The Wilderness
Hotel Ghost
The Golden State
Darling Underdog
A Little More Time
There's A Hole
Lean Out Yr Window
Big Moon
The Bridge
Meanest Man In The World
Grain Of Salt

[2007] YepRoc Records

John Doe is back again. As a founding member of punk monoliths X, he seized his rightful place as one of the most influential musicians in American alternative music in the 1980's, clearing a path for the revolution in that genre that would take place a decade later. Since launching his solo career in 1990 with the dusty road-poetry of Meet John Doe, John has produced six stunning roots rock albums of frightening honesty and vision. A Year in the Wildernessis no exception. This time around, John has invited his friends and frequent conspirators to help him interpret songs that came fast and hard. Doe dubs the Wilderness sessions, "A scary and wondrous process where a blast of intuition and force that takes only moments to realize, but that can last forever and carry consequences you never imagined." Guest stars appearing on A Year in the Wildernessinclude Dave Alvin, Jill Sobule, Kathleen Edwards, Dan Auerbach (from The Black Keys), Greg Leisz and Aimee Mann.



Hotel Ghost 

there’s a ghost in my hotel room
& I dreamed I gave her the key
I might be mistaken but it’s awful dark to see
she lets herself in at 3 AM & crawls in bed w/ me

she sits upon the bedside & sheds her second skin
she tells me all her troubles & loneliness within
then she shows me how to reach inside & caress her skeleton

she says “I’m so cold from wandering around at night
I’m freezing on the inside but don’t turn on the light”
then she crawls under the covers to warm her bones at my side

The Golden State 

you are the hole in my head
I am the pain in your neck
you are the lump in my throat
I am the aching in your heart
we are tangled
we are stolen
we are living
where things are hidden
you are something in my eye
I am the shiver down your spine
you are the lick of my lips
I am on the tip of your tongue
we are tangled
we are stolen
we are buried up to our necks in sand
we are luck
we are fate
we the feeling you get in the golden state
we are love
we are hate
we are the feeling I get when you walk away
you are the dream in my nightmare
I am that falling sensation
you are my needles & pins
I am your hangover morning

Darling Underdog

green into blue
black into white
me into you
like ultra-violent light
feed me the songs
forgive me, I was wrong
darling underdog
disappearing in the fog
traffic lights forever changing
red to greenish-blue
paper eyes
your secret side
underground w/ you
lunar disco ball
gospel delta light
down the lazy hall
kissing you goodnight
gone from lover’s lane
to lovers’ leap in pain
when I thought I could fly
you became the sky

by Exene & J D

A little More Time 

there was a time when the sunshine
played in your soft blonde hair
reflected in your golden eyes
you leaned back your head & you laughed
about tomorrow
and then it came, like a new day
the sun in the sky high beamed
water sparkled down the stream
we knew this would all go away
but not today
and when it did you were better
better than the day you were born
not quite so perfectly formed
the only wish I had that day
that it would stay
just a little more time
with you with me with you
down by the stream, in the mountains
I promised you faithfully
that I would never leave
if & when I went away, I’d still protect you
but now I’m gone & the loose ends
are stings hanging from my hands
tied to an empty land
stuck on a steering wheel in Nebraska
but I’m around so baby call me
just before you go to bed
before you lay down your head
or if you need an old fashioned cry, I’m the guy
just a little more time
with you with me with you
just a little more time with you with me


you know I’m sorry
not sorry enough
you know I feel bad
not bad enough
you know I feel terrible
‘cause that’s just what I am
I couldn’t tell the truth
now you don’t think that I can
I’ve been called a hundred things
a thousand different times
but now & forever I will always be
one thing to you & me
that’s unforgiven
you say I’m good for nothing
so nothing’s good enough for me
we all get what we deserve
but if I had one wish
that one wish would be
one day I could raise my face
to eyes that love me
I’ve been called a hundred things . . . 

There’s a Hole

oh baby there’s a hole
oh baby there’s a hole
oh baby there’s a hole in this neighborhood
since you are gone.
fog & winter everyday
fog & winter everyday
fog & winter every day from across the bay
since you are gone.
the fog roars in on tiger feet
it covers the block so I can’t see
from the balcony above
from the balcony above
from the balcony among the many, many
maybe I see my love.
now I’m weaving through the crowd
now I’m weaving through the crowd
now I’m weaving through the crowd
like a Royal Mountie I’m after you.
yr head turns around but it’s not you
the street opens up & my heart falls through
there’s a hole in this city since you are gone
there’s a hole in this city since you are gone

Lean out your window 

the window you lean out of
as I walk down your stairs
frames a fragile beauty beyond compare
your slender hand is waving
a crooked wistful smile
I guess that I won’t see you
in ten thousand miles
will you come & find me
I will fly to you
wait for me baby
I’m coming back for you
lean out your window, I’m coming back for you
I’ll lace our hands together
& trace your every scar
beg for your forgiveness
you’ll say, “maybe tomorrow”
lean out your window

Big Moon 

won’t you come see me
where I’m staying tonight
it’s a fancy hotel
just down yr street on the right

you can’t come to my room
that’s more than I could stand
we can meet downstairs
have a drink at the bar & hold hands

you won’t write back
you won’t return my calls
you’ve gone underground
so far you can’t see the stars at all

the moon is so big
won’t you come watch it w/ me
on the roof of this fancy hotel
we could spend eternity
just you & me

the bridge 

you are two
doors down the hall
a bridge fills the view
inside your room
I lie on my bed
staring at the bridge
you climb up to see
just like a kid
it’s sweet & still
I’m holding you
the beats are slow
and go the same
it’s sweet & it’s still
my palm rests upon
the heart in my chest
your in your room
two, thirty-six
the train on the bridge
is moving so slow
we watch as the sky
fills up w/ snow

Meanest Man in the World 

The wide, wide open sky above the sage & the thorns.
The rocks & pines were humming an old familiar tune.
His hard, black boots came crunching up this gravel road.
He saw the house a mile away, the moon was just setting.
The night were darker then, lights in the living room,
he could recall that the TV was on but not if anyone was watching.
He never thought of himself as cruel
He never thought of himself at all
Kindness was always outside his grasp
He was the meanest man in the world
The door wasn’t really locked, the fireplace was burning.
The room exploded like a bomb but all in slow motion.
Icicles hung from the roof, he remembered someone weeping.
Though it was sticky on the rug, he just kept on walking.
He never closed a door. He never turned off a light.
He left things pretty much the way they were
after he did what he did that night. 

grain of salt 

that grain of salt
you talk about
gets bigger & bigger each day
it’s making a pearl
inside my heart
w/ layer & layers of tears
I’d give you this pearl
to save our hearts
to keep them from bursting a vein
my only hope
is that someday soon
you’ll press your palm to my chest
& the warmth of your hand
will draw out the stone
that wakes me every night
I give you this pearl
to show my love
I’ve grown it for over a year
& if I’m true then maybe you
will take me along with the jewel