Greater Divides

by Arliss Nancy

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04:11
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03:23
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03:09
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04:07

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released May 10, 2016

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Arliss Nancy Fort Collins, Colorado

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Track Name: Alluvial
The night she stopped by my momma’s house, me and the fellas, we were out on the run from a town that I swear had it out for me since I was young. Step to the rhythm on a night like tonight, on the long walk from a corner bar. Like a foot on my throat, her words came in from back home and made the distance so far. There’s a reason for the things that we’re all scared to let go; a favorite record, fallen lover, or the sound of the road. Because we know that it’s now or it’s never. “Halleluiah,” sang the gospel choir as the thunder heads came rolling ‘round. We felt the heat of that smoke as College Avenue choked and the mountain burned down. We found just what we wanted. We found everything I think we need to survive, so I can’t be blamed on a dark summer night. And yet sometimes I feel the overwhelming need to retire. Return my body to the ether and the great spectral fire and lay down as the world turns over. But there’ll come a time when my wars will be won. And my once great divide be washed away in the flood and spread out thru alluvial fanning. We’ll start a new life. We’ll settle those plains. I’ll take Jen as my wife, have a boy, raise my name so I know when I die, I’ll die happy. Now I know, I can be a little bit hard to bear. I’ve been a little unwell; I drank my weight from the swell as the wave washed me under here. I can feel it in my bones every evening, and I can tell it to the ghosts that I’ve been bringing back home. Because I can’t be alone, and I can’t let it go. There‘s a distance I’ve been closing on since I was a child, a reason for the things still haunting me and driving me wild. But there’ll come a time when my wars will be won. And my once great divide be washed away in the flood and spread out thru alluvial fanning. We’ll start a new life. We’ll settle those plains. I’ll take Jen as my wife, have a boy, raise my name so I know when I die, I’ll die happy. But I’ve been losing sleep over how a man can ever reach atonement from his deeds? If I can’t ready my aim, steady my breathing? Focus my shots on a kill that takes meaning. Is it slipping away, or is it retreating? The only line I’m losing’s inside me, because she’s seen that I’m full of holes. And I know that they show if the light’s behind me, casting off the stage, my constellation heart. I sought to be assuaged and set my compass to her star over the sea. Divisional lines that divide up the king from his queen. There’ll come a time when my wars will be won and my once great divide be sweetly coming undone, and spread out thru alluvial fanning. We’ll start a new life. We’ll settle those plains. I’ll take Jen as my wife, have a boy, raise my name so I know when I die, I’ll die happy.
Track Name: Don't You Forget
You said that things were going to change this time around but I’ve heard that before. My mind is in a haze and I haven’t seen straight for days. Will this ever change? Because I know I’ve made some mistakes before and I won’t be around to let you settle the score. Listen to me once. Listen to me twice. I can leave you faster than a Saturday night, don’t you forget it. Driving down the road and missing all the shows, I can quit you harder than you’d ever want to know, don’t you forget it. You always said you weren’t like the others, but I never saw that in you. You spent years trying to change me but what did that prove? It’s just that time went by. I know that change can be rough but all that it proves is that it never mattered enough. I don’t know if I can turn this thing around. It didn’t matter like I knew it never would
Track Name: DuFresne
There was once a way we could burn like the horizon, before your wind and snow covered my great divide. So it’s nights like these my body takes the poison because it’s belter then wasting away like a corpse in a coffin; Capitol Hill, in a lonely apartment. I know you’re heading back home. After the movie it was clear that I’d surrendered. Under her smile she bares such sharp and crooked teeth. Those last nights felt so long and never ending, because the town that we live it, it’s got no feeling. I’ve got no reason to try and make it out alive again. So I got to know right now my friend. I got to know, what’s your commitment to this cause? Are we old enough to give in? We can call it off. I got to know, I got to know. Lo and Behold! I see the smoke from her signal fire start flattening. The horizon seems to be calling me. Feeling it deep inside my soul. Like a river, down the road, I roll. I go. You said it with your eyes, just say it isn’t so. Say it isn’t so. Who knew that a masquerade could lead us to a moment? When you fade away like smoke. We were wanton, young, hungry ghosts searching for something but coming up empty handed, yet again. So I got to know right now my friend. I got to know, what’s your commitment to this cause? Are we old enough to give in? We can call it off. I got to know. I got to know. I got to know.
Track Name: Before You Go
On the way to yesterday, you told me I should wait, but I didn’t see a chance for me to stay. I don’t know if I can fake it. I don’t know if I can take it anymore for you, because I got to know what’s real before I turn around. I got to know what’s real before I let you go. Because I got to know. It’s not hard to see what’s right from wrong from all these fucked up late night bars, and all my mistakes. You told me I should drive, but I can’t stay between the lines. The sun is setting and it’s far too late for me to pull over and wait. You try and remember a time when everything was different and everything felt alive.
Track Name: Finches
Late winter mornings, out mending my fences, I’d smoke cigarettes and let the dogs chase the finches. Oh, how they’d flutter, as they’d lift from the ground. Or how my life we sweeter when you were, honey when you were, you were around. Well we cut right up the middle like the swinging of a pendulum blade. Until I cut the tender belly to reveal the darkness hidden away. I spent all my goddamn money from a tour payout and took her out on the town. And somewhere out in the middle, I swear to god the stars burnt out. Now I don’t believe in a center of gravity. There’s a force out in the world, but it surely isn’t holding me. So I stood at your mirror and I watched you undress. I remember all too clear the words you said when I left. She said “Away you go, and may the same highway bring you back home.” She said, “Away you go, and may the same highway bring you back home. And when you get home, you know we’ll get stoned. And if the city stays froze, we’ll sleep in our clothes. Behind the front door, let them circle like wolves. We’ll hide evermore, from a world waged in war. And maybe we can meet them at the Hi-Dive around seven or eight; a beer and some whiskey for the shaking in your leg. And if you ever get to thinking about home, that’s when you’ll see it’s been here along. It’s been here all along.” Late winter mornings, out mending my fences.
Track Name: Bar of the Century
Well I was fumbling drunk in a big city bathroom, pushing my key to the corner to see what I find, then I stumble out and get back in line. Everyone says it’s the bar of the century, with the best local shows and a cheap beer on entry. I know, but the place just really isn’t my type. So I get my coat and I stumble out and into the night. We want to get so much more than the lonely life that we’ve been handed. Hit the streets, we’re going to settle that score. The shadow of the city, there’s a light still shining. But if that light goes out, if we let the dark surrounds us, we’re going to run this town, or this is going to be the way they say they found us. I feel my grave start to pull on me; just in the way I’ve started to grey, and I shake thru the night. I had a friend and I lost him. That’s how it is. That’s how it goes. I guess its life. Some people get rich, some people quit, and some people die. I still recall the night we got drunk and laughed because I would set my sights on impossible horizons, now; I need a minute to adjust my eyes before I venture on. But you go and you hung your guitar up on your so called silver lining. Take a step back and admire it. If it were me I know I’d say that I couldn’t breathe. We want to get so much more than the lonely life that we’ve been handed. Hit the streets, we’re going to settle that score. The shadow of the city there’s a light still shining. But if that light goes out, if we let the dark surrounds us, we’re going to run this town or this is going to be the way they say they found us.
Track Name: Factory Smoke
We don’t have to speak, little honey, if it’s what you want to do. Didn’t want to be the one you’d try to keep. Didn’t want to be the one you’d want to lose. I can feel the night is getting later, I can see the daylight creeping in. I didn’t want to be the one that you left with. I didn’t want to see you go with him, and watch you go. I can feel the darkness in the way you walk across a room. I can feel the lightness in the way that you hold your breath. As I’m stumbling home drunk up Seventeenth Avenue, as I watch you walk away, as I watch you leave this wreck. So won’t you leave me in the same damn mess that you found me in? When I would put my records on, and you would dance around me then, and the whole damn world felt innocent and young. I’ve been losing for a long time, and I held myself together with my records and my tapes. But you and I, if we’re together and we hold out for better weather, we can hold out until we find our better days. But now it’s just way too late where you’re hiding out from the bitter cold. I can call you up in the morning light before the factory smoke gets my lungs so full. I’m sick and I’m tired and I’m dying just to get home. Where we can hold ourselves together, with only records and our tapes. Because you and I, if we’re together, darling, we can find our better days.
Track Name: Much of Anything
Safe to say it won’t work out like I planned. Several years have passed and I can’t say I’m a better man. This lifestyle and the road has taken all it can but I’m going to keep on pushing on until the bitter end. And I don’t know how to say much of anything but I’m sure all these wasted words will find back their way. It’s going to be ok; we’ll make it through today just fine. Pick yourself up and try to walk a straighter line. Going to make it through today just fine. My hands are cut and the pain in my back won’t go away. I try to numb the hurt but it only sets me back a day. You can only let yourself down so many times before you find yourself in a huge tangled blind. We’ll always make it through. We just got to be true to ourselves, and no one else. Try to always do it right, going to make it through today just fine.
Track Name: Brother, I Tried
We were the losers; didn’t care about nothing except the songs and the stages, and girls where we played, but forgot. I wasn’t saying that it didn’t hurt though. But some things are made for losing. You got to learn to put your dues in. You got to learn to get away and not get caught. So it’s one more night I don’t have to hide it, the poison’s running steady through me now. I take my time in a city near the mountain, where my whole life I’ve doubted that the west was made of gold. I still remember being little boys in the hot Nebraska sun. Just lighting firecrackers off in an alley, dreaming about the men we’d become. Before time rose its suspicion of my life out on the run from these deadlines and commitments, and suicide’s grip, got me feeling that the west had been won. Oh, long before you and I, you and I even arrived. I never took the time to say that I need you by my side. So just for tonight, brother, let’s sing it loud, like there’s one more night I don’t have to hide it. The poison’s running steady thru me now. So I take my time in a city near the mountain where my whole life I’ve doubted that the west was made of gold.
Track Name: Momentum
I had a feeling that my life had hit the sum of its momentum and I was at the tail end winding down. Then I get to thinking about the friends that I’ve lost and the bridges I’ve burned just to get here, I was kicking at some coals that aint gone out. But the night that I sweated out into the street with the heaviest snow falling down at my feet, I know I got myself into this, but I don’t see myself getting out alive. If it happened once there’s bound to be another one. I don’t need to say how I need you in the worst way. I need you in the worst way like your dim lit alley needs your cigarettes in the rain burning and waiting for the curtain to fall. I know, she said, “I’ve been holding this weight.” She wouldn’t look me in the eye. We broke slow over the night; I couldn’t set the story straight. I wish I could say that it wasn’t my fault. I got too good at being gone out singing former lovers’ songs. I saw the writing on her wall. But that night that we, we waded out into the sea, and we washed these sins off of me because I don’t see myself getting out alive. If it happens once there’s bound to be another one. I don’t need to say how I need you in the worst way. So Maria won’t you dance a little longer? Pour your drink a little stronger, let it calm you down. Let a strong drink calm you down, I’ll hold up the losing end until they lay me in the ground. And god rest my bones, but if left alone, I know they’re going to dig until they find their way back home. Over the rivers, through the fields full of snow. Over the mountain pass in the Colorado cold.