The Book of Waves

by Erica Buettner

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    Includes unlimited streaming of The Book of Waves via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
03:57
Wasn’t careful what I wished for so I became exactly what I am Prayed not to grow up into a sheep and so I stayed a lamb Would have found myself a nice little mountain-top out of the spotlight But I took a liking to the city life, though it just whetted my appetite Now when I spot a pack of carnivores I know to wear a costume Let them think that the racket that they’re running is the most impressive in the room When we’re not busy proving what we are we’re busy proving what we’re not This empire’s fallen many times each time it got up and forgot If all roads lead to Rome I guess that’s where I’m going, I guess I’ll go to Rome If all roads lead to hell I guess it’s just as well That I walk the road alone Paid a fortune that I didn’t have to get myself a trade and education Paid a fortune that I didn’t have to become a big city street urchin Now I’m indebted to a loan shark whose jaws are protected by the government Made a wager with my present for the future but the future hasn’t come here yet And I thought I had the courage to love you for more than what I needed But then the love became a need and in that paradox I saw my love defeated Oh ever since I left you I’ve been bouncing through the system like a pinball Forget the trail of breadcrumbs I stopped documenting each and every footfall If all roads lead to Rome I guess that’s where I’m going, I guess I’ll go to Rome If all roads lead to hell I guess it’s just as well That I walk the road alone Roma Termini at midnight I am bleeding in the streetlight Hit put on my head by cupid To have become a traveling bard Bless my bleeding heart I’m either tough or really stupid If all roads lead to Rome I guess that’s where I’m going, I guess I’ll go to Rome But before I knot the rope I have this crazy hope That the road could take me home Within the difference of one letter I could spin the story better And the road could take me home
2.
06:03
You’ve got a plan that can fix the whole world Change your definition of disaster It’s much more consistent than rose-colored glasses It alters your perceptions the morning after Stuff your cheap filler full of borrowed time Speak your mind on someone else’s dime Flex your muscles When the might makes right Keep the wheel of fortune landing on fight or flight For now you’re living the dream, contemplating heaven, begging your fathers to make you real boys Day one it’s survival or bust You get cozy then you just adjust Why not take a stab at the great ascent Up the ladder reaching out of ninety-nine percent And the ground is deep enough to bury the waste The more shallow your looking pool the less blood shows on your shirts Every person is corruptible And when they’re not You’ve got to hit them where it hurts For now you’re living the dream, contemplating heaven, begging your fathers to make you real boys At every golden gate you can deregulate The key to your own joy is what you can destroy Isn’t that the way we’re wired, to go after what we’ve desired? Every impulse, craving tug names your poison names your drug Don’t become the lobster in the pot Pay attention when the flame gets hot There’s no such thing as a nervous breakdown When you find out that your nerves are shot And it can have an otherworldly sheen The oil spills and radiation leaking In the inkblot you see your mother’s face In the pictures of the spills from outer space For now you’re living the dream, contemplating heaven, begging your fathers to make you real boys If you see things that you don’t like Do things that you don’t like Things you might not have done In another life Then make your conscience like knife that cuts through other voices That cuts off all the ties between your body and your choices For now you’re living the dream, contemplating heaven, begging your fathers to make you real boys
3.
At the station the trains departing On the morning I have to leave Every car is a hall of mirrors Every person is shapeshifting What I see in you, what you are to me is what a tightrope walker sees within a spool of string All the passion that unravels from a simple thing In each place longing crosses latitudes I’ll tie a knot for tracing back to you Slipped round my finger as I fade from view We move inside the train that moves outside of us Put ourselves willingly into its forward thrust And time’s already planning our platters of locusts The substance of forgetting, the substance of letting go Our potential’s a phoenix rising One last song to its ashen bed Our potential’s a helix spinning New beginnings at every end What I see in you, what you are to me is what a tightrope walker sees within a spool of string All the passion that unravels from a simple thing
4.
The summer days are winding down, They grind us in an oyster shell If there’s a pearl formed inside Only those trapped with us can tell Sea glass is only smooth Because it’s battered by the sea A texture that I recognize, A polish not earned easily Sea green eyes of the storms we keep at bay When we know well that we’re running out of bays When we know well that we’ve become The storms we’re running from Rationalizing the wind-speed and the waves Sometimes we laugh and sometimes brood Our moods are like a pendulum The only true and constant thing Contained within the way they swing Outside the space around the weight Abounds in possibility But not for us, we abdicate The throne of dreams for gravity Sea green eyes of the storms We keep at bay When we know well That we’re running out of bays When we know well that we’ve become The storms we’re running from Rationalizing the wind-speed and the waves
5.
04:17
I couldn’t be further from the scene I see the carrot dangling I see the carrot on a string I think the string’s attached to me I think it’s moving when I move I think it’s moving when I move Don’t ask me how I know, it’s just the feeling That I get when we’re spiraling It’s fair to say it’s more than some Who have another opinion They see the carrot dangling And think they’re moving closer in They would do anything to win They would do anything to win Don’t ask me how I know it’s just the feeling That I get when we’re spiraling Who fires the starting gun While we orbit around the sun? Who carries the trophies home? Who carries the trophies home? And after the West gets won After the East gets won What do they do with us When our racing days are done? With your sense of ambition You will never buckle Your drive has always been white knuckle But fair’s not fair It’s got a real cold shoulder The eye for an eye Is in the eye of the beholder Was taught a circle was the most perfect shape But not so much in this case Not when you’ve been tricked into running Someone else’s race Don’t ask me how I know, it’s just the feeling That I get when we’re spiraling Who fires the starting gun While we orbit around the sun? Who carries the trophies home? Who carries the trophies home? And after the West gets won After the East gets won What do they do with us When our racing days are done? What do they do with us?
6.
There’s a verb tense for what might have been, but it tortures me to use it And like every drug or weapon it’s so easy to abuse it Delusion disillusionment two sides of the same coin Delusion disillusionment which side are you on? My doctor wants to medicate my chemical imbalances I say but that’s exactly where my muse has built her palaces I am afraid to lose my mind unless it’s in the Buddhist sense Insanity is frowned upon it’s best to call it transcendence Genetics, environment, and freewill walk into a bar The cocktail that they offer you can make you forget who you are Your choices stack like building blocks The wooden tower starts to wobble Removing one sends aftershocks That might make the whole tower topple Delusion disillusionment two sides of the same coin Delusion disillusionment which side are you on? Unless you’re psychic you’re like me Intentions don’t match their effect Decisions made with blindfolds on Are not exactly circumspect The burden of your body totes The burden of your intellect And the events that change you most Are all the ones you didn’t expect This isn’t all the kind of stuff I’d talk about on a first date It’s just that in the here and now we have enough that’s on our plate The human wars and holy wars Abruptly ending calendars The shift and lift of consciousness The ignorance that leads to bliss The endless stream of chattering That doesn’t end up mattering While caring for the ones we love In currencies all soaked in blood The world’s become a marketplace But it is one I have to face I’ve learned to meet it quietly The way the river meets the sea Between them there’s no deference Submission to authority There’s just the way it has to go Seamless acceptance of the flow But there’s always a part of me That coddles curiosity Regarding what will come to be Of course I’ll always want to know Delusion, disillusionment two sides of the same coin Delusion, disillusionment which side am I on? (Bonus verses, ha!) Some people have been born again delivered by a divine hand But if there’s original sin, does that mean they are twice as damned? Myself I’ve only been born once at least as far as I can tell Unless you count that time in Amsterdam that didn’t go so well As for what happens when you die It’s just as well that we don’t know, I guess some bug-eyed, wacko group will get to say “I told you so.” If someone turns out to be right when we get to the great beyond I hope they can ward off my spite by waving a big magic wand
7.
05:12
Our basement apartment, snow piled high against the window We didn’t want to come here, this forest land chose us What a wild setting to test our blooming love There was a traveling salesman, promised me an early Spring He lit a conflagration, used my life for the kindling I would have liked to tell you sweetly that I didn’t by in, I was enamored of the gears that he said he could spin The moment that you let them in they see you your heart on your sleeve It won’t take long to have you pinned by your belief and need to be believed You said that I was foolish, I couldn’t spot the rotten deal Charlatans will find the soft spots They know the look, they know the feel My lover you’d have me think that you never went door to door Hawking your own brand of burden Greed, seduction, wares of the conqueror The moment that you let them in they see you your heart on your sleeve It won’t take long to have you pinned by your belief and need to be believed For the simple promise that you can spin A wheel no human hand can spin People empty out their pockets People show you to their coffers Invite you to their beds And kneel down at your altars For the simple lie that you’ve got it figured out For the strange authority those who think they’re right have over those who doubt The idea you would die for Another’s easy answer The holy grail you’ll never hold Oh the stories you’ve been told By the ones who say they know you By the ones who say that they can see you By the ones who say that they can show you By the ones who say that they can free you
8.
Your past is vastly absent Hides in corners lurks in shadows When it finally makes its move It always springs it springs on us Sharply in the glaring light with nervous posture, caddy bite When we get through it we’re all right When we get through I’d ask you to explain, but I wouldn’t want to Furnish rooms of houses that still haunt you I’d like to think that this could be More than a feat of bravery More than a feat of bravery My past is ever flowing Bubbles up an underground spring As to the cliffs it is eroding I never know until one gives in The ticking of an eternal clock The dripping of an incessant drop has been known to make me mean, been known to stop my heart I’d attempt to explain, but you wouldn’t want me To take you through the houses that still haunt me I’d like to think that this could be More than a feat of bravery More than a feat of bravery
9.
I had this version of wrong and right It hit a prism of shifting light Became my prison of endless night And I couldn’t tell which was which My standards towered at such a height Where all that moved turned to anthracite I’m half blind I have a decent mind Peering through the veil of my appetite And you’re the hunger, hunger, hunger that I cannot shake You’re the wild side of the compromises I have made You’re the bitter, burning potion that I want to take To make me a wolf among wolves To make me a wolf among wolves To make me a wolf among wolves I hold debates with my higher self Who seems to rise above my fears We play a drawn out game of chess She hasn’t made a move in years I think it wants me to desert To take you in until I’ve had my fill She knows if she’s to win the game She’ll have to wear out my freewill And kill the hunger, hunger, hunger that I cannot shake Kill the wild side of the compromises I have made Spill the bitter, burning potion that I want to take To make me a wolf among wolves To make me a wolf among wolves To make me a wolf among wolves Be the hunger, hunger, hunger that I cannot shake Be the wild side of the compromises I have made Be the bitter, burning potion that I want to take To make me a wolf among wolves To make me a wolf among wolves To make me a wolf among wolves
10.
05:45
The ground that my hands maintain is given to entropy the land that I tried to reign is budding with sapling trees I’ve heard that with growth comes pain with all that’s disorderly I reach for the roots I gain By letting what wants to be…be You led me right into ruin Into the structure-less Into the genius fold That borders on craziness And if you ask me now Which one you were I’d say I was terrified Of not being sure My long lost friend, my brutish gladiator You loved me like a warrior Your embrace tugged like an anchor What a stubborn piece of work You acted like a jerk a lot of the time A lot of the time When it comes down to me I’d tell you I’m happy Even though it’s a simple word And it rings like a sham It’s because I’ve been noticing That although there’s some lag time I’m distinctly becoming what That I say I am My long lost friend, I drove you to the ledge I thought that I could push you That you didn’t fear the edge What a timid piece of work I acted like a jerk A lot of the time A lot of the time Every surface will be disturbed The runway for a water bird And every raw and wild word That knows its own vibration Cannot resist migration That sudden flight of each ache, each pain Yet came down hard on the urge to change And light up with the life That chaos reigns Light up with the life That Chaos reigns Light up with the life That Chaos reigns
11.
07:20
Cosmic was a runaway who hang around the club one day We snuck him sandwiches and snacks to eat while the owners were away He had curls and a long yellow beard And we couldn’t tell where he was from He seemed angelic when he didn’t seem scared Had that shattered grace of someone who was on the run He was looking for a gig playing jazz in a piano bar We said he needed cleaning up He said he’d never shaved before So I bought a plastic razor and some shaving cream, took him to the kitchen where the lights were bright He flinched each time the razor swept his skin My hand shook because I didn’t know how to do it right Then he sat down at the piano and began to play We lost ourselves inside the chords he struck He called his music cosmic but he wouldn’t tell us his name So that’s what we called him, and the nickname stuck Cosmic didn’t have a place to stay, and the nights were getting colder I told him I would help him look as we walked around the Latin Quarter Took him to the bookshop with the beds, but they weren’t taking anybody in Called the hotline for the homeless shelters, but there was nothing they could do for him So we pushed through the throngs of tourists, found a quiet spot on the steps of the abbey I told him there was nothing more that I could do, and I walked away, feeling lousy Got home with my spirits low, crawled into our twin bed Pulled the covers over me and promised this was the last time I’d get in over my head But Cosmic was a domino The gentle nudge that starts to overthrow Every little thing you think you know Every little thing you think you know And Cosmic was the mystery Beautiful and brutal the uncertainty Was he trapped inside his odyssey Or the master of his destiny?

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released September 20, 2018

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Erica Buettner New York, New York

Erica Buettner is a singer-songwriter who moved to Europe at the age of 20 and spent the following twelve years winding her way through Paris all the way to the shores of Portugal before returning to New York in 2016. After surviving triple negative breast cancer and putting her music career on hold, Erica's long-awaited second album, The Book Of Waves, was released in October 2018. ... more

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