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Ceci N'Est Pas Un Arbre

by The New Birds of America

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Ostrich Boy 02:27
In the first panel, you are ostrich bodied, human head perched atop the characteristic long neck, ready perhaps to take off, to fly, to flee at near cheetah speed, a hole in the sand in front of your feet where a second ago your head may have been. Is this your triumphal hour, Ostrich Boy, debut of your offbeat power? In the second panel, you are all human, slouched in a mean chair, mean suit, a posture and look of dissipation, holding a glass bottle by the neck, the jagged peaks of its broken bottom pointed toward your face, slivers protrude from your mouth, some have dribbled onto the floor around your feet. Is this debauch how your story begins, Ostrich Boy, flashback to your secret origins? With great power comes great responsibility. And absolute power corrupts absolutely. Where does that leave you, Ostrich Boy? So false you can only be true. Maybe you can never tragically fall when you make no sense at all.
Baby Amazing 02:53
My plan was so simple: I would cry to get what I want from the universe. When I say cry, I mean positively wail, starting with a recitative of bitter barking, coughing sobs before soaring, inconsolable, absurd, into piteous, howling aria. What made it all worthwhile was it worked. Everyone started calling me Baby Amazing. I made my public appearances naked except for my signature diaper. Money, celebrity, lovers… Aghast but agog, my subjects worshiped me in my empire of tears. Everyone started following my cat and let me redecorate their homes. Diaper sales skyrocketed and everyone agreed, “Tears are better than laughter.” Tears are better than laughter.
Decisions I made, I would make again all down the line until the very end. It’s the words not the voices that linger. It’s the song not the singer. Never gave up, but, sure, I gave out. But I got to see what it’s all about. What’s left over when you been through the ringer, it’s the song not the singer. Only truth that is worth the dare, making yourself into something to share. You’ve been getting it wrong for so long. It’s not the singer, it’s the song.
Falling from the stars, a second city comes to take the place of the daytime grid, dusky gold and purple beneath the street lamps, spectrum of a royal capital. Downtown towers turn to silver mountains, distant peaks we never reach. Solitary car stopped at a red signal, enigmatic creature native to the late night city Late night city, nothing so pretty. Late night city, nothing so pretty. Somewhere a club pounds like rush hour traffic, too workaday, too easy to find, lights pulsating like office software, a night life with nothing to do with the late night city. Come on sleep dance in sodium twilight on halogen trail through in-between places where concrete and asphalt refract the ambient glow, a nocturne of synthetic sublime. Soon the sun will rise over nothing new, burn away mirage and desert evening cool. Back into hiding goes an entire city until by darkness we find it again Late night city, nothing so pretty. Late night city, nothing so pretty.
Together we are timeless, though we must share the march of time, the zeitgeist, the deadlines, and never enough lazy days. Of our moment and born along on the ever flowing current, not unchanged, but timeless, timeless all the same. All through history, through new dawns and crises, watching for our chance to escape, refugees from paradise, seeking return, we’ll take two exit visas or none at all. Together we are fortunate, but still must wait and while we wait with the irony of our times, turn a tidy profit running the place where all stay up late, where they come to stir up anthems that reveal our hidden ideals never out of style. Like moonlight and love song, away we slip in beautiful friendship.
A moment I can still remember long ago with a record player. You told me you’d have been so much happier if you’d heard that certain song when you were younger. Its sweetness could have pulled you through. It could have softened all of your changes, and given your blues a brighter hue. When the music’s got you swaying, I know there’s no point in playing any cut that doesn’t get you saying, “If only I’d heard that song when I was younger. Its sweetness could have pulled me through. It could have softened all of my changes, and given my blues a brighter hue. And if we’d known each other at the awkward age of names in hearts up on walls of tigers in a case, this would have been our song, the one track to bring back to how it all began, how we found each other and burdens got light, a melody, a lyric a beat that made our blues our bright. And we’re still blue, and we’re still bright.


released May 16, 2017


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The New Birds of America Toronto, Ontario

The New Birds of America is Blaise Moritz and sometimes others.

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