Digital Oxygen

by Venus

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04:10

credits

released January 24, 2013

All music and lyrics by Steven Laing except "Ancient Music," lyrics by Ezra Pound. "Ancient Music" and "Something That Mighta Been" contain samples from the Conet Project. "Back Again" contains samples from "Amen, Brother" by the Winstons. Additional production on "My Code" by Alex Musto.

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Track Name: My Code (I'm Doing Fine)
My Code

My code is gasoline fumes
By a summer streetlight.
With a stomach bleed
To guarantee it’s a long night.
So pass another drone
To the beehive queen.
Benevolent lies
Show you’re not being mean.
But if you need a lift
You can borrow my spine.
Still, I think I’m doing fine.

My code is motion sick kids
In fluorescent moonlight
And some loyal friends
Sick of fighting the good fight.
Need a better way I can cut the sound.
You’re needing me less.
But I’ll still stick around.
And I took a look,
Though it sure isn’t mine.
Still I think I’m doing fine.

Get a cheap reward
For the chance you take.
Well underway
With another mistake.
You can shoot me a look,
I won’t think it’s sign.
Ran out of flesh I can combine.

My code’s a generous gift
When it doesn’t feel right
And these stupid sounds
That are keeping me up tight.

So the Radiant Child
Wants to prove his worth,
But he missed his chance
For an easy still birth.
And he’s always know
He won’t procreate.
So, he’ll go ahead
And dissociate.
Glass in the heel:
Cinderella can’t stand.
Spaz out in joy
Till it gets out of hand.
But if you say you will,
I’ll be standing in line.
What makes me think I’m doing fine?
Track Name: Some Healing, Some Dying
As moon shines
On East River,
The lights go out,
Fire door shut
On a hospital room.
The nurses
Are at their stations.
Intercom crackle
Chases a scream
Down the hall.

Some running.
Some crying.
Some healing.
Some dying.

Group time
In the dayroom:
Mother of three
Shouting at the doctor
In the room next door.
Friends visit.
I’m not forgotten.
Glad they’re here,
But worried the days
Could change to weeks.

Some running.
Some crying.
Some healing.
Some dying.

An old man
Wants to go home:
Lawyered up
And says he’s no threat
To himself.

So grateful
To wear my own cloths.
Resident comes,
She’s bringing me drugs
I can’t pronounce.

Some running.
Some crying.
Some healing.
Some dying.
Track Name: ElevenSixteenEighty-four
(For Zach Everett 1984-2012)

In the night,
In the fog,
Halogen lights are beaming.
Stars to sleep,
Starts to nod:
At wheel, but he’s dreaming.
Summer haze,
Freon smell:
Teenaged poets don’t sound clever.
Wrote some words,
Nothing rhymes.
He knows it always turns out never.
Sunburnt face,
Throat is raw:
Amplifier early warning.
Tattooed skin,
Broken wrists:
Life tastes bitter in the morning.
Breath of stale cigarettes,
Parking lots tuned to Heaven.
Lost his face,
Found a home:
Checking out at 27.

Finger prints
On the moon.
Flesh bound ghost
Is put on trial.
Superfund wild flowers
In a neurotoxic style.
Write a song,
River burns:
Dancing in the street with Nero.
Pulled the plug,
Saved his place
Burroughs anti-hero.
Caffeine nerves
RTA,
Asphalt diving
Arms akimbo.
Who could ever hold their own
As a Midwest
Arthur Rimbaud.
Catch your breath,
Catch a thief,
Catch a virus in contagion.
Pick your friends,
Pick a fight,
Pick a scab.

And the answer came down.
Kept in tender regard.
Kill a joke with a smile.
So much for trying too hard.
No more songs he could play.
Made some noise for a while.
Now the Marble Index
Wins another exile.

A home
Escaped the trial,
Escaped the judgment he was facing.
Slipped the eagle,
Slipped the rock.
Caught by that which he was chasing.
Broken hearts
And dirty skin.
Landmarks track you as you’re growing.
Track marked arms
And rotted teeth:
A price to pay for what you’re know.
Stomach acid in your throat.
Tearing off a fingernail.
One more week,
One more month
In the youth offender jail.




Heat stroke from summer noise.
Light is blasting off the concrete.
Anesthetic guard was up
But got too tired.

And the answer came down.
Kept in tender regard.
Kill a joke with a smile.
So much for trying too hard.
No more songs he could play.
Made some noise for a while.
Now the Marble Index
Wins another exile.
So commit to the earth
Blue-dyed hair that he wore,
Since there’s no going back
To Eleven Sixteen Eight-four.
May lights of Terminal Tower
And bridge of Ford Road spray-paint
Stand a vigil for
Grafton’s criminal saint.
Track Name: The Waves
The Waves

Slept late,
Kept down the shades.
Another day begins to fade.
Not dealing with the mess you made.
Waking,
Washing your face.
Not ready to find what’s out there
Or who you hurt.
Sinking down,
The waves creep over you.

Browsing
Books on your shelf.
Realize the books you read
Don’t help you in your time off need.
Headaches,
Coffee went cold.
Not ready to find what’s out there
Or who you hurt.
Sinking down, the waves creep over you.

First time outside in days.
Sun glare burns your eyes.
Feel afraid of the world you see.
Not ready to find what’s out there
Or who you hurt.
Sinking down, the waves creep over you.

Turn back,
Noises shake your head.
Realize your nerves are shot.
Crawl back into bed and rot.
Sleep late,
Keep down the shades.
Not ready to find what’s out there
Or who you hurt.
Sinking down the waves creep over you.
Track Name: Daughter Eclipses Son
Pollution cure
Blights her womb.
Crooked weave,
Broken loom.
She harvests sour fruit.
Fallen leaves,
Daybreak frost,
Breath in the air.
Truck fumes agates
Her morning sickness,
Testifies to death or quickness,
Always end up wounded
Wearing armor of a feather’s thickness.
Still born prayers:
Daughter eclipses son.

Waiting rooms,
Ammonia stench,
Cold light,
Plastic bench.
Fed her sour fruit.
Called for help,
No dial tone.
By herself.
Loosing innocence:
A sign of aging.
Nothing could be assuaging
Terror at finding her own body
Was disengaging.
Still born prayers:
Daughter eclipses son.

Hemorrhaged it out,
Couldn’t keep it in.
Cold anemic frailty
Drains the color from her skin.
Bed sheets are soaked.
Room starts to spin.
Falls back a sleep and knows
The infection’s gunna win.

Call it fear,
Call it shame,
Call it love,
Call it blame.
Taste of sour fruit.
Static tones,
Swallowed sobs,
Recovery.
Find her dreaming in the angles’ bowers,
Talking to the T.V. towers.
January window box:
Dry stock of wilted flowers.
Still born prayers:
Daughter eclipses son.
Track Name: The Sin I Still Adore
Streets of neon and ice,
Broken bottle celebration.
A warm flesh touch.
It’s been so long life’s a new sensation.
I was floating.
She pulled me back from the brink.
Long time till dawn.
She helped me not to think.
And we were falling.
My dull senses began to roar.
It was the sin I still adore.

Down the hall sleep walking.
Her voice atop the stairs.
Smart boys were careful,
I was too smart to care.
The sheet fell from her shoulder,
Her hair fell on my face,
Such a strange comfort
In such a strange place.
A sky of lightning.
Moon shadows cross the floor.
It was the sin I still adore.

Blue spark from fingertip to lips,
Bed sheets awash in radiation.
Static pops from a 78
Is the language of an intoxication.

Rain sound dreams
Agitating my naïveté.
Smoke and screams.
Yeah, she still pulling me her way.
Stories witnessed.
Invitations taken and missed.
It’s Sunday morning.
Two names crossed off the list.
I woke up shaking.
Dawn’s faint light she wore.
It was the sin I still adore.
Track Name: Medicated Automated
Teacher says “you’re a problem,
Won’t shut-up, can’t sit still.”
D.A.R.E cops says “Say no!”
Teacher says “please take the pill!”

Medicated automated.
Learn to feel how you should.
Medicated automated.
We’ll lock you up if you’re not good.

Glad you’re not hearing voices.
Lamictal shuffle down the street.
Lose your thoughts mid-sentence.
Numb face and twitching feet.

Medicated automated.
Learn to feel how you should.
Medicated automated.
We’ll lock you up if you’re not good.

Hope the doctor’s plan is worth it.
Side effects are no fun.
She tells me drug use ain’t a problem
If you use the right one.

Medicated automated.
Learn to feel how you should.
Medicated automated.
We’ll lock you up if you’re not good.

Medicated automated.
Hate light and big crowds.
Medicated automated.
Head is drifting in the clouds.

Medicated automated.
Drool is making people stare.
Medicated automated.
I’m too gone to care.

Medicated automated.
Slurred speech and skin crawls.
Medicated automated.
Weight change and prone to falls.
Track Name: Something That Mighta Been
You remember him?
Favorite choice.
Looked good on celluloid.
Muffled voice.
Seemed so foolish.
Big kids win.
You remember him?
Something that mighta been.

Senses bleeding white.
Heard a scream.
Walking in the rain.
Fever dream.
Was too earnest:
Stupid grin.
Sense bleeding white.
Something that mighta been.

Yeah, jaw line sharp.
Yeah, handsome nose.
Yeah, got high cheekbones.
Kid, they’re after you.
Hope you don’t wind up a broken fool.

I remember him.
What a waste.
Bit too cavalier,
Had good taste.
Reckless impulse.
Not a sin.
I remember him.
Something that mighta been.
Something that mighta been.
Mighta been.
Turned to never was,
But mighta been.
Track Name: Beautiful City
Blast furnace turns the gray sky orange.
Rain streaks upon the concrete walls
Snow’s falling in November.
Televisions glow blue light.
Old men sob in apartments.
Lake streets breathe out fumes and sound
Coal stained spires pierce the falling sky
Forge hammer steel cries…

Mama says it’s all right.
You don’t have to go outside.
Mama says don’t you cry.
You can stay with me and hide.

Oh Child, it’s a beautiful city.
Oh Child, such a beautiful place.

Wet bill posts shroud forgotten homes.
Skin blisters in the cold.
Teenagers in red stockings.
Policemen in the night cafes.
Dead bramble grows on rusted bones.
Black ashes on the lake.
Wet asphalt shines an amber glare.
Fog glows in blue twilight.

Mama says it’s all right.
You don’t have to go outside.
Mama says don’t you cry.
You can stay with me and hide.

Oh Child, it’s a beautiful city.
Oh Child, such a beautiful place.
Track Name: Ancient Music
Winter is icumen in
Lude sing goddam
Rainth drop and stainth slop
And how the wind doth ram

Sing goddam sing goddam
Sing goddam sing goddam

Skidth bus and slopth us
An ague hath my ham
Freezth river turnth liver
Damn you, sing goddam

Sing goddam sing goddam
Sing goddam sing goddam

Goddam goddam
Tis why I am goddam
So ‘gainst the winters balm
Sing goddam

Sing goddam sing goddam
Sing goddam sing goddam
Track Name: Back Again
Blinking traffic light,
Smokers huddle in the cold.
Back again.
Gum caked in the floor,
Carpet soaked with stale beer.
Back again.
There’s a picture on the wall
Of the girl who died last year.
Back again.
Pool cues all worn down,
Draft is blowing in the door.
Back again.

Fluorescent lights in the window.
More lines on my face.
Grown men wearing their high school letters.
How could I ever miss this place?

Guys who just got paid
Drinking, laughing at the bar.
Back again.
Girls, 21,
Dancing, playing with their noses.
Back again.
Never been in love,
But pretend they always are.
In a year or too
Midriffs tattooed with stretch marks.
Back again.


Fluorescent lights in the window.
More lines on my face.
Grown men wearing their high school letters.
How could I ever miss this place?

Twin is too small,
Edge is digging in my spine.
Back again.
Single threadbare sheet,
Pillow scented from a stranger.
Back again.
There’s peroxide in her hair,
And there’s bourbon on her breath.
Back again.
Dawn is here again,
Ground is frozen hard as death.
Back again.

Fluorescent lights in the window.
More lines on my face.
Grown men wearing their high school letters.
How could I ever miss this place?
Faded brick row houses.
Gasoline rainbow.
Thinking through a grey cloud hangover
Wondering where did another year go?