Jean Smith lyrics and vocals. David Lester guitar. KRAMER bass and organ.
Lyrics are from "The Black Dot Museum of Political Art" a novel by Jean Smith.
In the summer of 1936, Maisy died and without missing a beat, Nestor turned and began hurling his high-pitched railings at Odele, like javelin tips landing sideways in the tender field of her heart. Odele was fourteen when she took over the chores – the watering, weeding, the picking, trimming and slicing of green beans, making meals, just like before. It fell to her to tend the garden, carefully latching bean tendrils to the brittle netting that stayed out all year, weathered to grey. The beans were blind – reaching out into the vastness of her tiny universe – in the opposite direction, until Odele unfurled the coil of filigree and let it touch the net. The beans hung like slender green trout, green eggs plump in their green bellies. So much green – too much – and so much for the natural order her father talked about; the hopelessness of beans left to fend for themselves, on their own.
After her mother’s death, realizing that as a female she was interchangeable and therefore he’d be trying to fill her up and kill her too, Odele developed a penchant for very long baths with bubbles. Her father wouldn’t have dared to yell at her while she was naked, but she had her blanket of bubbles just in case. The tub was behind the woodshed where her two brothers’ bottoms had been paddled until they were old enough to endure a leather strap across the open palms of their pre-pubescent hands. The strap was for the boys and the soap was for Odele, the only girl, and it was appropriate. The boys were always in some kind of trouble that involved their quick fingers and plump hands – taking money, raiding fruit trees or fighting on the dusty shoulder of the road home from school. The strap across the hands was fitting for the boys and likewise, it was Odele’s mouth that got her into trouble – sassing back to her father, expressing her opinions unasked. The soap, it was for Odele.
from Empathy for the Evil
released September 16, 2014
Produced by KRAMER. Mixed and mastered by KRAMER at Noise Miami. Recorded by Rat Bastard at the Laundry Room, Miami Beach in November of 2012. Art by Jean Smith.
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