The Gridlock

by Cecil Frena

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    download includes PDF of 24-page The Gridlock Storybook (featuring narrative illustrations of the lyrics by Tallulah Fontaine), high resolution files of the front and back cover of the album, and full credits.
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    Comes with 24 Page Storybook illustrated by Tallulah Fontaine.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Gridlock via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
Nerves Grow Rust nerves grow rust, but you whistle along voice robust and sure i would sleep in the belly of earth just to keep you warm in malls you watch people consigned to gods you’d never give the time cause prayer requires you set your coffee down again you veer between warm words and slurs some i correct, some i defer time is hard to stop and harder to amend you say: that’s really no excuse, for kids who starve before their youth for we who spit all beauty out before the chew what kind of god would let that be? and then you cough and pat my knee and as we rise i sense that you can barely move you whisper: this is not some old curse but the way we are i would sleep in the belly of earth just to keep you warm the vendors act like you’re not there you find a comb to slick your hair then the casino puts a diamond in your eye i’m done with my bacon and eggs you roll your eyes, ‘don’t overstay.’ like there’s an hourglass draining somewhere in the sky by now you’d think i would be bored with cities i’ll never afford and just watch lines form in the sandbox of your face but i’m still out here chasing ghosts you see them too, i’m sure. i know. believe me, every time i whistle it’s for you.
2.
All of My Heroes all of my heroes are dead and who am i, if not for them? all of my heroes are dead and they don’t know that i’m aware all of my heroes are dust marching in a line off the rocky bluff for years i followed behind but now baby, i would rather stay alive all of my heroes are dead stiff middle fingers under vacant stares all of my heroes are caught in webs of shit and sin and want all of my heroes are dead sometimes i feel just like them lost in the sewers of hope palms out, compassing through the smoke all of my heroes are gods i call down so i won’t give up all of my heroes are prayers i should maybe replace, at least repair all of my heroes are dead sound the bells, hold your lanterns up all of my heroes are dead now this endless night belongs to us
3.
Unknow Yourself long before mirrors we’d lock our paws and ask each other what we saw in our cushion fort you spat out beans like half-chewed futures ribboning i don’t wanna know who i am i dont wanna know how i can i don’t wanna know who i am i dont wanna know how i can there is no sin there is no merit there’s just the treadmarks of our parents and that’s wrong too i the young con! in winter’s palm, i made you lick the monkeybars and you were stuck again if i could punch my younger face i’d leave it without any teeth
4.
I Want To Guard You From Boredom puberty came late to me and so did everything else drifting between underdog and also-ran but as for you, you came to me in a crescendo of silence on a filthy strip of sidewalk where day settled like a scab you ordered extra avocado: of course i wanna know your shadow i slid the blade across the table: “you be cain and i’ll be abel” i want to guard you from boredom on venice we pass thin old men in leather playing chess “i’m addicted to epiphany”, you warily confess when you leave me you’ll be sensible as matching kitchenware i suppose the song is writing me but it’s taking fucking years you taught yourself to play piano: of course i want to know your shadow i slid the blade across the table: “you be cain and i’ll be abel” i want to guard you from boredom
5.
Inertia 02:12
Inertia oh, inertia, i know you so well you never go out you’d rather sit down strung out in the seventh coffee shop circle of hell the dreams that you once had are gone mouth to mouth with roadkill gold star for aimless goodwill eyes bloodshot from imagining till the dreams that you once had are gone comfort is no use so won’t you punch the bruise oh inertia, how’s next week instead? oh, inertia, i know you so well your hair shirt of skin your shit-eating grin passed out in the rotted tub of a sideroad motel the dreams that you once had are gone oh inertia, how’s next week instead? see i’d love to stay but i’m being erased i am water wound around nothing again the dreams that i once had are gone
6.
My Good Grades everybody on the floor don’t let me see you move an inch there’s four things worth dying for believe me none of them is this keep one hand where i can see it with that one clear out the till i swear you’ve got my brother’s chin shit i should prolly call him still so watch me now i’m not ashamed look what i did with my good grades you all look scared i feel ok look what i did with my good grades you will know who i am tell your puppy to shut up throw me the bag on second thought am i talking to myself? oh, does the wind here always howl like god? come on, i have no regrets this is a boutique for fancy pets built in the ice caps’ melting silhouette your whole town should not exist we’re all thieves but i have dreams beneath the balaclava and gun if la rents hadn’t risen ten percent we might even get along
7.
no it isn't
8.
Die Old 05:10
Die Old scrawled in my blood, this list's too long of brilliant things i never did or i did wrong i kick the dirt to pass the time i used to sing in public when you were alive i crawl up the montecito canyon smoke a cigarette though i have quit and watch women with four dogs and angry bald men with muscles down below up here where the ancient garbage blossoms picking through the ruins of my conscience here among the carcasses of trees i can barely plant my feet die old (gang vox) what am i so afraid of you stare unblinking at the sun yeah every song's about control and we have none i knock on every shuttered pane no food goes down when you’re busy vanishing in the chaos you cannot remember how to warm a heart pregnant with winter and anyway electrical’s the one thing getting paid look into the mirror for too long and everything’s staples slowly loosen hold onto the counter like a pool toy in a storm
9.
I Believe In Dancing hey there, would you rather have my seat? this one leans back and on flights i never sleep oh and thank you for not asking what i do the only answer worse than silence is the truth cause somewhere up there is a gavel but i’m not sure there’s a judge so come on get up take my hand now lately i dont believe in much but i believe in dancing i believe it can heal a soul i believe in our bodies i believe we’re here after all well in that case i will have a coffee too i’ve been running since i tumbled from the womb heading back to see the kids i left last june yeah my favorite cure for thinking is to move if home’s a snowbank bring a shovel that’s what daddy always said i know you’re thinking i’m in trouble but can i trouble you instead? besides don’t tell me you’re not tempted to set that novel on your seat throw open our aisle exit and let the wind control our feet cause i believe in dancing i believe it can heal us all i believe in our bodies i believe we’re here after all sooner or later the pleasure’s an ache sooner or later the truth’s a mistake sooner or later the wedding’s a wake sooner or later the condom will break but i believe in dancing
10.
Hyphen 03:49
i hate to hear you think aloud rehearsing my eulogy from the couch maybe if i leave we’ll figure out how i misread your envy for dreams out loud i am a hyphen, curling in the sun born in-between and prone to no one but i am where you belong my love don’t die beside someone wrong my love at lunch you applaud my honesty imagine i lived as well as i can speak between what we do and what we are is a perilous pause i can’t endure
11.
You Are My Compass you wouldn’t burn alive. what kind of witch are you? and when the embers die we’ll dance on backs until they bruise you conquered eyerolls friend you taught yourself to speak you drew your talons in when you could have broken me you are my compass though night is thick and hope is bloodless you are my compass somehow you see you are my compass wounds from a friend they can be trusted you are my compass somehow you see you never learned to drive my roadway’s caving in lately we rarely talk but i could use some direction i fear i’ll lose you soon you are a wary thing the earth’s a rotting crib and time will ruin everything
12.
Human Math 06:46
Human Math the morning when i fell out of you you nearly bled to death and i was a cold dark blue there’s something broken about that human math i never asked you if you thought it was worth all that and if i say your name enough you’ll never fade away and if i say your name enough you’ll never fade away and if i say your name enough you’ll yawn a few rooms away and if i say your name enough and it’s not your fault i am this way and it’s not your fault you never sleep and it’s not your fault the coffin waits but it’s your fault i love you the morning when i fell out of you bit the umbilical and then looked around confused is this really who i wanted to be? and if i say your name enough you’ll never fade away and if i say your name enough you’ll never fade away and if i say your name enough you’ll yawn a few rooms away and if i say your name enough i swore i’d pull the light from the gloom swore i’d win at this and swore i’d do right by you but things don’t always go as we plan that dreaming infant had to die before i could stand

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released February 9, 2018

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Cecil Frena Edmonton, Alberta

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