Dust and the Bloom

by Steven Kattenbraker

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released May 3, 2019

cover art: Scott Kattenbraker


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Steven Kattenbraker Washington

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Track Name: Apollo
Hold Apollo, don’t pull back the bow

Shake the laurel, dull your last arrow

Last arrival, honey in the wine

Bacchus wild, panther prowls the vine

Beg and borrow, ghost write all you

Moon is hollow, muse the only glow
Track Name: Hush of Rust
You pulled me in close

Said it only gets better

Your back was bent low

And your face was leather

The leaves so long closed

They’ve forged to the prose

We’re left with dust to fill in the holes

You said the heart doesn’t know

If it feeds the king or the beggar

And to bleed is to show

Our mortal tether

The blooms that froze

Too early to know

The hush of rust

The silence exposed

Before the common voice and screeching noise

Concussed me

I was bold and seeking joy and ever poised

To trust see

The heart doesn’t know

When it’s numbed by the weather

Savor the blow

As it’s thawed from its fetter
Track Name: Skip the News
Wading through the badges and the news

And the notes of the passing mute parade

We picked one we could use if we choose

To risk it all in one place

I only want to measure up to you

Cut me down to bring me in your view

You keep your sense in your hollowed-out shoes

And you keep a steady pace

Losing breath and saving face

If you don’t like what you see don’t blame your eyes

I’ll yield the floor, for now and evermore

To the drums and disregarded cue

If we can’t tell what we’re marching to

There’s no need to attend the rebuke

Skim the headlines and skip the news

If you don’t like what you see don’t blame your eyes

Or peel back the skin to scrutinize
Track Name: How Much
I’ll wake when you get up to go

I’ll prop my head up on the window

Feel the nagging in my heart

As you’re dressing in the dark

That I’m on my own

You shuffle your cold feet into shoes

I can see that you’re gonna choose

Just to kiss me on the cheek

When really you should sneak

Back in bed with me

You never really know how much you care

Until you care to know

If the tempest takes your voice as its own

I’ll still call your name till it rings alone

Through the contrast and the stark

The blazing and the dark

Till the last coal glows
Track Name: Something's Gonna Give
The flame on the hill

It can’t get much closer

Something’s gonna give

I’ll carve us a bluff

Over sand soft enough

We’ll jump and land safe from the glow

The dam is filled to the brim

One drop it flows over

Something’s gonna give

I’ll build us a skiff

And you and I we’ll drift

Ahead of the flood and the flow

Who wants to know

The foretelling or the toll

That their square wheels won’t roll

That the martyr is crowned the hero

Something’s gonna give, and we gotta go

The dome it shakes to the core

What more for a salvo

Something’s gonna give

I’ll steal us a horse

And you and I we’ll course

Far from the parched charcoal snow

The ground is dust, defies

The myth of the cloudburst

Something’s gonna give

I’ll fork us a branch

Divine and entrance

A river we’ll drink as we row
Track Name: Substance and Solitude
I’m learning to

Separate the calm from the truth

So much slower this time through

And so much more work to do

Words on the page

Lined up in their foreign cue

They march across to stir my rage

Not the substance but the solitude

The diary

Keeper of these sordid scenes

Its cover pierced with molten lead

Leaving windows to the newly dead

Now you read to me

From my own frightened history

Each page a shadow to pursue

No different than the first time through

So I’ll pardon you

To spare me the memory

That I wrote and now you read to me

I think I’d rather start anew

And the solitude

Permeates this amnesiac mind

A blanket that provides refuge

From a bloody and barbaric time

I’m learning to

Separate the calm from the truth

So much slower this time through

And so much more work to do
Track Name: Gunpowder and Ladybirds
Perhaps the home fire is long last over stoked

From miles away there’s no mistaking the sting of the smoke

“Fly away home,” the children sing

But the melody betrays the burn it brings

The gunpowder rings the stiff-necked kings to their knees

The house of lords reduced to stones in the charcoal of trees

I’m not breathing hard

Just clearing space

For the smoke and luck to take their place

Born of the blaze, she works alone

Her loom is warped and shedding

The glowing weft she’s treading

Thread from the flames, her burning home

She’s spinning golden laces

To affix the eyes to faces

Fly away home

The recusants amass as one in the fields

The sun is gone and the harvest long

Has born its yield

The torch is on its way

To clear the land, prepare for a new day.

To linger is to combust in colloquy

To run is to resign your own sovereignty

Fly away home the children sing

But the melody betrays the burn it brings

Born of the blaze, she works alone

Her home a glow of embers

The sacrosanct the splendor

Affixed to the shell

The coals are sewn

Black globes of joy and sorrow

On the blood oath of tomorrow

Fly away home.
Track Name: Snapshot
Caught you staring at

An old picture of yourself

The girl smiling back

She questions you

She asks if my attempts

To keep the promises

That I made to her

Have been true

The bright blue dress

You wore a thousand times

It was handed down

Till threadbare and torn

There’ll always be regret and doubt

And dreams that we forget about

If we could do it all again

I hope you’d find me sitting here

Staring at pictures with you

The newborn pup

Resting in your arms

It died long ago

On the road

How many things

That you held so close

Thought you’d never lose

That are gone

Your tiny feet were bare

Just like your heart

With no callouses

To deflect the thorns

If innocence

If it’s ignorance

I’ll trade my counsel in

And start again

With the sun in your eyes

The shadows in your face

Makes it hard to see

The frame you’ll fall in
Track Name: Dust Comes Too Soon
The forest fans its wings

The dawning comes no more

To the grounded and the legless

Coiled on its floor

The hive has resurrected

In the silence of the night

The swarm, a lone beast

Smothering the light

Mining for light

Core of the moon

Never so bright

A stone has been hewn

Dust comes to soon

Diffuse the sight

The ghost rays are strewn

Minutes respite

From frost on the bloom

When the last has fallen

No one risks a word

Perchance the vow be broken

If simply overheard

The final migration

It’s long since overflown

The exodus entangled

The short-cut overgrown

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