backyard divine

by orphanage

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Audio component of final project created for Christine Hume's course "Praxis: The Walk" as part of EMU's creative writing graduate program, Fall 2015.

"backyard divine" is comprised of five melodic audio collages, incorporating looped minimal music crafted from manipulated recordings, lulling across a bed of found sounds. All audio recorded with a Nokia Lumia cell phone, compiled and edited using Audacity.

Each musical composition is accompanied by a collage poem/prose piece, all language for which was taken from a series of digital divination sessions through two websites offering online versions of the ancient Chinese I Ching practice of yarrow stalk fortune-telling: the language of the occult sculpted into scattered modern-day dreams.

Click each track for language and individual imagery. Download includes a PDF of all five collage pieces. Follow the link below to watch an accompanying experimental video:

- Aa


released January 5, 2016



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orphanage Ypsilanti, Michigan

orphanage uses a looping station to layer guitars, drums, voice, and other instruments to create ambient, distorted, psychedelic sounds and songs.

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Track Name: brightness
a kind of ritual
vessel. In the center of
the earth is a mountain;
brightness enters into
the earth, hiding.

Hide your light, so nobody
can blow it out.

Pitfall; no mourning. The sun is
not eaten, another corona. One
must consider the borders of what
one can demand or tolerate:
heavy rain, sudden
rain, violent wind, relentless,

flourishing; the dream
bodes ill: a bird’s nest
is burning; wind
follows wind.
Track Name: yarrow

Rub your eyelids with yarrow and dream of cabbages picked from the grave of a man who had died young, buried in a great cloak of trimmed grass. The unchanging ground beneath him mirrors the pathology of lawns above, a contemporary medium devoted to loudly maintaining thresholds. No amount of rooftop libations will replace fallen ancestors; just like music, their whisperings and physical radiance have guided broken families to their graves. Their names resonate like a wall of oils: herbal correspondence which remains unbroken. Herbs, like people, have gender. A leaf held against the eyes before fire-walking or fire-eating can brighten them, inhaling sight so intensely that it resonates and spills into other senses. Bruised leaves strewn across a resting place with the left hand can be used to find libations, an infusion of fresh juice and powdered flowers, a little push to become quietly focused. Ritual can also become a distraction from the essential: to mimic the yarrow, or bury or burn it, is believed to give second sight; eyes sewn like pouches, vision smudged, unclear.
Track Name: marsh

You attract uniforms like grass: radical like a knife, opening bulging waistlines, like a sword in a museum – unspecified, imprisoned. Winds gather like strong hands in the shape of hexagons under a tree, almost imperceptibly, until moans and sighs, tears and snot obstruct shallow clouds. Stagnation is an aeroplane falling, clogged, gasping; hysteria elbows through that thick fog. Astride this churning assemblage, wild geese react to every new moment, death or accident; they are knocked free from their roots of shields and spears, shackles and old shoes; steadily, over time, they learn: wind comes forth from fire, brightness hidden. Home is the name of an ancient river which drifts, flows eastward amid deeper winds, flows gradually and soaks through this palace of worldly pursuits. These feet walk new fields, sharp and hectic. Things cannot end with standstill.
Track Name: bacon

Many planets move together, like a butterfly flock, or a fat boy mowing the lawn. But what if that didn't all depend on you? Barefoot and naked, sometimes you are the pig, running for your life. There is no law of being consistent toward the world, only the slopes of disease and danger, impulses, instincts, habits, and worst of all, reactions; they all make the limbs move, triggered by the music of certain places full of noise and people. We search for the footprints of mermaids: something dark, manifesting as patterns of mockingbirds in spring, a severe choir of nice kisses; or the swallows without mouths, songs emerging from chrysalis, muffled like clothes. Let go of etiquette, let loose a nasty bite; words must be carried by magic to extend small harvests. Often we look at the beautiful apple instead of the dead tree that offers it. The mouth comes closer, jaw and tongue become a celestial sky-choir, ragged and dust-laden, and eventually you will be eaten yourself. You will be eaten.
Track Name: flood

The human mind needs deluges: floods of perspiration, dispersion of blood, bones crystallized like magma turned to diamond. Blood once produced cannot be recalled. A radical heart in calamity once dreamed of translating the authenticity of water into brightly colored images, dissolving both wind and language with ease.