Letters to Xiola

Letters to Xiola is not actually a song, but rather a poem written and performed by Perry Farrell.  It can be found on the Hollyword compilation as well as several bootleg CDs.  According to Heather Harris, art director for the Hollyword compilation, Perry performed his reading in just two takes.


How great it would be
If the sun lost all responsibility
And left us here
For me, the days become an excuse
But I too have found a way of not waking up
I’ve been asleep now for days, and days, and days
I feel as if I’m sitting in an open box car
And it’s heading out of town
It looks like the inside of a prison cell
I’m scared
And excited
My days and my dreams have never known each other so well
In the course of my day, I have no idea where I’m going
But in my dreams, no matter where I end up, as soon as sleep rolls over me,
I sneak out and head downtown
My dreams allow me to cheat
My dreams punish me
They’re so vivid, I see pictures so clear,
It would be forgery to paint them
I hear songs as clear as a summer radio
Songs that pass the time
As the boxcar heads south
I woke up in the late afternoon
On a day like this, I wonder if you age less, because you didn’t use all of it
You see, if that’s so, you should be able to live twice as long
As anyone else, just by waking up at four o’clock in the afternoon
Turn on the late-afternoon TV
There’s all the career school commercials,
Drug addict and alcohol rehabilitation commercials
And I think to myself,
Gee, I’d like to have a drink and get high
Then the phone rings
But I don’t answer it, cause I don’t care who it is
I don’t got anything I want to talk about
I remember when you used to call
You’d always say,
Oh, we’re going to famous
That’s how you always end the conversation
An inspirational message
It was okay between the two of us, it was funny you know, but
Inspirational messages always seem the most possible
When you’re totally wasted
What do I need?
What is going to bring me around?
It’s not listening to ex-drug addicts
I know for a fact all drug addicts are liars
I get off on athletes when they start getting all inspirational
Then they gotta go and mention Jesus and ruin it
Weight loss commercials are pretty good, you know
Some forty-year old lady who’s lost eighty-five pounds
And I look at her, and I think,
She could not possibly have more guts than I do
The Bible’s never really done it for me
Being an extremist, I’ve always thought it was just too popular
There’s a paper in Los Angeles called the Recycler
The Recycler has given me a lot of inspiration
I remember when I first moved here, and the determination that I had
To get a job, and find a band
Get an apartment
You know, if only I had a cool apartment
I’ll save every penny and I’ll buy myself some equipment
Always just two or three steps behind happiness
It’s too bad they don’t do centerfolds or cover stories
I’d kinda like to be on the cover of the Recycler
I had no friends at the time
All my friends now are drug addicts
I don’t believe I would ever wish that I had no friends
You never met Bernice or Alfred
They’re a couple that have been through thick and are now very thin
Bernice is usually in a better mood than I am when I see her
She lives on the street
She’s an adorable Mexican girl
It seems like, if you were to take her home and scrub her up,
She’d probably start singing and become America’s sweetheart
Alfred sits on the curb and reads
He reads more than I do
I like to believe it’s because he’s got more time
Last dream I had, I drove downtown, and I just stayed there
Hung out with Alfred
We both sat on the curb, talking all sour over current events
While Bernice and Casey hustled up the business
Yeah, adding up credit with Kiko
It amazes me how little difference there is between me and Alfred
And Bernice and Casey
As far as I can see, the only difference is that,
Right now, we’re making our rent
I remember something about a boxcar
Inside of it, there was something on the wall
Bernice loves Alfred
Hey, I got another one for you
All men are created with equal time
Father Time has got to be the richest make-believe individual
That never lived
A man that knows what to do with his time
Is a man, I guess, that’s up in the front of the line
In the course of the day, a man can make three phone calls,
And make three thousand dollars
Another man can curl up his bicep for three hours,
And he can puff up his arm three inches
And another man can stand on the corner, chasing down cars for three hours,
And end up with three spoons’ credit with Kiko
Me, I spend days on end trying to come up with a three-minute poem
That’s gonna mean something to somebody
And I’ve never been satisfied
Maybe I should try scrubbing up Bernice