HIS FOREARMS WERE TANKS NOW

by The Few Moments

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04:41
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03:58
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02:29
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03:20
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01:39
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(free) 02:01

credits

released March 3, 2010

written, recorded and performed by Michael McQuilken
illustration by Ira Marcks
funded and made possible by Jake Lodwick
mastered by Mark Guenther at Seattle Disc Mastering

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The Few Moments New York, New York

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Track Name: March
MARCH

he was born laughing
it was an unusually warm morning in the month of march

to the astonishment of those present
the boy didn't cry at all
but would scream if he noticed
colors or lights that were too bright

like the nurse's fingernail polish
or the hospital lights on the ceiling
he would let out a scream
that would frighten everyone

and his hands shook
and his legs kicked relentlessly
but if he kept his eyes closed
he would only laugh
Track Name: His Movement Was Impossible To Control
HIS MOVEMENT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTROL

his movement was impossible to control
and before the day was over
he'd already angered everyone

mostly his family
Track Name: Home
HOME

at home he could not sleep
the first night or the fifteenth
they put him in front of the television
but that would only make him scream

so they gave him some picture books
with colorful pictures to look at
but colors hurt his eyes and then he would just continue to scream
and tear the pages out

and his hands shook
and his eyes went crooked
and he looked like he had something that he wanted to say

so they gave him a plastic bin
that was at least twice his size
the bin contained wooden blocks with ABCs carved in

and a rattle
and a plastic baby flute
and a toy piano with twelve fat keys too

and his hands shook
and his eyes went crooked
and he looked like he had something that he wanted to say (but...)
Track Name: And On
AND ON

a week
a month
two months and on
and the boy never slept at all
instead his energy increased

his parents took shifts
a steady rotation of looking after him
while the other one would sleep out in
the car

and the house was always clatter and din

they were so tired
they were too tired to stop him
they were so tired

by now he'd learned to climb into the cupboards
after discovering the pots and pans
nothing else could satisfy him

with a wooden spoon in hand
he created symphonies of meterless fury
upon stainless steal and cast iron

and it was loud
Track Name: Clinic
CLINIC

the doctor said the inside bits of the boy's head were over-sized
and this was why
there seemed to be an unusual pressure on his brain

the doctor said that this pressure was the reason for the boys sleeplessness
and that this meant
that he might never be able to sleep

although it was unlikely that the boy would ever fall asleep
they still should feel
so proud of him

the doctor said they should feel proud that their six-month old had advanced mobility
and he could run
while most kids his age were still unable to walk

the doctor said they should feel proud that he had already learned the word "more"
even if he would only shout it

although it was unlikely that the boy would ever fall asleep
they still should feel
so proud of him
Track Name: Shed
SHED

they tried to give the boy some baby sleep-aid medication to no avail
they tried some baby anti-psychotics and then some adult anti-psychotics as well
and then a collection of experimental drugs after that

the boy remained sleepless... he remained sleepless

with the help of a family counselor it was decided that the best course of action was to put a garden shed out in the back yard
and have the boys room out there
he would live out there

it was agreed that they would add some sound dampening to the walls
and keep the door locked at night so the boy would be safe while his parents slept
and that's exactly what they did
Track Name: Callous
CALLOUS

the idea seemed so callous
but it was the right thing to do
it was the right thing to do

and it made them all feel better
just a little bit better
a tiny little bit better

mother tried to hide as she fell apart
she felt so far from him and it broke her heart
father knew that there was little chance left
for him to salvage a relationship with him

and so it went
and he didn't want to be interrupted
and he welcomed them to join
but they would only decline

it was his second year
his forearms were tanks now
and he had destroyed every playable surface in the house

and she heard one day that he'd been playing with his hands
and decided that there was something the situation demanded

and went to find the strongest mallets money could buy
and she hoped that they might hold up
and what she brought back to him brightened his eyes

the flat smack of a plastic spatula was nothing quite like these perfect cylinders that drew such resonance from pummeled metal

the idea seemed so callous
but it was the right thing to do
it was the right thing to do

and it made them all feel better
just a little bit better
a tiny little bit better
Track Name: Dinosaur Bones
DINOSAUR BONES

and then a strange thing happened
the strength of these two mallets combined with his incredible arms
he became a jackhammer

and within an hour of discovering drum-rolls
he reduced the cook wear to shrapnel
and began to beat the plywood floor
he pulverized the plywood floor
he turned it in to sawdust

as resonant surfaces dwindled
he played with increased ferocity
he tried to draw tone from grass
and then from the soil under that
he targeted stones and bits of hard clay

and his parents didn't hear what was happening through the walls they'd covered up with dampening
and the dust pouring out a crack in the window was covered by the fading glow of the sun
there in the dusk

and then he descended... then he descended...

he passed through volcanic ash and sheets of granite as he smashed dinosaur boned and fossilized trees
he found and oil deposit and lit it with his left hand then extinguished it with the wind from his right hand

and then he descended... then he descended...
Track Name: A Small Circle
A Small Circle

the ground gave way beneath him
and the boy toppled over
he landed on a smooth and shining floor that was perfectly flat and a little warm

his body was overcome with...
overcome with a sudden calm
and the tenacious engine inside wound down to an unexpected idle

(and) he was still

he looked up at the hole he'd made
hundreds of miles away
he could make out the glow
of sunshine
the daylight spilled in
just enough to brighten him
and a small circle around him

he was still

he looked up at the hole he'd made
hundreds of miles away
he could make out the glow
of sunshine
the daylight spilled in
just enough to brighten him
and a small circle around him
Track Name: Then There Was a Strange Light
THEN THERE WAS A STRANGE LIGHT

and then there was a strange light beginning to emerge from the corner of the room
dim and blue
and it was moving closer to him

and as it approached...
as it approached...

then the boy could see that the glimmer of this light was extraordinary

but it didn't bother his sensitive eyes
his eyes
instead it seemed to pacify them

the light began to reveal...

then the boy could see that the glimmer of this light was extraordinary
Track Name: The Eyes
THE EYES

the light was closer now
he could see a person there

it was a woman
then he saw her eyes behind her hair

he had never seen eyes so peaceful

every part of her
radiated blue light
even her gown which utilized the finest shapes ever invented by man or by nature

he had never seen eyes so peaceful
Track Name: What She Wanted
WHAT SHE WANTED

and he didn't know what to do as she came to rest only inches from him

he didn't know what she wanted

she was so tall
much taller than the other people he'd seen
and when he climbed up to his feet he couldn't even reach her knees

and he remained still for a moment
and then he took a step closer to her to show that he wasn't afraid yet

and then she leaned down
and offered her arms
and made such a smile
and for the first time in his life the little boy felt tired

then there was a perfect yawn
that stretched out his iron jaw
he was so used to holding tension there

she wrapped him in her glowing hands
and lifted up the little man
and with a finger she pushed back his hair