Balfour

by Gun Lake

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about

Balfour is everything you want a place to be. However, every muscle you flex to get there will be exhausted. As you bask in its serene, wild beauty recuperating, the rotating earth is your enemy. You cannot stay on Balfour forever, and once you face this fact, your only exit is to paddle up the labyrinthian creek that brought you. Pushing against the current, you are sure the creek is now shallower and narrower than it was before—the bends more acute. The dams have been built up since morning, and with the sweltering afternoon heat, the sun has brought the flies. When finally you reach the portage to the other lake, your dead-weight motor feels like lead, and paddling has reduced your arms to reeds. You nevertheless carry your gear and your canoe across the root covered distance to the other lake. Here, finally, you can put the weight of the motor to use and feel relieved that the work is over. But as the wake goes backwards toward the path to Balfour, you wonder if there is any chance that you could do the same.

credits

released 24 March 2011

Recorded at Backseat Productions in Ann Arbor, MI

Recording Engineer: Jim Roll
Mixing: Jim Roll, Ben Collins
Mastering Engineer: Jim Kissling

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Track Name: Cliffhanger
Onto you I
Hang myself dry
And thinning is the air in which you rise
Far beneath me
Churns the great sea
Where our ship's imprisoned in the brine

I am a cliffhanger
You're the edge
While I'm a cliffhanger
It's not the end

I am a cliffhanger
'Cause I can't let this book
Close easily
And throw myself over you

Tell me won't you
Please descend to
Return some feeling back into my hands
With your gold key
Maybe set free
The vessel with our captivated plans

I am a cliffhanger
You're the edge
While I'm a cliffhanger
It's not the end
Track Name: Stormy Country
I was walking through the stormy country
You were walking through the stormy country
And the rain, it pierced right through our hides

I gave my hand and we ran against the rain
We found a roof and everything was changed
You moved so very close to me

Underneath the falling sea
We're safe inside our submarine
To a polyrhythmic wash of sound
We wrung each other out

We bow to what until now
Was ruefully drowned
By the sovereign art
Of our solitary hearts

We made our home in the unknown
But we had all we need
To kill the cold and keep us worthy

Underneath the falling sea
We're safe inside our submarine
To a polyrhythmic wash of sound
We wrung each other out

I was walking through the stormy country
You were walking through the stormy country
It was here we saw ourselves so clear
Track Name: Brother's Bed
Once upon a new year's morning
On brother's bed I soundly slept
Dreaming of a girl I'd marry
I made believe the truth was deft

La Da Da Da Da

Don't know why I thought it could be for good
Forget it now
Sleep again

Wisdom fell hard upon me
Cutting down the fool inside
The dream I lost was cursed already
Now it must be left to die

La Da Da Da Da

Don't know why I thought it could be for good
Forget it now
Sleep again
Track Name: I Gave Enough
You're flushed with your father's blood
And I'm in contempt of your new complexion
You're a master of well-placed ink
And a dead woman escaped with my affection

I know you'd say you don't believe me
But it's easy
Just close your eyes and breathe
'Cause life will always move at this wicked speed
And we will bleed
Just give what you receive

And know I gave enough
For both of us
You know I gave enough
For both of us

Now I feel...
The air that's all around you
Is purgatory from which there's no escaping
I could run in these lost and found shoes
Or risk damnation for saying we're worth saving

All I am is a man who can't watch this all fall away
I'm losing these days
But I'm trying to keep the pace
But life will always move at this wicked speed
And we will bleed
Just give what you receive

And know I gave enough
For both of us
You know I gave enough
for both of us
Track Name: Backwards
Backwards moving
Just want
Some peace

I can't do this anymore

Fix this
Use your
Pretty head
Let's go
Back to bed

The nightmare could be over now

Fix this
And sing me back to sleep
'Cause I love you

In this room I've made your bed
I wait and I wait and I wait
Rewinding all the ground we've tread
Again and again and again

But I can't do this anymore
Track Name: Trees
I talk to you in mind
All of the time
Every line has the power
To open your eyes

You're invited to make it all true
'Cause frankly things just aren't right

We walked the path of lose-lose
Where the earth all had dried
But somewhere our shadows are fused
Where trees never die

It's not hard to find if we turn off our minds
Your heart will tell you no lie

Take me to the place where the trees still grow
I never thought we'd leave there for such a cold
'Cause spring was just a lie. The warmth never came
But I know the trees are there still growing the same

You let the irony play
Love was withheld
When I finally found the display
Coins down the well

My wishes, a waste and you don't want a taste
Of what we promised ourselves

Take me to the place where the trees still grow
I never thought we'd leave there for such a cold
'Cause spring was just a lie. The warmth never came
But I know the trees are there still growing the same

So you've got some weight on your back
And no stable ground
I'll make sure your spine stays intact
That a road can be found

Just give me a sign and we'll travel all night
To the place we would be now

Take me to the place where the trees still grow
I never thought we'd leave there for such a cold
'Cause spring was just a lie. The warmth never came
But I know the trees are there still growing the same
Track Name: June
By the start of June
We'd walk Michigan Avenue
And on Independence Day
We'd throw all of our cares away
By an August sunset
We'd see my brother happily wed
Then drive to the Greatest Lake
To soak our souls in Agawa Bay

But you want to give this up
I could not give up
'Cause there's no common sense
In falling on the fence

By the start of June
I wrote another song for you
Because melody is truth
While words hide from our abuse
With Fall around the bend
You broke your silence once again
And now you're only in my mind
As a long finished film I won't rewind

You want to give this up
I could not give up
'Cause there's no common sense
In falling on the fence
Track Name: Really Something
Darlin' you're really something
I wish you were something else
Your belly it turned so yellow
Like a leaf before it fell
But you don't seem so graceful
On your long way down

All the dirt you stirred up
Has made it into my eyes
And it burns ever so clearly
Yet I still can't say why
You lost all your spine, dear
What did you expect to find here?

Darlin' you're really something
A mary that's lost her blood
What's left here is some kind of poison
Like dried veins beneath the flood
Like roots under the river
I'll never see what they deliver

I never did agree
But still it came to be
'Cause all you did portend
Turns out what just pretense
No, I am not your friend

Darlin' you're really something
I wish you were something else
Your belly it turned so yellow
Like a leaf before it fell
But you don't seem so graceful
On your long way down
I never did agree
But still it came to be
Track Name: Time Again
We have moved so perfectly
Together we
Showed up crossed stars and made them fall
Through it all

Don't you remember who I am?
I remember you
You're not this girl who let her love lie
While I stood in salute
But that's the sad truth
That girl chose not to lend a saving hand
To give me any token lovely
Time and time again

We spelled the end before we knew
What letters to
Write in their place. No spirit flowed
To inspire prose

I can't make believe we're not in love
After all that was
'Cause we held so fast the city breathed
Through our bodies

Don't you remember who I am?
I remember you
Your eyes reflected each morning light to make the world anew
Our bodies glowed from head to toe
Our feeling fingers followed
And we were sure then
This light would happen
Time and time again
Track Name: Trials
The earth is a child of the sun
A mother to the moon
But all we are is falling apart

I don't believe in God
But I believed in you
But all we are is falling apart

As children of forests, we've failed our fathers
Our roots never took in the soil soaked with water
Our shadows have run far away from our center
When you said they looked goddamn great together
But all we are is falling apart.