Spine Adagio

by Joplin Rice

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released June 23, 2012

Written/Performed/Recorded by Joplin Rice

Special Thanks to Nathaniel Tharpe



all rights reserved


Joplin Rice Lexington, Kentucky

Joplin Rice is a songwriter living in Lexington, Kentucky.
He has released numerous other albums both under his own name and as Ezra Triste.
Every band he forms dies.

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Track Name: Jelly Prince
jelly prince
your legs have no bones
tied in knots
as you wrap around the throne

karma rinse
this sin from my soul
I should’ve noticed
by the way you held the rope

jelly prince
my soul to keep
you will stutter
& step into the deep

we’ll be friends
& one day you’ll weep
over roses that
blistered & bubbled for me

jelly prince
the guilt will remain
though you could not
have known she was insane

you will bend
through your “love without pain”
holding your breath
because breathing’s so hard to explain

jelly prince
I still need to know
how’s your family?
tell Father that I said hello
Track Name: Serendipitous
I watched the evidence run spirals through the water
& I know I should’ve stopped her but I’m just one Jelly Prince

I turned back the events to birth & then before
from the grass until the floor & on my arms your fingerprints

I know that explosions will roll through me soon enough
pooled around your feet in the release of aching love
I promised I would think before the moment swept me up

And Faking faces to escape the cruel bondage
But there never was a hostage
just one tiny part of me

& is it so obscene if I never tell a soul?
will my innocence stay whole
or will it bleed out in the heat?

will you lay me down into a hole without a key/I’ll reach inside & twist to see
you will scream & promise me/ everything that I believe
your hands will find me wet & weak/ your breath will stop so you can squeeze
the chair you sat in patiently/& it won’t be over ‘till you speak

& I married you inside a lucid dream
put the ring around your finger then you disappeared from me
the carefully drawn rival that all will shove to see
is awaiting the arrival of the one she will defeat

will you lay me down into a hole I cannot see
don’t you wish that you could be just as beautiful as me?
Track Name: Glasscatcher
the sweaterless seasons pass by with reason or rhyme
& the calico mimes all start breathing

symmetrical motions will cause my emotions to shrink
all the while you will think they are growing

so pull on you strings to tighten the lace
push out your chest ‘till it strangles your waist
& when your dress starts to tear & decay
let it fall to your feet, I’ll come find where you lay

Unmasking the flowers will cause you to cower in fear
I’ll be near when the years start to tower

my final timidity longs to be rid of me now
& it’s begging out loud for lucidity

holiday visions will end in decisions of love
spilling down from above your religion

now we live in a dream but the image still seems so alive
stretching, ripping outside through the seams

now I’m an infant all covered in glass
will you hold out your arms as I tumble through ash?
between your breath lies the unholy gash
that will bleed in the heat as it slowly attracts
Track Name: Bottles Breaking
she decorates her walls with magazine pages
five hundred feet tall but still sleeping in cages
& I always called her wrong to deliver on my words
with one hand on her tongue and the other with birds
the grass was made of butterflies that flew away into her eyes
forgiving her for her transgressions eating her alive

I want rain in the summer time
snow when it’s cold
I won’t forget the times we said
(you’d ask me why & I’d reply)
I hate everyone that I know

the Princess of Strangers in nativity scenes raging
describing the dangers & the sound of bottles breaking
& she found the fire first and licked the fire to taste
her anger as it burned and left its finger on her face
the riverwater’s filled with trash that forks like lightning down her back
forgiving her for her transgressions feeding through the gash
Track Name: Depersonal
depersonal & disappear
I know it seems like I’m not here
that’s only because I am not
I want to be but I cannot

I know you think I’m playing games
but everything just feels the same
I can’t remember anything
& I don’t know what’s happening

memories & dreams collide
the border shakes & then subsides
I’m sorry if I’m hurting you
I just think I’m in another room

please realize that life is fragile
find someone to fight your battles
save yourself & you’ll go on
you’ll ache forever when I’m gone
Track Name: The Needle & Thread
how can you say
that it’s all in my head
when you’ll love me one day
& the next you’ll be dead
but I’ll find a way
to hear what you said
when you left this parade
& sought out the needle and thread

oh shame
you protect me so well
oh shame
don’t blame
or expect me to tell
say my name

terrible lies
that spill out and stain
our clean black insides
will show up again
the and last time
will not be the same
but your needs all rely
on protecting the secrets and shame

your nervous cat’s smile
will rot through your teeth
with the thoughtless denial
what you’re spitting at me
I’m coughing up smiles
that’ll bleed in the heat
the punishment’s mild
but the crime begs to twist inside me
Track Name: St. Peter's Square
loosened lips
my mouth is full

like a feather from a mountaintop
dropped too fast to float

all the way to St. Peter’s Square from Ohio
all the way to St. Peter’s Square from I don’t know

smooth like milk & roses
broken seal and tell me who this is

doors stuffed in the corner
stacked like bodies the carpenter let in

all the way to St. Peter’s Square from Ohio
all the way to St. Peter’s Square & I’m comatose

your head is full
your day is soon
my head is full
it hangs and climbs into you
Track Name: Spitting Fire
if I’m sick & seeking shelter will you bathe me in your voice?
clean with words to yell her pretty name into the noise
if there ever was a choice then why would I fail you?
fuck the hungry boys who always said that they would tell you
cause nobody knew but the birds & all the branches
& a couple lonely pillheads who were tripping over trances
treating all their tables just like beds unto themselves
nailing through the walls and pulling down all of their shelves

when they slowly attracted you I could not believe
what happened to the faithfulness? Furious friends will need
someone they can scream at to vent all their frustrations
& I will be here waiting for them guarding the station
locking all the doors & throwing away the keys
but only throwing far enough so that I can still reach
because no one likes to lose what they only still keep
& then 20 years later hold it close to them & weep

& after the first hits the ground
there will be two more coming down

why are you waiting for the man who will bring down his heel
on your shaking, sorry hand while he’s watching you still?
as you reach up for the shutters to let in some fresh blue air
while your lungs collapse & sputter like you’re swallowing your hair
& you may as well be with your lips always so loosened
I thought that I was thinking over mysteries disproven
they turned out to be some lies just everything else
& the truth is still a whisper through your whistles & your bells

your pleas for my attention oh my God, you’re so pathetic
I’m throwing up just thinking of your face for one slow second
but you always steal my feelings even though I don’t know how
you’re just sleeping on my bed & you won’t let me kick you out
beause you know I’ll lie down with you right underneath this mattress
I don’t care if it’s illegal I’ll count out the fifty lashes
& smile with every one softly squeezing on your fingers
the pain will slowly leave us but the scars will always linger

what I see when the sun hits the sheets
will be what I remember when the dirt buries me

curious on Maple Street, her ghost will sit & tend
to the memories that I conceived still sad enough to send
pushing out the fragments & filling in the holes
outwards making patterns that all decorate her soul
the rings around her eyes are growing darker by the day
unfolding, making lines that stand to try & spell her name
while the bells outside keep ringing & the telephone bites down
I will be hanging from the ceiling when your birthday comes around

in the moment when you think you’re spitting fire
my lips will melt away trying to call you a liar

& shattered glass won’t make a sound
‘till I lie down on the floor and start rolling around
Track Name: Coda
it’s a random display of a child’s memories
caressed by decay & sewn up at the seams
on a desk clean and cracked that drove dogs to bark
& the puddles contracted to swallow the yard

where you played as a kid making bruises and scars
staining purple & red skin so white when it formed
in a mother of three though she never looked down
at the last to be freed from her own silky gown

that was cream-laden soft and boiling to fly
into steam to float off like she did when she died
even royalty burns and the child turns away
in anger & hurt & angry and hurt he will stay

so pull to tighten the lace
so that nothing’s spilling out
& keep your ankles straight
because your bones grow soft and fall onto the ground
& if your mother cries dry the tears away
so our babies won’t drown
beautiful son of mine don’t look down
please find yourself a throne to wrap around

you were robbed of your breath when she shuffled her feet
as you pounded her legs like they were piano keys
& your stomach felt fire as you slept on the floor
your dry eyes perspired to leave out through the door

one floating face brought it all back to hear
of the secrets and shame that proceeded the cheers
& guilty’s not right oh but neither is pure
a wonderful sight could still make you feel sure

but it won’t come to you it will run far away
& beg to be used but not led off astray
I know that you’ll collapse and find a new home
but you’ll always be trapped by your legs with no bones