All parts performed by Barret Anspach.
The sea and its contents is a very dear and unusual project of mine, which began sometime in 2006 as a small collection of songs (The moon being my first) that has now arrived, I believe, at its final stages of completion. Many heartfelt thanks go out to Michael Hart, Zack Winokur, Parvaneh Angus, Seth Garrison, my family and everyone who has listened.
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To you, lovely boy. The kind one, the one that, when I speak, leans forward while fidgeting with a bit of curl — but I forget what it was you said, and I stop.
While you wait, my love, I try to count how many, how very many others I have joined together to make you, beside me, into the boy who leans forward, fidgeting with his hair. And I try to count, but cannot, the ways I would like to use words, but cannot, to tell you — and so dearly, you, you have already fallen asleep.
I heard you breathing. Did you lie down to rest beside a river? I am waiting.
The sea murmurs its own name, is fed by the rain rolling off your hair. A ghost followed me; I follow it now, down to the shore where waves lick the sand. Was this where you dreamt? A dull resonance lingers, a faint pulse.
We sat at a table across from each other, and I missed your glance. I waited outside and lit a cigarette. I missed you, and I sat down.
(Later in our lives, we sat down together and I saw your glance.)
Come in, you naughty bird! The rain is pouring down. What would your mother say If you stayed there and drowned? You are a very naughty bird, You do not think of me. “I’m sure I do not care,” Said the sparrow on the tree.
Lean against me, tired and weary. Rest your head and dream. Watched the cliffs, a trail of trains, a drifting boat go by. Always thinking, the heart slowing, the Hudson River flowing. And all I have to do is to stare at you, nothing to do but stare at you.
In the car, where we sat awhile, where you watched from far away: and I saw you. In the room where we talked awhile, trading phrases in silence: but I heard you. Near the end, where I wait for you: thought I felt your hand next to mine. Stars are out, and your face — the moon — shines.
The bird sleeps. You sleep elsewhere. Drive home through a blanket of weary mist. The road disappears and we continue to speak. Moonlight rubs against the birch-trees.
A song trails off through the branches. A willow tree bends to the ground. A fire at night, its cast-off smoke: I’ve gone away, I’ve disappeared. Take care of me. Don’t breathe me in, but say my name and I’ll return.
We drove past a town, the St. Regis River below. A white courthouse loomed, paint peeling, over the quiet streets in this valley. With Mr. Mullan on his right, St. Regis pronounced whether their river flowed to day or night. In this valley people hid inside and it began to rain. We drove past dark green, dark mist.
From Park Slope to Brighton Beach we rode side by side. On Ocean Blvd. we took our time. (If we tried it, if we tried a little harder. If we tried to, if we tried a little longer.) Seth! Hours later we arrived and went for a swim. Sitting side by side I held hands with him. (If I tried it, if I tried a little harder. If you tried to, if you tried a little longer.) Looking up at the sky we saw thunderclouds. Racing back to 116th I fell to the ground. Seth! (If we tried it, if we tried a little harder. If we tried to, if we tried a little longer.)
La, la, la!