Temporary Archipelago

by David Roos

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released January 20, 2009

music, lyrics, instruments and vocals - David Roos

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David Roos Palm Springs, California

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Track Name: By Heart
“Boise will be glad to get those boys, believe me. They’ll be a good thing for their school out there. They’ll show the other kids what’s what! Maybe they can start a judo class in school, eh? How ‘bout that… Oh boy, I don’t know. Sure love to see those boys…”

The telephone will keep on ringing
Until it’s taken down from the wall
Even when it’s boxed up and given to another
Friends and strangers will continue to call

When the snow finally melts from a red brick driveway
You find all the papers that were missing since last fall
The photos and the captions always read the same way (as they do today)
The passing of a month or more rarely matters at all

Time to tie up all the boats in all the land-locked counties
We’ve been expecting this thing from the very start
Time to splice up all the wires, and cart away the downed trees
We’ve all been learning this by heart

Take little steps, and hang on to the wall
Give a sideways glance to the ones you know
Take stock, take cover and take care
Take a little bit and always ask for a little more to go
Track Name: Figure Eight
Take a little piece of kitchen string

Left out in the open
Little tracks will lead the way
Around in two tight circles
Hypnotic figure eight

Take a minute to check the back screen door
In the morning, the boxes will be waiting
And the color will return to the hills
And we’ll be singing
Glory, glory be with you

Take a little piece of kitchen string
Tie it up between two empty cans
Hold it to your head and listen
A little trick that I have learned

Take the time to breathe, find the station
If it sounds like all is as expected
Then the color will return to the hills
And we’ll be singing
Glory, glory be with you
Track Name: Platform
Chain link surrounds this station platform, and it’s raining
It’s a miracle, to even be standing here
All’s right in god’s heaven, so we can all breathe easier
It’s a miracle, it’s a miracle

It’s not a common reaction
It’s far from what we’ve come to expect

Rain hits the edge of a barrel, and the drops go rolling to the ground
Some get taken back up to the clouds tomorrow
Drum beat echoes longer than you’d think it would
We could all use a little sleep somewhere
It’s a miracle, it’s a miracle

It’s a common misconception
It’s far from what we’ve come to expect

Something’s gone missing, and it can’t be found
St Christopher, please have a look around
Look way up high, look way down low
Point me toward where, I’ve forgotten to go
Track Name: Temporary Archipelago
There’s a gap in the fence, the sheep might get out
They could find their way out onto the road, there is no doubt
But with no car, there’s really no place they can go
And with no sense of direction, they’ve got to take things kind of slow

There’s a tear in the heavens, the stars come spilling out
Pouring out into the night black in a tumbled cloud
They form a constellation overhead, a temporary archipelago
There’s an avalanche warning, so we better keep our voices low

Line up two points to see your way clear

There’s a certain kind of quiet that comes only in the wintertime
Only when the crows have gotten all that’s left, and the roots have dried
Settled on a branch, in a beak, we are listening for the sound
That will set us into flight as we leave some feathers on the ground
Track Name: East Loretta Place
I dream about practically the same place nearly every night
The walls are always just the same, but I’m always finding additional doors

The same architectural detail
The same geometric tile on the floor
The same light pattern as it moves along the ceiling
From the kitchen window to the locked front door

Light up the stars, begin the demonstration
One more time for me
The captivation of location
The same chords played in a different key

I guess I might be thinking bout this all way too much
I guess I might be taking it all in too deep
It’s just a place that I used to know a bit about
And I notice that I’m not missing any sleep

The same architectural detail
The same geometric tile on the floor
The same light pattern as it moves along the ceiling
From the kitchen window to the locked front door

Light up the stars, begin the demonstration
One more time for me
The captivation of location
The same chords played in a different key

I dream about practically the same place nearly every night
Track Name: Breadcrumbs
Trail of innocence and luck
There are no breadcrumbs, no signs
The piece that stands out from the rest
Will sleep well at night

With well-connected friends and family
With stacks of money, and some time
The part of you that recognizes the part of you that knows
the heart that looks for what is seen

No matter what you think you see
No matter what you thought that you would be
It's hard to catch up with yourself
And not feel like you're something else

Disconnected
Misrepresented

Trading the content for the frame
With narrow margins to be sure
The shadows lighten with the heat
Driven to another compromise
Track Name: Big Life
You will go to the moon
Letters will be sent
With tiny pictures of you
You'll be smiling

You will live in a big house
At the end of a wide street
A street that shares your name
You'll be so happy too

In your big life
Your very full up, ever-charming, never-ending big life

Better save that napkin and that spoon
And that drawing
Your biographers will be needing all of that too
They'll be so happy

Well don't worry, it's OK
No one ever remembers their dreams
Anyway
Track Name: Pine Tree Shadow
Make it last for another season
Try to save, cause you never know
Count the stars as you fall away
Feed the sheep as they walk on water
Tell the time with a pine tree shadow
Give a name to the first thing you see tomorrow

Renovate, Decorate, Tolerate, Commiserate
Resonate, Recreate, Reverberate, Amalgamate

Isn't there a word in English
To mean what I want to hear
Isn't there some phrase in Spanish
Is there something I can follow
Cause I never read it clear through
Without skipping to the end
Never look for different meanings
Never look back

New moon phase, different wind direction

Surfboard, Telepathic, U-turn, Venerable
Wave-length, Xylophone, Yosemite, Zoo-keeper
Track Name: Died On A Rainy Sunday
More than half of the time, it’s no coincidence
It’s hard for things to happen that way all on their own
Whether someone’s pulling the strings to help us to make sense of this
There’s always an extra plate waiting at home

There’s always an outside chance things will be different this time
There’s sometimes a gallon or two hidden somewhere
With the rain falling in full measure, it isn’t the forgiving kind
After half the sky has fallen still unprepared

But if you died on a rainy Sunday
Or if you bargained for another ride
Found a way to stay until Monday
Or even if you tried
To gather up your sons and your daughters
Gather what has helped before
Maybe this one will be worth the bother if you pay a little more

It’s always worth the time that it takes just to ask around
It’s always worth at least just one more knock on the door
Take another empty box to another empty town
It’s always worked out just fine before

But if you died on a rainy Sunday
Or if you bargained for another ride
Found a way to stay until Monday
Or even if you tried
To gather up your sons and your daughters
Gather what has helped before
Maybe this one will be worth the bother if you pay a little more

But if you captured all their flags before sunrise
You might be sleeping in their beds that night
You could be dreaming of a new revolution
By the time you turn out the light
And if you’re tired of the endless glory
And if you ache for some other force
You could be carried down a different river
You could be carried down a different river
Track Name: A Cluster Of Separate Sparks
When asked about funny stories
A little slice of your life
To make those who are crying, smile
I try to remember when you were smiling
I try to remember that

Technicolor memories, left to others
It’s lots of fun, til somebody gets hurt
Cabinet full of blue and green, and unopened bottles
Disregard the medicine and always stay on the alert

Shepherd show me how to go
Cause this hillside is so steep
How to gather, how to sow
And how you can feed sheep
If you can’t remember

A cluster of separate sparks
Headlights on another highway
Sleeping rabbit painted on the moon
Familiar prayers whispered in your ear nightly
And you memorize the rhythm of the words
And you recognize the parts that you have learned

Shepherd show me how to go
Cause this hillside is so steep
How to gather, how to sow
And how to you can feed sheep
If you can’t remember

A cluster of separate sparks
Headlights on another highway
Sleeping rabbit painted on the moon
Familiar prayers whispered in your ear nightly
And you memorize the rhythm of this world
And you recognize the patterns you have heard
Track Name: For Some Red Beans
Eight or nine planets lined up in a row
Yes, they are waiting
We all want to learn what we already know
We are waiting
We've already been where we all want to go

Stars on the ceiling, glowing in the dark
Another song in E minor
Ends before it starts

Table full of aces, kings, jacks, and queens
Trading hearts for diamonds
Trade Manhattan for some red beans

Stand in line, wait and see
Take your place, wait your turn
Take another number, make another choice

Stars on the ceiling, glowing in the dark
Another song in E minor
Ends before it starts
Track Name: Notes From A Tattooed Man
Some people tend to expect more
Some people try to forget
Some people try to stay realistic
Keep storylines easy to comprehend
You fancy yourself
Some kind of pirate
But I don’t see a parrot
And I notice you got two legs
Sailing back home
From a juniper island
A little bit of extra cargo
That has long since slipped your mind
And do I see a ship inside that bottle
A model
Of the thing that carried you away
All you’re missing is a hidden message with a plan
Your treasure map with notes
From a tattooed man
Some people need to read the last page first
Sometimes it’s just best not to guess
Some people like to solve mysteries
Without settling for less
Take your striped shirt
Turn it into a sail
Take your black and white flag
And hang it from a nail
Track Name: Curiosity
What is this I see
An impediment, a barrier, a borderline
What if it’s made of only
Sandbags, and a bamboo pole
I should just pass it by
Break the stick, close my eyes
But I am curious, and I have a little time to kill
I am curious, inquisitive
I am certainly interested
Don’t you look at me
Cause I am not the one you’re looking for,
No, I just really couldn’t be
I keep a regular pace
Mark things out in 4/4 time
No syncopation, no edgy rhythm
Just steady your finger, hold your breath, and press the key
But I am curious, and I might have a little time to kill
Curiosity
Vinyl, cassette, 8-track, or LP
Chronologically
Or in random rows
Maybe it was made in Viet Nam
Maybe it was found in Marrakech
Maybe it was mined in West Virginia
Maybe it will be, maybe it will be
Maybe it was given to somebody else’s mother
Maybe it was stranded with nowhere to go
Maybe it will stowaway, keep out of our site for a while
Maybe it will be, maybe it will be
Curious, and inquisitive
I am certainly interested
Track Name: A New Language
Change your name and lock the door
Hide from your neighborhood
Learn a new language or two
So you can really be misunderstood

And what’s really good now
What really seems to help out such a lot
To keep looking back over your shoulder
Pay no attention to where you’re ‘bout to walk

Sometimes I might stutter when I talk
Sometimes I might not
But these days it’s getting to be a little less about
Who I am now, more like who I never was

Sometimes I might stumble when I walk
But that doesn’t keep me
From wearing my new shoes
My hightops, my runaway boots
Track Name: Ladybird, Fly Away Home
Four score, and seven year ago
Back when things really mattered – long before the war
Walked a cow to school – little brother was the Earthquake Baby

Seven seas, seven wonders – no waiting line
Seven brides for seven brothers – yeah, that’s what we ordered
Now you wanna know – what is this really, what is this really
Now you wanna know, really wanna know
Now you wanna know, really gotta know
Asking everyone – what is this really

Mrs. Krimble’s Fairy Cakes – Aquafina water
Little fuzzy furry head – shaped just like an otter
Performing for a squirrel on a fence – with your bear trap bark box

If you got a problem, park yourself right here
And give me one twenty – yeah, for every hour
Cause you know I wanna hear, wanna hear all about it
Wanna hear all about it, really wanna hear
Now I wanna hear, really gotta hear
Cause I think you know, I wanna hear all about it

Finish what you start – yeah, never leave it hanging
Put a dime in the cup
Always tip your caddy

(Ladybird, ladybird fly away home…)
Never leave for tomorrow, what you can lose today

Tiny planets formed – just as we were warned
Powder monkey ran away – right back to the farm
The walls were covered in newspaper, cause we didn’t wanna paint ‘em
Cover up the old color – cover up any sign of wear or tear
Add an extra layer, maybe two
Hey that’s what we’re here for

Ladybird, ladybird fly away home
Ladybird, ladybird fly away home
Fly away home, cause you know you kinda wonder
You know you kinda wonder
Track Name: Next Exit (Ghost Station)
Underground ghost town, city of light
No one’s at home as the wheels roll by
Broken blue tile instead of sky
Doors stay shut, don’t even try

Nine stations on the line, only stop at eight
Reconfigure it, and recreate
This in wood, in moss, in fire
Build a better model, get the tracks a little higher

Subterranean dotted line
We’ve been here before
Subterranean dotted line
We’ve been here before

You don’t need a ticket
You don’t have to mind the gap
Track Name: Counterfeit Or Colorblind
Can’t imagine diving any deeper
There’s nothing left under the water today
I’ll come up to the surface
Slow as the slowest breath
Just close your eyes and everything will be OK

Since we started on this,
It was always either one thing or the other
Since before you and I were born,
The only choices here are counterfeit or colorblind

Change the channel, change the weather
Take what’s left, and then give it right back
Memorize the ways, the rules, the color of the currency
Just close your eyes you’re sure to really fit right in

Take away the neon sign
Take away the timing and the certainty
Take away what hasn’t been nailed shut
Leaving just the counterfeit or colorblind

Since we started on this,
It was always either one thing or the other
Since before you and I were born,
The only choices here are counterfeit or colorblind

Change the channel, change the weather
Take what’s left, and then give it right back
Memorize the ways, the rules, the color of the currency
Just close your eyes you’re sure to really fit right in

Take away the neon sign
Take away the timing and the certainty
Take away what hasn’t been nailed shut
Leaving just the counterfeit or colorblind
Track Name: Every Good Boy Deserves Novocaine
Something followed us
Centralia down to Castle Rock
Caught a ride, won the roll, started in with naming names,
And in the end-- it just gave right out

Started noticing, it wasn’t too predictable
When playing games the rules would change
And everyone would just sort of give right out

You know
This was never authorized
It got written up
But was never realized

And by the time the next state line
Turned up on our map, and rolled under our wheels,
there was quite a scene, that left quite a mess
An albatross around a neck, a twisted rabbit’s foot a lock of some kind stranger’s baby hair
Tethered to missing rearview mirror

All at once
Out the door and back again
All good men
Following the caravan

Every boy
Deserves a piece of cake
An extra spin
Don’t forget the Novocaine

Meanwhile the miles miss the wrecking ball
Quiet chess sets sitting on the edge of their zebra seats

Venice Beach to Pasadena
Bakersfield to Joshua Tree

Ventura strip malls close real early
Don’t forget to time it right—keep your cash pocket handy
When the red light shows up the next time
You can’t walk a straight line
No matter what’s been chosen

Every boy
Deserves a little piece of cake
A bonus replay
An extra shot of Novocaine

And it might be too late, it just might be too late

All at once
Out the door and back again
All good men
Following the caravan

You know
This was never authorized
It got written up
But won’t come back the next time
Track Name: Year Or The Rabbit
Transistor radio, big twister on the way
Fill the tub with drinking water, yellow sky today
Didn’t see it coming, didn’t see where it went
Holding pillows on our heads, hiding in the basement

Golden morning glory, golden yellow

Lucky rabbit foot, hanging on a silver ring
Rainbow colored soft paw, keep away the bad thing
Lucky little kid, terrified and tragic
Lucky little kid, not so lucky rabbit

Golden morning glory, golden yellow

Only black and white, year of the rabbit
Only one station, kinda wish that we had it
Silver bottle rocket, we’ll fly it up to the moon
Fire up the batmobile, keep it all right in tune
Track Name: Pinata
Before I drown myself in a river of fire
Before I lose my way in a river of smoke
I will tell myself, tell myself I am dreaming
I will throw myself, throw myself a rope

And I think it just all might be so
But I think too
you just don’t never really know

If I take my time, I can count myself lucky
If I take some of yours, I can sleep well-blessed
There’s always hope, but I’m not looking
In those lines, lying faded, flat and pressed

And I think it just all might be so
But I think too
you just don’t never really know

You hang from a string in the shape of a cow
And the little blindfolded kids come one by one
Candies and streamers and puddles of punch
When the tail’s on the donkey, the bottle is spun
The mom’s are all humming, they’re fixing your lunch
The clock’s stopped on the wall where the angels were hung

In the end, when they turn the lights out
In the end, we’ll all be marked down
But half price or full, it’s still a bargain
In this river of fire, you will never, never drown
Track Name: The Late Show
Just in time for the late show
The rainy sidewalks walk right inside
the old moon's as hollow as that cold day in June
but not as far
and not hung quite as high
no it’s never done up just right

I will know as well
I will know as well
When the ocean fits inside of a coconut shell
I will know as well

Running from that sleeping yellow dog
unpredictable, but can turn on a dime
You can come for what is offered
but never ask for a better price
things much better if you’re just honest at night
Only steal things in the daytime, only when you’ve got light

I will go as well
I will go as well
When they’re crossing the wires as I’m ringing the bell
I will go as well

Cross the street to cross the yard
Shortcuts are always best
At least, If the truth be told
When a river runs by you
Till it’s over and out
And the other one will never stay dry
They’re only two things that make that bird fly
Track Name: Packed Lightly
It’s good to – keep it packed lightly
It’s best – to keep both hands free
I try to – at least sometimes
But I know – I can’t always

It’s good to – be right where you are
Steady in your mind – and geographically
Standing on your feet, and breathing -- your own air
Saying your own words and not somebody else’s

Take it all, or else let it go
It’s pretty hard to get another chance
Take lots of time, to choose it wisely
It’s pretty hard to get another chance

It’s nice to – empty out your pockets
At the very end of – a very long day
It’s good to – count up your keys
And sometimes – throw half away

Take it all, or else let it go
It’s pretty hard to get another chance
Take lots of time, to choose it wisely
It’s pretty hard to get another chance

It’s good to – keep it packed lightly
It’s best – to keep both hands free
I try to – at least sometimes
But I know – I can’t always

It’s good to – be right where you are
Steady in your mind – and geographically
Standing on your feet, and breathing -- your own air
Saying your own words and not somebody else’s
Track Name: Depth Perception
I never see what’s really going on
Never notice what appears right in front of me
Always unfinished, and missing a piece
A wall gets in the way, and there’s something I don’t see

My new goal in life is written
In black and white on the back of a bus
Some words misspelled, and questionable punctuation
Half of the story, is close enough

Can’t really see any distance
Can’t really see a sign up in the sky
Missing more than depth perception
Looking out at the world
With a patch over my eye

Time to get going I guess
what time is it, what time do you got
The Christmas tree has fallen from the weight of that star
Now it’s strapped to the top of the neighbor’s car
Silent night holy night
The room is loud and the halos have fallen a bit
When you turn out the light, the stars are too heavy
Singing with a voice that isn’t even mine

Can’t really see any distance
Can’t really see a sign up in the sky
Missing more than depth perception
Looking out at the world
With a patch over my eye

Can’t really see pattern or color
Can’t really see the difference it’ll make
Seeing more than I believe in
Staring straight at the sun
With a patch over my eye
Track Name: Candy For Breakfast
It’s kind of funny now -- I have a credit card
I have a wallet full -- And I have no curfew
Yeah, I have everything -- Don’t have to make a choice
And could have so much more
And still

I don’t want candy for breakfast
Cause to tell the truth
I really think I’m needing something more
I used to like the sugar
But I want to take this further
What I used to want is spilled out on the floor

Sometimes I miss California, when I’m driving through New Mexico
And then I start missing where I’ve never been
the place I told myself I would never go

If you second guess -- What you’ve always known before
You can always take it back -- To just what it was
Incorporate -- All of your true desires
Into just one big dream -- I don’t want everything

Don’t give me candy for breakfast -- Don’t want to feel that useless
I really think I’m needing something more
I used to like the sugar -- But I want to take this further
What I used to want is spilled out on the floor

If you got candy for breakfast -- Don’t put me on your guest list
Cause I think I’m needing something more
I used to like sugar

But I need more

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