winter cleaning 1
Sometimes I get stuck in this waking coma. Or choose to at least. Prolonged days of passivity. Glue my eyes onto the computer screen and not even pay any attention to what's happening. Whatever video's playing is a wall for me, so that I can live in my head. Wall of a house, a castle, a whatever. Looks impenetrable but really it's just
white noise like a fog which comfortably blankets my daydreaming.
Hard to talk about it. Feels mad. Unreal. Brain rationalizes it somehow, and enough days of that, the rationalizations doesn't seem like rationalizations. Just that it was always the way it is. Your true self. This is it.
I get scared when I'm doing good. These brief moments of clarity. And it's the only way I can talk about it now really.
Trying to pinpoint why I'm afraid of these good days.
It's the fall really. Push the rock up so far. The fall's inevitable, it's going to happen, you can't stop it. Then you sink back.
The amount of times I've tried and failed and tried again. To stay here in these moments of clarity. God, it's a lot.
Earlier, I looked at my flower-patterned blanket hanging off the railing. Just stared at it. The side I was looking at was shadowed. A thought creeped up. That this wasn't going to last.
Nothing really does. I get sad when I'm happy because I know it'll end. I don't like my birthday cause when you're going to bed, you don't want to let go. This special day. But still you move on. And the day after, nothing really changes.
I stopped counting when I turned 21. My brain takes a second to remember I'm 22. I'm 22.
Trying not to think too hard about things anymore. Trying to let go more often.
I remember in those moments of happiness, with friends or family. I'd burn the image in my head. Like in a video call with my parents. I'd focus intensely. Taking a picture of every wrinkle and every white hair and every crease of what makes my dad my dad. Cause I know one day, he won't be here anymore. Appreciating what I have now, all I can do really.
The funny thing is, when I look back at those images I branded on my skull in the future, it'd feel like a dream. My brain would've added some extra details or took some away. But the feeling would still be there I reckon. A sliver at least.
this little hornet
this little hornet
wriggling in-between the grooves
of my brain
with wings fluttering
and i can feel
its little legs
and its hair
and its mouth
and its eyes
brushing against it all
against me all
again, again, again, again, again, again
again, again, again, again, again, and again
ferries me to this island
carpeted in a fog
thick you'd forget your face
and your legs
even if your fingers traced the contours
on the air
and at some point
running's the same as walking
sitting's the same as standing
crying's the same as laughing
and that roar
a God's roar
a Hell's roar
a Child's, a Dust's, a Star's, a Throat's,
you don't even know if either you
or that little, tiny
1.) The Powers that B - Death Grips [rape, experimental] (pretty much all of their discography)
First time I listened to Death Grips was the track Guillotine from Exmilitary when I was 16 or 17. I remember hating it, thinking it was just noise. It was nauseating at the time. Now they're literally my favorite band, and their discography's timeless - I can listen to Exmilitary and think it was dropped yesterday.
Don't know what happened when I went to college. I think I got burnt out from listening to the same stuff over and over again so somehow Death Grips smashed all of that and clicked for me. Either that or it's stockholm syndrome where I forced my brain to dig the shouting and the production that likens beating your head in with a hammer.
Favorite track off of this double album's On Gp. Helped me through my first year of winter in China. Just did mushrooms for the first time then and it kind of sent me into a depressive episode so the track means a lot to me.
I suggest reading the lyrics if you're listening.
"All the nights I don't die for you
Wouldn't believe how many nights I ain't died for you
Not that I care, I'd be a liar
If I sat here claiming I'd exit in a minute
But I can't say I wouldn't, I have my limit
All the nights I don't die"
2.) A Long Drive... - Modest Mouse [alternative]
Never got into Modest Mouse until when I was 20 or something. Always knew about them growing up but it was only from the song Float On which I had always mistaken for Franz Ferdinand's Take me Out. A close friend of mine who's a huge Modest Mouse fan made it click for me.
A lot of memories are bundled up in this album, most of them hazy, shades of gray. Favorite track's Talking Shit about a Pretty Sunset. My friend and I were on acid while we listened to it as we watched the sun rise on his birthday. Good word play and melancholic compositions, it's a band that definitely counts as one of my influences in terms of music and writing.
"Talking shit about a pretty sunset
Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon
Changed my mind so much I can't even trust it
My mind changed me so much I can't even trust myself"
3.) The Microphones in 2020 - The Microphones [indie]
This one's a record that clicked only recently. I've listened to it when it came out and wasn't too enthralled by it. Then I listened to it after I broke my leg about a year ago, was kind of the only companion I had throughout the whole ordeal. I remember putting it on on a car ride to the hospital to get an x-ray, we turned into a roundabout and it felt like life didn't feel real. Maybe it was just gravity being weird in roundabouts, I don't know. But at the time the trees that were bending from the wind and the buildings looked like miniatures or a caricature of a city.
After that, I started to dig deep into Elvrum's discography. The Glow Pt.2, It was hot we stayed in the water, Mount Eerie. This DIY aesthetic he has and the raw, unfiltered lyrics resonates with me.
I would drive out to the ocean and not tell anybody
I watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in a dollar theatre in Aberdeen
It was a rainy matinée, 2001, Sunday, March 18th
And in the parking lot afterward
For a few minutes in the rain
I stood glowing with ideas
Of what I might try to convey with this music
At that moment, my mind flashing like a blade
4.) Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada - Godspeed You! Black Emperor [post-rock]
So Godspeed You! Black Emperor used to be the first one on the list when I was younger. They showed me that music doesn't have boundaries and you can make of it what you will which blew my mind as a kid. To have these 20 minute slow, lumbering songs that end in a crescendo was new to me at the time. They went further down the list but they still have a place in me.
Without lyrics but through field recordings and orchestra-like performances, they show rage and dissatisfaction on how the world's ran, with glimmers of hope sprinkled in here and there.
5.) You Won't Get What You Want - Daughters [noise rock]
It's a lot. You get two breathers throughout the album, Less Sex and Daughter, the rest is like having a knife stab your ear drums over and over again. I've always described it as a horror movie when talking about it mostly because of how the guitar parallels the sound effect off of the Psycho shower scene.
Favorite track is the closer Guest House. The end of the song feels like the sun came up after a night of primal rage.
I have come from the distance
Where you can't see
It is there, believe me
Now let me in
Let me in
Let me in
6.) Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains [country, indie rock]
This one's pretty out of place. Never was into country but the cheery instrumentals contrasted by the depressing as hell lyrics really grabbed my ear on the first listen. Added to that's the catchy hooks and goddamn do they get stuck in your head. Favorite track is either "All my Happiness is Gone" or "I Loved being my Mother's Son"
Guess this went on here cause the lyrics really meant a lot to me, and the closer "Maybe I'm the Only One for Me" gave me this glimmer of hope for Bergman that was very much dashed away when he committed suicide about a month after he dropped the album. I don't listen to it often, only when I'm drunk, but I don't drink anymore either.
"Mounting mileage on the dash
Double darkness falling fast
I keep stressing, pressing on
Way deep down at some substratum
Feels like something really wrong has happened
And I confess I'm barely hanging on"
7.) Visions of Bodies Being Burned - clipping. [rap, experimental]
I like rap but I rarely listen to them in an album sort of way, just singles and a few tracks here and there. This album was an outlier though. Daveed's headbobbing flow whizzes through and bounces over horrifying ambient productions and fresh, boundary pushing instrumentals. The previous album There Existed an Addiction to Blood had the track Run for Your Life where the main beat was being played out of a car that would drive by at different points of the song, matching Daveed's flow at the same time. It's insane. And cool as hell.
Favorite track's Enlacing. Drug hazed and an absolute banger.
"Your body is a drug you love, you crush
Make the most of magic, map the math of it
Master mouthpiece and extract the past from it
Plummet, plumb it, plum pit, fruit
Summit, some shit, sunk ship, loot
Loop, feedback, look, see that
Bloody sack, you used to be that"
8.) Lost and Safe - The Books [folktronical, post rock]
Melodic and calming, this was an album I'd always put on during acid trips. Helped me calm down during tense moments. The production's very intimate like they're tickling your ears or they're there performing in the same room as you. Favorite track is Smells like Content, can't even count the amount of times this song anchored me.
"Most of all the world is a place
Where parts of wholes are described
Within an overarching paradigm of clarity
The context of which makes possible
An underlying sense of the way it all fits together
Despite our collective tendency not to conceive of it as such"
9.) songs - Adrianne Lenker [acoustic]
This one's recent as well. Was one of the records that inspired me to play guitar and write songs. Very beautiful and comfy, reminds me of when my friend would play guitar on the balcony as the sun started to set. Can't really pick a favorite on here, each one of them stand out on their own but forwards beckon rebound shows off some of Lenker's best lyricism and god her voice is like ginger tea with some honey.
Rise like a full moon
Show me pictures that hang in your house
Pictures that hang in your mouth
Crosses and fishnecks
I have nothing to pray to you now
Nothing to pray to you now
10.) Shukusai - Ayano Kaneko
A Japanese record that really encapsulates the whole start of the 2020 quarantine. My housemate (the one that got me into modest mouse) and I would just put this album on repeat. We were pretty much drunk the whole time and on the verge of losing our minds because one of our friends went missing at the same time as the quarantine started but this album kept us up and going.
Groovy, catchy, a ray of sun during winter. I'll always keep this with me.
Favorite track's the closer.
Spiderland - Slint
Maggot Brain - Funkadelic
Infest the Rat's Nest - King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
The Seer - Swans
Drukqs - Aphex Twin
hope someday I can hold my
while I cry with my head resting on my
then my hair could allow a brush from someone else’s
without me flaring my dog
maybe this year, maybe the next or never
at all, I’d love to tan my finger, been boiling
beneath my mane sweater
cracks at my
there’s not enough light
oh black mirror sun
when do i stop
feeling this much
buried deep between the ocean and the sky
this nuisance, this noose, this gordian tie
legs limp Limbo from our Penrose file
we don’t want to die, we’d just like to sleep for a
with a hand inside his head
he sleeps inside his guitar-cased
and weeps angel trumpets
and sandwiched between temples
are a pair of eyes
that cannot close
and lie deserted.
his synapses beep a 4/4 metronome;
a morse for his lost amore
with the downbeat blowing
the mating call of a mort
and as morning comes
a pair of palms
fly over the gas stove fire -
"twins thieving oxygen".
dragging a soul
at the sole of a palindrome
shoulders shrug away
the shaloms and mazel tovs
and shrugs towards
the nearest hearse,
she thinks the shadow of her finger’s
it bled a chord ago
tilted away from the sun
the moment the nail ‘n’ needle sunk
lips wedged words
tongue tip by the edge of them
so the teeth dammed.
the microphone sang of silence
and the amp replied with its own
the moon watched her drive back
headlights waltzed through the trees
radio sang nothing
rain curtain dragged their nails ’cross
the windows like stars stretched from light speed
space tunnel, space tunnel
everything peels away
in this space tunnel
here in the space tunnel
the moon watched
can’t write about you
everytime, words don’t stick
and it’s like the dam breaking
but you still feel sick
emptiness with an itch inches
away beyond the edge’s tip
can’t write about you
you’re gone, only thing left is
your caffeine ring stain
dreams of crutches
followed by spring
can’t write about you
I tried to, done two
might do with this one too
don’t know where you went
my cracked stone slab of a bench
rooted next to a tree
where the base would let my nape rest
when my lamplight dimmed
as I tried to find out
who moved the ground
and who moved my mouth
haven’t sat there for a while
spent a month gone again
heaven knows why
but the crests crash
when you least expect it
I would’ve before I moved
just for the occasion
just for one last one
this is getting bloated
I can’t write about you
The words don't come easily anymore. I'd write a few, string them together, then I'd push my pillow down the backspace, leaving me with this white pale page. I started the clock, and I only started writing after a minute passed.
tongue tip laps off words
shadowed by movement
splayed on splintered mirrors
my wrists antenna towards heaven
haven’t called in an hour
but I’ll never hate you
you change by the hour - softly, blindly, godly
my throat buckles, chest sinks and curls next to the legs of a chair
I don’t want to die, I just want to sleep for a long while
unaware, deep black, send me off to opal space
where the hum of the ship’s my mother’s lullaby
and I’ll wake up to it snug in my coffin bed
with caffeine pumping, dancing to a rhythm
played by no sun nor moon
my radio tuned into wrists raised
towards a crystalline maze
ran by dogs with their wallet
filled with hairballs and bones
their palms bear-trapped
till the tree saps dry out
and the only hymns sung
are carried by winds
whistling through xylophone ribs
Manila teeth, sticky skin
powerlines all tangled and dense
the sun hangs low behind Buendia billboards
all tattered from past typhoons that are named like Saints
basketball jerseys and shorts, beehived bleached shirt
too big for her but her smile mirrors the Mickey embossed
all the while flip-flops slap against pavement and against feet too small
snaps firecrackers during New Year’s and cracks Quezon City gunshots as the night nears
moro, jack en poy, squeezed on a sidewalk next to narrow roads holding jeeps that held
prisoners of war, running on the gallons of blood we’ve forgotten, hidden underneath pillows, now soaked up by the mattress, dried by a dusty fan whose neck is broken with its swivel seized as the blade cuts wildly at nothing for someone sewn to the straws, eyes burning a thousand yard stare into its eyelids