Skip to main content

Jon Svetkey

Smile Idiot Smile

If H.G. Wells would sell his novel time machine to me
Id use the opportunity to revise my history.
Id blast back to the past, solve a problem or two while Im there.
Hell, maybe Id bet on every World Series and return a billionaire.
I could sip martinis with Harry Houdini,. Bellinis with Hemingway.
Then Id steamboat down the Mississippi River to get drunk with Mark Twain.
Id retrace all the wasted steps I laid once upon a time.
Id go back to visit my younger self so I could give myself a little piece of my mind.

Id say, Hey, whats your problem?
Get your head out from under that rock.
You dont know the meaning of life
Despite all your smartass talk.
Brooding is cool if your names James Dean
Look up every once in a while.
Dont take yourself so seriously
And smile, idiot, smile.

At seventeen I was world-weary. I was Magellan yelling, Get me off of that ship!
I had all the answers, my mind was expanded, I was Timothy Leary on an acid trip.
Don Quixote coulda been quoting me when I was tilting at twenty-two.
And if I could travel back twenty-odd years Id tell myself exactly what I should do.


If I could take a little trip to 2023
And spend some quality time with the future me.
Maybe I could avoid the mistakes I know Im going to make
But knowing myself, knowing myself I would probably say:



Words and Music Jon Svetkey