responding to the wind

by other people

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released September 1, 2014

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Track Name: responding to the wind
—Pattern—*

then you will feel better, since that’s what’s important / when the sky clears, and the bells toll / you won’t remember the ritual or how to find yourself / if you are in an abusive relationship / won’t remember aches in the chest a shred of your shame or why you felt it / when the end has nothing to do with this / anything goes, but have some integrity / then why do you ask / if you are not careful / when the darkness is blinding / if you are not afraid of getting sick, or hurt, or emotionally scarred / if you are never to be taught in the universities / when someone you love tries to hurt you / then do your best to stop complaining / when you shame yourself unknowingly / if nobody knocked on your door / you won’t remember what you couldn’t say, or why you tried anyway / when the moon is full / you won’t remember being awed at the possibilities of the Internet / if you let go of your fears for just one afternoon / if you keep listening to the same song / then what’s the use of building a bridge / when you are feeling well enough / anything goes, yeah, but you’re out of drugs / when you cannot talk because too much talking / if the streets are overflowing with mucus / won’t remember love, or light, or the difference / when daylight salutes the candles / you won’t remember the negative space on your walls ///////////
anything goes, but no one will help you / then don’t talk to me like that / then it’s not fair to assume we are any different / if it is true, and you have already packed your bags / you won’t remember to / when your chest aches from too much intimacy / when your nose is congested / anything goes, but life is short, enjoy it / if someone you know is engaged in domestic abuse / you won’t remember what it feels like to give of yourself / then stop cheating / you won’t remember losing, being hurt, forgetting
you won’t remember how to die / then what could you possibly show me / when your clothes fit just right / if you can’t make burritos with dignity / anything goes, but that’s not how you want it / then the plane took off / if it helps to just spit it out / when you decide this is a good thing / if the fire within is capable of being sparked by a last minute costume / now then / when the sun came out / you won’t remember to care, to have to / if it makes sense that people know you by name / when the playground is empty / when you wish upon an old flame / then the heart stopped, as foretold in a vision / you won’t remember the words of a single poet / if you have to keep stopping to record your truths
every five steps and it slows you down so that you miss your appointments / when you look like your father / then you should probably see a doctor / when you put everything you have into one season / then prophecy will have to suffice / when we make eye contact and you look away / you won’t remember why you wanted to eat so much / or what you did with your time / when you run out of water / you won’t remember your name, the word for help, or how to say thank you / if everything has been described / then you can start to breathe again / then moisture became memory / you won’t remember how you used to fit in / when you turn off the lights, but before you close your eyes / when your friend is in town / anything goes, but i’ll never forgive you / if it is your job / you won’t remember being documented / when the past catches up to you / when people no longer talk to trees / when you are asked for your opinion / you won’t remember crying in the streets / if mankind is out of fashion / if you are bold enough to risk self-righteousness / if you act on chance eye contact / then again, then again / if this is not what you voted for / you won’t remember why you needed a notebook, or pockets / when you sleep in / when the light is lightness / when there doesn’t seem to be a connection / if the respect of your family is not your ultimate value / you won’t remember the word or the form / then you will roam the earth freely, master of the dominion that befits your legacy / if you are overflowing with hope / anything goes, but you just can’t do that / then the rain will come /
when trash hits the street / then why do you bother / you won’t remember one cliché, one trending topic, one thesis statement / when it gets impersonal / if the timing is right / when somebody else gives the order / when money is not an issue / when the end is near is a joke / you won’t remember the formula / if you need more structure



—Voice—

Your friendship was like an afternoon nap in the sun, cool brick warming beneath me. And you were like a large pizza hot out the oven, just enough for everyone and a little left over. And you were a gas station cup of coffee in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. And you were my tears. And you were the crickets we could not hear and you were the songs. And you were the signs on the highway I did not need to keep track of. And you were the homecoming. And you were the final stretch. And you were the one who knew how vast are our forests. And it was you who taught me to have fun at work. Thank you. And I learned from you how to erase something properly. You who have seven daughters and no sons. And you, whose tears told me of my promise, and it was you whose favor I truly wanted, even when I said you were gross. It was you who blew snot on my sweater, and it was really your sweater. And it was a highlight of my life when you told me our friendship was how you would remember the year two thousand, and it was the worst when I turned twenty-one and you were not there. Not one of you was there.

And when I became a man I was alone, and there was no one to stop me. There were no more breaks: not for cigarettes, not for disaster, not for reassessment. Not because I couldn’t go on and just couldn’t.

I am bad luck now. You are a couple behind me being photographed. You are soon to be married. Your laugh is forced into the world like the babies you no doubt will have, forced to blend in with the sounds of freedom as it bang bangs against its own pole at the top of a gilded dome on the brink of another spring in a temperate region of an impermanent planet, and though the sun will shine for hours yet I feel the cold in places I will never see, and more than my desire to create something beautiful, right now I just want to feel something beautiful, and so I dull my precious lead with careless reminiscences of you and our times together, too timid to look any closer as I pass you two in the doorway. Yes, I have seen you, and no, I cannot see your canker. But I would kiss it. I would kiss it my whole self be damned.



—Repetition—

right now I just want to feel something beautiful, and so I dull my precious lead with careless reminiscences of you and our times together



—Illusion—

if someone you know is engaged in domestic abuse
if you are in an abusive relationship
if it helps to just spit it out
if the streets are overflowing with mucus
if this is not what you voted for
if nobody knocked on your door
if you act on chance eye contact
if you are not careful
if the fire within is capable of being sparked by a last-minute costume
if you keep listening to the same song
if you need more structure
if you are overflowing with hope
if you are never to be taught in the universities
if mankind is out of fashion
if everything has been described
if it is true, and you have already packed your bags
if it makes sense that people know you by name
if you let go of your fears for just one afternoon
if the timing is right
if you are bold enough to risk self-righteousness
if the respect of your family is not your ultimate value
if you have to keep stopping to record your truths every five steps and it slows you down
so that you miss your appointments
if you’re not afraid of getting sick, or hurt, or emotionally scarred
if it is your job
if you can’t make burritos with dignity



—Q + A—

1)

More than the sun i needed to sit in the same spot and survey the sky for i needed to process an idea throughout the changing of the light, and the temperatures, and the sound and threat levels, i needed to hold that idea through as many conditions as i could, to test its characteristics i needed to sit through the seasons with it, to wear it when it was dirty i needed to claim it as a part of me, or a symbol of my present journey which i hope will redefine me, beginning with this idea!, you know?, and how i take care of it: i guess. If you could nurture the heroes of tomorrow what would they do?

I would say you have to write your own book—a legend—and then you have to burn your own bible and walk away and keep walking until you have enough faith and enough courage to write another book whether you absolutely love it or not and live and swear and die by it. And keep dying.

2)

Am i the scream i need to let out? Is the scream a dog that just needs to piss and depends on me to feed it?

Too busy correcting
the picture frame
on the wall
of the metaphor
that spilled naturally
out of my mouth
to enjoy a brief
change of perspective

the oscillation is it required
to keep the fire lit

see “digging” in green notebook



—Advice—

became an expert in the sky
to avoid eye contact
most stare at the drift
of the clouds to keep
it together

it is easy.

it's easy! just pretend you are sad.



—Patent—

the that which makes that that which it is

the fundamental.
the that what makes

the fundamental,
the that
which makes that
that which it is.

—Poem—

poem, driving through an empty heart
you have all the time you need
deserted backroads / speed limits maintained
you have more than enough time
overbrush. rotting fruit on the vine
for everything. you have all the time you need.
rotting fruit at the foot of the trees
you have more than enough time for rotten everything fruit compost for barren trees
shhhhhh… sh-sh-shhhhh
calls dropped, no service
you have all the time you need.
dark spot moon obscured by clouds
you have more than enough time for everything.
blinding reflectors bald tires and an empty tank of gas
aw man am I still recording? absolutely driving through an empty heart terrible! endless. delete all of that. with nothing but deadlines.
the fundamental. nothing but deadlines and no hurry.
the that which makes that that which it is.
childhood apocalypse rearview adjusted.
the fundamental. adjusted to inward.
the that which makes that moving forward now
that which it is



—Vision—

if one night you took your glasses off
took your language out
left for good

if instead of returning from the bathroom
if instead of returning
if the unwound sheet of the roll
of toilet paper flapping
audibly in the silence
reminiscent of flags
in university courtyards
if the sound of toilet paper
responding to the wind
was reason enough
to hydrate, to hate the alarm
if your brother is sleeping in
your bed right now
two days after the fight
if there’s no more bob’s burgers
if you spent twenty minutes
reliving your last six months
on Facebook, astounded at the fullness
if the silence is music to your muted soul
if you go to sleep without saying
goodnight to your poetry
letting it settle
in the bottom of your river
while you seep out the windows
and dance with the light
down the sidewalk

if you had said bridge
or to the presidio
if there had been flying involved
and beams
if there had not been a sense
of something fragile

* Pattern is random (see other-people.bandcamp.com/album/induced-epidemic).
Track Name: instead of returning
if one night you took your glasses off
took your language out
left for good

if instead of returning from the bathroom
if instead of returning
if the unwound sheet of the roll
of toilet paper flapping
audibly in the silence
reminiscent of flags
in university courtyards
if the sound of toilet paper
responding to the wind
was reason enough
to hydrate, to hate the alarm
if your brother is sleeping in
your bed right now
two days after the fight
if there’s no more bob’s burgers
if you spent twenty minutes
reliving your last six months
on Facebook, astounded at the fullness
if the silence is music to your muted soul
if you go to sleep without saying
goodnight to your poetry
letting it settle
in the bottom of your river
while you seep out the windows
and dance with the light
down the sidewalk

if you had said bridge
or to the presidio
if there had been flying involved
and beams
if there had not been a sense
of something fragile