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Roses on the Vine

by Christine Fellows

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1.
Cocoon 02:43
Frail cocoon, don’t stir too soon, winter’s nearly over An interior life is a superior life, the best that you can hope for Don’t wrestle out, unfurl your wings and flutter out of sight Those branches lie thick with webs to snare you in midflight Moonlight, find me, draw me from the deep I long to be released Leave the porch light on tonight, the moths will surely gather, confused and frantic, wild and blind, forever ever after Don’t wrestle out, unfurl your wings and flutter out of sight The owls will swoop and pluck you straight out of the sky— Moonlight, guide me, keep me in your reach, I live to be complete Frail cocoon don’t stir too soon, winter’s nearly over An interior life is a superior life, the best that you can hope for
2.
One More for the Road (free) 02:54
The imperfect is our paradise. Note that, in this bitterness, delight, Since the imperfect is so hot in us,
 Lies in flawed words and stubborn sounds. —Wallace Stevens, The Poems of Our Climate Nothing more here Flowers in a bowl Snow outside the window You here, in the hall Searching for the ceiling Nothing more here Clean and snowy air White flowers Nothing more Wheeling out to greet them: One more for the road? One more for the road? Still, one could want a little more Still, one could need a little more. Still, one could want a little more. Still, one could need so much more. Nothing more here Newly fallen snow A simple bowl of flowers Perfectly composed Flawed words Stubborn sounds Searching for the ceiling One more for the road? One more?
3.
Roses on the Vine (free) 02:42
Come on, Gwen. Where’ve you been? Are you feeling right? You got so thin. What sets you running when you hear us coming? You can’t hide from a landslide. Maryanne, still so young. New Year’s Eve, in ’91. You held his hand and looked around. You could take that chain down. You could take that chain down. Bleeding heart and clover blooming, roses on the vine. When it’s raining hard, darkness glooming, I could change my mind. I could change my mind. Come on, Jean. You’ve got to get up. Let’s comb that hair. You’re looking rough. The nurse is coming, she’ll bring you something. You could put your foot down. You could put your foot down. You could put your foot down
4.
Me and Carmen (free) 03:14
my best friend, her name is Carmen, she likes me more than all those dirty rotten bastard kids ever did me and Carmen, we don’t need ‘em, together we go arm in arm wherever we go, me and Carmen every morning on the way to school they torment us and call us names (they’re mean and rude), but me and Carmen, we will show them all night we are as free as owls flying high above the trees and houses, hunting mice and squirrels, together when we’re twenty-three, me and Carmen, we’ll live in houses side by each with one big garden, and no one else, just me and Carmen there’ll be no one else, just me and Carmen and the squirrels and the mice, and the houses and the garden, the trees and the other owls, but no one else, just me and Carmen
5.
Home, home, all souls home Dead to the graveyard, living to the lamplight Old to the fireside, girls from the twilight Babe to the breast, and heart to its haven Lost ones home —Kathleen Raine, Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home twilight casts its spell the forest sighs and trembles children, shadows long, hurry down the lanes, swinging through the gates Home, young ones home! Home, strayed ones home! sailors ride dark swells, drunkards drink their fill sad girls bathe in lamplight, glassy-eyed and pale, no one to regale Home, all souls home! Home, lost ones home! feather and fur reclaim the night, creep and prowl scatter in haste at dawn’s first light, heed the call Home, night owls home! Home, small beasts home! Home, strayed ones home! Home, young ones home! All souls home!
6.
Evening Train (free) 02:54
high-tops, flip flops three tall girls, school uniforms in blue, yellow, green, multiplied, strangers underground out of focus, out of frame three tall girls, gum snapping, cut the line, divided, multiplied, strangers underground the day’s grown old, the fainting sun they hold hands, make plans map the middle distances and yawn, divisible by one, strangers underground the day’s grown old, the fainting sun the day’s grown old, the fainting sun
7.
Sunrise (free) 02:50
If we can’t rely on one another, might as well climb down from the ledge and wait for sunrise, then try again tomorrow. Throw open that window wide. You won’t find us waiting here for sunrise to remind us. If we can’t rescue you, then what do we do? Turn out the light. Bring on the night. Turn up the sky. Turn it up. If we can’t believe in one another, might as well concede defeat and lock the shutters, wait for sunrise to cauterize our sorrow. Step back from the window. See the outline to your own redaction flanked by sunbeams. If we can’t rescue you, then what do we do? Turn out the light. Bring on the night. Turn up the sky. Turn it up. Let the bird sing.
8.
Unleashed (free) 02:28
We are caged animals. We are caged animals, ears flat, lip curled back, a blind attack waiting to happen We are savage nemeses. We are holy warriors, red-eyed, throat clutched tight, a ringside cheer in a dirty fight. We are brazen animals. We enrage our enemies with rousing elegies. Forthright, head held high, shining knight in a losing battle. We are noble meddlers. We are gory foreigners, newborn, careworn, shorthorns in uniform. We are a fearsome pedigree. (And now we have a reason to howl, bound together, muzzle to jowl. Blood is thicker than desire, and the tide is rising.)
9.
Passage (free) 03:03
If I take the medication. If I lose my hair. If the slightest hesitation takes me anywhere, let it pour. Let it be forgotten. If you dare to wish me well and I disappear. If your reckless second-guesses drive me out of here, let me pour. Let me be forgotten. Crawl through the gaps in the curtains. Howl through the night. Sail down the hallway out of sight. If I offer up my body. If I dare to lose. I can take the shape of anything they want me to.
10.
Dutch Blitz (free) 03:20
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept, Untroubling and untroubled where I lie, The grass below; above, the vaulted sky. –John Clare, I Am! Stamp out the fire, circle the plough. Comb through the ashes. Squint at the clouds. Mother, my daughter, sister and me, in a hurry. We’re seeds from a catalogue tossed in the mail, spilling from rental car, subway, and air. We sprout from the windows, grow through the stairs. We worry. Let me lie. Open up the door. Let me lie. Don’t need you no more. Untroubling, untroubled where I lie. Shake me awake when I slacken the reins. Sing to me sweetly past cornfields and trains. Trail on together, forever, forever. Circle our wagons. Gather in tight. Follow each other through darkness and night. Lift up our rifles, squeeze in between the hedges. Let me lie. Open up the door. Let me lie. Don’t need you no more. Untroubling, untroubled where I lie.
11.
Vanishing Point (free) 03:10
The vanishing point is on me. One blinking island—a light In the darkness there’s a sign, the vanishing line is mine I cannot reach tomorrow, see your face or breach your sorrow There, in the corner of the sky, a waving hand takes flight The vanishing point is on me. Clear the orchard, clear the rise A line vanishing, a line vanishing Clear the airport, clear the sky A line vanishing, lines vanishing Clear the table, close the door Speak your name, step toward—
12.
Wavelight (free) 02:37
Everyone we leave behind, pennies tossed in fountains, the casual accumulations of our calcified desires. We breach in narrow pools of daylight, hulls shot through with wavelight. Wind sighing, hearts full sail, never dreaming we could fail. Waterfall, waterfall, who will heed your thunderous call? This ever-changing rearrangement of prickling devotions, calving off and rising up from the glacial divide. Every crystalline persuasion hangs frozen for a moment, before our noisy clatter breaks the silence and its thrall. Waterfall, waterfall, who will heed your thunderous call? Waterfall, waterfall, pouring out into the sea.
13.
The Swimmer (free) 02:30
In memory of Faron Hall (1964-2014) The swimmer is gasping for shore, he has no more to say. Don’t chase him back under the bridge, forgive his mistake. He saved those he could— if you can, then you should. Carry on. By the banks of the river we belong. You are not alone. The world is your home. Everywhere you go, you’ll always ring clear to me. This current’s so desperate to feed on our emptiness, Shopping carts running aground in the muddy depths Stung by the heat of our failure, sink into place The swimmer is swimming away. You are not alone. The world is your home. Everywhere you go, you’ll always ring clear to me.

about

Fellows' 7th full-length solo album
vinyl and digital
to order a vinyl copy by mail, contact info@vivatvirtute.com

credits

released November 16, 2018

Produced by Christine Fellows and John K. Samson
Recorded and mixed in Winnipeg by Cam Loeppky and C. Fellows
Additional recording by Christine Bougie, Shotgun Jimmie, Keri Latimer, and Greg Smith
Mastered in Ottawa by Philip Shaw Bova
Lyrics and songs © 2018 by Christine Fellows (SOCAN)
Artwork: C. Fellows
Layout and design: Mike Carroll
Photography: Leif Norman
Label painting by Radler Carroll Biebrich

Christine Bougie: lap steel guitar
C. Fellows: vocals, ukuleles, mandolin, keys and synths, percussion, field recordings
Shotgun Jimmie: electric guitar
Keri Latimer: theremin
Keith McLeod: mandolin on Me and Carmen
Alex McMaster: Dutch Blitz cello arrangement
Ford Pier: Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home string arrangement
John K. Samson: electric and acoustic guitars, electric bass, vocals
Greg Smith: electric bass
Jason Tait: drums, percussion, drum machine, electronics
Leanne Zacharias: cello
C. Fellows plays ukuleles by Beardsell Guitars

Financial support from Canada Council for the Arts and Winnipeg Arts Council, and residency support from Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Winnipeg Public Library made this project possible. Shary Boyle and Lesandra Dodson inspired many of these songs. Dutch Blitz was commissioned in 2015 by Massey Hall/Roy Thomson Hall for Torn from the Pages, a celebration of Miriam Toews. The string arrangement for Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home was originally commissioned by Gryphon Trio. Wavelight was commissioned by Erika MacPherson for her film Heimþrá (In Thrall to Home).

Dutch Blitz cites Miriam Toews’ novel All My Puny Sorrows.
The chorus of Evening Train borrows melody from Benjamin Britten’s Pastoral, and cites Evening Quatrains, by Charles Cotton.
One More for the Road cites Wallace Stevens’ The Poems of Our Climate.
Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home cites Kathleen Raine’s poem of the same name.

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Christine Fellows Winnipeg, Manitoba

Christine Fellows finds music in sounds we tend to take for granted: the voices of the people we love, the sounds of the spaces we move through as part of our daily lives. Fellows is based in Winnipeg, Canada, where she collaborates with artists from all disciplines to create and produce performance works and recordings. ... more

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