I wanna go back to the small café, when all I needed was a place to play,
I had thirteen songs and some nights no one came,
I made tips and my tea was free, (I) sold tapes for 10 bucks apiece,
I was in love with a song that I wrote for a girl who hardly knew my name, and it felt
simple, like a movie, where you know, when the credits roll, it’ll be okay,
simple as your birthday, with music and free cake..
the Java River and the Java Bean, the Java Rock, Java Jeff’s and Java 13,
all closed, then they opened up with a different name,
and the girls from the all-girl’s school made my shows their weekly ritual,
they’d ask for all the sad songs, sing along and do their homework as I played,
and it was
simple, like a story, the one that we tell ourselves to get through the day,
simple as a sunrise, when so much time remains
in this town where the steel mills left before I got here, I confess
I’ve been caught lately in regret, but no one’s keeping score, I guess..
I yearn to return to Café au Lait, down on the Southside on a Sunday,
when the ‘burgh’s finest crazies were always on display,
from the junkie selling frozen meat fresh from a dumpster right up the street,
to the couple at the back of the room I witnessed mid-song make it to 2nd base,
but it was
simple as the seashore, with the sand and the waves and every shell’s in its place,
simple, who could ask for more than a place to play?
in this town where the steel mills left, they turn churches into bars,
and open mic nights into happy hours, but I will change them back again…
(Java 13.. Java 13…)
Written in August of 2007 as my entry in the 2007 Paul Loyd “Just this Guy” Song Contest. It was the only entry to receive no prize or award.