Empty Ship

by Apres Pompeii

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    20 Song Concept Album with Lyrics and Liner Notes
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A 20 Song Concept Album

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released April 24, 2012

All art, music, lyrics, performance by Zachary Taylor Weiss

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Apres Pompeii Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Always forward, that is the mantra.
Apres Pompeii is currently entering a new era. Gospels is an ongoing project that will take form over the whole of 2013. With a full length album and seven EPs planned for the year, the path to its completion will undoubtedly be long and toilsome. This project’s focus is on the internal struggles and relationships that inform the way we interact with the world. ... more

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Track Name: The Prologue
I was gunned down in a café at a table built for two. Come leer a little closer, see the bullets passing through. Well, I clutched my concession like a ticket to heaven until my fingers turned to blue. Wrest your hand from me take out the key and put it in the lock. I let my hands go numb, go dumb, my fists turn into little rocks. My blood splattered out my back and down my front. Ma Cherie, mon sang est sur vos mains. The shots were swift and stunning, I had barely time to blink. I just stared aloud at the Sunday papers with metal in my teeth. The aroma of cardboard and a coffee left harbored in the hand of a friend—God knows you’ll do it again. I can’t help but be ruined by you. Nevillewood – All that I have is the gold in the pavement. My eyes align themselves on the horizon, over the telephone lines. I let my hands idle, the wheel whirls without end. The guardrail looks so beautiful, my nerves turn to dust on the road. The hills look so wonderful from six feet under and all that I have is the gold in the pavement. I’ve siphoned silver out of the river—tasted its bite on my tongue. Now everything sweet tastes of rust—the pitfalls of seeing riches in life. I feel so gullible with my fistfuls of soot, I am Midas at the table, unable to keep myself fed. God left me dead. All that I have is the gold in the pavement. Aftermath – I want to ask you how your life is but you stop me dead. Tie a noose around my loose lips so I don’t speak again. I’ve never seen blue eyes catch fire so quickly. I keep on looking over my shoulder and I see him there. Insomnia, this paranoia, drowns out my prayers. I’ve never seen blue eyes catch fire so quickly. It’s just a product of my humiliation. I count my days on broken fingers. I chased down the pill. I ran from the storm. I boarded up windows. I prayed for your warmth. I choked on that pill. I fell to the storm. I splintered in daylight. I clung to your arm. Distinction: your life or mine? Who’s the one with a chest of broken glass? Discretion: you played my mind. Shred my beating heart to bits of vine. Distraction: love, life, and lies. Trust me to put it from my mind. Dissection: you left me blind. I’ll cling to you a second time. Pick your nails clean, let no one see. It’s just a product of my humiliation. I count my days on broken fingers. Ohio – Love, love could set my heart to flame. An absolution, distribution of my holy name. My love, it could be for anyone. Oh, love it could be for anyone. Oh, I should get my head right. I feel as though I’ve been set free by the conflagration that’s inside of me. My gold-vermillion heart has come forth to start this sanguine water flowing through me. Oh, I should get my head right so I’ll run.
Track Name: Between Sea And Land
Mother, I’ve got nothing to say. Mother, I’m going far away. I’ve got to get out. Father, please put your pressure down. Father, show me your demons now. They’ve got to get out and I’ve got to get out. Oh, please let me out. Lover, lover I’ve never had. In swatches of lace you’re clad, but I’m living without. Wrap me up in your waves. Brother, I promise I’ll return. But brother, promise me you won’t burn the house to the ground. I can see it now, but I’ve got to get out. Wrap me up in your waves. I’m sinking into the earth and sand is flooding my human hearth. Southerly, carry me to my bed. Southerly, whisk me up to my death. You’ve got a hold on me now, shot a hook through my bow. I’ve got to get out, so come and take me now. Wrap me up in your waves. I’ve got to get out, oh, please let me out.
Track Name: Dip Your Toes In
You’ve got a reason to sin? You’ve got a reason to breathe. Just lock yourself in your room and never set yourself free. You go and polish the mirror for the whole world to see. You try to fuck with the men who make the room start to freeze. I can’t let myself go there. That’s why I look for something through the eyes of a dog. I can’t let myself go there. I can’t get through this inscrutable fog. These images in your head, your fingertips were the seed. And their rain washed bed released a demon in me. I can’t let myself go there. That’s why I look for something through the eyes of a dog. I can’t let myself go there. I can’t get through this inscrutable fog.
Track Name: Underneath The Waves
I can’t take another breath. With my eyes undone and my legs askew, I can feel my skin grow awash with blue. The light right against my face whispers of a warm embrace, it never jettisons the space so I lay here so cold. Ropes unfurl about my neck, anchored straight up to the deck of the boat about the bay up above. I’m tangled up in a dance with the tarnished gold of the depths. I am drifting off as the currents pull and my heart is pulled often as lovers move. And the sand is deep where the water’s low and I’m feeling cheap with these fish in tow. Oh God pull me up. I’m tangled up in a dance with the tarnished gold of the depths. Round and round we will dance with a music box in hand. I wonder what you think sometimes about the way we adore the sunrise when we keep on waking up in the morning but at night we just wait to die.
Track Name: Shoreline
We are the sand from broken paternal bones. The waves broke us down; we’re learning to live unknown. We shift listlessly, blowing from side to side, but we’re growing roots in order to make a life. I think we’ll be fine, we’re on the shoreline. The wind picks us up and carries us far away, but being alone means keeping the wind at bay. The trees are calling. I think we’ll be fine away from the shoreline.
Track Name: Paradise
This could be paradise with no one but me on my mind. Have you met life today? I’m loving having it my way. Did somebody say my name? Well, every king begins with ‘k.’ Oh what a feeling, put a tiger in a tank. If diamonds aren’t forever, there’s always coca-caine. This could be paradise with no one but me on my mind. Put the body in the bag and the bag under the yard. A poplar marks the spot, but paint the leaves all black with tar and drink from the branches, taste the honey sickly-sweet, then get to the trenches for these arms require feet. This could be paradise with no one but me on my mind. If heaven’s just a ghetto, are we kids out here with no coats lying naked in the barn, oh?
Track Name: The Point I
“You’re walking tall, but you’re tired of ducking. Walking these streets you’re gonna lose. You see I am made of nothing, I beg for pennies and the news. They’d crush your body down to malleable dust. All cast in gold, they’d make a million bucks. Pound your bones all down to panes of glass. They’ll hold you up until your pillars crash. I signed my life away I signed my name. Ripped my legs right out from under me. I toppled over to the blackened streets, all blood and bone and dirty blistering feet. So turn around and march yourself back home. They’ll put your face up in a silver dome, but what they leave will be a tattered shell: a living breathing broken burning hell.” But my currents pulse and my belly burns I can feel it rising to my fingers from my toes will curl in the rising grass till my legs become a strong and sturdy mast. My lungs will billow out, the wind will fill them until they are cast about the sky like a silver cloud all blood and veins and air with and without of them. My eyes will close, my broken ears, they will match my toes which dig, a static root, connecting me like a seed is to its fruit a child a future tense, a shallow pool, a thing devoid of sense we’ll kill and hang aloft for the bugs and beasts to eat. And if it’s only for me, I’ll be okay. So sir, can you sing me a song, and I’ll try to sing along.
Track Name: The Point II
“See that frost there on the window? That’s me getting cold. See that dust there on the door, babe? That’s me getting old. When you’re driving down the highway, that’s me running away. And when an exit screams your name, babe, that’s me doing the same. I’m a new age contradiction, cause I’m living in the past. I’m asking for forgiveness, by sinning with a laugh. I drink my weight in poison, so damn thirsty since the fall. I’m living on my own, mama, so you know I cannot call. I’m a new age contradiction, cause I’m living in the past. I’m asking for forgiveness, by sinning with a laugh. I still carry that cross upon me, it’s cutting marks deep in my neck. All your memories and fondness for me, is washed up in the black. The tides change in the river and every night I’m underneath. When I wake up I am thinner, the river’s washing me away.” I’m a new age contradiction because I’m living in the past. I’m not asking for forgiveness, father, I’m sinning with a laugh. I still carry that cross upon me, it’s cutting lines deep in my neck. All your memories and fondness for me will be washed up in the past.
Track Name: Politicale
Align yourself with yet another mouthpiece. Put your gold down on someone with no soul. Let it fly, I can feel it coming it’s boiling underneath our thighs. Can you feel it rising? “It’s coming down.” I can feel it rising. “It’s coming down.” I’m not saying that I lost my faith in the American dream or our civil freedoms but I can see, I can see it pooling underneath our greed. Can you feel it rising? I can feel it rising. “It’s coming down.” I can feel it rising.
Track Name: The Hive
As I peer through the undergrowth in the fading light, I can see dark shapes moving around a bonfire. They’re in a circular clearing and the light is dancing across their mostly naked bodies. They writhe as one, undulating like a tongue trying to speak an unfamiliar language. They are chanting but it’s more of a low hum. A buzz or a whisper. AS they move faster and faster around the fire, they become the flame and the flame becomes the forest itself and I’m caught up in the kindling. The noise is crashing in on me now. I don’t know when the chant became this deafening. Into the hive. They’re saying over and over again, “Go to the edge of the forest, throw your wretched body into the ocean, we do not belong in the forest, we were made and conceived by the sea.” I’m lost in the droning and the ever-growing yelps and yawps coming from two smaller shapes. They’re wolves howling for flesh, bees eager to sting. As I run, the chant goes on, never ceasing with distance. When I pass out, the hum continues, “go to the edge of the forest...we do not belong.”
Track Name: In Houses
I keep on walking through these empty houses, waiting for somebody to come home. I’ve been here waiting for about an hour...an hour or so...and then I found out I was alone. I guess that I always have been away from his love. I guess that I always have been thirsty for blood. I guess that I always have been prone to give up. I guess that I always have been away from his love. I’m tapping rhythms straight into the floorboards, but there’s no one there to hear my call (at all). No unruly neighbors, no dictatorial landlords—their absence won’t negate my fall, at all. Oh God save me now. I guess that I always have been away from his love. I guess that I always have been prone to give up. I guess that I always have been away from his love. Whoa, Hegemony Jane, won’t you break me down. Whoa Hegemony Jane won’t you break me down. I dug my feet straight in the ground but you keep on putting me down. Whoa Hegemony Jane won’t you break me down.
Track Name: Denouement State Penitentiary
These shackles on my arms, these wrists all made of scars, will bless this hallow ground—a sanguine lost and found. Your honeysuckle heart and your face all marred with pocks by your hands as sharp as pins, they were made for picking locks. This filtered bed of peace; break bread before we sleep with rocks all in our eyes, break bread before we die. “Take them to the brig, lock them in the gallows, throw them in the Dig, then set that thing on fire.” These roads all paved with bones are set before they’re sewn with needles wide as staves—we dig our shallow graves. Put your back into their eyes, their feet are marching blind, we’ll skip this towed line with demons close behind. These bars are nickel thin, but our copper violins—our hands— just buzz against the thin battens. You keep beating us down, we’re so out of tune. He dreams in permanent disarray, broken bottles in the sun will light his way. He lays claim to my head at the break of day so it’s kill or be killed. All at once I will sink and float in space, ease the knife, like a push-pin, to the face: see the blood run in a cheap display of grace...it’s kill or be killed. Get up, get out. All this confusion all this abuse, I tied my hands they tied your noose. Elsewhere. “Ride in on a slum dog highway sell yourself you could buy this train. Come here and your hands aren’t shaking? Tell you what, boy, just you wait. Ride in on a slum dog highway, tell you what you could buy the farm.”
Track Name: Released
Watched him dying, all night. God is smiling? Yeah, right. I’ve been crying. Can you tell? All those years spent unraveling...I’ve unwound now: no hiding. Now you see me, or you don’t. “Pull or pick yourself up again.” I don’t know if they’ve told you, I don’t care. All I ask is we run now. I’m scared. I’ve been waiting years for you to know me. In my life I’ve thrown some stones...hit you more than you’d have known if I wasn’t coming clean. I’ve got to pull and pick myself up again.
Track Name: Appalachia
I miss the red felt- tipped trees of my home, the twisting of branches, my feet in the loam. I miss the way that you were talking to me: your face in the green or the song of a creek. I miss the hills they looked like the backs of great beasts—they’re constantly moving, they’re cracking the streets. I miss the ivy running wild and unscarred. It freed me then as I danced around the yard. The white-tail, the laurel, the electric drone, they’re calling my name, it’s time to go home. I’m trapped inside of this Midwestern sleep. The plains stretch for miles, I’m drowning in wheat. And the only cure is Appalachia. They’re blowing the tops off of my mountains. They’re killing all the creatures that I love. They’re devastating forests for suburban landscapes. They’re feeding us on Appalachia’s blood. Another ground is broken, another man has marked his place. They’re renting limb from limb from the only thing that I hold dear. They’re ripping out your hair then they’re holding you up to the mirror. And now my home is squandered: I have no reason to stay here. Oh Appalachia.
Track Name: Brother
Our mother, she was the sea. Our father, he was the pull of the moon. Together they’d create children; together, they could mold men but they separated. Our mother, she just lies dormant now: unmoving, no waves, no discontent. She lets children play without threat of the current. She lets children play...what she never did then. Our father, he’s pulling mountains now. They’re unmoving, stoic, and wise. And he loves them, oh, how he loves them. And they love him, but he’s forgot to mold you. They separated. All my life I’ll regret. I was a decade old man and you were a shell in the sand—I found you where they left you, took you in my hands and I tried to mold you. I took you in my hands. I tried to mold you. I was a decade old man and you were a shell in the sand. I found you and cut my hands on your edges and bled.
Track Name: In The Desert
I’m destined to be alone no matter where I am. My head is in the clouds my feet are buried in the sand. No matter how I pull and pull I’m buried underneath my sin. I’ve got a house but that house is not a home. I’ve got a home too far away to go and when I try to run my neck pulls tighter on the rope. I’ve got a girl, but she swears she’s just a friend, but she’s my world...I just haven’t met her yet and all my friends will stab my back until I am laid to rest. All along I hold onto the words that you have never said to me, like some hidden ivy weed that’s growing in the wreath. Destined to be alone, but the sand has reached my neck. It’s frigid in the desert air as the sun beats down my neck and the mirage off in the distance, it keeps my brain in check.
Track Name: Flee
Must believe that he won’t see us. But, oh, look at yourself. These people that surround me, I can feel them breathing down my neck. They’re spitting chemicals, they’re hungry; I’m cutting hash marks in my stomach. They’re crowding all around me, bloated bellies and oily breath. They’re vagabonded sundries and they’ll suffocate me to death. Oh, look at yourself. If Darwin you could see us, you’d be rolling in your grave: it’s survival of persistence, I’ll never outlive the hive. It’s the death of the immortal, the rise of something less than whole. Our God is in withdrawal. I wonder who’s going to save my soul.
Track Name: Ursa Major
You are the matron saint of giving up. My God, you left us in the mud to the locusts, fires, and floods. Clutching my child like a cross, I’ll have to keep a constant watch not to give him what I got. I recall that you were crying on the bathroom floor; we only wished we could do more. You used us to find yourself. Well, what you sacrificed is broken, your youngest lost, your oldest choking. It is lost. You brought a man into our home, tore it down and built a hold devoid of life devoid of soul. You chewed him up until you were done. Is this what you’d teach your son? To love until you’ve had your fun? That marriage can be made undone? You used us to find yourself. Well, what you sacrificed is broken, your youngest lost, your oldest choking. It is lost. Children will drink all the wine that you give them. Is this what you want? Me drunk and alone? Look to the trees. They’re waving at me. “They’re not waving they’re drowning.”
Track Name: Ursa Minor
I waited too long for the wind to change and now the sparks are rising up from the bay. I waited too long for the sun to shine, now I can’t feel the warmth of that eye. I waited too long to show you my love, now I can’t pull my nails from your blood. I waited too long to let myself be controlled, now I can’t seem to give up my soul. Hunted my mother down in broad daylight. I hunted her down with my brother by my side. I showed him how to sling his bow tight and then I left him with no range or sight. Let those arrows flow, speak with burning oil. Let those arrows go, float on parasols. Let those arrows go, piercing all involved. Look for the little bear up in the sky. Look for his tongue, beautiful and bright—the northern star, the mariners guide—avoid and leave me behind, don’t follow me.

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