© 2020 by LAURA TUTHALL. All rights reserved.

“Oxygen” (2015, 2017 - 2019)

 

maybe I fucked up

leaving port with no rope

to sail against the wind

but I don’t care

what all other ships do

I’ve always liked jumping in

to see if I can swim

and if I’m going down

I want the boat to drown with me

 

[soft riff]

 

four years after dark

I’m sitting at the counter

in a starbucks with

a dislocated knee

don’t talk to me

I have my headphones in

for several valid reasons

got some troubles

got some tunes

 

got old blood in the brain

sticking on that same refrain

that tortured me

when ice covered the ground

too many nows

covering me

where is all that

distancing when I need it

got adrenaline

got rhymes

got time

but not enough oxygen

to keep the current flowing

got in too deep

 

months with nothing new

but screw the capitalist concept

of worth equaling productivity

yet am I still me

without a story

if I don't

they will

write it for me

 

aching for that sweet match

all we get is slow burn out

don’t you go and

make me any promises

that you can’t

keep

 

[hard riff]

 

here we go again

weaving time from broken threads

still sorting sense from mess

as new weight is added, added on

got this damn song

gotta fill up the gaps along

its lone trajectory

 

cut off by words like burden

and lies like free

by phrases like personal responsibility

by “justifiable casualties”

as if some bones

meant less when buried

no we won't take that

yeah we're gonna break that

 

aching for that infinite wide

all we get is slow tide

don't you go forsaking

all the sweat and tears and blood

that made you

too slow, too slow

no no no no no

 

California is burning

folks don't seem to be

listening or learning

that really shouldn’t be a surprise

they're the ones who sucked the land dry

greed? please

let’s not blame it all only on money

and forget

there are murderers

here in this room

hiding their dirty hands in deep pockets

while humming along to this tune

the rest of you turning away

saying soon

the arc toward justice will bend

if we keep asking nicely for it to

 

can we construct

a new better us

unfucked by interfering fear

we are no longer wild

why should our survival

bow to circumstance

that’s set up by the few

 

and if

and if

deprivation leads us back

to this

cliff’s edge

no webbing to contain

the living slipping through

we'll nudge things into shifting

or

 

[soft riff into hard riff]

 

we'll roar from our graves

of spinning ends

the present saves

to beg they twist

their shape insists

asserting the same inadequate frame

a stitch across the throughway

guess nothing and no one will

spill open and fulfill

 

aching for that endless night

but, sustenanceless, somehow

grip on tight

don’t you go and hope for

any comforting you won’t receive

don’t get yourself in too deep

 

looks like I fucked up

too little, too much

but don’t you take me

don’t you twist

my contradictions into proof

when you can’t feel the whole truth

 

four years from today

I’m rolling through a rainstorm

planting kisses, planting rust

planting seeds

we love and believe

in our own stories

write them, light them

guide them only

 

should we construct

and welcome those who have destroyed

should we cast our cosm out

into the void

defend the ties that bind

and nurture them

to spreading

or

should we burn the whole thing

 

[extended hard riff]