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Pressure of the Tempest

by Lt Headtrip

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1.
Tempest 03:49
Terrible with names, terrible with numbers. I’m fairly good with words, but I'm scared i’m getting dumber. A jailbird in a cage. I know. that sounds redundant. The sailor rides a wave at the mercy of its current. We fail to see the maze if we were born behind the locks and never go outside at all or float above its walls. A puzzle ain’t a problem if we never think to solve it or there’s rarely resolution without conflict. Pick a posture.  And she’d never seen her wedding ring so frail. Hesitant to measure what the chemistry entails. Emotionally distant, mentally a veil falls, heavily to hide what she desires. Ensnared. The weather guides her sails while the heavens seem impervious. Presently the evidence suggests a higher purpose in this spent machine. Endlessly exhausting its inertia then regurgitating learned behavior. She saves her bold assertions for her selfless attempts to embellish her distant empathy while expending her spiritual energy. Anyway, the oceans leads the vessel and the vessel leaves its signature. A choice is an impression or an imprint. Significant or lost in the enigma of probable insignificance. She can’t offer autonomy if she didn’t have it to begin with. And if she let her herself admit that it’s all simple addition she’d surmise it never really made a difference, did it? I reside in the pressure of the tempest. Wild gales to guide my tired sails. My confines stretch with the weather. I reside in the pressure of the tempest. Stern to horns succumb to perfect storms.  Such a turbulent temptress. Jesus was a carpenter. Joseph was a cuckold. He’d teach his son to carve then watch him grow to be a sculptor. The kingdom came with martyrdom. The soldiers, on a payroll. Point your pieces at the harbinger; he’s quoting an untouchable. If you’re a child of God, the morning star’s your uncle. A poorly drawn impression of what mom and dad had hoped for. Good lord. Son of a run of the militant step daughter. Presumption is assuming your you’re nemesis’s next target, or that your enemies ever noticed your game enough to drop their better senses and vengefully focus their aim. To suppose you’ve made an impression or that you’re more than a name or a face to your rivals is hopelessly vain. “So brave, too young,” they used to repeat. “Don’t stay too long— you’ll get used to the heat. But don’t stray too far from your usual sheep, either, cowering in line is a fruitful routine,” they say. Ask yourself what your community needs. If you choose to leave now in pursuit of dream you'll return one sullen day to resume your defeat, but if she never takes the risk she’d just as soon be asleep so she set for the seas without a treasure map or skipper. Wet behind the ears as she whetted her conviction. Her apparent winding and unwinding was celestial misdirection so she surrendered to the mistral. I reside in the pressure of the tempest. Wild gales to guide my tired sails. My confines stretch with the weather. I reside in the pressure of the tempest. Stern to horns succumb to perfect storms.  Such a turbulent temptress. I reside in the pressure of the tempest. Wild gales to guide my tired sails. My confines stretch with the weather. I reside in the pressure of the tempest. Stern to horns succumb to perfect storms.  Such a turbulent temptress. Get caught up in a whirlwind with no promise of a journey’s end and throw caution to the hurricane.
2.
Conductor 03:45
Conductor Oh my drunken conductor, lend me your hands. Take a wrench to my best laid plans. My stoned composer, lend me your ear. Share your thoughts and your untethered fears.  My wrecked director, lend me your eye. Spill your ink on my precious designs. Share your guidance. He leaves a trail of pigment and text strung in his path like so many liquid bread crumbs on a map. If he strays from home his pen name will get him back. He’s painted the city sanguine; he’s brushed his lungs black. The streets hold the walls of his unassuming gallery. His rugged paws hold the hues of his pallet. He’d scout like-hearted recruits from the ruins of battlefields and invite them to fight for their passion. A human, a valkyrie. When he’d grace my studio, he’d stay on the balcony. Lick another rollie, take a sip and light the bogie. Wrote his name on a folding chair and the window in my vestibule so I’d remember him every time I entered. You’d swear never once in your life met a lush so prudent with his thoughts. If only that was true about his heart. If only that was true after dark, after a shot or too many, after the booze dulled that beautiful spark.  My friend’s a smoker, and a lover and a soldier. Oh my drunken conductor, lend me your hands. Take a wrench to my best laid plans. My stoned composer, lend me your ear. Share your thoughts and your untethered fears.  My wrecked director, lend me your eye. Spill your ink on my precious designs. My drunken conductor share your guidance. The blind lead the blind just fine through the darkness. His H.Q. was home for a stray few and sanctum for many refugees longin’ to make due. His kitchen table was engraved with visitors’ handles and stained with cigarette ashes and they always came through. I copiloted sessions of dope sonic inventions and wrote wild and reckless to those progressions. He slowed time with the tempo control slider. His methods are both violent and gentle. Explosive impressions. He’d flip a psychedelic sample into gibberish and sync it up sexy on some punk rock ricochet. Then hit a microscopic ramble of a melody and stretch it out to merge into his junkyard symphony. His eyes bluer than his mood somehow. His lies truer to his loosened self. Could use some help, and he ain’t scared to ask for it. I’m just worried he don’t think that he’s worthy of happiness. See, my friend’s depressed. I hope that it’s okay to be a mess Oh my drunken conductor, lend me your hands. Take a wrench to my best laid plans. My stoned composer, lend me your ear. Share your thoughts and your untethered fears.  My wrecked director, lend me your eye. Spill your ink on my precious designs. My drunken conductor share your guidance. The blind lead the blind just fine through the darkness. My friend’s a writer. My friend’s a smoker. My friend’s a crier and a lover and a shoulder. His head’s on fire. His chest smolders. My friend’s just uses his extinguishers for throw ups though. My friend’s a teacher. My friend’s depressed. Our friendship’s taught me it’s okay to be a mess sometimes.  But when it’s dire, I wish he’d slow down. I hope he’ll try to quelle the fire in his soul now. My friend’s a rider. My friends a soldier.  An old soul with a young man’s aura. His head's on fire. His chest smolders. He only uses fire extinguishers for throw ups.
3.
My Way Out 03:58
Better check for the exits before you get settled. Plan your escape before they slam the gates and you’re planted in place. I left my scarf in hoboken over the neckless she slept in. She let her guard down for no one I was a reckless exception. She got me hard for a moment then I remembered protection was now a part of the motions and felt dejected. It isn’t you, i’m just nervous. “Don’t worry. You’re body’s perfect. Hold me like i’m your person,” she purred. I keep the condoms in the pocket with the dice and sometimes I roll 'em twice, but this wasn’t one of those nights. "I’ll probably chew you up and spit you back in your mouth," I thought to myself, out loud into her blouse. Blew the candle on the low top out. She got distracted. I’m like, “Don’t stop now. i’m almost happy.” This the type of place that barely lights your way so if you end up getting sugar from a stranger, it’s okay. And if you find yourself or soul mate here today, it’s more than likely you’ll forgot and wake up even more astray. That evening wore an overcast, mild mist, over coat. Hoping she could hold my hand lower than she’d hold her hopes. How could I uplift her ghost when I could barely hold my own? Maybe if i’m forward now i’ll fix it with, “I told you so,” later on. Made her mind up before my warning slipped and she decided she’d be mine. Impulsive ownership. In that gently lit corner where she stole my kiss. I can’t take that back. My neck’s been cold ever since. I should know better.  Listen, daddy knows best unless you don’t let him And you could do better than this. Bless your little head.  I’ll be on my way now, I’m on my way out I should know better. but you’re no better.  Listen, daddy knows best unless you don’t let him And you could do better. Bless your little well intentioned head.  I’ll be on my way now, I’m on my way out. The skies in April an hour north of Asheville laid an eggshell layer of powder onto the path. We climbed anxious through the mountainous backroads. I was worried this might end well they were nervous we might crash. Just an amateur driver but a road dog nonetheless and an absent navigator with a broken GPS. I went over what she’d said, hopeful he’s just a friend, too lonely to let this be another moment of regret. See, I met her younger and dumber when cigarettes were our jobs. I loved a somebody somewhere we never mentioned at all. We let the tension become us. I read her neck with my tongue while she let her dress come undone and pulled my threads with her pulse. It ended abruptly as so many sparks do. I meant to be subtle, but we were met with a hard truth. Enter my somebody and my mislaid loyalty. She never told me she loved me, I never bid her adieu. So we crested that frigid precipice and I realized the lucid definition of what friendship is. She had a somebody while I had misread evidence. Shit, I guess I made that up. Been second guessing ever since.  I should know better.  Listen, daddy knows best unless you don’t let him And you could do better than this. Bless your little head.  I’ll be on my way now, I’m on my way out I should know better. but you’re no better.  Listen, daddy knows best unless you don’t let him And you could do better. Bless your little well intentioned head.  I’ll be on my way now, I’m on my way out. I’ll be on my way now, I’m on my way out. It’s okay. I’m on my way.
4.
Litterbug 04:00
I don't believe in miracles. I know where babies come from. She caught some of my love and we got caught in a conundrum. I celebrate your birthdays. You’d be four in June or August. I’ll warn you not turn into a whore like your father when you’re old enough to fuck and you’re young enough for careless performance to land you solo in some parenting courses. I don't mind if you're angry and mutter under your breath that you fucking hate my fucking guts I still loved you to death when we raked your mom's into a tray with metal cuffs on her legs or a set of stirrups. Either way she was under duress. When you got your ugly little face on the nurse's scrubs and I wept ‘cause you looked just like daddy after one of his sets; a bloody mess. My little puddle of a bundle of flesh underdeveloped, no larger than the lump in my chest. And if anybody wanna be friends at the cusp of December, I’ll be drunk again. takin’ baby stumblin’ steps.  Fuck it. Dead it. This what happen when you kiss and hug Conjure black magic from a simple touch Shit, we just some kids, we young and how we supposed to give it love when we ain’t got enough of it for us? That’s what happens when you get me drunk. Sorry i’m so quick to bust I guess we could have given it up. What a waste. I ain’t no litter bug. The world don’t need more orphans. Too young too wild to support it. Too early to tell if it’s a boy or a girl so I’ll sing a little song about my little almost person. The world don’t need more orphans. Too dumb, too high so unfortunate. What a gift. what a burden. Here’s hymn about my little almost person. The world got enough shitty parents. Misfired, misguided missed carriages. Mislead into a practical companionship. I would know. I was born a happy accident. Poor timing, malnourishment. Tiny heart, shitty lungs, no courage left. No funerals for the unborn. No rituals. No services. Here’s a little eulogy for my little almost person. Fuck it. Dead it. This what happen when you kiss and hug Conjure black magic from a simple touch Shit, we just some kids, we young and how we supposed to give it love when we ain’t got enough of it for us? That’s what happens when you get me drunk. Sorry i’m so quick to bust I guess we could have given it up. What a waste. I ain’t no litter bug. Fuck it. Dead it. This what happens when you kiss and hug Form some bad habits with a kindred lush  How a couple kids on drugs supposed to give their love to something they’d rejected from the jump? That’s what happens when I trip and fuck onto a living partner, sugar momma. Guess it stuck Yeah, We could have given it up. What a waste. Litter bug.
5.
And that’s a home without walls. Nah, there’s no locks now. No need to knock now. And that’s a storm without pause. Count the seconds, step into the tempest. And that’s a home without walls. Nah, there’s no box now. No walls to knock down. And that’s a form without cause. Doubt the heavens, that’s too much pressure. Watch the ocean as it swallows you. Call your gods now the floor might drop out. And that’s a normalcy dissolved welcome to your home without walls. Welcome to your home without walls.
6.
Water Wings 03:10
She told her older sister, “It’s just a summer thing.”  She got me floatin’ she’s my water wings. Down to take the plunge with me. She's two comforting. Keeps my tongue between her legs for when I run my mouth, and keeps up with me. We say, “We ain’t a couple, we a couple runaways." And she don’t like my city much, she only comes for me. So, so much for a summer fling, I guess. It’s still a couple months from spring.  And you can take it. My word you can take it. I couldn’t break you if I tried, pretty lady. You a big girl. You can take a dive with me baby.  And you can take it. You can hold me to my word we can make this work. I couldn’t break you if I wanted. I’m your anchor or your flutter. When two lovers dream in unison a world away is it telepathy or a coincidence or a courtesy the universe affords a pair of worthy, sleepless dreamers? Big kids, big feelings. She fucks me in Swedish. I’d love her pieces but I ain’t much of a seamstress and she is so I’ll let her pull me apart and stitch me back together instead. It’s elevating but let’s keep a level head, kid. It’s just a summer thing, Trip. She checked the shutter speed. I climbed that rusty old shipwreck with my muddy feet. I’m her buccaneer, she's my viking. Meet me on the island. Swoon for me boo, just catch yourself if I ain’t there help you upright. Shit, you know you tough, right? So, so I’ll make up songs for us to sing. And hope it's longer than a summer thing And you can take it. My word you can take it. I couldn’t break you if I tried, pretty lady. You a big girl. You can take a dive with me baby.  And you can take it. You can hold me to my word we can make this work. I couldn’t break you if I wanted. I’m your anchor or your flutter. And I can take it, too. I’m good, shit I can take it you couldn't break me if you tried, pretty lady. I’m a big boy. I can take a dive with you baby.  And we can take it. You can hold me to my word we can make this work. I couldn’t hurt you if I wanted. I’m yours for the summer.
7.
Visitors 03:28
I’ll talk if you drive. 2005 starry eyes in the dark of the night. Like, “If we ever get outta here alive it’ll be on borrowed time.” Time to trade in my shire for a harder life and see what designs we can find in tomorrow’s skies. So I packed my luggage up and sailed toward the moon. Landed on other side, and disembarked to pay my dues. Hung my grandfather’s knuckles on a nail in my room. Flipped the mattress onto the wall flipped a sample or two. We made it snow on them hoes. I drilled a hole in my head. We smoked the bogies indoors, ashed on the floor and our pants. I opened the doors of my home to wandering women and men who were only kids when they entered and left with more than they spent. We were invincible. Drinkin’ like we tryin’ to die. I’ve always listened to my child inside. Oh, the places I’ve gone, oh the songs that I’d write. “I’ve never fallen out of love. I don’t know what that’s like.” Creature gave me a shot. We brought the evil to Bleeker. Had to clean the stage with a mop after we leaked through their speakers. Queens was our little secret we shared with millions of strangers. We saw the city from a windowless basement. Nasa showed us the ropes. Took the boys on the road and told me a story a buck about all my heroes of old. I hosted traveling souls, rambling lovers and warriors. I called this mecca my home, it rarely called me a New Yorker. See this was never my city, even if it might miss me. It’s not good bye forever, because I ain’t gone for good, but I said i’d never settle and it’s time to hit the road  This was never my city  I say that so my heart will forgive me. See, t’s not good bye forever, because I ain’t gone for good but she decided not to settle so now it’s time to hit the road. I know they’ll keep the lights on in my city.  I’ll make believe it stays awake for me and my possible reentry.  I’d promise to return but i’m givin’ us some distance first. In the end, we’re all just visitors. We’re all just visitors
8.
Funeral 03:27
It's a celebration not a funeral. That was my attempt at grace, not a eulogy. This is what I made for last week’s show and tell. I know it’s pretty late but we’re still up. I hope you’ll humor me. This is how I function under pressure. I’m too restless guess I gotta lucid dream while I’m awake. Ay caramba. I’m a message in a keg without a sanke. My wings are scared of sinking, that's what helps me ride the wave. And that’s an easy pill to choke on. The universal motion for suffocation is a kink. Told my chauffeur, “Hold on!” then back seat drove that will to power off the Queensborough, off the brink. Ain't stop to think Check the tides before you might begin to wander and Count the time between the lightning and the thunder. You can doubt the sky but it’s annihilation’s stubborn. Count the time between the lightning and the thunder. Laud the highest your environment’s redundant. It’s not precise, but your guidance isn’t either. Learn your climate before you sign away your comforts and Count the time between the lightning and the thunder. They told me, “You’re gonna need to learn to hold your breath for longer than that if you’re planning on abandoning that loyal a craft, and the only way to practice is to walk the lagoon.” Still got the rocks in my boots and wander a turbulent path. And you can chase the whale but that’s a dragon in disguise. You can tell by the avarice in its eyes. Hey, a tale's a tale you either catch it or you die. Trying ain’t good enough in trial by fire. Like, “Put it out! put it out!” Nah let the motherfucker burn. “Put it out! Put it out!” Pretty soon we’ll just be bucketing the ruins. Fill em up. Dump it out. That’s a trash can. That’s an urn. Death’s a learning opportunity. Break the glass or burn. Check the tides before you might begin to wander and Count the time between the lightning and the thunder. You can doubt the sky but it’s annihilation’s stubborn. Count the time between the lightning and the thunder. Laud the highest your environment’s redundant. It’s not precise, but your guidance isn’t either. Learn your climate before you sign away your comforts and Count the time between the lightning and the thunder. If they're getting shorter than it's soon to be above you. Count your blessings. Start your begging. Run for cover. The clouds are nigh; they've got your whereabouts and number. We’re defined by how we pilot troubled waters. It's a celebration not a funeral. That was an invitation, not an obituary. I studied elevation in this concrete crucible to cruise above it's beautiful filth and find my sanctuary. But skies are unforgiving. Weather systems, relentless. A key without a lock on a kite string. No conductor. So I’ve resigned inside the pressure of this tempest. Try to count the seconds between my lightning strikes and rumbles.

credits

released March 9, 2020

Music written and recorded by Rich Courage
Lyrics written and performed by Lt Headtrip
Bass on Conductor and My Way Out by Dave Case
Litterbug and Visitors written and recorded by Mike Liotta and Rich Courage (FAWWN)
Mastered by C$Burns at Cosmic Black, Portland, ME
Additional vocals and photography by Brita Enflo
Artwork by Headtrip
Lettering by Colin Williams

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