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Kill Rock Stars

The Family Swan

by Mecca Normal

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1.
Is That You? 05:20
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
I Hear You 01:09
7.
Family Swan 08:21
Golden-eyed pigeons fly in pairs grey squeaklings linking space "Swans mate for life," the old git on the news turns to the camera for the last word "life" Even the wizened are media-savvy Swan families sticking their beaks mounted on long thin necks into other family members’ business the sickness of one means the rest won’t go to fill their swan-bellies No they’ll stick together floating around until the poison kills That bullet was outlawed years ago lead shell-casings litter the area The damaging quotient can’t be picked up can’t be totally removed with even the best of the finest-toothed combs He was a family-swan dead bit the bullet heavy head hanging on a long limp neck "It’s hard on your mother It’s hard on your mother, you know." In my head I say (yes, you are hard on my mother) He wants to shout out, “You’re killing your mother! You’re killing your mother again!” Family-man tried to down a bottle of pills. Family-mother had to get farm-woman from next-door to come and get the pills out of his mouth. Flipping him over, cursing, like pulling on the fringe of a rug, caught in the vacuum cleaner. His lips tightened over dissolving pills -- white, cream, blue pills --tiny logos carved into them; tiny logos carved in the dissolving pills. "Are you trying to kill your mother?" That was his crazy cry when at twelve, I got caught playing nicky-knocky-nine-doors. Seemed absurd. Mother passed us in the hall heading for her hot bath. For the first time I noticed, and wondered why a woman’s ass is wider than a man’s. Foolishly I’d asked, "How did mom get cancer?" Turned out I was to blame. The answer: "Having a child later in life and not breast feeding caused the cancer." Oh, bitter pill. Bullet with a name on it. A tiny message carved into it; a tiny message carved in my dissolving heart. I think I’ll go to my room now and set a spell please pass the smelling salts When I moved away from their madness Family-mother put on her tweed going-to-the-doctor suit and came to my little attic apartment She didn’t say hello to my boyfriend sitting on the edge of my bed she was there to inform me that I would have to move home my leaving had affected her sleep Oh, now she’s eighty, she has terrible nightmares I prompt her to reveal them and I learn that she’s integrating me into the disasters she sees on TV Family-man tells me a million terrible things all at once one after another my stature decreases I become short and ugly again Oh, my voice is hollow small I can’t do anything right I am worthless hanging on to blame My thinking forms awkward words to be twisted and thrown back in my tiny 41-year-old face Family-man sets me straight "Your mother is going to live another twenty years she’s going to live to 100." Family-man rants, family-man gets confused "She’s going to live another 100 years." Oh, I wish he’d make up his mind I wish he’d make up his mind either I’m killing her or she’s never going to die Family-man tells me a million terrible things all at once one after another Family-man sets me straight
8.
I want to know more about this conditon This conditon of having no mind’s eye Kumbayah, no mind’s eye Auld lang syn, no mind’s eye Can you remember when the cowboys filled the movie screen? Can you remember the red velvet curtain and how it hung-ung-ung-ung-ung-ung ? OK eeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeee How bout a plain white screen? Look down at your hands Can you see them when you were small? la la la la la Picking raspberries pick pick pick pick pick cherries pick pick pick pick pick beans pick pick pick pick pick Can you see your small hands? Does it help when you close your eyes? Close your eye eeyeyeyeyeyeyeye(s) And think about an orange pushing your thumbs in pulling back the peel Can you see the segments? orange You must be able to see an orange in your mind’s eye You know your mind stores this information in memory banks memory banks memory banks pick pick pick pick pick I want to know more about this conditon This conditon of having no mind’s eye Kumbayah, no mind’s eye Auld lang syn, no mind’s eye eeyeyeyeyeyeyeye You don’t need to see an orange every time pick pick pick pick pick to know what an orange is lalalalalalala lalalalalalala lalalalalalala how it hung-ung-ung-ung-ung-ung from a tree orange lalalalalalala
9.
The queen mother calls to mother west wind, "Let's be nice, all right. Bless the castle, and the titles, and protocol." Dad asks if there's anything I'd like to ask, like, before he dies Anything I'd like to know. I ask, "Dad, where did your dad come from?" What I'd really like to ask is, "Why did you throw that huge glass of chocolate milk at me when I said I was moving out, at 17? And did either of you read my last book? And why do you tell people you're going to kill the man in the trailer next door?" I'm waiting here alone, drinking tea instead of gin, I'm respectable. My brother tells me, on the phone, that civilized people do not leave their parents in their old age. I have ice floes in my mind, everywhere white. Fur-trimmed mittens, arms linked. The backs of hooded parkas. The mist whips between them and me. Ice floes aweigh. I feel guilt and relief. I should run after them, bring them back, and serve them tea. The desire to run after them disappears. I grab the door of the plane, hoist myself in. The propeller starts, I don't look down. Are they waving up at me? They have no plan, I suspect this means I'll have to take over, and rescue them. Tea is at 11 and again at 3. Breakfast comes right after coffee, which is at 8, with a muffin or a scone. Breakfast is oatmeal and lunch is at noon. Dinner is at 6 right after the 5 o'clock news. Dad talks too much, stories from 35 years ago, something someone said at the office is still bothering him. Or what about the time he threatened to throw the tax auditor down the stairs? Or the time he turned the hose on the guy next door? Or what big losers Margaret Atwood and Joni Mitchell are? The queen mother calls to mother west wind, "Let's be nice, all right. Bless the castle, and the titles, and protocol." What I'd really like to ask is, "Why did you throw that huge glass of chocolate milk at me when I said I was moving out, at 17?" The queen mother calls to mother west wind, "Bless the castle, and the titles, and protocol."
10.

credits

released August 20, 2002

David Lester: Guitar
Jean Smith: Vocals

Produced by Dave Doughman

℗ 2002 Lester/Smith SOCAN
© 2002 Kill Rock Stars
www.killrockstars.com
meccanormal.tripod.com

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Mecca Normal Vancouver, British Columbia

“Empathy for the Evil” (2014, M'lady's Records)

Press Kit meccanormal2014.wordpress.com/press-kit

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