by Other Families

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released February 25, 2012


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Other Families Toronto, Ontario

We are Other Families, an electronic DIY/punk collective with a taste for noise, spoken-word, and onstage theatrics. We are self-made, self-produced and we've independently released everything we've put out. Our live show is a loud and violent barrage of sound and vision that incorporates costumes, props, dramatic segments and awkward lapses of confusion and disorientation. Join the family. ... more

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Track Name: Claims
Your mother has gone feral.
Cleaning her hands with mint leaves
after digging for earthworms among gravel.
She quit driving after mentioning empathy for
the deer that was caught in the crossing of a west heading road.

The night she talked about that:
the antlers, the halo, the grill of your car, which had been baline, got sharper, metal body becoming Deep Sea Angler machine.
The backyard a ripped green dress she fenced
herself whole nights in,

thumbs regressed, and hips became bits that unhinged:
she can scratch her ears, she can press her foot against the temple that her claiming mind has left.

Your father sews
his pincushion into her forest and that
father your mind made as a patch
enters that
growing darkness,
and sews a sawn-off through it,

Orion and a
scatter pattern of stars
if Orion kept his belt
unbuckled if on, if not on,
on his knuckles, had a nice house, which is
too, on

its haunches,
where you

hang your shirts on
question marks,
the tags curling upward against
the base of your neck
like inflections.

Don’t let them see us, don’t tell them what we are doing. We’re moving. We’ll do it at night, I’ve no idea what friends she’s

been keeping.
Until then you’ll have to abandon
those rooms,
as much a detective as
any skinning knife or x-ray, a flashlight alive
on a saw blade,
the basement, find
no compelling evidence,
so you move
into the heat of the
higher rooms, your
belt and shoes
falling beneath you, your bare toes
seeming somewhat like leftover hooves, and you start to
interrogate your
toothbrush’s bristles and fang, all the sharp parts.
Her closed bedroom,
The ghosts of furniture.
The kitchen,
Stove top dinner plates
brought into
the delicacy, the holding cell of our
dining room.
The star witness hung and swimming above
them, a luminescent
jellyfish out from the


of the ocean
seeped into the
moulded by the
drywall mud ball of the moon, petrifying
your life into seizure’s crisis and flash,
the birds into their flak jackets—

on burnt days
she’s found
lounging under the porch
sufficiently clothed in its shade.
The loose fence board creaking in rhyme with the wind,
a spider in a dandelion flame.
You had

a dog but something carried it away.

Loose tenant that finds what you miss,
Comes out of your kitchen, in your house a fish

out of water
with a line at the tip of his lips,
sum up your relationship with a kid,
and closet. Go to bed. Brush your teeth,
well I hear laughter outside tonight,
the mystery.
You want to get along, you and that thin
shirtless thing that dens in your guest room,
your bathroom,
while you cook and clean,
you will look to me
and turn
out the light. Sweet wife,
please, hold me
in a low heat tonight.
Track Name: Fourth Floor, Dinosaur
Made of two yous that you used
to take up rooms you used as new wombs.
Two names that you used. You soothed
the light from the window with motel sheets,
soundproofed the ceilings, cleaned the hallways as rent paid,
so we could stay with you, I can see.
We cleaned our bodies
that moved over you
as the murders gone on of tenants we knew.
Grotesque as the mobsters and monsters
you left behind you.

She was a tire in spin,
The shape of an eye
in front of the ocean,

Digging for stones and throwing them
against its window pane,
Take it down dreamer, take it down deep,

a sea swelled inside me for you, out of time, Ouroborous,
the lizard claws at herself,
an orbit a fall backward to blame,

I was buried in my personal history
and the underground parking garage,
I know only the wrecking rock the body became.

Here my body will rise to the penthouse,
Dodging hobo's and cyclists,
Like elevators and the scent

Of cheap wine. The window
is open. The cool breeze.

I squeeze
myself when I'm sleeping.
Freeze me, Please keep me in season,
I am time's surveyor
of this lady's layers.

She was a first floor lower life form, she felt so warm,

when they put you in the earth
it was a dirty reverse of our hellos.

I spent all my time on the fourth floor,
now I can't make another move.
Some of this is an armature,
and some of it's just a ruse.

Lets drive in.

Lets drive out 'til we can't see no vacancy,
and I can't make another move.
The car's exhaust is our mutual fossils.
I want to make a move.

I watch the fan blades drifting
back in their spin
to become the defence of dorsal fin

plates on a stegosaurus.
I am up here, above it, down there,
watching the cars rush like rodents,

dreaming of their carbon offset.
I want it back, and will climb to the earth.

Your lady says no. Your lady says no.
Your lady says no, well she said no until you get all the way back home.
All this time it was everything inside me, crawling out into a garbage disposal
All this time it was everything inside me just crawling out into a garbage disposal.
I'm a dirty word that's oiled in the hinge,
it's mumbling it as the door opens
into your six by two coffin,
Whatever you are in we're in.

Tell it to me slowly. Tell you what?
Id really like to know if that time there were reasons you loved me?
I will eat you alive!

I'm on the windowsill, I'm on the fourth floor. I'm on the windowsill, laying the compost.
I'm on the windowsill, I'm on the fourth floor. I'm on the windowsill, laying the compost.
I'm on the windowsill, I'm on the fourth floor. I'm on the windowsill, laying the compost.
Track Name: Alcohol in the 1920s
All strung out on toast and jam
all strung out on
toast and jam all
Strung out on
Toast and jam all strung out on
Toast and jam.

We will speak of our years open as crystals, a prism
shining through light from the shutter.

There was prohibition, new dances, and the advent of
modern movie magic. The riots,

the smugglers, rum runners, the familiar beat of their
bone-bending wheels on our cobbled street dropping parcels,

we could dance or we could sleep to that rhythm.
Men were better then,

people said, clean shaven and up. Your lover
a person that you loved.

We were drunk on the musician’s breath between notes,
me on your space between kneecap and hip,

that little street of the body,
and your jazz music.

The trip into the city, which you loved
and missed.

The train like us, had its gravity, an attraction
you followed and fell into

like the beds of our husband’s best friends.
It moved in space, and left it

between itself and the tunnel wall. The ember of moon
moves forward into the tube of its eclipse.

Hands, holding cigarettes, come out of the gutters.
Women wear feathers, men thin moustaches they could

have drawn on but for their dimension.
Sweating the lip-stick off of their skin.

keep your teeth in while I’m telling the story.

The animals are waiting for
God the animals
are waiting for God the animals are waiting
for God the animals
are waiting
for God
Track Name: Problems
Work starts off at ten o’clock with me and two women
named Brenda and I started off here in autumn,
the sweat of my Septembers here three years since.
I couldn’t count the hours. Days spent flicking coins
into a register with spurts of precision or piling donations in a stratigraphic profile of trash bags. Much is un-returnable and also like time waged in earth, words come in these piles, it must be this which was written there or rose up like something subconscious in a customer’s mention of the weather here at Talize, the vortex
at the sentence end of a period.

We work in two sections, the one
I’m not in called Production. They sort donations,
sifting the artefacts of other families, separating the junk,
crap, sellable from the celebrated stuff we get out of here
and into a dumpster. They work at the back,
and the break-room is close to that, as if my minutes away moved, direct with intention, nearing that backdoor’s new year, come here and sit for fifteen minutes with me, facing the wall,

as I consider everything I’ve rejected.
Track Name: Last Recording (of Man to Mother over Invalid Brother Before Natural Disaster)
Clean up, get still. Get ready.
That hurricane heart of hers
is coming. You don’t know
who named her but that vast
media ocean, or that salt ocean,
where she’s stirring
with the name of a girl.
The sound of that whirlpool
flirting with song
before you,
prior to you,as if
her own back-

On the way to the hospital I thought
a left signal was a nebula blinking blots

of dark over the moon-shine,
the highway hyphened its lines

spinning too fast. Yes.
Yes spinning too fast.

I love the

scent of a hospital.
It makes me feel

like I’m crawling backinto that
pre-natal state assigned state of mind.

The flood a mother drug
they try to take back their names from.

All this time I spent in a green room,
the window’s light bruising the wall to blue.

Before the flood comes, and the world walks in,
I’ll kill him dead if I have to.

I guess that I should get going.
Tell my mother I did all I could.

The water opening his mind to
wider than surgeons can sew.

Well I want to say,

Want to say that I love you.
I can’t say, I can’t say that I love you.

You know I

want to say
want to say that I love you.
I can’t say,
I can’t say that I love you.

You know that it’s too late, so I’ll stay,
the water rising like an awful

pulse instead of the pulse turning like a highway.
I will say till I can’t be trusted anymore.

After the flood we lined bodies up on the ground.
Come back to atrophy house,

read dust like eyeshadow on
the plywood of boarded up windows,
seaweed dangling like Christmas lights
from the rain-trough.

Imagine you,
before it all, under that light bulb that is,
if you’ll believe it, still there,whole as
an inverted skull glued to the ceiling.
Flies, since or prior, have died in the light cover, propped in the corner,animals have made their homes here and that’s admirable.
Turning it on,
the knotted bulb
at the end of the pull string responds,
breaking the bulb and the knot of it filament—
I feel dumb here, watching a bedroom mirror’s ripple reflect the blast radius of a boshane skull

in this placid frame like a straw
swivelling in the stirred drink
of the rabid anatomist,
to whom your head’s a grenade.
Track Name: Geology
Static shoulders are of my arms
soldiers knows the dirt’s a dead farm.
All our games are over,
been like that since 1919 October.

And I find I can’t understand
or take any more, any more
of the pressure that’s all mounting up
all these times that I find that this is all over

She took a freight train
to her grandma’s house
I’m a wolf in a suit there
let me out

I’ll go down on all fours,
crawl under the bed and whimper,
shed my fur,
send me to theatre I can hear him say—

"these hands are caves."

Welcome to the “Lupine Theatre Show”
you’ll be the feature.
Gather round children,
the shows about to start.

And I find that I am again a doorman
trying not to let them through
I am in front of you,
spectral in screen-light

I will make you part of my geology.
When I put you in the ground you’ll see.
Track Name: Spy vs. Spy in Spider
Comrade we’re wading through the windowpane,
glass breaking in

slow motion as they throw us over,
the street below is subtitled “soldier”,
in between the air is our orders,

comrade. I got enlisted in this espionage
by my pinup ex-wife firing her breasts off
like a barrage of wedding corsages, you realize
to be a spy is to always be in disguise.

When the bomb’s peck rattles her door
she’ll think it’s me walking, wanting more,
I left her without a dollar or word,
my falling fingers have turned into birds.

It’s a cold war so you better get by on your frigid wits,
Be the kind to leave no evidence.
When my uncle enlisted, full of wishing and risk articulate
in a flight journal, his brother kept an album of aircraft which mimicked that list, the pilot, twenty seven and dead to those red Russians, flying a bat,
Bristol Bolingbroke, variant of the British Blenheim—
you will go blind at night, the snow, crossed gas lines
as he falls over you and his life like a chronicle in cursive
fuel tubes.His brother becoming subsequently better at throwing knives at the floor. The body having been a pilot light all its life. His apparition, that night,
forming in the kitchen,
do it over again, go back to the beginning,
his noise in a darkening alleyway.

Listen, I know your head’s red weather,
I’ve really just got hired,
Its all political, I’m going to retire,
I’ll stop taking girls to the movies,

I don’t know anything
Don’t throw me out there,
Ill float slow as an ambassador
In this lonely place, Stalingrad.
Comrade, comrade, comrade,
c’mon comrade!

We are your friends, You’ll never be alone again
Well c’mon, Well c’mon, Well c’mon, well c’mon
We are your friends, You’ll never be alone again
Well c’mon, Well c’mon, Well c’mon, well c’mon

You wake up and feel like your heater,
my friend, my agent, my lawyer:
binding your umbrella tight you move
and look like a hundred mice in a human costume.

Weightless in the wind’s witch on a winch above
“the Russian,” I’d been that neighbourhood cat
dodging traffic in this picturesque city’s
classified district with “the Russian’s” hot batch
of cold war rumbling an arm and a half’s
reach behind me in the film’s climactic end sequence.
I caught the rope, pulling the slack after, began to scale
this building as if the tables had
turned in interrogation, the bead of sweat returns
to the scalp’s rendezvous, and I hoped for a
billet out of frame before I realized my hair is
gelled this perfectly so as to simulate gravity,
and I’m straight, the camera is tipped on its side.

My last flic had me
a drug addict and I’m still a bit riddled, svelte
like a spy, but the truth is
my arms are thin enough to be beautiful women
and “the Russian” is actually a mean Brit I stole a
kiss from last minute. His moustache tickled.
the wind carrying his code phrase across
the building’s sheer drop I could walk off,
“you’re not the hottest bitch in Hollywood”.

It was a miracle the morning didn’t break without an
“I’m not falling, I’m not falling away,’
I liked the movie last night honey its funny that I’m not afraid yet.

The title of the week is women and their fucking fantasies.

I’m not the hero you don’t get to be
such a negotiator,

I’m not the only liar that you’ve ever fell backwards into.

This much,
this much is just a moment,

don’t say,
don’t say last night was just for my enjoyment.

I’m the one here that’s really falling.

comrade, do you mind

If I,
if I call you that
the last time we fall together, before I fall out.

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