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Wider Waters

by Charlie Rayne

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My thoughts spring like nightingales up to where bloody roses sail, but shot down by king, queen and clown, they lie broken, unspoken, aground. So I just lie on abandoned tracks, fighting white and forging black, waiting/wishing for tomorrow,
 hours dwindling in a bottle of wine. Watch the ribbons shine across the sea.

 Dried up hearts and clenching fists, flowers fighting to exist, blinking scars and winking skirts - and god I hate these goddamn fireworks! Sacred theaters, Gordian knots, houses dressed in polka dots, the city dancing to the sound of drums… 
I won’t bother leaving crumbs behind. I’ve made up my mind: I'll cross the sea.
The ghost from the past has returned at last to claim what is left of my heart, and dissect my disguise and inject in my eyes the details of our falling apart. Our affections have hid under that piano lid where we once struck the keys till they died, but I don’t know the reasons mine drift with the seasons and retreat like the ebb of the tide. Oh my darling, dry your eyes.

 Now I know that I once was a lover whose dropped jaws lured you with each stolen breath. But don’t look in my face for a hint of his trace - I have sentenced the poor fool to death! Oh my darling, please turn the page. My cruelty just fills me with rage. This terrible myth is too loaded with a kind of love I can’t stage.

 Oh my darling, don’t try to make sense. Just take that crown off this prince. And move from under the wrath of the thunder that’ll hit when that hurricane spins. When the sun finally sets I’m a-start heading west, I’ve no reason to stay in the east. My heart was misleading but I’ll stop its bleeding as soon as I’m finally released.

And you pick a random target, a neck to hang your noose. You claim you’ll win the war you started, but how many battles can you lose? It’s always been your vision to promise golden fields as you scatter with precision the seeds of love they’ll never yield. But I’ll keep your heart in mine. I’ve come to learn with time. I’ll keep your heart in mine, my friend. And you say that you’re impulsive, that when you kill you get the blues, but ah! you’re just repulsive! Another asshole in the queues. And I smiled when I discovered the wounds you couldn’t nurse. I saw you hide under the covers and slipped a death poem in your purse. I’ll keep your dreams in mine. They will all see in time. I’ll keep your dreams in mine, my friend. And so I’ll drink from your misery and spit it out as rain. I'll advertise your sympathy and rearrange your pain. And we’ll watch what will follow in the darkness of our nights, one foot in the shadows and another in the light. And we’ll never die.
I heard your love is dead and you’re trying to get sober. I hope you’ll go to bed
 before the night is over. Your mind is reeling in pictures without the key to unlock it, and your shoulder twins brew a mixture - a blend you keep in your pocket. First come the storms of winter and then the birds of spring (again). And you say “Well I’ll just linger a little more and watch the fountains sing. Then I’ll go to the station - and and and buy myself a ticket, and if my shadow picks the same destination… I’ll beat it till I kill it!” Leave the blood in the womb, leave your share in its cage. Draw the curtains in your room and spit some words on a page. They’ll pull you out of that trench. So strike your name off the letters. Forget the lies you were told. Remember to pack your sweaters - in case the summers turn cold. I won’t be here when you come back (at least I will have changed) so if you ever get sidetracked, forget the plans we’ve arranged. And leave a rose on the tomb, leave the quiet for the sage. Swing a net to the moon and take these songs to the stage. They’ll pull you out of that trench.
Dreams 02:35
I golden-caged all my blackbirds. These days I’m aging backwards and I don't mix up may and june. The heavy violins have expired, my pen is drowsy and I’m tired of measuring life with coffee spoons. My hours are wasted. I’m a naked model killing time as they set up a summer screen. The ink in my heart’s getting drained, waves dance around like boiling paint while I just stand around and dream dreams whose seeds may never grow.
 A kind of tears I’ll never know. A hell from which I won’t be saved. They’ll spit into my pot of gold, parade my soul until it’s (c)old then throw it in an unmarked grave. My thoughts wander to the borders. Stars pile up in the corners to shoot across the sky. But I only see them limp, and I watch as their light drips. I pull out my tongue but it stays dry. And when I strum this guitar, am I puking in the stars or offering emeralds to a pig? Now my eyes bear the burden of always being framed with curtains. I should have never dreamt this big.
Holes 03:05
Mundane gasps for foreign air, to stay curled up rubbing bones. Whence they crawled out of that chair, thirsty, anchored to a stone. I should never hope to find a place to call my home. For I, they know, am poor of heart - a sadder day when love is born. “Son,” they said, “better depart” and blessed the rose with budding thorns. And I should never hope to find a love to call my own. Maybe it’s the darkness in my thinking. Maybe it’s the shape of my bones. But I dug holes in my soul and now it’s sinking. Pick me up or just leave me alone.

 One day it’s so hard to tell and then the next it’s all too clear! Still I’m not sure who the hell is looking at me in the mirror. And I should never hope to find out who I’m supposed to be.
Madeleines 03:40
Fill my inkwell with living as thick as Indian ink. Let spirits stir it with quills and bristles until the bits whistle and clink. Gasps and clasps and whirring. Thunder and hiccups and stumbling bars. Then watch the black smoke ascend to a sky strewn with sudden stars. Roll me a river of forgetting, make all memories disappear. The closing wooden casket. The ugly duckling’s fears. The corners full of sadness where Chinese puppets crawl the walls. Purl through the sleep in that cave and sweep me awav from it all. O waves, proclaim forgiving and swallow what I’ve seen. The whispers in a cell phone. The hum of war machines. The shielding wing of the sparrow (and its tears when spears would pierce through). The mysteries of a leaving. Dreams we’d written but didn’t pursue. Bless my breathing with loving, mirrored, uneven and vain; stretching for the sunlight and bending to the rain. A rivulet of heroin shot like an arrow through marrow and spine. Let it lace the air with the sweet taste of madeleines.
King of silence, lord, your highness, can you hear me sing? I just can’t escape the starving thoughts your darkness brings. Does this circus hold a purpose? Time makes such a mess. In the end nothing will stand except the simple truth of death. So give me silence. Water. Hope. Thirteen coils in a manila rope. For life is but a joke.
 Queen of lightning, ever-ripening, you are all I’ve got. And I don’t care if my heart prevails as long as its wars are fought. And I’ll pin down each sight, each sound,
 until my day arrives. For when my quill curls around the wind, that’s when I feel alive. So ring the bells and blow the horns. Pierce my skin. Reveal my bones. Then let me come into the storm.
Cascades 03:45
Kites get tangled. Scarves strangle. Love it dangles beaten up by truth. We’re lawful nerves and atoms swerving randomly and serving no real use. With living weightless, giving tasteless. No seeds nor traces, no flag on our mast. Whatever cursed this breathing hearse, just let it burst and birth me out at last.
 Make me the back of a cartoon coaster, lingering like a ghost, for when he hoists up his courage to pick up one of his pens and carve her number (awkwardly) as she walks away backwards. He looks up feeling unworthy of sweet providence, but still lovingly looks at the scrawl. And he may or may never call. But this coaster will tell you that it’s worth it after all. Roll me into a ball and hurl me at walls to smear and stain them all with all I am. So that my bones and guts and all that’s rot mix with the mud and feed the amaranth. Call up the lightening, flash it bright and bolt my spirit right into the earth. Gather it on a mountain, build bridges ‘round it and like a fountain let it quench and nurse. Make me the crisp steps of autumn when the summer fades forgotten and leaves sink like they were taught and the days start getting brief. The sun grows smaller and so lovers take to huddling, the poets are heard hollering as light draws a handkerchief. And the trees stand, dark and naked, against a moon that rises sacred, on a day golden and shaded with a wistful kind of love. Kids shiver on the porches. Logs finally earn their scorches. And walks in the park are gorgeous. And your sheets are warm and soft. The air hangs cold and bittersweet, as you drag your feet across the street, hands in sleeves and kicking leaves into a river’s gentle stream. And so it goes, the river flows. No final stroke or flashing glow. Just clumsy steps, at least, at best, forward and sideways towards light and rest. Some seeds to sow, the strength to row and I’ll glide and slide away. For though the river breaks into cascades, there’s wider waters where its slaughter ends.
Corrida 02:46
They say poets lead the love brigade, wielding pain as their switchblade. 
If they could only see the mess I’ve made and the daggers I have thrown! But my angels bridged the outer crust and drowned me in their diamond dust. Whatever darkness I come across will lead me (back) home.
 So the doctor came back with good news: my legs aren’t broken, just badly bruised. 
So I guess I’ll just limp with the truth and try to walk away. I want it all: the friends and foes, the hangovers and afterglows, the booby traps in pretty bows. Just send them all my way. See, my new skin is overzealous, trying to go from cage to palace. The left side of my brain gets jealous and I can hear it shatter. And in this arena I adore, there’s a corrida like a tidal bore. But am I the bull or the matador? Ah does it even matter… So as my bluebird rises from the ashes and flaps its wings like burning matches, I hope the songs I sing will patch its heart and gouge its eyes. And I’ll take it where the air is real and roses dangle from the ceiling. And my words will spell out what I’m feeling with no cape nor disguise.


Physical copies available at shows - or by mail.


released October 3, 2014

Written and performed by Charlie Rayne
Recorded on cassette by Fadi Tabbal at Tunefork Studios, Lebanon
Produced by Charlie Rayne and Fadi Tabbal
Artwork by Tala Safie

Thanks to Fe, Serge, Tala, Junior, Julia, Leslie, Vincent and my family.


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Charlie Rayne بيروت, Lebanon

Now making music as Interbellum: interbellum.bandcamp.com

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