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Of Zygotes and Grace Notes

[ instrumental ]

Eightfold Way

. . . I reliczu ich adilbycz shu es edu hyraskulm so edu est gwiln . . .

Up and down, you walk as a stranger here and hide your
most charming fear underground, trying to see the truth
right in front of you. Yet beauty has blinded you, kept
you from discovery.

Foolish man! Don’t ignore that there’s only one flavor
more, just one step between you and six on your quantum
crucifix. If you want to chase the tiny miracle that
haunts you, then pick up your electron microscope and
channel your deepest hope.

Have I offended? Let me rephrase:

See the top? The view looks so lonely there. Your method
teaches you not to care — still, you can’t stop until you’ve
saved mankind, squashed the plague, caused your own
heart to break. What do you think you will find?

No, three quarks for Muster Mark weren’t enough to lift
the dark veil of elementary shame from the bottom of your
atomic game. Look ahead, man: don’t you see that the
legions of dead can remember your genius for centuries?
All it takes is your novelty.

Truth and beauty — so strange, so charming.


“I woke up and performed a miracle today
Nothing much, really, just a game I like to play
Helps me see a suffering world in a clearer view
I walked among my enemies and showed them peace
I cured the sick and granted dying prisoners release
I sheltered them with powers of compassion rare but true
Now suddenly the crowds are falling down on their knees
Chasing me and screaming, ‘Healer! Save me, please!’
Save yourselves — I didn’t ask to be a hero for all of you”

Every day the common people living private dreams
Every night their faces splashed on prime-time TV screens
Every channel battling for high ratings in the midst of war
A hundred media circuses in one sensational ring
A thousand fake reality shows all about the same damn thing
The news reports obsessed with mere theatrics and nothing more

Pull down the shade, turn on the set, let tubes destroy your mind
Throw out your heart and leave your human intellect behind
But deep inside, the fiber of your being will slowly die
If you’ve got a shred of pride, then let it blind the public eye

I call myself an artist and my work is mine alone
I make myself an author and all words become my own
But when I offer you some small salvation, you worship me
I give myself to you and get fanatics in return
I kill myself for you, and in your praise I fall and burn
Redemption is your crutch — you cripple me with your indignity

A crown of thorns, a bed of nails, I dangle on your cross
My veins I open toward you as my infant blood is lost
In my comedy I live, and in your tragedy I die
Let me spit on social faces and scour out the public eye

Marilyn Monroe was an alien!
New evidence proves that Oprah killed JFK!
I slept with the Loch Ness Monster!
Bigfoot married my great-grandma!
Jesus ate my baby!
Half-man/half-squirrel terrorizes town full of nuts!
Unfrozen caveman steals nuclear codes!
Bat Boy lives!

Strike down the world’s messiahs — no more heroes, no more stars
Destroy your faith in idols and be true to what you are
Keep the strength to recognize yourself before you die
If creation satisfies your soul, then fuck the public eye

Hand of Make-Believe

Spotlight burns high definition onto my face
Pull tight until the imperfections are all erased

Nip and tuck, implant and suck
Scrape me down and lift me up
Give me what the world desires and take away the rest

With fuller lips and smoother eyes
I will be the camera’s prize
A trophy everyone admires — prepare to be impressed!

Watch me blossom like a flower so magical
My body will morph into something supernatural

Paralyze my furrowed brow
Make me mightily endowed
Relieve me of my human soul, but leave me with my youth

Stretch away the old crow’s feet
Staple me so I can’t eat
The surgeon’s hand will render me whole, with artifice my truth

I believe in becoming ideal
A state where only my intentions are real
To live without my vanity
Would rob me of my sanity
So carve me into being before I start to feel

All those ordinary fools out there
Choose wrinkles, sags, and loss of graying hair
I’d laugh at them but I’m afraid
Of the smile lines that would paint
So forge me now before I pretend to care

This is what I’ve waited for
A look that cannot be ignored
The envy of adoring fans
All thanks to those angelic hands

I’m perfect now, the very best
But somehow I still feel grotesque
So just once more I’ll be remade
Crafted by that brilliant blade

No Illusions

Every time I try to write
My words go up in smoke
Every time I try to sing
I lose my voice and choke
When I try to live up to my dreams
To make myself come true, it seems
The truth is a cruel and twisted joke

Someday I’ll reconfigure the world
To be the kind of place where I can free my soul
And someday I’ll reinvent my life
In a perfect paradise where I am whole
Until then I have to tolerate
Disappointments and confusions
From the day-to-day existence I endure

A life with no illusions

If I could live a million years
I’d still need one more day
If I could be the richest man
I’d still have hell to pay
It’s not about security, wealth, or fame
It’s about my destiny, and it’s a shame
But sometimes I wish it would go away

Come, take refuge in my head
Imagine what an honest view you’d have of my insides
And if I should turn up dead
Imagine what the press would say when you turn up alive

Someday we’ll reconfigure the world
To be the kind of place where we can free our souls
And someday we’ll reinvent our lives
In a perfect paradise where everyone is whole
Am I a fool for such a fantasy?
Have I succumbed to my delusions?
If it appears I’ve lost my sanity, rest assured

I’ve got no illusions

Age of Rhyme and Reason

Once upon a time, everything was fine
According to tradition
Then somewhere along the way, we all were led astray —
So claims your admonition

You close your mind and tell us to respect you
But not all people hold the same things dear
Repeating void catch phrases won’t protect you
And your trite, dogmatic message is unclear

Why are you here? Who made you God?
What drives you to curse the change of seasons?
Don’t you consider it quite odd
To hide behind stale rhyme while fleeing reason?

You teach us that we ought to prohibit natural thought
Forbid ourselves from feeling
You condemn what lies within to shelter us from sin
Yet it’s humanity you’re stealing

Blinded by your “fundamental” vision
You see us all as puppets to arrange
Shamelessly distorting your religion
Twisting it into something deranged

Why are you here? What turned you on
To such an obsolete, misguided treason?
No cult of sanctimonious pawns
Can arrest your rhyme or bring you back to reason

The fear of Hell suppressed your childhood laughter
Fire and brimstone haunted you from birth
All your life you covet the hereafter
Perhaps you should enjoy your time on Earth
You preach that science challenges one’s morals
But who declared it such a concrete line?
While you’re so busy resting on your laurels
We’ll honor our “intelligent design”
And after all this arguing has ended
Each enemy will lock the other out
This isn’t what theology intended
You’re missing what your good book’s all about

These warring factions don’t belong
A simple point each separate side agrees on
Pleading for ignorance is wrong
And your damning rhyme corrupts our dawning reason

Why are you here? A question everyone must face
In this revolutionary season
Why have we doomed the human race
To an infinite stalemate of rhyme and reason?

Transcendental Circus

Barcarolle of Bedlam
[ instrumental ]

Hallowed Playground
[ instrumental . . . mostly ]

Intergalactic Clown Festival
[ instrumental ]

Swimming in Our Four O'Clock Tea

waves its hand of make-believe
toward a playground where

fairytales unfold:
transcendental legends of
zygotes and grace notes

dancing in their womb,
swimming in the tears of sweet
bedlam’s barcarolle.

Laughter of children
drowns the screams of the sad clown
until madness seems

only memory —
even as it lurks beneath
the surface of sleep,

haunting birth and death
with festivals of questions.
Rock? Paper? Scissors?

Spot of cryptic tea?

Not Within the Memory of Elephants
[ instrumental ]

Freak Tent Mausoleum
[ instrumental ]

Reaper's Carousel

Sideshow prison cell
House of musty hope and stale adrenaline
Cadaverous cocoon

Reaper’s carousel
Grinds a steely circle in the dirt and sings
An old, unruing tune

Trapped behind internecine bars
Branded by sepulchral scars
You pray like hell for freedom to come soon

Board up the circus, cut loose the audience
Crack the whip, unleash the animals
Emancipation stands no intolerance
So step right up — break down the carnival

Ringmaster’s museum
Cobwebs of antiquity confine your rank
Inside a hobnailed case

Freak tent mausoleum
Buries you beneath a suffocating tank
Of social class and race

Rise unshackled from hallowed ground
Burn the whole plantation down
Parade your dream and show the world your face

Board up the circus, cut loose the audience
Crack the whip, unleash the animals
Emancipation outlives intolerance
So step right up and kill the carnival


Sunrise — wish I could be a child again
Time floats by like the ocean

Daybreak — wish I could run and play
In the sand all day like we used to

I could be a mighty king
And I could live with dragons and wizards
And witches and warlocks
They’d be my companions, my protectors
In my castle

Afternoon — wish I could soak myself
In the sun and bathe in the water

Waves break — wish I could fly like the pipers
Over land and sea in total freedom

I could be on my cloud nine
And I could watch the sailors and surfers
And steamboats and seascapes
They’d be my horizon, my catharsis
From my castle

Sunset — wish I could be the tide
Washing through and through every castle

Nightfall — wish I could be the moon
Shining on and on their reflections

I once was a mighty king
And I once lived with dragons and wizards
And witches and warlocks
They were my companions, my protectors
In my castle

Washed away

The Fall of the House of Keys

A child is born with visions of creation
He buries seeds of dreams beneath his bed
Alone at night, he hears the orchestration
A house of keys constructed in his head

The limitations of the world confound him
He craves the boundless music in his mind
Piano scales and melodies surround him
He grows obsessed and leaves all else behind

His house becomes a palace of transcendence
A promised land of sonic wizardry
His kingdom, forged, declares its independence
And all the earth awaits his symphony

But under lurid scrutiny, he stumbles
His immature foundation slowly crumbles

And everything falls apart

The jarring notes are painful to his senses
Much older now — his life has dealt its hand
He knows his childhood dreams were weak pretenses
But does this mean he has to understand?

Lyrics by Jason Kresge
Music by Orpheus Nine

All songs © 2017 Orpheus Nine

Orpheus Nine

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