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Sudden Amaryllis

by Christina Blust

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Spilled 04:57
She, with red hair and white hazmat jumpsuit. We are spilled. Me, with black lung and transparent safety glasses. We will pass each other by. He, with Coltrane and Monk and pile of blues on the table, three-piece suits on the curb. The weeds grow in the shade of the dismembered porch steps where a foundation misplaced its house. We are spilled. We spill our breathing here. This road and I: both lovely and broken. We are spilled. Good lord the morning sure looks good today! Trees and sky settle on the ruins. On the corner of Galvez and Tricou, sky is the ghost of the Mississippi. Sky is the ghost of a river.
El Salvador 03:44
Alejandra's crying and I can't keep my own eyes dry. Her mom plants flowers, pink impatiens. Her friends wonder why she tries, and my soul is there. Luís Enrique signs his drawing con mucho cariño. Language is unnecessary with only the sky out the window and how can I not love him? I have no choice in the matter. I would not want a choice in the matter. Something in me knows that I am not free 'til you are. Have you ever stayed awake and mourned the future loss of lives, or has your soul met another in passing and known, right here, the pain inside? Because I can never be holy until I acknowledge your sanctity and there is something beyond me to which the only response is just to breathe and live with divine urgency. I have no choice in the matter. I would not want a choice in the matter. Something in me knows that I am not free, not truly, until every extant soul is relevant, 'til inward and outward exist dually, until a lovely display of divinity is human.
Cradle 05:46
The libraries of Mesopotamia burn. So does the body of a country. Infinite, wordless ashes we grind under our feet. Basrah, cradle me. Fallujah, cradle me. Baghdad, cradle me, cradle me. Ink bleeding, the Tigris runs black. Confidently, march our minds to darkness. Oh, Wisdom, forgive us our intrusion as we gleefully tear down your house.
Just a small question, really: will you be God for me? I'm not asking too much, just divinity. I'm sick of using these lungs. Will you just breathe for me? I'm tired of pumping blood through these veins — beat my heart for me. Be my life, be my meaning, be my reason to exist. Be everything I've ever dreamed about. I'll cry for you; you breathe for me. You see, my raison d'être has up and left my side so I figured I'd side up next to you. Be God, be God for me — be the higher power in my worldview.
Cricket serenade at midnight-thirty — perfect reminder that I am part of outside. New York City saw the stars for the third time since Edison. No news, no late nite, just the sky. Part of outside! I am part of outside. Your hair is just my thoughts existing more slowly. My very body is Andromeda realigned. Your dreaming is my hand at a faster vibration. I am you. I am holy. I am sky.
Jesus is taking a walk. He's left religion behind him and there are stars in the desert tonight. Jesus watches the storms roll in from miles away but for now there's just the warm breeze. But for now there are no cathedrals, no wars fought in his name. For now, he is free to be, before he became the world's most misunderstood soul. Jesus walks by the sea, smells the salt and thinks to himself My God! The sky is so big. Jesus looks in the eyes of each person he passes and knows change can come. But for now there are no cathedrals, no wars fought in his name. For now, there are no Catholic school girls, no giant crosses on I-75. There are no plastic crucifixes, no 700 Club. Rome is just an empire. Nicea is just a town. (Before he became the world's most misunderstood soul.) Jesus is taking a walk. He's left religion behind him and there are songs in the desert tonight. Jesus watches the storms roll in from centuries away but for now there's just the warm breeze.
Bare feet on plywood, bare feet on a roof top — I am smitten. Breath mingle with midnight, breath sweet all around us. We are not alone. Onward and upward, hello sky! I cannot imagine anything but love and light and hope drifting on a misty river. I do believe I've missed this, oh lord. Remind me my skin, remind me my soul: every corner the horizon. Christened by your smiles, christened by the fog rolling, rolling.
Sunburn 04:23
I cannot write this song yet. The words are still arriving, concentrating on surviving the time between now and past surrenders. A thousand days later, the sound still forms a crater on your name. Suddenly, upon my hair I wear the ocean and I cast my knot upon the waves. Suddenly, I feel the fire of the sun on my skin, so I walk on and hope my soul ignite. My sweat finds its way to where the water flows, your philosophy beside me. But different secrets guide me this time, as my body leaves itself behind. We are always dust — it's just more obvious this way. And I will never know static complacency or restlessness ignored. I will never see what it means to love you unobtrusively, or quietly prepared.
Providence 04:06
Six new residents in the cemetery. The snow enjoys new rocks to fall upon. I meet you laughing — you're hurdling gravestones. Hands touch and there are no tears. Socks climb a marble staircase. History reads quietly in empty rooms. We run, fully grown, through hallways. Yesterday watches you smile, and every word is providence. A kitten, black and white, in the compost. Vacancy in the chapel balcony. Trees stubbornly grow in the orchard; nobody knows their names. Gray skies whisper the psalter, saintly lives unitentional. Providential embraces shared. In plurality, memories fade, and every word is providence. Providentially they recall faces from the darkness, names, lives, relations that no one is quite sure of.
Tumor 03:26
Tumor, you are mistaken: you are actually a bag of poppy seeds. I will plant you in my yard. Come summer, all your petals will go haywire, orange and red. You will not spread. You will grow flowers instead. Tumor, you are mistaken: you are actually an old wooden desk. I will rest my head upon you. On your surface, lovingly, I'll carve three words next to my name. You will not spread. You will support my books instead. Tumor, you are mistaken: you are actually my favorite cotton skirt. I will put you on in winter. When the winds come, you will not hinder their pathway to my knees. You will not spread. You will fit nicely instead. Tumor, you are mistaken: you are actually a small, frenzied moth. I will watch you from the front door. You will kiss the light on my porch, find in its brilliance fatal joy — you will not spread. You will die for love instead.
Snowbound fluorescence is blinding me now. Intriguing question: in which direction points a soul? Surround existence and laugh with me now — ambivalence drifting, confidence lifting your eyes. (Lift your eyes!) Don't believe staggering fools who tell you you should fear. Don't believe any love but true — darling, I will stand beside you. I know you are stronger than that. Broken and barren with hailstones falling, hearts languish frozen, misery chosen in the dark. But stronger weapons than despair are calling. Sudden amaryllis! In dead fields reach lilies to the sky, to the sky. Hope is dancing in the sky. (Hope is staring right at you.)
The trees inside my walls remember when their only view was branches. Now they creak just like my knees. Tomorrow (like me) they fall. The mountains in my hearthstone sing a requiem to spacious, silent skies. Distant seashore fill my windowpanes. Tomorrow, we all wash away. The Ohio courses through my pipes, tiny droplets of conscious, bridgeless past. Steel faucet, cotton towel, skin and porcelain — ritual, clean. This bed, too wide for years, bends to embrace this tired structure. Violins tell stories in vinyl. No one tastes, no one hears us dance. (Thin grey socks, pressed trousers, sacred breathing floorboards.) And if we fall, it as the moon falls eternally around her dear earth. They will say I died alone, but they mistake my body for me.
Bluebird 00:56
I never learned a thing before today, so just leave me here. I'll be fine, I promise. The doors are open wide for me. They are red and wooden. I am wild and ready to know everything.
Winter magnolia sleeps on Rose. Inside, a fire is burning. Outside, the sky is turning an unnamed shade of night. Love lives in these rooms — my mother in the kitchen, my father at the fireplace. Winter magnolia, serene on Rose. Far away, the stars are waking. Right here, the dawn is breaking in endless shades of white. Upstairs in empty bedrooms, retained within the walls, our younger voices call, "Wake up! Wake up, love! It's snowing."


released October 17, 2009

Christina Blust: guitar, vocals, keyboards, accordion, taisho koto
David Goodier: guitar, backing vocals, percussion
Eric Rasley: bass, mandolin
Travis Dillon: drums, percussion, backing vocals, guitar
Jon DaCosta, Samantha Harding, John Murray: backing vocals
Jim Rasley: organ
Ryan Lammey: guitar, bass
Holly Granzow, Shannon Hayden: cello
Dana Williamson: violin
Malik Lahlou: guitar

Recorded and mastered by Don Arney, Quantum Music Production. Produced by Don Arney, Christina Blust and David Goodier; additional production by Travis Dillon.


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Christina Blust Nashville, Tennessee

Singer-songwriter and player of accordion, guitar and piano. Member of Yearbook Committee (SXSW showcasing artist 2011, 2012 & 2013). Had two songs in the Emmy-award-winning documentary "Baring It All" (2011).

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