What's Eating Richard Ripple

by Corvus B.

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kathleen, you're the pf flyest
max, we can retire now
emma, you had me at geometry
kathleen's dad
rob, you're a good driver
valerie flor, thank you. a lot.

a lot of these poems are about death but now im really glad to be alive.
thank you for listening.


released June 3, 2016

Printing Shed (printingshed.bandcamp.com) - Poetry, Vocals
Valerie Flor (valerieflor.bandcamp.com) - Music

Recorded in a basement
*no screens were harmed in the recording of this album



all rights reserved


Corvus B. Massachusetts

queer spoken folk from the mouth of the Merrimack River

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Track Name: from stale spirits
birch trees look like cigarettes growing from your fingers and
when we walk you're a scarecrow that watches over people
a wool sock
stuffed with pine needles

i wanna hold your straw bones and watch you watch things grow and
tell the moon it sounds like a megaphone
bridge water makes a mirror of a honeycomb
and ghosts have been sewing all my pockets closed

trees fiddle with kite strings when they think no ones listening
for wood creaking and joints shedding splinters but
i've been up for a while and it's hard to not hear them
Track Name: sauder warships
the wood of this pew is warmer
than my priest's glass eyes
stained panes straining
with the shaking of an organ
coughing dust clouds from disuse
and I'm wearing a skirt and I'm nervous
and thinking that creaking knees arent louder than stomachs
and that I don't think God wants my palm sweat
psalms wet with self fulfilling faith jizz
stranger, feel how strong my god is as we shake hands
and I pretend im steady in my skin
i couldn't find holy until I left a congregation
i found it in my basement
collecting in my fingertips
the night I almost left
and I found it In cars vibrations
from standing on highway bridges
trying to feel my pulse as something bigger than just goosebumps
i found alive in getting out of bed on all the days I wanna die
and forcing myself to walk outside until there's no sole left in my shoes
and I pray to the clouds now
cause sunlight expects too much from me
and God expects too much from me
and I just wanna sit in the rain
Track Name: Rob, you'll never go down
when the plane started falling
the pilot gave up and told us to jump
but the hatch was jammed shut
so we sat and played with parachutes like kindergarten strangers
cut out patches for our skinned knees
hoping it was holey enough for some kind of salvation
but the holes were hopeless
so we folded the scraps into roses
and watered our work with a business man's Bloody Mary
as a fucked up prayer for some more time to grow
but the ground doesn't care about God
and God is just tired of I'm sorrys
so you put your pressed palms back into your pocket
and stared at the floor
and laughed at how small we all are compared to our shoes
Track Name: they/them
I don't want my body anymore
Someone's moved all my bones to the left
And I'm a stranger in my house
Bumping into end tables and elbows
And wishing I didn't have pinkie toes
I am guilty for being selfish
I am guilty for wanting to forget im a person
But forgetting feels a lot better than facing reflective glass and my Disjointed movements
A lot of times the static still wins
And shaking and fog replace my lungs and my hips
And breathing is broken up into fractions and I find myself again
On the bathroom floor of a convenience store
Where I let the linoleum calm me down
And left with nothing to show but tile lines on my skin
A grid map of self decomposition
I want to be a dead leaf
Floating downstream
Where I'll be just another piece of my surroundings
And no one but the wind expects any life out of me
And I won't feel bad about
The boy that lives in this body
The girl that lives in this body
The things I have done to this body
I am trying my best to be honest with this body
I am learning how to live with my dissonance
With how most of me is more comfortable more out of focus
So no one has to see my legs or my cardboard organs
And I can just find calm in being small
And watching everyone else exist
Track Name: trees cut for coffins
breakfast cereal and fake velvet chairs
a clothespin on the tip of your nose
tripping over dead flowers on the way to school
later tonight there will be too many chairs to unfold
and too many hands folded
in the wake of stranger's soap operas
too many aunts dressed like the couch cushions
that grew out of the floorboards
way before you were born
and forgot how to learn new forms
too many families that aren't yours
you roll racecars over the handrail to hymns
that have stopped feeling personal
and the big room on the first floor is where everyone cries
but you like to make snow angels
in the heavy purple carpet
and living here you got good at playing dead
though you avoid the locked room
at the end of the hall
that your dog has never gotten used to
when dad told you the guests weren't sleeping
you started to tiptoe
so you wouldn't anger the ghosts
but when you moved out
you missed the way cleaning your room
used to be a goodbye to strange
Track Name: Massimiliano, for lights underwater
somethings been ringing for a while now
but swinging at my alarm just reminds me how heavy my arms are
and my fingers are curled around their own prune
and I think i might be drowning
but all i see are blues and reds
and seahorses racing back from work to get back to their spouses
and an octopus bagging groceries with eight hands
an angler that can't find his glasses
and some stingray listening to electronic music
while old lady puffer fishes swell in agitation

i thought i was scared of death but death looks more friendly now than it did when i was a kid
there's something gentle about strangers forgetting i existed
and someone replacing my body in all my favorite places
wearing down leather car seats with a body shaped different than mine is and
peeling back wallpaper with a new set of anxious fingers
i like to think it's easy to forget me
a lot of the time i forget me
i can't feel real unless there's someone to remind me

but right now i'm alone
and the ache in my chest feels pretty convincing
and my wet shirt is clinging to my back that's still clinging to existence
all the dust is washing off the parts of me i thought i hated
that i stuffed between my bed and the wall with lost socks and water bottles
and forgot about until now
but this is it
the ringing sounds like church bells
and the sun is somewhere I can't see
so i just swallow
and ask the fish to remember my name
Track Name: Kathleen, my ageless darling
There's a small old woman
Who wears a powder blue sweater
And prays to the birds on her porch
That her son might visit soon
But his picture is on the mantle
And his obituary is tucked in a shoebox
Collecting dust in her closet
She flirts with the diabetic man
whose cat takes the same medication
We sometimes feed it
For five dollars
While he goes on vacation
To places hes been but forgotten
He used to play chess with
The smelly onion lady
Who lets kids walk her dog
As a last ditch wish for a little more youth
Her ex husband plays poker on Wednesdays
With the other old boys
Puffing cigars on the front lawn
And dealing clubs with calloused hands
Drowning out domesticity
With rusted flasks
And no one talks to the veteran
Who looks like his pit bull
They carry weight on angry bones
But the cracks around their eyes are gentle
Track Name: for friends on rocks [haiku collage]
Track Name: Emma, monet's party boat
I stopped watching my gasoline eyelids blink back from puddles
Cause asphalt makes me tired
I'd like to make a home of the holes between cobblestones and doze
To pepto bismol engines instead
So they can take me to crayola gardens
Where I can wear a whicker hat
And evaporate into the landscape
Till pollen and water cycles are all that matter to me
Water droplets don't sneeze and don't have to say sorry
An agnostic kind of purgatory
A lumpy bed that feels right to me
A mountain made of shoulders and the dim glow of window sleep
Bells bring fake wake ups from traffic cones and sticky notes
Into loose socks and sunlit railroads
And I meet the earth as a balding old man
Long settled into his freckled skin
And no one here stops flowers from growing on female limbs
We just laugh as spray paint coats our glasses
And hope that when it rains something stays behind with us
even if it's just eye crust and loose rocks
I'm afraid of waking up
And leaving the sunken part of my mattress for the sun
Even though I know it'll keep the hair on my arms calm
I just wanna put my pocket lint in a jar so I can remember all the places I traded places with dust
So I can stare at the blue fuzz
And remember my body thought it was worth keeping once
I keep a lot of things I'm not sure I want
And misplace a lot of things I need
Like passports in foreign countries
I wanna lose some parts of me without feeling guilty
And just get to know the condensation collecting on my window seat