Tabernacle

by Shunner

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about

Shunner, the first album, beginning to loose their
teeth as they ramble on coated in algae, cooling,
steaming deep in a vat cawing like a crow, tendons
relieving tension of flesh to bone, muscles flaying,
exhaling bottled smoke, blood pumping to gums,
making chewed words perform simply as words.
Sound design, theatre, poetry, school, being Tim
Berners Lee, roaring, Bugspotting fucking constantly
every single day of their and my life—­­­­dripping,
leaving residue like soggy skin at vat’s bottom,
toxic residue, bottom of foot crust, a relief a
detox like a green shake—­­­­feels good, even
better.

Green screen school, taught invisibly well, with an
eye to detail and representation with a loose collar
haloing a fat neck, green gums, yellow jacket, nest,
stinger, fuzz, limbs twitching in balls, egg sacks.
It hurts to continue to run and and let my things
dangle that hurts, that makes it odd to imagine
things like that, I’m looping, don’t you know don’t
you know don’t you know I know so fucking well my
eyes bleed I hurt so much it loves me back. It feels
nicely I am pointless unimaginable do you imagine
can I imagine you you are very far away i want to
love you so much I can’t manage i have too much to
do, you have too much to do, right?

Shunner is a writer and performer to be found in
Boston, Massachusetts.

credits

released September 24, 2016

emerson fd - vocals, lyrics, percussion
amos damroth - production, guitar, synth, percussion
helen laser - vocals, production
elias jarzombek - bass, percussion, production
album art by ben miller
track art by helen laser

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Free Lemonade Records Boston, Massachusetts

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Track Name: Emerson, Wholeheartedly
an ant colony of tissue paper peonies, little death rattle
underneath the fingernails, push the bruise a mote past due,
breathe like hurt happens without love for the forefront,
fathers of monsters ten aches tall, brilliance postmortem,
brilliance is underwater, keening pop-up lagoons,
a cellophane mariner, a scotch tape yacht,
hot glue binoculars, felt letters spelling out of gas,
a cesspool birthright, ninetyeight break under gutterfuck soul,
hurl scripts at the wall till something falls down.

my name isn’t anything you need in your head.
my name isn’t anything worth all the skeletons you’ve said.

electrolyte word search scramble heart eggs,
dredge exalted concubine, a thread of mpreg.
the point of survival is to fuck everything right in the face!
right in the face until it screams bloody more!
breathing green text hurts when you hit the clarity harder than you’re supposed to,
a little bright in a cold nothing, kill cops, unmask the ruin of american soil- hold up-
welcome to Tabernacle! hope you’re hungry.
give yourself a date and time a little shlick shlick,
ruin family teppanyaki for yourself real quick.

my name isn’t anything you need in your head.
my name isn’t anything worth all the skeletons you’ve said.
my flame isn’t isopods hatching from the canopy above your bed.
the same isn’t absolutely anything better off dead, but I’m better off dead.

Rest all your thorny crowns on Wakabayashi’s headstone,
O great Saturn breastbone, build the pylons till you cave,
reach the firmament before it dare reaches back,
a honeybutter mermaid in a destitute town,
from the waters from the edge of motherfucking glory,
underscore the symphony with every last fruit bat,
chiming save us save us, why haven’t we been saved yet?
Hollywood or Wendigo? decide when you’re ready.
I’ll be just behind the stained glass backdrop.

my name isn’t anything you need in your head.
my name isn’t anything worth all the skeletons you’ve said.
my flame isn’t isopods hatching from the canopy above your bed.
the same isn’t absolutely anything better off dead, but I’m better off dead, better off dead.
HELL IS REAL! i’m better off dead, SOUL OF ORANGE PEEL! i’m better off dead,
don’t know how it feels to be better off dead, but i’m better off dead,
we’re all better off dead.
Track Name: Entire
today i decided i was a new person, today i decided i would walk along the sidewalk and find where i wanted to stop walking, today i walked three blocks until someone asked me if i was all right i said yes but i stopped walking and sat down they asked if they needed to call someone if i wanted an ambulance i said no and stood up and kept walking, today i breathed a little heavier, today i felt the spaces in between my ribs open up, today i left my wallet and keys on the counter just to the right of the old phone it’s beige i don’t know why it’s important but it doesn’t match the rest of the decor, today i realized it was off and i thought about moving it but i didn’t, today i noticed the row of houses eight blocks down falling apart someone broke the window finally threw a brick through it or something it always smells like skunk always not the animal you understand it’s an erogenous zone for illegal recreation it’s impossible to walk through without someone trying to sell you dank, today i bought an eighth for fifty i know not the best but it was enough, today i walked a few more blocks before i sat down again, today there was a bench i’d never seen before at the edge of the park fresh coat of a paint no splinters plastic maybe i couldn’t ever tell i’m bad at material identification i stained it me not the birds no shit caked the boards it was my mark mine i was there for years for what seemed like for years for the next couldn’t wait couldn’t stand up grew old with the boards the seat has mine entrenched, today i fed the geese corn kernels nothing else no bread bread doesn’t work bread just fills them up bread is empty bread is empty nourishment why fill the bellies when you can fill everything they can’t distinguish between corn and bread geese are stupid aggressive waterfowl who just want to survive and don’t care about the environment maybe i should have fed them bread that would show them, today i wished for a sign, today i performed CPR on myself, today i jumped off the bridge at the perfect moment but the water met my senses before nothing could, today i lifted my feet and took one step two three four like this see i walked i walked, today i walked and nobody followed me, today there were no will-o-wisps or antlered devils or reality checks just the road and its traveler the cracks between the tectonics of the sidewalk, today i was happy, today i was real, today i found my purpose, today i walked past the houses a second time and they were alive again a buggy drove past and a woman threw her handkerchief cold against my face, today was warm and wet and the thunderstorms murdered the drought like none other lightning lightning split split wracked wracked permanence the clouds will never come again the same way will they, today i returned to the bench and sat for another eternity the barnacles flecked my skin the mites ate their way in out in out again again it will never stop will it, today i pulled god down and asked that nicely to cut the haunts, today the cosmos would not oblige, today we made contact, today the aliens gave us fire, today the aliens gave us water, today the aliens, today the aliens, today they left and they'll never come back, today we listened to the old vivaldi back before the seasons started, today we noticed the storm movement was different less windy less rainy more bright, today the houses looked alive livable a triceratops roaming a cretaceous sea of grass a passenger pigeon a whale as large as the sun, today the woman in the window winked like she knew something was about to happen, today i was hit by a car, today i was hit by a bus, today i hit a train and it derailed sailed off into the horizon like a lost seagull, today nothing wanted to hit me when i cocked my pistol, today the gunpowder in my rifle caught, today the lead ball replaced my left eye and i saw deeper into the earth than anyone else had ever seen, today i collapsed to the sidewalk and someone asked me if i was all right i said yes but i stopped walking and sat down they asked if they needed to call someone if i wanted an ambulance i said no and stood up and kept walking, today i walked further than i had ever walked, today i remembered shel silverstein, today i remembered my father’s gnarled dogwood hands, today i remembered the way she held mine, today was for her, today i dug holes in the dark forget-me-nots grow in the shade twice as strong if you let them, today was a night instead, today breathed a dying king stuck in his golden highchair, today believed in itself like none other none i’d ever seen believe do you believe how do you believe, today, today i lost my footing running away still running into the frost into the downpour washed away the prints i’ll never see myself again will i? will i? will i? will i? will i? will i?, today was the worst one yet, today i slept through the morning the afternoon the evening the morning the afternoon the evening the nights never i never lose the nights, today i breathed fire for the first time since the temperature let it happen, today i wrote seven songs and sang them to the birds so they'd have some new material they sang back and now i know what everything is, today i am everything, today i glow, today is three million miles down underwater in the dark waiting for beasts the size of school buses to swim into the maw, today i am a hellmouth, today i am poseidon, today was the longest day of all time, today is not over.
Track Name: The Left Hand of Darkness
look before you leap oh kerosene lover,
mingled poison ivy up the goddamn lattice,
slit ankle bramble patch, hurtling through the ages,
forge a new moon while the old one watches,
what was that song we knew when we were younger?
a withered bloom demigod kicking through the shallows.
delicate lanterns in the putrid summer heat,
glamor web spiders with way too many teeth.

Am I your boy yet?
Or a burned out filament waiting for a change?
I am Tadashi on the boat in a world without a telescope,
fake holes in the atmosphere and real ones in your throat.

i am not the one to keep oh kerosene lover,
an inflatable hydra and a coppertone beach,
cruise ships sinking in the January thaw
spindly legs whirring off the oil-soaked reaches,
scraping bottom of the dinghy, stretching out the fabric,
an octopus nailed to the back of the throne,
no horseshoe holds for more than a decade,
don’t need a new world for the humpback whales.

What colors did you see that far underwater?
When did your carcass drift to shore?
I am Tadashi on the boat in a world without a telescope,
fake holes in the atmosphere and real ones in your throat.

hundred miles deep oh kerosene lover,
full brain sudoku and a levee on the brink
cut your own form from some superabundance
hugging its teddy bear close to its chest,
cracking jokes about my suicide till everyone's uncomfortable
hit the reset button
invalidate the hurt seeping out of every orifice,
skip every track on this wretched old thing.

How many wings before I’m not human?
are we anything more than pixels and hope?
I am Tadashi on the boat in a world without a telescope,
fake holes in the atmosphere and real ones in your throat.

Am I your boy yet? Am I your boy yet?
Are we too young to want to die?
In another life I’ll never live Kaori’s there instead
mascara leaking down my cheeks, one hole in my head.
Track Name: Host Body
and i wanna be your history, your insomnia, your cold sweat
and this is an apology, what keeps me up and keeps me going
and sometimes i wonder if this is just a host body if
i'm just some poor parasite
and you miss the empty house i used to be

we could have been argonauts, ripped the sails from the beating currents, discovered gold where there once was lead, reshaped our lethargic hands into whirring cogwheels, sparkling in the ocean sunlight

we could have been architects, built cathedrals, impossible cathedrals, from balsa wood and memory, watching the chalk dust dance in our hands, finding ultimate, world-breaking power in fountains, water flowing through human-forged veins, blood of the earth spirit

and i wanna be your history, your insomnia, what keeps you up at night
and this is an apology, keeps me up and keeps me going, going
and sometimes i wonder if this is just a host body if
i'm just some poor parasite
filling an empty house

we could have battled dragons, shrieking in shrieking in triumph over their fallen scales, until another monstrosity forth reared its ugly fuckin' head, and we’d tear it apart, arm from arm limb from limb toe to toe, pathological soldier boys, presenting the entrails to the fire as a sacrifice

we could have been stargazers, observing familiar territory, charting our turns between the darting cosmos, lands of the dead, completely loose of them terrors of tomorrow, caught up in our eyes catching the universe

and i wanna be your history, your elemental awe, nightmares, everything after
this is an apology, so keep me up, keep me going, going, going, GOING
and sometimes i wonder if everyone's a host body if
we're all poor excuses for ghosts
haunting empty houses that used to be home
haunting empty houses that used to be home

haunting
Track Name: Love Song For Kurozu-Cho
when we were grapevines burning tongues in unison
as the ice caps melted nothing soluble left
but some fantasy floating in serene hurt where flecks check all the boxes
and the salt girl kept laughing as our arms kept cramping, charlie snail ad infinitum,
how do you pull yourself out of an abyss? It’s an impossible question.
how do you pull yourself out of an abyss?
I’m searching for answers, and there aren’t any here.

Kirie, are you worried yet?
Will your seaweed hair ignite?
though Kane can’t refund your fingerprints
the antipsychotics just might
and while he spits puzzle pieces with every single notch filled in,
they’ll wrap you in the embroidered echoes of any derivative sin

This is a love song for Kurozu-cho
This is a love song for Kurozu-cho
This is a love song for Kurozu-cho
I’ll never leave, never believe, and I’ll never know

My ravings fall on earless gastropods,
a labyrinth of primary colors and unsure doors,
checking each with the index, Spiderwick Knocker,
but we knew each other a mile below a swing set before every evil began,
when the arcade fired the lighthouse, sinking loose, every urn at once below a thick layer of family, ionosphere clay, a broken six
Heil Kusama!

I ride nightly horses through hordes of biting ticks, a moveable feast with no hope of an eventual swallow, rejecting antidotes in favor of citrus and optimism, but I am losing red quickly,

I am a dead sea breaching the vanishing point and there’s not much horizon left,
And when we were grapevines burning tongues in unison
and the salt girl kept laughing with no sign of stopping.
how do you pull yourself out of an abyss?
It’s an impossible question,
I’m sifting through the ashes, pennies through my fingers,
All you said was “do.”

Kirie, are you worried yet?
Will your seaweed hair ignite?
though Kane can’t refund your fingerprints
the antipsychotics just might (no they won’t)
and while he spits puzzle pieces with every single last notch filled in,
they’ll wrap you in the embroidered echoes of any derivative sin

This is a love song for Kurozu-cho (Chie Maruyama died in the houses)
This is a love song for Kurozu-cho (shut up before you make a whirlwind roar)
This is a love song for Kurozu-cho (the city below us the city below us)
I’ll never leave, never believe,
I don’t think I’ll ever know.
Track Name: Brain Bug
A simple enough decision to make,
crowed the mountain goat, eight hooves
firmly in the shit, act, do, try.
A choir, ruiner hearts the world over,
one after another machine gun bone.

I wasn’t built. I grew empty of the else,
of the earth’s crust and eighteen million years,
rivulets of pink and four teeth in a shot glass,
legs all porcelain blood, polar bear, PowerPoint,
a few white swipes of uncut image-ridden narcissism.

I was sticky ring fingers fist deep in the jar,
pulling forth the effort, dying of laughter.
In every story, after the rain clears,
there is a new earth. Noah clutches the branch,
wondering why it won’t stop thrashing.

Now I swallow roaches whole like moth balls,
ingest the Holy Roman atmosphere
in one graven flush, breathe the pits’ age,
wonder how deep the old soul can go
before gripping the nearest gutter star.

A dream: my mother, shiva on the bath mat,
cradling the fish tank like a newborn as the hissers
eat tunnels through banana. Lullabies of Darwin
and nuclear holocaust. They will live through it, she insists.
They will tell our stories.

Are you a dream, too? Or another voice?
How does one sling comets with such magnitude?
What direction do your cars go?
Are they tired from the journey?
When will they get to rest?
Track Name: One After Another Machine Gun Bone
they all span eighty thousand beneath the knuckle of their thumb
split molecules, give hope for worlds, not once comfortably numb
i don’t understand the reasoning, can’t comprehend the future
won’t understand myself, oh, don’t know where to put the sutures

in forty years there are no more fish in the ocean and the folds in our brains fill themselves with copper and hysteria. a man brushes his teeth, spits bloody and notices his eyes don’t remind him of his father’s any more. his mouth chews the eggs for him. the wrong headlines chuckle from just right of his vision and the pills don’t work again. they invent another disease. the others won’t cooperate.

but three months ago the gas price was something else,
wasn’t it? something worth paying,
but even when Nietzsche breathed, all tasted sweeter
than an empty wafer, apologetic frosting, or
grape juice from concentrate.

they all span eighty thousand beneath the knuckle of their thumb
split molecules, give hope for worlds, not once comfortably numb
i don’t understand the reasoning, can’t comprehend the future
won’t understand myself, oh, don’t know where to put the sutures

it is an ache, something that is for,
someone, an object even, some lost locus
resonating over the lip, a quiver like static
against the neck of every green collared Fuck Me shirt,
versus the lipstick stains and lashes of cum
flecking the lace he’ll never wear again,
stars in a constellation, the last fish in the sea,

and my father pulls a wine bottle from the shelf.
the cord around my neck keeps beating its tapeworm heart.

and they’ve spanned eighty thousand beneath the knuckle of their thumb
split open skulls, unlocked the doors, silence, silence, then none

i was younger, once, younger than i am now,
when i wore blue, when i walked,
when breathing was intuitive,
when i spent, before
the tank was full. ethanol eats itself.
i am not powered by hope.

i don’t understand my reasoning, can’t comprehend my future
put the gun down on the carpet but don’t know where to put the sutures
Track Name: Volcarona
elizabeth between the column, caterpillar centaur
lashing paper plate pauldrons to her shoulders with a vengeance,
foot deep murk water versus all the gunslingers,
child labor thousand eyes rip back the ornate door,
beware beware canary wreck the mineshaft’s final call,
front row at the witch trials,
you end empty, cold, and alone.
insert coin to try again.

little death came walking in all her sheepskin lavender,
hopeful gods dripping from the sockets,
charm bracelet wings in full bloom hoping something more substantial,
witness under evergreen labyrinth,
barn owls long spent sleeping pills an ulcer not a grimace,
crushing the last hearth between her black talons with a whisper:
you will outlive your words.

and the truth stood its ground, all hackles aflare,
mashing the b button but evolving anyway,
pinecone tongue woyzeck focus, macerated oatmeal raisin in the bowers of the youth
burn it all to the fucking ground, the heart piece sighed, echoing the sigh, echoing the sigh,
burn it all to the ground.

these hands built more than just the happiness,
and they will again, from the periwinkles weighing the sea change,
wrap the spires in carbonated love.
some day we’ll all sleep magnum opus.
how does it all taste? like victory? iron? the right blend of acid rain?
the sky sighs so many daisy questions. hurl the worst ones back.

persist, oh persist, you disheveled broodmothers,
pumping out textbook doomsday clocks,
this is something else, something thrashing,
pod people vehemence, a razor clam shell.
evil birds don’t exist, do they? not this time.
Lord, give me something new to cry the Nile about.

and the truth stood its ground, all hackles aflare,
I’m the first Volcarona in Pokemon Go,
pinecone tongue woyzeck focus, macerated oatmeal raisin in the bowels of the youth
burn it all to the fucking ground, the heart piece sighed, echoing the sigh, echoing the sigh,
echoing the sigh, burn it all to the ground.

we have failed the universe, be ready for a seam to break,
but until then, slide the needles into your shoes. be a secret.
weave until they listen, every hole a siren. let them know how it feels.
one day all your fairy tales will finally be enough.
Track Name: Kishin
sad spectrum kids, dead shot through the eyelids
fuck do we owe you? fuck do we owe you?
melt soul threshers in the ten league dark,
fuck do we owe you? uh? fuck do we owe you?
born again luminescent hybrid symbiotic,
minute talk in Innsmouth and a new worldview aquatic
ruin me Ceyx before somebody else does,
ruin me Alcyone before someone else does.

once upon a time the world ended swiftly,
implosions peppering the seabed, cave in,
a sea cucumber fifty dollars broken rum bottle,
mariner graves in the whirring cirrus stratosphere,
cobblestone breath, iris on the platter, oh
eat me before i congeal.

sad spectrum kids with nothing in the rafters
fuck do we owe you? fuck do we owe you?
you might’ve showed the right coven how to build the ladder,
but fuck do we owe you? huh? fuck do we owe you?
newborn limbs bursting forth from your forehead,
reaching hopelessly for the sun, oh
ruin me Ceyx before somebody else does,
ruin me Alcyone before someone else does.

ruin me Ceyx before somebody else does,
ruin me Alcyone before someone else does.
Track Name: Everything Is Beautiful
white and drooping,

a lonely tree too heavy for good too lost for worse for better for covered in a christmas sweater of love and lights too stagnant too stuck,

the snow anchors it to the earth, where it falls on blankets, moss, ache, grass clippings, ingenue, tissue boxes. raspberry wine, candy canes, Jupiter.

this is the leftmost diamond on the idol, the worst-case scenario,
the bad king wenceslaus stratagem,

the moth the light forgot to forget.

we are separated by buggerall, 
locked into didactic cells,
sand palaces with one loose grain.
i am building a graphite tomb to inter my brain when it gives up.
i don’t want to give up.

i will never be beautiful. i will never be good, but
i don’t want to give up hope that one day 
i’ll see the rope burns break and new skin will form

all will be warm milk and honey on the riverbeds.
we were never meant to live forever,
we were never meant to live forever.

we are spirits locked to each other by the bike chains in our hearts,
whipping through time like nothing else matters but calculators clicking,
trying to figure out why one is two.

i’ll find a notebook at the bottom of a coat pocket
and remember being, beginning again,
terrified of the worlds that claimed my soul, the towers:
the way they spiraled, wove their histories together, 
desperation splattered across the brick.

his face was a ruined wedding,
as if the abandon had hardened his veins,
and it was the last one that did it,
a hemophilia, royalty liquified, and
there was blood in his mouth,
and murder in his eyes.
he said something. i don’t remember what, but
benches splintered, his magnum opus a salty uppercut.
i pried my wishes from between the floorboards.

we are always the streetlamp glistening,
the abundance of mist off the pavement,
seven eyes blinking through the smoke.

i will never be beautiful. i will never be good, but
i don’t want to give up hope that one day 
i’ll see the rope burns break and new skin will form

all will be warm milk and honey on the riverbeds.
we were never meant to live forever,
we were never meant to live forever.

we are spirits locked to each other by the bike chains in our hearts,
whipping through time like nothing else matters
trying to find why one is two,
still searching for the answer.

and in that one moment,

we were more all at once, splattered against the concrete

like ghosts without sheets and cops without robbers,

edifices of spirit limitless,
churning against the confines of the skinbag, oldest antichrist,
shifting legendary directions, bears, snakes, soldiers,
worlds becoming worlds for the first time.


but it wasn't ever an ascension, i never knew what the earth had named itself.

everyone is a captain aboard a stone ship,
and we will all go down.
we will all go down.

we will never be beautiful. we will never be good, but

i don’t want to give up hope that one day 
the rope burns break and new skin will form,
all will be warm milk and honey on the riverbeds.

we were never meant to live forever,

we were never meant to live forever,
we were never meant to live forever.

we are spirits locked to each other by the bike chains in our hearts,
whipping through time like nothing else matters but clicking and clicking and clicking and clicking-

i want to be constellations but all i can do is hop stars.

i build universes by swirling fingers across the surface of the dream.
i am not ready to live in one that exists.
never have been ready.

(get ready.)