The Way of Torn Flesh

by Bushmeat Sound System



Sticks and Stones (Show me that river)
© 1999, 2017 Thomas “Bushmeat” Stanley

Opened by the intrusion of his brother’s stone,
a River flows from the wound in Abel’s skull.
Red and ceaseless, the river never runs dry.
As it washes over the stones in its bed,
it polishes them.
Shining stones in that red river mark time and lives.
Weary river knows someday it will pour out into
a forgiving sea.
What it does not know is if that ocean must also be red.
The way of torn flesh is the way of history.

The power of tax collectors and the power of thieves
are the same power,
a power swollen by that river.
Give me that wallet,
File that return.
Request becomes compulsion when
accentuated by a mark of might.
And the jilted lover is more dangerous than them both.
The way of torn flesh is the way of efficient compliance.
It is the way of human love.

Punctured bodies and broken bones.
How long must we suffer these sticks and stones?

The borders of nations are carved with that river.
Punishing tributaries drew lines in the ground,
as unbreachable without visa or passport as they are unseen.
A well-equipped army is the defender of
national security, champion of national pride.
Special exemption number five:
Done in uniform,
it is not murder.
An occasion to erect a statue, ticker tape parade.
The way of torn flesh
is the cult of the war hero.

Punctured bodies and broken bones.
How long must we suffer these sticks and stones?

Volunteered slavery,
pay-per-view victomology,
hand-in-hand in the land of the free.
Babies with pipe bombs in their backpacks,
have sought their 15 minutes of vengence
in the cool waters of that river.
Abel’s eyes are open, so he can watch it on CNN.
The way of torn flesh is the way
of television.

Punctured bodies and broken bones.
How long must we suffer these sticks and stones?

Torrents of crimson shame appear to overtake their banks
We stand at the delta, together,
Facing upstream
We need only turn around to see the ocean and its color.

The body is a vessel for storing time. This time is measured by the changes that the body can impose on the world and the many changes that the world will necessarily impose on any body. The image of death is the image of the police. And in a culturally fragmented world, the image of the police is the only image of society that is truly recognizable as social, that is, as shared. For some time now, we have all shared images of police releasing the time stored within black bodies and allowing that time to spill into the space that we are told to call home. The bodies being destroyed in these proliferating images tend towards black because black bodies are inherently photogenic in a world of white frames.

The image of survival is the image of the maroon.

Excerpted from Ghost Dancing with Khepera
(c) Thomas Stanley


released June 5, 2020

Sara D - voice
Mark Cooley - guitars
Herb White - organ, moog
Kifah Foutah - drums
Bushmeat - text, synth, efx

Thomas Stanley/Herb White - production
Mark Cooley - Cover Art

Recorded at Uniqek Sound Studios, Washington DC
March 16, 2018 AD


all rights reserved



Bushmeat Sound System Washington, D.C.

Bushmeat builds music that is intended for listening. Please use headphones when consuming my product. This art is a preparation for entering something other than sanity. The opposite of sane is crazy and nobody wants to be crazy. But sanity is a rather small track, a loop. Along its course are all the regularities that keep us hygienic and safe but also all the grim realisms that keep us slaves. ... more

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