Sauna

by Mount Eerie

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1.
SAUNA 10:00
Out past beyond the field inside the birches under rising steam: a small room. To prove I don’t exist, to show that I am beyond this animal form and this lost mind. Or am I? The wood heats up and cracks and pulls apart the way a body groans. I transform and the stars show. I don’t think the world still exists. Only the room in the snow and the light from coals and only this breath. I annihilate all sensation (abandoned breath, hanging in the branches) with the glowing core exposed, head first into the frozen lake. (Into the lake, mid-winter cutting through all waking thoughts) In rain and wind and blanketing night (shown at last) standing under steam rising. My life is a small fire I carry around. (coming into a clearing) Glowing coals on the wet ground.
2.
TURMOIL 01:50
In the morning it feels like coming into a clearing and the disorientation lingers only for a breath. I hold the thought, a coal glowing on the wet ground, not long enough to stay in this vision of crawling out between the cracks in understanding that permeate the day, and tomorrow. So I make coffee while looking out the window and notice that I can’t remember when or if I woke up.
3.
DRAGON 03:15
There is a veil between me and the bottomless sky. Cloud or a sheet billowing, the edge of my mind. Standing on the street in the rain, (unnamed and unknown) only sound, assuming nothing. Seeing the echoing shape of the mammoth that tore through the brush here (A tractor idling two blocks away in the fog, unseen.) and the dragon that roars now. For all I know, lost in the weather. Petals blow. Is this a river? In a palace of water nothing is familiar and the ground always shakes. I dive into a pool of uncertainty. Going into the basement again, I reach down beneath the human.
4.
EMPTINESS 03:23
“More emptiness” I said, “and more, and more.” When someone asked me what was in my bag I said “More emptiness.” Where the house is not is where the room is. The rest of the volcano is sky. “More emptiness” again “and more, and more.” “But what about the lives that we have lived and all the buildings and poems we made?” I see you. We are two black holes in a vast night. A van in neutral rolling down a hill unoccupied. “More emptiness” again “and more, and more.” I stood next to the river and threw a large sheet of glass as far as I could in. The way the water was cut in two, the sword in sky was mind only forming this one thought: emptiness
5.
(something) 02:16
6.
BOAT 02:13
I was born out of nowhere and back to nowhere I’ll return. But for now the river next to the house, the river inside the house, and a person’s form. Disconnected and drifting in my boat. I built this boat on the shore, pushed it into the waves and was born. In this boat, blown across the north, another island appears and then goes. Mind only plus the ocean and my boat. There’s no way I will be able to ever step outside of my boat.
7.
PLANETS 01:24
As long as I am drawing breath the world still exists but when I die everything will vanish. The two of us are planets crashing through separate lives. With my eye, every shape created. I don’t know you and you never will know me. From inside my bubble I think I see you while you smile and yawn.
8.
PUMPKIN 05:12
In the middle of November smashed on the rocks at the edge of the island a bright thing caught my eye it was a pumpkin half. I walked to the bookstore in a rain that silently filled the air. All the lights were off or dim and there was nothing to do but walk to town and back. In every ordinary moment looking at trash on the ground by the bulldozers in the dusk I forget myself and see universes forming. Pulled back out from a dream of rolling landscapes. I face the moment. Looking at garbage pretending the wind speaks finding meaning in songs, but the wind through the graves is just wind. Crawling over the wet rocks with dark sand in my shoes to where the orange pumpkin I found cracked open in the waves, its emptiness loose.
9.
SPRING 13:21
Mind like a flower, a flower falling. A candle in the basement. Nothing is real but there is a spring inside. Waves breaking still reflect the moon. I erase myself and songs echo. Mind is an ocean. Thoughts are its waves breaking. Awake at dawn, thoughts unformed, (before I remember where I am) the clear universe is shown. A spring opens up. Mind like a flower falling blooming only to be blown borne across the sky unknown living life as if it’s not a passing animal dream, a poem, a brief shelter seen as home. Mind like a falling flower like a wide ocean reflecting whatever on its dark waves in rows, unclear, unending thoughts distorting the only moon the light from nowhere. Beneath all this, the liquid stone beneath the fountains and the road all solid things I’m shown a pool of placid water pours in the windows and nothing is impermeable. The basement’s flooded. The walls are groaning in the wind. I leap beyond all this into the water at night. The spring keeps opening wide.
10.
BOOKS 03:30
Awake again returning to this where I am with my finger in between pages where, written down one thousand years before now: I tear the north sea.
11.
THIS 03:18
“I tear in dreams across the north sea or I travel mentally wild through 
all million thoughts the mind sings.” No. Only THIS and from each “this” I crawl entangled into this. “Pulled out through window” I blink and I’m gone again. Leaping beyond this while still alive. “This candle glowing.” Shrieking across the dark sky. “I see you through the snow and I’m gone.” Into the spring, all in my mind. Back to this specific spot in the river in spring thaw. “With all dreams burning off, as if lightning has struck here, I hold this.”
12.
YOUTH 05:27
I look through the big windows at the airport again, far from home in 2014, disconnected and young. In my bag, a book of zen poems that I read and re-read. They all say: “Don’t worry. Dreamed dust 
is always blowing. All this is a veil.” The veil of youth is lifting in me constantly. Far from home again while everything is born by my eye. Only now and this airport window and whatever I see. The dissolving youth of things is shown as emptiness dressed up as spring. All million colors and everyone I’ve known passing through a mind and it’s this same mind that was born, wild and empty, wailing in electric lights since birth. Far from home at last, and I’m still trying to let the spring emerge from beneath every thought unknown and vast but my youth and self assurance fill the sky. “There’s no moon”, my young mind thinks, “in a totally black night sky.” But there is a moon.

about

Recorded between June 27th, 2013 and August 13th, 2014 at the UNKNOWN in Anacortes, Washington by Phil Elverum
with singers Geneviève Castrée, Allyson Foster, Ashley Eriksson and Paul Benson, and flute by Evin Opp.
Mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk.

Available as a 2xLP (high res 45rpm)
in pretty gatefold jackets with a big poster,
also known as "ELV036"
from:
P.W. Elverum & Sun
box 1561
Anacortes, Wash.
U.S.A. 98221
www.pwelverumandsun.com

credits

released February 3, 2015

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Mount Eerie Saanichton, British Columbia

on Lummi, Samish, Klallam, Tulalip and W̱SÁNEĆ land

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