A Hairshirt of Purpose
Released March 31, 2017.
Recorded by Ben Brodin at the Record Company in Boston, MA in September of 2016. Mixed by Ben at Another Recording Company in Omaha, NE Mastered by Carl Saff. Artwork by Nick Pyle. Violin and Viola played by Elisabeth Fuchsia Matt Becker – guitar Matt Connery – bass Kris Kuss – drums Rick Maguire – guitar and vocals
1. WORMS I would never dream of blaming it on you So please don’t ask me to stay any longer anymore. An odd but deep calm washes over me And from this distance, I take in the heat From the glow of your burning skin. It was never supposed to happen to worms like you 2. HISSING FOR PEACE Shovel your limbs into consistent patterns As potent as pissing in the ocean I try to untie knots in sleep But the spine’s just a snake That’s ashamed of itself While leading a meditation on poor posture There are myths you could build The whole of your duration on I know there are some I’m sleeping around That I thought would help with the knots But end up pulling on both ends It has all the incidental traits Of the things you love But it has no meat It has no bone As if what the worms do They only do for you And what the reptile brain does It only does for you It’s anyone else’s job To try to make sense Of a graceless painting In a present tense (it’s an embarrassment that, through mercy, is on borrowed time) 3. ROPE’S LENGTH Go and tie it to the dock so it doesn’t Float out into the middle of things I’d make you jump in after it in all your clothes Just to drag it back But I want it at rope’s length If I’m not being used Stare at the dark and wait for the sun That always comes up on the wrong day. I throw out all my old calendars By tossing them in the lake. They’re all secured a few feet from shore And then I shoot myself into space. I want it at rope’s length If it’s not being used. I throw the rope around my waist If I’m not being used. 4. NO BONE Now all places are safe for war We can all pick fights and stay indoors So there must be nothing here to tend to? I don’t agree or care to argue. You can find me in the back if you can find me at all, But I’ll try to be kind. 5. MILKSHAKE Laying on the curb That drops off about a mile Your heart still beats But real slow The throat starts to shrink Every sense is leaving And it never crosses your mind To close your eyes You lay down and try to rest Try to breathe deep with that foot on your chest And no light threatens through the blinds 6. LEANING ON A WHEEL Getting in our own way And blaming traffic And a shitty plan And other things that are assumed you understand Head down And eyes peeled I wouldn’t call it driving, more like leaning on a wheel Not happy Not in love But let’s have a baby to save the marriage that we made up Thinking I can look through walls that I run up on are mostly ones I’ve stared at So play in traffic Have a kid And may every good deed be in self interest We’re all giving ourselves head Each in our own way Pairing off with whatever Will lighten up our days Or you’d hope But you know death can travel I’m sure it’ll walk you home You come in and leave alone And I know death can travel And I’m sure it’ll walk us home 7. TEXAS Five places One twice the size of Texas In the middle of the drink Circling in its current. Each our own resistance But all in the same direction. There’s plaque at the axis. I would’ve been content to sit at the rim But I paddle and pant like a dog Away from I think is the middle. The middle has no bone. But it’s strong enough to keep you there Sustainable waste won’t give you a seat at the rim. It will swallow my body but I don’t belong to it. 8. HAIRSHIRT The dependence saddens and disgusts me But I know the leash won’t tighten And I know the eyes won’t strain And not one part of you Yearns for whatever is beyond The plot you lawfully purchased But I still have a hairshirt of purpose That I claim to love I keep it in my closet and dream of the day That I don it again and subsequently set it ablaze A look further back I see nothing: no wooded area, no thaw and no freeze. Just scuffs and pinholes In drywall that’s twelve years old. Pathetic. So I party eremitic. 10. DOGS I can hear the barking of dogs surround their bed I hear the release and then silence And then I pretend to sleep I’d rather on the ground than in your bed I’ll sleep on the lawn or stay up instead There’s a deep well That seems mostly empty I stand at its edge And stare it down helplessly Then I pretend to sleep alone I’d rather on the ground than in your bed I’ll sleep on the lawn or stay up instead Stink and sweat and moan and dream of different air Too tired to think and too dumb to care Wander out with my swollen feet To whatever pond I can leave peacefully 11. MAKING EYES I swear there’s an albatross Circling the house And no one believes me They seem to see the sky just fine But the bird and I keep making eyes They’re inside and all curtains are drawn And I’m brooding about moving on You can inside while they are sizing you up And who are you to interrupt You don’t decide who they say you are 12. SLIPPERY I want to be you but not in the same way, Just to try out being out of my way. And live like an ocean And stop believing in ceilings And the walls that hold them up. But it circles around your head throwing lightning There’s a ghost in your stomach that tries to leave It grows as it gets smaller in the rear view And you can’t tell if you’re moving at all 13. FINGERS You can always find a warm place that will smile backwards at you Filled with fine folks that can’t get their fingers out of their mouths But one night, when sleep fell out of favor, I decided to shuffle around my furniture And I couldn’t stop cleaning Till the broom was sore and all the sponges bleeding I left a mess all over the floor Then left through the window just to spare the door Of a house that burned down before I was born Chores carried out in a vacuum Or shoving a stone up a hill, Ascribing the absurd a meaning Bearing no likeness to what it will. It was then that I noticed my finger bleeding I, for one, blame the thumb You can find the room’s exit In that it’s just a handful of walls Not one thing is everything And not everything has a meaning But you can lie You can always lie The sense of defeat was strong and in its season of feeding And the broom was all numb and all the sponges now needy So I laid out on the floor.