Each month someone here at The Imaginable will put together a special playlist with words to go with each song. Curation and words by Michael Bussmann. If you want to just listen to the playlist without interruption, click here. We try to keep it simple, so here goes:

The World (is going up in flames), Charles Bradley

There is beauty here and when this breeze finally blows past and we’re picking up the plastic chairs strewn across the yard I hope to see circles and squares left in the grass and a green shining brighter than the neon following future memories.

Farewell Transmission, Waxahatchee

The snow falls and melts and drains to the river and the river carries the water to a bigger river then to the sea and those little molecules traveled further than my parents, even before evaporation. Life is different now and you can tell by all the places we want to go, but can’t, don’t.

Life on Mars, Sau Jorge

No paint on the face, I put it on my feet. Down where no one can see it and I never take my socks off, especially if I am two pockets hanging and looking at the button between two cuts. I never go to the bookstores. It’s all behind the curtains of my eyelids.

American Highway, Ezra Furman

The bistro lights make it look nice but no one notices. The hands grope across the face and someday it’ll say six and I can go home. It’s been too long, and I can’t tell the difference between coming and going. Sunsets sometimes have purple and sunrises don’t, generally.

This is America, Childish Gambino

She was a war bride, didn’t speak the language and when she got here it had to have been better than what she left behind, even with him. Firebombs and dead relatives and the immigrant story rarely starts well, but we root for the ending to soften.

To the River, James Wallace and the Naked Light

When I see her picture, I imagine a nude drawing. She’s always wearing those coveralls. The kids walked in us, but we weren’t doing anything anyway and the coveralls are pink and when I hold my breath the zipper starts to slowly peel, but stops to unpeel when I gasp out, blue faced and panting.

Pressure Drop, Toots and the Mytals

I face the wall and breathe in shallow drips there’s no way this virus can get me. I look people in the mask, closer to their eyes than their feet and as I move back towards regular human interaction the further away I get from actual human interaction and this is all just a flat circle with no place to stop and take your shoes off.

Sprained Ankle, Julian Baker

He puts instant coffee on peanut butter sandwiches and if it sits a while the grittiness goes away. Not true for him though.

Raindrops, The Silvertones

 “Go Away” he says to her back, too late and lacking conviction. He lost, or will, anyway. The story continues but not with both of them. He’ll shave his head and put on weight and when it happens no one will say they didn’t see it coming.

Local Honey, AL Riggs

I stopped moving so quickly decided to take a breath, drink some water, get some air, move my feet, take it in, write more poetry and forget the things I don’t like to think about.  

Didn’t Know What I Was in For, Better Oblivion Community Center

The Sunday inventory usually comes up short but today I counted three tomorrows and we’re moving faster than we have before. The signs in front of the dead-end block sunsets near the edge of the world always impress her and I have never been interested in what’s up her shirt. Next time I might just jump right off the end.

Sweeter, Leon Bridges featuring Terrance Martin

There’s a wall for walking next to, There’s a wall for walking on top of. I prefer not to say where I stand on the matter. It’s just too bad we can’t walk on the other side of this monster. Or, maybe, tear it down. This world is not getting better, in fact it’s getting worse.

Parade, Kevin Morby

There’s a need to suppress the fire before the building catches. That chemical can’t be good for you, but neither is fire and both burn but in different ways.

Shemieka, Fiona Apple

The rust is rusted. I am too old to work on anything. I grew up where I couldn’t make choices. That is to say, my growing up was not my choice. I am who I am as a product of a privileged conception. The privilege bled through the sutures and soaked my shirt and now everyone can see it.

Death Dream, Frightened Rabbit

I kicked loose from its jaws and broke a fang and I won. At least I think I did. The flag on the moon has wires in it to keep it taught and I hope to not need wires. I never looked back, maybe I should have. Now I am past the horizon and still swimming and the curvature of the earth is beautiful from this angle. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.