People Are Animals

by Darth Nater

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ten stories about people who act like animals

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released June 24, 2017

Scott Pilecki (Tenor Saxophone)
Martin Noworyta (Tenor Saxophone)
Written & Produced by Nate Noworyta

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Darth Nater Buffalo, New York

Solo project of Orca Enthusiast/Musician Nate Noworyta.

Lyrically dense story-songs filled with detailed imagery and characters, rooted in indie rock and folk.

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Track Name: The Northern White Rhinoceros Song
I’ve got a little ivory knife that I keep tethered to my side
And you have an unmatched desire to stay alive
With our skills combined we might make it through the night
And tomorrow we will worry about tomorrow
I’ve got a backpack filled with rice and a love that will not die
It might not taste like prime rib but I swear it will suffice
It will be enough for you and I

We’ve got a plot of modest size and an ungodly amount of time
And that’s all it takes to make a paradise
With our wills combined we might make it through the night
And tomorrow we will worry about tomorrow
Yes tomorrow we will worry about tomorrow
We’ve got the length of this confine and the rest of our lives
It might not be a wide and open plain but it’ll do just fine
It will be enough for you and I

We’re critically endangered
We’re on the brink
We’re the only ones left now
We’re going extinct

We’re critically endangered
We’re on the brink
We’re the only ones left now
We’re going extinct

We’re critically endangered
We’re on the brink
By the time that you hear this
We’ll be extinct
Track Name: The Western Lowland Gorilla Song
Open my eyes, it’s 6:58
I’ve got a little over an hour to live it up before you wake
Put Tretinoin on my toothbrush and Colgate on my face
I guess it’s gonna be that kind of day
Listening to The Sunset Tree dangerously loud on repeat
Doing my best to become deaf by seventeen
I had a dream your screams were Israel’s trumpets
And I was the wall of Jericho
I crumbled with a single blow

Open your eyes promptly at 8:00
With a skull-splitting migraine and a face-melting hate
You put bourbon in your coffee and bacon on your plate
I guess it’s gonna be that kind of day
Watching the local news, all the tragedies repeat
You recognize the same b-roll they aired last week
I had a dream that you were inside the ark of the covenant
And I was Indiana Jones
You turned the Nazis into bones

Like the acid rain
That creeps through the long neglected faults in our window pane
The same blood that sits in your fists like a stagnant puddle is crawling through my veins
I can’t escape

Out here in Broome County
In the bowels of the Valley of Opportunity
You haven’t held a job since...um, well
I’m not really sure you ever had a job
I might not stand up to you
But I keep a packed duffel bag in my car
And I might not ever leave you
But I sure know what you are

To tell you the truth, every sip you take
Turns you more and more into a great disgusting ape
You’ll have a headache in the morning
I will be blamed for it
But that’s okay
That’s okay

To tell you the truth, every sip you take
Turns you more and more into a big repulsive ape
A fifth of whiskey and you’ll faint
And I’ll drag you to your cage
But that’s okay
That’s okay

If I stay in this godforsaken house for one more day
I’m afraid that I’ll end up like Vina Fay Wray

If I had my way it would have been you
Who was gunned down in a pit at the Cincinnati Zoo
I’m going to the Congo
And I won’t be back soon
I won’t be back soon
Track Name: The Hermit Crab Song
This room grows smaller
Palm trees grow taller
Outside
I see their green leaves waving and I wish that they would die
When you come by I pretend to be asleep
You leave a sand dollar at the table by my feet
And then retreat
To god knows where
I don’t care
I hope you’re happy there

I hope this island erupts before my skull caves in
Before my spine constricts and melds with the curves of this bed
I hope this island erupts while I still have eyes to witness it with
While I can still inhale some sweet volcanic ash
While my brain can still perceive dread

When you come by I pretend to be asleep
You leave a small black leather bound book at my feet
And I read about a man who roamed the desert sands and healed people just like me
And I don’t really believe,
But the words are kind of comforting
And I don’t really believe,
But the words are kind of comforting

In the twinkling of an eye
In the twinkling of an eye
In the twinkling of an eye
We shall be changed
In the twinkling of an eye
We shall be changed
We shall be changed

This is my only body and I have not treated it well
But one day my slimy innards will wriggle out and inch their way into a new shell
This is my only body and I have not treated it well
But one day my scum covered innards will ooze out and inch their way into a new shell
Track Name: The Insect Song
You are an insect
Insignificant
A termite in an igloo
A fly that no one swats
An ant that’s not the queen
A flea on a junkyard dog

The head is connected to the thorax and the thorax to the abdomen
At least that’s I what I was taught
You can be whatever you want
You can even be an astronaut
Just hurry up before you rot in a wooden box under earth and rock
Where the vermin play
Where the worms confirm every word I say
You are a tick in a taxidermist’s workshop
I am a louse on a man with alopecia
You are a moth in a nudist’s closet
I’ve got two antennae but I still fail to reach ya

You are an insect
A nuisance
A beetle stuck between a screen and a window
An aphid in a corn maze
A fruit fly in a model home

The head is connected to the thorax and the thorax to the abdomen
Without a single ligament or tendon
It’s all held in by a thin exoskeleton
Tougher and stronger than the skin that I was born in
Growing and molting and molting and growing
Slowly eroding through circular motion

You are an insect
Resilient
A hundred legged creature that refuses to be stomped on
A cockroach at the rapture after everyone else has gone

You are an insect
Significant
A mosquito trapped in amber waiting for the right geneticist
To reach into your abdomen and retrieve a t-rex
Track Name: The Argentine Llama Song
Let’s go
The next time I see you
I’m gonna spit in your face
The next time I see you
I’m gonna spit in your face
Track Name: The African Elephant Song
It’s been three long months
Of steady walking
Our feet are bloody stumps
And there’s no sign of stopping
My grandmother leads us
She cleans us and feeds us
She can sense a stampede by the way the soil shakes
She can spot a mamba from 100 feet away

And she keeps marching on
She remembers the paths the ancestors taught her
We will survive this - yes, yes
We will find water

And on that day
The kids will play in the marshy savanna grass
And laugh and splash
Their voices will be joyous horns forged in everlasting brass
The sky will split in half like a stone struck with a staff
And shower us in telegraphs, raindrops of dots and dashes
Wash our scabby hides until our flesh is as immaculate
As a calf that’s just been born, all wide-eyed and miraculous

But for now my grandmother marches on
She remembers the paths the ancestors taught her
We will survive this - yes, yes
We will find water

But I snap back to real life
And realize where I am
I’m recounting the times that we had
That were both awful and sweet
But you hear the tales I tell like they’re someone else’s stories
I hate the way you look at me
I hate this sterile facility
I hate the condescending tone that I constantly appropriate
But what I hate the most is that I can’t wait to escape

And each passing day
A few more memories are purged from your brain
They rise up from your rotting mind and try to fly to heaven
But dementia is a poacher with an AK47
Yes, dementia is a poacher with an AK47

And each passing hour
A few more of your memories are lost forever
Completely devoured
Cause old age is a pride of lions that cannot be overpowered
Old age is a pride of lions that cannot be overpowered
Old age is a pride of lions that cannot be overpowered
Old age is a pride of lions that cannot be overpowered
Old age is a pride of lions that cannot be overpowered
Track Name: The Chinstrap Penguin Song
Caught in a snowstorm
Forced to stay indoors
If our furnace should break
Well, I will keep you warm

Watching BBC nature documentaries
Of places that we haven’t seen projected on bedsheets in 1080p
A volcanic island in the Antarctic populated solely by chinstrap penguins
The things they go through for their young chicks
Shit, it’s enough to make your heart skip
And on the fluttering screen sits an entire species, speechless and freezing
Beneath them lie you and I, seeking heat that’s not fleeting
And through the glossy stereo comes the voice of Sir David Attenborough
Describing their trials, surviving in style with feather tuxedos

Zavodovski, baby
You and me
We are gonna be something
Deadly, smelly, crowded colony
Glorious anonymity

Watching the snow fall through a frosted, glass portal
The lifespan of a snowflake makes you feel damn near immortal
The sort of moment that I’d die before I forgot
It’s the more morbid notions that I think about a lot
If I ever get battered by the waves
Bloodied and tattered, I’ll crawl for as long as it takes to get home safe
Back to you
Our love burns hot and bright, turns pleistocene ice into wisps of water vapor
That’s right, I’m talking about that kind of love that melts glaciers
That’s right, I’m talking about that kind of love that burns hot and bright and makes polar bears endangered
Track Name: The Arctic Tern Song
Labrador to Cape Town
Cape Town to London
London to Melbourne
And then back again

I’m chasing the daylight
I’m chasing the daylight
I’m chasing the daylight
I’m chasing the daylight

Wellington to Moscow
Moscow to Santiago
Santiago to Boston
I’m not going home again

I’m chasing the daylight
I’m chasing the daylight
I’m chasing the daylight
I’m chasing the daylight
Track Name: The Honey Badger Song
Pitch black, switchblade in hand
A boy takes a swig from a brown paper bag
The less he feels his limbs, the more he feels like a man
A stitched badger patch on the back of his jacket
Reveals an affection for dubious actions
Smoking a cigarette, planning infractions

These streets are your friend
Big Ben sings to you, lost birds cling to you
These streets are your friend
You know every twist and bend better than the riff raff that runs them

Pitch black, raving and mad
A boy drags his feet and delivers his wrath
To each unlucky stranger that crosses his path
He spits in their faces and curses their backs
He laughs at their pain and snatches their cash
To stash it away in the springs of his mattress
Next to a package of dangerous contraband
And whatever else that his meager means manage
He drunkenly dashes past churches and masses
Stumbles across some pretty, blonde lasses
He leers and he grabs and he brashly harasses
Smooth as rusty nails and sweet as battery acid
A stunning girl in a black feather cap
Lifts her delicate hand, she’s had enough of his crap
So she smacks him with style, with grace and with class
Which signals her boyfriend to come kick some ass

These streets are your friend
Big Ben sings to you, lost birds cling to you
These streets are your friend
You know every twist and bend better than the riff raff that runs them

Pitch black
Plastered and sad
A boy throws a brown paper bag in the trash
He cuts his hand on the shards of smashed glass
And smears it across his chest like a badge
He’s grown tired of wreaking havoc
He thought that this life would be more romantic
He runs from his past as fast as he can
In fact, he runs so fast, he slams into a parked Jag
The owner comes out, this guy’s jacked
His biceps have biceps, his traps have traps
His knuckles are white, gripping a pipe made of brass
There’s a feline patch on the back of his jacket
The boy starts to gasp, “Hey it’s just a scratch”
But the man is not having none of that
The car’s my dad’s, I just got it waxed
I oughta put a gash in you the same way you slashed my jag
Five more lions materialize and advance
This isn’t broadway, there’s no snaps, there’s no dance
Just a boy surrounded by half a dozen cats
And everything goes pitch black
Track Name: The Rattlesnake Song
If blessings come in disguise so do curses
Heralded by suspiciously kind nurses
They offer coffee and tea
And shrink wrapped shortbread cookies
Anything you need, they say, anything you need
Well how about another decade, or three
Or a time machine or at least some sort of warning
This isn't supposed to be happening
They were just supposed to fix your knees
You’d be gone for a week and then back on your feet
But now you’re bound to a bed
And serpentine tubes hiss and twist like they’d rather die than give you oxygen
We take turns approaching your side saying final goodbyes as you struggle to breathe
Your lips are dried and cracked like you've been wandering through the desert for the past month and a half
And in a way you have

It was a bright and sunny day
What seems a lifetime ago
When a preliminary test found a tumor the size of New Mexico in your chest
Next thing I know, it’s a month later, I’m wearing my finest clothes
And I’m standing in a funeral parlor reading a handwritten note your granddaughter wrote and placed in your casket
I don’t completely remember the specifics
But I think it went something like this

I love you sooooo(o) much
Those 5 or 6 o’s still don’t do that love justice
I miss you
I wish you were here
You were my hero
You made my life better
That letter put it better than I ever could
Those words lunged from the page like fangs, pierced my heel and drew blood
I hid in the bathroom to suck the venom from my wounds
And i found myself singing a short, smooth little tune

It struck hard and it struck fast
Like a rattlesnake hiding in the grass

I suppose I’m usually more poetic
I suppose I don’t usually plagiarize a 7 year old
But death is not poetic and it cannot be captured with animal metaphors
I usually weave narratives with meticulous stitching and fabric characters
But I'm the character for once
And I don't like it very much
I usually invent people in my mind and build the details of their lives
Draw their pitfalls and joys like a topographic map
The low slopes and sudden cliffs
The hills and the mountains
I usually construct characters and write rhyming lines about their lives
But this time the ones I love most are the ones I got on my mind

It struck hard and it struck fast
Like a rattlesnake hiding in the grass