Imagine a Fire You Can Wear As a Coat by Anthony Graytone

by Mike Young

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1.
Let all your worries breathe Let all your worries breathe Fall off your horse, take an ax through your knees Let all your worries breathe Let your little eyes fill up Let your little eyes fill up With sawdust and mucus and moonlight and blood Let your little eyes fill up Let all your skin boil off Let all your skin boil off Let all your friends tap ignore on your calls Let all your skin boil off Lose all the people you love Lose all the people you love The only thing dust has to teach us is dust Lose all the people you love Tell yourself you’re going home Tell yourself you’re going home Imagine a fire that you wear as a coat Tell yourself you’re going home
2.
Shut Up and 03:30
Your boyfriend was dying right down through his bones So I spent the night at your place Mixing tarot and whiskey Called you sugar cookie After the paint stained your face There’s always some dumb fucking thing to be done If you are not sure you’re alive Sprint through the crosswalk With all the wrong lights up Whistle with spears in your side La da shut up and hold me Shut up and hold me now La da shut up and hold me Shut up and hold me down You drove yourself west to the state where I’m from You swallow the fog when you nap You text me from Texas And say you’re well-rested And oh yeah you’re not coming back It’s Easter, it’s snowing, there’s bats in my house I found them asleep upside down So I gave them blankets And they all said “thanks” then They wept until I locked them out La da shut up and hold me Shut up and hold me now La da shut up and hold me Shut up and hold me down
3.
One of these days they’re gonna find my brain On the walls of an Amtrak train I go through friends just like a canyon fire All I want is you to moan my name Haul my stupid beard to a different town Who am I gonna let down next? It ain’t that I don’t got feelings for you I just break every feeling I get And when I die the sequoia trees Will still be wearing robes of moss When I die my apartment key Will presumably still fit the lock We’ll tell a few jokes, what a fun guy Turn the lights on and off Turn the lights on and off Bless the ones we never meant to hurt For trying to trust us more You know I shoulda just up and left Instead of slept on your kitchen floor There’s things about me you don’t need to know In the shape of my face in the night I’ll keep a list of what makes you laugh If you kiss the lids of my eyes And when I die the sequoia trees Will still be wearing robes of moss When I die my apartment key Will presumably still fit the lock We’ll tell a few jokes, what a fun guy Turn the lights on and off Turn the lights on and off
4.
Your heart is just a tenant and that’s all that it is Your heart is just a tenant and that’s all that it is Your heart is just a tenant and that’s all that it is Like a bluebird with a shotgun underneath your chin Hand me the peanut butter, I think there’s one scoop left Hand me the peanut butter, I think there’s one scoop left Hand me the peanut butter, I think there’s one scoop left We’ll stay in bed and get the rest of our rest We always know why we do the things That we do—we just say that we don’t We lie and we lie and we lie and we lie— Kinda hope that everybody knows Kinda hope that everybody knows Lift your hands If you hurt someone Lay them now On your face Keep ‘em there If you been hurt Let the blood move on into place Let the blood move on into place Hey there wait now what was your name? Hey there wait now what was your name? Hey there wait now what was your name? Picking me out your teeth with a rattlesnake You hung up the phone you were a mess in love You hung up the phone you were a mess in love You hung up the phone you were a mess in love Don’t matter who or when that’s what you was (rpt bridge and chorus) The blood in your face is the blood in my face The blood in your face is the blood in my face (rpt forever)
5.
Taco Sugar 03:23
Start a surf rock band called Taco Sugar Try not to cry at BBQs Start a weird pet trend—maybe goldbacked heifers Share your progress on YouTube Start a new way to bring people closer Points if their faces get stuck Start a place where losers can stare at toasters I’ll bring my own bread and I won’t touch There’s always something you can do If you do it right they’ll remember you There’s always something that you can do If you do it wrong they’ll remember you Start a love affair with the ghost of a soldier But only if they died getting shot in the back Start every morning laying thinking over Mistakes you made that left your face like that Start a good thing then fuck it over For reasons that taste like plastic fruit Start a good thing then fuck it over Go “Oh so that’s what I had to lose.” There’s always something you can do If you do it right they’ll remember you There’s always something that you can do If you do it wrong they’ll remember you (Isn’t that what you want? Get yourself and put yourself on Isn’t that what you want? Get yourself and put yourself on) There’s always something you can do Do, do, doobie doobie do
6.
Always give the cowboy directions You never know when he might help you out He’s kissing his boyfriend’s eyebrows The night it doesn’t hang so much as drown Always bake an extra potato You never know who’s coughing up their lunch When I carried you I wasn’t frightened But when I put you down oh God I was Sorry for the ashes in your bathtub Sorry for the sherbet on your shoes Sorry for the spider at your book club Sorry I let go of your belt loops How about the fire of forgiveness How about we try to get too close How about tonight calls up tomorrow And argues that it doesn’t have to know My favorite shade of memory is faded Firefighters practicing on poles My favorite shade of history is fuck it These polar bears that I keep feeding coal Sorry for the words with all their edges Sorry for the tinsel on your floor Sorry for the ice cube in my jacket Sorry I don’t know what love is for How about the fire of forgiveness How about we try to get too close
7.
I made my home where my friends all were Then my friends went home I made my home where my friends all were Then my friends went home I tried to help the ones I loved But love sometimes don’t help I tried to help the ones I loved But love sometimes don’t help Morning train, wait for me Morning train, don’t you leave You sing like you’re crying I sing like I can’t sleep You sing like you’re crying I sing like I can’t sleep When I’m lost and when I’m scared When I turn to smoke You’ll be there, you’ll be there You’ll be the one I know Morning train, wait for me Morning train, don’t you leave Under the river—no, it’s still the river Under the river—no, it’s still the river Morning train, wait for me Morning train, don’t you leave
8.
The world’s not an argument The world’s not a hair salon You’re not allowed to bring your dog Even if you’re blind The world’s not an argument The world’s not a tennis match Gray hairs in your mustache You shave one at a time And I’d like to say the world Is a rowboat full of apples Drifting toward some island That doesn’t have a shore And I’d like to say the world Is under the lid of a Snapple A quip wrote up by copywriters On the umpteenth million floor But the world is the world And I’m sleeping near the door The world is the world And I’m sleeping near the door The world’s not an argument The world’s not a county fair Pillow stuffed with horse’s hair That the store will not take back The world’s not an argument The world’s not a bowling league The world’s not a guy named Steve At the pool swimming laps And I’d like to say the world Is a joke about a ghost Delivered by your murderer Who’s funnier than most And I’d like to say the world Is a coupon for some cheese A kind that no one’s ever heard of And snow chokes all the trees But the world is the world And I want better dreams The world is the world And I want better dreams
9.
i fell in love with the down of your neck i fell in love with your army green sweater i fell in love when she called me collect i fell in love tho i knew so much better i fell in love with this great plate of eggs i fell in love with this little glass moose i fell in love with a dealer of cocaine i fell in love, now what's your excuse i fell in love to her free tibet chant i fell in love with her feminist jokes i fell in love with a sniper in iran i fell in love with the humblest of hopes oh oh te amo oh oh te amo i fell in love with the holyoake mall i fell in love with a drunk santa claus i fell in love with a green tennis ball i fell in love with the music from jaws i fell in love with a chocolate martini i fell in love with a chocolate mint i fell in love with a chocolate canoli i fell in love now i eat m&ms i fell in the love you danced me to the end of i fell in love when you borrowed my phone i fell in love with the names i made up i fell in love so entangled in loam oh oh te amo oh oh te amo i've fallen for girls who sell gourmet cigars i've fallen for girls who dress poorly for rain i've fallen for girls and i've lied to stay warm i've fallen for boys when i just couldn't wait and i've fallen for you / i'm already too late i've fallen for you / i'm already too late

about

Mike Young is the author of Sprezzatura, Look! Look! Feathers, and We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough. He publishes NOÖ Journal, runs Magic Helicopter Press, and lives in Portland, OR. Find him online at mikeayoung.tumblr.com.

Waves of thanks to Jenelle Stafford for cardamom in the coffee, sand in the shoes, forests in the forests, love on the team.

Cakes of thanks to the great Kelly Schirmann for being the oracle on the bike to the bats down by the lake.

Orchids of thanks to Rachel B. Glaser for being a wonderful marathoner companion in Black Cake immortality. (These albums' secret doublepak title is 120 North Street).

Licks of thanks to Alan Brandsted for letting me borrow his fancy guitar.

Winks of thanks to Mark Cugini for offering to come up with backstories for my fake Garageband drummers.

Sweats of thanks to Anthony Graytone himself for breaking into my apartment and holding me hostage for two weeks while I made this album. He wore a train conductor's hat. He lived off dried apricots. Whenever he took a shower, silt came out of the freezer. Whenever I said "But that part's not perfect" or "I am not good enough at ___ to make this sound like it sounds in my head" he threw apricots at me until I went ahead and accepted whatever half-ass shit I'd done. Sometimes I tried to give up. I'd sneak out late at night and throw my very cheap microphone into the Willamette. And then I'd think Anthony Graytone was gone, and I'd take a nice afternoon nap, and Anthony Graytone would wake me up at dusk, sopping wet, screaming at me and slapping me with the microphone, which thankfully didn't hurt that much because it wasn't very heavy because it is so cheap. Anthony Graytone is responsible for all the songs on this album, even though I wrote them all, sang them all, recorded them all, played all the instruments, etc. Goddamnit Anthony. He didn't even find the train sounds. But when the album was finally done, I came home at high noon to find Anthony gone, train conductor's hat hanging from a needle of my cactus, a note tucked inside: "Next up is don't water this cactus too much. It doesn't grow that way."

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released July 13, 2015

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Black Cake Records Portland, Oregon

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