The Cosmos According to Your Closed Eyes

by SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE

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    Download includes complete instrumental version and jpegs of original paintings by Veronica napoli created to accompany the album for the release show September 13, 2013.

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  • Compact Disc (CD)

    Gorgeous orange sleeve design befitting of a frame. Buy two and hang up both sides. Includes Digital release with all the bells and whistles: complete instrumental version and jpegs of the original artwork by Veronica Napoli to accompany specific tracks.

    Includes immediate download of 21-track album in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited mobile access using the free Bandcamp listening app.
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about

Twin Cities hip hop artist, poet, activist and educator SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE releases his new spoken-word album, “The Cosmos According to Your Closed Eyes.”

The album, made possible with funds provided by the VERVE grant, intentionally breaks from the current wave of Twin Cities slam poets, forgoing the highly structured, sometimes formulaic, narratives associated with the form for a more musical, less regimented approach. Equal parts mythic and working-class, intimately detailed and big-picture-conscious, the project is See More’s first spoken-word project in a long history of quality musical releases.

As a producer and as a writer, See More’s influences color his work in subtle and surprising ways. Indeed, perhaps the best way to wrap your head around this project (aside from just listening to it, of course), is to read the acknowledgments/thank yous:

“To Rumi and Hemmingway, Miyazaki, Kurasawa, DJ Shadow, Neruda, Castaneda, Pharaoh Sanders, Guillermo Del Toro, comic books, MN weather, quality food and drink, late night conversations on rooftops, undiscovered life forms, and you.”

credits

released 17 September 2013
Written, performed, produced and recorded by SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE.

Cover art design and Photo by SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE.

Art by Veronica Napoli.

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about

SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE St Paul, Minnesota

Twin Cities Native, Chicago transplant, Lyricist, Poet, Award Winning Producer, all around artist and one hell of a cook. SEE MORE's style is clever, soulful and funky. Speaking on subjects from Ancient pyramids and Hip Hop history to Dia de Los Muertos and Intergalactic Robot love stories, SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE leaves the listener with something to think about, over over lush musical soundscapes. ... more

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Track Name: My Theory of Time and Space
My theory of time and space:
Time is infinite,
nothing that happens within time is separate from anything else that happens within time
its all happening right now, it’s our experience that’s singular
space is infinite,
there is one space, and nothing is independent of that space
it’s all just like a frozen, three dimensional painting that lives and breathes
our whole lives are like streaks of paint in this picture
every nano second, every experience, just a pixel
and we can’t see it, because we’re so stuck on our selves
on these dots in the static pointillism, limiting our point of view

Welcome to the cosmos according to your closed eyes
Track Name: Ofrenda
When I pass,
My essentialness drifting out of reach,
I will look back
Longing through fading eyes
To sculpt a look of implore into my last expression

This is what it will mean:
Try.

Our world is haunted
Lost souls clamber for redemption in the back of our minds and in the peripheral of our daily lives
These are the ghosts of marginalization and sing an unheard chorus of our deepest human regret

With my life I try. I will ask the same in death.
Do everything you can to leave one less bitter phantom behind
Live your life fully and know that you’ve done right…
Not just right by you or your family or your coworkers or me.
But by every living soul you share this world with.
Do right by the world itself

Now, I understand…this is no simple request
But think of a hard days work, or a particularly busy month or year and how getting through that last stretch just feels so good.
Try.
Know that you tried.
And when we pass, let ours be the ghosts of forward motion

Do this, and we can communicate with the color of dreams
And they will honor us with distant memories of a future once imagined

The sun sets on a cool-warm day in November
Tangerine light slipping through a strainer in the sky
Somehow I have just left this place
But I am returned
And it is not as I remember

Funneling down on a cosmic wind from some distant universe,
I arrive to a small house
Familiar, as if from a dream, half remembered
This is not my home, but I get it
This is where it’s supposed to be
There are candles and the sweet smell of conchas, pan de muerte, canella con leche, and mole
Inviting smiles of skeletons welcome me to this flowery fever dream

I land at a strange ofrenda
Huge and intricate
Small and blurry
It is an offering as big as the world yet perceived as an alter…

Yes, there is food
There is a photo of someone who looks like some kind of alternate version of me
grey yes, but not altogether just an older me…
Yes there is sweets, comics , my favorite drink
even a stash of records I thought they’d never find
but there is more
there is a hand print in the earth below
the fingerprints and life lines stretching out between ofrendas
tributaries of intention and will
rivers that my flow deepened over time
tributaries reaching to every corner of the world

that is your potential
and that is my request upon death
to return a thousand years from now
float down on the falling autumn leaves
and see the most magnificent ofrenda I could ever imagine
this world
Track Name: The Definitive Telling of John Henry's Tale
Her pregnancy was a tumultuous fault line
sticky with heavy air and a tall glass of lemonade.
Ice cubes on temples and cramps like tremors of a forboding quake.
She was mother as rich as ripe soil of a damned river bed but opposite,
and golden from the inside.
Even her migraines must have felt like the tense whirling of a Singing bowl.
The sinew of her writhing frame disguised redwood, fighting to stay in character- Almost laughing at the absurdity with the other trees in the hot summer breeze.
Her smile a horizon's thick blood orange sun,
undamaged by the dark ooze of coming night.
Bold enough to drench you with emotion but not to blind you,
because that would just be too self indulgent.

This mother earth of a woman gave birth like the pressure of volcanic rock creating new continents.
And thus a boy was born a mountain of a man.

This is where I have to point out something about how tall tales are told.
Like all legends, myths, religions, and poetry, they exaggerate a certain, innate truth. This mighty boy John turned great man John Henry was actually an average child of weight and size.
It was his in eyes, the center of a presence like the sun of our solar system.
All things a pattern around his gravity.
It is true that at as an infant he could not be held by cradle, playpen or fence, and that you could see specs in the air above his home from around the town of Talcott West Virginia; family pets juggled for fun.
True that at the age of five his footsteps broke the panels of his home and that as a teenager those specs in the air became local livestock and that he would empty whole lakes with the leaping shout of "cannonball!!!". True, indeed, but it wasn't his size that caused these things, it was his presence.


Imagine the weight of a sunrock living and breathing and playing and laughing in the atmosphere of our little blue earth. It wasn't his size imposing itself on his surroundings, it was the gravity of his will...all things bending to it, heavy as the sun itself.
In this sense, to look at this man and his story reveals a legend not of strength but of gentleness. His compassion for the family of workers that surrounded him was only surmounted by his efforts as an organizer; first in slavery, meeting in dreams with Harriet Tubman and conspiring with The Underground Railroad and the recruitment for John Brown’s raid. This force of nature remaining in slavery, throughout the war, only to see that others would be free – and later, once free himself, when big business swarmed to take the rightful stock of the proud workers he knew and loved; A good days work, respect and proper compensation and a humble place to call home.

Now, the rest you know. He fought to prove mans worth over machine, mining through Big Bend Tunnel and in doing so, died.
Or so it is told. You might say he lives on to this day.
There is another legend that speaks of his ashes, only becoming ashes after a slow burn of ten days and ten nights, were spread over the railroad tracks where he built his path to greatness; learning the depth of a days work when applied fully by ones mind body and soul. It's said that these ashes, indestructible and so fine as to be invisible to the naked eyes of science, are in all the winds of our globe and rush to the aid of any true statement or courageous act.
That said, walk like John Henry. Choose your hammer, choose your mountain and let’s get to work.
Track Name: Dream Sequence #4 (Misery Loves Company)
There is madness in the air
A sick mess of furious confusion
A yard I don’t recognize,
anger and flames and terror
a synchronized torrent of frustration and pain

I calmly traverse this nightmare’s landscape with a low center of gravity
Palms connecting at my chest, guided by a direct, slow intention
Patiently surveying the grounds and intuitively making my way to the heart of it all
I enter a door and it erupts

Mundane objects hurl themselves weapons in the quick, heavy air
I stay low and focused, under the radar of this malevolent, swirling chaos
Floor boards split, splinter by splinter
Spatters of sparks sputter and singe my flesh
There are screams and roars and anguish
As I bleed closer and closer to the heart of this tortured home
A thoughtful medicine searching for the cause of this illness

I make my way down the stairs uncertain as they are
Attempt as they may to keep me from this open nerve of a basement

There is a woman as terrible as the most wretched sea storm
A hurricane of discontent and aimless contempt
She is blind fury unleashed upon us

I breathe deep and slow as her empty gaze turns on me
I stand and offer an unseen gesture
The scene gives pause in its treachery
And in the fraction of an instant,
She glows a vivid orange that seeps into my eyes and mind and my heart
Her smile defies the blinding light
She is beautiful
And I awake
Track Name: Until Ragnarok
Once to awaken
Twice to incite
Thrice to again be cast from the light

3 - I will perish with my proudest foe
Find defeat in my victory
The blackened sky turned over, spilling oceans upon us all
I will drift into that darkness unafraid
Might slipping from my grasp, from my body
I will find bravery without superiority
Strength without will
Will without proof

2 - I will be poisoned, and deny a life as such

1 - Our collective arrogance will crawl from fiery pits to avenge its humanity
A humanity stripped by its clawed, flailing hatred of us
A humanity I defend, encourage, and love

I will fail
weakened, tired, and bruised
But until then, I will ever land blows to those who sew doubt, Disillusion, and fear
Those who would manipulate with these deadly strings
Urging an ugly growth

They will not find rain from my soul
rather lightning from my eyes
thunder between their ears
They will know why a hammer is
And why storms are revered so

Once to awaken
Twice to incite
Thrice to again be cast from the night

There is evil in this world
whispers from poisoned ghosts
that grip grudge like clubs
Hands that know not touch
Haunted dreams that pass beneath them
Visions they feel no connection or responsibility to
One must let go to let in
But they have forgotten how

You can remember…retrace your mind to innocence
There is time
Your calloused heart still beats
There is warmth in your veins
So can there be ease in your mind
But you must… let… go…

If you can not
Should your hands become limbs of a tree that bears loss,
Should cold reach your epitome, your heart beat metallic,
And your eyes glaze over deepest despondent…
Should you forget the hallows of this place,
commit that emptiness upon innocence
and forget who keeps watch
you will know why lightning strikes

Once to awaken
Twice to incite
Thrice to again be cast from the light

In the final destiny of the gods,
I will fall, my hammer relinquished to the two ancient trees
A seed until the new firstspring when the gaping darkness inhales again
I pray the two grow to strongest light through the darkest soil of firmament
To a mighty star with grip enough to grasp and heart enough to heal
I pray with every strike of myself,
Every effort of my will
That it be as such
As I am
Until Ragnarok
Track Name: Dream Sequence #5 (Buddhas of The Valley)
Through miles of jagged rock like a sky of broken shark teeth
there is a pocket of earth and rock smoothed into a home
a clearing with an air of humble majesty and the every day sacred
ecstatic truth wrapped in the mundane

there are two inhabitants here
one, a custodian of sorts – a ragged man committed to a singular purpose
and the other, an ascetic of the highest order - living wisdom and compassion
there is an immense statue there of the greatest buddha
soft, milk white marble contours the imagination into a smile
just smaller, immersed and emerging from this supple colossus of knowing gentleness
is a golden, shimmering figure like the sun snuggled in a comforter of fog and sky

days pass and the old, kind worker tends to the dirt and polish and broom
he is lava, slow but certain
the enlightened one walks and sits, filling the newly dusted grounds with ubiquitous thought
days pass in their clearing amidst the rocks and nothing changes, save where the dust gathers most
and where the thoughtful old gentlemen begins with his broom
days pass and an otherwise invisible fact emerges - these two characters trade places every day
one always the custodian and the other always the holy man
as if two sides of coin

I am an observer on the wind of this quiet, magical place
my presence a still water tension, my breath held as to keep this constant, silent peace
suddenly, something occurs to me like the first breath to the drowning
these are not days that pass in the animated amber of this experience, they are lifetimes
centuries have lived and died over the course of this dream
there is a gift in this realization that is not meant for my waking hands
I learn something I cannot exactly bring with me as these tides of knowing and wakefulness wash over me simultaneously

I am pitched out of this knowledge, Hurling through the last moments of understanding
I hit the ground running
My whole self aimed at this lost truth
Strides of thought stretch toward that gasp of realization
And I am still running
Track Name: The Tiger of Morelos
In my mind, I fashion so many Hacendados of the 18 and 1900’s as the stacks of jeering pigs in angry birds.
Appointed grubs, farming shit to roll in
Laughing and drunk with their own delusions of machismo
bastards of the Spanish, French and American imperialists
Appeasing those who’d support or enhance their claims
Trails of scum throughout the paperwork
Land re-formed into stacks before them

A seed grew circa 1879 in this fertilized earth
Discontent, yes, maltrust, of course
But also
a tiger cub
His parents were earthen monuments of love and strength
Hard day workers of older ways, adjusting to modern life
That modernity was oppression
And this child saw it in every line of his parents’ faces
In every dusty crack of their hands
As if everything taken from the land and community around them
Was simultaneously taken from their bodies, not their eyes

Yes, the boy knew struggle from conception
Inherited strength and learned the world quickly
He was a new sunrise everywhere he visited
A breath reset to this moment
His visits lifted weight and lightened rooms, ranches
and from the first sight of them burned heavy in haciendas

The unspoken prince
kingdom of a breaking town rotting in fast forward by fingers of manifest destiny

A charmer, horse whisperer and bullfighter
Playboy of depleted plains
Rebel of his imposed world
smile like a dagger in the heart
Unsheathed with great care as swift as it was a noble weapon

At 17, on some small adventure, a letter came
His father was leaving him a bit of land, 9 siblings, a mother
all of their hopes fell onto him like a tree on a wooded path
he never thought about dodging it
and rose to meet it hands first on a horse back to Morelos
the cub was growing but hadn’t yet shown his fangs

The elders of Annencuilco
Scarred lions of withering food chain
Fenced outside of so called “civilization”
Aging Statesmen of the sugarcane plantations
Wise, strong, righteous
And worn by a lifetime of fight
Their burned and bloodied efforts
Heavy with imbalance and confusion of political process
and the accumulation of wealth

These majestic statues of worthy intent
Gathered in a kiln like room
Raising hardening hands before the townspeople
Honorable workers as certain of their elders as rock and sun
One hand to their hearts and one toward a new steward
Someone who’d stand up for them
Incorruptable, wily and fierce
They needed a tiger

this Native tongued son was someone you could trust
quietest in the room
loudest of loyalty
words chosen and administered careful as bullets
He’d let them pour when need be
never holding back a pressing truth

him.

He’d work the facets of government
Present indisputable evidence
Do everything they presumed he was incapable of
And as they sneered more and more away from the people
And bent more and more obvious to the weight of landowners gold
He roared...and was heard throughout Mexico

They’d come to their newly attained land
to find a tiger before a hoard of riders with guns
A liquid pace of prowess at its borders
Cursive in his movement
“you didn’t do the right thing, so we did”
Track Name: Dream Sequence #3 (The Presence)
All is silent. A silence as certain and distant as peace.

there is a friend in my home who is not friend. This should be my old compa Jorge who would often visit, stay the night, rap and make art with me on the sides of buildings and over passes and banks.

Not ever on anything independently owned, nothing without a purpose or a genuine question and nothing without art. Jorge laughs like fireworks look and there’s always fun around the corner of his smirk.

A friend is here, but it is not my friend.

He is disguised in a disgusting mask of flesh, swollen and puffy and it doesn’t fit his real face. A darkness peering from black eyes and I’m trying to keep it cool, casually taking in information of this rotten, bloated presence over my shoulder.

I cannot face him. When I look back I am terrified by what I feel and my words fall like molasses. I slowly return to the task at hand. He doesn’t move a fraction, a vision of malice, fossilized in amber.

I’m washing the dishes…eyes in my back like thorns, the most intense leer like the soft tap of spider’s legs that want in.

This day is weeks and months and these years just a sunny afternoon outside. I come and go, I’m busy and I’m only stopping in to leave. This unfriend living in my home, with my family, my mother, my younger sister and our pets…it is a tepid but constant squalor in the downstairs… is this what happens to a dream deferred?

I maneuver carefully through the bi-products of this spirit’s wretched intent with casual talismans…masks and drums and décor.

I am cleaning and organizing.

Washing the dishes again.

Behind me he is a grotesquerie of intent, a masterpiece of some sick artist who’s left his greatest work to stand and watch…me. I tell him he can’t stay. He’ll be needing to leave immediately. I continue working on the basement’s floors (you can’t stay), shelves (you can not stay), cracks (you must), closets, (you WILL leave), and the walls…The walls are what stand out.

I’m talking with my mom and kissing her forehead and just then I’m under her bedroom in the downstairs, right underneath where she lays and I’m hanging a mask. I know it is gone, there is a slow silence like the most beautiful new snow, There is light here and I awake.
Track Name: The Conductor
Her headache began as a slow boa constrictor
Romancing its self around her body from the bottom up
Squeezing for sustenance from her supple, ripe mind

This incredible pressure would pin her focus to a needles point
A hair trigger aimed for good reason
Efficient strokes of effort
---the only way she knew how to operate

She needed to stay on point
On task
On call
On egg shells and pins and needles
The rare guardian against power, liquor and rage

a blow to the head in defense of a friend at the age of seven left her this way
hot, frozen pain
her body folding toward sleep under the tremors that flushed her senses
tremors like rail road spikes under hammer
each blow driving consciousness from her immaculate grip

flood gates would spring open and dreams would crash down on her
the headache just the first wave of floodwater she would soon be submerged in
a dam broken from her innermost sense of self

just as the pain started as a boa and became a hammer and the hammer became water, so did the water become light
a light that rushed through, within and beyond her
a flow of information - images, ideas and vast emotion
before long, figures walked to her from this light

a humble girl with sharp thoughts and mindful tongue
a queen, a general, a bold statesman
devils, politicians and freedom fighters
family not yet her own...
familiar strangers and strange familiarity

finally, a man as big as sassafrass mountain
kind and austere
bold and soft at the same time

it was all just murmurs at first and she thought herself mad
she’d wake up like she had seen a ghost that told her she’d better not tell
and she didn’t, not ever…

What she did do, was use what she learned from these visions
That became a form of communication down the coast, through the south and into the north
becoming a General in these dreams, strategizing with the other mighty spirits
Discussing routes and opportunities, resources within the enemies borders and the perils of their risk

They spoke of networks under the pointed confederate nose
pleaded with enslaved minds on a white picket fence
Convincing, compelling and not taking weakness for an answer

She inspired and was inspired
Driven by a light that poured through her like a curse
With pursed lips she held that focus like a sword
General Tubman indeed
The Conductor
Impelled by something she saw as god
A divinity that coursed through her temples and flowed through her every move

It doesn’t matter if it was god, hell, it doesn’t even matter if there is a god
When someone is propelled by an energy like that, it is divine
and it will not be stopped
For every time that pain overtook her with that awesome light,
She was refueled, refreshed and reintegrated into the fabric of our collective unconscious

O’Moses they said…
O’Moses, The General
Conductor of dream, life and freedom
Track Name: We Are Star Dust
How far out can you visualize our multiverse? Can you see where the infinite takes pause?
What about the universe, galaxy or solar system?
Can you see the sticky webs of nebula that streak toward the dust sputtered blackness oozing between the tendrils of our own spilled milky way?
Can you envision poor pluto, the confused moon planet as it looks back longingly toward our sun passed the other precious, living marbles of ice, rock, gas, hurricane and ore
What image is reflected in those mournful eyes of our moon? How far into this crystal ball can it see?
Through the rolling and veilish clouds, the continents like paintings of mud, grass and sand, your state, mountains you could run your thumb over, your city, trees you could scratch an itch with, this block and street and doorway and another and there you sit...
And what of within? How far does your inside go?
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Cool, billowing sheets in front of a fan and a slid open door
Summer night below stars under weight of muggy air just before a thunderstorm
Gathering clouds murmur on the horizon’, black-purple ink roiling in the midnight blue
A father
A child the size of his abdomen
he offered magic with his affections
“how much do you love me papa?”
“hasta el cielo, mi’jo” with a finger through the ceiling and beyond the sky
This is how I learned spiritual infinity from a man from traditions from people who first conceived zero..
As the rain fell cool before our makeshift air conditioning,
I saw a river of lightning flooding over
No, not lightning...
Static White blue purple Running down the hill in the distance
Through my father and over my head
I almost drowned that night...

Mommycita and I would swing on the shade of the screen porch
Let thoughts fall on an easy breeze
Spring bird soundtrack
springboard for contemplation
We are stardust…
a firebrand on an impressionable mind
liquid light between the creases
I was in preschool, kindergarten
Talking about the wonders of the cosmos
And the inescapable mysteries of science
I learned very young that it was more interesting and more practical to know what is not known, than to spew what is - I was never a good student, but I was a keen learner, sharpened by a worthy teacher

sometime during high school, drawing whatever came to mind, I shared some with my mom
She gasped – “I know where your blood comes from, and to see the connection between that and this...”
I had never felt more connected to my cultural heritage before that moment
And I never looked at anything I did the same way again

From a very young age, I knew that I was capable of anything
That the same atoms in my body come from the stars and so I have access to all the knowledge of the universe

Later, a swan dive within
Reaching
Relinquishing
Aspiring
In the shimmering liquid darkness,
A threshold, radiant with purpose
I entered, heart in hand
An offering of and to self
My deepest spring, tapped into the pipelines of my heart