Song Islands vol. 2

by Mount Eerie

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Where? 01:12
Q: “Where is Mount Eerie and how do I get there and how long’s the walk and what should I bring?” A: Mount Eerie is nowhere. Mount Eerie is playing tonight. Q: “Where is the concert and will it be all ages and what time are doors and how much’s it cost?” A: The concert is nowhere. There is only one sky. Q: “I accept the invitation. I would like to ‘fulfill the pregnant night’. Where should I set my stuff up?” A: Those things are not yours and tonight you will be taken in dark arms.
Every time my knees shake when I stand I think, “Let me stay in this uncertainty”. I would like to not stop asking. I would like to stop pretending I know anything. So if you see me acting strong at the show remind me about the calf shaking in the pasture in the bright spring. There under the roofs I will have nothing but the wind that’s blowing through my ears. Only for a minute we could give up and know nothing in the morning light. Because knowing nothing again is the only way I can forget the weight I’ve been tricked under and see it doesn’t exist because nothing exists for a glass of water in the lake.
the Intimacy 04:40
The only reason I am moved seeing clouds and hills mingle is because the intimacy of the world otherwise stays hidden even though I know it’s there (in animals calling in the cave overflowing in the food I’ve built on in the song of the bat and in rotting bodies unfolding) I am touched each time I can see hand holding. Mist married to branches married to me with my eyes, stopping my work for a moment to say “What a generous place is unveiling here!” and “We have enough.”
I Whale 02:48
So I set out on the sea with a little food for me and a sharp harpoon for the whale that I’m hunting. The fine women on the shore called out “Give us more” but I had nothing to give, as if I did before. Before my house burned down last night and I killed my friends in a fight. So, like I said, I paddled out in mourning light to see if I could see the shape come from the deep or if I could hear its song of love at night taunt me and though I know I’m getting some my fingers are getting numb. I sit and toss and the cold waves wash over me and I’ve been out here for 60 days. There’s no sign of spout or spray and the cold dark night falls down on the flat black sea. In the calm I close my eyes. I lean back and rock from side to side. I am placid. I have slowly gone starry skies with half closed eyes. But with a thump thump beneath my boat watch the water rise and storms rage! and my skiff crumbles! and the whale beneath assails and humbles and says “Knock knock from beneath. You know it’s me. I’m your heart. I’m a whale on the bottom of the deep black sea. My mouth is wide and toothy.”
O My Heart 03:01
What I find will be found easily and only when I’m not looking for it, without looking for the morning in the sunset and like this, my will to live hides implied in my heart beating, without looking for fulfillment but accepting it. What’s this? Are you my heart and are you thumping? O my heart! O there you are. I had stopped hunting. I thought you would be as big as a whale. My nets were knit. My harpoons armed, my hunting ship sailed. O my heart! O there you are, mouse nest in my hair. O little heart! O sleepy heart, what do you say? Should we keep loving? (“yes”)
instrumental 02:10
I can not sink into your bed tonight. I have to go. My arms have to row. Your bed is soft. Your face is sweet and your gaze is true. Your eyes are blue but mine see through. Where lies my tarp tonight? Where lies my sunrise? Where my heart? There is a ball of fire above your house. You squirm and coo. I’m petting you. But there is a ball of fire inside my chest. I’m a mirror moon. You black lagoon. I’m a birch canoe. I’m a wind that blew. I’m a migrating moose on the prairie, loose.
Don't Smoke 02:54
Is it because there’s a little part of you that wants to be dead? Or is it because your life feels empty without some ritual? Or is it because the rebellion against the adults hasn’t ended yet? Well, the adults sell cigarettes and you have the ritual of waking up each day and it will fill you. There’s no excuse to start smoking. Where is the rebellion in acting like a fuck up? Why not embrace simple health? It’s obvious there is work to do, strong and deliberately. We are the ones. We have to do it. No more parents or gods taking responsibility, living in the world on your own, there’s no punishment. Only knowing what to do, no excuses. The time is now. Do not wait. Go. Improve yourself right now.
Listen to me: Get off the internet. We are the ones who are alive right now so let’s start living. We’re obsessed with “freedom” and living easy lives but what use is an easy life, hungry and blind? The hollow core, the crawling hunting, indulging your weakest parts and still you’re hungry. Why not wake the fuck up? and smell the air outside and do a little real work and come back to life. Clean out the fridge. Take out the garbage. Sweep the floor. Open the doors and windows. Read the news. Shut up about music. Ask a stupid question. Stop feeling too ignorant. This is the one world where we live, curious and busy. As the world is ending can I survive this cold dawn? At least I can sit here in the street, exhaling and strong. Clean up the mess. Get off the internet. We are the ones who are alive right now so let’s start living.
Cooking 01:43
Maybe it’s not fair to expect so much from you young people of the modern megastate. The adults have always brought you food so you won’t know who to ask how to cook when it’s time to walk into the night alone. When you walk into the night alone unbury the hunger you were born with. It will show you where dinner is hiding. In the branches, the pools, in the beasts, in the world, in the corners of the dark foundation. When you’re hungry beneath the full moon in the dark belly of the modern megastate try to imagine that you were just born there. Try to imagine that you could be in the world and the world could be in you and cooking food will be easy.
If you can manage to give totally up, to go limp, to go tender (surrender) your body will hold together. I know it seems like you’d be torn apart be ripped up and rendered. But don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid! Don’t believe them when they say that you have to fight for what is right or what you think is right because if you manage to give totally up you’re sprawled out in splendor. Just try to fight that, raise your arms, feel your muscles slosh around your whirlpool center. If you can manage to give totally up, to be known as “Great Befriender” or “Sender” your loss, your endless loss, will treat you to treasure.
(LEFT SIDE) Do not be afraid. Your arms are wrapped around in claps your hands resound your feet, they map the ground you have night vision your whole body when it’s jostled will spend time rolling over will spend time in the mountains (RIGHT SIDE) You can not get away. There’s nothing to do. The fear will be blinding. It’s not meant to be this uphill way. Empty windows empty doors around corners a feast in the dark!
It’s not meant to be a strife. It’s not meant to be a struggle uphill.
Open handed, I tried to live among all people with ideas aloft. Open handed, I read the books. I learned the histories. I sang the songs. Until the mountain bellowed that my friends are flawed, to not forget sorrow and all the other gods, that my mouth is dirty and my ears are clogged, and of course that I’m flawed also and then it stopped. Open handedness had me in its grasp, running around frantically, anxiously showing off. “Hope, unhand me!” I finally yelped. “Let me dwell on bad news. Let me wallow in it.” and so came long nights and hunkering down and there stood cold mountain with its trickling sound. When I reached the summit I made no camp but I unrolled my sleeping bag in the stream and I let the cold water there pour in my ears.
INSPIRED BY THIS POEM BY HAN SHAN (COLD MOUNTAIN): I see people chanting sutras relying on the words of others mouths at work without their minds mouths and minds at odds the mind in truth contains no tangles it creates no walls or chains just examine your own self don’t look for a stand-in he who masters his own mouth knows there’s no inside or out (translated by Red Pine)
I see the light from your flashlight light the bags in the back of your car at the edge of the lake. I hear the sound of your voice saying words to itself in the dark from across the water. I feel wet rock on my palm and there’s a thorn near my ankle and there is wind.
Back of the woods with the fire blowing behind the barn burning slowly set the fire, set the timber burn it down to ash and cinder. Turn me on dead man. You turn me on. Back of the house, down the steps under the cellar door we crept prop the doors, prop the windows set a match to scarecrow tinder. Turn me on dead man. You turn me on. Out of my head, out of my tree, out of my skull-trip, out of me. Burn down the house, burn down the barn burning down the entire farm cross the fields’ fallow garden watch the scarecrow, forever autumn. Turn me on dead man. You turn me on. Will we done, we’ll keep our bargain you and I forever autumn. Turn me on dead man. You turn me on.
When was the last time you drew a picture? When was the last time you touched a leaf? When was the last time you tasted raindrops, on your tongue on your big long tongue When was the last time you bought a hotdog? When was the last time you swam in a pond? When was the last time you climbed a lampost like a monkey with a prehensile tail When was the last time you wrote a limerick? When was the last time you told a lie? Why is there a picture of a penis on your fridge door? It makes me feel awkward when ever I’m in your kitchen When was the last time you ate a doughnut? When was the last time you whistled a tune? When was the last time you tortured a spider and pulled off its legs and ate it to impress your friends
I can take off my head and so can my dad in the grocery store it falls onto the floor we laugh about it sometimes just take it up to the counter pay for it by the pound I got the money in my pocket I found the money on the ground bdellium, onyx, gold is there pick it up and put it down just like a head cause I don’t need it I am filled by your mystery language I open my throat and my ears clear I can hear the blood and the ocean take off your shirt lift up your skirt take off my head put it in your bed speak to me in your tongues of fire
Waterfalls 02:04
In my most hopeless days lost in pitch black caves there’s waterfalls and dripping stone walls. It’s so perfect and amazing so you may only naively believe there’s waterfalls and all perspectives. When you see the light or go for walks at night there’s waterfalls but you can stay dry. In the universe or in the death and birth I always wonder at each, my mother. Right before I die or start to tell a lie there is a spark drowned out. In my heart’s hiding place there is a moonlit lake and there are waterfalls on the way down there.
This is the same ocean where blue whales dive. This is the same ocean that fell on white mountains.
In The Rain 03:08
With the rain comes the roar of machinery (kissing) with the rain comes the look out from my eye (human) that I am standing in it and each drop on my skin the way it touches me awake into the night. The rain in the night acts like a midwife. The rain in the night lets out a cry. It says “Good morning human. With each drop on your skin unexpectedly the flood and you are tied.” The water pouring through the world revealing sogginess and mold and mountain ice bad traffic in grey rain my wild mansion brain all being kissed awake, allowed no place to hide from the roaring flood, the surge of food and beverage (through me) trying to lie down in the ditch and spend the night the feeling on your face just before the dawn, the rain and then the dawn, and then the going into life
In Moonlight 04:42
Walking down the road in the middle of the night singing this song to myself: “I will find you”. The wind goes through my clothing saying “I will find you.” Not even knowing what I’m looking for by walking in the dark, my life is saying one thing: “I will find you.” Then all of a sudden there was a light. I saw my shadow on the ground. I thought a car was coming. I turned around and there was no car. It was me revealed in moonlight. What I find will be found easily and only when I’m not looking for it, without looking for the morning in the sunset and like this, my will to live hides implied in my heart beating, without looking for fulfillment but just accepting it.
Thanksgiving 02:52
I give thanks again that long nights, though they’re lonely, they’re lit by stars, they end with suns that climb and the moon will back me up on this. Just look up. “But the moon won’t take you out to wine and dine.” I know, but there her hand is on my shoulder. “But every evening we still hear you whine and whine.” I know, I know, but, like a sibling, I neglect her but we have no choice. I’m hers and she is mine and she is yours and you are hers and we’re each other’s. “Oh shut up, Phil. You’re just shouting empty rhymes.” I know. The world is alone. This light’s on loan until we have grown old enough to pay it back with our gruesome rotting and our lives are just long saggings of the spine so here I sit, hunched over my candle in the dark night, thanks giving, here I hug my sorrow tight.
instrumental 01:30
Uncertainty 01:33
Go out of your house before you go to the bedroom. Go out the door and into the night. Walk past the parked car. Walk past the neighbors’. Walk past the darkened corner where, seeing nothing, the wild air says “good night”. Alone and never showing, at the edge of the street light light with one foot in the cold air the death and delight of not knowing where your certainty comes from. Half of your body is hidden from sight. Your eyes have finished adjusting and still you’re surrounded by an ocean of black. There are sounds now from all sides. Go back to your house and go to the bedroom. Go to bed having smelled the night. This is how uncertainty holds us. On the street in the wind, in a blanket in the snow, saying “Don’t get used to it.”
I say “cling to rocks” and I mean “hold my hand”. Be climbing. I say “fall asleep” and I mean “sun come up”. Sun climbing. I say “find a way” and I mean “fall asleep”. Be gliding. I say “trip and fall” and I mean “limp and grand”. Do not be afraid of a pillow of snow. I know it’s not as warm out there but your skin will get warm.
Change your way of limping around the world because you know what will come soon: a real broken leg and you know this will come true you can’t get away. Daylight, dawn and evening around the world and you know what we’ll come to. Do I have to say? Everybody will eat you. Every body robs graves and our ghosts stay forever confined in wherever we haunt and hopelessly want to but can’t get away and our bones do blow away in pink light.
Lost Wisdom 06:44
I got close enough to the river that I couldn’t hear the trucks but not close enough to stop the roaring of my mind: “These rocks don’t care if I live or die.” “Everyone I know will finally turn away.” “I will confuse and disinterest all posterity.” Lost wisdom is a quiet echo. Lost wisdom by the edge of the stream at dusk is a quiet echo on loud wind. With one hand in the water wanting cold and clear, fog obliterates the morning and I don’t know where I am. The heart is pounding and you are always on my mind. Lost wisdom is a quiet echo. Lost wisdom: a boulder under the house. I used to know you. Now I don’t. The screaming wind said my name I think, significant and dark. My lost face in the mirror at the gas station. Who are you above my face that I wake up with alone? Lost wisdom: approaching shape in the low light. You thought you knew me. You thought our house was home. I thought I knew myself. I thought my heart was calm. Thunder, lightning, tidal wave, the wind blew down the door. Lost wisdom: the river goes through the room. I saw your picture out of nowhere and forgot what I was doing. Everything vanished in your eclipse, broad and lost. A constellation of moments comes to life in the void. Lost wisdom: face down under the moss. Enraptured by the beautiful face in the billowing flames, I opened the front and back door and let the wind blow through and I stood in the house and tried to hold the breeze. Lost wisdom: waking up in a pile of ash. Secret knowledge comes to me in the dusk. You showed me the river and I saw me.
Small House 01:32
Ever since I have been so involved in loving the feeling of keeping a small house warm and clean I’m not always aware that there are stars above stars just above that ceiling or that the rain gushing throws the trash into the street or that the wind in the dark parking lots at this moment holds a leaf to the fence. I sort of remember the world but my small house is glowing. A car playing music drives by the window while I’m washing dishes in the vast night.


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released October 19, 2010


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Mount Eerie Saanichton, British Columbia

on Lummi, Samish, Klallam, Tulalip and W̱SÁNEĆ land

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