie premiere of 1917 and President Donald Trump’s simultaneous brinkmanship with Iran.

Kris Kringle’s Bones

Wrote this two Christmases ago and it just keeps creeping out again every season:

Kris Kringle’s Bones
by Melanie Anne Phillips

(The night after the day after Christmas)

I was out of my stash,
and beginning to jones,
to the God-awful jangle,
of Kris Kringle’s Bones.

The children were hung,
by their necks until dead,
and the clues in the ooze,
on my suit, were all red.

The fairies were flattened,
the reindeer dismembered:
the piled up heap of,
their corpses was embered.

A great ghastly howl,
then arose from the fire.
I guess I had left some alive
in the pyre.

When what to my two,
bloodshot orbs should appear,
but a discarded joint,
half-submerged in a beer.

I fished out the doobie,
and chugged down the brew,
then danced like a newbie,
with a half-done tattoo.

I dried out the roach,
like a microwave dinner,
lit up, took a toke,
and then wept like a sinner.

“My God!” I implored,
in the true Christmas spirit,
“I am saved!” and I waved,
at the fire just to cheer it.

Then I noticed the children,
were not on the hearth,
and the pyre was a pile of toys,
topped by Darth.

My suit was still stained,
but the blotches of red,
were just jostled Cab Sav,
that had gone to my head.

And all ’round the condo,
there wasn’t a sound,
as I crept down the hall,
with a leap and a bound.

And I smiled as I faded,
‘twixt snorgles and moans,
at the absolute silence,
from Kris Kringle’s bones.

— and the weird part of writing this is that I don’t even smoke!

Why For Art Thou?

I seem to be on a poetry bender this week. Here’s today’s effort:

Why For Art Thou?

By Melanie Anne Phillips

I don’t create for fortune,
If I did I’ve surely failed,
I don’t create for fame,
If I have , I’ve been derailed

Not for recognition,
On the vast historic shelf.
Others have oft told me
I should art just for myself.

Yet that is not from whence
My Muse arises – no!
Not from what I want to draw:
But that which draws me so.

I see a scene, I hear a thought,
That beckons to be known.
It chooses me to tell its tale,
“Right now, do not postpone!”

I have no choice, I have no voice
But that which I’ve been given.
I cannot rest a moment,
When I have so been driven.

The scene will set, the concept fade,
If not protected now.
It’s singular existence,
Depends upon my brow.

Furled in concentration,
Twisted in despair,
I squeeze the vice upon my mind,
And flail about midair.

The hour-glass runs empty,
The spirit sputters out.
But in that tragic moment,
My psyche wheels about.

And just before the vision
And the spirit it contains
Have vanished from the earth,
They transform within my brains.

I become an avatar,
A spokesman for the dead.
A poor and tawdry medium
Dim eyes and tongue of lead.

Yet through my swollen faculties,
Bruised and battered all,
A dark, imperfect image,
As I quietly recall,

The thing that once revealed itself,
Though now it is no more,
It lives again in oil or sound,
A window or a door.

Its fleeting spark departed,
But captured in its prime,
It’s meaning not forgotten,
Shining bright in prose or rhyme.

I don’t create for fortune,
If I did, I’ve surely failed,
I don’t create for fame,
If I have, I’ve been derailed.

I don’t create for others,
And never for my heart,
I do it for the spirits,
So they live on in art.

Brother’s Keeper

I must be in a poetic mood. Here is another short (two-stanza) poem I penned yesterday:

Brother’s Keeper

My mouth bespeaks my silent voice,
Muffled in my mind:
An unrelinquished insight
Strangled, choked, and left behind.

So help not spoken was not heard,
Hidden by my fears:
You’ve done it now, you sinner.
Quoth the ringing in my ears.



(Latin definition: imagination ; Greek: apparition)

By Melanie Anne Phillips

I saw a shadow in my house
And then it disappeared.
But in that moment, manifest,
Was that which I most feared.

For reaching deep within the folds
That house my spectral mind,
The shadow cast a ghastly light,
On self-awareness, blind.

And suddenly before myself,
I played the role I lived.
As to this captive audience,
My inner self was sieved.

My real motivations now,
Stepped forth to center stage:
The false pretense of kind concern,
The hidden selfish rage.

This horrid confrontation play,
Scorched blisters on my soul,
The ashes are my true estate,
My spirit dark as coal.

And smothered by the smoldering,
A Phoenix without wings.
It formed an embryonic id:
Most innocent of beings.

Flightless, as it lays there writhing,
Beneath the angry sky,
Yet through rejuvenation,
It cannot hope to die.

A miracle, a manacle,
A never-forming shape.
My life behind; my life ahead
The common noble ape.

At risk of all eternity,
In fear of none at all,
I saw the shadow reappear,
And heard its plaintiff call:

“The choice is yours; the choice is ours
To change or stay the same.”
Hearing now between its words,
I knew its Holy name.

Familiar spirit, that was it,
A near and distant elf,
A sprite I seldom see full on:
My inner shadow self.

Our lives are long, our time is short,
The end is always nigh.
May you be blessed, as I was blessed,
To live before you die.


This is one of the poems I’ve written over the years. I’ve set many of them to music, or wrote the music first and then the words. But some of them, like this one, have stood alone (so far).

This particular poem was conceived as an exercise is using all four perspectives (I, You, We, and They) that are central to the Dramatica theory of narrative structure that I developed with Chris Huntley.

Yet, from this rather pedestrian motivation, a rather fascinating poem emerged, I think.


By Melanie Anne Phillips

My emotions are dead 
and lack any resistance 
to the onslaught of logic’s 
relentless persistence. 

I’m malleable, movable, 
flexible, still. 
I succumb with aplomb, 
as I alter my will 

to conform to the pressures 
that weigh on my soul 
without motive, or method, 
opinion, or goal. 

They reach for the stars, 
as they stand on our hearts, 
and they sell us off piecemeal, 
parcels and parts. 

They slice us to mincemeat 
and padlock the door, 
while our blood runs quite freely 
through holes in the floor. 

But nothing is wasted, 
tho’ everything’s lost. 
So our blood is recycled 
to offset the cost. 

We huddle in darkness 
yet shy from the fire 
to howl at the moon 
with the rest of the choir.

And when the glow wanes, 
we stoke it with dreams 
in hopes that the crackle 
will drown out our screams. 

You sleep in your bed 
and you doze in your chair. 
Your cushions are comfy 
and so is your air. 

But your heartache grows heavy, 
as well as your head, 
‘til you nod away, nod away, 
nod away, dead.