Mother Carries

by Harm

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Recorded at La La Land studios in Louisville, KY January 2017 made possible by a project grant from the Rasmuson Foundation.


released May 8, 2017

All music composed by Harm.

Poetry / Lyrics written by Heather Warren with the exception of:

Brautigan, Richard: “Love Poem” from All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace. Copyright © 1967 by Richard Brautigan. Reprinted with the permission of the Estate of Richard Brautigan; all rights reserved.

All art by Karinna Gomez

Rebecca Menzia- Vocals, Harmonium
Heather Warren- Beatbox, Poetry
Molly McDermott- Vocals, Cello
Laila O'Sullivan- Vocals, Clarinet
Matt Roberts- Synth, Metallic Percussion


all rights reserved



Harm Fairbanks, Alaska

Harm is an Alaskan ensemble that defies the bounds of typical genre standards. Blending psych-folk and beatbox with classical themes the experimental chamber group defies your notions of musical normativity.

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Track Name: Cope Alaska
Cope Alaska

We were worn with salt
down in the flat of our
city closing doors
against the wreck of our smooth winter shiver
we would go insane if we couldn't dance

I think I might be close to death
when I watch the night waver green
or pink
my vision a crumpled paper cup
hits the waste bucket

I don't know the name of you
but you taste like melancholy

If I could just know the name of you
I would thank you for this satisfaction in dark
this dry sweat of an evening
the chilled burn that is my throat

I would spin your sleep in season
like some bold frostbitten lover
peeled back bare
stripped like birch bark

Take this night in
carve your name
drink this down

[First published in "The Paper Street Journal"}
Track Name: When We Are Unseen
When We Are Unseen

"You may forget but let me tell you this
someone in some future time
will think of us"

Beat those swaddled blues gluing
your lips from spilling
your birthright
from your mouth spilling
her island tongue

I was born kneeling at the station of the goddess
hungry begging and so tired
I was born pagan craving moonlight craving woman
born weeping garden soil of taste unseen

stammering blind stupid sweet
this utterance of gulp of blush
bruising your cheek bone
pink apple blend
curling curves against your breath
against the forgotten grip

I was born kneeling at the station of the goddess
hungry begging and so tired
I was born pagan craving moonlight craving woman
born weeping garden soil of taste unseen

Lipsticks burst the Nightwood to its knees
like a half crazed man like a man

So we kneel
in the cold dirt

[quotation credit: Sappho]

[co-written with Rebecca Menzia]
Track Name: Insatiable

I am bound
I am shadow coiled beneath the splash of glass
the bulge of my whisper act more like roar
an outstretched droll hear the tremble my tumble
my spit soaked tongue recall the precision of collapse

The battered grave of my body
folds into a minute in a minute
I will leave behind a frantic mouth
a bland resurrection of ritual
some kind of horizon bleeding out hope

I am swallowed
I am gnarled
I am the silent on skin
the breathless of flame
that wavers in the wreck
of our visit

So how should I presume?
Track Name: Between A Rock And A Rock (Is the Distance Spent Searching For Fertile Soil)
Between A Rock and A Rock is the Distance Spent Searching for Fertile Soil

When she smiles
I try to catch her teeth
with my eyes closed

What animates
my skin
so flushed?

What crumbles
my bones
into weakness?

Where does desire find home
if that same desire
runs away?

There are men like shadows
passing through our chests
pressing spears against our skulls
carving DYKE
into our skins

[First published in "Narrative Northeast"]
Track Name: River Babies [1]
River Babies

Troubled Mothers / Darkness does not leave / this place
there are babies drowning / in rivers / with only few /
swimmers / with only few arms to wrap around few babies /
there are babies / that will drown

"It is a hot hot thing"

there are babies that will drown / with only few swimmers /
the river is an overflow of lost children / with no mothers and no fathers / and if these children have mothers and fathers then they are abandoned / to fend / for themselves

there are fathers who beat mothers and those mothers beat themselves / and each father who thinks he owns a beaten mother is / a baby in the river / and each mother who cannot leave a beater father whether she wants to or doesn't want to is / a baby in the river

there is a current in the mind that the swimmer must follow / there is a current in the body that the swimmer must follow / there is a current in sex that the swimmer must follow / before the swimmer can swim and help a baby rescue their own selves

there is only so far that a swimmer can swim

"it is a hot hot thing"

[Quotation credit: Toni Morrison]

[First published in "Iris Brown"]
Track Name: Mother Carries
I will read a book
I will drink my coffee
I will take a walk
I will force a meal down
into my empty gut
I will learn to sew a patch
over the holes of my skin
I will listen to my silence

I will drink more water
I will learn to bake bread
I will brush my teeth
so that I can taste clean
I will only speak with intention
I will sleep for only a dream
I will try to love a stranger
I will save a dog from its dying howl
Track Name: Slap Adrenaline
Slap Adrenaline

Turn the light off
let your eyes burn
a kaleidoscope of color

for a moment
is her face
for a moment
there is chaos and
shortcuts past the nerves
that twitch the moment into shape

Where would you be without this
this temporary
this dark
this cold
topples you to the floor

and her face
does not return
Track Name: We have more in common than you think.
We Have More in Common than You Think

When I think about the living
I think about the way
I look like my own ghost


I think about those ghosts never leaving me alone


I think about what is not and that is
the blind spot of my tongue

When I think about a scar the same way I think about a home

When I think about the ribs as my own bent shape of color

I think my mouth becomes a grave that brings spring bloom to ash
erupting toothless vapor so thick it clogs the airways of what I can’t
Track Name: A Child A Separate Mouth
A Child A Separate Mouth

My hands will make a tower of dead grass
and crush the ants that climb the hill before
I spit the chipped ends of my coral teeth
out for you a keepsake remember me
I will split your lips apart and sign our
palms with the blood of your tongue with my tongue
a prayer rotten bruised like apple skin
I will think about the way a fist can
bruise the bone like wine stains carpet red like
vibrations from my mouth when I’m at home
with no one else at home to hear the dog
howl moon howl hard whispers in the darkness

You ghost How I howl as you approach me

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