Comic strip goes with the tracks. Click on the slide to enlarge and use the arrows
1. Meantime Steamrocket (7:19)
2. Pressing Planetoidal Perambulations (4:09)
3. Trip Drift (3:24)
4. Stiff Stasis, Still Places (3:02)
5. Wilderness (3:22)
tracks 6-10 form a single tune (4:15)
6. What's Hanging on the Other Side? (0:51)
7. Frog the Turtle (0:47)
8. Bliss the Trippy (0:37)
9. Preen the Fable (1:07)
10. Hip the Joint (0:53)
tracks 11-16 form a single tune (5:09)
11. Tribal: Brads and Dicks (0:38)
12. Brad the Pretty Bad (0:42)
13. Bradley the Pretty Badly (0:36)
14. Bradliest the Prettiest Badliest (0:39)
15. Dick the Meticulous (0:44)
16. Dicker the Metricular (1:50)
17. Queen the Pawn (4:20)
18. Drizzle the Iffy (3:24)
19. Did You Win? (3:10)
20. World of His Own (2:51)
21. I Will Pull You Through (4:11)
22. Tears and Sweat (2:20)
23. Bit Bucket (4:12)
reeds - Geof Bradfield, Scott Burns, Aaron McEvers, Tim Mcnamara
trumpets - BJ Cord, BJ Levy
trombones - Andy Baker, Ryan Miller
piano - Paul Mutzabaugh
guitar - Chris Siebold
drumset - Nathan Friedman
percussion - John Corkill, Bob Garrett, Brandon Podjasek,
voices - Leslie Beukelman, Bethany Clearfield, Cheryl Wilson, Sarah Marie Young
violins - Cristina Buciu, Elliott Cless, Lauren Cless, Katherine Hughes, Dmitri Pogorelov,
Songhea Sackrider, Andrea Tolzmann, Drew Williams
violas - Dave Moss, Mike Schneider, Ben Weber
cellos - Matt Agnew, Sara Sitzer
basses - Christian Dillingham, John Elmquist
all art & layout - Nathan Tolzmann
music composed by John Elmquist, ASCAP
tracked and mixed at Transient Sound by Vijay Tellis-Nayak
mastered by Rich Breen
© 2017 by John Elmquist
1. Meantime Steamrocket
What kind of gone? Far. What can you steal? Away.
What does it take? Off. What is the freak? Out.
What do you cut? Across. What kind of gone? Far.
What do you pull? What do you fall?
What do you blow? Apart.
They got off easy, easy,
a little thinnier, skinnier.
Slightly slighter though not slight.
Stretched tighter but not quite tight.
A freshly scrubbed demeanor.
It spun on a little lighter, smoother, surer,
a little less wobble, resistance.
Weighted and freighted with
less relief, more relief.
A mark was made but it was light,
light and easily erased.
Impressions left were shallow as
It filled in quick as light.
Oh, Mr. Driver, won't you let me on to ride?
We can sing together as we go.
I see you heading where
I'm sure that I belong,
where the secrets are that I should know.
I don't mind, I can ride out in the back alone.
Just let me on.
I saw you riding, and your voice -
it really shined!
I believe I'll be shining right along.
Oh, do deliver me to where I have in mind,
where we'll sing together, you and me.
Don't be shy, sing along.
I'll ride up front with you.
Won't you open up?
The time to be desired comes and goes
(it mostly goes). Talk faster.
No thoughts will come along anyway.
Swirl around and entertain.
Turn a phrase and turn some heads.
(Not quite what I can do.)
Oh, Dear Desire, time to ride away from you.
What you're singing, it is not my song.
So please pull over,
time to let me off the hook,
trying to be where I do not belong.
It's all right. I can see
it's not the place for me.
Where you're going looks lovely,
and what they're singing:
it is the sound that I was seeking.
I thought it was, but it is not my song.
It's not my song.
2. Pressing Planetoidal Perambulations
After bathing in waves of radio,
toweled and marbles scooped,
strap on the chaps, hike up the boots,
be off for the summit
to set some spatial roots.
Gripping ripples and wrinkles,
grabbing crumples and crinkles,
make a beeline for every line -
tree, hair and hem, until up stops being up.
Walk the walk, rock to rock, block by block,
a walk around a world of worlds
cross, step and stomp
on every crack-assed crevasse.
Virgo hots the spots
and Libra chills the rocks,
Pop Space Rocks Hop Scotch Skip,
Skip Smooth Stone on Pond.
I find that though I just want sex with Saturn,
I want to make a moon with Mars,
but without repeating the familiar pattern
of burning my buns with stools of stars.
And the whole world spins and walks away,
taking all the wobble with it,
climbing out of its mind.
And we all just turn our backs,
getting smaller in the rear view,
climbing out of our minds.
Where to can't be known
(a where...some or any).
What to want: to get closer than most.
Is it just more hill?
or will there be every zombie plane ever?
finding those phantom legs and arms,
riding shotgun in cars of muscle
and on bikes of dirt.
You'll find the most of the trains of ghost.
What's under the rocks that are your bed?
Trucks of monster, underfed.
So, duly stoked and stoned by ites
and rocked by oids,
we march with purpose, with precision,
looking for order, direction and decision,
walking away from easy fights,
live to lefts and dead to rights,
to sniff and sneak and track and seek.
Overall, we made quite a nice little parade,
crossing fields of magnet, clouds of gravel.
Keep the stride tight,
strut, truck, shuffle,
some amble, some scramble,
a little shimmy, skedaddle and scoot,
boot by boot, toes of steel
with an iron heel. Stick spur to moment,
step, stop, step, stop, step, stop.
Stride for stride, hand in hand,
and side by side,
click heel to toe to tip to tap.
We glode and strode,
the search was a party
with the stress on tense pride,
the idea being to follow a feeling forever.
Mopes were laying back where it all began,
lying around, lying about each little thing.
And so we bounced from sol to sol,
sticking our noses in each nest,
right where they longed to belong.
3. Trip Drift
The way was clear and barked with dark,
clear on clear, jets of jet.
The way was warped and covered with myth,
needled with light and marbled with math.
With waves of beams of bits in streams,
matter was mapped in relief.
They held still as it all spun around,
kissed and scarred and wrapped in belief.
They'd gone and left everyone behind,
lying around and about everything.
Diamonds and gold and water flew by
to start battles for scraps
and be settles for scores.
Ribboned with dust and washed in a mist,
one atom sang and spoke of mass.
Though all things were so far apart
they managed to hold each other up.
4. Stiff Stasis, Still Places
Holding steady and holding still
for a far below average thrill,
nothing happens at all until
you pass through thoughts
and they pass through you.
Ages and epochs and eons,
each eternal class equally ephemeral,
all darked but marvel marked.
And the darkest part of the dark heart of matters
is that there is no facts
and there are no matter.
Then there's the matter of the dark -
a field of it is the heart.
The fatter the fact the flatter the fiction.
And we continue to flatter one another that
the affliction of matter is the fiction of fact,
finding its way through with just a fraction of friction.
Nonetheless, they started to dress in the fabric of space,
which was fine but the lining had been torn out,
so that while it was untimed it was now also unlined,
and finally there wasn't much geometry.
They skipped some stones 'cross inky spaces,
wearing stony looks on their several faces.
does it have to be wild in the wilderness?
is it hard to be wired up with worriedness?
do you have to be tried to be true?
does it help if you cry?
can you know if you're hip?
do you care if you're tired?
do you shame to perspire?
do you hope to be weird with bewilderment?
do you have to care about the broken hearts of unwelcome strangers?
does it help to be tired at the end?
did we fail to be heard in our wordiness?
does it help if you wail in your wildness?
6-10. What's Hangingon the Other Side?
And he sat and he sat, and he thought and he thought, and tried to remember
when he'd ever been bought, which he most certainly had.
Down the bend, 'cross the way, broken rules make for dirty play,
checking out what's hanging on the other side.
7. Frog the Turtle
taking lunch with the possums on the toilet on the porch,
left his toes in a basket at the back of the church.
taped some glass to any arms, and strapped it all around his head,
couldn't see a single thing but heard a lot of light instead.
played psychedelic pipes of some organs that are vital,
in a nine-boy band of thieves who had "TRASHY" for a title.
down the corner, 'round the street, dirt road makes for really dirty feet.
everyone had gone their separate ways, had quite enough of those desperate days.
8. Bliss the Trippy
there's a few stingy beetles in her long, stringy hair,
and a million milky webs, one over here and the rest over there.
flinging viscous pony parts, she went barefoot through the soup,
her bugs had homes and jobs, each with a little buggly troupes.
as the place goes up in flames (there's a doctor in the house),
she's grabbing all her kin to save a single lousy louse.
a little cornered kitty and a little bit south,
dirty road leading to a dirt mouth.
see what's hanging on the other side.
9. Preen the Fable
thank god you came around 'cause I've been getting born to death,
I'd like to have a knuckle sandwich, hold the tongue and hold the breath.
being knee deep in necks and neck deep in shins,
shin deep in ankle wrinkles with a couple extra skins,
I left my eyes on the road and my mind in the gutter,
'cause a toe is good with jam, that means a body
must be better
up the dog, leg the lane, dirt track leads to a dirty brain.
see what's popping, all chopped up on a separate side.
sunk sort of low to see what's underneath,
dirt mouth breeds a brood of rotty teeth.
guess how it's hanging on the other side,
everyone and thing you wish
that you could hide. every thing and one.
10. Hip the Joint
battled pigeons for some pebbles, wrestled foxes for some rocks,
asked a squirrel for its nuts and took a dog for a box,
put canaries in the barn and a horse in the mine,
borrowed sugar from a bear for a pie of porcupine.
when there's chaos in the yard bow a tie and don a vest.
Fight off all the snacking critters. throw your buddy's bones to the rest.
mens and ladies gentle,
gents and gems rough,
please Dig all the Smuts
'cause a little's not enough.
not much swinging on the other side.
house was big and cloudy, blurry and wide
with very little outer space on the inner side.
11-16. Tribal (brads & dicks)
I don't want to be the death of the party.
I like to be a part of any old crowd.
One for all and all for nothing.
I want to be a club-carrying member of the club. (any club)
I don't want to do any of my own thinking,
I like my knuckles on the ground. I don't like when things are
just a little bit different. I like a gene pool of just one.
12. Brad the Pretty Bad
bru-bru-bru-Brad the Pretty Bad had, had, had a chicken stickin' out of his head.
A shutter buggin', clickin' chicken stickin' out his hominid nid,
If you let him go shooting off your photograhatia,
you'll be wishing you were dead instead.
I haven't had a fresh thought in years.
There's no reason to change a thing.
I don't want to start using my imagination.
I want to do things just like you.
Goons we be. Going tribal. Feeling is indescribal. Protoneanderthibal.
13. Bradley the Pretty Badley
He found love inside a can and it found its way,
found its way inside pretty badly.
Can can love him, can't the can?
For Bradley the Pretty Badley can the can be?
Aye, thy can can.
Feeling right at home among the dumbest of asses,
we couldn't think a thought if we tried.
My mind is full of the most inert of gases.
I've got a problem that can't be smelled.
14. Bradliest the Prettiest Badliest
Bradliest the Prettiest Badliest speaks in the tongues of goats,
has not kinesis, an idle seer and a flatulent sayer.
Time for mob. Time for tribal.
The unfamiliar makes me most uncomfortibal.
Let's just keep it prmitival.
15. Dick the Meticulous
World beater eater. Drums on gums. Toothy stepper.
Slippery, shiny, sleek, slick. Bit of a drick.
Greasy grinner. Flat but thinner.
Lucky for you the perfect place for that shoe is in the face.
We need directions to the Roman Coliseum.
Wouldn't want to be 'em. But I want to see 'em.
Hear them scree-um. Guess they get per diem?
16. Dicker the Metricular
Ride, ride, grinder at my side.
(See us ex. Ex see us. Ex us see. Us see ex.)
Boss train roared with a butcher on the board.
(Start stacking smoke up, yup. Big brother on the board.)
Fingers on my mind. Grind, grind.
(The boss train roars to town. Ground meat is up to down.)
Move on down, coming to your town.
(Ex us see. Us see ex. Auf wiedersehen. Drop.)
Time is right to set up shop.
(the store of Mom and Pop.)
Auf wiedersehen Mom and Pop
(See us ex. Ex see us.)
Run, run, run, good old grinder gun.
(Time's right to upset, set up shop.)
One's named Liam.
Everyone is foaming at the mouth hale and hearty,
Let's all tribal. There is not a reason to begin another party.
I don't like when people looka little bit different.
Full on tribal.
17. Queen the Pawn
oh, reggie, you dear dog, you dear dog,
let's eliminate that wicked flea.
she looked at me. imagine. wicked flea. thee wicked flea.
we'll be nice when she arrives. lay a sheet across the floor.
we will bring, bring some tea when we get the door.
she'll knock twice. knock twice. we'll be nice.
she should not have looked. she should not have looked at me,
lay the sheet across the floor. the floor.
we'll be nice when answering the door.
you will clean. yes, you will clean it. you'll love it.
she, she looked at me, reggie. the wicked flea, reggie.
we'll lay her down. roll her up. then you clean. then you clean.
pull the shades then check the locks.
she'll be coming over. we'll lay her down. get her dressed.
and you'll clean up. you'll clean up.
that wicked flea looked at me, she looked at me.
we will greet being sweet. we will see about this flea.
she's a tasty flea, reggie. a treat for thee, reggie.
she'll ring at three, reggie. that wicked flea.
18. Drizzle the Iffy
we drop fat man. you'll buy way, Am.
carpet glass spin. now you do be
non-pahlavi. soap sham, top down.
non is, ex be. un-it, de-be.
dis-is, anti. glaze past, pre be.
soap bomb a lovely pyramid scene.
love bomb a soapy market zing scheme.
c'est la vie pahlavi, we need the aya and the tollah.
glass rug spin, stir. reamed with glister.
am it away. un-be are me.
19. Did You Win?
did you win? did you score? was it swell?
was it good and true because you thought it?
did you, overall, keep it pretty.....thin?
did, did you win? were, were you cool? and hot?
did, did you curate like a boss?
Is it clear that your jokes killed?
and 'twere the the "it" of art?
lightly perched upon edginess of envelopes?
Did, did your mask distract and misdirect?
Did, did you dazzle? Did they swoon? Sparkle! Shine!
Sure, you were fresh, but did you ambish? and finish?
'Cause spinning is winning.
One can easily persuade the hipness constabulary:
just be the "est" of all (never only very).
Were, were they sure because you were?
Did, did you finish with a flourish and a flash?
How is it that your smarm was cause for little alarm?
Yes, you clevered the hell out of it and got your doings reported upon.
'Twats thou seen through thy churning charm?
Some selections are only natural.
Was there certain badness in your posteriority?
the acclaim universal? not just worldwide?
did, did you do, do, do virtue?
did, did you keep it clean? and come out clear?
20. World of His Own
Being disappointed in the world that he knew
he set out to build one of his own.
Where to stand while building new ground?
Never did know where to cut, or what to dig, and why.
Taking broken dawns and fallen nights,
bolts and beams and some shifting sand,
started building from the ground down.
Counting out things to include,
it came out to one, there was just one -
trust that the ground under his feet would always hold him up.
21. I Will Pull You Through
I've been brief but off the point,
and now I'm not even hungry any more.
Came too soon and stayed too long,
skin was tight but now it is all gone.
(I will pull you through.)
came too late and left too soon
(smooth it all away)
moved too slow and stayed out of phase.
(valleys filled and hills brought lower down)
I won't need my place in line any more.
(crooked paths made slightly straighter)
no more pining, no more comparing.
(time's come and gone, but mostly gone)
Squeezing the last little bit
is the hardest of all.
Now we've run out of sorts,
sorting out outing types.
Woke up so late
and proceeded to sit and wait.
(I will pull you through)
taking the pulse of things,
I'll stay and swoon.
(we'll find you a place)
stayed on too long, woke up too late.
(let's push you along)
out of sorts, missed the important parts.
(do and don't let go.)
thought too little, thought too much.
(I will pull you through)
I don't know if it's such a good idea.
(I will pull you through)
22. Tears and Sweat
tears and sweat, they burn the eyes.
blood drips only after she denies she cries.
patiently cross the divide.
blindly reach to the divine to find
flesh hangs loose or not at all,
a habit left behind in the bye and bye.
impressions made becoming frayed and fade.
no one's calling from home.
23. Bit Bucket
the day it all came together was the day it came apart.
the time things all got united was when they came untied.
things finally got related once they disintegrated.
the moment I made my mark was the minute I got erased.
the day it all got glued together was the day it all blew apart and away.
the second everything fell into place was the hour of its scattering.
The stones of heaven, the stars of the sea,
sang to each other self-referentially.
I, in the end, heard my name called clearly
when the words had been removed.
the body came to attention when the belly came unbuttoned.
and when an identity showed up was when my personality split.
green started making sense when broken into yellow and blue,
and when O wandered away from the H and its fancy 2.
I'll fly to a million small pieces, every millionth of me off on its own.
the bones of heaven, the space of the sea share a common particality.
the instant it came into focus was the blurriest of all.
the occasion of any sense-making is conversion to a bucket of......bits.