Under the Starling Host

by Blackbird Raum

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released October 31, 2009



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Blackbird Raum Santa Cruz, California

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Track Name: Turning Away
"but lately I see an upsurgency, back to the old values of dedication and fucking rebellion, perhaps the list is only hundreds long"-Filth

above a frozen plain a dirty cloud is rearing up and we wolves can only watch / of all these falling lights the brightest ones are scarring up and scars you cannot change / all of us still standing must learn to leap up without landing / and quicken on the wind / when they're calling / lets not follow / then you'll see us / turning away / can't hold up this world alone, can't tear down this world alone never find a fucking home this my skin is what I own broken glass and broken legs have no cup with which to beg no shelter from the caustic rain sidewalk sleepers gutter lain / and what matters now is not myself its something else / its to hold the candle still / fail to obey / make them pay / one more day
Track Name: Catherine's Wheel
I feel as though I've lost a limb / because I cannot walk I'll swim / cut this knot beneath my throat / bequeathed a plastic gem of hope which only melted in the sun / leave me to rock upon the waves of this chlorine water maze, having none / dark as the ocean deep in the ghostland / keys were stolen from the guards broke our fingers in the bars / broken on the wheel / caught with an extra crust of bread, golden teeth from off the dead / just a trespass from the tents on the wrong side of the fence / digging trenches with a spade badly shined the captain's boot / a simple enough deception from which there's scarce protection / if we'd been manufactured could we tell?
Track Name: Lucasville
cracked a whisper from within the spine to give a signal to the other side / this house of god holds a traitor whose missing hands are left untied / cross the keyhole cross the latches cross every line that divides the factions / unstrap the bomb from your chest, we're smart enough to get away from them / we'll find fight to struggle for another day when the fall of the gate seems a lifetime away /body by the judge will get sent out to riverhead / is the blame still not lay when the bail has been set and the judges at home just asleep in their beds / the convict race now still resides in lucasville / the ice / the swell / strangles the roots
all turning backs in the meadow and wait while bones are thrown
Track Name: To the Barricades!
"to him no temple stood or altar smoked; yet who more oft than he in temples and at altars when the priest turns atheist... In courts and palaces he also reigns and in luxurious cities, where the noise of riot ascends above he loftiest tow'rs; and injury and outrage. And when night darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons of belial, flown with insolence and wine"-Milton

unconscious of echoing tragedy we line up to join the parade / but our elbows are stuck in the mud again and our houses have all flown away / there's a song that we've thrown from corpse to corpse / in the fleshes that we carry with us / it's written in caches of serpentine in tunnels and grey pigeons nests / who do you turn to? / treads of the tank searchlight the street scratched of the lists ash and the heat / throwing the kitchen knives off of the roof / but when they look up to the house-tops there's no one to shoot / but we broke through the curfew and into the street / if we let them take anything they'll take everything / they laughed when my aunt won the lottery / they laughed when the cattle cars came /they shot me for stealing a crust of bread but they gave me a loaf when I begged
Track Name: William
"the schools were part of Euro-America's drive to solve the "Indian Problem" and end Native control of their lands. While some colonizers advocated outright physical extermination, Captain Richard H. Pratt thought it wiser to 'Kill the Indian and save the man.' In 1879 Pratt, an army veteran of the Indian wars, opened the first federally sanctioned boarding school: the Carlisle Industrial Training School,"-Andrea Smith

there is no water here / keep quiet and quiet / for lack of a name in the english tongue they called him william / by the day of the month by the month of the year thats how they named him / in a withered room / by the bricks of saint catherine / called men of god called men of learning they're stealing children / to do the work of christ to begin the process of civilization
Track Name: The Helm of Ned Kelly
like a fist clutching bread just to hoard and withhold like the grain that they locked in the silo / we'll be eating soup of stone til what we grow is what we own, but we won't steal from the land what's freely given / tear up the deeds to the land, throw the debts into the furnace, debts to god to the banks and to the landlord / don your armor don your helm, which was forged from an old plows blade / train your horses round and aim your guns at sydney / I was born from a seed that was swallowed by a mad woman, from the lips and the tongue of ceridwen / I had took just a taste that had splashed up from the black kettle / in the waves neither drowned nor aged a day / down their lying in the brush was one bloody tethered horse, and one detective in the service of the crown / even though we're just one pistol against an army of policemen I insist that we are many and they are few / it was on van dieman's land where your father came in transport chained like cattle to the deck of a ship / held hostage in a word, stolen from the shores of erin / south australia bound in bondage of the queen's men
Track Name: Crumbs
crumbs from the table have fallen so few so not to catch an eye / reckless and thinkless and felled to the knees to gather before before the broom / what is left amongst the spire that is as tall as the lowest cloud you could reckon the height of / hanging on a branch here every time (though never fall so far) from which we lift these blistered hands only to curse / the families get nothing but porridge of maize / and shacks at the end of farms / cash crops commissioned to pay of the debt and poisoned on the job / driving the mules to death in the wheat then leaving us follow with leather to eat / buried their sabers in mud in the field and sharpen bayonets
Track Name: Ensemble Suicide
burning down the days / let me count the ways /
calling up the waste / so what the fuck /
the breath of the beast is haze and smog, security cameras for eyes and all /
winding rows of teeth growing sharper still eating the flesh of hours /
cash in the cockle shells / bite the copper coin and run / this fiberglass wound is tearing / I'm stealing back / a ragged gash worn smooth swollen shut and padlock held you can't go back the way you came /
if I could make them run I'd run them / an affidavitsworn in dental floss and chicken bone, lashed together as through a storm
Track Name: Old One Eye
when hung from this tree /
till the color left me /
for the weight of the spear /
and no water near /
by a starry pool /
where I fare to try /
two ravens flew down and I left with one eye
Track Name: Conquest of Bread
wide eyes under water salt burns them open /
keep hold of the rope keep on looking /
crumbs from the table kept us diving under
but there's nothing left in the ocean /
pull in the rope /
half drowned and wet holding nothing /
chocking on hope /
the hands down our throats are such kind ones /
its the heaviest load but that's not my cross to carry /
empty bottle hands and they hold nothing /
cut these cobweb chains for they hold nothing /
toss some silver across to me a lead life ring to throw the drowning /
stopped halfway to the falling gate a lead life ring to throw the drowning /
cook sold the meals exchanged it for horse
which was carried for miles by the small ones /
crippled of fingers stealing a crust of bread /
make for the door hiding something /
leaving our hope /
replaced with self hating and loathing
choking on dope
the wine down our throats keeps us silent /
tell me what you are hiding from /
its dark in here / I'd rather not say
Track Name: A Rat in my Dream
"god & his priest and king
who wrap themselves in our misery
and because I am happy & dance & sing
they think they have done me no injury"

to delete the process running my life
all that's left is to sharpen the knife /
cut the rope that binds our legs /
separate the kings from their own heads /
it is time to spit at the air wash the dried blood from our hair / stitch one another back together / what care we for the wind and weather / don't say your prayers don't cast your vote / keep the predators hands from around your throat / saw threw the tendons throw down the yoke / turn off the gas before we choke
Track Name: Path of Raven
my spine a walking cane /
my crumbling clothes and broken road /
carved with wheel marks in the mud
down the neck of the hills /
chased the croak of scavenger birds /
street corner to street corning dragging
cast out by the innkeeper / go from here /
grasp the handle of the pushcart
to drive it across the crowd /
how far to throw them so not to know them /
a colorless procession except for the flags they never cease to wave /
but when they cross my path I walk the other way /
where the magpie sings us a car alarm
pulled up by a starling flock once again /
from gathering parchment from the lack bottom
to dry off under the fire escape /
in caverns of entrance ways or anywhere there
I'm laying to hide the sleep in rain