The Gossamer Thread

by The Gossamer Thread

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These songs were born in an unorganized dresser drawer of mental images from my childhood.


released August 15, 2008

All tracks written, performed, and home-recorded by Alex Strachota
Art by Alex and the McKians




The Gossamer Thread Washburn, Wisconsin

musical experiments by Alex Strachota

"And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul."
... more

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Track Name: newlywed
Let this be not the first time you stood up in the midst of it all
and stuffed cork down your ear holes
And in the eyes of the gods we’re all ants
But in the relative size of our muscles ants resemble us on steroids
And we all know that millions of miles away
there are complex chemical reactions fusing pretty little particles
When stars die their gifts will all be given
So children of the world go on and pick up all your toys, toys
When you were young and bored, bored.

Here I am
It’s Friday night
I’m lying supine on Highway 55
Watching the streetlights don their halos
When I squint my eyes I can see a bride give birth
to all the regrets of the world at midnight
getting high on the gallows
One night I dreamt we were pilgrims at sea
And we were fleeing from a guy
who was evidently not from the seventeenth century
He said the future ain’t written in books
‘cause it’s stuck in the air and slipping down our throats

So let this be not the first time you stood up
and faced a hole in the wall
and tried to squeeze your skinny legs in
We all wanna dig to China one day
to stand in front of the tanks in the acid rain
And we all know that millions of miles away
There’s some old lonely astronaut who’s drifting
abandoned in space
When stars die their friends will all be singing
So children of the world go on and be good girls and boys, boys
Be good girls and boys, boys
Track Name: stuck
I’m stuck in myself
Completely contained within
My nerves are cut like tongues
Bovine encampment
I want my life to be like a paint can
Spilled and dripped
Upon the streetlight, nightlight, blood canvas

I strive to lose the dullness of my skin
Sometimes it’s madness, suicide, masochism
I wanna be like leaves without a single goal
Feel the play of the wind
And in autumn, fall
I’ll wrap my arms like bark, ancient and thick

I’m always seeking expansion
Through jailbreak, jaw-break, heartbreak animation
I wanna find my happiness
And burn it all the way down
And use the blackened ash to lift my life off the ground
Or run the ship ashore and come out
Unscathed and unbruised

I fear contentment so I keep it out of reach
I’m never sated and will probably never be
You see the water has waves
And the land seeks the sea
And the birds fight the wind that blows violently
It’s in that very struggle that we live and die perfectly
Track Name: run with the enemy
You act like you’ve got something you believe in
I felt the same the day before but things are deceiving
I really can’t say that I’ve slept much lately
Maybe the time will come when you can awake me
Put pins and needles in my body and hate me
But I’ll never lie down, no you’ll never sedate me
Wanna swap souls with the mares in the stables
Heads drowned in hair and clouds tangled in cables
Birds in my bags and bees in the hives
If you’re gonna live in the mind I’ll put these apples in your eyes
Everybody flees like the flight of the fireflies
11:27 you’ll be jumping off the high-rise

(I want to hold the earth inside
And make believe you’re still alive
Look to the gods when you need truth
But I wouldn’t know, I wouldn’t know, I wouldn’t
The ghosts of the forests are dying
Eggs that we cracked on the rocks are slow to fry)

We and all the other holden
We board the trains but not on time
Far below and far below
We had the truth so we lied

Run with the enemy
Don’t look so glum
All the belligerent magistrates are inside
And bend the bars
Don’t drink up the falling moon
Say ‘you’re not the fire in me’
You’re not the fire in me

You’re so high from a trip in the backroom
That you go home and pass out in the bathroom
You’ve got a lot of it beneath your skin, man
But that’s OK, you know how it got in, man

Whatcha gonna do when you’re all burned out of hope, girl
Where you gonna go
If you’re gonna live in your mind
Put these apples in your eyes

(See you waving from miles away
I fell for you and your suicide
I see you waving from miles away
I fell for you and your sui-)

[Violin sampled from Mr. Vivaldi]
Track Name: jungian horses
Horses fly in our collective memory
We’re just blinded by the easy way out through sorcery
Backpedal, backpedal, prurient sideshows for us to see
Pomegranate seeds of death for us to eat

National news is one big mess of mockery
When every truth that’s famished and fried is on TV
You start to mistake the real for the reality
You start to forget your will under the honey tree

Spirals drink their dogma down with poetry
And preachers push a paradigm of pleasantries
No, carousel, carousel, you sacred souls please pardon me
I won’t be needing your god to live out my destiny
Track Name: flowers
Delirious and down
when they drag you back home to the trailer park
you fatten up the crows with seed
So when they die in a mass grave
beneath the place you take to be your bed
their patient stomachs burst
from the pent up blister of rage
of the free-seeking love that all plant life needs
spread wide leaves
All through the night
there’s a forest taking root beneath your house
and in the morning you’re on stilts above the clouds
Now anything less would seem unlikely

[Dr. O laughs about castration; my cousin Joel shouts “everybody!” in 1989; I sing Twinkle Twinkle at age 2]
Track Name: c is for cookie (remix)
“C is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me”

[my cousins’ 1989 rendering of the famous Cookie Monster line]
Track Name: rocking the afterlife
There’s a vacuum cleaner
and a kid in dark threads rocking the afterlife
staring at commercials for Andrew’s lemon oil
thinking ‘oh my, I should of consumed more woody plants’
or ‘oh my, keyhole listening is a sin’

Rap me up in cellophane quickly and I’ll begin
but tell me really, how many times a day do you pray
to the CAT-scan deity that’s inside you and beside me
shit-faced and proud, reading the tabloids like the modern Koran

The government censored my finger paintings in the first grade
I brought too much beauty to their pigsty
Scratch some corporate logo on your canvas
Sell your kids
and move to Hong Kong
We’re all machines here and we like it like that

They say the fat man on the lotus was obtaining peace
They say a lucky soldier comes back in one piece
I say some soldiers come home in so many
particulate fractions of their former selves
that we breathe them in before we know they’ve died

Then we just accept their death
Then we just accept their death
Then we just accept their transmutation
to a million miniscule particulate fractions of their former selves
Then we just accept their death

My eyes are small oysters
I’ll always be merely a boy
with no important thoughts
and no way to express them
If I had them
I suppose I’d hang ‘em out to dry
Yeah, I look at my body in the mirror and see through the inside
I’m cultivating a nosebleed brain-rush
Rushing out the nostrils in a violet sigh
I’m makin’ me a caravan of traveling images
fragrant experiences
and other minutia from my past lives

[Cousin Lauren says “Goodbye”]
Track Name: dinner call / paper cutouts / sullen song excerpt
Paper cutouts of a million sweaty people holding hands
Maybe plaster them around a blue and green globe
as if the smog hasn’t caught on to our childish games
and laid slowly upon the bold earth

Paragraphs for a man continuously behind his glasses,
A sullen song for a sullen boy
Track Name: on the solemnity of a snowfall
On the solemnity of a snowfall
a child’s new scarf is his only relic
to provide the added gravity needed to pull your tears out

I met an oak tree in a fragile vase
and stepping back I saw its roots a-tremblin’
Electric passion and springtide yearnin’
to budge and change and reach higher planes

I fed my fortune through a slot machine
for greasy quarters from the Reagan years
That’s around the time when I was
just starting to figure some things out
And realizing nearly all the people I’d met were just lovely
and scared to death
So toss together a slideshow from the past 20 years
and later tonight we can burn all this shit
Track Name: old poets
Succulents and Junipers
The only lovely non-entities I’ll remember
Walking home to the rhythm of melting snow
and sometimes getting caught in cigarette plumes
And seeing elderly gypsy men on little red bicycles
They’ve revoked their free-speech rights and all become poets
Yeah they scratch their lines
beneath the signs on fountains that say
‘please don’t drink the water’
They’re scrawling out senile lines at 85
Yeah, you know it

[I sing Wee Willie Winkie at age 2]
Track Name: alive and well somewhere
“They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceas'd the moment life appear'd.
All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.”

[poetry from Uncle Walt]