By the Side of the Road

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"By the Side of the Road"
By the Side of the Road cover
Poem by Rivers Cuomo
Released February 4, 2009
Length 2:34
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
Status Streaming online

"By the Side of the Road" is a poem written by Rivers Cuomo. An audio recording of Cuomo reading it was released on February 4, 2009 on as part of their "Bookery" series[1]


Data from Cuomo's demo storefront indicate that he recorded something by the name of "By the Side of the Road" as early as July 20, 1991[2].

Daytrotter post

The following, written by Sean Moeller, is a transcript of the article posted alongside Cuomo's recording on

It's a great day cause Rivers Cuomo is sort of a weirdo again. There's no getting around the oddball quality to his reading of this personal poem that jets us all back to those days when he was lodging up in a seedy motel for months or however long it was, taping the windows place and just becoming a recluse. Although that act was essentially his way of dealing with the poor reception of his Weezer's masterpiece Pinkerton (by the way, those same critics are now older and now suddenly realize what they had in that album the first time around, a blueprint for emo and a lasting piece of culture), a number of the home recordings found on the newest Alone collection (Alone, Vol. 2 — The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo), show Cuomo to be that guy who all the kids worshiped in the mid-to-late 90s. This poem, entitled "By The Side of the Road," has a Gwar-like Cuomo gagging through a narrative about vomiting and putting his face in it — the act somehow bringing him closer to nature. It's startling and yet, it's comfort food as we recall when his love songs and those about his nerdiness were clever and touching. This poem and his home recordings are where that man still lives, even if the Red Album suggests he's somewhere else.

- Sean Moeller, [1]


I want to stop by the side of the road
I want to throw up all that I've known
I want to spit it up violent
Like an exhaust pipe and toxic gag
I just want to fall to my knees and gag puke until there's nothing left but my bones
And I'll lie in the grass by the side of the road
And I'll rub my hands in the dirt
And I'll meet the worms and I'll rub my face in it
It's not good, it's not bad, it just is
and boooooy?
And I'll embrace the tree
And I'll lick the bark and smell the age
Feel the roots deep in the earth
And rip it free with one hand
And swallow it whole
And I'll sit in this bush for an hour or two
by the side of the road
And I'll make new friends
Bush friends
I'll listen to the crack as I shift my weight
and it rains
I'll lie on my back
The sponge would do
Going with every drop that falls in my ears, eyes, and nose
My ears, my eyes, and my nose
I'll rub my hands all over my trippin' body
Feel the grass creepin between my legs
And I'll microscope this world
With the careless ease of a mother who holds her baby, I will hold the flower
and see down to it's smallest cell
I will be the flower more than I've ever been myself
And this women I will take her and I'll squeeze hard
and love her and feel inside her
by the side of the road
I'll go to jail by the side of the road
Lick the bars and be the dirt
in the corner of this cell on the side of the road

See also