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The Orion Songbook

by Frontier Ruckus

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  • Digital Album
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    This release comes in a digipak featuring artwork from singer Matthew Milia, and with an eight-panel insert with all the lyrics from the album.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Orion Songbook via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
The teeth of your black ditch are sweet like the rest Of the thin-lipped, sharp-hipped Fierce things that animals show White like the laughter of smoke in the chest Long after The brightness of the fields’ teeth go The child-mother yells in violent madness But your tight skin confessed not a vein in your chest And the way that your breast did hang low Animals need animals before the winter comes The metal air swarms across those plains My long-necked, freckle-specked Heavy-chested, trust-invested Sows her breath into my chest and hums Now what kind of county line Holds her remains Your gray frame in winter is delicately hued The eyes are so wearisome The greens have all blued And what could it mean That they once were so green And now they’re just starving for food And I am hungry too For you
2.
My family does own some land where the river is wide At night I see my memories dimly dying on the other side I know that I am now all bitterness and tart Anatomy to me is a homesick stomach and a broken heart You rest-stops in the midnight are like friends I’ve worn to bone I only notice that you’re glowing when I’m feeling so ever alone Drunken with the children now too many times to complain Trustful was the mouth I turned into a lustful sopping hole and Now it’s nothing but a bathtub drain The latter days are harder than I ever could have known Come back to retrieve me sometime soon If the latter days are ending then I hope I’m ending too And buried someplace where your breath tastes New to me and always blowing So my body’s bent and bowing Deep into the day’s ending in summer The latter days are always panting like a Second-comer All the fleshy statues of the city-square goodbyes Are flinging smooth-skin trinities and nakedness Up into my eyes Naked swan-necked girls, your arching backs into the sun The highway ditch’s black clouds split The median and breathing in Of all the ribs of every bathing one And in those trash-pit-ponds you bathe and Oh, how you all gleam Mindlessly bright where you’re wet in Your eye-lashing, fluid-splashing, rapid-flashing Canal-bleaching dream For me
3.
What You Are 04:12
You are growing cold and lonely If only you knew what you are Our grandfather was a soldier Now I am older, I know what homes are for Worried homes have walls They absorb old phone calls They spit warm laundry smoke to the cold Backyards But to be a father I must Take my life and solder All my neighborhoods of night To you You were born into A pitch-black-nighttime-window-view The brightest blinding moon came through Shining That old moon had the cold feet Over long-gone lawns and streets But none of those better days do need Reminding You are growing cold and lonely If only you knew what you are If only you knew what you are
4.
Anne, let’s die in some dim town My brown eyes wait to weigh us down The candles ’round the tub will drown In our afternoons Music from our evening parlor Darker than the autumn hour I gave my child twenty dollars For tearing at our moons Dark damp men muddied our house In my dreams to bleed your blouse I smiled from my sleep to douse The horror of this hour Our boy on dark hills blurry crawling His rain-glazed shaking porches falling The homes of all his friends just sprawling Withering like flowers Anne, I’ve loved you from a boy No other autumn could destroy The town our winds fused to enjoy Whispering dark farmlands Tearing moons, these moons are tearing Swearing terror inside their daring Crumbling prayers, dark autumns faring Straight out of our hands
5.
Mount Marcy 04:40
Mount Marcy is growing sparse She is the farce that I would like to tell From the bottom of your well Feel the bushes, brambles rambling Ample sapling, suckling all the air And the north from Marcy’s hair When my death-day comes When my death-day numbs me I shall become one I shall become nothing And something Something is the heaven-king for me Your crucifixion-three-large-hills are Shadow-making over stilts we built On the mountain’s silt Marcy, you’re my favorite love Seventeen and freckled like a soul To forget you would be so Hard on me Hard on me Hard on me to cut you from my dream-range But we shall become one We shall become nothing And something That something is the heaven-king for me! Birds are chirping, you’re usurping Things that I would never want to tell From the top of your landfill Workers smoking, all evoking Western counties, full of filth and love To which you’re bound above When my death-day comes For certain, I’ll be sorry For all that I have done indoors When outside sons were shining They are blinding, binding Reminding me the heaven-king is one
6.
The Blood 06:49
The black figure of my body above your window as you’re dreaming I came to wake you and take you up north The yard was wet, the heavens forget the way things are seeming For us who must stumble in yards dark as horses Your dream went like this, John the Baptist came back vapor-veiled With grand expectations for what he had started And you couldn’t resist, you gave him the gist about how things failed And how all but one fire-heart had departed And that you were her, and you were sure That you had the Blood, that you had the Blood That all is made of And that is alright, that is alright I can’t think of a better dove To carry the Blood The canal was bright, its innards ignite when moon stretches tight To show the cargo the floating is gliding The edges are dark, it’s channeled by bark, it carries the mark Of every speckle of guilt I was hiding The bathroom does taste of menstruation chasing night-musk through window screen Like wounded doves all pretty things bleed Like my highway dream, Judas redeemed for the one kiss he rode on Our spirits ride canals and never in deeds Deeds do go, and deeds do not Carry the Blood, carry the Blood That all is made of Carry it right, all through the night Till you see what we are of A dove that carries the Blood
7.
Bethlehem 02:48
Bethlehem is my kind of town No matter what is born there Most men find their knees on the ground Most men find their knees on the ground And Bethany’s a pilgrim She’s there by daylight I thought she was one of the children But now she’s the mother of dreams I can’t wake from Now she’s the mother of night The night lulls in On biblical lands And it stands for all I’m missing And it steals my mind with a half-smile And it deals the North out in black piles And it reels me hard ’round the past while I think maybe I could belong there, too In Bethlehem, it’s my kind of town With rooftops where the tar is warm Where I’m so lonesome I could drown And no one would kneel themselves down To fish me Save maybe Bethany
8.
The holes of highway bones are filled But the tolls of highway loans are billed To the board of directors of boredom, here So I slept outside the worried exit And hurried to avoid the decrepit Hordes of fallen Lords, I can’t afford’em, dear But overwhelmed is a laughing word To say you’ve taken for granted stillness On an ever-moving planet Was the glacier’s falling heard Was the crumbling porch’s utter realness Made of ash or made of granite? Oh, I’m so longing for my mama’s kiss And scratching my old lifetime’s back That simpleminded tenderness Is a pity that my searches lack The graveyard breathes reality But reality’s blurred outside my gate No matter if I hesitate The foggy lilac windows come And dumb my number one ambition And it’s too much repetition The south was knee-deep in the weeds And I was in a plank-wood parlor Every flame from every mouth was only worth a dime Feeling easier to move than shifting reeds I was wearing my times on my collar But my colors don’t get bright in season’s time Your biggest grid did shrink and sink In one night’s walk of blindness To foreign sites where bright lights find you out When evolution is extinct And lurking is a fossil’s kindness And there’s no one left under our sun to sign you out And the piano strings are damp and deep And the honky-tonk is breaking free And the second-grader that you keep Beneath your skin is next to me Ah, who likes, who plays these games And who is clutching to the reins ‘Cause I scurried open plains And the foggy lilac windows come And dumb my number one ambition And it’s too much competition And that bleached canal was rare And Ma was there And no one dared to care (about tomorrow) The road is bare I go nowhere And all the joy that I’m aware (is food for sorrow) The loft upstairs is unprepared The billboard fields are stoned in pairs The gravel layers and river dares And the air is very weary
9.
Orion Town 2 02:50
I’m going home, I’m smoking my last cigarette The muffler shop’s shouting that she’s in the city The North Frozen Landfill I just can’t forget ‘Cause it marks the town of my pity Orion Town Oh now Rochester, you son of a bitch Your psyches and streets are a tumult of achin’ The awkwardest memories I just can’t unstitch At least they know they’re not forsaken in Orion Town I-75 is the swallower of Christmas The gloom of its gladness is night on our shoulders Connecting our sorrows like ponds with an isthmus Frozen and covered with boulders in Orion Town The yelling, the holler of the ghost I have squandered The snow combed tight brightly mirrored false wonder there That I did follow to the frozen water As my family stood there and stared at
10.
still crackle Like a motel Frontier spackle Summer backyard Shopping cart In our shadows Late-day echoes Weeds Radios Jesus Christ knows your Freckled heart To walk North as sun is setting Hope of getting to Your ghost-filled brimming field as The still comes All those churches Splint’ring perches Blacktown searches Stooping faces Placing childhoods It’s a hot-town Steam from the ground Roads are unbound Heart-strung and crowned Through the lumbered trees I killed a woman She had it coming She was myself and now I am free Free to love you You unspooling When day is cooling rain clouds coming Are lighter than the night All is something Lost in nothing Your gravelly wiry frightening mind is Built upon itself We walk through the Back-Lot World To the pioneer frontier where you forgot dear Nights you should hold
11.
Rosemont 05:28
Oh I know everybody here’s been dying to get back to Rosemont Street But that road was made of flesh and now it’s dead and now it’s beat The sun burnt past every rock across the street from that cracked lot Detroit air just breaths away and that sun died in a petrified way Onto the driveway, table napkins blown away Into the alleyway and summer is the strangest time of day I’ve seen beauty far upstate A century is all it takes To turn a homestead to the ground But there is one thing that I found I ain’t seen these things in vain And deep outside the siren’s wailing far from me on the still night And through the yards the spores are sailing on the toes of those dreams in flight To the north Back and forth Our moments make us off-ramp islands where language tramps and falls to silence To forget The T.V. set And images of stranger feelings rape our walls and wallpaper our ceilings I’ve seen beauty far upstate A century is all it takes To turn a homestead to the ground But there is one thing that I found I ain’t seen these things in vain I was born to the lawnmower’s crying And the drying of our gilded lot Trust in God when our roofs are sighing, again And the hill is crying thanks a lot Watertowers are drunker than grandfathers But they’re equally happy All that’s golden was once eternally unfolding Now dusktime is the glimpse to see it But I’m a bursting piece, a questioning priest, like a politician out east I’ve seen swimming pools full of darkness, on the brightest moonlit nights And I’ve seen fairgrounds, heard their sounds, and in that ground lies just what I’ve found Basements are now all we got with decade shades and days that rot Landbirds flew over my head, flag at half mast no one is dead Oh I know that that’s not true, but we’re so desperate, what else can we do? I’ve seen beauty far upstate A century is all it takes To turn a homestead to the ground But there is one thing that I found I ain’t seen these things in vain And everybody dying here has made it back to Rosemont Street The roses shake, the sidewalk aches and Detroit air is hissing at our feet
12.
Orion Town 3 01:59
Smoking Turkish cigarettes in The thumb of the midwest when The sulfur fills the trees On the fourth of July You and I We travel the gravel going home Home sweet home, home my brother Not one mind hones to another Take these tones, and try to color me And the liquor lotto store The bathroom floor See, we unravel like travels Drunk and sore
13.
So I am the eyes That my father cried out In our swamp sunk with doubt In the dark yards of North Country aging uncles Caught in the summer horrid Endless and fluttered torrid But all of my ditches Were buzzing green as I grew taller Family don’t know that I’ve seen the road end Far past the bridges where Salt thaws out to the river There on the roadside Passing by I spied Billboards that relied on Only I to deliver The dusk to the years And old mirrors, in here Now those windows still bring back memories Supermarket rusting through the trees Hearts drawn on invisibilities, like these Aching spring please bring a ring For the powder songs these orchards sing And that shall string the one thing I have left In Adirondacka, you are the fire escape alley gleaming I’ve shed your red valleys dreaming Of spring-town streets and pink-sky sheets Adirondacka, harmonicas were blowing through the fairgrounds, darling Life blows their scary sounds on us But that is why the spirits fly in Adirondacka So my twitching girl When I kissed you our dock had been broken And every word spoken Were desperate desire seeds Sown in your raging hair Blown to your face so fair But I died five lifetimes Before I breathed just what I needed No place is safe no more ‘Cept sometimes in my door I have something that no one else ever touches Oh Adirondacka, dust bowl harmonicas Blew through poor houses And all sorts of awkward crutches The city hall poplars soon perfumed of death The kitchen yellows soon paled every breath The afternoon lethargy makes our home cleft, and left Open wide as barns divide the supper swamp and gentle pride From every side as sunset is upset In America, the mayor comes And walks among the green-park benches Dreams are just like endless trenches It quenches me halfheartedly Adirondacka, I am the water you are pumping The town-end glades are up and jumping The narrow road, my past implodes in episodes that I’ve forgotten We love our families We love our twilight trees We love our memories Salt pours out to the river There on the swamp edge Skies north of the mountains My eyes pulse like fountains And salt pours out to the river Kiss you in eye-gulps As my piny heart yelps In no other manner Could salt pour out to the river At dinnertime
14.
Most of my dreams are robberies The family dies the child flees Through backyards filled with enemies and Fences fleshed by panicked knees and Freedom is the deep-night there The hurried-flight emergencies Hospital-hell tragedies are finding me in countries So far From my home So hard The night’s grown And it seems to holler and glow So long The neighborhood is ceaseless where Backyards kiss like memories and Nothing is like the hot nightmare of Hearing them in melodies and Dangerous cars pull in our driveway Blast their brights into our windows and Though they don’t have guns or knives they Fill me with a fear that takes me So far From my home So hard The night’s grown And it seems to holler and glow So long So when the backyards finally end You’ll find me on dark-highway, send My fear to all the highwaymen at The foot of the dark-highway bending Back into a home again A driveway lit like a dead-end for So long

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released November 6, 2008

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