Trail of Glitter

by The Bitter Poet

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about

Trail of Glitter is The Bitter Poet's first full-length solo album. The album’s 11 tracks capture the highlights and low-lights of The Bitter Poet’s past decade. From being single to finding love and marriage, Trail of Glitter follows his personal misfortunes and petty triumphs, as he grapples with his own failings in the pursuit of love, lust and fame in New York City’s downtown music and performance art demimonde.

“The Bitter Poet’s “Guy’s Gotta Breathe” is a manic, almost unhinged anti-folk stream of consciousness anchored by literate, specific lyrics and an engaging vocal performance. It is a whirlwind 2:46. His voice moves from a grumble to a howl throughout the song, keeping the listener close with his tenor’s ratcheting tension. The tension finally explodes at the end of the tune, providing a fitting end to the wild ride. If you’re into The Mountain Goats’ lyrics, you may find The Bitter Poet to be incredibly appealing. In the way of all unique things, the song does takes a moment to adjust to. After you settle in, it’s really impressive and calls for multiple listens.” –Independent Clauses

credits

released May 6, 2016

The Bitter Poet: vocals, guitar
All words and music by The Bitter Poet (Secret Candy Music, ASCAP)
© & (P) 2015 The Bitter Poet

Recorded and mixed by Alex P. Wernquest, Basement Floods Records, Catskill, NY
Mastered by Jon Hildenstein at JLM Sound, Jersey City, NJ
Photos by Michael Alan Wells, NYC

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The Bitter Poet Brooklyn, New York

The Bitter Poet's anti-folk, indie-rock, musical storytelling is darkly humorous, intense, gritty. His songs are honest to a fault, yet over-the-top and grandiose in the style of Tom Waits or Nick Cave.
Musically, his straight-ahead rock chords and carnival-like lyrics blend humor, pathos and outrage. He has been described as “Lou Reed meets William Shatner” and “The Doors meet Jack Nicholson.”
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Track Name: Unavailable Woman
Where do I start? At the beginning, I suppose. In an acting class where I was not supposed to be that day.
In a random sitting down next to her – Well, I guess it wasn’t so random.
I saw her blonde hair and blue eyes from across the room. And I was instantly drawn to her,
drawn to sit down right next to her, right there on the front row of that acting class…
Because I am always drawn, unconsciously, to The Unavailable Woman.

A pregnant stripper, and she’s still in love with her abusive ex-boyfriend?
My Dream Date.
A thirty-something associate movie producer putting in 80 hours a week at the Tribeca Film center?
In my final draft, she’s The Mother of My Future Children.
A twenty-something neo-hippie hiding out in Eugene, Oregon, on the run from the suicide death of her coke-dealer boyfriend?
I’ll stop at nothing to provide her with every Grateful Dead bootleg concert CD her little heart desires.
A downtown bi-sexual burlesque dancer specializing in S&M psycho drama, with a stalker ex-girlfriend she still meets with for lunch once a week just to keep her happy?
I bought my handcuffs yesterday.
A forty-something avant-garde choreographer, hanging out in New York for two weeks, on her way back to Seattle where she lives with her two pre-teenage sons?
I booked my Jet Blue ticket this morning.
A corporate lawyer, tri-athlete, wine enthusiast… and she’s just returned from China with her brand new adopted infant baby Chinese daughter?
For her, I’m prepared to spend the rest of my life manipulating her Blackberry.

Let’s go back to that acting class, shall we?
I could see her unavailability in the flick of her shoulder length high-lit hair, in her blue eye shadow, in her skirt and blouse that were just a shade too conservative for a young woman in a New York City acting class.

And I could feel her unavailability in my pours, in my pants,
in my knee caps, in my bones, in my bone, in my moles, in my warts, in my back.
And I know it when I feel it: The Purely Unavailable Woman, who won’t admit that she’s unavailable,
who won’t admit that she’s married, or engaged, or impossibly and forever tied to another man, another place, another time.
I love that kind of woman!

Maybe you’re that kind of woman. Maybe 10 years ago, when you moved to New York to become an actress, you got a job waiting tables in a West Village bistro.
And your manager was an Italian dude who needed a green card or he was going to get deported.
So for $2000, you married him so he could get his green card and stay in the country.
Because you can buy a lot of head shots for $2000!

But to fool the Feds into thinking that it was a “real” marriage, he had to move in with you for two years, didn’t he?
And he started out sleeping on your couch. But then he started sleeping in your bed with you, didn’t he?
And then you bought a dog together, didn’t you? And then you buried your cat together, didn’t you? Oh, it’s complicated!

If you’re that kind of woman, prepare yourself for some un-fettered Bitter Poet Love!
Track Name: Dirt and Sherry's Cigarettes
Our neighbors they smoke, the ones below
A great battle has started over Sherry’s cigarette smoke
It’s a killer they say, I want to live, we want to have kids someday
The kids shouldn’t have to smoke with the neighbors below
They ought to breathe clean air but, yeah it’s the city, I know
Outside our bedroom a building crumbles there’s dirt everywhere
There’s dirt in the air, dirt on our food, dirt in our sheets, dirt on the loose
Under our bed the cat chases dirt like it’s a live dirt mouse

Let’s forget about the dirt and Sherry’s cigarettes
Forget about the dirt and Sherry’s cigarettes
Just roll over to me
And let’s…

Our neighbors next door play video games all night
Guns blast through our bedroom wall it’s a great military fight
We lie in our dirty bed and contemplate sex
As the video bombs go off oh, the fictional death

And suddenly it’s quiet and we roll over to each other
And listen…
And we laugh at the boy next door in underwear shooting at jets

Let’s forget about the dirt and Sherry’s cigarettes
Forget about the dirt and Sherry’s cigarettes
Just roll over to me
And let’s
Forget about the dirt and Sherry’s cigarettes
Forget about the dirt and Sherry’s cigarettes
Roll over to me
And let’s breathe…
Track Name: Trail of Glitter
It all started when Miss Stella Blades wasn’t available for the gig, she said “call Miss Bunny Trouble.” I called Bunny, she said no.
Bunny said “call Miss Bambi Guns.” I called Bambi. Bambi said “sorry Hon, not my kind of gig.” But Bambi said
“Baby, who you really ought to call is Miss Sparkle Penny…”
And I did.

Miss Sparkle Penny stumbles into the restaurant
Even today I can see her move toward me in her dirty blonde bouffant
As she struggles with her little girl toys, she says “yeh, yeh” just like the hip-hop boys
She shines as she slides into her seat
So green, so bright, so small, so in-demand
She says “I think it’s beautiful, what you have done”
Then she goes away to put the rest of her make up on
But in my eyes, on my cheek, in my food, on my drink,
In my script, on my naked hip… She left a trail of glitter

That night at the show Miss Sparkle Penny dances around, she throws her clothes down
She flicks her head at me to give her more, and in the sound the crowd goes crazy
After the show she stays late, we talk close… I'm not weak but I failed to keep my distance
Then a weekend at the beach, two nights in my room, a kiss at the yoga center
And in my hair, on my chest, in my bed, on my desk,
In my lips, on my naked hip… She left a trail of glitter

She meets me for dinner down on Avenue A, she’s got a short black dress and an awkward sashay
She wants me to see that her clothes are all clean, I ask about her necklace, she says “someone gave it to me…”
We walk to her temporary home on Avenue D, in the wet July heat we kiss in the street
Then she looks me in the eye and she says “I want to date other guys” Then she lets go and I know it’s over
But in my ears, on my couch, in my sink, on my towel,
In my spit, on my naked hip… She left a trail of glitter

I wish I could say it’s all over but I’ve learned my past carries forward
I try to date new women, but I can’t get close to any new girls because I keep finding out the hard way that women who DON'T wear glitter,
they KNOW they don’t wear glitter

On 3rd and 2nd, on 6 and D
In the back garden on 10 when we got dessert for free
At the corn-dog stand on the Coney Island boardwalk, on the lawn behind the stage when she got confused by my jaw
On the frozen margaritas at the Bryant Park Café, in the chalk at the trapeze school on the west side highway
And in my hair, on my chest, in my bed, on my desk,
In my lips, on my naked hip… She left a trail of glitter
Track Name: Little Drummer Boy In Blue
I remember a painting of a drummer boy, in full uniform of blue
A tiny kid, drum sticks ready, a blank face, is this really it?

I felt sorry for him, I felt bad for him
I hope he grew up and got happy, found out what he really wanted to do, like

Riding horses, going to the zoo
Skiing down mountains, swimming nude
Never wear a uniform again
Kissing beautiful girls

Kissing beautiful girls, kissing beautiful girls
Never wear a uniform again, kissing beautiful girls

I felt bad for him, stuck in that painting up on the wall of that museum
I hope he grew up and got happy, found out what living life is really about, like

Leaving home to chase his dreams
But waking up broken hearted not knowing what it means
Lost and drunk on a city street
Losing all of his friends

Living with mistakes, running out of food
Stealing money, scared of someone new
Never wear a uniform again
Kissing strange girls

Kissing strange girls, kissing strange girls
Never wear a uniform again, kissing strange girls

Cause one day he’s gonna meet her
And five years later he’s gonna put on a black tuxedo
And on a boat in the sun
He’s gonna look up and smile and see everyone

His face will be full, the sky will be blue
He’ll see her in gold light looking beautiful
Someone will ask and he’ll say yes
I found out what I really wanted to do, like

Running on the beach, flying through the trees
Doing a honeymoon in Costa Rica
Never wear a uniform again
Kissing one beautiful girl

They’ll be riding horses, going to the bug zoo
Walking up volcanoes, diving in lagoons
Never wear a uniform again
Kissing one beautiful girl

Kissing one beautiful girl, kissing one beautiful girl
Never gonna be alone again, kissing one beautiful girl

Well, I hope that happens, I hope he finds happiness
I hope someone paints a picture of him when it happens
I hope that picture hangs in a museum
where some sad kid can see him
I really hope all that happens
Track Name: Guy's Gotta Breathe
When I fall asleep I can’t breathe
I wake up gasping for air
Angry
I need to see a doctor
One that my insurance covers

Something’s wrong
A guy’s gotta breathe, you know

I shouldn’t be here
I should be at home looking up the names of doctors in the insurance company’s big book of doctors

But here I am with my coffee and my headaches and my dreams

And my day is all planned out
I will cry at my therapy
I will cry at my haircut
I will cry at my day job
Yes, there amongst the art for sale at auction I will cry

And then I will go home and cry myself to sleep and wake up in an hour and a half gasping for air
Angry
Angry at the doctors
Angry at the insurance companies
Angry at the girl who won’t call me back
Her name is Alexis
She works at the Simon & Schuster audio book department
She’s got red hair and blue eyes and I was sure we were falling in love

Something’s wrong
A guy’s gotta breathe, you know.

I’m writing a book
The title: Advice From An Old Poet To Another Old Poet

Always do your dishes
You never know when the water might run out

Always be nice to young women who are nice to you even if you do not love them
The ones you love will treat you poorly and worse, ignore you

Always get up early to write your stories
At 7am the coffee is magic
At 10am it tastes like medicine

Stay up late if you can
Be in silence
That’s the only way the find out whether or not your apartment is haunted

If there are dirty clothes on your bedroom floor then pick them up and put them in a bag for dirty clothes
Unless they are the dirty clothes of your lover then leave them where they fell
Savor the memory of that moment
There will come a time soon enough
When she will no longer want to tear her clothes off for you
There will come a time soon enough
When her clothes and the care and the maintenance of them will be more important to her
than getting naked with you

If there are new sheets to purchase, purchase them
Some stains in life cannot be removed
And one must be unburdened of memories of good sex with old girlfriends
Memories running over and over in your head like the looping photo slide-show on her old Myspace page

Get out of town
Go quickly carry very little
It’s important to arrive at your destination free
Especially free of the brown Adidas shoes she bought for you last fall just as she was disappearing from your life

Never ask for anything that you really want
She’ll give it to you then she’ll silently hate you for it
She’ll hate you so much that she’ll break up with you without really telling you that she has broken up with you
And when she DOES tell you that she has broken up with you it’ll be over dinner at your favorite restaurant so now you can never go back there again

Something’s wrong
A guy’s gotta breathe, you know

Advice From An Old Poet
To Another Old Poet

Live Alone. Live Alone. Live Alone. Live Alone. Live Alone.
Track Name: Fancy Glasses
When we first met in my mind ain’t no mystery
I can see you at the bar and you are smiling
When we first met in my mind ain’t no mystery
Now we go to bed silent and crying

You say hey man we got to work on it
But once you whispered let’s stay perfect forever
You say hey man we got to work on it
But now we just get lonely together

Now you always drink your wine from fancy glasses
But when I first met you all you drank was beer
Now you always drink your wine from fancy glasses
But it was drunk and grilled cheese at midnight our first year

Your friends call for you and say hey come out and play
My friends say well yeah sometime soon
Your friends call for you and say hey come out and play
But our first winter was just you and me and nothing to lose

When we first met in my mind ain’t no mystery
It was you in a dress me in leather pants and we were easy
When we first met in my mind ain’t no mystery
Now if you haven’t changed, maybe it’s me

Now you always drink your wine from fancy glasses
When I first met you all you drank was beer
Now you always drink your wine from fancy glasses
But it was drunk and grilled cheese at midnight our first year
Track Name: Beautiful Uptown Corporate Middle Manager
She said “No.”
And now, she’s gone.
She booked herself on a Dangerous Dames of Downtown burlesque theme-cruise to the North Sea.
I’m alone. I accept it.
Let go of all your memories of her.
Let go of your memory of the way she used to shout her fiery affirmations:
“The Universe wants to fuck my Truth because my Truth is hot.”
Let go of your memory of her angry outbursts: “Goddamnit, Bitter, a blow job is NOT sex! It’s just fucking fooling around!”
Yes, let go of all those sweet memories, Bitter. And look elsewhere.
Look uptown.

There’s a real estate boom happening in midtown. New towers are being built filled with beautiful workers.
Beautiful single women, who are all acting like they’re in their early 30’s. Thousands of them. Maybe a million.

If they’re actually in their 20’s, they’re acting more mature, thinking about buying condos and engorging their 401K’s.
If they’re actually in their late 30’s or, gasp, their 40’s, they’re rabidly working out, shopping for the hottest jeans and lying.

Look there in those midtown towers, Bitter, for the Beautiful Uptown Corporate Middle Manager.
She’s beautiful and she works in the middle of a corporation!

She’s in her tower 60 hours a week and when she’s not she’s taking a continuing-ed class at NYU.
She’s got a Singles Season Ticket to Jazz at Lincoln Center.
She takes annual vacations to St. John’s with her best girlfriend who is a very important person in her industry.
She’s got a regular share on Fire Island with a group of friends who are also very important people in her industry.
Every 3rd Sunday of the month she meets for brunch with her all-female book club.
She watches 3 Netflix movies a week. Where does she find the time?

Find her. Find her. Find her!
And invite her to the Morgan Library on Friday night to see the Irving Penn portraits of great artists.
But be sure to speak about artists in the 3rd person: “they; them; those people.”

And don’t tell her what you do. If you have to tell her you’re a writer, tell her you’re a writer for the pharmaceutical industry.
Tell her you actually enjoy the challenge of making the required disclosures on drug labels sound benign and pleasurable.

And be sure to express lots of anger, resentment and resistance to all attempts by the government to insert itself into our lives.
Tell her you believe the market should be free and unregulated. Free the market! Unregulate it! Set it free!

Tell her you believe that’s the American way.
Tell her, just look at this Morgan Library for example.
It’s a beautiful castle built by a mighty oligarch.
We wouldn’t have it now if there had been market regulation in its day.
It’s a beautiful castle built by a mighty oligarch, and today it is filled with the portraits of flakey artists.
Most of those artists drank themselves to death.
Most of those artists wore funny clothes.
Most of those artists fucked around a lot.
Look at them all now, hanging on the walls of the oligarch’s mansion!

Follow that path Bitter!
Lay those capitalism as orgasm lines down on her and she’ll swoon.
And when she swoons, catch her.
Catch the Beautiful Uptown Corporate Middle Manager in your arms.
And happiness…
Will find you.
Track Name: Throwing Everything Out Tonight
I’m throwing everything out tonight
I’m throwing everything out tonight
I’m throwing everything out tonight
And the first to go are the How To books

How to buy a house in foreclosure with no money down and after you move in
How to fuck the millionaire living next door

How to get healthy by obsessing over the food you eat
How to detox your alcoholic parents
How to cook like a drunken college student

How to make love to a woman over forty
How to write a screenplay exactly like Toy Story
How to do pretentious short films like they do at Columbia University

How to write a poem about something
How to ingratiate yourself to your roommate’s rich dad
How to visualize your dream apartment
How to visualize your dream girlfriend

She’s funny, scary and elusive. She dances like a maniac because she has to. She won’t talk to you sometimes and it’s not because she’s mad at you. She’s just like the Italian tourist you saw at Starbucks with the big brown eyes, and when she looked at you with those big brown eyes, she stopped you in mid-latte. And you wanted to go over and talk to her but you couldn’t find the courage. And so the next day when you saw her sitting on the stoop of the hostel around the corner from your building, all you could muster was a quick “Hi” as you scurried on to the bank, making excuses to yourself about why you couldn’t stop and talk, because it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and you hadn’t showered yet and you look like shit, but she recognized you from the Starbucks and you didn’t stop and talk, you blew it!

Let’s get back to visualizing my dream girlfriend…

She whispers in me ear that she can’t stop thinking about me because of the way I kiss her. She’s got crazy hair that she flicks over her face for some mysterious reason. And all week long in my mind’s eye I hold onto the picture of her flicking her hair over her face as she’s lying in bed next to me. And then she finally she comes around late on a weeknight in the heat of the summer’s first wave. I open the door and there she is. She’s beautiful, again.

I’m throwing everything out tonight
And the first to go are the How To books
How to book your own band whether or not anyone really wants to hear you play

How to be your true self in 30 days
How to write the great American novel the way a real writer would
How to draw pictures the way a talented child could

How to make chicken soup out of your soul
How to fucking think positive you stupid motherfucker
How to stop worrying today and start masturbating tonight
Everybody now…
I’m throwing everything out tonight
I’m throwing everything out tonight
I’m throwing everything out tonight
And the first to go are the How To books

How to raise your self esteem to a level where you feel more important than everyone around you
I’m throwing it all out tonight
And the first to go:
Emotional intelligence for dummies
Track Name: Dirge
Last spring I dated an actress for about 6 weeks. It was a lovely experience.
Then, she went away on a vacation my herself to the Far East, to Central Asia.
She came back. She showed me her travel photos. I thought we had a nice reunion, but she was no longer interested in dating me anymore.
I was broken hearted. I wrote her this love poem.
It’s in the form of a dirge…

Ohhh, ohhh, oh
This is the story of Ellen McCoy
An Irish American Girl with a touch of the Asian
Ohhh, ohhh, oh

I lost her to a longhaired Swede named Sven
Sven…

Where? Where did I lose her to a longhaired Swede named Sven?
On the side of a Himalayan mountain…

I saw her, entwined in the arms of Sven
On the side of a Himalayan mountain

How? How did I see her entwined in the arms of Sven
on the side of a Himalayan mountain?

She showed me the picture!
Ohhh, ohhh, oh
Ohhh, ohhh, ohhh

Don’t date a twenty-eight year old!
Before she goes to Nepal…
Track Name: House In New Jersey
Beautiful Downtown Performance Artist I love you!
But I’ve been out here for ten years putting’ on this act just to chase you
Chasing you from your first hula hoop trick (remember Harrisburg, PA baby?)
All the way to your latest outrageous reverse-gender sex role attack

Elbowing my way through your wake down Avenue A
Sprinting across Houston with your Ludlow babes
Crawling through my puke back up Avenue B
They said I blacked out at you feet on Avenue C
But all I’ll admit to is crashing your gig down between Ridge and Attorney

Beautiful Downtown Performance Artist
I realized last night I can’t chase you no more
And I cried outside that L train stop as you slipped out of my hand
And I watched you go pied piper style into the night
And you were killing all those certified alternative kids
You had them ipod shuffling to your beat all the way down Bedford to Grand

Beautiful Downtown Performance Artist
This is what I’m gonna do for you: I’m gonna change everything for you
No more living on the edge of reality for you
No, for you: I’m gonna buy us a house in New Jersey!

We’ll have a flag on the front porch
A TV room
A basement for storage
Sprinklers and hoses
We’ll have a driveway
We’ll have a spot all picked out for the swing set ‘cause you know, kids, someday
All planned, of course
Gotta make sure the house is in a good school district
Gotta research that on the Internet
Oh, the Internet! Yes, the Internet!

We’ll have rooms that we don’t even use
A treadmill in the double garage
A gas grill to grill vegetables on and we’ll have dogs
An electric fence to keep the dogs in
An alarm system to keep the criminals out
Floodlights to spot intruders
Satellite TV so we can watch everything
A kitchen big enough for a little league team
A walk in closet for you
A walk in closet for me
And you’ll have your own bathroom!

So what do you say Beautiful Downtown Performance Artist
It’ll be just you and me living a vacation style life
Hell, we’ll put in a shuffleboard court
Let’s you and me give up this living on the edge of reality lifestyle
It’s all prepackaged now anyway
Just go down to the Urban Outfitter website and fill your shopping cart like all the pretenders
Oh, the PATH train awaits us, my love!
The PATH train awaits

So, wash away your glitter
Peel off your duct tape pasties
Cast away your fishnet stockings
Be true to your false eyelashes
Shine light on your midnight blue eye shadow
And come with me to a central New Jersey bedroom community
Where all the new houses are built on old farms
And the people
The people
Are real, real, real
Track Name: Can You Find It Again
You saw a movie last night about your past
The scene in New York City that was dying just as you started living
You threw yourself into a crowd that was desperate to play, to fuck, to laugh
You remember hundreds of them, maybe there was only 50
Now, no friends, no provocateurs, no drug addicts, no wild eyes
Just you, your stiff back and your question:
Can you find it again?
Cucaracha, Cucaracha

You wrote some words down, paid people to watch
They gave you their true response, it pissed you off
So you crawled into your depression, stayed a full month
Now your 2-month slump has turned into a 3-year way of life
On the subway, an actor asks “hey, what’s going on, haven’t seen you in awhile”
But you don’t have an answer
The doors close, all you got is your question:
Can you find it again?
Cucaracha, Cucaracha

You know, someday St. Peter is going to ask you “What you been doing?”
You're gonna say “Making art for free and trashing people who make money.”
But you bought two a/c’s so you’re ready for the summer heat
And you keep wearing the same shirt you bought at the turn of the century
And you keep talking about the record you’re gonna to make
And the tour you’re gonna to take
And the girl you’ll be marrying
And the babies you’ll be having
But St. Peter says “Too late: rents are going up we got to charge you market rate.”
So you go to pack your bags but all you got to take is your question:
Can you find it again?

You saw your ex-girlfriend last night, she’s 6 months pregnant: too late
You used to go out drinking, now you’d rather sit home watch the news: too late
The girls used to make you crazy, now you can’t even see them through your haze
You’re too old to have a kid, wouldn’t be right for an old man to raise a son
Besides as soon as he got old enough to talk, he’d say “Hey old man, I got one question for you: Can you find it again?”
Cucaracha, Cucaracha
Cucaracha, Cucaracha
Got to find you again