Who's Listening to Van Gogh's Ear

by Jack of None

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1.
HOTEL CARCASS In the morning, a bellboy came to bring me my towel, which will smell of you, and feel like you, and look somewhat like you-- the sight of threads ridiculously woven tightly, as if, in resistance, someone will threaten to pull them apart. Blushing to myself, I kept quiet, and politely said, “thank you.” In the afternoon, the front desk called and asked if they could come clean this room. “Oh no,” I said, “not this room... Not right now”-- the violence here soon mocking our mad nights of love, as if, in resistance, someone had told us the neighbors just died. Blushing to myself, I kept still, and politely said, “no, thank you.” In the evening, the cab driver knocked on my door and asked for my luggage, which weighs heavily like you, and feels shapely like you, and looks preposterously like you-- the resemblance almost uncanny to a juxtaposition of your thousand sleeping positions, as if, in resistance, someone had stuffed your bludgeoned body in it (your bone-bits and ligaments still wrapped in my towel). Blushing to myself, I kept calm, and politely said, “meow.”
2.
PATER, IGNOSCE MIHI Pater, ignosce mihi Pater, ignosce mihi Pater, ignosce mihi Pater, ignosce mihi Pater, ignosce mihi (Pride) (Greed) (Lust) (Envy) (Sloth) (Wrath) (Gluttony) Pater, ignosce mihi Pater, ignosce mihi Pater, ignosce mihi Pater, ignosce mihi (Pride) (Greed) (Lust) (Envy) (Sloth) (Wrath) (Gluttony) Pater, ignosce mihi Pater, ignosce mihi Pater, ignosce mihi Pater, ignosce mihi Pater, ignosce mihi
3.
04:34
MRS. STITCHER (Curse you, with devils at your feet, tap-dancing on my grounded heart) Once upon a time, there lived a girl with very big eyes. One day, her gigantic eyes popped out like buttons. Being all too apparent, Mama took her eyes, and used them to replace the missing buttons on Papa’s shirt. “I’m sorry, my daughter can’t come to the phone right now, I am busy stitching her eyes to my husband’s shirt. Could you call back later?” So, Papa walked around with his daughter’s eyes dangling from his shirt. He liked to play-- Papa liked to play with these gigantic eyes, like jackstones, or skiprope (ringed around like hulahoops) “Who is on the line, you ask? Well, my Dear, my name is Mrs. Stitcher. Would you like to come over for dinner?” That night, Papa’s eyes (not apparently big) popped out, too. Mama took them, and stuffed his eyes in the microwave to pop with popcorn. Wearing Papa’s shirt, she sat in front of the TV, and put down the phone. (Curse you, with devils at your feet, tap-dancing on my grounded heart)
4.
ON THE STREETS On the streets a thousand different people gathering like cattle circling and blotting-out the day; the sun burns bright, but illumines only the shadows of cattle mercifully standing in the way. The sky bleeds embers of crimson and these cattle march forward with nothing left to say-- they turn, and turn, and turn again with lullabies blanketed in yesterday. Today: a thousand other people will gather like cattle on a thousand other blotted streets; herded and collected in an abattoir of pistols marching aimlessly to the drumbeat of their own defeat. In the corner, a woman withers away like a dusty rose pining for her own bouquet-- but she turns, and turns, and turns again with lullabies blanketed in old hear-say. Tomorrow: a thousand more people will gather like cattle on a thousand more blotted streets; polluting the violent voices of mute tongues tangled in this twisted tango of sleep. The sky will rain embers of crimson, and we cattle flood tears of deafened sheep. Never mind our voices, our daydreams, our wishes-- we’re all play-things blanketed in our own deceit.
5.
CONFESSIONS OF A CHOP-CHOP LADY He didn’t kill her (no, he didn’t kill her) he bludgeoned her with an ax first, and then with a scalpel, and then with a toothpick he severed her body into tiny little pieces he fed her thighs to the dogs he masticated her breasts till they spurt puss he chopped her ears and hid them in a sack; he buried the sack, then carried what was left of her hemmorhaging head down to his big bad bone. And what was she to say, you ask? And what was she to do, except-- Bite. Chew. Nibble. Swallow. But he didn’t hear her (no, he didn’t hear her) so he hammered her bones till they turned to dust; he sprinkled them over black, black coffee he sliced off her tongue and fed it to the birds he skinned her knees till she could not walk he fingered all of her locations with the lubricant of blood he screwed her with nails of rust he peeled her down to a wilted rag he sucked her cat like the big bad wolf. And what was she to say, you ask? And what was she to do, except-- Bite. Chew. Nibble. Swallow.
6.
02:55
(BUT) NOISE There are forms of beauty beyond this-- Beyond cocked guns Beyond pink Tassels of blue Your room is filled with dreams of men Ravines of silhouettes Shadows Hands That touch (but never hold) You. There are forms of desire beyond that-- Beyond yearning Beyond “yes,” and “Yes” Beyond neon Red Tassels of gloom Your room is filled with dreams of demons Cliffs of goodbyes Leaving... Left.. Gone. You’re all alone With nothing But noise.
7.
03:29
FIRE SONG When I was a little girl My father had asked me not to play with fire-- So I didn’t (at least, not to his knowledge) But I would dream, and in my dreams, There were horses in the woods You and I were bareback and restless-- We would ride through the woods And the woods were on fire And our hearts were on fire (and I was playing with fire) The pounding of hooves The sharp smell of smoke And then I would wake from my dream And my mother would ask me if I had played with fire-- But I hadn’t (at least, not to her knowledge) ‘Though I’d return to that dream When no one was watching To the danger, the fire, the desire And I remember how the woods were on fire And our hearts were on fire (and I was playing with fire) The sharp smell of smoke The sweet sweat of youth And then one day, I decided to awaken from that dream To return home where my mother and father had waited patiently, But I couldn’t believe what I had found-- That their house had caught on fire
8.
THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN There was a crooked man Who walked a crooked mile He stole a crooked heart Upon a crooked stile He bought a crooked cat Who caught a crooked mouse They all lived together In a crooked little house There was a crooked man Who walked a crooked mile He stole a crooked heart Upon a crooked stile He bought a crooked cat Who caught a crooked mouse They all lived together In a crooked little house Where are you, my crooked man? You dirty little thief-- You stole my crooked heart And now I’m left with this crooked cat But I don’t want to be your crooked mat (and you don’t want to be our crooked rat).
9.
THE WITHERLING I have been liar and thief I have been Sinner-in-Chief I have been raped by the night And yet, I hide from the light Monster, I am clad in your apron Swathed in blotches of black I am noose to the rope that binds you Tourniquet to the needle that devours you I have been gust, womb and storm I have been murderer of whores I have been soiled by serpents And here, I drown in currents Vincent, I am Sien to your earlobe choir As I dance with men, and am ravished by them I am noose to the rope that binds you Tourniquet to the needle that devours you Husband, please-- Turn away.
10.
03:05
UNRAVEL ME Unravel me Untie me from this bow Unlock my secret passions Unfold what once was told As a sin An evil Defy it Be bold Unleash these sinful secrets hidden behind invisible doors Cascade over curly-top mountains and candy-caned moors Unravel me Strip me down to bone.
11.
(Instrumental)
12.
POEM FOR THE INVISIBLE Inside the leaping girl’s window, they say she disappears with light. They say whenever she hides, the infinite surrounds her-- swallows her whole, or worse-- They say if you stand there waiting, she will follow you home.

about

For our father, Cesare A.X. Syjuco -- whose guiding light awakens the sight of sound and the song of shadows... For our mother, Jean Marie Syjuco -- who is tamer to our tempests.. And for you -- who have been Sien to our earlobe choir.

credits

released April 11, 2016

Mixed and mastered by A.G. Syjuco in Chicago IL, USA

Recorded in N. Jefferson Chicago and Artlab Manila

Music by A.G. Syjuco ("Nocturnes in Dorian" composed as an instrumental [for A.G.'s loving wife, Mica], "Unravel Me" and "There was a Crooked Man" composed with Julian Syjuco)

Lyrics and poems by Maxine Syjuco ("There was a Crooked Man" deconstructed from the nursery rhyme by Mother Goose)

Vocals by Maxine Syjuco ("On the Streets" vocal harmonies by Michelline Syjuco)

Guitars, synthesizers and programming by A.G. Syjuco

Additional guitars by Julian Syjuco

Art, photography and design by Maxine Syjuco
jackofnoneband@gmail.com | facebook.com/jackofnoneband

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about

Jack of None Chicago, Illinois

JACK OF NONE is an experimental rock band comprised of siblings A.G. Syjuco (principal music composer on guitar, bass, synthesizers and programming), Maxine Syjuco (poet-songwriter and vocalist), and Julian Syjuco (session guitar).

The band has received critical acclaim for their forward-thinking approach to fusing electronically-charged experimental music with spoken word poetry.
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