Folly

by PREE

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1.
I’ve songs of promise for your tongue and ropes and ladders to the sun and heaven knows they’ll come undone One day we’ll drop our mourning clothes and build our fortunes on the snow and fashion statues made of gold It doesn’t follow, the news I heard You kept them staring anywhere but down Am I the only thing that calls you, calls you? You’ve got’em swinging from every word you’ve thrown upon a ladder, high and proud Is that the only thing that calls you, calls you, calls you, calls you, calls you, calls you, calls you, calls you? We plot our courses from a grave and pick the flowers where we lay and heaven knows they’re out of place We’re only left to stop and stare at faces old and faces new It must be something in the air that makes them look the way they do We'll watch them limp into a run Let's you and i have all the fun We'll drive them out before we're done, we're done, we're done, we're done, we're done, we're done, we're done, we're done Oh, I've seen their shape before It's fitting that they take a quiet form I'm not the only thing that calls you, calls you And nothing draws the blood-- no, draws the blood so like a half-closed door, and it's the only thing that calls you, calls you, calls you, calls you, calls you, calls you, calls you, calls you
2.
04:59
You've made it clear, your intentions nearly breaking every tooth that's rattled long in a grin that's gone and fallen out of use Short of making an arrow-straight escape below a cough I couldn't say that you've found yourself a gait for walking off There's a reason to stay in the weeds and as long as you're laughing and seeking them out You can come and go as you please and know that you're only as tall as you sound Put your shovels down now and tell me what you're worth by beating blue every inch of too-forgiving earth for giving through He's happy being a nickel to your purse and living to, and living to see the day that you count yourself for worse and send him deep into the water They never keep, the faces that you seek and you can hardly calm them or tease a smile out of what will never hold a crease (though it couldn't hurt to palm them the smallest while) I could try and round up the darlings that we sent to play but they're only ours when they're far away It's a lying tongue that lifts you high It's only as strong as you are light and eager to buy what's yours to take (I heard foolish girls grow shorter by the day) There's a saying that sounds in the deep You know, you know but you want to be told what was playing that drew you to sleep but nothing to speak of has pulled on your lobes, and nothing to speak of has left you alone
3.
03:26
The pastor stood at odds with every sermon read, and once he learned to speak in knots, he never had to wear his share of scarlet- what a shame they caught a word he said You shouldn't live to second-guess but certain thoughts, they think they ought to roam the sheets before you dress and drag you down the stairway, raring open-mouthed to down the morning spread I’ll pile their plates as high as towers if they’ll just go back to bed I took you for a sailing boat, a steady-calm, parading float I sent with laughing waves until I saw what I was made of-- shabby coat to throw upon a lake of mud and thinning ice a hollow tone, an echo dry that wouldn’t fall from any body but a stone Now I’m giving only what I’ve found I hear you’re living deep inside the ground A walking sore to clean and dress, a mess to sweep below the feet He’s sure to take a pound of flesh if he would only show some teeth and meet you where you came to grow a lemon tree and hoped to live it down A rope’s an awful thing to give to someone happy on the ground
4.
03:32
You know I’m almost sure I saw them creep up through the floor with their hands around a waist that had graced my doors but it was you and me and nothing more A better fare for the plate and to sate your bones Sure to share, sure to share but you can make it known they’ve all but swallowed everything they own You’re here to claim a parting gift a waste to leave with what you started with There’s little that a weight will shift in anything your arms can lift Cut your teeth and you’re a flag born waving Dare to speak, but I’m a breath worth saving If there’s a plan, then it's lost on me and they took a hand that they meant to keep What a pair and proud they’ll be, to hold riches far as eyes, eyes can see Riches far as eyes can see Gave the gods quite a scare, and now they’ll spare no stone ‘til they cast off the glare from your waking throne and leave a shadow fallen where it shone An old friend came to call, and now we bear his grin And it’s never going to fall-- you see, he’s always been so patient waiting for the lights to dim
5.
03:26
No need to raise a hand. I’ll sit as long as I can stand A pose is all I need to plan-- a pose is all I need If less is more, then pour to break. I’ll wait to sleep and sleep to wake A move is all you need to make-- a move is all you need And it can’t hurt, swallowing just a little pride No wishes well your eyes-- they are bone dry You know I’d never spare a seed to grow knowing what a weed would start to show I never leave well enough alone Fresh paint to brace a smile-- a smile is hardly worth your while. It's simply not a welcome child-- it's simply not (oh well) Keep a grin to pin on whom you’d like (Oh, splendor red as sin and wedding-white) Sorry only comes when folly goes and makes a habit out of leaving on the light Once more, to pry the mouth. A glass is all you ask about 
 I’ve half a mind to stain the walls and half a tongue to drink it down
6.
You spoke it plain and speak it still how once they moved across the sill and left it stripped and fit to crack, but now they’ve fallen further back You count yourself a fragile hem to hang until you're taken in or sewn into a feathered throw, forever sleeping, sheet to chin You can swallow all you need to keep around They will follow when the sun goes down You were hollow when they made their rounds and, oh you were hollow when the sun went down you were hollow when the sun went down Set out to drown the weeks, but now they’re bound to drag their feet, face down and fast asleep, forgotten, how they came to meet From a curtain made of straw and twine that cut the frosted air, I know exactly what I saw-- I saw what simply wasn’t there No name for what you want You kept it safe, it kept too long, tripped a vein and stepped upon a worry I had left for gone You can swallow all you need to keep around They will follow when the sun goes down You were hollow when they made their rounds, and oh, you were hollow when the sun went down you were hollow when the sun went down
7.
02:18
Did you labor to pay for the lace you wore? One day, they will stop and stare no more So careful, a guard for a gaping door Where no fable will scrape its way to shore Do you know what they’ll say when we’re older-- when it’s colder and harder to prove? No lover will ever come over to cradle your shoulder You and me both, we know the truth You’re allowed to say what’s on your mind Clever hands, they're not the feral kind, meant to run their courses in the yard-- they will never learn to play inside God forbid it has an end, or worse-- a rocky, rough descent faster than the getting in, and less forgiving going down familiar paths that you forgot (Your legs were shorter than you thought) You know what they’ll say when we’re older-- when it’s colder and harder to prove? No lover will ever come over to cradle your shoulder You and me both, we know the truth
8.
04:04
Well, as he slept upon her lap she took it as a sign her life was less a dream and more a nap that only promised longer nights and muffled steps She fumbled for the words to pray the banister to give It only gave us quite a stir-- have you forgotten where you live? Letters on the way won’t send her (A face, up and down, is a lot to remember) She once set a place in the center (It tempted the ground to collect what it lent her) And soon you’ll see that time is not a willing hand to seek to wed You hear they’ve set the dowry high She’s laughing at you from the bed you climbed only to find yourself alone She paces round, you tell her, "Dear I took a lover, not a guard" (but she is not allowed to hear) One night, I dreamt I heard you say that love is not an end to meet (too quick to catch a roaming eye, too slow to set it down to sleep) And now, you swore you’d never call his name but still, he’s waiting on the stairs! A suitor’s welcome, all the same-- you know it better than you share
9.
I’ve dropped a batch of seedlings, see they’ve set up shop upon the lawn I’ll rake them into quiet piles and scratch the earth until they’re gone Oh darling, it’s not mine to know, what son will strike a lighter blow and leave you better off to show Don’t do me kind, don’t let me call upon a tongue I drew before I came to rest a bitter guest-- best show me kindly to the door I left a mark upon their wall Don’t ask me where (I can’t recall) No great escape was ever made to sit cross-legged in a grave, to wait for dark, to pray for rain I’ll spare the print to speak it plain: we’ve long since lost a plot to claim The bells are pealing out our names (to smoke them out the way they came) It left its mark upon my wall Don't ask me where (I can't recall) 10. Salt You should be scared And what’s a wife that’s never there? And I am one to share what I have come to bear Suffer what they will not speak and they want naught to do with me Quite a scene, a chance for ready eyes to carve a name to prize and send no breath to sting the air The wall will sing the lion’s share It’s not hard-- it’s hard to stop A stack of smoke that spills a mouth Found you once, I found you out A stack of smoke that kills a mouth Suffer what they will not speak and they want naught to do with me Borrowed things are nothing had, and now it’s made him something sad to shadow when he’s walking slow no matter now-- they know, they know In the summer, long ago we gave the winter quite a blow fell asleep, and don’t you know, we fell asleep and woke to snow
10.
03:39
Best to post a guard upon the yard you take as yours I know the art, the drill, the door, and how to make a welcome sore It's sure to spill, and still it’s warm from every hand that draped its form Laid a claim on a cold frontier and aren’t you one to scoff and sneer I’ll be a stone and a path to clear for every craft that gathers here Now, you see, I’ve built this garden, fallen ‘long the way overgrown and poorly guarded Darling-- finish what you started May I suggest a jester clown to pick you up when ups are down I’ll be the first to drag him ‘round (He lives with me across the town) Charmed their way from out the cold to run their hands along the fold and I have seen the shadows roll across they eyes of every soul and linger long enough to pull a liar from his hiding hole No shame in scratching where we've picked them to the bone Four legs have made an easy chair, but two will see you home. If you were sorry when we made them share what wouldn't go around, it didn't show, though you were always loathe to give it sound And now you see, I’ve built this garden, fallen ‘long the way overgrown and poorly guarded Darling, finish what you started
11.
04:13
Salt You should be scared And what’s a wife that’s never there? And I am one to share what I have come to bear Suffer what they will not speak and they want naught to do with me Quite a scene, a chance for ready eyes to carve a name to prize and send no breath to sting the air The wall will sing the lion’s share It’s not hard-- it’s hard to stop A stack of smoke that spills a mouth Found you once, I found you out A stack of smoke that kills a mouth Suffer what they will not speak and they want naught to do with me Borrowed things are nothing had, and now it’s made him something sad to shadow when he’s walking slow no matter now-- they know, they know In the summer, long ago we gave the winter quite a blow fell asleep, and don’t you know, we fell asleep and woke to snow
12.
04:57
Nocchio We will see, if they are who they say they are Aim, aim to please, if they are who they say they are Hands meet the knees, if you can’t speak to save your heart from believing we’ve labored to keep it so dark and still, unassuming, a sleight of the eyes laying into a knot in a pine growing colder the moment I pulled it aside, well arranged in a fold they’ll never find It rang as clear as day, but they'll never see the house in the light Sure as not they came, happy craning for the house in the light What you hold, I'm afraid it will tether you down don’t you know, we can swim where the others have drowned? Better spoken what struggles to not make a sound are you broken in places you’ve yet to have found? Well, she put forth a scream and a like-minded child as he took to the corners and kept busy cracking his lips in the shape of a smile, quiet watching whenever they slept It rang as clear as day, but they'll never see the house in the light Sure as not they came, happy craning for the house in the light Come to knots, and I’ve caught every word they’ve been saying Clever pots, they let on that our gardens were failing and strung from the boards where no welcome is waiting Only worth what I’ve wrought, and it’s all for the taking And I’ve searched for a song that you can’t sing alone, steady-traveling moth (for a flame), meant to carry the weight of our faltering bones Heaven knows if we’d greet it, if it came. It’s harder still to place anything that’s only seen in the passing, and you’ll never taste sweet letters for a chain, hanging quiet deaf and dumb to the asking, a name for a face I used to call it mine but as of late, it’s up and gone too many times, gone too many times strangled on a vine, fit for leaving bare but they’ll never mind, they'll never mind

about

Folly was written and recorded over the course of several heat waves and snow storms by May and her cohorts in a rotating cast of bedrooms, basements, and attics across the District, bearing witness to two foreclosures, a bit of squatting, a larger bit of eviction, and a subsequent life shuffle that would rival that of a wind-addled gypsy moth. The patchwork, guerilla style of recording which grew out of necessity ultimately served to instill a sense of tension throughout the record, leaving one hanging on despite the imminence of something so delicate falling apart.

credits

released October 18, 2011

may tabol, vanessa degrassi, ben usie, christopher seiter dewitt, eethn brasseaux, david a. klinger

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PREE Atlanta, Georgia

Pree explores contorted relationships, with narratives being written and then
derailed, re-soddered, gawked at, admired, left for dead.

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