Copacetic Blues

by Miracle Worker

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released January 1, 2012

Recorded by Charlie Bursch of Elicit Sound Studios. Mixed and Mastered by CJ Ridings of Holy Seer Recordings. Artwork by Ben Hernstrom at Ambulantic Videoworks.

Stephen Jarrett - Composition, Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Gregg Weber - Drums and Percussion



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Miracle Worker Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Track Name: Consensus
The khimarred woman
sings a five note lament
through cellophane,
Paleolithic stone,
a labyrinth of drywall,
hanging, rusted coils
Mississippi mud and the blood
in her throat
While the ghosts in Aokighara
the bones of my father
the unfed mice on the sewer grate
They hear her notes
as one hears a memory

It's like a flare, they think
Not the flare itself,
but the trail of magnesium
all that drags after the glow
the echo, a disembodied wish
futile as it may seem

a shattered lullaby
for the kaki tree
who peers through heartwood
to watch the farmers' hands
fetch her mango hearts, fifty children
from her languid limbs
their bodies tossed into
guillotine baskets
her leaves curl to their touch

It is too much to ask of any
one being.
The wind whirls consensus

Amidst the feeble proclamations
that “Happiness is state of mind,”
I incant in the basement
ancient prayers of survival.
Resuscitate, rejuvenate me
I was just a kid, fumbling through the dark woods
Witnessing the plumes of smoke
from the brutes laboring in the yardhouse

Saliva to straw
Paper and grass to wire
I've thatched a home in the brush
in the thicket where
I gnaw on my hands
and my back's against the morning dew
I hear the eulogizing orioles
singing from their choral tome
soothing these baptismal lashes
in a canopy of pines where I wish
the starlings could carry us off.
Track Name: Flush
Now that you have flushed me from your veins
and made your confession to the chapter of faults
You are unencumbered by this shipwreck
fever-wailing minstrel, vitals crushed
You held me up as myth, down as flesh
the simulacrum floundered
I crumbled as rust
A lithograph of Avalokita
thousand armed and hopeless
cradles all of our sorrow

The inspector at the factory, moving units, doesn't care
if the contents of the can make us healthy, make us sick.
We are banished from the convent
limping through the gnostic desert
We are misers snake-charming for stale bread
for a house of clay and toothpicks,
for clandestine titillation, every memory is sealed in concrete
relegated to the darkest spaces, to the secret cove that sears us.

But don't stop to scrutinize the fire
the flames are looping like a shuttle
and our dignity's the fodder, and our dignity's defiled

When I reach out I'm devoted
Not a cipher to be decoded
I approached you without motive
now I'm the villain that you've decloaked.

We are single dots: straggling dogs. We feel the same: muzzled and shocked.
We share a meek castrated bark. It's a voice, hardly enough
to hum our deluded lieder; while I cover my ears and quiver,
underneath the seeded clouds, that contaminate our lungs,
you're the poltergeist that rattles my dresser and I'm the widow that doesn't know better
than to linger by your swollen grave, than to hold you in the light again.

There are 13,000 failed astronauts in every single county.
They've traded Adventure pulps
for company parking spots in the fire lane
burying their hearts in the limestone
a holy procession giving conversions
They want to carry my burdens
light years away.
The offer's for both of us, foragers, wrecked and alone
but there is no spark, curative clove, temple or touch
to lift our armor.
Track Name: Leper Son
I was your favorite leper son. I even bandaged my wounds.
Licked them sparkling clean for the benefit parades.
Now I labor through the night to expunge your DNA.
I want your coat of arms to rust into disgrace. I want your sadist's memoir
to furl like a worm in the rain.

I buried in the mire
all the shame that you imparted
Still shrapnel's spreading in my mind
You're the crushing overseer
who left his peasant in the sun
body baking on the wheel
my pain, your meal

The bluebirds, monarchs are soaring free into the clutch of the whitest priests
while the deacons cook and clean, readminister disease
Behold another scapegoat raped by an apprentice of decimation
the spoils of your Con-quest, the fledgling in your path
I flinched when I was cornered, amidst the plaque, mercury laughs.

I listened to your cryptic promise.
“You'll be broken too. You'll be broke in two.”
and sang the copacetic blues
complicit quiet, complicit quiet
You're the amalgam of an aeon
another lip-smacking lackey:
glazed mannequin malaise
cold Saturn's thirst
extinguished summer of my life
but now you can recline, unburdened and drugged

I spent my life watching my back,
boxing lineal shadows. Now you're thunder without lightning,
a broken-toothed oracle, twisting my perception.
You are just a figment of your own imagination
ravaging all that is beautiful.
You set the terms of my imprisonment:
“Here's your lifetime poisoned mind.”
Bequeath the family heirloom, a bouquet of rusted steel.
Now it's mine to unravel it
to melt the remainder down
to cross the river at twilight
to leave my shell in the shallows
to crawl exposed on the river bank
and grow new flesh
Track Name: Strain Your Synapse
I know you already think I've jarred a few screws loose
but don't strain a single synapse thinking too much of it
when thinking and feeling are your unloved, quaint and dormant talents
You cower from them like a giant, afraid of her own power

Take your pick from the blue ribbon winners.
Survey their plumage on your hubris stroll.
Their feats of strength will dazzle and amuse you.
It's a contest I have eluded.

I'm a dull date out of witticisms
I'm a minister out of stuttered rapture
You'd rather bask in cascading hollowness
than walk into the mines with me.

I don't have a moment to spare
when nooses bid for my neck
when I've wasted all
my love on the wrong people
My mandible's on the ground
I've molted beyond recognition
and we're alps on each others chests
not lares securing passage
for smooth transmutation
You stunt your own evolution,
sink into familiar trenches
and let the dullards sing your praises

I took you to bat, expecting a change
Our feet in the water, but the ocean was daunting
You're a pearly presence
best left untroubled, fishing for substance
in a tumor that's ruptured
Watch me sail off, disheveled and mute
a Barbary captain, stowing rotten cargo.
Track Name: Sell the Air
Sell the air, sell the light, sell the water, sell the darkness.
Install a fountain in a concrete park. Dedicate a tree to a tycoon philanthrope.
As crippled seniors we will walk there, to admire our ruler's kindness.
This is the outcome of the crusade. Everything will be explained.
The Blood on the shield (lustrous). The dissidents crushed (condemned). The savages tamed (listless). The artistry maimed.

You want to take my place, move inside, steal all the grace that I hide.
You want to poach my heart with an elephant gun, because you're putty on a plate
seeking shape.

Secular celibates are hiring. Be ever-mindful of your comments. Curtail your future to their liking.
Slip into amorphous doom.

Tell me this is over. I can barely step outside.
The headhunters roving, party's shills are coaxing me to sign the service form.
Pay for higher living in utilitarian sheds. Paying for the space to wither.
They sense that I'm alien, my Shostakovich suitcase, leaning up against the door.

It's so easy to forget my pulse, when I'm caught in the breakneck tide.
Our necks are broken, spilling our marbles. I can't rejoice in the stupor.
All of the dutiful maintenance isn't enough, to stave off the leeches.
Track Name: Anchor in Tow
There's no one in this fish bowl that speaks my language.
I have no chance of escape.
Lodged in the fourth circle, I didn't want to be here,
with the crass, cannibal cranes.
So I claw for hours against the glass. It's unmanageable
the observer's breath, that leaves a fog impression
against the bustling tank.
And I'm frantic, every single night. Like a cursed plane,
like a witch in flight. I am lucid in the cage; I wield insubstantial weight.
Toss another copper flake on the water's surface.
I will clamor for sustenance, or I'll let my body sink into the corner--
the plecostomus that cleanses the worthless space.
Still the toxins accumulate.
I am wedded to the bottom. On the surface is where I falter.
Where the cruel and empty vessels rip apart my hull.
Track Name: Gaunt Figurine
I was just a gaunt, decrepit figurine on your losing team,
a bloodhound in the swamp who wailed for new instructions (Teach me how to live)
When I was summoned to eradicate the clues
I faithfully destroyed, and feigned serenity, our palace and our hands clean

You conspired with sprites and spirits
in a campaign of attrition, against my brightest ambitions.

The garden heaved Calsap Rhododendrum
I ripped them out like weeds,
their Rorschach pedals
made mysterious the wretched
While beneath the soil dead charlatan's bottles, were promising to heal
my shattered mitochondria
The doctors obscured on yellow paper, I left them drying on a sill
to archive their lies.

I spent my nights with the croaking frogs, who mated to proliferate
And above me, the Crab Nebula
so full of life that it broke,
twisted pulsations slowly
while my own light was too dim for Alhazen.
So to burst was pointless.

There's no Isis to collect my limbs
to nail and glue the broken shards
I tie my stalk, against a rotting trunk
Never good enough for my own plot.

I'm the yellow bruise from the grief ballet, the shattered wheel in the cavalcade
but life flows in my veins, like St. Elmo's fire
I'm the lonely mare that is caked in shit, the crippled mast that the waves have hit
I don't want you to view me. I just want you to soothe me.
Track Name: Pyrrhuloxia
Pyrrhuloxia in oblivious flight. It doesn't know, the impending cold.
Starving calico in a parking lot. Blinded by cataracts. Curls into a cinder block.
Thrill-seeking rich kids on a pleasure cruise. They incinerate the old man's barn and toss the ashes.
Every cemetery ravaged by hurricanes. Headstones become the home of a fang-tooth fish.
I walk through the refuse alley. The area is up and coming. Limitless brands of dereliction. The meadow was a sanctuary, until they quarantined and charged admission. Retrieve my bloody head from the wicker basket where it lays. Place it upon a pike, till I'm carbon, brittle specks in the wind. Pleasant dissipation.