Lagoon of the Land of Palms

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 8 Aug 2023

Chott el Djerid (Arabic: شط الجريد Šoṭṭ el-Jarīd) is a large endorheic salt lake in southern Tunisia.  The name can be translated from Arabic into English as "Lagoon of the Land of Palms."  "A Portrait in Light and Heat" was filmed there by Bill Viola in 1979, in addition to parts of the original Star Wars.  "The Prisoner" appears on my album Slow-Burning Fun.

Thanks for listening.

The Prisoner

I'm tired of crossing the street
I can't even convince
the millionaires
to steal from me anymore
without showing them my pocketknife

Maybe someday I'll get my hour of peace
but nobody's gonna stuff my brain
into a pillowcase of bone
no worms will wake me
from my sleep

But what the hell do I know?
I've only been here for a thousand years
the jury won't wait forever
for me to commit my crime

Who's to say I won't get to Heaven?
show me to the firing squad
my wheelchair is waiting
show me to my new profession

I can't even spell my own name
without a timeclock anymore
I will be your prisoner
if you'll be my free country

Show me to the house of God
in the backseat of a police car
teach me to starve
I'm still learning
how to think too much
and I'm choking on broken glass

Burn, we all burn!
after 21 years of filling
cans of soup with blood,
the world is finally carsick,
and I'm selling tickets
for the exit sign

©1999 Nathan Payne

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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket.


Replacing my blog at

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