His Old Branches

by The Republic Of Wolves

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1.
Death is the devil’s work Love is a cheap card trick Truth is a poor man’s dream Thought is a quick-sand pit. And all my years spent cursing up the stairs, “Good morning, God. Get up. Forget those bad dreams.” We’ve been awake and waiting far too long, And thinking up our deaths. Sleep is a sick, sad joke.
2.
04:25
She was in the back yard, Digging out a trench Praying for her father’s gun again. All the holy weight they’d laid across your back And the hundred years you’ll waste just thanking them for that. And you can’t blame anyone for what you’ve done Oh my God you can’t blame anyone Before the bridges are built, you’ll burn them down. You had built a new face, empty but awake And painted it the one shade you could never fake. Love had kicked your crutches out from underneath. I was still the sandstone cutting up your feet. God was in our back yard, tearing down the fence, Calling out our father’s name again. So we fixed him to the floor, covered up his ears And spent another lifetime Shaking off our fears. Oh but I could be something else entirely And spill out of my burning head And underneath your door. No, I do not see what you see in your old eyes. And I will be cutting up your feet for eternity.
3.
03:20
Reach in for it Your rusted, iron-covered cross Pour out your breath into the furnace again. I think I found a better way to live And I think I’ve found a better way to die. And I’ve been fitting myself into that small space That you set our for the screaming of the wind. That is all I’ve ever been. And sorting through it, I never saw something so clear As your hands bound up in prayer Behind a closed door. I thought I’d walked a better road, alone Until I felt my feet turn into stone, And that’s when I turned back.
4.
There is a wheel That spins to keep the river flowing. It runs a course between your eyelids and your aching jaws. There was a bird Who took your voice and turned it backwards. He and the past were aiming arrows at your heaving chest. You took a train into the mouth of all you hated, Spent half an hour watching hope pass through a window You’ve got that singing crown of thorns around your thick head You and the kid that you once were are fighting over it. (Then we ran down the river Van To the mouth of old Fenrir And he swallowed us up) I collected rocks, filled up my pockets and tried to swim across the stream. I was told I’d be kept afloat By the ghosts of the hills that I’d flattened to get here. Trusted a fiend and lost my hand. My blood flowed white and filled the canyon, And I saw faces in the leaves And they were preaching to me. There is a tree you cannot cut. He knows your name and all your fears. You dare not lay an axe to his old branches. They dug a coal mine by your house. His yelling kept you up all night. All of your friends got caught between his black teeth. We left our shoes under the ground, tied yellow feathers to our arms, and learned the language of the aching mountain. Then I went out west and tried to build a better version of myself. My iron tools got swallowed up by spirits. And I knew my head was inside out, so I sold my soul to taste the clouds, ate from the tree and started digging up the ground. There is a thought you cannot shake Of her asleep under the lake. The ice is eating up the surface and you are the fish Sleeping peacefully.
5.
03:52
I’ve been waiting on a response for days. There’s been a complication It seems your heart needed a break From pumping the blood through your veins, and keeping the oxygen okay. I still see your face in the day. And I see your eyes in the bottle that was way too tall I finished it just to see if we could talk. Now I’m speaking with your ghost again It’s telling me that I don’t listen. Can we be friends, In another lifetime I might pretend that we are right now. I summoned demons from a dying tree I took a long walk off a short levee I drank the poison from a black moon seed, and then I saw you. I felt your kiss in a dream I had I felt your skin in a monument Then I went home to live a brand new life without you I buried all our things Beneath the giant shadows of the clouds. And they will stay there underground, but no matter what I do I never will stop talking to you. I never did get the last word in, And you said I always did.
6.
All that time that you killed, Pulling smoke to your lungs In a parking lot covered in green glass And shimmering The light on your face starts to darken and dissipate The ghost was inside your mouth Placing bets with your teeth. Forcing your voice out, Pushing your tongue up from underneath And out past the fields we were racing the sun. You slipped away past the fog and the firelight I saw the footsteps cut out of the ash. We traded names just to see if the colors would change And they did. I got sick of the pull You just sputtered and sank You were nothing A curtain of sawdust A weather vane. And don’t try to skip past the part where you realize. But I lied my way out of this one And you lied your way to a ditch And I fought myself just to stay up Out of your street-walking, tongue-talking sleep. How it consumed you and eventually me
7.
I am not the devil under the water Pulling you down by your old wooden ankles. Splitting and shriveling, seeping out of me. God, I’m afraid of the songs you’ve been singing me God I cannot hear your voice quite so clearly. And I am the walls crumbling down. We are clearly the saints No, we are not afraid Our names cannot be engraved in the sand. I am just a sinner, pulling my splinters out Chipping away at a crackling flame. Well I felt my shoulders begin to get lighter When I realized that it all would get harder than this. But I don’t believe in the surface. We can’t see through the sheets No, we are not asleep And I will not be the leaves on your tree. I am the tides I’m the beggar left for dead on the side And I am the walls crumbling down They’re watching me fall through the windows of saints They’re making me something I am not. Your brother got killed in the snow while you slept But you never grew out of the secrets you kept To keep all his light-headed hoping alive Carried for miles inside of your mind. Now I’m writing down all of my saintly complaints And pulling the strings they’ve attached to my face But I’m done haunting houses And cursing at God And filling up spaces with black and white fog. I saw my whole life in the glass on the floor Well what did you think all of that shaking was for? Now I’m floating downstream Chasing after my bones. Well I guess I grew old But I never went home.

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SS007

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released July 8, 2010

All Songs Written by The Republic Of Wolves.
Produced By The Republic Of Wolves
Mixed and Mastered by Gregg Andrew
Cover Art By Ben Kehoe
Layout By Nick Cuomo

The Republic Of Wolves are: Gregg Andrew Dellarocca, Mason Maggio, Christian Van Deurs, Billy Duprey and Chris Wall

republicofwolves.com
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