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Brokenlegged

by Sinai Vessel

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credits

released January 27, 2017

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Track Name: Looseleaf
here i stand, like a tree
nervous on the edge of a clearing
limbs afraid to be cut looseleaf,
to be cut down
so i’ll cut myself out
free from bind to branch and felling ground

so here i am in the penultimate act
we’re forcing our lines and canning our laughs
as the curtains break over our backs

they say “a necessary phase — move along, move along
it gets better everyday — move along”

too scared of isolation to see
that the picture edge adjacent to me
although skilled in diplomacy and loose at the sleeve
it was nowhere near a complemental piece

you’re on fifth, and i’m on three
but it makes no difference to gravity
we’ll land just the same: brokenlegged
and no matter my dexterity
i can’t untie the text from me
that suggests a hell awaits me
should i choose to leave

so here i stand in the penultimate act
forcing my lines and canning my laughs
as the curtains break over our backs

should a noise provide us reason
to start in the night
and we don’t look to opened windows
or what should in the stairwell rise
and we suspect no other criminal
with whom the guilt lies
than who sleeps permanent at our sides:
it’s time for moving on

it’s a necessary phase — moving on, moving on
it gets better everyday — moving on.
Track Name: Ramekin
not a single door in this house
will shut closed all the way
they are swollen with the moisture
of all the things we refuse to say

no counsel held in private / not a whisper will survive
when cursed acoustics are at play
our portraits in the hallway seem to mock our firm commitment
to corner and to frame

comfort in the idyll / comfort in the idyll
suckling at the teat of grassy plain

comfort in the idol / comfort in the idol
of the temple built by all the tithe we’ve paid

found a note left inside,
inside of the pulpit
it reads quietly, perforated at the side:
“acknowledge the beast in the room,
acknowledge the beast
and get eaten alive.
you’ll get eaten alive.”

comfort in the idle / comfort in the idle
keep the speaking creature in his cage.
Track Name: Laughlin
noticed a change / an echoing absence
a jarring replacement / an upset to average
curated history / cutting half of it out
wore a ring on your finger
where has that ring gone now?

somewhere your death stops traffic
somwhere you’ll generate black
huerfano: a presence missing
i only observe the lack
you mean somethings to someones
you mean nothing to me
uninvited, i attend at a distance
i watch the wake on a screen

like tread tracks ground in the median
like a dead doe against the wall of a tunnel
like a last breath left hanging in air

suspended in a shallow-wash grave
blood and water mixture / the whey after the strain
nurses and the locksmith / knuckles wrenched and white
robert never answered / ‘cause robert had died

they found his body drained and gray
life on the walls / life on the mirror / life on the sink
did he stand there full of holes and say:
“i’ve been cobbling ghosts—
these forms i’ve evoked, they won’t stay.”

like tread tracks ground in the median
like a dead doe against the wall of a tunnel
like a last breath left hanging in air
Track Name: Down With The Hull
i used to be scared,
i used to be just like you
so fearful of irreparable decisions
but now that i’ve made a few
where limits are imposed,
i can see new avenues
now there’s above around and under
where once there was just through

sturdy northern shoulders / frostbitten neck
you’ll talk up your sentry callus
i’ll collect your bouncing checks

i’ve seen you dive and come up with nothing
i’ve watched you melt and dissolve into sobs
inconsolable under the blue light
though you’d bended nary a law

except your own:
chapter and clause,
“never be found wanting / never at a loss”
where limits are imposed, well
you must have done something wrong
the trajectory was airtight
you are the fatal flaw

on a ship full of things that float
you would go down with the hull
Track Name: Dogs
mrs got careless with her physique,
begging the entry of other options to seek

and brother became a petty thief
if he’d stuck close to the law,
he’d not be lying prostrate in the street

that old spirit embodies the least
and the least are the readily seen in photographs
taken overseas

sister don’t like being called a “she”
she must’ve caught the virus that’ll
render us all extinct

by force my means make
my neighbor’s ends meet
if he could give up water
he could buy something to eat

there’s a good book paved in all the missing mortar
and an overpass of gold above the meek
let not the trodden tread the apse’s light in mire
build a shower on the porch to rinse them clean

that old spirit embodies the least
and the least are the readily seen in places
nowhere near me
Track Name: Died On My Birthday
when we start, would you like to be notified?
do you want to know that you are missing out?
that in all reality / you’re an omission
to the list of names
embodied when we gather ‘round

that cruel, cruel lunch
after the funeral
every morsel and mineral
feels undeserved and irreverent
a betrayal / ‘cause we outsourced the end of the job
someone else will level your plot
and tend to the grass
stitching up the wounds in the ground

i don’t know, in truth / that i’ll get to change for you
in time to be bothered to / invest in our loss
if there is an arbiter / could i ask her for more than my share?
to treat my beloved friends / as more than given permanence

at that cruel, cruel lunch
after the funeral
every missive and dispatch rolls
off the tongue and lands
heavy on the table
and it rattles our lentil bowls
a whole fortnight of meals left cold
in your honor / in your absence
in our confusion

our cruel confusion
Track Name: Cork Of Worry
i heard a choir boy say outright
good men stumble seven times
and seven times again they rise
but that’s his abacus, not mine
cos when the berth between what is
and what’s deserved is this absurd
i can’t be blamed for waking up expecting the worst

there are no landings on this staircase
no banisters to hold
just a steep and constant gradient
that i keep falling from
and a spine that’s getting softer til i can’t stand on my own

paper cranes from folded lives
in time

i’m afraid i’ve spent the life i could have had in truth
on cheaper thrills and placebo pills and quicker substitutes
hoping for scope of heart that’s massive
arms of welcome spread obtuse
and a quiverful of shots to take
to pull the cork of worry loose
so i will wait for answers to rise out of the carpet
and believe the point will come to me in dreams
and i won’t get up for anything
i’ll sleep on the floor for weeks
ears pressed to the ground, just listening

paper cranes from folded lives
in time