by Choke Up

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(free) 03:10


Recorded by Ryan Stack in, like, 2009.


released January 1, 2010

Sam Nathan James Harley




Choke Up Boston

Four best buds from Boston, MA.

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Track Name: Tracking
I write fire in my eyes when the ink doesn’t leave the pen. Just another tired kid with a cut-ties addiction. So I address the bed and mute the morning, bite my tongue and choke back bloody slurs. ‘Cause there’s this one first step that I have taken for granted and one last move I’ve designed inside my head. The crowd is catching on to the train tracks on my face, to the redness in my eyes, and the time that I’ve erased from the clock as I’d watch the night breathe dawn. I swore I stole those self-deprecating cries. I swore I thought nothing of the steps I took at pretending to move in a forward line. I just kept walking past the prints I told myself I’d place. This could have been prevented.
Track Name: Look Up
I saw the tops of trees in an oil spill, ‘front of a hospital, absent of leaves, standing still against a pale wind. Then they disappeared when the brakeman came and washed ‘em away, reaching down from the high rise with lion heart and lamb’s fate. Now I got my fucking arm around the brakeman’s neck. He hasn’t brought me home so I ain’t killed him yet. It’s fucking picturesque how we’re so distressed. We all got a fucking job in this city. Come on drag the lake, the marionettes are caught up in their strings. When the coughing won’t palliate, a pale wind comes in as a billow of smoke. As I’m sinking in the sand, I hail a cab through the city and see a thinning man resting next to an ATM. I grab my green and pay my fare back to quicksand to barter with the land to cut me a fucking break.
Track Name: River
I brought a shaking hand to a windowpane and shook like how I used to. It was colder back then before I had ever bet tragic. The headline read, right above my head, in a black and white spotlight, “you’ve lost the war.” We sink and we swim and we lose track of who we’ve been. When the salt left our tongues, we woke up with scars the size of oceans. We’ve got cold hands to keep the heat from our hearts. Yeah, we’ve got a pulse, so why check if it’s even beating? I brought five points to the edge of her mouth and her words came out like sleet from her teeth, from behind her teeth. I’ll lay my head on the floor and call this place my home when the sky rains black and the sea shines gold, when the river runs dry and the streets turn to coal- I will lay my head and call this kill my home. 

Track Name: We All Know
Red hands and read revisions, painting breath on sidewalk nights. Sly slip of camouflaged shouting, we were the hands but the clocks kept counting. Warfare on allied forces. All the king’s men and all the king’s horses could never put our red hands together again. Rise up, ready arms. Your splintered tact’s a fucking firing squad. Fall back, unsteady arms. You traded your armor for glare. Perjury in the house of liars, a vote was cast, now you’re setting fires. Bite your tongue and choke on the words the village took as gospel, that which started the war. Howl, howl, the bridge and the gallows. We all know.
Track Name: Olive
Break out the messenger. Tell him we’ve got miles to go. This farewell won’t send itself and the postmark’s on fire. Take me back to the middle of the winter, overtones and exaltations. God knows we can’t hold the olive branch. Take it for what it is, not for what it was. Come on, cover. Ghost am I if grave are the anchored. “Hold on to what you’ve got,” well, what I’ve got’s thrown overboard. Tracing the trusted, transparent signatures, written on the marquee, shining in the spotlight, vindicate the downfall, gotta get the shot right. Blaming the vested, we all choose our courses. The line in the sand that we drew with our hands is bringing down the backdrop, ringing in a new scam. Grave are the anchored.
Track Name: End of the World
It took seventeen shots to the head to realize I was dead. It took two more months to realize I was comatose. ‘Cause I’m half awake, half asleep, there’s blood on the street, and I’m coughing up everything but what I need to breathe. So let’s take six shots to our veins to slow us down, when it used to be six lines to our faces, to quicken our heartbeats, to get ‘em racing. I never thought our world would come to this- American, red-blooded, wide eyes transfixed on a route turned to wreckage and affection turned to gossip, and everything that came so easy is wearing us down. Now our heartbeats speak slow like fucking time bombs. We’re wide-awake and no one knows what fucking went wrong. When bedroom floors turn to hotel rooms and “without a doubt” turns to “I wonder if I should.” Yeah, the clock sped us up and it wound us down, we took too much at once, we’re fucking paying for it now. We were once the end of the world, Armageddon on our fucking shoulders. It never meant anything but what it meant to us, and now we’re losing it all. We were once the end of the world together, Armageddon on top of our fucking shoulders.