Hold Empty

by Sleeping Cranes

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All songs written by A.J. Ward
Produced by Greg Mikels, A.J. Ward, and Tony Colantino
Mixed and mastered by Greg Mikels at Ishgnu Studios in Springfield, IL
Artwork by Molly Bramley


released August 18, 2009

A.J. Ward (guitar, vocals, harmonica, bass guitar)
Tony Colantino (mandolin, banjo, harmonica)
Jill Haxel (violin)
Matthew Jaynes (drums)
Greg Mikels (guitar)
Abby Vespa (vocals)
Aaron Horath (guitar)



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Sleeping Cranes Saint Louis, Missouri

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Track Name: Carving Water
The antelope on the mountainside made me feel my age
As we left the road behind us to wane
Trying to pull down infinity from outer space
And crawl inside and find a way to stay
You're smiling like you wanna be somebody else
But the mountain isn't nothing but itself
You buried the start, I watched you come apart
Skipping rocks fron the mountain sand on a lazy day
Trying to leave home behind us to wane
Crawling up across the tree line, looking for somewhere bright my head can stay
Because I heard that we just get dimmer everyday
You're searching like you wanna be somebody else
But that carving water isn't nothing but itself
We laid under the stars, we watched them fall apart
You can't deposit all your time into the bottom of a bank
And save it all up until you find out just what it is you need
And nobody and nothing can be or will be perfect
But that's alright, that's alright with me
You're crying, you just wanna be somebody else
But that Colorado sunset isn't nothing but itself
I'm heading back to the start, trying to find my part
We're fine just where we are, let's become a part
Track Name: Gypsy Lemon Wasps
We waited around for a little while but the gypsies never came
So we plotted out the patterned stars, and designated numbers to our names
Searching around for instructions, any vague idea of what to do
You spent that idle time blaming me, I was busy blaming you
I spent some nights with an artist girl, she wasn't proud enough to beg
She had some scarring on her knuckles, and she asked me if I could stay
Grasping out for validation, you told everyone I changed
I took a hit and laughed you off me, though I knew I'd have done the same
But I'll be the curtains that all you mirrors hide behind
And I'll be the sleeping bag by the bed that you can't crawl inside
Despite your tickling raspberries, you still look lonely to me
So I'll be the curtains your mirrors hide behind
You spent so many high school nights terrified of ending up alone
But you found a new face with tan skin to shake you to your bones
And though I promise that I'm through with you, babe, for you I will atone
So the dark can finally digest the light peeking through the door
Waking up on a Colorado couch from a long belated dream
In it you grabbed me by the elbow and apologized to me
And it got me to thinking that maybe that was all I need
But what's the sense in sweating fevers waiting on something I'll never see
So I'll be the curtains that all your mirrors hide behind
And I'll be the wasps in the lemon grove you blame for the apples you can't find
Out in your Alabama spring, you can do anything you goddamn please
I'll still be the curtains all your mirrors hid behind.
Track Name: Haha, Chicago
The sunlight scattered on the cold concrete
As the water started churning in the clouds
The cats were all a-grin with their finch feather fangs
Under the crows nesting in the birdhouse
Shaking rain from the fibers of my borrowed clothes
Twisting tied arm days to end an age
Watching fungus grow over bagged baby pines
Spewing white onto my yellowed page
Like a bat to the breadth of an acid soaked spine
I held her hand down an empty interstate
Offering "haha, Chicago" to a lonesome night
Striking matches over ashes for a flame
Coming down with a stranger on an air mattress
All the bedsheets blooming in the dark
Sprawled in a puddle of self lament
Heaving ocean water up from my gut
On my back pointing fingers at the passing crowd
Waiting for someone to make me clean
'Cause today is a woman with a wedding ring
And tomorrow's just a girl kicking morning off the hotel sheets
Track Name: Our Dowry
The gowans were all waving like some bed that we were making
As the morning shoveled light onto our eyes
The guiet had gotten steeper since the kept strayed from the keeper
This telephone tag love never seemed to make us wise
Love's a garment I prepare
That I can Weave but just can't seem to wear
The air swelled with requiems outside the gates of the kingdom
Birthed from the seasons we'd spent fumbling with the keys
Sparkling semantics to defend it as our tongues danced around the exits
And we spoke for the sole sake of our bodies
You were bused away in November
And returned with some pale mill pond rebirth
Cool grass used to tickle our feet, now we're just kicking dirt
The kingdom's not our dowry
And there ain't no love like outer space
It won't be hiding in some attic shoebox
All repaired from its idle days.
Track Name: Land Legs
Patrick swears the number twenty is green
As I'm pushing smoke between my clicking teeth
Grasping straws to watch a quarter note leap
Or to taste all the vowels in some pretty girl's speech
I'm pitching reason at a TV screen
Peeling meaning off striated muscle memory
In a muddy garden, uprooting the butterfly weed
Penciled myself atop the list of people I need to please
'Cause if you don't love the skin slapped on your own bones
Then what makes you think you can toss your heart
To some new set of shaking hands?
Siren sprinting from some sinking nicotine teeth
A car stuffed with silver vapor THC
The latex paint keeping order on strips of big concrete
For million dollar minds and their blinking blackberries
I think my land legs are back under me
After a tearful baptism by a toilet seat
Dreaming about having another sleepless week
Lifting storm windows up for Kitty Genovese
Zeroing the scales for here and Laramie
With orange and purple ribbons stretching sky in the east
Draining out the liquor with my bloodstream sieve
Distill that open futures market of who I'm trying to be
Leaving the girl inside her fabled antique dreams
Shake my sadness into the asphalt of some west bound streets
Pulling down the statues, planting burlap trees
Trying to stretch my baby arms around all my eyes can meet
'Cause if you don't love the skin slapped on your own bones
What makes you think you can toss your heart
Into the bottom of the open air?
And if you can't love the earthquake where you stand
Just look, if it's all the way out in Denver
Then it must be everywhere.
Track Name: The Only Horizontal Boy
You were made a man in a blood bank school house
The four walls stained with vertical lines
When they peeled the mud from your eyelids
You just threw your hands back across your eyes
They held concern inside their creek bed guts
For the trajectory of your chosen life
Like a tourist trapped girl's heart holds love
Fucking Panama Beach boys in the summertime
I think you know, I think you know
That the scenery is set, but you've still got a choice
How does it feel, how does it feel?
To be the only horizontal boy?
Tehy threw you down into the basement
With the other clay they couldn't mold
On the dirt floor crying for your freedom
They left the key under the door
And every morning you'd place a bouquet
Under the photo of that vacant lot
Because it's easier to love the time you've had
Than to love the time you've got
I watch you fight, I watch you fight
Battling acceptance so they can't keep you tamed
But until you lift, you lift your voice
All you can be is another paying name
You're just another name.
Track Name: Cake
On lawn chairs in a lightning storm
Or shoulders on your hardwood floor
It just doesn't feel like I'm at home anymore
Punctuation and a cerebral course
A debt I can't seem to afford
You've got your pencils out, you're keeping score; who won?
I guess all at once you can't be wise and in love
A tape measures just what you're worth
Like inferred thoughts and mini-skirts
Once you'be mopped up all the afterbirth, it's clear
That this tunnel vision destiny
Paperback love and Hercules
Are exactly what they claim to be; a dream
I walked to the patio birdbath, and washed my hands clean
So close your eyes, just sit and wait
For your Dylan diction wedding cake
A couch to have the bed you made replaced
Clothesline sheets in an August wind
As you pray that things won't begin again
Just return to how they'd always been; your way
I'm not sure if I ever loved you
I just know I'm not the same.