Exit Pesce

by Chris Koza

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released October 15, 2004

Engineered and mixed by: Chris Koza
Additional engineering by: Adam Lazlo
Mastered by: Tom Herbers
(c) 2004 Chris Koza, ASCAP Little Radios


all rights reserved



Chris Koza Minneapolis, Minnesota

Both solo and with his band Rogue Valley, Chris Koza has supported and shared the stage with artists such as Brandi Carlile, Ingrid Michaelson, The Jayhawks, Neko Case, Kathleen Edwards, Dan Wilson, Stephen Kellogg, This is the Kit, and Tift Merritt, among others. His song (Rogue Valley) The Wolves and the Ravens was featured in Ben Stiller’s film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. ... more


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Track Name: Chicago Avenue
leave me a token of your goodwill
i'm coming outside to save my eyes
leave me a broken set of silverware
someday I can swear on to save my life

summer is running I can hardly wait
to move with the voices coming downtown
say what you want no one wonders where you're going or
where you've come from, what you do or what you've done

since you insist
maybe I'll stick around
longer than I intend
and maybe I'll miss
this place like a wish

sleep with the windows open
blue as the night can be
Track Name: Civil War Letters
sugarcane winters
the machines hurt your fingers
every year it's something else
every year she's getting close

saltwater splinters
I dream that it enters
blueprints seen in shadows
every year it's getting close

there's a little fear in every step
every unsaid word's a secret kept away
if not tomorrow, I will tell you when I rest
Track Name: Tired Eyes
those are two tired eyes
grains in the sands of time
all done feeling bad

there's two of everything
tracks to keep covering
all done feeling bad

go on erase yourself
cause you belong to the setting sun
so set these separate lives
set your tired eyes

those are two feet of stone
rocks in the gravel road
all feeling heavy

and the sculpture was a painting long before it came to you
the painting a translation of a secret hidden view
in the mouth of solitude a statue builds a sound-proof room

blue skies covering the land
I'm a city boy digging through the stones and sand
all these constellations are the freeways and high-rise around the way
set your tired eyes away
Track Name: Trip To Poughkeepsie
what I like to do
when I see you after all these miles
I would like to treat you
spend my money, lay around for awhile

oh, what a gloomy day, think I'll stay inside
and your tape player is right by the bedside
hey misses DJ is there anything you need?
keep the music coming; don't even think about me

tapping on my wristwatch
feel searching for a hidden accelerator
this is the worst part of it all
I just watch fall happen,
can't put it back on
moving in the upstate dawn with wealthy neighbors

what I'm gonna do is not say anything
when you ask me questions about how I feel about you
and this is the best part of it all
knowing I'm closer than any other place I can recall
Track Name: Exit Pesce
A ball of fire in the early dawn
burning like the place she's running from
this is kids' stuff; this is not for me
just leave it behind

so convinced with playing her own game
she stood out by the highway in the rain
when no one came, she sang to herself:

getting by on instincts and good looks,
she doesn't need advice or any books
a little fish escorted by hooks:
she leaves it behind

she said now:
get down on your knees before you die
she said now:
get down on your knees before you die
she said:
boy it's not my style to give anything a second thought
well she told me this and not much more
as she clicked the hammer back and took her shot

A ball of fire in the early dawn
burning like the place she's running from
well this is kid's stuff, this is not for me
Track Name: Winning The Lottery
you can test a lot of waters before finding the shore
I want to make sure that I know what I going there for
and give a lot before getting anything in return
your love's a strict principle; I've got a whole lot to learn

sweet thorn in my side
stay right where you are
bleeding me dry
taking what's yours and making it mine to save
somewhere out of time

things can't get much better til the get much worse
some people call this a life, some people call this curse
some people stock their shelves with lies and closets with skeletons
but we're all made of bones; we're all wearing skin

you can't collect every old stone that's been cast
some hearts are made out of walls some are made out glass
put your hand into the fire once more if you must
burn it to ashes, burn it to dust
Track Name: Pheasants
a pheasant's flight falls short
a firework feathers
a lone report, no reply

cold and wrapped up and released
a recurring black-eye in the east
you deny

now we're strangers in the midst
of a plot with all-too-familiar twists
why should I?

dogs are barking kids are swearing fire hydrant's pouring out the side
delivery trucks with engines running doubled parked while traffic can't decide
I wish I was a photographer with a camera that would never tell a lie

two crescents in a sling
two halves that make a ring
to divide

now we trade these sorry blows
two fighters who should have retired years ago
but can't say goodbye
Track Name: South South Dakota
I haven't taken many chances in my life
it's why I have these hard regrets
like a broken-down ship trying to dock in ports and towns all filled up
tugboats have pulled me aimlessly along

not to say that all I've done is frozen in mid-step
the blood inside my body is still warm
it's why the thought of sitting still, of staying put with time to kill
is murdering my passion while I find

that you can't hide or stop from moving
and there's the tide: it's coming in or going home
my heart is not alone
in longing for the colors of the distant shore

I don't think we have enough states in this land
it's time we probably added a couple more
for silver spoons with etched-on names and truckers crossing golden plains
and all the flag-makers still looking for work

and in time a hundred states will be embarrassingly few
and all the states will further separate
til souths have norths and norths have souths and people finally close their mouths
start governing themselves, and wonder what to do with

their own thoughts
a curtain call and twenty-one shots
dying like a soldier, staring at the sky
and longing for the colors of the distant shore

truth is like a cousin whose picture's on the wall
smiling at the certain unchanging age
but when they finally meet again, that picture is a scowling man
a distant relative of what was once

now I hear you get to make a last request
something with that strange and final breath
somewhere there's a bus to catch in south dakota where the stars stretch
and daylight fades and sunsets lay to rest

the rage of youth
like a rotting oak or sweet vermouth
there's something left, and it leaves me drifting along
longing for the colors of the distant shore
Track Name: Brighter Day
even though I know that I'm hopeless someone can find a way
make it back home on nothing, make it home to see a brighter day

I've been nearly knowing all the things you've read
letters that you've sent me and the things you've said
have opened up my mind, and opened up my heart

even though I know that I 'm lucky, you could find another way
and that's probably what makes me love you:
to know that I won't see a brighter day

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