What's Left

by Ezi Qualms

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about

This album is aptly titled "What's Left". It is a collection of the surviving songs from the last 15 years of my life.

I've been writing music since I learned to hum. Most of that music lives in my body--my mind, my chest, my fingertips, my tongue, my dreams--but every now and then a song I tickled into the oxygen atmosphere manages to make its way onto some paper or a recording. These surviving songs evolve with me over time, they are never quite the same from one play to the next as they learn from their experiences just as I do. For this reason putting an album down at first felt farcical--It feels impossible to capture the personal truth and evolution that my music truly represents for me in a single take.

The impetus for the album came as the realization that very few of my friends and loves knew this part of me. I played many of these songs for a room full of dear Queers (who will remain unnamed but most certainly know who they are) this past summer and was met with joy, camaraderie and empathy ... tears, laughter, and applause! I endeavored to play for some more of my close friends many of whom, I came to realize, did not even know that I wrote music! This is simply unacceptable. Music is how I know myself, and how I show myself to so many people. So, this album is an act of love for myself and my beloved community: Family--blood and bravely chosen, cherished friends, support network, and anyone who hears my heart in this music. It is an invitation. Come hear my heart. Come hear my pain. Come hear my joy. Come hear my hope, and know that I love you.

Scheduled for release on my birthday!
Please pay what you feel you can for this album.

Each song will be released with lyrics, and sheet music.

credits

released March 6, 2016

Recorded at: The Piano Studio
in Seattle, WA

Album Art by EJ Landsman
Beloved friend and brilliant artist. Find more of their work on their site:
www.ejlandsman.com

Special Thanks to funders:
Lisa and Ken Schmidt
Their contribution was a great help in getting this thing made!

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Ezi Qualms Seattle, Washington

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Track Name: Reasons
There’s a reason why grass is green
To make you envy
The rain the sun the stars the sky
Everything
The Reasons for these things aren’t clear
If they could what would be
The point of leaving bodies here
To learn that’s what they’re for

A window lies between my face and the sky
But no glass can stop the wondering
Why oh why
The world spins counter clockwise in the sky with my on top
But if I pulled a string then would it stop

They say the sun’s a giant ball of fire
Oh, but I don’t believe it
A ball of fire would burn up and expire
The sun will outlive them
These thoughts run crazy circles in my head
Like birds in the sand
Leaving tiny three-pronged foot prints
Wherever they land

A window lies between my face and the sky
But no glass can stop the wondering
Why oh why
The world spins
Track Name: Ocean
This heart’s not made for sitting
It thumps and bumps and jumps all night
Sometimes I think it’s wishing
For something of a different life
This brain’s not made for wishing
It thinks and ticks and talks all night
Sometimes I think of kicking it right out of my head

But lyrics come and go
And this feeling’s with me always inside
Like living in the ocean
Well above my head
Still living in my own skin
Not dead Not yet

This skins not made for holding me in
Sometimes I’m inside out
Now isn’t that just something
For my ticking brain to talk about
Twisted words they tickle my tongue
Wiggling their way in and out
Dancing tiny trails on my tongue
So young

Lyrics come and go
But this feelings with me always inside
Like living in the ocean
Well above my head
Still living in my own skin
Not dead Not yet

What happens when I die what then
Maybe we have to do this all again
Or are we all just pieces of the sky
Warm translucent stardust, you and I

These eyes aren’t made for sleeping
The moonbeams keep them up at night
Sometimes I think I’m dreaming
I’m just looking at my life
Track Name: Little Girl
If I were still a little girl
I might cry to hear you laughing at me
Today I think I’ll die
‘Cause I’ve been struck by many stones over time

If I were still a little girl
I might try to hold my head up high
‘Cause sticks and stones may break my bones
But words they cut my throat and leave my heart in desperation
If I were still a little girl

Before my mind was raped my spirit broken body jaded
Before my heart was tattered, skin defiled, love abused
Before I towed the line, believed in hate, assimilated
When I was a little girl
Before I knew the truth

If I were still a little girl
I might lie down quietly and take it
Without a protest
Knowing now in fear to bite the hand which feeds

If I were still a little girl
I might wonder why it doesn’t make sense
The way the wind can twist of words
And skillfully of obscure good deeds

Before I broke the chains, took down the guard and invaded
Before I deconstructed tropes and popped of paradigms
Before reified myself emerging liberated
When I was a little girl
When I cried

But I am not that little girl
No I am not that little girl
No more

And you won’t want me when you meet me now
No you won’t know me I’ve grown so tall and how I’ve learned oh what I’ve learned
Since I was a little girl
Track Name: Iron Words
Oh ache and bleed for bodies thin and bleeding
Do my eyes through pages like a window see
To a war without a key though the cats my eyes preceded
Chasing blinded mice into the fray
Now rest my eyes on angry ugly thinkers
In ivory skin from towers build with pain
Shedding earthly light the other side of Eden
And grasping at frames to make their case

They don’t know their words build prisons
They still believe their tongues silver speak
They can’t see the tongues of young children
Carry venom more fatal than a grown man’s fist
They don’t know
And they don’t care
They don’t know
And they don’t care
They don’t know
And they don’t care

They twist their words like Iron into bars
And trap the brilliant minds of lovers in the stars
Steal the twinkle of their eyes for their delusions
And they call it a solution
For they have never had to dream
Of escaping anywhere but their own bed
Like the grip of another man’s fingers
Or the fear of waking up dead

They don’t know their words build prisons
They still believe their tongues silver speak
They can’t see the tongues of young children
Carry venom more fatal than a grown man’s fist
They don’t know
And they don’t care
They don’t know
And they don’t care
They don’t know
And they don’t care
Track Name: Simple
It’s not simple
Being someone
In this world

I can’t tell you
What it means
To be a girl

I’m not trying to put up a fight
I don’t know how to do what’s right
Nothing’s ever so clear

I’m not trying to put up a fight
I don’t know to do what’s right
Angels don’t live here
Angels don’t live here

It’s not easy
And I can’t tell you
Where to turn
You have to learns

It’s not easy doing what’s right
People die every day in this fight
Open your eyes dear
Open your eyes deaf

It hurts to see
It hurts to feel
And it hurts to be

It’s not simple
being someone
Track Name: Flying Practice
Why do they build mountains so high
Why do they build rivers so wide
Why do they put skies above our heads so high that we can’t reach them
Why do they build valleys so low
Maybe they don’t tell us because they don’t know
And what’s the deal with gravity it’s heavy and it keeps me from flying

I won’t wait forever for these answers
I won’t sell my soul to know the truth
But if man could walk on water then I’m sure with a little practice
His heart could learn to fly

So why do they build river so wide
Why do they build mountains so hight
Well just cause I don’t know doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna try to climb them
I’m gonna climb them
And reach my fingers up into the clouds
And try to fly
I’m gonna fly
Just watch me
Fly, Fly, Fly

‘Cause this heart has had wings since before the civil war
Built on the strength of generations’ revolutions
And if man could walk on water then I’m sure with a little practice
His heart could learn to fly
You just have to try

To climb those mountains no matter how high
To cross those rivers no matter how wide
To lend a hand although you’re hurting deep inside
And be that person that you want to be before you die
Because we all die

Maybe that’s why they build the mountains so high
Why they build the rivers so wide
And why they put the skies above our heads so we can practice flying

Yes you can fly
Fly, fly, So practice your flying