Oil and Water

by Paul Kerschen

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released December 1, 2008

Performances by P. Kerschen, backing vocals JBF-Maschine
Photographs by Matthew Besinger



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Paul Kerschen Berkeley, California

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Track Name: Oil and Water
maintain your calm
i'll sing the water
i'll sing the life unrequited

maintain your calm
i'll bring you water
i'll bring the light you require

water will take us all
we'll swallow water
we'll see the tide rising higher

maintain your calm
hold back the water
hold back our fires requited

oil and water
Track Name: All That Fall
crow fly east to the bone dry stream
crow fly west nothing but salty water
dig your well into the ground
one day you're gonna drink it all

crow fly north to the withered pine
crow fly south ten million poor and hungry
get your hammer in your hand
cause boy we gotta build that wall
this side is order and that side is how it falls
dry age is coming won't remember we were here at all

freight train runs down the rusted track
freight train comes pulling lumber and diesel
get the lever in your hand
cause boy we got a load to haul
this side is freedom that side is how it falls
dry age is coming gonna sting your eyes
no more hypotheses and no more lies
cause the temples and and towers
gonna tumble down with all that fall

high tide is coming gonna drown the sun
the power and the glory and the kingdom come
get your rifle in your hand
boy don't you hear your country call
Track Name: New Maps
never was a cloud in the sky
never was an ebb in the tide
never was a road through the trees
never was a land past the sea
for if a man makes a new map
and that map bounds a place
on one side spreads all the world
on one side spreads the waste
lines in space

never was no ice at the pole
never was no life on these shoals
the engines have all gone to their graves
the lights have all gone under the waves

for if a man makes a new map
of all that is the case
should we fall outside that map
then our names are erased
lines in space

hic sunt dracones
Track Name: Quo Vadis?
the thief and the forger
they slipped across the border
the hours and the quarters
the screaming of the shorebirds
noontide in torpor
the days are getting shorter
the thief and the informer
reduce you all to order

thieves and informers
are waiting at the border
back you in a corner
reduce you all to order
shaking with the horrors
the thief and the explorer
screaming like the shorebird
it speaks an awful order

shells and the mortars
are massing at the border
scream like the shorebirds
reduce you all to horror

quo vadis?

can't lose myself in yourself
can't lose yourself in myself
Track Name: Payphone
lost down south of broadway
and i can't find a payphone
went drinking at the dive bar
i fell under the table
my mind's gone out for slaughter
it wants the mayor's daughter
drink gatorade and water
but i can't find a payphone

i could have been a captain of industry

afternoon in summer
and i can't find a payphone
the sun is in my stomach
the stars won't let me stay home
the city is my father
the city is my mother
there's typhoid in the water
there's roses in the gutter

i could have been a captain of industry
but i fell between the devil in the sea

lost down south of broadway
and i can't find a payphone
the radio's gone haywire
the signal's stuck in slomo
my girl is dressed in sable
she's dancing round the maypole
i've got to send a cable
but i can't find a payphone

i could have been a captain of industry
and i recited the scripture in the street
but i fell between the devil and the sea
Track Name: Silenus
he said you will not want to hear these words
he had a lot to say
he said you better had been born a bird
he said you better had been born a stone
he said no longer is the earth your home
he said the weather gives you back your due
he said the weather turns its back on you

the very thought had never crossed my mind
i didn't say a thing
there wasn't supposed to be a second time
we had a promise it was sealed and signed
there was a promise it was bread and wine
and all my children have nowhere to go
who'll buy us out this time well i don't know
Track Name: Lifeboat
don't wanna be a recluse
don't want the wool over my eyes
been living in an igloo
up in the sky
now my final hour will be
the iceberg cracking the warm salt breath of the sea

cause we have got no lifeboat
for when the water starts to rise
and we have got no raincoat to keep us dry
and i can't fathom the deep
hydrothermal and thermoclinal marine
i don't have that machine

but if we had that lifeboat
and struck out on the morning tide
all wrapped up in our raincoats
all warm inside
then why couldn't any dream
a life inside of the whale inside of the sea
Track Name: The Reverberator
i thought there was a danger
i read it in the paper
was something about a glacier
was something about erasure
i could have sworn i saw the whole thing inside
i could have sworn someone had something to hide

i called in as a stranger
just need the information
i don't mean to belabor
please excuse my aphasia
i don't recall what i was hoping to find
son of a bitch slipped my mind

so if there is a danger
and there's nothing in the paper
then it's the reverberator
Track Name: Archaeologists
no tomb for the pharaohs
no light in the trees
no food for the sparrows
no fish in the sea
my name and my visage the ages shall bear
look on my works and despair

second door, supporting frame collapsed. lath and plaster. outlines of wooden beams, shafts of steel nails. noted an inscription. noted a section of copper pipe. in the chamber beyond, under spiderwebs and ash, under carbonized paper, under piled sand, begin catalog:

as they were we are, as they are we shall be, as we shall be they are, world without end, life without end.

it had never crossed my mind
though i tried
no it had never crossed my mind
Track Name: Ad Caesarem
i was for hire
you took me for a ride
built an empire
with brute geography on your side

the wasted field
the millions in the tide
you fucking cowards
i know you knew there's no one on their side

in the century to come
i hope they find a cure that none of you can sell
in the century to come
i hope their ghosts will chase you down the mouth of hell