The Master, The Captain

by Jack Van Cleaf

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I’m sipping on soda and coming in crazy
Over the water, as blue as a baby
And do I look like an F-14,
A hurricane dream of the Navy?

You’re burning bright white and coming in lonesome
Reading Bukowski down in the doldrums
And you look like a daisy chained
To your father’s name
And your war-torn brain
Dressed in poems

It’s an ocean
It’s American marriage
It’s watching our parents fumble their love
It’s self-absorption
It’s my anxious creation that I’m not enough
It’s a hand
On your back
It’s your dad
Green and black
But it’s owning this ourselves
And darlin’ it is nothing else

We’re tangled like angels and rolling down Blue Ridge
Igniting our souls as wax wings and heroin
And does this feel like a shooting star,
A burning car,
The highway tar on our footbed?

Is it over?
I promise I’m happy, it’s just all this happened
Like a coaster
Dropping you faster
Turning me backwards and back again
It’s a coat
‘Round your arms
It’s the cards
It’s our hearts
Coming closer, to something else
It’s a heaven, it’s a holy hell

I’m fearing my fate and falling like Titans
Through the blue in the air, through holes in horizons
And I’m screaming with arms outstretched for something to happen
But I am the master, I am the captain


released April 9, 2017



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Jack Van Cleaf Encinitas, California

Jack Van Cleaf is an Indie-Folk, Singer/Songwriter out of Encinitas, California. He is inspired by lyric driven artists such as Bon Iver, Ben Howard, Simon & Garfunkel, and James Vincent McMorrow.

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