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A Nervous Tic Motion. By Andrew Bird.

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A nervous tic motion

A Nervous Tic Motion

By Andrew Bird


Over prescribedUnder the misterWe had survived to turn on the history channelAnd ask our esteemed panel why are we alive?And here’s how they repliedYou’re what happens when two substances collideAnd by all accounts you really should’ve diedStretched out on the tarmacSix miles south of north platteHe can’t stand to look backAt sixteen tons of hazmatAnd it’s what goesUndelivered undeliveredAnd it’s a nervous tic motion of the head to the leftIt’s a nervous tic motion of the head to the leftExorcise your cells till you’re bereft‘cause it’s a nervous tic motion of the head to the leftSplayed out on a bathmatSix miles north of south platteAnd he just wants his life backWhat’s in that paper knapsackIt’s what goes undeliveredOver imbibedUnder the misterBarely alive weCover the blisters in flannelThough the words we speak are banalNot one of them’s a lieNot one of them’s a lieYou’re what happens when two substances collideAnd by all accounts you really should’ve died



Over prescribed about something, maybe a psychological problem.Under the misterWe had survived to turn on the history channelAnd ask our esteemed panel why are we alive?And here’s how they repliedYou’re what happens when two substances collideAnd by all accounts you really should’ve died

Paraphrase: Overdosed on something, under a train ( the MISTER is a train system in oregon, only plausible connection) dumfounded at survival. A professional, maybe doctor, recounts that something unfortunate happened and are lucky to live.

Attitude: diction conveys feelings of a chemically dysfunctional mishap through “over perscribed” “substances” and “died” and “alive”


  • Stretched out on the about something, maybe a psychological problem.tarmacSix miles south of north platteHe can’t stand to look backAt sixteen tons of hazmat

Paraphrase: authors setting continues: left stranded with something behind him that is deadly.

Attitude: chemical tone continues: “sixteen tons of hazmat”


And it’s what goes about something, maybe a psychological problem.Undelivered undeliveredAnd it’s a nervous tic motion of the head to the leftIt’s a nervous tic motion of the head to the left

Paraphrase: the people stranded may not ever come back to wherever they’ve been stranded from. They are nervous at that notion.


Exorcise your cells till you’re about something, maybe a psychological problem.bereft‘cause it’s a nervous tic motion of the head to the leftSplayed out on a bathmatSix miles north of south platteAnd he just wants his life backWhat’s in that paper knapsack

Its what goes undelivered

Attitude: the chemical diction may imply that the reason they’ve been stranded was because of some type of unfortunate accident


Over imbibed about something, maybe a psychological problem.Under the misterBarely alive weCover the blisters in flannelThough the words we speak are banalNot one of them’s a lieNot one of them’s a lieYou’re what happens when two substances collideAnd by all accounts you really should’ve died

Paraphrase: As they struggle to stay alive, the lace up their wounds. They speak plainly yet tell no lies.

shift: as we look back at the first stanza, we realize that was sort of an introduction. It tells us the ending of the story before the story.




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