Nuclear Winter

by Justin de la Cruz

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about

Written in 2009 and recorded sporadically since then, Nuclear Winter is a concept album about natural disasters and precarious relationships.

credits

released July 5, 2018

Written, produced, mixed, and mastered by Justin de la Cruz.

Album cover by Justin de la Cruz from a source photo taken by Jordan Rowland on Unsplash.com: unsplash.com/@yakimadesign

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all rights reserved

tags

about

Justin de la Cruz Atlanta, Georgia

Librarian. Musician. Human.

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Track Name: Last Night
my breath still has the faintest scent of smoke
from clove cigarettes last night,
when everything felt right.

lying hip to hip, our arms and hands entwined,
we watched as falling stars
fought off the summer night.

you said you’d never been to the beach before,
but i could tell you were lying
from your dilated eyes.

you want to get out of van nuys.

and who could blame you?
Track Name: Diamond Eyes
remember the time we got stranded?
remember your eyes, a mile wide?
fell off that rock for your amusement,
i cracked a rib, and you cracked a smile.

then you started to joke about
our food supply running out
and who you thought should get
to eat the other first.

your diamond eyes, they’re a fortune.
but when they don’t shine, they cut to the core.
my sterling heart is far from stainless.
when it’s cold, it rusts and it molds.

you thought our love was
worth its weight in gold
but when it’s paper thin
it doesn’t double when it folds.

my oh my
buy sell buy
my oh my
buy sell buy

we won’t survive, we’ll lose everything.
wealth will reign while we sputter and shake.
our government pays the top two percent.
and the other 98 can eat cake.

we’ve been let down you see,
by our own society.
but no one wants to test
the waters from the shore.

my oh my
buy sell buy
my oh my
buy sell buy

i still recall the way that you walked,
a scuff of the toe, a flick of the wrist.
these images have been sewn into
the fabric-y folds of my brain.

and when they start unraveling,
gray skies will circle in,
we’ll sell our souls
for a pouch of silver and a kiss.
Track Name: Nuclear Winter
mushroom cloud flavored dreams.
see the cold red hand crush democratic schemes.
if it were up to them then everybody
would be armed to the teeth.

but we couldn't breath biting hand grenade rings.
wouldn't stop the fighting, but it might stop all the screams.
and if it were up to them then everybody
would disagree to disagree.

it's head to head with technology.
the faster we communicate the slower that we'll be
to respond to all of everybody's
custom-made tragedies.

and hey, that isn't snow, that's you and me.
falling just as fast as the american dream.
and without the sun how happy can we be?
and without the sky how blue is the sea?

now it's the time of year eternally
where the leaves are brought down to their knees.
Track Name: City Lights
we can make it in the city
if we manage to keep our blood clean.
we think country air is fresher,
but sometimes all we need
is a cloud of smoke to breathe.

we’re having trouble having to pretend here
that our spirits are free and our minds are all clear.
and the day to day is running through us
like a sharpened blade
cutting tender grapes.

so bring me those city lights
reflected in the vitreous humor of your eyes.
we'll wrap ourselves inside
the warm soft pleasant glow of city life.

it's getting harder to remember
what we looked like when we were younger.
you had a button nose, I had suspenders —
together we held each other up
through the harsh winters.

we have our pictures, we have ours minds, yeah.
they have a real fine way of never lining up.
and our memories turn to fuzz,
like heavy, overdriven
guitar strums.

So bring me those city lights
reflected in the vitreous humor of your eyes.
Track Name: Above Ground
you and i, cut from the same tattered cloth,
coughing words to each other in the dark.
there's a chance that i might forget your voice,
so spill it out into a handheld tape recorder.

it's been so long since i've seen your smooth white face,
i dream in color but it cracks and it decays.
so make a mold but make sure to part your lips,
'cause otherwise there'd be no place for me to kiss.

we're packed in,
they're coming down
from above.

our bodies
lay gently now
above ground.

remember the time we went down to the coast?
we spent all night sorting the shadows from the ghosts.
you said that he should have my dear half-asian eyes.
i wondered then if we'd ever get out of van nuys.

bring your head a little closer to mine.
let's try to make it so that our two brains wave in time.
i heard there's a way to pass from waking into sleep,
so let's slip out from this nightmare into a dream.

we’re packed in,
they’re coming down
from above.

our bodies
lay gently now
above ground.

below us,
crushed tenements
ground to rubble.

we're packed in,
they're coming down
above ground.

my sunken heart is beating softly in my ears.
my baby's eyes crying gently without tears.
Track Name: Mount Vesuvius
cover us in ash from god’s cigarette,
floating from the heavens onto our heads.
we’ll become deep pockets in the earth,
for future scientists to research.

well i love your lines and you learned my songs by heart.
life is fit together from unintended parts.
god is all of everything you can see,
misery loves company loves society.

mount vesuvius is in our brains
melting cells with acid rain
mount vesuvius is in our hearts
it's boiling blood from the start

give us lasting love or set us free.
nothing much lives in between.
we photographed our entire lives,
but this last scene is all that will survive.

history is what they see in their world,
when we’re dug out and written about and spun around:
‘love conquers all — we even found it in the ground.’
we’re symbols for an age, but they don’t know our face.

mount vesuvius is in our heads
larger than life and cast in lead
mt. vesuvius is in our eyes
it's boiling blood by design
Track Name: Love or Magic
is this love or is this magic?
make me fawn or hide my face.
find the answers in your fabric,
the primal parts of your reptilian brain.

is this dumb or is this tragic?
rub your eyes til they sparkle and shine.
lend me love or i’ll send you packing,
you've always wanted to get out of van nuys.

let me love you like the first time —
drunk on each other and sober on wine.
let me leave you like the last time —
bruised and broken, dizzy and blind.

you and i, we’re falling fast,
just as fast as the american dream.
we’ve got our love and we’ve got our past,
and neither one appeals to me.

we lied in darkness after the war —
i found it hard trying to picture your face.
there’s some freckles under huge sunglasses,
your eyes are gone without a trace.

let me love you like the first time —
drunk on each other and sober on wine.
let me leave you like the last time —
bruised and broken, dizzy and blind.

we can make it for a while.
Track Name: Chemical Displays
today is condemned to be
another useless day of writing
about what i feel
through stilted lines filled with half rhymes.

as if i could graph our problems
through a sin wave placed on x and y
by plotting out my points
and connecting all the dots.

i’ll take the earth under my feet
over the woman of my dreams
who turns to dust any time i try to touch her

at least underneath there are fossilized remains
something sturdy i can stand on,
in my dreams there are only

chemical displays of my poor misfiring brain
chemical displays of my poor misfiring brain

my poor brain.

why haven’t we succeeded in keeping the earth clean?
for years we wasted water like well-oiled machines.
and they said it didn’t matter if we kept our luxuries.
so why haven’t we succeeded in keeping the earth clean?

the earth clean.
Track Name: All I Need
all i need waking up now
are your knees behind mine
and your soft warm upper half
following the curvature of my spine

in the dreams i have
you’re a set of photographs
and i’m bringing you to life
by flipping quickly through the stack

i wish i could spend my life
in the momentary lull
between all my flying dreams
and my alarm clock going off.

there’d be no need for small talk
or for long-term memory.
i would eat leftover dinners
and repeat words from tv.

in a space in a place in my head
the pieces are coming together
in a space in a place in my skull
they’re like bricks in a blender
in a space in a place in my head
i’ve got it all worked out
as straight as the corners of a plate

i’ve got my quest for revenge
you’ve got your ragged ball of twine
instead of finding my way out
I get caught up in your lines.

i will prove my worth now
through these twelve astounding feats,
and you’ll be waiting back at home
with a poison robe for me.

in a space in a place in my head
the pieces are coming together
in a space in a place in my skull
they’re like bricks in a blender
in a space in a place in my head
i’ve got it all worked out
as straight as the corners of a plate
Track Name: Stuck
now’s the time of year where the leaves
are brought down to their knees.
we look up to ashen skies
and absorb cold earth with our bare feet.

and we didn’t know what would happen
if we didn’t speak.
and the bombs that they created
got rid of the green.

now we’re stuck living in a dream
of our past lives because our dead wives
aren’t here to keep us clean.
all we have are our distant memories.
all we have are our memories, our memories.


you weren’t always happy but...

you never lost that shine in your eyes.