1. Philia (prelude)

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto

let me fail and falter

let my heartbeat alter

let me fall and fumble

let my soul be humble

4. Carousel

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto, S. Sanchez

in the dead of night

deep inside my cell

saw the brightest light

shine from somewhere else

as it came to life

felt it cast its spell

and the carousel was turning


i’m on a carousel


middle of the dark

i’m lying all alone

little green spark

twinkle shining from my phone

i don’t know what i’m searching for

but why not

wishing on a star my hands are white hot

now i’ve got all the colors in a whirl

revolving while i spin and swirl

everybody follow me

follow me

cuz i’ve got all the colors in the world

tour all these sites like i’m on a boat

float maneuvering my eye site high on a post

ghosts illuminate the night like

two minute lite bright

in tune with the zeitgeist

the movement is so human and lifelike

forget the small talk

gimme the festival slot

the best that ya’ll got

leave me up here

on my pedestal

while the rest of ya’ll watch the spectacle

please don’t let me fall off


i have never seen you but i know you’re over there


we are aliens and odd ones

orphaned by chosen boundaries

adorned in algorithms

the schisms of hidden industries

in the streets we all are strangers

gaze in the faces disconnect

we form we click repeat deform

and in defeat

we disrespect

we are all those orphans

who can’t forgive our families

a tribe that's not divided

just blinded

by our realities

our scars are what bind us

we toss and scream and lay awake

the antidote of the in between

is to put our dreams on layaway


all i wanted was to win at everything and never fail

all i wanted was to live my life upon a carousel

7. Rattle the Cage

S. Brackett, M. Gault, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto

i can’t get my computer to boot cancel everything

there’s an active shooter on a new campus everyday

what’s that have to do with me

my movement would never take

anybody’s life

what i have to do to prove it to you whatever say

we are not alike

we are not alike

look at me look at you

i can see what you do from the evil i separate

look at you look at me

i maneuver and flee from you people i segregate

get it straight

we are not alike

i don’t peddle hate

i just go to the booth and i meditate

and i breathe and i eat and i puke and i defecate


fire in the sky

masses at the border

shadows in the night

faces of disorder

rivers made of blood

skeletons in closets

bodies in the mud

torturers on crosses

wretched of the earth

undeserved sentence

reckoning of curses

long awaited vengence

executed messengers piled up upon the entrance

clamor of the stenches threaten overwhelm the senses


there’s an active shooter on the news and i speculate

that it has to do with something you bastards said today

see your attitudes and backwards views they miseducate

it is not all right

all the chatter you decide to spew when you agitate

til they slaughter life

it is not all right

you’re not speaking the truth

i can see what you do to the people

make them afraid

look at you look at me

see your movement is evil

we need to eradicate

get away

it is not all right that you peddle hate

you’re the reason i rally and rattle cage

cuz you’re leaving the people not breathing and dead afraid

8. Buried Alive

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto, S. Sanchez

each movement that i make could make a movement

stress fatigue

each movement that i make could

glass gun deadly recipe

movement that i make could make a move

edge of the precipice

each movement that i make could make a

trigger finger press release 


now i know you heard of me

i know you saw

i know you’re cursing me

round of applause

like i don’t deserve to breathe

life when he’s not

like why was i personally trying to be god

now some of us murder and some of us lie

but i am not one of them

i am not one of them


pull out a gun to survive

fire a gun and then die a thousand deaths

if you really knew me you would know

i am afraid of the dark

if you really knew me you would know

try to be brave in my heart

but monologue monologue stereotype

i am not one of them

i am not one of them


pull out a gun to survive

fire a gun and then die

buried alive


buried alive buried alive buried alive

don’t let me be


yea shadows I battled and fell short

hands up and lay down for a day

yea yea yea

rattled by the snakes that don’t show up and support

get tread on with nothing to say

the flag doesn’t sway without a plentiful breeze

i rather be buried than swing from a tree

and all of the yous are just different me’s

wanna speak less cuz I am choosing to see

this epiphany

in infancy diplomacy is listening

to the child in each of us scream

a little bit of wisdom is a dangerous thing

and I don’t give a dam

without a militant eve

i’m deep but I’m not


if you could ever know
the thoughts i've known and seen what i have seen
all the spiteful stones that i’ve thrown did not protect me
i want you to know these heavy stones nearly crushed me
if i’d only known that heavy load that brought me low would help me grow i wouldn’t be

12. Voices of the Dead

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto, S. Sanchez

when everything we thought

meets everything we know

and everything up top

meets everything below

when every plainclothes cop

meets every angry soul

and all getaways are stopped

and all debt is paid in full


then everything we’re never saying

and never said will yet remain

hidden shame and bitter pain

will fill the air and weathervane

‘til by and by the sky will cry

with bitter pain so let it rain

let it stain whichever angels

seek to be forever changed


message reads rest in piece

sleep in solace

f police except celena hollis

say her name

and pay respects to her daughter

black woman cop

but none of that was why he shot her

he was scared

i don’t wanna die

i was there too

when you’re buried alive nobody can hear you

but spirits can

there’s more souls in the cosmos

more peace plans than oslos gacacas quilombos

dig a path tunnel out

i sail boats and drop hidden tracks

for the underground railroad

there’s blood in the river

but moses parted waters

martin at the mountain top

followed higher orders that required slaughter

if it it please the court or please the lord

what’s the procedure for the ouija board

get me vincent harding

they said he’s in the garden

singing with the holy ghost

squeezing our hands tight

til all of us are fully woke


all is said and done


crisis up ahead

lift this up instead

voices of the dead

voices of the dead

rise above the threat

lift this up instead

voices of the dead

voices of the dead


i put my hands up
not a seeking an escape
i put my hands up to better seize the day
outstretched to carpe diem
carpal tunnels
to mausoleums
trying to write a way to the voices
of my heroes


i was stronger when your hands were on my shoulders

taught me

to be a warrior before a soldier

you got me

and that’s why i’ll push this boulder forward

many hands light work

that’s why all of us are chosen
so stop drop and roll out
stop frisked and hostile
when the police game is ving rhames
my contacts go nazghul
when i pocket dial
i ring wraiths
black ops in the talent pools
brothers dropping out like
under funded high school

so less jails more doors

why excel in failure

losing ground every since four score

and hold the door

stuck in a loop that predicts the final scene

but the very worst of them won’t get the best of me
with archery able arrow sight
big voice from narrow mics
knowing i am clothed in the feathers from a sparrow’s flight

fearing no fahrenheit

parallel or paralyzed

building up a world where i can hear your voice as clear as mine


and where the rainbow stopped

that’s where they gained control

and left him hanging on a cross

and left her laying cold

now everything we lost

and everything we stole

awakens ancient gods

who make our language whole

so let us sing the lettering

and let it ring no better thing

visions of coretta king

delivered life instead of dreams

and by and by the sky will cry

for all of us so let it rain

let it stain the feet of those

who seek to be forever changed!


a voice mail from the summer of your senior year

a secret note read aloud you didn’t mean to hear

a hundred windows in a ten story building side

a hundred stories go dark when you kill the lights

the shadow of another person living parallel

a glimpse of somebody riding on a carousel

a vision of a better life than i chose today

the time you told me that love never goes away

2. Failure Games

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto, A. Stone

my brother we lost you to the waters that have always lied to us

i lost you thought my hands were quick but never quick enough

i lost you to demons that have grown up in the crib with us

and i wasn't in your corner when those lies came to fisticuffs

my other were all born with a dragon branded on our shoulder blades

scars are invisible

but my spine knows the weight

all of us in the struggle don’t need a diagnosis

when depression is a constant

we all know but do not notice

the diplomacy of monsters

those we hold up

are we lifting them up

or are we tying them down to the altar

we anoint our leaders young

but if i had been there in the lobby

would you have made it to the balcony

how many hands do we need

to do right by the mouths you feed

the position of the ugly sun

has heat to kill the shade away

dead songs of unwillingly servants

laid still but still lay awake

no candles on the deathday cake

couldn’t find it on the schedule

couldn’t pull the strings to get it going

cuz i’m all out of geppetto moves

handcuffs and statutes

strange fruit makes bad juice

state house and don’t shoot

the solution of medusa

trying to turn us into statues

if i could only make these hands loose

your mother's voice is the only one that names you

it claims you


i definitely don’t want you to feel the way that you do


my calendar still knows your name

so happy birthday time traveller

see the frozen flames

tried to apply first aid

when challenger first rose to fame

i was in the third grade

they fell to earth when explosion reigned

melted whatever snows remained

now the chasm is river sized like

arizona openings

now the pattern is giving highs

like serotonin dopamine

citywide black and blue regalia

trade apologies like a boat exchange

say all mine i’ll say all yours

master of human failure

overseen the underhanded

fumbling like i’m from the panthers

i don’t understand cuz i had a hundred grand plan

now i want an answer

living life boastfully

should i get rid of my hopes and dreams that didn’t die

give advice

this isn’t like it was supposed to be

5. Quarantine

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto, S. Sanchez

circle up circle up

civil servant serpents

peace we demanding to stir it up

stirrups on our certainty

the tide will turn we’re turning up

we're turning tides no turning us

the tide is high y'alls term is up

don’t look now the

surf is up

the surge is us

when the sickness is pervasive

i can see the sails

of conquistadors

and slave ships

the vectors lie adjacent

and spread by our complacence

our media

rephrases our pain as entertainment


cuz fire and the flame

is old claims exasperation

and by subtle name

the slave is just an entertainer

and the field and stage are gauges of containment

the streets change to graves

when the titans clash

to reinstate their status

hate us but

no we’re not stopping

could not be flummoxed by lynch mob of hobgoblins

so bring your mastodons and man of wars

dodge them like a matador

we at the door of corporate greed

were calling up a quarantine


we need a quarantine

this ancient war machine is broken


this is live from the center of the hive

you left an open wound now we’re spilling out the sides

the hornet and the wasps fly united in the storm

we’ll look back on this moment as the moment we were born

let it be known

crush the demons of the past

we stand together now raise an army from the ash

and call upon whoever hears the message to react

and all as one we smash the gears of death and push it back

now if you only feel it one time

bet you felt it now

women children frontline platinum melt it down

eyes dripping milk as they try to smoke us out

we can see the sunshine behind the funnel cloud

so heed the science

we are spiritually defiant

seeking everything we’ve never had by severing compliance

combine it in a heavenly alliance


no longer keeping silent

we’ve awoken

sleeping giants

9. Dancing in the Light of a Burning City (Phoenixes)

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto, S. Sanchez

dancing in the light while the city still burns

different kings still waiting for their turn

i never owned what i’ve never earned

but i know that i will with you


dance in the fire light

wonder what this side is like

pour the oil on the rising flames

and wonder what dying’s like

i more like dionys

coming back again

and i’m trying twice

face the mic

face the life

now i’m just facing those flashing lights

mm. like a flash-lights

more like a lightsaber

don’t fear the father

ain’t been a slave

don’t fear no darth vader

naw, i just mob daily

i’m up on my intercom baby

calling out to the stars and in the darkest hour

which one of y’all will be my savior


i’m on fire i’m okay


dumpsters flame still flicker in the dead of night

red and white

see the rust and embers charred and bleeding still bleeding

i can’t go home

hear shots and bickerings ricochet

and dissipate

if i can’t find anyone to believe in i’m leaving


i am a sleeping giant

deep inside i want peace and quiet

when unheard i may speak in riots

when unhinged the country’s on fire

when unquenched the thirst brings empires

to their knees and unspins the spires

pillars fall when umpteen town criers

become choirs unseat the sires

sirens blare with unmet desires

justice rolls down like muddy waters

i’m a mouthful of sea change

make you rethink everything prior

i was born a young boy james laurie

silver spoon on my tongue same story

you’d assume from what’s come before me

but not everything’s honkey dory


i’m on fire


born of the ashes

heir to the flame

lit by the fire

we look the same

13. Temimut (interlude)

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto

soothe my soul and open my eyes

fill me with the fire inside

lift my spark up to the divine

elevate me higher and rise

14. Related

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto

i am one in 7 billion searching for my family

now you’ve come innocent love

my ears can hear my eyes can see


we are related we’re arm in arm

we are unarmed

we are related we’re arm in arm in arm  


and i’m overwhelmed by so much misery

see people i know see people i love see people divided up so bitterly

watch out for the enemy enemy enemy enemy enemy preaching it like a liturgy

and i pray for the day when you open the gates and say you finally have forgiven me


my cell vibrates and i know it’s not you

i am now somebody who you will not talk to

how could i expect you to forgive me

after all our history i had to act atrocious

remember hugging big trees back in nacogdoches

couldn’t let go

just couldn’t let go

this is how we live

holding onto memories

searching for my families

roots trees planted deep

grew up into enemies


my cell vibrates cuz i’m singing off key

locked in a box

like every day i wake up in the body of an animal

i know it’s not me

but i’m accountable

nails to a cross

reach back touch the moment i was innocent

fold it to my chest

clutch and hold it til my sins are cleansed

benefit 7 billion souls with my penitence

open up the penitentiary gates now

send us in


flying on a phoenix path

been down and beaten back

born in the ash been the first to come in last

been the last

one standing

with a a match to light the candle

on the downside of up say

radhaghast to let them in my castle

cast aside the old code words

greet the people at the gates

we are blood others

found the secrets of love

beneath the sequence of our shame

the weakness of these chains

is when we make them visible

reclaim our greatness

when we break them


go higher than

di oxy ribo nucleic acid

our heartsand songs our greatest asset

scarred by the latest hazard

cynically suited up in a hazmat



temple grandin with the cattle

prod the people against


we need another seattle


leading hands

we can be peter pan

and dancing with our shadows


this whole world is turning all the time

a revolution every day

in the sun

innocent blood

is drying on the ground of it


15. Hurqalya (postlude)

3. Blood in the River

S. Brackett, M. Gault, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto

there is blood in the river


how could you wear that

don’t you even care that

aren’t you aware that

someone may be scared that

you might belong to

don’t know if you’re going to

please tell me that you’d never want to

even if they taunt you

don’t let the demons haunt you

i know you know that it’d be wrong to

even after everything we’ve gone through

you’re not alone there are so many who are drawn to

the other side you wanna place your burdens onto

i know your blood is in the river that’s what bonds you

i hear your voice in everyone you sing this song to


you wanna talk

or talk about it

i'm on top of the mountain shouting

the tears in the river are

accounting for this downpour

the blood floods the gutter

the gutter struggle is where the blood reeks

and they couldn't find him

where the shots and the slugs speak

gun me in the streets in broad daylight

king, what was wrong is now right

and the right is now wrong

and the lambs no longer silent

keep on singing this song

when the people fiend

never knowing that they can be strong

don't know the names of these psalms

but the make of these bonds

is the same

dang cable that could table aslan

i'd be lying if i said my pride

could never be wrong

that's why we wade in the water

but it’s staining the clothes

cuz the blood of the slaughter it remains

on our souls

so tides of tomorrow is where we're placing our hopes


i know you’ve felt the trauma

witnessed struggle heaped upon

as raw emotions buried deep as bodies broken speak


on this earth it’s i alone

live alone die alone

looking for a flag to provide a home

listen for a call hear dialtone

but i swear

despite anything i think say or do

or try to express but don’t know how to

despite everything i sing about you

i would be incomplete without

6. American Dreams

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto, S. Sanchez

the whole world is watching

the whole world is watching

something in my family tree is rotten


ancestors so grotesque

plans of destiny to go west

manifest bleeds protest

10 million rest in peace below depths

oh no

oh yes

no struggle no progress

bend the rules run the jewels

40 acres and a mule and no less

who claims to know best though

who’s trained to protect those

some of those who burn crosses also arraign and arrest those

some of those current losses this fiscal year are exceptional

they’ve got more guns than destro

make you disappear like presto

i wrote this rap to pray

for another life castaway

now that’s more settlement cash to pay

but that won’t bring daddy back today

that’s just more petals at the grave

the moonlight saw that display

so what more can i do my god

when there’s nothing left to say

meet me at the gate and sing kumbaya


scheming for a way to stay up

dreaming of the day i wake up


momma was a bloody knuckled valedictorian

poppa was a comet from the quarry and tobacco fields

cover me in notes of old hickory and moses

the cotton linen blends the benefits of forbidden yields

black feet move without reservations

our bodies wall the streets

we resume our occupations

claims of common sense

more cautious than caucasian condiments

black cowboys are real

but they ain’t myths

black avengers show up before the crowd’ll get pissed

and the milk goes as sour as a counterfeit kiss

we can still make a pound of biscuits

get some fish

and feed a crowd of misfits

where the lyricists spit

the merits of the heretic

is where the patriot lives

and we hate to relive

what it takes to forgive

can’t forget what we did

better yet let’s amend

to protect next of kin

by accepting our sins

10. Antioch (interlude)

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto

when my father handed me the lash

taught me false tradition

separate my family white from black

consecrate division

i was young and ignorant of grace

lived as they had taught me

down in the river

i claim my sins

cast the devil off me

11. Pray

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto, S. Sanchez

pray the pale white devil back to hell

blessed be my witness

pray the pale white devil back to hell

cry for my forgiveness


when the demons beckoned me to come

why did i believe them

named my brother as three fifths a man

left his body bleeding

claimed my sister as their property

used her for their pleasure

pray the pale white devil back to hell

cleanse my sins forever


look at me and what do you see
see somebody up in a tree
saying don't lie to us
at the worst of times

i see nursery rhymes too anonymous to believe
i'd rewrite them posthumously
but we can't wipe the blood from these leaves
it's inside of us
like a demon spawn
conceived deep beyond
pray to god for us to be free
i first caught him in the valley where the water was tainted
followed on the map and saw the spot where it was painted
the bottle was ancient
fiddle with the folds of a riddle made sacred
7 million dollars out of only one sl------p

from the mystery run
screaming oh my god it's begun
now we read prophecies of our progeny
and the monsters they have become
what the hell have we done

pray the pale white devil back to hell

make my soul unbroken

pray the pale white devil back to hell

let my eyes be opened


hip hop is transphobic


i speak the statement seeking its irrelevance

when it’s said the further from hell it gets

so why call blm some terrorists

we did the same with martin

and worse with the suffragettes


first resistance

forgiveness is coming next

before the wing is the cell of the chrysalis

the catalyst to something else

they'd pay attention

if i eliminated a mona lisa

when god’s masterpieces are

killed with increasing frequency

imitate immortals just to get someone to listen

we are building up a world that changes shame into contrition

we have named our mission

praying not condemning

blood relations are craving witness

liberation from this nation’s sickness 

we will win with no malice and no militias


speak truth to your neighbor

for we are all members of one body

be angry and sin not

do not let the sun go down on your wrath

nor give place to the devil

our weapon will not be righteousness

our tool will be humanity


pray the pale white devil back to hell

shout him from the heavens

usher in the souls long cast aside

beg for resurrection

turn and face your savior eye to eye

stand for your conviction

pray the pale white devil back to hell

til the lord is risen

16. Sleeping Giant

S. Brackett, J. Laurie, K. Ortiz, G. Otto,  S. Sanchez, L. Suzanne Smith

i am a sleeping giant

there lives a riot in my bones


whiplashing masters

rehashes the bad strategies

i’m abandoning the branding

and brandishing new prophecies

slashing the patterns

with passionate new qualities

with outstanding tantrums

so large there's no stopping we

abolish oligopolies

toppling class sovereignty

clashing rapids are habits

of haven'ts who had it up to here

tears build the river swells

empire strikes and we rebel

alliance of a living wage


to quench the flames of living hells


i was on the corner of no one cares

heard something rumbling over there

like a snare drum with a soldier's flare

like a river run coming over here

see the screaming crowd saying everything goes

extremely loud and incredibly close

cracks in the ground as they steadily approach

now the wave of sound surrounds and unrolls

the waters unfrozen frost soaks my kneecaps

while they unfold like washed up debris stacks

wall to wall floats the feedback

anonymous quotes we can say

for all the lost souls presente

wade in the streets

march forth in the rushes

feel the unstoppable force as it gushes

people wake up

to the heartbeat of the

rhythm in the river as it roars with justice


now i see what i am


i am a sleeping giant

there lives a riot in my bones


from mississippi to cairo i hear footsteps

from wall street to oklahoma hear footsteps

from chiapas to rojava i hear footsteps

from lynchburg to nova scotia i hear footsteps


whirlwind reaped and whirlwind sown

people rule don't need a throne

cannot stop what they don't know

as above so below





breaking ground and breaking silence

now i can sing what i am


from cochabamba to marwar i hear footsteps

from the maldives to new orleans i hear footsteps

from ferguson to sacred stone i hear footsteps

from indomeni to the florida keys i hear footsteps


from oak flats to palestine i hear footsteps

from death row to jubilee i hear footsteps

from nazareth to galilee i hear footsteps

from us and them to you and me i hear footsteps


i am a sleeping giant

there lives a riot in my bones

i am a mouthful of sea

i am a quiet indigo dawn