Mother Carries

by Harm

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Cope Alaska 05:00
Cope Alaska We were worn with salt down in the flat of our city closing doors against the wreck of our smooth winter shiver like 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"}
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]
Insatiable 03:55
Insatiable I am bound I am shadow coiled beneath the splash of glass hear 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?
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"]
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"]
Love Poem 03:52
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
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
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 or I think about those ghosts never leaving me alone or 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 remember
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


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


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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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