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Unsent Postcards

by Harrison Lemke

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Heat Spell 02:34
Heat spell makes water in the road. Heat spell makes water in the road. Heat spell turns all the streets into rivers and our apartments into islands. It's a dry, dry season, and our friends are all gone. It's a dead and empty city, and our friends have all moved on. Heat spell has got ahold of us; we'll wither away before too long.
Fiery Sword 03:12
Oh you willow with your black waving semaphore trying to say something to me, something I'll never know; oh you vines with your white wilting flowers gray as ash in the leaving light - you're coming with me, oh, stick with me; be more constant than I. Oh my friend with the lamplight anointing your head: how I love you, I love you, without you I'm dead in the night with the red weeping taillights sinking down the hill and out of sight - you're coming with me, oh, stick with me; be more constant than I. Oh you mist that in Eden once watered the ground, oh you heat spells and deluges hounding me now, oh you sword all flaming and turning every way to the Tree of Life - must you go with me? must you go with me? you're leaving nothing alive. You go behind me, and before me; you're leaving nothing alive. You're beside me, and inside me; you're leaving nothing alive.
In the Black 01:23
I'm in the black I was out for a minute I was out for a minute I'm in the black in the air, I felt things growing underground, felt things growing everything growing and dying
Out past the shattered-glass showrooms of old downtown where the stray cats make their exits from the underground out past where the last lonely stretch of stripmall stands where the light pollution lets go of the sky's expanse We got out of the car on a dead end street felt the sticky breath of summer wrap around us like a sheet and we lay down on the asphalt, you and me, and our arms and our backs drew in the day's heat oh And the insects sang their vigils high up in the leaves our fingers traced the constellations like rosary beads and it started to cool down in the corners of the night the heat spell was lifting and I was feeling fine oh And coming down 84, I took everything in saw that the wall that cut me off for all that time was paper thin and air roared through the window like peroxide, cold and clean, and a dream came back to me from when i was 15 oh And the wind came down and the trees dropped their seeds and they were nodding and beckoning all up and down the street my soul longs for you in a dry and weary land down to the houses of the dead, come, save me by your hand and I'll be brand new
Moving Blues 03:48
I miss coming over without so much as a call, letting our wrong notes ricochet off the bare apartment walls, playing "Boots of Spanish Leather" on your guitar. I miss the smell of oil and honey in the room and bitter black tea hot against the drizzling afternoon; front door gaping, and the cold air pushing through. I miss those mornings I'd stay til two or three, you playing Dragon Warrior, me watching half-asleep, myrtle blooming in the darkness and the heat. I miss the nights we spent staring into space, watching rain obliterate the lot around your place. I miss those nights spent staring into space. Now I stay up in the company of ragged hungry cats, and prowl below the balconies, and stare up through the glass. Cut-up figures in the bent blinds flitting past. The hours that once were effortless, they all got stuck somehow. I never knew I needed you, but I'm lost without you now on the porch swing with the floodlights all around.
Finally went to bed, and the coffee I'd had too late in the evening chased itself in circles through my chest, chased itself in circles through my chest. And the fear of death came down to me, beat against the ceiling, spread its layered wings under the whining light, under the whining light. And I prayed and prayed for the feeling to go away. Out in the sticky air I try my best to breathe, but it's like breathing ink and the sycamore leaves fly right into me, like ghosts right into me. And the cicadas grip the peeling bark like robot sentries and their alarms are going off, their alarms are going off. Because I'm not welcome here — at least, not anymore. If I could fall asleep — if I could call you — if I could face the music, or find a way through — if I could read my fate in the ceiling shapes — if I could wake up whole and new —
Saturday 02:14
Find my own way out. Lonely or bad company. One endless Saturday, plagued with possibilities. But you leave. Find me some way out. The headache midnight corners me. Oh Spirit, stir the dirt. Oh angel, come and comfort me. But you leave.
Ten past midnight: I put some coffee on, leave on the kitchen light, and step out for a walk. The lot is nearly empty. I shut down at the edge of the block. Lights droning with suicidal insects. Go back inside and turn the lock. It's sugar for sugar and salt for salt; if I go down in the floodlight tonight, it's gonna be my own fault.
I'm on that stretch of 35 where the road work never seems to end; I'm on that stretch of 35 where the road work never seems to end. Just like that stretch of 35, I feel like I'm never gonna mend. The sky's so big at night here and the radio beacons glow for miles. The sky's so big at night here, the radio beacons glow for miles. They make me feel so lonesome. I think I'll follow them a while. After a long drought-filled summer, the valley is dry as bones; after a long inscrutable summer, the valley is dry as bones. But I know the rain is coming, and I want to be there when it does. Yes, I know the rain is coming, and I'm gonna be there when it does.
I was holding out for a vision but the vision never came. I was holding on to a feeling but the feeling wouldn't stay. I was caught beneath the winding weeds along with every mistake I'd made, and if any answer came my way it was a message I could not convey. I was caught beneath the winding weeds, in love with every mistake I'd made. And if any message ever came it was a message I could not convey.
(The Rain) 02:47


demos, outtakes, and weird artifacts from purgatory


released July 3, 2020

all this mess recorded by harrison in a 1-bedroom apartment sometime in 2014 or similar. edited into a semblance of order, also by harrison, in 2020

thank you. thank you.

in terra deserta, et invia, et inaquosa, sic in sancto apparui tibi, ut viderem virtutem tuam et gloriam tuam


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Harrison Lemke Austin, Texas

tape-hiss symphonies to God

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