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Losel Vila

by Kleenex Girl Wonder

supported by
Edward Hyer
Edward Hyer thumbnail
Edward Hyer Notes chosen and placed with great expertise. So many notes! And for every note, several syllables! So many syllables, cleverly chosen and delivered! And the personality— so much personality— could never be mistaken for any other! Another KGW classic, it could be subtitled “You are exactly this old.”
Cora Berube
Cora Berube thumbnail
Cora Berube KGW's newest is mostly Graham, strong indie power pop rock exercises with ridiculous rhyme schemes and eternal hooks. And it's personal (with lots of personality). Favorite track: In Strangers We Trust.
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1.
I don't pack a valise I pick a go bag. You have to catch me fat or happy But that ain't easy And you HAD to know that. So: A fanny pack and a sandwich sign, A little pantomime and a well-rehearsed grimace. You see, many people lack the time To stop and analyze, but that's my BUSINESS— And business sucks! Solid idea, but that isn't enough. Ugh. I feel stuck on repeat, I wanna give it up. All I need is a reason or a little nudge! Plus, old habits die hard— And sure, I'll grant it was easier back then. So am I to guess you don't want my card? Because I don't plan to drop the accent. Oh, if we're headin' down that road... I think you'll find the time you have to spend to go Around in circles, when you prefer tight spirals, Might be nice for a night or two, Buffitwere up to you, you'd just as soon be alone Oh wouldn't you like to know The secret places I go? I could never describe em though— Cripes, I might as well write a poem! Every box I find filled: Must, mold, mildew, Feathers, fur, false teeth! And if you still don't blink, I will. And it kills you. Well just watch me! -- He doesn't mean it. You know he's changed. For like a dozen reasons Better if you don't engage. Lucky me will gather up the pieces He just throws away. Cuffing season came and went; But you refuse to show restraint. Punditry is overrated, Chalk it up to the cost of free speech. Underneath it all, we need to talk, And that's why talk is cheap. Honestly, it causes way more problems Than it obviates. Probably about even, baby; People need how long they take. Not saying I never had A person, place or feeling make me mad. I CAN'T say that! As it happens I have, as a matter of fact, Had plenty of triumphs and setbacks, Sadly, peaks and valleys, but speaking frankly, You'd never guess that! I swore A wild rainstorm Would tear this building apart And when the sunlight Didn't come my Eyes adjusted to the dark. So I lost the plot And thought I'd forgotten The meaning and purpose of love. But now what should be A mound of debris Is a bustling commercial hub. That's because We cut the puppets off their strings, And the caged birds act put upon, But they long to sing. So consider this an offering To the forward scouts and pioneers: A boarding house for your wildest fears. Cause everyone needs to unwind. Some ways are better than others. People are easy to read sometimes, The good ones are generally tougher. I'm only trying to help you out. I'm sorry if I burst your bubble. I never said I wouldn't let you down. I never said I understood your struggle. I can tell you're no victim of happenstance But you won't upset me by writing me off; Platitudes only go so far. They won't help much when you're having a panic attack Or forfend the feeling of falling or fear of the dark. You say you're fine, and I hope you are. Cause you know it like the back of your hand So don't ever let them tell you you can't Take it with you Cause it's always there. It's everywhere.
2.
If man is a rope o- Ver an abyss Why is it so hard To strike a balance Between business and pleasure Or pleasure and pain? By any Objective measure, They're never the same. See, you've been away, and me I never grew up. And really, Who is to say We don't have bigger problems? But you haven't changed, and I still don’t do much. So I knew you'd just complain and Then we'd fight about it. Yeah. Keep making that face, Like I'm some maniac, It just might stay that way And it just makes me laugh. You'd think it was ballet, The way we gracefully dance Around the fact that my pain Is just a pain in your ass. So sorry if we're not On the same page. Some things you might've heard wrong -- We all make mistakes. Maybe we been Drinking too much sweet Coconut wine… Oh sure, YOU'RE just opening up, but me, I'm over the line! As for why I don't grow a backbone, Or get my life together. I think we both know how THAT goes, You're just hiding it better! So in that vein, if I may say: "I'm sorry, but you know I'm right. ‘These things happen everyday.’ I swear to god, this all feels like A lucid dream Spiralling outta control. What does it all mean? I mean, Who else have you told? If you wanna make peace with it, Then leave it alone You gotta break free Or at least let go Of the shibboleths and preconceptions You've been hoarding in your head Maybe you're adrift and need direction, More likely bored and insolent. You try to focus on objectives, Isolate the shades of grey. But all those lines of forced perspective Never take the pain away. If anything, they amplify it Until a cacophony Of angry klaxons and flashing lights Denies you your autonomy But no man is a private isle, and We all have to play the game So say goodbye to your quiet life un- Less you're fine with dying ashamed and afraid. And if you are then great! Glad we all came to see and agree, And have it our way. Ok. Let it go…
3.
Aquorld 04:52
Let it go. Call it a mulligan, a glitch, A tratteggio. Statistically insignificant, Unexceptional. Just...don't. You say you'll never be the same again, But you never know! It's just an educated guess, Nothing's set in stone… …or ever over. So check your phone, Maybe test out some jokes. Like, yo: If the threat went away on its own, Why am I so afraid to be left alone? I guess it's ghosts? Yeah, I dunno. But even if your stomach is a knotted rope Over an abyss, every moment is a gift, Even those that you wish you could totally forget But you don't. I guess it must depend on who you know. Destiny is an illusion, everything is mutable. Including you and your delusions— So, you know, the usual. They should do something conclusive. So should you, and yet, you don't, now, do you? Yes or no? Speak into the stethoscope. We seek out the confessional. You can't be beaten with bread alone! We better go Proceeding from the dead zone Easterly and westward ho! But please let our chief predators know It's jest for show We're far from tough competitors, stuck Under the thumbs of our editors, so Whatever we said, remember we don't Have self-control Or any control, over anything! Though We're quick to hit send on a threatening note, Pretending we're over it, everything is a joke! Unless it just depends on where you go. Down the coast, the party's over, While up here, the air is cold. Years ago, we had ideas, We made promises we broke. Now the theater's spitting smoke, The museum's getting close, And we're really old. I dunno. You don't talk about it much. You were lonely, I was closed off, we were out of touch. So you wrote... or like posted something up. I'm wondering what it was. Honestly, Nothing that you could've done Could be that bad? I guess I don't know. What is it you DO when you "need some time alone?" Do you fret? Do you fume? Do you feel in control? I bet you just crawl into a hole And reset, Regress, and restart. We act like we're collaborative More than we actually are. So yes We stress and we starve, We express our unhappiness. It needn't be so hard But it is. Maybe we got stuck In a vortex of our own creation, so We play it up, Saying "It's out of our control We been workin', savin' up. They must want us to fold, Fade to memories and dust." Although they don't. Oh, maybe someone does. It's hard to verify if you're just making something up When you're out of your mind like me! But no, the joke is You really don't know who the maniac is until the diagnosis Also, whenever there's nothing but Nonsensical shouting and shutting up, The message is cloudy and underdone, And soon enough, somebody's stumbling up To number one. So we know where you're coming from. There's no use in confronting 'em. Who among us knew we Could be doin' stuff? It's not much, but it's my pedestal! Pay attention now, it works on several levels. Dug through Details magazine on microfiche to find the devil Or a reasonable facsimile and what I found was helpful. The sentence? Death. The present? Tense. The threat is existential. Perhaps the problems with Progressive politics are perceptual. Fetch some colored pencils and a couple tubs of gesso. It wouldn't be a palimpsest without your pentimento. Let it flow! No use questioning the unknown, Just accept that everything must go. The waterworks at "Waterworld!" You always were impossible. Guess one of us is walking home.
4.
Almost Wild 04:40
A light that won't stop shining is not an eternal flame. You fly too close to it time after time but times have changed. Time's up! Time was you were like a lion but now you paw and growl at tourists from a cage. It's alright; society's on your side but you're so naive that it's almost wild! It's time for you to pick up the pieces you left of your life. it's a mess. it's an island. I seem distant? Jesus Christ, this is not a "big talk;" take your stuff or it's mine, or it's straight to the dump, where your comics and vinyl won't ever decompose, at least not before I will. Promises, promises, yeah, it's a joke. But it's getting hard to breathe sometimes with the smoke; You should know. Nature's ambivalent vacuum beats out its sadistic tattoo yet you remain unmoved, Stiff as a statue. Who claims they can tame this beast? You just wait til we take to the streets. See, Conflict and crisis is most of what life is, But wild hearts and minds can't be broken with violence. They said I can't go home again Not even for a moment Well I for one am over it I'll be outside. If you need me, you can find me Hiding like a followed child. When my eyes are wide and fiery, Then you'll know i'm almost wild. "In the jungle, I lived like a savage." But that is somewhat ig- Norunt and romantic. I'm more of a puzzle; A creature of habit. Casually humble, But brusque and nomadic. Torment and struggle's A primordial calling; These poor things love it, And the carnivores are ALL IN. No more academic fights; You glossophiles do too much talkin'. We rose to such great heights It's almost wild the way we've fallen! In this position, we're curiously vulnerable, Not that we've ever been truly afraid. And Yet the impact of the trauma we struggle to Capture and translate seems foolishly vague. Under this pressure we wobble and waver and Warp until no one can recognize us. Sometimes I wish someone would just replace me With plastic like all of the rest of my stuff. A bawdy limerick becomes the national anthem, But Gershon Legman's long since dead in the back of a van at the Vatican. You hate to laugh, but these so-called mystics, maguses, and masters just gape aghast in paper masks and say "This can't be happening!" cause everything is backwards, as if it even matters. Nobody is safe when every moment's being captured. You can take the facts you're given, and look surprised when plants act panic-stricken, Or stay steadfast and passionless, with the sangfroid grimace of a mannequin. 'Til then, If a light doesn't ever go out, and they're calling it a boon, it's a bane. But I, being ever profound, went and found you a balm that'll soothe your pain. Now I may not be the cleverest around, but if helps you process it, I'll explain: Hands steady, lips stiff, elbows out then just flip the switch when it goes down! Perched in the canopy, listening for movement. Life's endless tragedy, nasty and brutish. Anguish and agony, famine and ruin. Your fancy fantasies are pure illusion. Fictions and fallacies sans attribution Are no substitute when the facts are elusive. Though some may reject, miss, or eschew the truth, it's prudent to accept it: humans are stupid, Like you.
5.
While the economy crashed, you were out there Basking in the sun Playing badminton with a beach ball, dancing, Laughing, having fun We blacked out at sundown, and woke up In an ambulance Where I had an epiphany that hit me Like a Mack truck: Compared to being left For dead on a bench, God, having a job sucks! This therapy is intense, Those trust...was it falls or jumps? We've lost a lot of blood. And no one ever accused you of not looking Out for number one. So why must you always feign ignorance when I ask you If something's up? You ignored me for more than a week; surprise! Just another cheap punch in the gut. But when you said you would call the police if I didn't come over — what the pho?! We claim to crave comfort, but that's crazy! We must Be utterly insane to place trust in strangers we love. You try to do what's right. But the morals of stories you read Run together in your mind. And you whip em out a little more than you need! I was just tryin' to say "Hi!" I don't know why you're so scared of me But now that I've seen the terror in your eyes I don't need your charity! End of the day, reality is the bottom line. If you don't wanna pay the fine, Just stop at the stop light. If you can get your head Around hedging your bets You might end up with half a mind. But whaddid you expect Playing Russian roulette With strangers to pass the time? That's life.
6.
Invecx Deske 02:33
They claim you can't go home again. But there's no law against jumping over the fence Without going in. Or I hope they don't know there is. With the house in Connecticut, Typically loud conversations turn delicate. Somebody slow suddenly gunning for your record, it's Just smoke, til Sonny comes home like a revenant. So, What's the invecx of aggressive investment? An automated trading deske that hedges the present. No more reflexive conventional bets, let's let Our extrasensory perception frickin' PROJECT. When you have Next to nothing left to lose, it hangs around your neck. They'll never take your dignity, just pounds and pounds of flesh. Is that a yes? If it sounds sketch, Turn it down, unless You love a leech Or a powder keg, Dumb and proud, forever 23! Couple years ago, you got stuck up a tree. Pledged you'd never sell your soul for some dumb ol' belief. Oh HONEY, Trust me, nothin's free and Everybody needs Something now. Fit were up to me: Everybody bleeds, Cut 'em out. You're better when there's no one around You'll make it on your own somehow I guess you could just throw in the towel? But this is your life and your home now. And by your own account, as far as the net net, The easy part is over and the hard part will be excellent! With thunderclouds rumbling aground, I wonder aloud if our best bet is hunker and/or double down, just trust the invecx deske?
7.
Door Kids 03:40
[wolf whistle] that's a looker— Can't turn down a bargain! Perhaps you should've? what do you know about the market? you had to push it. But you can't shut out the darkness, Still on your "I've asked the butcher, He's going to cut out my heart" trip. Gosh darn, my goodness! it'd set a precedent, wouldn't it? send a message, burn it in: Persistence is furtive. sure it is. your ol' friend eternal recurrence returns again and blurs the edges. That way, there's no permanent record, But you haven't made a confession— Except that you can't change. Though you did mention numerous paths of escape But you wouldn't do anything that crazy Cause you haven't been doing much anyway of late I was gonna say What? (wait!) Say what you want to, say that you're right. See what it's come to, stay for the night. The people who love you you never like quite as much as what's in front of you. Cause you have a type It's a double you. H. Y. Y. and it's coming through, but it's nothing new, take your time. you know, like you always diverted mine, sayin' you base your life on the ancient Gnostic proverb "any person might be serpentine." Perfect rhyme, over time gets overdone you know it does. Don't get too comfortable though there's something watching over us. A drone with guns, no guardians or angels – all that hokum's bunk! And your crush hopes your hopes are crushed. You're drunk. Go home. Sober up. Can anyone ever feel another's own internal emotions? Guess it takes less effort, though, to close a door than keep it shut. No one notices the poor things, all grown up, and never known love… …or somebody does, and snorts, "no duh, dork kids, open up!" You used to barely miss the chances you didn't take… But you owned it, no you didn't, no you suck! Before you were the master of the useful mistake… Now you're oversold and punished for showing up! I know you think you say things in a humorous way And put bullies in their place, but so what? So much for growing up, this is a total bust. Like you are to blame. Sorta nuts. But then, who is to say? Say, what did I do? Say it like your life Depended on if I liked you, cause one day It might.Satellites are drawn to a charismatic orbit. You do what you gotta do: despatch a few door kids. At scale, the cost is exorbitant, but it's just common sense If the boss can afford it. Cause nobody's home, it's just y'all And the sword in the stone. (It's sort of unfortunate how short it is.) So, the church is historic, deserted, and absurdly enormous. Don't touch that, it's important! But since you did, it's water under the bridge, unless they shut off the grid! The wick is lit, a storm is formin'! Of course it is. This fix is in. No witnesses, no sorcerers, and no unfinished business once you're forgiven by corporate. It's folded in. Our vision, blurred; the scoreboard IS the board's decision. We're just porcelain figures, plastic orchids for the children. Oh, you didn't see the orphans, really? Holes in the floors and ceilings? 'Storytelling', it's sorta brilliant: Wild how the moral is you're the villain! The competition is more than willin' to absorb anything, or torture and kill it. You're chasing the odor of fortune; nothing's gonna happen 'til you know where the door is. You swore it was "so rewarding," before you stole reports and recordings, rode a unicorn into the forest, and morphed into the horrorshow before me! Before this inordinately morbid performance, nice form, but what's mine is yours, always. Now, the vision is blindingly obvious: "Only door kids let you into the conference"— No, they didn't.
8.
It's only a reflection A scuff of chalk on slate A notional connection You'd love to contemplate But wait — there's more! We're open to suggestions If they affirm our fears Before we all erected perspex spheres, Our perspectives benefitted from our peeahs's idears! It's only intertextual. It's no more intellectual Than taking an apprentice. There's only a reflection Encoded and collected Encrypted in a cipher You'll git it when you get it Listen, loneliness is wretched. Your mission: Should you just accept it? (No!) Something's different; What's with all the questions? Call me superstitious, but I'd rather leave it where we left it-- C'mon. Everyone's dancin'. You're trapped in your head But the past doesn't matter Until it happens again and again. Look at them! Every single one, dancing! If we'd never met, I bet you'd be happy, Laughing with somebody else But instead you're upset Because every one's dancin'. It's only a reflection Another nosy interjection if you care. It's potently pathetic to split hairs Between growth and progression. You'll get there though You're up against a headwind. It's shocking just how hard something can blow! You say I'm unenlightened, Meanwhile, you're just a nihilist. Besides, the brightest diamonds Come from bituminous coal. So While initial estimates Suggest they're out to get us, Conjecture isn't evidence — It's only a reflection. Don't you get all sentimental now! Just fetch the weapons. An institution threatened Must defend itself to the death But don't ever be afraid, honey, everyone's struggling. Be it fame, money, sex, Or just suffering, It's never too late in the game To give up and escape To the desert or something... I'm wond'ring if you're waiting for a Change that isn't coming, 'cause All you want is to fall in love again But we are breaking uuuuup While everyone's dancing. I wish I was out with them. Is this really how it ends? Or will we pretend it never happened?
9.
Break Edge 03:47
None Other plays with fire, some make do with rain. "One way" is the main insight. Untrained youth, get paid... "OK." What, wait— for, for just straight being you; how must they fe-el seeing you? The meaning is too damn meaningful for you for whom they clamored, you lost your way, left with a camera, returned with a take, …content to sling shade and jamais vu. A 2, brew thé? A 2? Ah 2? Eh 2? Attitudes renew and rotate; rumors remain, in lieu of disproven claims. Maybe if the truth hurt more, you'd embrace it. Never one to do work for it, you stayed in the basement, your stupid face like a mood ring, beige when you're brooding, grey when you're evasive. What are you even doing? The same basic music, but screwed up in strange new ways! I watch you shoot your cuffs into the crudité thinking how you used to say a suit could make you feel like Bruce Wayne. Now you're losing weight, spewing scalding hot soup on your Zumba trainer in your trailer on a Tuesday, like WOW, you've changed, that's aside from the about-face transformation of our lives. Wait— It's one thing to impugn one another, another to mutter with utter disdain you've been "led awry." 1. it's astray 2. I can't say that I love you this way, but I said I'd try. So do what you like. Who among us doesn't break edge sometimes? I mean Jesus Christ, you gotta sleep at night. Up against these troubles and evil eyes, what's a meerschaum pipe? Wait, so because of our struggle to juggle these knives, we must stay unmuddled to run for our lives— have I got that right? Welcome to the jungle, parts of it are nice, look, we tried. But there's always somethin'. Once it's over, another'll grow in its place. In company or silence, it's gonna be like this, and it doesn't go away.
10.
When the crisis fades, you decide the pain was passion, try to replace abstractions with a defined shape. But your whole life has changed; it's night and day, so science-based inquiry strains under the weight of your blind faith, like: even if you don't like it, may- be somehow you invite it — hey, man, listen. That’s just the cost of doin' business. So you're a little lost, who isn't? All I'm trying to say is: So little truth survives the lathe of doubt, compared to the lies that make it out. “Everything's fine.” “We'll be safe.” And "I'm OK." You oughta read "The Diamond Lane." No, honestly, go buy it today. It's about fatigue and the price of fame, and the reasons why things change. If the answers were always the same All you could do is get the hell away, or stay. They say trauma gets tied to a place so picture it as a weight, not an indelible stain. OK. This feels like a mistake. I know how it feels cause it happened to may. It's all so surreal and bafflingly strange. A grueling ordeal. But the fact remains that you are a basketcase. Let it flow through you It'll rinse off ya Faith is like voodoo Wisdom is stronger If you live through it you'll end up where you're needed. Even though the truth is There's nothing you believe in as much as you've tried, and thought, and prayed. It's tough on your pride, but you're not to blame. There's nothing but time, and talk, and space under the razor sharp blade of the lathe You could do worse You can't wait forever Not everyone who's so risk averse has a taste for adventure. In a race to the center where the tables never turn what's an advantage? Take what you've learned at the church and the theater to management. Cause the fact is The panjandrums'll come for you the second it's a viable option. Change is uncomfortable, for sure, but what a reliable constant! With patience and the right moves, you could cast away the monster standing right beside you, instead you barricade the office and demand a guarantee that you'll be freed from greed and jealousy. Well allow me a buried lede: You aren't completely helpless! See, you free to be unashamed, overeager and selfish. But no lathe only cuts one way; all these loose threads will be dealt with. If what's protecting you lets nothing through, then what's the use? To hell with your roof! Tell me the truth: what's left to lose? For everyone but you, This shelter is a tomb. And like they always do, they'll problematize the shock of the new. But there is just no telling who's behind what you have gotten in to. The rumors are humorless, all promises, no follow through. Yet for all our brutalist intrusiveness, we're still not bomb-proof.

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MVZVMIII.

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released June 20, 2022

Graham Smith
Ryan Smith & Thayer McClanahan played on "Stevie Ridgewood"
Recorded in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Ridgewood

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