Talking to Alexander Hamilton About the Wonders of the Modern World

by The Little Miracles of Misanthropy

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03:38

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released July 11, 2014

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The Little Miracles of Misanthropy Tempe

The Little Miracles of Misanthropy is Tempe, AZ singer/songwriter Ben Jacobs. Ben writes and performs thought provoking, indie-folk driven acoustic music that explores nature, history, literature, and the simple struggle to be good humans.

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Track Name: The Artist on the Bank
Mark a circle, to dig a hole
Hold the ice until it fuses
Fingertips turned white from cold

Wait for the sun, to bless its skin
Watch it glimmer for a while
Then rush on toward its own end

As bit by bit the work you shaped by pieces
Slumps, and falters in decline
And you’re reminded that the river
Is more than just the water
It’s the time, it’s the time, it’s the time

The crack of rock, a solid sound
Satisfying once you’ve learned
Bracken grows darker underground

Ignore the tear, of thorn through skin
You know it’s all just temporary
Know it’s all just temporary

All the bending shaping, pinning, curling
Force, of thought and world aligned
Just to remind you that the river
Is more than just the water
It’s the time, it’s the time, it’s the time
Track Name: Reading to You
Like the words to an ancient incantation
“This is my favorite book in all the world.”
Begins our endless exploration
Through ink and paper, Aether, air, and soil

The wind is ripping ‘cross the mainsail
Splashing big wet drops upon your sill
But you want to find out what comes later
Like the first to put parchment under quill

And I’m saying, “I love you,”
With someone else’s words
In every nightly story
Just saying, “I love you,”
With someone else’s words
Like countless come before me

The caves are dark and wet and twisting
And the woods have no easy paths to tread
But there’s comfort in the sound of recitation
And the pillow is soft behind your head

We’ve appeared before great kings
Been tracked from dream to dream
Flown weightless wrapped in foreign clouds
Leaving traces only we can see
On shelves against the wall
And in solid memory

We learn the might of dark and secret orders
We see the power in making one last stand
And we know the joy of journeys never ending
From hidden gardens to the Summerlands
Track Name: Ali-Quarry, Atlanta, 1970
You talk to yourself
If you think no one is watching
And it makes me want to take you in hand
And tell you again
You’re safe and you’re home
But that just makes you angry
So I leave you alone

To fight off the bad angels
Who came back beside you
Whispering their sneaky deceits
‘til you do I’m just happy
‘cause you’re sitting here with me
At the Muni, watching Quarry fight Ali

He’s been away, too
I know not like you were
But he’s fit, still pretty, and whole
Said he didn’t have a quarrel
With those folks over there
Well you didn’t either
Now I wish you’d not gone

To that jungle that took you
And made you more hard
Than you ever should have needed to be
But we’re far from the worst
‘cause you’re sitting here with me
At the Muni, watching Quarry fight Ali

And I’m not scared to open the papers anymore
Or watch the news on my TV set.
I don’t flinch anymore
With every knock on the door
But that doesn’t mean that I can forget

Did he have someone there
Telling him not to go
Stay here to fight for what you believe
That should have been me
It was my job to protect you
Now I curse at my weakness
Every time I look at you

And see how you’ll never be
The way that you were
When you talked and you laughed easily
So I’m relieved but I mourn
I know I’ll never forgive me
At the Muni, watching Quarry fight Ali
God, I’m so glad you’re here
But I know I’ll never forgive me
At the Muni, watching Quarry fight Ali
Track Name: Mourning Icarus
Watching a lone ant
March in ever dwindling circles
Carrying his thread
Through the twists of a small shell

In the hope that I might be revealed
To the one who wants to find me
And I’ll let him take me back
Submit willingly and timely

So when Minos steps into the room
And calls to me by name
I feel all my burden lift
Know my time has finally waned

I am ready to divest myself
Of all encumbering things
And think of nothing
Except for new kinds of wax to make wings
Track Name: Complaints From a Time Traveler
I emerged in familiar rain
The feeling strong, if the details hazy
Like I had done, a dozen
Or maybe more times before

And you are sitting in that chair
Far side of that streaky window
Deep breath to get ready
To render you aware

I believe in what I do
Even though the fires are burning behind me
If I could not fix their pain
I guess I just stayed focused on mine

I know you won’t thank me once I’m gone
I remember how much I felt I’d constrained me
Stick to the path, and keep on plodding on

No mistakes and no surprises
Everything all scripted out

The goal of happiness at the end
If it all blows up, well to hell with them
Time’s what I make
‘til I do it all again
Track Name: Neue Haas Grotesk
Give me lots of clean white wide-open spacing
Give me words with heft and dash and sheen
And I will tell them whatever you want me to tell them
Cause someday I’m going to be everything

Gonna sweep away all the crass and the cluttered
Make a space cosmopolitan and clean
And I’ll be the very thing you think I ought to
Cause someday I’m going to be everything

The smug face of cold corporations
The new blood of egalite
And I’ll spread like a massive infection of wonder
Cause someday I’m going to be everything

Oh I know they’ll call me standoffish and boring
I’ll be the hippest side of conformity
I’ll be a great contradiction in form and discussion
Cause someday I’m going to be everything

Appealing just cause I’m familiar
The acme of neutrality
But for all of my blandness they’re still going to know me
Cause someday I’m going to be everything
Yeah someday I’m going to be everything
Track Name: The Tarot Reader
The Queen of Swords was third card down
Centered in a Celtic Cross
Half an hour since I’d slammed down
My last drink of the day

The Emperor was laughing
And the Page of Wands was indecisive
Early in the morning in this rat hole hideaway

Ashamed that I had come again
But I had to know the causes for my paralyzing fear
For what the future holds in store

Just one little hint
From the guiding light of divination
Trumps all hope or prayer in my internal little war

But she never tells me anything
I really need to know
But when the Tarot Reader speaks
There’s always something makes me listen
The shame and the sorrow

At 2 A.M. The Hanged Man
Came to visit me while I was dreaming
Calling me by name
From his rope high up in a tree

He whispered greater secrets
But in words I couldn’t understand
Not even the bottle could help to tell me what they mean

Can’t tell me there’s no one talking from the other side
Maybe she can help me this one time

Pulled on my shoes and last night’s clothes
Made my way to her apartment
Struggling to find the way carefully and slow

Hoping she’d have some new line
Connecting her with old arcana
Didn’t even seem surprised
When she opened up her door
Track Name: Talking to Alexander Hamilton About the Wonders of the Modern World
Stayed up all night again last night
Making plans and fighting visions
Wanted to go to you
But just stayed where I was
Waiting for the sun

There’s a river in the way you breathe
Takes me back to brick dust places
The taste of raw milk and almond pastry
Sweet and bitter on my tongue

We may leave but we don’t go
We’re secured to one another, eye to soul

Try to give you what I can
Spend my strength on your momentum
There’s are paths we shouldn’t have to take
If we just knew the way

What do I do
What do I do
What do I do
What do I do from here?
Track Name: Jack Pierce is Fired
Don’t stand up
You can talk about me once I’ve quit the room
But I’m going to have a last say
And there is nothing you can do

Let’s not pretend
That this was ever about the films
Only concerns over cost
And the aesthetic of the till

So I’ll move on
Leave all you zombies in my wake
There’s people left in this town
Who value talent over bank

But I won’t be bowed
Or even hurried on my way
‘cause I’m a Universal monster all my days

Sometimes hours
Behind the chair is what it takes
To get the right look on the screen
Or cover up the cheap mistakes

There’s no patent heart
No piece of rubber that fits the role
It’s gotta come from the kit
And from my head and from my soul

So don’t talk art
You only make it sound profane
Stick to the stuff that you know
And leave the dreamers to their games

‘cause I won’t give up
The methods I use to amaze
I’ll stay a Universal monster all my days

Can’t be the kind of man I hate
In time I’d become
The only creature I’m afraid of

So I’ll never turn back
For even one last longed for gaze
I’ll stay a Universal monster all my days
Track Name: Kansas, 1801
I built this house
From the sod and the ground that we live upon
Just to last the year
‘till you can raise something fine for your own

And we’ll work the land
Just the same as we do and we talk about
And when the sun goes down
I’ll go home to my wife and you to yours

So I look to the east
Where you come home
with a woman from Baltimore
And I thank what’s good
And want for more

My father’s hands
Taught me all of the tales that I’ll ever know
How to make a world
Out of callus, and silence, and bone

All twisted in
No escape from the wind or the darker thought
And miles and days away
Still feels too close every time I’m alone

The tree outside
Will grow tall if the wind doesn’t knock it down
When the summer rains
Blow in hard as a grey, stony sky

And give you shade
Give your kids and their kids a thing to play around
And pull its roots
Down with yours just as deep here as mine