Vic Chesnutt -
The Salesman and Bernadette

The Salesman and Bernadette

Duty Free
Until the Led
Scratch, Scratch, Scratch
Mysterious Tunnel
Arthur Murray
Woodrow Wilson
Blanket over the Head
Square Room
Old Hotel


No chocolate in the duty free shop
Two drops of Scotch gonna end up on his crotch, tonight
All alone, sitting on the throne,
Some native tongue on the TV, blaring like an old Peavey.
He don't aim to be rude. He's fighting with his Inner Prude.
Some pommes frites and you know its gonna drip onto his lap
yes see the man slapping it off.

Travellin' will do him in, trudging through the waves of people
'till his heart is cluttered and feeble.
If you take him out of his loop, he may be very easily duped.
Still he beats the stampede for the Duty Free
He's using up all that old currency.

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I was shivering I'll admit it.
I had nothing better to do.
Except to wheeze my lazy wheeze.
"Bernadette where are you?"
She gets much acclamation
for such a self-ordained Faustian
Bernadette doesn't like doubters.
She wants to fight in the coliseum!
What can you tell me of Therese and Isabelle?
Was it just fate that brought them together
or did they will their usual union?
In cahoots or love or all of the above?
I was sputtering.
But I got over it after hours of tireless review
under the gracious and analytical hand
"Bernadette I honour you."
"Bernadette I love you some."

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Sitting in the breakfast nook, flipping through a saucy book, browsing for a bit of titillation.
Morning is warming on your mouth, last days of direct sunlight for this part of the house.
Move into the great room. Get the clean corn broom, sweeping up a sad old pillar of salt.
You're feeling glummer as summer dies off.
Something was released with autumn's first cough.
Matter seems immaculate until it is consumed or distressed. See her with her kitchen soap.
Cleaning up the breakfast she knows it's never finished 'till the other's replenished.
Propped up on the mantel piece, trophies stuffed in a life that flies.
A couple of seconds can be a long time if'n its froze.

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Dogs are barking. Birds are chirping. The only thing better if I was squirting.
But there's no one here to love on me today. For the maiden's on holiday.
I'm a sorry sorry knight in a horrible castle, hoping to avoid certain societal hassles.
I ain't nothing but chivalrous, ain't never been nothing nasty between us.
She knows where she stands, on the heart of a broken man.
It's gonna be bad no matter what so I might as well go ahead and act like a butt.

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Knowing what I know now, I should've had a cow. I didn't realise you were to be despised.
I must have been one of history's stupidest men, 'cause everything was perfect in my head
until the lead started hitting me.
With benefit of hindsight I can see your ass wasn't right
Maybe I'm mighty dull, but you're pathological.
I never guessed you meant "no" when you said "yes".
Everything was perfect in my head until the lead started hitting me.
It didn't take long at all until the Zen started to fall.
All of the people you faked suddenly saw their mistake.
You never thought that I would survive the shock.
Everything was perfect in my head until the lead started hitting me.
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Scratch, scratch, scratch goes the cat on the carpet. She stepped in the blue water bowl. Twitch, twitch, twitch goes my eyelid, my tongue in a cavity hole. I lost my passport one hairy night. I think they found it in the bald-bulb light.
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I just could never say,'good-bye' or 'adieu' but the years,they have been so kind to you.
Theres some skills that i have learned to do
And i would certainly like to share them with you.
You're outside hanging wet linen and i am giving a van dyke listening.
If you neen a little stretching that canvas, if you need a shaky ride to laurence, kansas.
If you neen a little help hauling that big, fat stack,
I'll be sitting right here beside my stone age fax machine.
you're there amongst the mountains and i am drinking from a nasty water fountain.
I just never could never lay a beed on you. i took a sad envelope of seed from you. i just never could get something to take root. one just never can tell about the growth shoot. I am crouched with a weak shovel and you are tending the mysterious tunnel.
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She's so musical. look at her dance in a flurry. who gets to lead?
Do know its not arthur murray.
Emasculate me with your biology. break me. bend me. i'm worthless.
One wicked band from your torturous hand, you laugh when i tell you you're gorgeous.
She has an answer for everything. she's so smart in the raw, and well educated. that's a double fisted draw.
Cotton breathes between her cheeks. spin me. weave me. i'm willing.
One finger prick, i know i'll take sick. she'll chalk up a killing.
She's so fashonable. she's a nazi when she's shopping, but wholly democratic,
you should see who she's been bopping.

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She said her father looked like Woodrow Wilson, presiding from behind prescription lenses
She said her father looked like Woodrow Wilson. She said her mother act like a First Lady, she'd been having those problems lately.
She said she's going to the clinic on Wednesday.
She said her brother wished he was negro, went to school in African-American studies.
Once he had his picture taken with Adam Clayton Powell
She said her father looked like Woodrow Wilson
I saw him once and thought he looked a little bit like Truman
I know for a fact he has an Eisenhower ashtray.
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We will remain ignorant, incapable of knowing.
Insoluble is the problem. Curiosity, sleeping, killed the caterpillar.
Curiosity, empty, is a blanket over the head.
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I can see my old hotel down amongst the smells. I'm up above that ancient city river
It's filtered by my lousy liver. It's filtered by my wilted lily liver
And I can see my old hotel. It ain't even a hotel. 5am there came some sleet or hail
It was signal taps on the great window, solemn taps on the wavy window
Well I can see my old hotel, hear those old touristy bells
Soon i'll be down the hill a shopping. Giddy like a tipsy Mary Poppins
And i can see my old hotel. It ain't even a hotel I'm scheduled to ride the rails
and if i wish i'd stay on in this tower, things would deranged given just another hour
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