I came up with some MAZE-y song titles and Greg made the songs to go with them. (“Horns and Strings” is actually doing double duty as an anti-mathematics song, requested by another one of Greg’s Patrons.) As usual, his wonderful lyrics are surreal but also full of concrete details, creating a response that shifts between recognition and bewilderment and evoking emotions you can’t quite place. It’s hard to pick a favourite song among these. Do you connect most with the frenetic strangeness of “That’s the Trick” or the wistful nostalgia of “Sinking Gratefully Down”? The alterna-folk call-and-response of “Horns and Strings” or the driving fierceness of “Too Many Animals”? Hope you enjoy these as much as I do.
In the end when the doves are done flying and the stream of dinners and dying are done and we’re lying here. Will there be time to make a phone call? After the war is done again?
What can we give each other but a break from all this running around?
Or will there still be too many animals for the crowd?
Recall when we heard the jailed men whisper. So we filled our houses with smoke and pulled their teeth out one by one with a shepherd’s cane.
Their sour gums suckled still-smacking sounds we hoped would perish. So we forced a thumb straight down the throat and tickled a ride to the closest exit; encouraged them onward through the mook. Then, stood back shaking our heads at the sorry state they’re in.
Those wolves, they make great customers; so long as they’re occasionally reaching.
A paw for a quarter. A claw for a dollar at some unnecessary door.
A chair to sit in and some kind of answer before the ceiling runs afoul.
Will there still be too many crickets to let this house stay silent?
Will there still be too many animals to end the war?
Will there still be too many animals after the war?
Between human and mouse, whose nose serves them better? Whose ears hear the thunder? Whose tongue savors butter?
Whose eyes rest on that golden pillow melting softly as the sun opens its eye.
The package says it’s salted. Surprise! It was rancid the whole time.
Mind your manners. Practice what you preach. Behold! A kid!
They say a goat can chew a tin can cuz it pretends it’s iceberg lettuce served as a free side for lunch.
“It is salad,” says the menu…
… and there’s a sandwich coming. On a bun. In a carriage, maybe. With all the trappings.
While waiting, why not indulge? Look up-see that star? It’s a breeze. It doesn’t whisper. That shine is speaking soundly. It’s probably made of gold. Put it down or risk a sliver.
Now you’re married.
Now it was chocolate the whole time.
See that foil fleck off?
Imagine a miniature wonderland of those bugs gazing in wonder at a world of pink glittering snow. We could put them in a globe with all that rust to preserve this moment forever. Just a shake. Just a flick of the wrist.
A horn is a blow-hole, a path tapered and maybe twisting into a start of a kiss, a thought expressed and an end; a sound to get there
A singular sound, sonorous or bleating, begging attention to be paid to itself and, in the end, the listener knows what that means
Around that sound some songs sing to each other, creeping in and out of doors in conversation with textures of trees and furs and silt
Around that sound like mud or swelling air a battle of colors ease together into a corpulent dawn or sunset
The trumpet brings freedom from swampy shackles uncertain-its call is the brightest star to summon home from far away
The tuba holds us up to keep walking toward an illuminated goal
And when we arrive we are known by the cornet’s drone
Around that sound these words are a burden no donkey can carry unless it’s dead because that would certainly be true unless it’s a corpse baking on a rock, an altar to maggots that will certainly live on.
Is this then the house where all within it are living despite these dust-touched unblinking eyes?
Does the journey end when the hooves stop moving or is that corpse one more curtain for the next surprise?
The horn says you have nothing to say unless you’re saying something
For the world that’s not words, what can you say about that?
Team spirit? No. Multiplication? No. A gentle fog in a German submarine? If you want.
There are flowers in these trees and the birds are singing tweet-tweet and it’s raining sometimes to bring out the green. It’s here we start our journey dressed for the cold that’s coming.
Here’s your hat, then. Here’s your napkin. There’s sure to be meals where we’re going. Here’s your basket, an empty flask, and a pound of unmelted butter-in case we run into some bread.
The sun is majestic and we’re taking on sweat. Bead by bead, step by step. None of us cares because the day is enormous enough for the laughter to fill in. Enough for this pasture we’re in. Enough for a lifetime. Enough for these leaves that keep clogging our socks to speechify crunching as we’re trying to talk. Children keep interrupting. I hope you heard what I said.
This coat is too heavy, but I’m sick of the cold. This place once had a river behind where they put the mall. Do we remember the past?
We got where we’re going or at least we are where we are; staggering bags of extinguished fire. Some smoke escapes our lips that hang limp and you’re trying to smile for all of that. Do we remember the past? And though we both know it’ll all fall to pieces, we still sink gratefully down.