desperate songs

by great friend of mine

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about

I’ve been told many tales and I’ve read many rhymes, but the most intriguing details are those that I’ve experienced with time. I’ve laid my head underneath the thundering stream of a waterfall. I’ve passed, with cringing stomach, a man curled around newspapers so carbon tight that diamonds may have formed—while I sheltered my hands in my fleece from the freezing cold. I’ve watched the sparkling ice dust tail of the Hale-Bopp comet in April’s weighted air. I’ve broken a woman’s heart, twice my age, by betraying my youth without a care.

Yet, these are but particles, a meteor to the entire universe. Still to be more—still to expand.

Expand until simplicity is cast into the shadows of specificity; whereas nothing, by nature, is wholly simple, but part of some emergent quality; born to life by the mingling of unaware complexes, bound by the fraternity of common elements—a base which spreads further than that of love, or even, life. Thus face value falls to the wayside and here drops millions of tiny tendrils, strings of uncertainty. I want to pull all that I can find—unravel the fabric and see what I can make of it with my mind.

So, I ask myself why and how—staring at the popcorn patterned ceiling, listening to the fan’s hum, as the window preaches an incandescent light. Never have I ended in conclusion, only in the finding of more tiny strings to pull upon. I have learned—infused in myself the ability to search out these points to unravel. My eyes have become attuned to slight wavers against the backdrop of time—with these searchlight eyes I feel as though I am expanding, as though I am steadily putting pressure upon a curtailed state of humanity, called indifference.

Against all of evolutionary time indifference has been triumphed; making us human by exacting our sharpened inclination to be intrigued, to search for novelty. Mother Earth’s streams still flow, clouds still migrate, tectonic plates still crawl, while the slight ripples of her water spread further apart as a ship’s bow becomes completely submerged. The lioness has no remorse as her throat fills with the blood of her fallen prey. The traveling geese do not question their god before departing for the winter. No longer are we fooled, no longer are we deafened by Mother’s sounds.

For we are a novel, but not necessarily advantaged, humanity, bread by an indifferent world.

This is to nudge a dim light onto what is to come: The story of a man, but none the less, the story of men. The system is too complex for an individual experience to belong solely to one individual—a beautiful aspect. A beautiful contact with those who you may never know.

Listen.

Let your eyes focus, without strain, on those tiny tendrils which hang from the empty sky. Pull them down, one by one. Destroy them to create what you will. To create with clear eyes. To create with purpose. To create life.

credits

released 07 March 2009
All tracks recorded at Science Recording Studio in Sarasota, Fl. (www.myspace.com/sciencerecordingstudio)

Engineered and mastered by Neil Parsons.

All sounds, words, and artwork created by Great Friend of Mine, unless stated otherwise.

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Track Name: zvuk (7-2521)
"It is my eyes which see, and the sight of my eyes grants beauty to the earth. It is my ears which hear, and the hearing of my ears gives its song to the world. It is my mind which thinks, and the judgment of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth. It is my will which chooses, and the choice of my will is the only edict I must respect." -Ayn Rand, Anthem
Track Name: We,
The sun was low in the sky. I wished for a cold wind to bring tears to my eyes. All I got was sweaty palms and an itch near my elbow on my arm.

I saw a man to my right, his hands deep in the earth—cupping and piling, like a child at the beach. He was singing. His voice was an uncouth symphony of rasp and cracks; his song was a quaking mountain on a burial ground:

“O grace, O glory,
run like the dark from the morning’s light!
O fate, O destiny, I am not the bestowed,
a bestower—a giver of life!
Drown—drown in your uncorked ships.
Let sleep your sun burnt lips.
Shake—shake fill your lungs.
Accept the end with your own maxim:
What is, is. What’s done is done.”

He rose—his hands tucked away in his pockets. He looked at me—eyes mirrored with tears; I saw myself. A feather became caught in my throat and while he placed a harmonica to his lips he said, “Would you like to hear more?”

I smiled wide and he sang on and on:
Track Name: harrison bergeron
“I’ve been listening to the heart’s song and it has been skipping beats for far too long. A tempo in retrograde, the worrier of the world, the American Dream. I’ve been watching a man die, his feet wrapped in heroic tales, letting his success become living from one day to the next: Never try. Never fail. Never live. Never excel.

“Rob me of my declaration, and then tell me of equality in man. Bring me misery, and then put prayers into my hands. Tie weights to each of my strengths. Delude my thoughts with bright colors and catchy slogans. Make me notable. Make me dissonant. Make me a billboard, preaching to others to repent.

“We’ll all be equal when we are too stupid to know the difference. The end.

“Hopefully I will forget who I am.”
Track Name: tabula rasa
“I’m sorry friend, I pushed my luck. I live beside myself. I tied my eyelids to my feet and put my trust in a misread.

”Where were you? I rode my bike down those streets we used to ride and I laughed at those jokes that we used to tell. I fell asleep next to her wishing there was a hell. And I dreamt that night that I was a man hanged by his own belt outside his neighbor’s front door.

“Days of gold, secrets untold. I live beside myself.

“Ghosts we were. I’m glad that he was the better man.

“Now I see through twisted eyes that time is no man’s friend and I’m thankful everyday that he gave me a blank slate.”
Track Name: a benny hymn
“Save me: my bleeding eyes, my hollow skull!

“Heal me: my aching teeth, my weeping soul!

“A man fell from the sky a month ago. They tell me he has hooves for feet, talons for hands, the eyes of a fly, and the snout of a rat. They tell me he is still a man.

“He looked tall on his soapbox and I couldn’t make out his features from where I stood, but his words were dripping, falling, crawling right up into my ears. They tickled those tiny hairs:

‘My knees are raw, close to bone!
But what a great thing I have been shown!
For God gave me a great gift!
I will take your problems, blow them away,
and let the drift!’

“O my god, I laughed—I thought of a solar eclipse I saw as a boy; eyes pressed to that cardboard box. Mercury shining red—alive. A sun-flare in a textbook I came across—I laughed while the ground resisted my feet and the wind blew against my face.

“I will never forget my place—my father was a sailor, rough hands and wind swept hair. My mother was a whore; she knew that life was sometimes too hard to bear. I am their son—a calm, a whisper of wind, a storm of passion, a calculated whim—when the earth sways I do not run, I walk with adjusting feet and quarter bent knees, picking a path down a narrow street.

“I laughed until I saw the surgeon’s kit—a child with his hands sewn together, mumbling, ‘I will live forever.’ With removed brain, eyes, and tongue—with broken legs, so he couldn’t run.

“I wailed and screamed, cursed that man who let death define his name: ‘A shame to life you are—I see that gold wrapped around your fingers: The bondage of kings! The envy of men! Pilfered from the poor to pay for a wreck! Cure the mind with the wave of a hand, but let the body still, fester, and rot!’

“They still tell me he is a man. I weep for the lot, the ostrich.”
Track Name: (a man is born)
“I had my ears closed and my hands were wrapped in a beautiful cold. Trees jutted out around me—they had become thin and pale, not as they were when I first came; I was young and without care. Those trees reminded me of a balding man who, in a last effort, installed plugs in his bare scalp. Surrounded by concrete and steel those thin, pale trees were a youthful plea from an aged, dying Mother.

“I was knee deep in that marsh of a dead head reading about a time too far to see. They kept on walking by and I didn’t look. I had no care of skirt or tale, only that other world which would never know me. As I read a wind moved across me, my body filled with goose pimples, and I realized that I had no bargaining power.

“Never could I sway leaves to grow a greener shade; sway buds to bloom; sway architecture to reconstruct; sway another mind to sync with mine, think my thoughts, live my past. For I have no bargaining power. A fingerless man in a house of spoons would say that I then have no hope at all, but I, (the queer, the mute, the sinner, the brute, Sisyphus’ rock, Monet’s eyes, that man on the corner who you mock, the teeth in the mouth of the tongue that lies…) I think that hope is all I have, because now—now I have nothing to hope for. That is why I dig into this moving earth: To sculpt a sphere of my own.

“Subdued are the hands that clasp hold to the ware. Brazen are the hands that hold the tools which shape. And I’m tripping over the tools wherever I go…”
Track Name: monarch
“I’ve got the hands of a savior, but the mind of a man. I’ve got legs carved from oak, but they’re still secured to land. I believed I was stone. I was ready.

“Ready to scream into the ears of infamy, but I let myself become overgrown; forced out, made weak, dragged through this alone, because I’m an ape, dead.

“I never wanted to be another coattail traveler. Never wanted to be Icarus’ head on high. So, I give this to you: My plea to life: My open palm: My unrested nights: My protest song:

‘To remove my hands
from the gold laced sky,
break my ankles free
from this swamp like earth,
I foregrounded myself in now.’

“And I hope when the day comes that my feet never walk this earth again I’ll smile as the lights dim.”
Track Name: this shitty
“In this city I can’t see the stars. I’ve been here three years and never have I seen the stars. So I lay, my head pressed against the cool concrete and I stare into a haze, wishing I was somewhere else. So lie in a grave.
“Broken by mere subtleties, I turn in a grave dug by the past.

“I’ve been screaming for so, so many years. Screaming words I did not know. Now that I’ve finally found the words to say, my voice won’t make a sound. I’ve been abandoned in the streets at night, my hands cupped to my eyes and mouth—my feet churning the hogwash ground.

“So, take my hand. Help me find my voice. Take my hand. Help me bring back the New Noise.

“I’ve got matches; we could start a fire, burn this city down. Reproduce in the flickering light; while the pops and creeks coalesce into the saddest of songs.

“Listen, dear friends, a faint chorus rises:

‘Bring back the New Noise.’

“Or I could turn another worn page of a man who acts. While I sit in this dreary haze coiling my slack.”
Track Name: twenty-twelve
“…because in all my dreams I walk next to an old, tired ass. When we meet the end of the world he walks over the edge. I stand and pivot on heel and I sing:

‘At last, at last, at last!
Sweet sun. Oh, sweet sun.
Take me to a dawn of sequential brilliance.
Take me to a time of succumbed equity.
Usher a life of squandered excellence.
Release me from this cruel dark fate.’

“In all my dreams, I burn out my eyes and sit in darkness.

“This darkness where every melody has been sung and every phrase of descent has been said by men much greater than I. I am no arbiter of truth. I am reason: A spark of light stepping on toes in the dark.

“For arrogance is bliss for the ignorant and humble is the man with an open mind, because when those bells toll we are all fucked the same.”
Track Name: iceberg
”Never had I felt that cold before. My bones were shaking from the marrow through my skin—to the floor.

“A liar, his hands clenched tight to my feet. A sinner, his lips pressed cold to my cheek. He was me and I was him, while I was bent on knee, my head to the sky, pleading for the rains. I was screaming what would you like me to say, with my lips nearly sealed.

“I remember her face in the pale blue light, while she laid there, hands under her chin, mouthing this was a mistake over and over again. We sat there in silence and it said more then we ever could.

“All was right. I am a coward and she disregarded speaking.

“I’ve been down a thousand roads, but still get lost wherever I go. She had a map in her pale hands, but sat around with her head in the sand.

“So, we’ve been belting out choruses of apologies shrouded in playful remorse. Ever since she forgot to say goodbye and I forgot to let her in, my door locked too long for me to know why.”

* * *

“Have you seen a painter paint, or a sculptor sculpt, or even a—a sewer sew? Well, that’s how I came to be, my friend, one stroke; one impression; one stitch at a time. I’m still forming—being formed—because I am now. I am no man to be willed by an aimless bend in an aimless arm. I will myself to be everything in this world of nothing,” he said, his head tilting to the side.
Track Name: the World
As the heat rose from the street and the passing cars created an incredulous beat, I took his dirt covered hands in mine and we (the World) sang in unison until the sun did shine:

“A journey tells what a book can’t read—
A master sells only what he can see—
So this is our ledger, this is our coin…”

With smiles gleaming our minds wondered to thoughts of carefree drives. We called upon youth—broken steps fleeing the scene of an arson, and with wings in our bellies and boulders in our throats we sang on and on:

“As the truth is stolen
from our hands;
as we toil knee deep
in the waste of years,
hearts pounding in our ears,
dread perched on the window’s sill—
with a thousand TV ministers
trying to break our wills,
with a billion points of light
trying to sell us life from a screen,
with not much to give
but what we have within—
we, the World must sing this anthem:
‘Nothing above me but the sun!’”

When the first beam of light crept over the roof tops a stillness settled around us that cannot be described, only compared, to the calm after the last drop of rain disturbs the last blade of grass; to the pause—the sigh—after that last line was read of the book that changed your life.

As the sun rose and rose I noticed a serene silence, which lived in-between mine and his frequencies, a beautiful, calming silence that wet my eyes and drew the corners of my mouth. For sometimes the only thing to know for sure is silence…
Track Name: tisina (5-3000)
The only thing to know for sure is silence…