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Oil and Water

by Paul Kerschen

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water maintain your calm i'll sing the water i'll sing the life unrequited water 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 water maintain your calm hold back the water hold back our fires requited oil and water
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
New Maps 05:21
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
Quo Vadis? 04:03
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
Payphone 03:02
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
Silenus 03:10
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
Lifeboat 03:24
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
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
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
Ad Caesarem 04:13
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


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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