Last Night I Dreamt Your Body Was Made of Words

by w o o l g a t h e r i n g

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A story about a boy who is slowly turning into a tree and thinks he's a superhero, but couldn't be more wrong.

Words, Guitar and assorted other instruments and noises were performed by Lee Stepien.
Glockenspiel was gracefully performed by Liz Pelly.

Listen to the words. Build a toy guitar. Get lost in a forest of birch trees. Wear a bed sheet around your neck as a cape. Destroy something to give it meaning. Carry the girl across the river. Esoterrorists, catharsissies and metaphornication. Say what you actually mean. Get lost in a forest that has no trees. Force it out of your soul like a rocket. Wrap yourself in blankets of hot snow. Eat dictionaries. Hear the words that are not deeds, that are just the gaps in people’s lacks. Taste your own tongue. Read the glowming on everyone’s faces. Transcend your humanity. Become a ball of light. Listen to the words.

This recording was penned in notebooks, fumbled through on guitar and recorded all in the same room. That room as well as the village that surrounded it, the community of people and music in Jamaica Plain (part of Boston), were a heavy influence on these sounds. The recording process took place over the course of a couple of weeks at the end of an eight month lease in 2010. Once all the furniture had been moved out, the bedroom became a natural reverb chamber. All the tracks were captured using only two SM57's, a two input mixing board and a computer. Various toy and real instruments were used.

The songs on this record were all written as an experiment and fragments of a larger story. The time where once upon there was a boy named None Birch and his misadventures metamorphosing into a tree to become the world's greatest hero...or villain...or neither. Full of colorful sideshow characters such as the Indelibile Shrinking Gurl who melts into vapor, The Wonderous Woman with a Body Made of Words and the Sarcastacular Irony Boy who isn't actually a character at all.

When I first heard the word woolgathering, which means daydreaming or lollygagging or lackadaisical, I was immediately struck with an image that made me prefer that word over the latter also groovy choices. It wasn't the image one would think, of a little kid pulling wool off a fence at a farm. For whatever reason I saw this little boy in a striped sweater that was too big for him, gathering firewood out of the snow. However, the last log he picked up somehow sent him floating upwards into the sky and he was left, not so much fearful, but reluctant, apathetic and accepting, wide eyed, to his new anti-gravitational fate.
I don't know why.


released September 10, 2010




w o o l g a t h e r i n g Boston, Massachusetts


gathering wool to spin yarns.
depressing folk music that no one wants to listen to.
with really weird stories that are way too long and that no one can relate to.

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Track Name: It's Called "Found Footage," Not "Worthless Filmstrips."
I can't think clearly today.
From the moment I wake up
the computer keys link up
to the wires from my finger tips

I've forgotten how to dogear pages
I think I'll waste the whole day
trying to remember that brilliant line
I thought of last night

These hands they used to be vines.
They used to be alive.
The words that I mumble raise fallen trees from woodchippers, without making a sound.
These bedroom walls used to be ears.
They used to make me smile.

I'm sorry I wanted real mountain tops,
but the way those coyotes
stare so fearlessly
at me from parking lots
turns me on

These hands they used to be vines.
They used to be alive.
The words that I mumble raise fallen trees from woodchippers, without making a sound.
I'll write the great American novel
when I feel like it.

I lost the scarf my mom knitted me
one night with a girl I won't talk to again
and now my neck is cold.
my neck is cold.
Track Name: The Indelible Shrinking Gurl
Red Snow, sweet Hot Snow,
give into your paradox.
Melting straight into steam.
Melting straight into steam.

Exhale your communist father
up on my apartment roof.
A warm endless winter solstice
to prove my superhuman curse.

When my roots dug into the ground,
you helped me pry them out
and fed me strips of newspaper
dipped in a cup of turpentine.

At night you'd cry sanguine snowflakes
and I'd be awake to lick them up.
Your smallpox scar I tried to crystallize.
I couldn't help but feel like I was draining

Red Snow, sweet Hot Snow,
we'd communicate in song lyrics
written on bits of paper
you hid all around my room.

It was sonnet 73
the night you started shrinking,
"I love you like a Beatles song,
but not an Elliott Smith song."

All those words I can't pronounce
written on a paper lantern
and sent out on that frozen lake,
before bursting into flakes
and swirling around your waist
and falling up
to your
pink moon.

Red Snow, sweet Hot Snow,
soft, inverted mountain tops,
making love in puddles on the floor,
pink puddles on the hardwood foor.

All those pixelated sunflower particles
couldn't prove to me you've just shrunk to small to see.
The only person that I'm close to
soon will melt into a thick pink mist.

Your pink fog flickers weakly,
because you just felt too much.
I'll try not to hate you from the leaves,
when I become a pile of dead leaves...

Red Snow, sweet Hot Snow,
give into your paradox.
Melting straight into steam.
Melting straight into steam.
Track Name: Hazing Rites of the Treefolk
There's a knot in my stomach.
Sometimes I can't believe how weird it is to be a human being,
a wad of flesh and organs
and all of Darwin's deformities that must've died for me
to be this haunted thing...
Babies just cry, because they're having trouble adjusting
to being alive...

There's a knot in my stomach
and branches on my head
turning my blood to sap whenever I feel ashamed.
And I know they're there, because you look away uncomfortably
every time we speak...
There's a knot in my stomach...
and it's growing leaves.

Not a tree, not a human being.
Some failed attempt at suffering.
Some unknown wooden toy singing
the middle class straight white male blues.

I'm not clumsy,
there's just roots beneath my feet
trying to hold the earth in place, because lately it's been spinning much to fast.
And I can hear the harpies above me,
but it's never felt so good to stand out in the sunlight to photosynthesize.
Like the time it takes the red to dry
from a wine soaked book.

I never had an ear for pitch,
but in the stripes of light
from the venetian blinds,
I saw your body
as a perfect

In a dark movie theatre,
on a throne, sits a man with 1,000 faces all over his body
he's constructing the perfect awkward silence
to engulf the earth
for an eternity.
Sometimes you're the hero,
sometimes you're the villain,
sometimes you're the damsel in distress.

I never had an ear for pitch,
but in the stripes of light
from the venetian blinds,
I saw your body
as a perfect

Right around my birthday
the city streets become a cemetery for Christmas trees,
like molestation victims, wrapped in black trash bags and kicked out to the curb.
And as the schoolhouse was burning down, I could swear I heard it whimpering...
Track Name: The Glowming
The Glowming
Track Name: Melatonin
It's ok we don't have to talk about it.
I can read the words that form a mask over your face
and you don't have to say it out loud.

I'm growing branches out of my head.
I trim them when I feel ashamed,
But I think that you really like them
you just never mention it out loud.

Don't let the nymphs possess you!

Your hate of absolutes you stole from a book, saying,
"Nothing ever is or is not.
Everything is just always changing,
so don't limit it by saying it out loud."

I'm eating dictionaries to calm the battles in my belly.
"My gut is grumbling for a revolution"
but I'm too busy thinking, drinking, entertaining myself
to chant that picketing slogan out loud.

I nodded off while you were putting on a record
and like a dream, your naked body was made of words.
The dinosaur sheets stuck to our sweat like capes
and our skin swirled in vinyl circles to Thesaurus Rex.
But if this is just a dream you forget as your eyes are opening.
then you can wake me when I'm dead...

I can read the words you hide pressed between the pages of your thighs,
where somewhere a soldier can't kill a man, because he's looking him right in the eyes.
So, you shut yours
when you're moaning out at your loudest.

Three worlds away the earth is shaking and the oceans are overflowing,
but all it is to me are some words on a page.
I just put more sugar in my coffee,
because I don't have to hear them scream out loud.

Don't let the nymphs possess you!

Bliss won't keep you from being taken advantage of
by the ones you swore were your friends.
The ignorant still feel sorrow,
they just can't explain it to you out loud.

So I'm filling these chords with so much charm
that even the boundaries of language will swoon,
because I've got to prove you wrong:
if you don't say it out loud, it doesn't exist at all.

I nodded off while you were working on that paper.
I dreamt the Earth and sky were dissolving into a dark white.
You picked the maggots from his eyes, one at a time
while I tried to save everyone with my toy guitar.
But if this world is just a dream you forget as your eyes are closing,
then you can wake me when I'm dead...

You're making a wreath out of branches you pull from my head.
I try not to wince so you won't notice the pain,
because I don't want you to stop.
So don't you say it out loud.

With my mouth in yours I'll help you form the words.
Until it bursts from your catchy vocal chords
and you sing it down my throat.

"You can't change the world with a line in a song.
You can't save the world with a line in a song."

You're the only drug that's ever taken me
and kept me sleeping sound next to you in your bed
without needing anything else to forget
all the subtle things that no one says out loud.
So you can wake me when I'm dead...
Track Name: This is Not a Song
When she kisses me I see circles of light and color
spiraling out in sound waves and tree rings.

We're part of everything.

Our veins are tree branches.
Our roots are capillaries.
That lightning is just the fraying threads of my dinosaur quilt
and all the things I think they mean when they say
the name you invoke with a moan while we're rolling in the leaves.

When she kisses me I see circles of light and color
spiraling out in radio waves and tree rings.

We're part of everything.

We're lost, spun out and chasing fairy tales
in a forest full of metaphornication
where cartoon Beatles are floating on fawning leaves
it makes me headsick until I'm throwing up bumble bees.

When she kisses me I see circles of light and color