The Tender Buttons collaborative is up at Titular, and it includes elements from a chapter of The Immortals Act Their Age called “Shovels” (big thanks again, Reynard and Jimmy for asking me to send something…). I’m big happy to appear alongside Prathna Lor, Amy McDaniel, Desmond Kon and Reynard Seifert, co-editor of Titular. Here is “Shovels” in its entirety:
All the afterlives before this one’s when Dr. Coffin's voice buried on an old tape recorder was posthumously resurrected.
Half asleep, he reached down from the top bunk and grabbed the tape recorder from a table beside the lower bunk no one else slept in.
He looked at it, rewound it a little, pressed Play to hear what the last thing he said was.
His ears grew into shovels, and he used them to dig his way through the cemetery of words his mouth once gave birth to.
His ears dug in, his voice said:
[ The first breath is a main entrance, the last thought before breaking in.
The only thing I've ever been good at is practicing.
Dreams were a talent I developed out of an early hobby of sleeping.
Since then, I've learned insomniacs count missiles like sperm rather than sheep.
Sometimes, I'm never even sure there is a target until I crack its eggshell. ]
He pressed Fast Forward, his voice said:
[ Unlike me, pharmacies are bright, really clear until I walk out of them.
Sheep follow each other down my throat, and I always lose count. ]
Dr. Coffin yawned, his voice said:
[ I know when one arrives, the journey may never have existed.
To those in the waiting room, the approach matters only to the disease being cured. ]
His voice said:
[ But there's a traffic jam on the road to recovery, and I take baby steps toward Maturity's nowhere. ]
Dr. Coffin closed his eyes, shuddered falling asleep.
He hated that feeling sometimes.
He loved that feeling sometimes.
It was like life.
Odd, Dr. Coffin often thought, how he had something like life to compare things to.
An EP of eight Failsafe-B rock songs has surfaced. These songs are actually pre-Failsafe-B, but it doesn't matter. They belong. I wrote them with my friend and co-producer Sterling Smalley back in high school, for our old band Siva, c. 1997. We didn’t record them until 2003 in Sterling's home studio and, under circumstances which are now kind of funny to us, these songs have been, until recently, ‘missing’. They feature me on guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals, with Sterling on drums. I feel they still ‘kick ass’, as they are heavy and melodic. Here’s maybe one of my favorites of this batch, the very last song of the EP, titled “The Ghosts of Oceans”: