Three Questions for Integrating

by southern femisphere

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Available on cassette at Standard Issue Press


released January 31, 2014

Brett, Kim, and Emily would like to give credit and thanks for:
Virginia Woolf's inspirational word-wands from The Waves as the basic shape for “Michael Jordan”; Rachel Kaminer's poem "Integrating" as the foundation for our “Three Questions”; Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses as the beginnings of our three questions demanding integrating answers; Harper Marchman-Jones' voice and Sarah Catoe's cello parts on “Madrugada”; Sarah Catoe’s cello parts on “TG2”; collaborative song production by Harper Marchman-Jones and Southern Femisphere; sound engineering by Harper-Marchman-Jones; album art by Tuesday Bassen



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southern femisphere Charleston, South Carolina

Southern Femisphere is into making melodies, harmonies, and rhythms that don't always make sense but usually work anyway. They find inspiration in small animals, strange animals, fantasy novels, and hot days at the beach.

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Track Name: Michael Jordan
in the vicissitudes of the bud/ and some flower new
this is our heavy heartbreak/ hoisted on backs rending us two

but if when you come back/ everything changes again
our seamy underbellied lives/ will effulge in myriad ceremonial light

all our light is dismembered, torn asunder
"I am more lights than you think. I am not as simple as
you would have me to meet your needs."

heavy pages: pressed flowers between
sheaths of shakespeare’s sonnets: coded spanish
wind carried ships: bearing these missives
wind and storm color July
how to spell out whole words:
transliteration in bones, silence, and salt

her ear pressed to the seashell sea/ susurra la concha
desde la playa de guerra/ red stains the mouth he goes home

hombre con casa y sin hogar/ back when our love lifted us
sobre las llanas y hasta la luna / apoteosis sin altura

eye meets worlds unfold suns rise moon blooms rains wash into gutters
all gutter stories are all of our stories
and which is the true story?

sometimes one trembling star in the sky
lights our way after an eclipse of the patriarchal sun

all our lives are substance: let us pretend
pressing feet into earth: hold fast; don’t fall
moments of: are the walls too thick too thin?
verges edges precipices: held fast you made me fall
into truer stories, the one thousand waves below
verges edges precipices: held fast but she left she’s gone
Track Name: Madrugada
our baseborn incandescence in the tallest blades of grass
radiating seamy crescents in halation
scheming toward a future

hot rods on lightning roads
darken these highways for passersby
phallustines, oh ye fucking philistines,
you cast down cast down these steeples
upon our neon down lines and lines, lines and lines
oh! like god damned anchors in our sky

living in our home
cutting with my knife
is not a home
there’s a dearth of this
city street pie
never enough
can’t sleep; won’t wake
there are trains who pass
lost late at night
through an open window
tales of hoppers
lost late at night

luminaries leave specters of legs
could have been holding with these arms
leaves withered; riddles of fingers; time past clutching the bell rope
ring her; hear us. ring her; hear us

flames to put out the fire in our eyes,
water down disaffected tongues
these voices silenced with avowals of specious truths
hymns ring clear, singing songs not our own, not our own
phallustines, oh phallustines,
you won’t keep our secret

a neighbor’s voice
wives and waves and weaving
the years gone by
these bygones trod
by happenstood
silenty watched
the erstwhile fade
the future paid
buried stories
under promises

swarms to the light
(didn’t buy; didn’t build; didn’t ask for)
leave wings behind
madrugada madrugada

our house is not our home
(flames for fire for eyes for eyes our eyes
a mellowed disaffected tongue
voices renouncing disemboweled untruths
hymns no longer sung singing no bells
queer sibling family, will you keep this house and grow this garden?
can you keep this our secret? can you keep this our secret?)
our house is not ours
Track Name: 3Q4I
(summers’ end sends you off)
(skies to cities and Incalculable lengths)
(your legs her car traversing over)
Ensouled bodies in shadowpink ground
under fresh woven coal

(how can you reason a song out of singing?)
Rowing work we’re sung to
(the stars jar east
these lives extend west
holy roots wont
to absent north)
sinew fires
pulling dark
tone oars

(how does something new get brought into this world?)
Sharing skin of knelten ash
(mistook for newborn verse
in reality a reverse
or converse traverse
a universe)
birdgrey palms for
embers to break in
to knots of air

(will the greater labor indicate the greater love?)
(leaving us now, but safe as houses,
safe as a human who is loved)
one bone flinting clean through another
Track Name: Transgander Pt. 2: Possibility is still our permanent address
with a sense of having lost some infinite thing (we plead in small voices)
she tells the infinite hegelian jest (holding onto the other)
she says the owl of minerva will fly only at dusk (we want to tell everything, but the page fills)
and so to cut down the owl’s three trees: the day must come with its axes (with the sounds of our language in twilight)

she'll try again/(but this isn't theory)
and learn to let leave/(it's visceral)
this time, better/(so stop theorizing)
failing better/(the self to death.)
she'll sing an ode/(i'll sing my own ode)
to beckett/(to beckett)
there are all kinds of freedoms/(that freedom you want i do not have)
there are all kinds of freedoms/(your mind my body)

she said, "the hardest five days or not"/(“don't be a fool,” he said, “a transgander won't bear a gayzling”)
you have something you must do/(then there's nothing to do but it)
("good morning," he sang,"i hear you. i see you")/she came she saw she heard
im (not) sorry i kissed him/(i (don’t) miss you i miss you)

looms weave and ominous; atavism, unbound, forbodes
trituration of woven wings; wings we ungiven, gave
but you gone and swept our wing-dust under the eyelid of the sky
grounded your feet now, like rose roots grow through your toes

our onward march/(there's a song about a heart)
proceeds in balks and round-about-faces/(it's a song like so many things that happen)
not in a confident eureka stride/(i want to walk away resolutely and fast)
but when i look up each morning/(and i won't hear your song)
the roof of my world opens/(communicatory bloodlines run too thick)
and through losing/(and we cannot seem to get through)
i am finding what i didn't lose/(there was a song about your heart)
and despite the machinations of a man/(about how the blood could not get past)

possibility is still my permanent address /(our freedom involves)
possibility is still our permanent address /(paying the most perfect attention)
("good morning," he sang,"you hear me. you see me.")/she came she saw she heard
she let go she let go (a world opens it opens)

my bedlam like cinnamon drank dreams in dissolution throes
in the grip of my hum there be whorling sounds on your first page
in flying whorls: a golden owl, a fly-by-your-hands owl
we fall behind like we had no whim trapped inside our wings

though we are given to a liminal space
we must not operate from scarcity, taking all
we are rich; (and) we are possible
and we must, out of this abundance, give all; give all