Parking Lot Manuscripts

by Ian Morris

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about

I'm really proud of this album, so I hope you'll take the time to listen. I wrote, recorded and mixed all of the songs myself. The Parking Lot Manuscripts is more than just a music album, it's a multimedia experience - with each song, I've paired a poem and a photograph I've taken. You can click on the song title to read the poems and see the photos.

credits

released 31 January 2013

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Preformed,Recorded,Produced & Mixed By: Ian Morris 2013

Ian Morris : Keyboards,Beats,Guitars,vocals

Photos & Poems By : Ian Morris

Design & Layout By : brizzle

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Ian Morris Charleston, South Carolina

Ian Morris is a multi-instrumental musician, poet & visual artist from Charleston, SC

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Track Name: We’ve Been in Exile
It takes a beast to know a beast,
and that’s just what I’ve become.

With fangs and a hunched back,
even a limp,

I carry weighted words now,
heavy with anger and embarrassment.

I’m writing from the inside,
and it’s dark in here, I tell you.

But I feel the same as everyone else.
I know it’s no different,

alone, helpless and scared.

So I lash out with the best of them.
We toss criticism and loud howls
into the empty night.

We are no different!

I just wonder how long it will take
for us all to notice this.

Why can’t we all see that?
The small steps we make to fix one another
go a long way.

Much, much more than we all realize.

So when the authorities come
with their worker mobs
of greed and success,

the type they’ve been trying to sell here
with no takers.

Can we ban together?

For the state in which we reside
is a product of their doing,

and it’s time for a change.

For we are creatures
of majestic beauty
chained to their cold and muddy cages.

It is us who have the numbers!

With hearts big enough
to swallow this whole land.

And compassion that could birth
the love and new ideas necessary
to move on from this way
of doing things.

(Laugh) It’s funny.
Because in order to make the change,
you yourself have to actually believe
that it’s possible.

And being the way we are,
looking different,
thinking different,
we have no place in their world.

But today
that is done.
A new flag is rising,
a call to action has been sent out.

The time has come for you to become more than a number.


It’s time to realize
your true beauty
and the potential
your loving heart
carries around with it
each and every day.

- Ian Morris
Track Name: The Ultimate Creative
The Ultimate Creative

Fascinating letters mean nothing
without the all-encompassing word.

How can you teach that
in this day and age?

Where the value system has been turned on its head.
Where work = nothing + tax,
and evil doings = money + fame.

I used to be the ultimate creative.
Paintings, music, poetry.
I commanded an army
with a heart so large
it would have made her weak in the knees.

And the funny thing is,
during all those nights of creation
I used to dream of her.

How much easier it would be with her by my side,
how there would be more meaning and passion for the art.

And then one day I lost the art.
And in losing the art,
I found her.
And through her,
a discovery of love.
And in this crazy, untimely love,

the art found itself.

- Ian Morris
Track Name: A Functioning Hemingway
Dreams understand how they became broken.

It’s from giving yourself away in pennies,
over and over again.

You want to know why this feels so damn good?
It’s because it’s impossible,
and impossible feels good.

The strangest feeling
is giving your heart away
to the most familiar stranger you know.

And this poem has no opinions about that.
It just has an urge,
an urge to be heard.

And we can meet there,
in the middle of the page,
if that is what you want.

For this is a place
where things suddenly seem to be understood.

Out there, the emperor that presides is pain,
and in here I offer you something more.

It’s a love adventure.

But right now, it’s a functioning Hemingway.
That is, we know this will end with a shotgun blast,
but should we turn away from our best work?

And what happens when the soul dries up,
and the words stop,
and you don’t know who you are anymore?


This searching,
we do it because we have to.
Much like my fingertips trace
your back and hips,
your face and lips.

We need this experience
because it’s mysterious.
Because it’s the last of ourselves
that we can offer up.

Because everything else
seems to be a dead end.

Here in this silent darkness,
your face burns as bright
as a lost star.

And I love you for that.

So this going for it all
is my only way out.

Because before you,

I almost vanished.

- Ian Morris
Track Name: Policy On Submissions
Alright, that’s enough.
I’ve seen this far too many times
to just sit here again
with no waving of the hands
or words of caution.
So let’s get it out in the open, shall we?

Poets don’t read other poets.

Oh, sure they all have books lined up
end to end,
shelves and shelves of them,
their collections of all the greats.

But I just mean,
anyone they’ve had to share a real, physical connection with.

Like maybe at a book signing,
or at one of their readings.
Maybe at the store,
or that quiet park at the bottom of the hill.

Whatever it may have been,
if your interactions left them with anything of you -
your eye color,
your demeanor,
any sign of your true personality -

you may have gotten too close for them to answer,
with any honesty,
that question you have asked:

“What do you think of my work?”

And it’s not because they think less of you as a person
or size you up as the competition.
And it’s not because they can’t stand
to share this twenty-six letter
weapon arsenal with you.

It’s because of compassion and sorrow.
It’s because poets have always been
the far off cave dwellers
or back woods people.

And each time a person makes that decision
to just go for it,
there is a transformation that takes place in them
where the heart fully blooms into a giant, shiny, gold trumpet.

Oh, and let me tell you what happens then:
You become so in love with that feeling,
just blowing notes out everywhere
at all hours of the night,
that eventually no one can stand
to be in your company any longer,
so you go in search of your kind,
and a new type of understanding.

Now we are here again with these far off cave dwellers,
and as you approach the forest
where they reside,
there is no mistake that you are coming.
They know the sound of that song
and the tone of a newly transformed heart.

So this brings us to the very point
of this poem.
Poets feel remorse for a soul crazy enough
to read all of those pages of heartache and pain
they’ve put out there,
and still want to give it a try.

When you hand them your work,
and they read through the first few lines
and see the similar foundations,
when they feel that familiar metaphor medicine,

it’s almost as if they have to look away
in the anticipation of your pain to come.
For they know the trials and rejections you will face.
They know the beat-down your soul will have to endure
to make it through to the other side.
They know how many pens will run out of ink
before your message finally gets out there.

I mean, don’t get me wrong,
they will read it in the end
because they will have to.
It’s what they live for:
the exchange.

It’s just that their submission policy reads a little dry.
Something like,
“To those of you out there
crazy enough to become poets,
send us your verse,
and we might get around to reading it at some point
between making our word arrows
and reinforcing our city gates.”

- Ian Morris
Track Name: I Like the Way We Whisper Even When No One Is Around
We talk of forever
and proceed forward
in the agreement that we know the future.

It’s cocky and daring,
but it’s really how I feel.

Because I know our story
will one day become the textbook
that lovers follow
all around the world.

And it will probably be out of desperation,
out of a submission to the last resort,

because they have already tried everything else,
and they’re searching for something more.

This page was their last hope.

But we’ll take it,
won’t we, darling,
because it gets lonely when no one understands.

It’s why we face each other
when the lights go out each night.

We meet in the crease that’s made
where your pillow and mine connect,

and in that silence
we toss whispers to one another.

Eyes locked,
soft glances,
sweet and interesting words.

Sometimes it’s a redefining of our love.

Sometimes it’s poems like this

that we drop in between the sheets
like crumbs just before bed.

- Ian Morris
Track Name: Van Gogh’s Dangerous Gamble
I wish he were alive today.
Not only could he see this highway
of irony that we’ve constructed
out of his pure heart offerings,

but the bastard could ride the hype
straight to the bank
and cash in on what
should have been in the first place:

Fame, money and women.

As a creative, my heart can identify
with the restlessness of a soul like that.

And who the fuck are you
to tell me what art is?

Could you cut your ear clean off?
Could you put your heart on the table
in a room full of ravenous wolves?
Could you turn a gun on yourself?

I heard it took him three days to die,
and it keeps me up at night sometimes,
wondering what was going through his head
during that time of his horrible death.

Was he punishing himself for things he had done,
or worse, regretting the things he hadn’t?
Was he so disconnected that he was in disbelief
of that action becoming his reality?
Did he sleep?
And somehow if sleep were to have found him,
did she bring dreams?
And as that last day brought the end closer,
did he somehow start to miss it
even before he was gone?

That was Van Gogh’s dangerous gamble
that went wrong.

He went so deep down,
there was no coming back.

You see, every artist, poet and musician
has a room in their head
that is set aside for that time
when a work is complete,

so they can spend time with their child,
whether it’s tracing the canvas with an open palm to feel the energy of the work,
or sitting alone with a newly finished record on repeat.
Or maybe it’s reading a poem like this over and over again.

The point is,
he knew the vast joys of creation,
and he was bored with their use of color,
so he brought motion to the table
and ultimately to that room.

And it only took us a hundred years
to realize that he never really left.

- Ian Morris