DEPENDENT contains six original songs: the first songs I have recorded since beginning to more seriously explore written poetry as a form of artistic expression. For this reason alone, I wanted to include a lyric booklet -- something I have not done previously --, but I also wanted to tell the unique story of this album’s conception.
In original form, the lyrics of this album were two six-section poems: the first titled “Microwave” and the second “DEPENDENT.” As poems, I felt that each had irreconcilable flaws. “Microwave” combined an associative meditation with a fragmented narrative. From the start, I felt like it was a throwaway exercise, but my professor at the time told me it contained my “best writing” to date. “DEPENDENT,” on the other hand, was a series of highly edited “anagram exercises.” While I enjoyed completing these “assignments” and felt that the final poem was thematically cohesive and sonically interesting, a different professor gently advised me that “exercises don't always make good poems.”
Unable to reconcile the sense I had for my own writing with the conflicting feedback of my two professors, I sought a new home for these poems. With related themes and an equal number of sections, it only made sense to splice them together. I alternated sections between poems, and, magically, they flowed into and out of each other with an ease I could not have planned. This booklet contains the original text of “Microwave” and “DEPENDENT” in the order the songs appear on the album (by alternating sections).
released October 15, 2013
All engineering, production, mixing, mastering by Joey Lemon. All instruments played by Joey Lemon except keyboard outro on DEPENDENT II and intro on DEPENDENT III by Matt Aufrecht and keyboard solo on DEPENDENT VI by Matt Aufrecht. All songs by Joey Lemon. Thanks to Sam Campbell, Carl Emmons, and Jake Russell for their early critique and guidance.
The moment of creation is private performance:
a lap dance, a strip show, I’m drinking bold
coffee. She’s hanging with her mom. This type-
writer eats holes in the page, like this tongue
eats holes in her pussy, like this meth-
amphetamine eats holes in her cheeks where
whiskey leaks down onto her chin, her neck,
her chest necklace. Rotten teeth in the roof
of her mouth -- mouth to mouth -- she is dying
on the table, on the couch. We dig our own tomb
stone epigraph into marbled
paper. Her syllables scream into the empty
She is the runt
her mother’s teat:
But sour nature
to sour nurture.
Track Name: DEPENDENT II
space. My water won’t stop running. It’s running
up the bill. It’s running down the back
of the bathtub and ruining the neighbor’s
ceiling. A Mexican dollar lies on the desk
next to mug circles. Misplaced like her
lace underwear, cannabis laced
with cocaine. She is my best friend’s
girlfriend. She’s also my ex-
twin sister in law. I’m a living
testament to what? Human invention?
Is that intervention? I had
an interview: I applied
for food stamps yesterday. I hope I win
big. Hear the typewriter
I found her in lace
ran down her face like tears,
and maybe she cried later.
Maybe later she sang, “I’m no saint!
Call me a sinner!”
Maybe I tore
her clothes to find lice
in her hair, then twice whispered, “liar, liar.”
Track Name: DEPENDENT III
ding. Hear the boxing bell
in your head. See the bikinied babe
with “Round Two” in her hands. Round three,
round four and we’re doing shots at the bar.
Round five, round six and it’s a knock out,
pass out at eight. In high school
I wrote a compare and contrast essay
where conflicting points of view were personified
as boxers. I stopped writing,
from the leap-
of a fall leaf.
“We be pace
in the streets
till he peel
back the pale
Track Name: DEPENDENT IV
and I take my boxer for a walk.
She barks. A stray cat catnaps
of archetypes: she is balled up
on a discarded carpet
pad, rolled and laid on top
of a vertical box
spring and mattress, resting
next to “J. J.
Feather” and his date,
into the sidewalk. Inside
a boy pounds his fist
on the table of an arcade
version of Mike Tyson’s
Punch Out. “Goddam,” he says, “goddam.”
Play a lute
song, a lure.
finds a vein
where we gather: a true
by which to live.
Track Name: DEPENDENT V
There is a frenzy. She is leaving
her microwave on the curb.
She cut the cord. She is afraid
because her mother told her
about this experiment
where microwaved water killed
a fish and a plant. She hasn’t
cut that cord. Back inside,
he signs the bill:
“Cut that kid’s umbilical
Track Name: DEPENDENT VI
I write a letter addressed to General
Electric demanding he pull all microwaves
from circulation. Her tongue makes a V
down the spine. She seals the center
with a kiss like the litter of kittens whose ear
by the frost.
skin -- vast as a lens
sees, hot as an oven --
and let us revel in the nite’s