Nuclear Winter

by Justin de la Cruz

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1.
Last Night 02:00
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?
2.
Diamond Eyes 05:11
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.
3.
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.
4.
City Lights 03:45
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.
5.
Above Ground 05:58
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.
6.
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
7.
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.
8.
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.
9.
All I Need 02:49
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
10.
Stuck 02:16
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.

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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Justin de la Cruz Atlanta, Georgia

Librarian. Musician. Human.

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