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Visions of Johanna

Ain't it just like the night to play tricks
when you're tryin' to be so quiet?
We sit here stranded,
though we're all doin' our best to deny it
and Louise holds a handful of rain,
temptin' you to defy it.
Lights flicker from the opposite loft
in this room the heat pipes just cough,
the country music station plays soft
but there's nothing, really nothing to turn off:
just Louise and her lover so entwined
and these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind.

In the empty lot where the ladies play
blindman's bluff with the key chain,
and the all-night girls they whisper
of escapades out on the "D" train.
We can hear the night watchman click his flashlight
ask himself if it's him or them that's really insane.
Louise, she's all right, she's just near,
she's delicate and seems like the mirror,
but she just makes it all too concise and too clear
that Johanna's not here.
The ghost of 'lectricity howls in the bones of her face
where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place.

Now, little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously
he brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously
and when bringing her name up,
he speaks of a farewell kiss to me.
He's sure got a lotta gall to be so useless and all
muttering small talk at the wall while I'm in the hall.
How can I explain?
Oh, it's so hard to get on
and these visions of Johanna, they kept me up past the dawn.

Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
but Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues:
you can tell by the way she smiles
See the primitive wallflower freeze
when the jelly-faced women all sneeze
Hear the one with the mustache say,
"Jeeze I can't find my knees"
Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule
but these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel.

The peddler now speaks to the countess
who's pretending to care for him sayin',
"Name me someone that's not a parasite
and I'll go out and say a prayer for him"
But like Louise always says
"Ya can't look at much, can ya man?"
as she, herself, prepares for him
and Madonna, she still has not showed.
We see this empty cage now corrode
where her cape of the stage once had flowed
The fiddler, he now steps to the road
he writes ev'rything's been returned which was owed
on the back of the fish truck that loads
While my conscience explodes
the harmonicas play the skeleton keys and the rain
and these visions of Johanna are now all that remain.

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