Rhinoceros Crossing

by Cannonball Statman

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1.
The other night, I met a man with one hand, he asked me to roll a joint for him; it’s not easy to roll anything with one hand. He had some kind of a face with a Venusian mask on it; some kind of a mask imposed on his face, waiting for the G train at Hoyt-Schermerhorn at four in the morning, where my dog and everybody waiting on the train platform sat and stared at everything, or something, becoming nothing, a subway conductor in the corner moved the universe with her hands, and said, “somebody just walked into this train station, jumped onto the train tracks, and just, like that, started flatlining,” and my dog, and everybody waiting on the train platform sat and stared at everything, or something, becoming nothing, a subway masturbator in the corner milked himself with his hands, and said, “I’ve never seen anything like this before; but I’ve never seen anything waiting for the G train at Hoyt-Schermerhorn at four in the morning.”
2.
Saturn Youth 02:08
My dog took a lot of LSD, and fell asleep, mysteriously, and none of my friends ever listen to me when I say I need somebody. And the power’s out; the devil’s living in your apartment, in the thunderstorm, in these coldest days. Riddled with anxiety, my band put out our new CD, but we’re sick of the music industry; all they wanna do is take our money. And the drummer’s gone, he’s on the run. You’re locked out of your own apartment; you’re broke, tired, and hungry in America. You’re dying alone in America.
3.
Skyscraper 05:20
At night, running through the air, through landscapes of our eyes; there is something else behind these walls and doors leading into breakfast at night. All I wanna do is jump through the floor; didn't you when you'd just woke up? A party is starting at night, and the lonely lounge club singers become physically demented, while the man behind the wall is dying in a room of saturated blues and cigarette smoke illuminated by black and white camera flashes from photographers in tuxedoes. They said a hospital at night inside a tall lifeless building is fluorescent greens and pale walls; somebody in a gown loses all character inside of 'em at the sight of a syringe, but manages to remain calm in front of doctors waiting for the next parade of infants to march in their doors. All they're gonna do is break the law; didn't you when you'd just come into this world? He died on the street that night, fueled by the messages on the billboards starring signs of the apocalypse and silver screen dreams of a last chance at his road to fame through the back entrance of the theater where the rocket ship went off; and the ashes of Hi8 video tapes of the crash sent him back to bed, waiting for the window to open up into the sky. He was no more; his soul sinking into the stained cement, in the raindrops in the mud in the friends with mouths wide open, and the bluest sky from the oceans of all their entire lives, at night.
4.
Snow Globe 05:05
We live in different time zones. We take the same train to see the mailman; he lives between us. You live on the other side of the town we live in. It likes to snow on my side. I like to talk to your side, but I don't talk to you because you don't talk back except to say "hello" and more importantly "goodbye." Something really amazing is going on in my life that I can't describe in words. Something really frightening is going on in my life that I can't describe in words, and I can't describe it in words. We live in different time zones. We get up on the same days; see the same big bright sun, but it isn't setting. We pick the same apples from a different place. They have a different taste depending on where you eat them. Would you like to take a ride to the other side of town? Your life is a school of sacred music. I can still hear you sometimes singing through the treetops in my old neighborhood, where the power's almost always out, and the people watch the sunset sitting in the park, drinking heineken, smoking cigarettes, and laughing and dying like old friends. You are as old as time, and I'm a little bit older than you; I can still see you sometimes sitting on the stoop outside your old building, dreaming of fire and words we never said.
5.
Branch 04:56
I am walking in the park, in autumn, in evening, and I see nothing. For a second, I love it, again. You know, I don’t know, and it’s hard to know, but you know, and I know. I could talk to one of these trees, they wouldn’t talk back; these don’t talk back. You used to talk back to me, and I know out there somewhere there’s a branch connected to you, but it’s not me; it’s not me. This is around the time of year, everyone is shifting; so take control. Talk in words. It’s so strange; you took my branch. Don’t give in when the hell of this house is leaving you alone. Don’t give in when the hell of your house is leaving you alone. Don’t give in to the demands of your other collection.
6.
Your Facebook page knows more about you than you do in your dreams; in your dreams, there’s a man they call “the Mass Disturbance from the Uncharted Corridors of Known Existence.” Let’s all sit on top of this table; stare into space, screaming, “I’m a little bit crazy; I might be a whole lot crazier than you.” Yesterday, you rode the train with the Man in the Vampire Suit; I told you he was real, but nobody knows! It’s a strange, beautiful, fucked up world. The gold vest became a useless cover; he took it off, threw it under the Arctic Circle, screaming, “I’ve had all those dreams, beautiful and terrifying, about you, and the Man in the Vampire Suit came by yesterday; says he’s been listening in to your refrigerator again. He’s checked into the motel in the center of town, drinking coffee to fuel his brain, and his sights are set on you, but one day, his eyes are gonna fall out, glued to you for too long.” Your friends just wanna play around with strange girls, and leave them for dead, when they find out they’ve got brains living in their heads.
7.
No Spine 05:43
I’ve got no spine. I don’t sleep, I just get high, sit down, and make you work. I joined the DSA ‘cause I wanna get laid. It’s not exploitation if you don’t get paid. I want a landlord in the sheets, indentured servant in the streets; internal contradictions are good for business. But my computer thinks you’re strange. The change in your pocket wasn’t enough to pay my rent; so you’ll sleep on the train. The new Mussolini’s gonna get it running on time. How can I cash in on this great train? I wanna move up! I’ve got no spine. I don’t breathe, I just gentrify, and keep turning a blind eye. She can’t go to class ‘cause her teacher is an octopus, she can’t find a job ‘cause the means are owned by capitalists, can’t even fall asleep ‘cause there’s bugs in her mattress, but she could make a killing in the weapons business! It’s a lucrative one, ‘cause what kind of loser doesn’t wanna buy a gun and another one, and another one? A gun to the head keeps the drummer playing on time. Where could you find a freer market than this? I wanna get rich! I’ve got no spine. I don’t eat, I just get by, and keep riding this dead horse. I’m a TV news anchor, I talk a lot of bullshit. Got no moral compass, so I’m rolling in it. I take the struggles of the people, and I spin them around so that the People stay subservient to corporate interests. But it’s not so easy to control your mind when you wanna be free. I don’t see why you won’t just listen to me; don’t you know I’m the one who keeps the drone bombs dropping on time? When can I get the attention I crave? I wanna be a star! I’ve got no spine; I look good, I drink fine wine, and get ready for the end times.
8.
Hey, you've got a lot to release; the aching in your chest, and the snails inside your throat. Come on up to the New York island; spend money we don't have on something everyone needs. I've been alone all year; felt like solitary confinement. Now my hair is thinning, my body's quaking, and my voice is breaking. Come on to the rabbit hole; you know you'll feel better. You'll take a shot of me, I'll take a shot of you, and we'll climb our way out together. A buddy of mine in Jersey threw me out onto the street; I wasn't surprised in the least. Ran across the highway, walked miles on the side of the road in the mud and ice under the moonlight. Passed by the sign that said "military vehicles only beyond this point," but I kept going; they say you have to keep going. Last night in the rabbit hole; you know you felt better. You took a shot of me, I took a shot of you, and the taste remains all weekend. Boys are so strange; you're always on the move. Your faces are deranged. And the dogs and the cats of your neighborhood; they're starting a lot of fires (they've got a lot of wood). They don't have a role in the cosmic play, but to sit and watch us all anyway. Yeah, the dogs and the cats of your neighborhood, and their elders (the trees and the rivers), they dream of the day they'll all orbit the universe; they'll leave this town again. And boys without mothers have taken down your world. This smoke rises from below me; this smoke rises from below the trees. I call you up, and I talk to you on the phone; you're not really listening. If there's a tornado in Brooklyn, I will kill you; I'll invent a way to spin around your world. If there's a tornado in Brooklyn, I will kill you; I'll rise up from these flames. The city's rising from below me; the city's towering over the trees. I call a friend about these days to come; she says I'm not really listening. If there's a tornado in Brooklyn, it'll kill you; it'll spin like a broken record around your world. And when your windows break in Brooklyn, I will kill you; I'll rise up from these flames. I don't know this part of the river; I don't know this neck of the woods. If there's a tornado in Brooklyn, I will kill you; I'll spin like the broken record of your world. If there's a tornado in Brooklyn, I will kill you; I'll rise up from these flames.

about

(Some of youse have been telling me I'm not a real Musician™, because I don't talk about myself often enough on the Internet; so I'm going to tell a few stories here about the songs on this album, and then I'm going to go livestream myself petting my dog or something.)

The man with one hand in the song "Hoyt-Schermerhorn (and a Man with One Hand)" exists in real life, but when we met while waiting for the G train at Hoyt-Schermerhorn, he was wearing a Venetian mask, not a Venusian mask. It was still pretty cool. He's also a really good rapper; we were in a band together for about half an hour.

Recently, I was on a bus somewhere wearing a shirt with a picture of the planet Saturn on it, and someone approached me and asked if I was "the guy from the band Saturn Youth"; I looked it up, and no such band exists, so I made it the title of the second song on this album. And no, I didn't feed LSD to my dog, but it's not outside the realm of possibility that my dog fed LSD to me.

I wrote "Snow Globe" when I was 16 as a response to people insisting I write more "happy" songs, and I was so happy with how it came out that I started playing it at my shows, and eventually recorded it. Whether or not it is, in fact, a "happy" song remains a topic of heated debate, mostly between me and my dog.

"No Spine" is mostly about right-wingers and reactionaries who pretend to be left-wingers or adopt a "radical" aesthetic because they think it makes them seem "edgy" or increases their social standing in some way. My dog was worried this song was about him, and I had to spend several hours reassuring him it wasn't, explaining to him the intricacies and absurdities of the sociopolitical landscape of the late 2010s. I don't know if he understood anything I was saying, because he's a dog. But he seems to feel better about this song, now that I've explained it to him.

In addition to endlessly inquiring about the meanings of my songs and demanding I livestream myself petting him far more often than is humanly possible, my dog is working on a several hours-long noise piece that consists entirely of the sounds of him picking up his metal food bowl in his mouth and loudly dropping it on a variety of surfaces. It's far superior to anything I've ever done, and it will be released to his neighbors in several live installments throughout the coming decade.

credits

released September 14, 2019

All music and lyrics written, composed, arranged, performed, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Jesse, who also designed and took the photo on the album cover, which was almost destroyed, but was miraculously rescued by Katherine Koch.

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