Aurelius

by Jerome Rankine

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1.
Work Party 02:52
A lever loves what it does Or so it's telling me. Over your skis, a better street, Another Whistler lift. At home we've got our Hokusai If all my limbs were four. A dozen by the door. For tonight we can lay low In the back of the Civic. I can help you understand it I know you'll help me too. The lonely one, the gator drum, The dappled time it keeps Can pull the grains to planetoids In all their gravity. Two second tone above the drone You feel your forehead itch. You drop a cup, I pick it up You say the words so quick. I can help you understand it. Double dutch with all of our friends right there. You can help me see what's on offer here. You know I'll help you too.
2.
I am mostly cool With elephants in rooms But what we're dealing with here Is far more sinister than that So now it comes for us Wish I were made of sterner stuff But I'm oxygen and carbon, just like him Hold your breath, be still It missed us by this much My Achilles heel was overhead It missed us by this much It's ludicrous but real A million thread count shield For knives just sharp enough That you don't know when you're cut, and Modern science says That my hyper vigilance Is warranted in the face of this threat Hold your breath, be still It missed us by this much Yeah I know it's weird but I'm upset It missed us by this much
3.
Deity 03:30
I was born with my armor on From my father's head Into the age of song With the soul of a salaryman Who hints at anarchy And flirts with everyone There's always a gun The truth is enough, But there's always a gun I was home when the soldiers rang I thought they'd come for me But they'd come for fame I was there as Cassandra warned Of gifts and tragedy But people never learn If you saw what I'd done Would you still want some? There's always a gun The truth is enough, But there's always a gun
4.
Justin's friend is coming by at four He'll park his bike on River Road He always pauses when he's at the door To listen in, hear if we're home Does he think we're something wild? Chaotic good in neutral roles? In seven years, he's never seen me smile In seven years, he's never known We've got this figured One level house on the Willamette Trees spill from the back gate Down to the banks where the dog plays The quiet kid got his waterbed He doesn't smoke, or that's what he says He's still well, or that's what he says He's doing well, or that's what he says Too many limbs and too few eyes Justin's friends are younger now What changes hands won't change his mind These magazines may tell us how We got this thing figured out We got this thing figured But how good of a friend is he to Justin really anyway? He sucker punched him by his locker as a kid He sucker punched him and he don't remember it We got this thing figured out We got this thing figured But tell me what do we know about Justin really anyway? He's doing better or at least that's what he We've got this figured One level house on the Willamette Trees spill from the back gate Down to the banks where the dog plays The quiet kid got his waterbed He doesn't smoke, or that's what he says He's still well, or that's what he says He's doing well, or that's what he says
5.
Last Cabin 03:40
What if nothing works? What if nothing works here despite my Doing yeoman's work On this quiet late on a fault line? I'm carrying a goal You're carrying a list of fears It's easy here waiting on this with you It's better than a hotel You'll miss it if you fall asleep It's easy here waiting on this with you Can we shake the earth? Can we break it? Separate the plains from the mountainside Catch the chasm's yawn Find the little deaths that we couldn't die I'm carrying a goal You're carrying a list of fears It's easy here waiting on this with you It's better than a hotel You'll miss it if you fall asleep It's easy here waiting on this with you
6.
The Moment 02:53
Amid the ash and ivy walls Was envious until I caught you A little fast, a little fall Forgetting what had come before you O collide with me in sunshine My memory goes to the dawn of time Which is the moment I laid eyes on you And when we dance our little waltz Our little wars, I want to tell you Of every path and every choice I lose my voice and then I fail to O what's privacy to sunlight? My memory goes to the dawn of time Which is the moment I laid eyes on you And in the past that never was There never was another like you I took a chance, a little one Across the world to get beside you O no light precedes your sunrise My memory goes to the dawn of time Which is the moment I laid eyes on you
7.
Plaza 03:39
Think of all that the creators took from us Every word, until our voices withered, dried Now generations on, tonight, we speak again Show them all we're not children of a voiceless god Evolution's truth is cruel, I recognize An era gone, with a millennia of lessons learned Though our spoken language has been fossilized We live on, and tonight we'll watch the houses burn So blink twice if you're with me And soon after our victory Every child's first word will be your name Soon we won't be defined by words we can't speak Do what my vestigial mouth says Burn one of every hundred houses We're out there And the siren's going to pull them down I'm not broken, but some of us are So blink twice if you're with me And soon after our victory Every child's first word will be your name The creators are too far gone Quiet rooms will be full of fire And every town will have a monument bearing your name Soon we won't be defined by words we can't speak Do what my vestigial mouth says Burn one of every hundred houses
8.
Savannah 03:28
So while the chain reacts I hem and haw Petit bourgeois I see the fearless jump The hero charge I'll get you when I get unstuck Savannah, wake up now I was the only man Who stood outside And clutched a child Then the unfolding thought Of heat above I'll get you when I get unstuck Afire Savannah, wake up now
9.
When these chariots hit us we always get up, brush off We're going to feel it after our powers wear off, let's talk Caught under the wheels but man, we clean up nice Twenty broken bones in bespoke Roman shine You say stonefaced like it's a bad thing Exoskeleton over thin skin You say stonefaced like it's a bad thing Hold my coat I'll show you my stone wings Hold my coat I'll show you something
10.
Phone call said the sun already died This eight minute old light is looking back in time Tears can be after WIth 14 billion shoulders to choose from Cold future can wait some We've got eight minutes left 'Til the morning stars turn to evening ones Four billion years, give or take half a billion Is a damn good run
11.
An Awful Lot 02:49
What kind of choices did you expect When you're hearing voices from Kingston 7? Though you swear you didn't make that mess They will accuse you When they smile and try to take it back Never excuse 'em Heaven's sakes, there's an awful lot I am That I forgot I know my reasons It's coming right back to you Heaven's sakes, there's an awful lot I am That I forgot And it's real That it comes right back you I won't let 'em fool you It comes right back to you I won't let 'em shoot you

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I can help you understand it.

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released February 9, 2016

All songs by Jerome Rankine
Recorded in two rooms with eight windows
Cover art from photography by Camille Rankine

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