21st Century Poet (Helsinki Airport Demo Versions)

by Brian Smith

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about

After customs agents made me to miss my plane back to the United States causing me to have to take the next one, which came a day later, I had lot of time on my hands and very little money. Being the only person in the international section of the terminal, I decided to record some demo versions of my unfinished forthcoming album.

This demo album was recorded very early in the morning on 3.12.2013 at gate 38 in the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

credits

released December 3, 2013

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Brian Smith Portland, Oregon

Brian Smith is a geofolk musician on an endless tour around the world.

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Track Name: Trying To Remain
Should I be profound in conversation, is that what you’re expecting?
Should I conquer the room with every word that I say?
Well I’ll maintain my lack of elegance if it means you won’t dissect me
For I am just trying to remain

You say you thought I’d be different, well why don’t you tell that to a mirror?
I’m sure there are a million stooges that would happily fill my place
So line up for registration and you too can be a pseudo intellectual
Meanwhile I’m just trying to remain

And you claim to love music, but you’re only listening to your radio
You say you’re well read, but only if it’s critically acclaimed
And I should have headed the warnings not to dance with those I can see through
But I am just trying to remain

You suggest the grass may be greener, but this can’t be true in all directions
For some places have no offerings, but only stains
I could list them alphabetically, but this is something I’d rather not do
For I am just trying to remain

And what happened to all the men that you said you respected?
Have they evaporated by morning along with the rain?
Well you know that even your god never paid any child support
Meanwhile I’m just trying to remain

There’s no need to get upset, it’s just a minor loss of freedom
Or at least that’s what you said when the Moldovans had me detained
And now I’m trying, I’m trying so hard just to forget you
For it’s the only way I know to remain
Oh it’s the only way I know to remain
Oh it’s the only way I know to remain
Yeah it’s the only way I know to remain
Track Name: The Reason To Stay (That I've Left Behind)
A chance encounter
With a perfect stranger
Upon destiny, who was I to intrude?
A future lost and
A dream forgotten
My life existing without the ones I never knew
Those loving feelings
That I’m not feeling
A heart not broken in two
Those endless hours
And unbought flowers
A steaming kettle not left long enough to brew

And all the best to you
In all that you do
You’re the reason to stay
That I’ve left behind

A torch not burning
Two hearts not yearning
No tears felt protruding through the phone
No longing passions
Or guilty attractions
No comparisons for a current state alone
So remember me when
Your mind is screamin’
That you chose the wrong fork in the road
And I’ll be out there
With your same prayer
When the memory is all that I can hold

And all the best to you
In all that you do
You’re the reason to stay
That I’ve left behind

And I’ve found time to be the meaning of life
Moving on after another frame has died
Recycled into an unforgotten shrine
Of the moments once possible to find

And all the best to you
In all that you do
You’re the reason to stay
That I’ve left behind
And all the best to you
In all that you do
You’re the reason to stay
That I’ve left behind
Track Name: Leaning
I lean for the love of an angel
For the beauty I never approached
For the teeth which cling to my earlobes
For the salvation I never could know
I carry the burden of confidence
Forgotten when I step off the stage
For I am only asking for directions
If you have the time to show me the way
To your ominous well which hides in yourself
Secluded from the world you see
And I’ll drink from your cup if you can spare me enough
That I may be drunk until I am sweet
For these are the hands which long to write plans
That the lips are unable to read
For the lips and the brain are more often the same
Than the hands with their patience to think
And if this is the reason, please forgive me for treason
For never knowing the right words to say
For I lean out so much that I have nothing to touch
But your footprints when you walk away
Track Name: Sugar Lady
Oh I met a sugar lady, she was sugar sweet
She’d give it away to anyone, but never to me
And I heard there’s a handful of young beauties, but they couldn’t compete
With that rock rock rock owning all the life on these streets
Now, I was standing on the corner and she asked me for the time
I said, “pretty baby, I got none, but you’re wasting mine”
Then she walked away to where I don’t know and I’m standing here in my overcoat thinking, “it looks like I’ll be heading home alone”
Oh it looks like I’ll be heading home alone

Now I heard a rumor she’s no stranger to fast cash
But if you ask her about it, oh she won’t mention that
For her body’s a temple, they worship inside until all who come have seen the light that she shines
Oh that she shines
But as for me you see, I’ve never known deep pockets
Just some bubble gum and an empty wallet
Then she said, “honey I think you’ll do just fine. We’ll start you off with just one night” and I was in heaven until I realized that it was all in my mind
All in my mind

And now years later, I heard she still roams around
But they don’t call her the sugar lady now
She’s retired or tired, either/or, maybe the glamour life became a bore, but she’s just not as sweet anymore
Oh she’s just not as sweet anymore
And me you ask, well I’m still the same
Got no sugar lady, but I still chase the name
And I’ll disappear one day you know on the exact one it’s my time to go thinking, “it looks like I’ll be heading home alone”
Oh it looks like I’ll be heading home alone
Track Name: Dear, It's You
If you want to play the part of the attacker
Don’t get offended when I’m obliged to defend
There’s no need to mourn your disposition
When it’s the one that you have created
Yet you wear your burdens as a crown of sorrows
And claim that those better off are rubbing salt in your wounds
And you look about to whom to point your finger
But dear it’s you, dear it’s you
Dear it’s you, dear it’s you

And with every encounter, you’re seeking persuasion
To conform the masses to your narrow point-of-view
But when outwitted, you so quickly surrender
Yet you never learn and you don’t desire to
And it’s apparent you’re personified ignorance
The looks of which till now I never knew
But if asked, I could easily produce an illustration
For dear it’s you, dear it’s you
Oh dear it’s you, dear it’s you

But don’t come back to me so apologetic
Saying, “I never meant to cause the harm that I always do”
For if you’re so serious then how come you always forget it?
It’s like you have amnesia and you’ve forgotten this too
And now you’re angry I refuse to repeat the process
As if great injustice is all I ever do
But any rational person would redirect their anger
For dear it’s you, dear it’s you
Oh dear it’s you, dear it’s you
Track Name: Talk Of The Town
A mediocre character, nothing special here
No gift for enchantment, no delight in the mirror
Just a slim, fruitless being or an ordinary pawn
But you’ll be the talk of the town after you’re gone

In passing you quietly, they never look twice
Not sought for your thoughts, much less your advice
You could be completely naked, but they’d still look on
But you’ll be the talk of the town after you’re gone

So who are then? You must be new here
Oh I never would have guessed that you’ve been around for years
Well maybe I’ll see you though probably not
But you’ll be the talk of the town after you’re gone

Now you’ve got something happening, but there’s something else to do
I made other plans and they don’t include you
Perhaps maybe the next time if there’s nothing else going on
Until there won’t be a next time after you’re gone

And I heard you had aspirations, had something up your sleeve
But until they are realized, you’re just a child with a dream
And if you’re not here with the rise of the sun
You’ll be the talk of the town after you’re gone

Now the clock’s adding time and you’re counting down the days
Until your absence is apparent and they’d wish that you stayed
So you try to announce that you’re the chosen one
But you’ll only be the talk of the town after you’re gone

Now I heard you were someone, but I had no idea
Why didn’t you shout from the heavens so we’d know that you were here?
You just seemed so ordinary until we saw what you’d done
And you’re the talk of the town now that you’re gone

So when are you returning? We miss you so much
We always adored you and all that you touched
You had a golden grace, just ask anyone
For you’re the talk of the town now that you’re gone
Track Name: 21st Century Poet
Your pretentions speak louder than the thoughts in your head
Though the craft of word arrangement as you’ve learned of is dead
You’re a shrinking necessity, yet you don’t seem to show it
For you’re a 21st century poet

And these intellectual undertakings you so boastfully claim
Are merely gestures to an old kingdom that you’d wished to have reined
But rather than irrelevance, it’s your condition you notice
For you’re a 21st century poet
Yeah, you’re a 21st century poet

And you complain of your empty wallet from behind a fine cigarette
Because only these you can afford for they help you to forget
All the ones you loved so deeply who didn’t even know it
For you’re a 21st century poet

And you’ve skimmed just enough to say you’re well read
And become every character or at least in your head
Now your muse is your arrogance and you’re hopeless to control it
For you’re a 21st century poet
Yeah, you’re a 21st century poet

You’re a 21st century poet
You’re a 21st century poet
And your endurance into extinction is your only will to live
For you’re a 21st century poet
You’re a 21st century poet
Track Name: The Messenger
I am just the messenger; I hold no insight to the content I bring
Bearing no great wisdom; just this vessel from which I sing
For the only truths that I hold do not belong to me
Yes, I know not the heart of the voyage as I am just the wings

So here take my body, take all you want from me
But leave me my hope that I shall one day wander free

And these matters of love that you speak of, they matter not to me
For I’ve never known this quest you’ve obsessed; I’ve only loved in the 2nd degree
But I’ll deliver you your prescription for these pleasures you so desperately seek
And I’ll leave them on your doorstep for that’s as far as I can reach

So here take my body, take all you want from me
But leave me my hope that I shall one day wander free

And I have known many prophets, great wise men they believe
Whose importance I’ve read is all in their heads; who bear the soil but not the seed
They who think that their birth simply proves thei r worth and with death, great sorrow they’ll bring
But we are all just the messengers; we are mere footnotes in history

So here take my body, take all you want from me
But leave me my hope that I shall one day wander free
Track Name: Sitting In A Graveyard
I’ve been living off of offerings
In exchange for my time
Noticing in every village that I pass through, there’s a shrine
Growing used to the journey
The temporary conversations
Though this is not the life I was born for, it’s what is mine
Such a strange reality
Beyond my wildest dreams
Growing up to float down such a narrow stream
For I’ll only reach a handful
But that’s more than acceptable
Yes I’m destined for no destination or so I believe

And now we’re sittin’ in a graveyard
Lookin’ for bones
They’ll be around long after their stories have been told
And I’m used to the memories
But not this feeling
Of knowing this is all that there was to know

And I’ve had enough of talking
Yes, I’m ready to listen
Let’s please reverse the direction of this exchange of words
Just say something crazy
Perhaps a brief life history
But if we only talk about ourselves, we’ll never learn

And now we’re sittin’ in a graveyard
Lookin’ for bones
They’ll be around long after their stories have been told
And I’m used to the memories
But not this feeling
Of knowing this is all that there was to know

And we’ve been acting like everything is so permanent
We use words like “forever” and “always” even though they’re not true
So I’ve been learning just to exist in this moment
To enjoy this life that I’ve been passing through

And now we’re sittin’ in a graveyard
Lookin’ for bones
They’ll be around long after their stories have been told
And I’m used to the memories
But not this feeling
Of knowing this is all that there was to know
Track Name: This Must Be Life
What is this form
That I have taken?
I do not recall
Asking for this
But now I’m here, I am alive; I have dreams to realize
And though it’s a very heavy burden of life, I must try
I must try to live or be ready to die
So now I’m dying to live; ahh oh this must be life
Oh this must be life
Oh this must be life

And how much water is in your well?
To put out the fire that’s in your hell?
Well, it’s not about the problems that you know
It’s how you cope

I’ve spent my existence
Just trying to be happy
And though that’s unrealistic
I’m still going to try
For we can be a waste and let ourselves down
Or do nothing about it and hope it works out
But that’s not the answer I’ve come to realize
And I’m dying to live; ahh oh this must be life
Oh this must be life
Oh this must be life

And how much water is in your well?
To put out the fire that’s in your hell?
Well, it’s not about the problems that you know
It’s how you cope