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Among Friends

by The Sextet

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Spiral 15:09
First you start with a cloud comprising mostly hydrogen invite your friends to your house and then you try to make it spin like… water in the drain, buzzards in the desert, hurricanes, all these soliloquies in my brain, circle, spiral, speed up till you feel it heat up it’s collapsing, gravitational attraction, consolidated you can’t always see it in these early stages protostars don’t shine in visible ranges what I’m trying to say is if you have bet against us that’s a bad bet ‘cause you ain’t heard the half yet cast off my chrysalis, chromosphere is red delicious, it’s too late for Icarus, planets form in orbit now, the groove we leave in the spatial fabric is significant but the kicker is heavier you get the more you burn one and one makes two cooking up this helium, that’s just the way it works To be determined... I’m not into losing polishing my plumage I don’t go see movies rather stay at home and touch the muses I don’t go to parties ‘cause I’m insecure about my hubris and that’s just as well I’ve got a million things on my to-do list walking on the moon I cannot dispute I'm aloof living with a skewed point of view ignoring rebuke I assume what I’m trying to prove beg your pardon, not the most rational guy (rational guy) so much loneliness, I ought to be able to capitalize now you see me now you don’t minute hand punch me in the throat understand this is a not a test not a joke either die first or meet the goal all or nothing never sweet and low hare and the tortoise applies either flare up and perish or bide if I’m lucky, appear in the sky To be determined... I cannot give up when the sun is up, I’m hopping up every mountain top I gotta touch schematics that I’m drawing up like Captain Nemo with the Nautilus used to heavy marijuana puff nowadays I clean my body up only put my lip on coffee cups eat my broccoli and squash and such do my push-up and my squat and such I keep in shape I rarely go the easy way, I almost never crave a piece of cake every day a steeplechase find a beat and syncopate I don’t have no Facebook account because you only see the face I prefer a deeper take don’t like for no middle man to mediate so I insulate from the fickle-minded dialog that people say start to incubate in my solitude imagination germinate I reverberate From the internal to external determined fate To be determined even though the condition seems to worsen never cease and desist, rather persist unassisted or beset in fists barricaded entrance unbroken for centuries besieged leapt on dreams uncoupled to the Higgs field gambling like Roy and Siegfried what magic will yield alchemical treatments of love forging platinum from blood family grudges like pales in the common ground acerbic heads of the id skewered on top birthday parties the ribbons of which you can only guess god bless keep on trucking, past the fishhook willows snagging what zips through running planted by the skittish ineffectual mucous-based lifeform with whom I share a lens the old world upended the new world impends careening at slow speeds over hurdles dandelion-high woe is I the florist who spent all his time in search of rare seeds finding none and inventories meager when Valentine’s comes the proud tramp the indignant leper inventing treasures the off-cameraman, the indirector spindly and cold-foot, for the patiently waiting the gate yet unopened, I’m still the joint casing a fool and his focus soon part scoff-stacks belching, shoot plumes high and dark me losing marks, can’t resist to engage and argue myself into the counterpart’s grave a wise man is not stuck in his ways keeps the earplugs handy never eager to answer a question that can’t be I find myself most unwise Gollum his precious Jeffrey his pride and flush my face with coats of scarlet a young starlet respect the grind or beg pardon
Uber Driver 05:17
There is a particular fragrance to newborn depression a scent on the wind that sparks the hint of a memory you dread but cannot place It’s ..... disorienting like being haunted, being hunted, being hated by everyone, even when everyone is telling you they love you you are completely alone every moment you don’t want to be, and every moment you are you are praying for a phone call you can’t answer lost, your voice, lost, in the abyss, losing time, lost in something you don’t want to claim but can’t ignore. Sometimes you catch a glimmer of happiness and try to live in that millisecond for the rest of your life just to feel the slightest warmth again but the deep freeze of this hostile takeover overwhelms the mirage of your memory and you recall the vanity of being so unsatisfied in the everyday occurrences. Seems, now, like everyone else is always smiling laughing at jokes but you can’t feel the anticipatory thrill of a punch line only punches that knock the wind out of you in random places like breakfast or birthday parties. You’re subjected to wondering if you’ve shared years with many people who never really loved you the chorus of their absence fills the cathedral of your broken state like a tsunami. An unpredictable blindsiding a rapid disintegration into a state of being where the avalanche slows but never stops A period where you can’t fake it no matter how much you want to. An occasion where you can’t bench-press the weight of anxiety. Your confidence suffering, sustaining significant damage, the cruel unpacking in which Misery makes a home in you. Recovering, feels impossible. Like, forgiveness. Like, forgetting. Like, living. There are many ways in and out of this darkness. The choice of an exit is yours. You, who is weary from struggling to survive had the sense to wait for the strongest second wind to set sail for healing shores. Throw yourself into escaping. You can make it out alive. You have done your best and it was not always enough but you do not deserve to suffer. You were trapped on a landscape of pain but you have broken loose. and know now, as you run toward freedom... That when you throw your defenses to the wind, be sure they’re not being blown directly into the hands of your enemies. Trust should never be hard to earn, but nearly impossible to regain. You fill the cavernous impact of your perilous journey with tea leaves, and therapy sessions, long phone calls, glittering surprises and eyelashes dripping with laughter tears. You watch the disaster relief team find you on the border of catastrophe and carry you to safety because you had just enough strength left to raise a white flag and light a flare. All attempts to revisit the past for more than a brief lingering are futile. You will not be able to revive what once was. And anyone who dares say “I told you so” in reflection of your wreckage does not understand the wild abandon of actually believing, Life can be better, even when it is impossibly the worst. Not all of us were meant to be cowboys, I suppose. It takes a brave soul to ride without spurs. But you did, and you’ll do it again, if you have to. For the guts, for the glory, for those many days when nothing has ever been so perfect. You’ve come full circle and must choose the road not taken. All familiar paths are washed out and besides, the treachery is too familiar to be a challenge. It’d just be another year wasted in dedication to survival. This is the year you take everything personally, and demand a satisfactory answer to all those dark dilemmas that held you hostage. Now, you heal. Now, the pain fades and eventually this will feel like staring into the fog. You forgive. You forget. You Live.
My Valentine is Funny (funny funny Valentine) My funny valentine Sweet comic valentine You make me smile with my heart Your looks are laughable Unphotographable Yet you’re my favorite work of art (work of art, work of art) Is your Figure less than Greek? Is your mouth a little weak? When you open it to speak Are you smart? (are you smart, are you smart?) But don't change your hair for me Not if you care for me Stay little Valentine stay Each day is Valentines day
Prayer Flags 08:50


The third album by Kansas City based groove jazz ensemble The Sextet


released September 6, 2019

Joe Tesoro - soprano sax, flute
Max Levy - tenor sax
Trevor Turla - trombone
Peter Marten - guitar
Nik Douglas - drums
Robert Castillo - upright/electric bass, bandleader

Engineered and Mixed by J Ashley Miller
Produced by J Ashley Miller, Robert Castillo, & The Sextet
Mastered by Duane Trower @ Weights and Measures Soundlab
Recorded January 17,18, & February 1 2019 @ The Infoaming Vertex
Album design by JC Franco
Cover Image: "Circle and Square" by Wassily Kandinsky 1943


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The Sextet Kansas City, Missouri

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