Sunken City EP

by David Wirsig

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Five songs to be played around sunset.


released September 22, 2013



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David Wirsig Portland, Oregon

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Track Name: White Flash
gone, gone the days
we'd sit outside and watch the weathervane
gone the smell of summer rain
gone the midnight drives and passing trains

gone, gone the nights
when we would lay and dream of another life
a golden child, a scarlet wife
would turn to dust, the same, when the end arrived

we were scared of the days to come
we could only hope our fear would make us numb
but when you smiled, did it feel so wrong?
beneath the blown out husk of an atom bomb
it won't be quite so bad when it finally comes
it's just a bright, white flash and then it's gone

before the lights go out for good
before the flash consumes us whole
a crack on the horizon grows
and opens up its blinding jaws
before the lights go out for good
before the flash consumes us whole
before we boil in its embrace
I gaze across your freckled face
and your sweat beads in every pore
as our shadows flee across the floor
and fire fills your frightened eyes
as the groaning glow intensifies
and your features shine in sharp relief
your soul exposed in a moment brief
your fears and your hopes and your memories
the one I was always meant to see

and only darkness evermore
Track Name: Black Eyes
it's that old recurring dream where you're drowning
flailing your arms out, fearful and frantic
and black waves are curling and pounding
down onto your head somewhere in the Atlantic
through the fathoms below you a shadow
is gliding up towards you with singular purpose
and hundreds of thousands of gallons
of ocean froth and foam as it breaks the surface

its black eyes find you almost at once
you can't hide, swim away or take air into your lungs
to scream for help that won't come

and oftentimes I am awoken
at three in the morning by screams in the attic
I'll run upstairs, wrench the door open
call out a warning (and try not to sound panicked)
but my hammering heart hears the voices
of spirits that tempt us, the scorn that they've spoken
I'll remember the sad frightened noises
of an old friend who dreamt once of storms on the ocean

and black eyes looking up from below
Track Name: Julia
Track Name: Sunken City
there's a hole in the barbed wire fence by the bench where we first met
it's big enough to fit a person if you squeeze
if you don't mind a couple scrapes you could escape, you could come with me
but you've got to crawl through on your hands and knees

last night lightning hit the shed, knocked the generators dead
stick close to the walls, keep out of sight
we haven't got too long before the floodlights come back on;
we're going to make a break for it tonight

once you're past, there's no path, just head straight for the coastline
'till the ground beneath your feet gives way
to cracked up concrete pulverized by the ocean's crashing tides
I'd really like to take you there someday

back before your life began, this was interstate 110
connecting city suburbs one by one
until an earthquake from the depths dragged it down with all the rest
leaving all of our accomplishments undone

it's almost eighty miles long, a relic of a world long gone
it's a sign and it serves to remind
that California is crumbling into the ocean
it's just doing it one piece at a time

there's no metropolis out there. just dirt and dusty air
but I swear I see a city inside of you
your face is like a skyline. your hair, a thatch power lines
and your mouth is Mulholland Ave.

and if somehow we survive when the trebuchets subside
I will teach you every hymn this world forgot
and we'll sing propaganda songs of wars we don't remember
God free me from the burden of my thoughts
Track Name: Epilogue
so should we doubt the sun's existence
when it's tucked away at night?
making fable of all fact
that isn't right before our eyes

in the morning when we wake up
will we fear the sun's first light?
saying "how could we have known
without some kind of warning sign?"